Cornerstone Maritime, a newly formed ship management company based in Denmark has unveiled plans to act as commercial manager of the Ierax effective from May 10, 2019. Cornerstone Maritime would also handle all chartering and operations of the 15,885 dwt tanker, which was built in 1998. The company was founded by Simon Toft, the head of the ship-brokerage Casos Shipping for the past five years.
ABS, Google Cloud and Ukrainian software company SoftServe have completed a pilot project using artificial intelligence (AI) models to detect corrosion and coating breakdown on ships and offshore structures. The project successfully demonstrated the accuracy of AI in detecting and assessing structural anomalies found during visual inspection. According to ABS, AI techniques could also be used to analyze images over time to understand corrosion and coating breakdown trends. Computerized interpretation of digital imagery pairs well with drone-based inspection, another area that ABS has pioneered for ships and offshore structures. Drone surveys generate extensive digital video footage, which can potentially be "scanned" by AI or computer vision techniques to detect anomalies. ABS' technology relies on much more sophisticated AI tools developed by Google Cloud.
APM Terminals Gothenburg has launched The Gothenburg Gateway, a new concept in Swedish logistics. The system combines fast, efficient freight trains, an efficient container port that loads between trains and ships, and more ocean-going vessels calling the port. It is designed to ensure that a container placed on a freight train anywhere in Sweden will be loaded onto a large ocean-going vessel within 48 hours. The approach is expected to reduce the transit time to Shanghai by at least a week.
The Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) has stated that masters and owners of vessels that exceed the 0.5% sulphur cap after January 1, 2020 could face up to two years in prison. Failing to use an approved abatement technology such as a scrubber, alternative fuel or compliant fuel will result in non-compliance. The authority will inspect both Singapore-registered ships as well as foreign-flagged vessels visiting the port and employ fuel-testing service providers for detailed laboratory analysis of fuel samples. It will also deploy electronic systems for ships to declare their method of compliance before arrival. Along with other nations, Singapore already banned open-loop scrubbers from discharging washwater, the waste liquid containing impurities after airborne sulphur emissions have been removed.
The Danish Maritime Authority is another country taking enforcement to another level. Using a drone provided by the European Maritime Safety Agency, ship emissions will be randomly tested for sulphur content. The readings from the drone will be immediately transmitted to Danish authorities who will follow up with ship if the readings indicate a level of non-compliance. The project will contribute to a more efficient enforcement of the sulphur rules, ensuring fair competition for shipping companies and less pollution from ships. The drone will operate in an area north of The Great Belt, where many large tankers pass when going to and from the Baltic Sea.
CLIA has reported that the cruise industry continued to grow in 2018, with a 6.7 percent increase from 2017 to 2018. This reflects a total of 28.5 million passengers who traveled onboard cruise ships last year. Around 14.2 million passengers in 2018 were from North America, representing 49.9 percent of global ocean passengers. In addition, 25.1 percent of total passengers came from Europe, followed by Asia-Pacific and South America.
In a bid to slash the industry’s emissions, France is arguing for a global speed limit for the shipping industry around the globe through a submission to the International Maritime Organization. France believes that in order to meet the climate goals set out in the Paris Agreement, shipping needs to act faster than goals set out by IMO to get decarbonisation regulations moving by 2023. Reducing speed for most ship sectors is one option for a transitionary, temporary measure.
Home to the world’s largest refueling station, Singapore says it will have enough low-sulfur fuel next year to meet new demand tied to the required reduction in sulphur emissions. The country has been working with big oil refiners and shipowners and is confident that they will have enough fuel that is compliant with new industry rules for 2020. Large oil companies have been active in Singapore, testing new fuels to ensure that they are safe and usable on all ships. The new fuels are expected to cost 40% more than traditional bunker fuel, boosting operators’ annual fuel bill by as much as $15 billion.
The South African Maritime Safety Authority (SAMSA) has announced that it will accept all types of approved exhaust gas cleaning systems (EGCS), or scrubbers, including both open loop and closed loop, for use in its territorial waters. These areas include Cape Town, Saldanha Bay, Port Nolloth, Port of Ngqura, East London, Durban, Mossel Bay, Port Elizabeth, and Richards Bay.
Speaking in Istanbul, Simon Bennett, Deputy Secretary General of the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) warned today that avoiding overcapacity and unsustainably low freight rates is still a major challenge ten years after the massive downturn of 2008. Mr. Bennett said, “In that time shipping companies needed to show restraint when ordering new ships, to prevent stifling recovery. Yet the dark clouds of protectionism and slowing growth in key economies mean that the avoidance of overordering is now more important than ever.” Furthermore, he noted that overcapacity in the shipbuilding sector will continue to be a temptation.
Singapore offshore company Swiber Holdings is being restructured, with Seaspan signing an investment agreement worth up to $200 million last Friday. Under the new agreement, Seapsan will invest $10m to take an 80% shareholding interest in a new holding company to be incorporated into which certain assets of the existing Swiber Group will be transferred.
Seaspan and COSCO Shipping Energy have signed an agreement for strategic cooperation to strengthen collaboration on opportunities relating to LNG investments, LNG projects, LNG transportation, ethane transportation, or other related and mutually beneficial projects. The agreement is geared to take advantage of COSCO’s experience in the building, operation, and management of LNG vessels, and Seaspan’s experience in the operation and management of containerships, as well as the networks and experience of its board members in the energy sector.
Luxury Cruise Ship, Viking Sky, arrived safely in port on Sunday after sending out a mayday signal on Saturday due engine failure during a storm. The ship was drifting in rough waters in the Norwegian Sea and came to within 100 meters of land. Rescue services airlifted 479 people, hoisting them one-by-one on to helicopters, before the weather subsided on Sunday and a tow could begin. 900 people were still on board as the ship arrived at the port of Molde on Norway’s west coast. Some 25 passengers were injured in the ordeal, with most suffering only minor injuries. The Viking Sky has a gross tonnage of 47,800 and was delivered to Viking Ocean Cruises in 2017.
Maersk has partnered with members of the Dutch Sustainable Growth Coalition on the world’s largest marine biofuel pilot project. The pilot will see a large triple-E ocean vessel sail 25,000 nautical miles from Rotterdam to Shanghai and back on biofuel blends alone, saving 1.5 million kilograms CO2 and 20,000 kilograms of sulphur. The voyage will take place between March and June 2019. While Maersk will be the operating partner, the pilot is sponsored by Friesl and Campina, Heineken, Philips, DSM, Shell and Unilever, and Shell will provide the fuel.
CMA CGM has signed two agreements: an order for 10 new 15,000 teu containerships at China State Shipbuilding Corporation (CSSC), to be delivered from 2021 to replace 10 of CMA CGM existing fleet and; and an agreement to jointly develop more efficient and environmentally-friendly vessels. Five of the newbuilds will be fitted with LNG propulsion at Jiangnan Shipyard, priced at $130m per ship, while another five will be built at another unconfirmed CSSC yard, likely Hudong-Zhonghua, fitted with hybrid scrubbers and priced at $110m per ship. Both agreements were signed in the presence of French president Emmanuel Macron and Chinese president Xi Jinping.
The International Transport Forum is calling for constructive dialogue with the World Shipping Council. The call comes from the ongoing debate over whether or not the European Commission should extend container shipping’s block exemption regulation (BER) after the council claimed that the BER’s chief opponent, Olaf Merk based his recommendations to rescind the exemption on insufficient data. Merk’s primary argument against the exemption is that liner alliances now have too strong a market share to necessitate the special treatment they have received from Brussels.
A Maltese special operations team boarded a tanker to retake control after it was hijacked by a group of migrants that it had rescued at sea. In all, the Turkish tanker had rescued 77 men, 19 women and 12 minors. Once brought into port, armed military personnel stood guard on the ship's deck while several police vans were lined up on shore to take custody of the migrants for investigation, and five migrants were led off the ship in handcuffs.