e5 Lab Inc., a venture between Asahi Tanker Co., Exeno Yamamizu Corp., Mitsui O.S.K. Lines Ltd. and Mitsubishi Corp is seeking to build the world’s first zero-emission tanker by mid-2021 that will be powered by large-capacity batteries and will operate in Tokyo Bay. Momentum is gathering for fully electric ships, with Rolls-Royce Holdings Plc offering battery-powered ship engines starting last year, and Norway’s Kongsberg Gruppen ASA is developing an electric container vessel. There are still challenges in making the technology applicable to ships navigating thousands of miles across oceans because of the need to recharge batteries.
Custom officers have found 4.5 tons of cocaine onboard a containership at the Port of Hamburg, representing the largest-ever cocaine shipment seized in this country. The shipment consisted of more than 4,200 parcels in 211 black sports bags in a container aboard an unnamed vessel. The cocaine has a street value of around EUR 1 billion (USD 1.1 billion).
Following last week’s article on OOCL's plans to step up inspections on dangerous goods, Hapag-Lloyd has since advised that it will impose a fine of $15,000 for each container of misdeclared hazardous cargoes starting on September 15th. This decision comes after Hapag-Lloyd’s Yantian Express suffered a fire that caused millions of dollars of damage.
Starting this month and until November 30, 2019, the Panama Canal will promote the implementation of the International Maritime Organization’s (IMO) annual recommendations on speed and maritime transit aimed at protecting cetaceans, which include whales, dolphins and other large aquatic mammals, during their nearby seasonal migration. With these measures, ships should proceed at a speed of not more than 10 knots in specified areas. Panama has monitored this requirement since December 1, 2014 when maritime traffic separation devices (TSS) were installed by both the Caribbean Sea and Pacific Ocean entry points to the Canal. The initiative is part of the Panama Canal’s broader efforts to incentivize environmental stewardship and includes watershed conservation initiatives, innovative water-saving basins, and other programs aimed at implementing technologies and standards to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Iran reiterated last weekend that it will pursue a “toll” on all ships travelling in the Strait of Hormuz. Iranian lawmakers demanded that each vessel in the strait pay a fee for safe passage just 48 hours after Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps commandos in black ski masks rappelled from a helicopter onto a British oil tanker and took control of the vessel. The ship, the STENA IMPERO, and its 23 crew members remained in detention at an Iranian port Sunday as the West scrambled to figure out how to respond to Tehran’s latest provocation.
The International Chamber of Shipping (ICS), the European Community Shipowners' Associations (ECSA) and the Asian Shipowners' Association (ASA) jointly urge immediate action by the international community to stop the escalation of tensions and fully respect international law. Guy Platten, ICS Secretary General, commented that Freedom of Navigation is vital for global trade and is a fundamental principle of international maritime law. Seafarers and ships must be allowed to operate in safety, and it is simply not acceptable for them to be used as bargaining counters in any way.
The South Korean Government announced plans for investments in 12 ports across the country. The expansion plans include the development of Busan as a mega-port, and the expansion of cargo handling capacity of the ports. The overall investment will reach the cost of 41.8 trillion ($35.2 billion). Specifically, the Korean government will inject KRW16.03trn directly and the remaining KRW25.77trn will be raised from the private sector. Busan port infrastructure will see 21 new berths, capable of accommodating 25,000-teu containerships. Cargo handling capacity at the 12 ports will increase to 1.85bn tonnes by 2040 from 1.32bn tonnes in 2017, and container handling capacity will increase to 48.73m teus from 27.17m teus in 2017. Also on in plans are two additional ports. One will be on the southern island of Jeju which will be developed as a cruise port, and another at Donghae on the east coast, which will handle cargo.
The Baltic Exchange is partnering with a spatial big data company, GeoSpock, to create a platform with a focus on shipping emissions. They are seeking to develop an intelligent database that captures data on every measurable aspect of the shipping industry. This includes metadata such as location, weather, emissions, fuel usage, journey routes and times. Using this information, companies will be able to analyse and optimise shipping on a global scale, while providing regulators and governments with an increased level of transparency.
Swedish ship-management company, Marinvest, has announced that the Mari Jone and Mari Boyle, the first vessels powered by dual-fuel ME-LGI (-Liquid Gas Injection Methanol) engines operating on methanol have completed 10,000 operating hours. The company reports that its combined ME-LGI-powered fleet has passed a cumulative total of 50,000 operating hours on methanol. The two methanol tankers are managed on time charters for Waterfront Shipping and operate globally, providing an uninterrupted flow of methanol.
Orient Overseas Container Line (OOCL) is stepping up its inspection of containers in a move to clamp down on the transportation of dangerous and hazardous cargo. Concerns with un-declared and/or mis-declared hazardous cargo are driving efforts to strengthen its Dangerous Cargo acceptance and container inspection policy by imposing additional verification before loading through selective or random inspections.
Water levels on the Rhine in Germany are rising after rain this week and shipping has returned to normal. Shallow water had hampered sailings since late July and rain over the past few days has enabled vessels to take on full loads. Shallow water saw shippers impose surcharges on freight rates, increasing costs for cargo owners. The Rhine is an important shipping route for commodities including grains, minerals, coal, chemicals and oil products including heating oil.
K Line was convicted by the Federal Court of Australia today for being in a criminal cartel and fined A$34.5 million (US$23.4 million). K Line pleaded guilty last year to being involved in a global conspiracy with numerous other ocean shipping companies to protect market share and fix ocean freight rates for the transportation of cars, trucks, and buses to Australia between 2009 and 2012. In 2017, Nippon Yusen Kabushiki Kaisha was convicted by the court and fined A$25 million ($20 million) for its part in the activity.
Australia has submitted a notification to the WTO’s Committee on Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures regarding “2019-2020 Brown Marmorated Stink Bug (BMSB)”, applying to a wide range of manufactured products from a number of countries including Canada.
The proposed measures will apply to goods loaded from September 1, 2019 and that arrive in Australian territory by May 31, 2020 (inclusive), and vessels arriving in Australian territory between September 1, 2019 and May 31, 2020 (inclusive).
This year’s concentrated inspection campaign (CIC) by port state authorities under the Tokyo and Paris MOUs start on 1 September 2019 and focus on emergency systems and procedures, including emergency drills for crew. The CIC will be included as an additional part of routine port state control (PSC) inspections during the implementation period and attending PSC officers (PSCO) will use a tailored questionnaire to verify specific topics and areas relevant to the CIC. According to a press release by the Paris MOU, the CIC Questionnaire on Emergency Systems and Procedures is now available.
Shipping associations are calling on ship owners to alert the British Navy of their movements before sailing into the Middle East Gulf and Strait of Hormuz due to the escalating international crisis in the region. About a fifth of the world's oil passes through the Strait of Hormuz and shipping companies are already deploying more unarmed security guards as an extra safeguard. The information provided would be passed onto the U.S. Navy and other naval forces involved in efforts to create a United States-led multinational security initiative known as Operation Sentinel. Washington says the plan is to increase surveillance of and security in key waterways in the Middle East.
CSL Group and Oldendorff have joined the Trident Alliance, a network of shipping companies and other stakeholders with a shared interest in robust and transparent enforcement of environmental regulations. By joining the Alliance, the companies have committed to compliance with the new IMO 2020 maritime sulphur regulations and support transparent enforcement of the regulations.
The UK navy has intervened to stop Iran from blocking a commercial oil tanker leaving the Persian Gulf, heightening friction just as European nations scramble to salvage a landmark nuclear accord with the Islamic Republic. The BP Plc-operated British Heritage, which can carry as much as 1 million barrels of oil, was attempting to pass through the Strait of Hormuz when three Iranian vessels tried to impede it, according to a U.K. government statement. Iran denied the charge. The British Heritage was able to pass safely through the Strait of Hormuz and was now sailing along the Omani coast.
Panama will withdraw its flag from more vessels that violate sanctions and international legislation. The country has already removed approximately 60 ships linked to Iran and Syria from the Panamanian registry. Most of those vessels were owned by Iranian state-run companies but they also included ships linked to oil deliveries to Syria.