emissions

IMO have a lack of urgency to clear up shipping

The IMO has decided on a goal-setting approach by member states to decarbonise shipping, rather than progress the proposals put forward by some members for a mandatory speed reduction on vessels.

The strategy, decided last week in London, not to opt for speed restrictions has angered the members of the Clean Shipping Coalition (CSC) who blasted the IMO for its “bureaucracy” and “lack of urgency”.

An IMO working group agreed a draft text that will be put forward to the next Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC) meeting in March.

The text urges member states to develop and update a voluntary national action plan, which includes an improvement in the domestic and legislative implementation of existing regulations and a commitment to develop activities to further enhance the energy efficiency of ships, along with initiating the research and the uptake of alternative low- and zero-carbon fuels.

The IMO said that during the working group sessions “a number of proposals were discussed”, including an Energy Efficiency Ship Index (EEXI), mandatory power limitations on ships, measures to optimise speed on a voyage and speed limiters.

According to the UK Chamber of Shipping,“after lengthy discussions it was clear that there was no appetite for prescriptive speed reduction regulation”.

However, the UK Chamber, which is against the implementation of speed restrictions on shipping, arguing among other things that it would require more ships to be built with ‘old’ technology to take up the slack, said there was a “positive outcome” from the meeting.

Shipping policy director Anna Ziou said: “The progress made sets the right direction of travel and is a good foundation for the IMO’s work to put the strategy into action.”

Meanwhile, the CSC said measures were “urgently needed” if the IMO’s plan, agreed in April last year to half emissions from shipping by 2050 was to be met.

Bill Hemmings, shipping director of CSC member, transport & environment, said: “Time is running short but that’s not the feeling you get inside the room. The commitment last April to agree and implement in the short-term immediate emissions reduction measures has fallen foul of procedure, bureaucracy and delay spearheaded by countries that were never really on board.”

Mr Hemmings named the key member states as the US, Saudi Arabia and Brazil that “spearheaded” the movement against mandatory speed restrictions.

And John Maggs, senior policy advisor at fellow CSC member Seas at Risk, was equally damming of the IMO’s decision not to implement vessel speed restrictions at this time.

“Ships have deployed slow-steaming over the past decade in a way that has seen dramatic reductions in emissions. The world is not blind to this,” said Mr Maggs.

He said that the speeds of ships “must initially be capped” and “then progressively lowered” and suggested that the “commitment of many at the IMO to genuinely reduce ship emissions” was absent.

Nevertheless, several shipowners and operators The Loadstar has spoken to in recent weeks argued that they were already operating their vessels at the lowest speeds recommended by engine manufacturers, in order to conserve fuel and cut voyage costs to the bone.

Indeed, one executive from a major container carrier said: “Our masters are under strict instructions not to ‘put their foot down’ unless it is a matter of safety; if we miss a berth window so be it, we have a network that can adjust to that and it is generally cheaper than burning the extra fuel.”

Source: The Loadstar

air pollution

Decarbonisation and greener fuel an important issue

Decarbonisation is now the second most important issue for the shipping industry, according to a report released today by the Global Maritime Forum.

The Global Maritime Issues Monitor 2019, which surveyed respondents from 46 countries, ranked only the “global economic crisis” ahead of “decarbonisation of shipping” as the issue to have the greatest impact on the industry over the next decade.

“And the pending 2020 IMO low-sulphur regulation appears to be on senior leaders’ radar,” said Global Maritime Forum chair Peter Stokes. “They see ‘new environmental regulation’ as most likely to occur in the next ten years, and deem that issue to have the third-highest impact.

“Worryingly, they perceive the maritime industry as relatively unprepared for the issue, close to the deadline for the new fuel requirements,” he added.

The report says the availability of zero-carbon vessels and fuels is seen as a major barrier to shipping’s decarbonisation.

Johannah Christensen, the forum’s head of projects, added: “Commercially viable zero-emission vessels powered by zero-emission fuels must start entering the global fleet by 2030, and their numbers need to be radically scaled through the 2030s and 2040s if international shipping is to meet the [IMO] target of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by at least 50% by 2050.”

Yesterday, Maersk, which has set the bar higher than the IMO with its goal of eliminating its carbon emissions by 2050, announced it would develop the use of ‘LEO’ fuel, a blend of lignin and ethanol.

Maersk has formed a ‘LEO coalition’ with Norwegian ro-ro carrier Wallenius Wilhelmsen, Copenhagen University and shippers BMW, H&M, Levi Strauss and Marks & Spencer.

Søren Toft, Maersk’s chief operating officer, said: “Shipping requires bespoke low-carbon fuel solutions which can make the leap from the laboratory to the global shipping fleet. Initiatives such as the LEO Coalition are an important catalyst in this process.”

Meanwhile, the IMO 2020 sulphur fuel cap and subsequent decarbonisation push could be a “blessing in disguise” for container carriers, according to Parash Jain, global head of shipping and ports equity research at HSBC.

He said the industry was unlikely to experience the kind of speculative ship ordering seen during previous supply and demand cycles, since decarbonisation would “ensure older assets become obsolete much faster.”

“In my view, there will be restraint from carriers and secondhand vessels will become more liquid. Those who need supply will tap into that market rather than make a call on what kind of new ship they should order for the next 25 years,” he said at the TPM Asia conference in Shenzhen this month.

McKinsey partner Steve Saxon agreed, noting the industry’s decarbonisation targets were “incredibly aggressive.”

“So shipping lines will need to find a way to decarbonise and the dominate technology is not out there yet. In the meantime, we’re going to have a difficult transition period, and, during the late 2020s or so, I would agree we may well see new ordering drop back quite substantially,” said Mr Saxon.

Source: The Loadstar

MSC

MSC tipped to overtake Maersk as the worlds biggest box carrier

MSC is on course to overtake alliance partner Maersk as the biggest ocean carrier by capacity within the next two years.

A new order for five 23,000 teu ULCVs from the South Korean Daewoo yard will take the Geneva-based carrier’s orderbook to 16 vessels, for a massive 305,352 teu, according to Alphaliner data.

A disclosure from Daewoo this week valued the order at $152m per ship, with delivery of the five by August 2021.

This will propel MSC’s fleet, including current chartered tonnage, to just under 4m teu, a capacity level Maersk has said it wants to stick at.

During the second-quarter earnings call in August, Maersk chief executive Soren Skou confirmed this, adding: “We want to remain disciplined on capacity and stick to our guidance of around 4m teu of deployed capacity because it helps us drive utilisation up and unit costs down.”

Currently the Danish carrier’s fleet stands at some 4.2m teu, however Mr Skou attributed the above-guidance figure to be due to a number of ships dry-docking for scrubber installation, obliging a higher than normal level of chartered-in tonnage.

Unlike its 2M partner, Maersk has for some time taken a bearish view on ordering, and currently has an orderbook of just 45,000 teu. It has long since ceased to be the ocean carrier operating the biggest  box ship; MSC is the current leader with its 23,765 teu scrubber-fitted MSC Gulsun, in service between Asia and North Europe.

With MSC threatening to end its long reign as the industry’s biggest carrier, Maersk’s board could be put under pressure to reconsider its capacity strategy, which in turn could lead to it identifying new acquisition targets in order to support its growth.

In contrast, MSC’s family-influenced strategy to only grow its liner business organically means it needs to be more aggressive in its markets to underpin the injection of additional capacity.

Teaming up with Maersk in the 2M alliance in January 2015 has seen stronger growth organically for MSC than its VSA partner has managed via acquisition, and there are some concerns emerging that it is lagging.

Source: The Loadstar

emissions

The UK should include aviation and shipping in net zero emission goal

The aviation and shipping sectors should formally be included in Britain’s target to cut its greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2050, the government’s climate advisers said on Tuesday.

Britain earlier this year became the first G7 country to set a net zero emission target although the shipping and aviation sectors were not explicitly included in the goal.

Combined the two sectors account for around 5% of global greenhouse emissions but if left unchecked this is expected to grow significantly, particularly as passenger flying numbers increase.

“Now is the time to bring the UK’s international aviation and shipping emissions formally within the UK’s net-zero target. These are real emissions, requiring a credible plan to manage them to net-zero by 2050,” Chris Stark, chief executive of the Committee on Climate Change (CCC), said in an email.

The CCC said, in a letter to Britain’s transport minister, Grant Shapps on Tuesday, emissions from aviation could be reduced by around a fifth by 2050 by using sustainable biofuels, improving fuel efficiency and limiting demand growth to at most 25% above current levels.

It said zero-carbon aviation is unlikely to be feasible by 2050 and that greenhouse gas removal methods would be needed to offset remaining emissions.

The CCC said the government said could establish a market for scalable greenhouse gas removal solutions, such as bioenergy carbon capture and storage, which sees emissions from lower carbon biofuels captured and stored to prevent them going into the atmosphere.

In the shipping sector zero carbon or near zero carbon could be feasible by 2050 the CCC said, if there is a widespread adoption of cleaner and as yet mostly so far untried fuels such as hydrogen or ammonia.

The CCC advice came as several ports, banks, oil and shipping companies on Monday launched an initiative which aims to have ships and marine fuels with zero carbon emissions on the high seas by 2030.

The International Civil Aviation Organization has committed to a target of halving net emissions by 2050, compared to 2005 levels and is working on a Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for (CORSIA) which requires most airlines to limit emissions or offset them by buying credits from environmental projects.

The CCC, which is independent of the government, is chaired by former British environment secretary John Gummer and includes business and academic experts.

Source: Reuters.com

hapag lloyd

Global container fleet breaches 23m teu

A wave of ULCV deliveries this year has pushed the total containership fleet capacity over the 23m teu mark, with the last million slots added in a breath–taking 14 months, according to an Alphaliner report. 

However, the newbuilds, mostly consisting of ULCVs, have arrived at a time of softening demand growth across the major tradelanes of the world, which is already forcing carriers to blank a significant amount of headhaul voyages. 

In fact on Monday the 2M partners, Maersk and MSC advised that the “temporary suspension” of their AE2 / Swan Asia – North Europe loop would commence one week earlier than planned, with the final schedule sailing from Qingdao on 25 September also being cancelled. 

While the new ULCVs will in most cases immediately be deployed on the Asia – Europe tradelane the cascading impact of the incumbent tonnage being reassigned to secondary routes will have negative consequences on freight rates in those markets. 

Ocean carriers received some 91,000 teu of newbuild tonnage in the last week alone, including two further MSC Gulsun-series 23,000 teu + vessels; the 21,230 teu Cosco Shipping Planet and the 20,240 teu Ever Globe.

According to the Alphaliner data, 826,000 teu of cellular capacity on some 108 vessels has been received by liner operators so far this year. 

However, in contrast the scrapping of older ships has stalled, with only 165,000 teu reported to have been sold for demolition to date, due to a strong charter market driven by the demand for substitute vessels to cover scrubber installations on the existing fleet. 

 “A strong charter market gives owners little incentive to recycle ships, and several vessels that were initially bound for the breaking yards are now being kept in active service,” said the consultant. 

Indeed, London shipbrokers Braemar ACM reported this week that there have been only three demolition sales in the past 30 days. 

“Some of the demand increase since June is related to vessel downtime for scrubber installations. A total of 44 ships with an overall capacity of 465,000 teu are currently undergoing retrofit work at various shipyards,” said Alphaliner. 

However, this artificial charter market demand, caused by the looming IMO 2020 0.5% sulphur cap regulations on marine bunkers, is masking the weakening fundamentals of global trade. 

Earlier in the week, shipping association Bimco reiterated its expectation for containership scrapping at some 200,000 teu for the full year but warned that the “fundamental balance of the container shipping market will worsen this year”. 

Alphaliner said that it expected that the low scrapping rate would “persist for the remainder of the year” and as a consequence has lowered its recycling forecast to less than 250,000 teu from its previous estimate of 350,000 teu. 

Source: Alphaliner / The Loadstar

future of shipping

Scrubbers integral for IMO 2020 compliance

Scrubbers will be vital to ensure compliance to the International Maritime Organization’s low sulfur mandate despite facing skepticism from some quarters about their limitations, delegates said at an industry event this week.

By January, 1, 2020, when the IMO 2020 rule is implemented, S&P Global Platts Analytics predicts around 2,400 scrubbers to be operational worldwide. This figure is expected to ramp up to over 3,500 by the end of 2020, with more upside potential post 2020, Platts Analytics said.

Close to 70% of the VLCCs under construction and around a fourth of the overall global fleet of this category are expected to have scrubbers, according to shipping industry estimates.

Exhaust gas cleaning systems, or scrubbers, are an alternative method of compliance and ever since MARPOL Annex VI came out in 1997, regulation 4 has allowed alternative methods of compliance, Ian Adams, executive director Clean Shipping Alliance (CSA) 2020 said Wednesday at the 35th annual Asia Pacific Petroleum Conference in Singapore.

“We’ve (the industry) been using scrubbers since 2006 … so, we’ve got a lot of knowledge,” Adams said.

Scrubbers can help remove up to 99% sulfur dioxides, up to 94% of particulate matter, up to 60% of black carbon, and significant amounts of polyaromatic hydrocarbons, or PAH.

A recent study by Norway’s SINTEF, one of Europe’s largest independent research organizations, showed that the continued use of residual fuels with a scrubber can help towards global CO2 reduction.

The science behind EGCS is “absolutely sound,” Adams said.

Danish refined oil products tanker group Torm is set to use scrubbers as part of its IMO 2020 compliance strategy.

“In Torm, we don’t believe in a one-solution-fits-all approach,” Jesper Jensen, head of the technical division at the company, said, adding that Torm aims to retrofit 34 ships with scrubbers while about 48 ships will use compliant fuels.

Retrofit installations are usually more complicated than installing scrubbers on newbuildings while installation costs are creeping up at the shipyard as their capacity runs out, he said.

“Still, in my opinion it is quite an attractive solution to install scrubbers by retrofits on ships of certain types,” Jensen said.

Torm, for its part, has already inked a joint venture with ME Production, a leading scrubber manufacturer, and Guangzhou Shipyard International, part of the China State Shipbuilding Corporation Group, to provide it the flexibility to make timely decisions on retrofit installations.

Maersk, too, sees scrubbers as a part of its IMO 2020 strategy.

“We as Maersk have been pretty clear for [about] two years now on our view that the industrial logic for the best place to remove sulfur is onshore a refinery, and not onboard a ship,” Savvas Manousos, global head of trading at Maersk Oil Trading, said Monday.

“Having said that, we have installed a number [of scrubbers] on our own ships, partly as a following tactic to our competitors because others have chosen [them] and therefore we were obliged to follow to an extent,” he said.

Ultimately, some shipowners are going to take a wait-and-see approach and see what happens to the price spread, he said.

“As for owners, from our discussion, most of them are still installing open loop scrubbers on their ships based on the economics of fuel consumption at sea, and also on the price differential,” Goh Chung Hun, director (shipping), Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore said Monday.

This is despite Singapore’s announcement last year to ban the use of wash water discharge from open loop scrubbers from January 1, 2020, in its port waters.

“There is a marked preference for installing scrubbers in new rather than existing ships, and in bigger instead of smaller ships,” an executive said.

While the scrubber manufacturers are making a very strong pitch to highlight their benefits, not all shipowners are convinced or opting for them.

There are several tankers’ owners such as Ardmore Shipping and Euronav which have stayed away from installations, at least for the time being.

Euronav in early September said it had purchased VLSFO at a premium of only $47/mt to the bunker price for heavy fuel oil 3.5% sulfur content over the same procurement period, making VLSFO economics viable.

Still, Euronav said it did not dismiss scrubbers completely and continued to assess the potential retrofitting of part of its fleet with them.

“Owners do not want to put all their eggs in one basket as none is sure about the differential between low and high sulfur marine fuels” early next year, said an executive with another tankers company.”

Source: Hellenic Shipping News

MSC Gulson

MSC unveils its newest box ship MSC Gulson

MSC has revised the official capacity of its new ULCV, MSC Gulsun, by an additional 805 teu, to 23,765 teu, making it more than 2,000 teu larger than the biggest ships operated by its competitors.

The liner said the new class of vessel had “been designed with a wide range of environmental, efficiency, stability and safety matters in mind”.

The MSC Gulson, it claims, features a “remarkable approach to energy efficiency” via bow design and minimised wind resistance.

Part of a series of eleven vessels, it is one of six being built by Samsung Heavy Industries (SHI) in South Korea, with the other five constructed at compatriot Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering, the MSC Gulsuncompleted its maiden voyage from Asia to North Europe this week.

Although the same length as the 21,413 teu OOCL Hong Kong-series of ULCVs, at 399 metres, the scrubber-fitted MSC Gulson has a beam 2.7 metres wider, at 61.5 metres, enabling an extra row of containers and making 24 rows across the weather deck.

With an optimum load of light medium and heavy boxes, the MSC Gulson would need to be stowed 13 containers high on deck to achieve the 23,765 teu intake, but this is unlikely unless the vessel is topped up with empty containers for repatriation on the backhaul Asia-North Europe service.

Moreover, the extra row across its beam will exceed the outreach capabilities at some ports on its rotation. Indeed, Alphaliner noted that at the MSC Gulson’s first call, at Bremerhaven earlier in the week, the containers to be discharged at the German port were stowed only 23 across, due to the restricted reach of the terminal’s shore cranes.

There are now around 50 ULCVs of 20,000 teu or more operated by ocean carriers, all of which are deployed on Asia-North Europe, with new deliveries expected to double that number by the end of next year. South Korean carrier HMM, which will join THE Alliance next April, has an orderbook of twelve 23,000 teu scrubber-fitted vessels and Taiwanese Evergreen has just disclosed its intention to order up to eleven 23,000 teu newbuilds.

Both carriers have, like MSC, opted for scrubbers to be fitted on the new vessels to enable the continued burning of HFO (heavy fuel oil) after IMO 2020. Depending on the premium payable for low-sulphur compliant fuel after 1 January, it has been calculated that scrubbers could potentially save container lines using the exhaust gas cleaning technology some $2m per Asia-North Europe roundtrip voyage.

Source: The Loadstar

Image from NewsVideo.SU

one belt one road

RZD expands China-Europe rail freight services with new routes

RZD have begun a new container service, with a new connection between China and Germany.

Connecting Yantai and Duisburg, the service initially will operate on a limited schedule, but RZD chief executive Vyacheslav Valentik expects it to become regular by the start of Q4.

“Our cooperation with Yantai station is developing rapidly – just a month ago we launched a service to Moscow, and today we present a transit route to Germany,” he said.

“There is no doubting its successful development… Shandong ranks third in the GDP ranking of provinces in China. It is an industrial region with a high level of production and consumption, which gives us a good chance to work out the issue of reverse loading of transit trains.”

The inaugural service arrived in the German city, after a 19-day transit, on 14 August, carrying auto parts, electrical components and household products.

The carrier said the service was available to a “wide range” of shippers, with further new routes due this month: “The service will be launched on the new route from Jinan City, Shandong Province to Budapest,” it said.

“Now, RZD Logistics has container trains from various cities of the Shandong province to Moscow, St. Petersburg, Perm, Minsk and Duisburg.”

The operator has undergone a rash of expansion in recent months, last month launching a service to ship boxes from Korea to Europe via the Trans-Siberian Railway.

The decision to run the new link followed a trial in June from South Korea’s container hub of Pusan to the Polish rail terminal at Brzeg Dolny.

“Rail delivery is faster than deepsea transport and we offer our clients in the republic of Korea the chance to assess the economical efficiency of the service,” said Mr Valentik. “And the more cargo transported by Trans-Siberian land bridge, the more affordable the service is.”

Also last month, RZD and subsidiary Far East Land Bridge rolled out a container route between Moscow and Yantai.

Sales director at RZD Olga Stepanova said: “We try to find solutions that will meet the needs of our customers. At Yantai it is convenient to consolidate cargo from all over Shandong province, one of the most industrialised in China.

“It is also successfully connected to the sea terminal, with which we also plan to group and ship to Russia and Europe from other countries in the Asia-Pacific region.”

Source: The Loadstar

red cross

Carriers to fine rogue shippers for misdeclared goods in containers

Carriers are cracking down on rogue shippers by threatening significant financial penalties for misdeclared shipments, following a series of vessel fires.

Evergreen was first out of the gates announcing fines, ranging from $4,000 to $35,000, for misdeclarations (see below), with Hapag-Lloyd and OOCL following suit.

Hapag-Lloyd, which suffered as misdeclared goods caused a high-profile fire aboard its vessel Yantian Express earlier this year, said it would impose a $15,000 fine per misdeclared box, and OOCL has announced enhanced checks and a hazardous cargo misdeclaration fee.

Hong Kong-headquartered OOCL said: “We are aware that there has been an increasing number of marine incidents being reported in 2019, many of which were suspected of being caused by potentially undeclared and/or misdeclared hazardous cargo.

“Any inconsistencies between the declared cargo in the documents and what is physically inside the container will result in a hazardous cargo misdeclaration fee.”

The fee payable will depend on the extent of any disparity, with containers potentially being pulled out of service and put on hold if penalties are applicable.

The carrier said it would also strengthen its inspection policy through additional verification prior to loading by selective or random inspections on DG and potential DG cargo.

“It is the responsibility of all stakeholders in the carriage of goods to ensure all hazardous cargo are properly declared and handled according to the IMDG regulations,” it added.

Between 5% and 10% of containership cargo is declared as dangerous goods, but the extent of misdeclaring of goods is impossible to tell.

Mr Storrs-Fox said: “A key element of the campaign is to identify levers – both sticks and carrots – that are available to improve a safety culture in the unitised supply chain, including considering unintended consequences inherent in trading arrangements or fiscal/security interventions and the possibilities presented by technological innovation.

“Penalising shippers where deficiencies are found should be applauded and government enforcement agencies are encouraged to take appropriate action under national or international regulations to deter poor practices further.”

Source: The Loadstar

low tariffs after brexit

Post-Brexit freeport ‘gateway to prosperity’ plan comes under fire

Questions continue to be raised over the announcement that the UK government intends to establish a series of freeports across the country after Brexit.

Trade secretary Liz Truss called on airports and ports to bid for the scheme, saying: “Freedoms transformed London’s Docklands in the 1980s, and Freeports will do the same for towns and cities across the UK.

Claims yesterday by prime minister Boris Johnson that the UK would become a “world leader” on the freeport scene have also been questioned by industry experts.

Drewry’s senior analyst for ports and terminals, Neil Davidson, said it made a freeport sound like a “panacea” for business.

“From what I can tell, no real, proper research has been conducted and there seems to be no idea what markets or sectors the scheme intends to target,” he said.

“Looking at it from a common sense point of view, and from the market perspective, I cannot see it working – at least not without more details.”

Up to 10 freeports are planned, with an advisory panel comprising business owners, economists, ministers and technology experts making the selections.

In the 1990s, the UK had a series of freeports operating and, while one source claimed these had “failed”, Mr Davidson was more complimentary.

“To say they failed is a bit harsh; they had a very specific purpose – for example at Tilbury the purpose was to provide a way around a quota that existed for imports of North American plywood,” he said.

“Shippers’ costs were climbing, and the freeports allowed them to import in bulk and hold and release the wood as and when needed ,without exceeding the quota.

“These freeports worked because they targeted a very specific market and had very specific needs and advantages – those announced by the government last week don’t point to any market.”

As a result, Mr Davidson said he struggled to see the upside, noting that while tax benefits were the main draw, they were also “expected” and won’t on their own make a freeport competitive.

He also pointed to the high cost of labour, land, and utilities as negatives against the UK’s attractiveness.

“Freeports thrive on being cheap to operate, so knowing which ports and the regions the UK intends to compete against is vital for any gateway bidding for this,” Mr Davidson added.

“If it’s Jebel Ali, the cost of labour there is far lower, and if the UK is targeting EU markets, Tangier is a far more cost-effective option. On top of this, if we look at the ports being put forward, some are the ones with the weakest shipping connectivity.”

The decision to pursue the freeports initiative appears driven by the UK’s new prime minister desire to stick to the latest Brexit deadline, and Ms Truss added: “We will have a truly independent trade policy after we leave the EU on 31 October 31.

“I look forward to working with the Freeports Advisory Panel to create the world’s most advanced freeport model and launch the new ports as soon as possible.”

Mayor of Tees Valley, set to bid for the scheme, Ben Houchen has championed freeports and welcomed the initiative.

“Teesport played a crucial role in this nation’s historic trading past, and is key to our great trading future,” he said. “Creating a freeport right here would turbocharge jobs and growth, bringing investment into the region and making us a global hub of enterprise and innovation.”

Source: The Loadstar