global

UK shipping sector wants assurance on four areas of concern over IMO 2020

The International Maritime Organisation has been urged to clarify four areas of IMO 2020, as carriers scramble for compliance with the forthcoming low-sulphur fuel limit.

The “once-in-a-generation disruptor to shipping’s commercial environment” takes effect on 1 January 2020: a fuel sulphur content limit of 0.5%, down from 3.5% in some parts of the world, at some considerable cost to the industry.

Amid concern and the countdown, the UK Chamber of Shipping has called for the IMO to address four key areas: mitigation of safety issues linked to the switch; education on handling the fuel; reporting of compliance issues; and how the organisation will provide consistent global regulation.

The chamber said: “The new regulation will change the face of the shipping industry. It will have a positive impact on the environment and air quality, but could have a disruptive effect on operations if shipowners do not prepare effectively.”

While the IMO has yet to address issues surrounding fuel safety, it is working on guidelines to support the consistent implementation and to help state control enforce the regulation.

Furthermore, the UN body is reportedly also working on a fuel oil non-availability template (FONAR).

The UK Chamber says FONAR provides documentation to prove every effort to obtain compliant fuel had been pursued prior to a decision to bunker with non-compliant fuel.

But, it said, certain questions remained unanswered: “For instance, what happens to non-compliant fuel remaining onboard after a ship, having already provided a FONAR, arrives at a port where compliant fuel is available?”

Part of the problem facing the industry is uncertainty over how to comply with IMO 2020, with some suggesting scrubbers as the best option to mitigate the impact of the cap, some have pointed to LNG as an alternative, while others claim the clearest route to compliance is low-sulphur fuel.

A report by Panalpina suggests there has been an uptake among container lines looking to take the LNG route, with some hubs “racing” to develop LNG bunkering technology. It cites an order from CMA CGM for ten 15,000+ teu vessels, five to be fuelled by LNG and five fitted with scrubbers.

For forwarders like Panalpina, the focus will be on making sure it can maintain the best rates and provide customers with options they are happy to pay for, it said.

Global head of ocean freight Joerg Twachtmann added: “We have been developing a transparent and competitive pricing mechanism to cut the best deal for our customers.

“We now have a globally competitive bunker mechanism that will increase visibility for customers and ease the transition towards new fuel types to comply with the sulphur limit.”

For more information please go here: http://www.imo.org/en/MediaCentre/HotTopics/GHG/Documents/2020%20sulphur%20limit%20FAQ%202019.pdf

Source: The Loadstar

LNG tanker

LNG is the most environmentally friendly fuel for shipping

LNG is the most environmentally friendly, readily available fuel for shipping today – and in the foreseeable future, according to a new study.

With the IMO’s 0.5% sulphur cap regulations coming into force next January, along with its target of halving C02 emissions from shipping by 2050, decisions need to be taken on alternative fuels.

At today’s launch in London of an independent study, commissioned by the not-for-profit collaborative industry foundation SEA/LNG, its chairman, Peter Keller, said the study aimed to prove the efficiency of LNG at this “challenging time for shipowners, operators and regulators”.

Mr Keller, also executive vice president of US flag line Tote, the first to operate LNG-fuelled containerships, said there had been “a significant amount of investment in LNG bunkering capabilities around the world”, a lack of which had in the past deterred most carriers from ordering LNG-fuelled vessels.

CMA CGM is the first, and so far only, global carrier to opt for LNG-fuelled ULCVS, with its order last year for nine 22,000 teu ships to be delivered next year.

Mr Keller conceded it was not viable to retrofit ships to run on LNG.

“Conversions are difficult,” he said, given the size of the tanks required and the complexity of the work.

Indeed, Hapag-Lloyd’s chairman, Rolf Habben Jansen, told The Loadstar recently that a ballpark figure for retrofitting one of its 17 so-called LNG-ready ULCVs, inherited from its merger with UASC, was $25m – at least four times the cost of installing a scrubber system.

He said only one of the 15,000 teu ships was being retrofitted to run on LNG, as a trial, and he did not expect this to be rolled out to the sister vessels.

The Well-to-Wake study (a well-established approach for assessing the life-cycle analysis of fuels used in ships) was undertaken by consultant thinkstep. Using testing and data in cooperation with engine manufacturers,it found that the use of LNG as a marine fuel showed GHG reductions of up to 21%, compared with current oil-based fuels for two-stroke slow-speed engines. These account for about 70% of the power units used in shipping.

Mr Keller admitted that LNG was not a final answer to cutting emissions from shipping, but “it is the only alternative fuel that is available now”.

Maersk said recently it had invested some $1bn in research and development on alternative fuels, which it said was being driven by its customers, the carrier having seen a 30% increase in tenders stipulating the use of sustainable fuel. Other options being researched include bio-diesel and ammonia (hydrogen), solar and wind power.

Source: The Loadstar

Port of Shanghai

Shanghai is still the world’s busiest container port

The port of Shanghai has maintained its position as the world largest container port.

However, new data from Alphaliner today shows its lead over second-placed Singapore narrowed last year.

Shanghai posted 2018 throughput of 42.01m teu, 4.4% growth on 2017, while Singapore handled 36.6m teu, representing growth of 8.7%.

And the 5.41m teu differential between them was narrower than the 6.56m teu difference this time last year.

The 2.93m teu Singapore gained made it the largest-growing port globally, in terms of volumes, although Shanghai’s 1.78m teu gain puts it in second place in that sub-list.

According to Alphaliner, together the world’s largest 120 box ports handled 654m teu last year, an increase of 4.9% on 2017, which was broadly in line with analysts’ consensus.

Of those, 104 ports saw volumes grow, while 16 saw declines – and there were some high-losers among them.

Hong Kong saw the largest decline in volumes, down 1.1m teu over the year, dropping from fifth to seventh place in the top 120 as it posted a 56.7% fall to finish the year with 19.6m teu throughput, prompting its major terminal operators to form an alliance to try and arrest further declines.

DP World’s flagship Dubai facility also saw volumes decline, by 2.7%, and with an annual throughput of 14.95m teu, it fell out of the top 10 to eleventh place – overtaken by the northern Chinese port of Tianjin.

Other ports which saw large losses included other high-profile transhipment hubs: Panama’s Pacific hub of Balboa continued to see fall-out from the Panama Canal expansion as larger vessels now able to transit the canal bypassed it as volumes declined 29.3%, losing around 850,000 teu, to end the year at 2.05m teu; Oman’s Salalah lost 560,000 teu, representing 14.2% of its previous year’s volumes; Dubai rival Khor Fakkan dropped 13.8% to end the year at an estimated 2m teu; while Gioia Tauro, whose problems were recently reported by The Loadstar, lost 4.9% of its volume, equating to 120,000 teu.

The two largest gateway ports to see volume declines were the Iranian hub of Bandar Abbas, where new sanctions had the catastrophic effect of cutting to 600,000 teu, or 22.4%; and the UK’s Felixstowe, whose well-publicised IT transformation project resulted in an estimated loss of some 360,000 teu, representing 8.7% of the previous year’s total.

And Felixstowe’s loss was London’s gain, where scores of ad hoc calls were handled and which recorded a 23.2% increase in volumes to an estimated 1.7m teu.

Three ports, Beirut, Puerto Limon and Dandong, fell out of the top 120 last year, and were replaced by Buenaventura, Lome and Jinzhou.

Source: The Loadstar

solent 250

We are proud to announce that we came 65th in the Solent 250!

Supreme Freight staff members were at the Ageas Bowl last night for the Solent 250 awards dinner, and are pleased to announce that we came 65th! Very proud, and we couldn’t have done it without our wonderful staff or our loyal customers!

The Solent 250 lists the top 250 companies headquartered in the Solent region, ranked by turnover. Each year there is a dinner, awards and roundtable discussions.

One of the guest speakers was RSM’s Simon Hart, the firm’s lead Brexit partner, and its chief economist Joe Brusuelas. They suggested possible scenarios on how trade deals might be structured and what the UK’s future relationship with the US might look like.

It was a great night and we look forward to next year!