Suez Canal

Suez Canal bans open loop scrubbers

Despite the recent introduction of  low-sulphur regulations, the Suez Canal Authority (SCA) will continue to allow ships transiting the waterway to burn heavy fuel oil (HFO) without the need for scrubbers.

Adding to the confusion for ship managers is a ban by the SCA on the discharge of wash water – used in the open-loop scrubber process – while vessels make the passage.

In effect, this means ships with scrubbers installed must switch off the exhaust gas cleaning systems during the 12-hour passage, thus releasing pollutants into the atmosphere.

In circular 8/2019 issued on Sunday, the SCA it said it puts “no restrictions on fuel oil” for ships using the canal “until ratification of MARPOL Annex V1″ by  Egypt.

The same circular also states it is “forbidden” to discharge sea water into the canal during transit “in any circumstances”.

The IMO 2020 0.5% global sulphur cap on marine fuel for ships not fitted with scrubbers came into force on 1 January, having been agreed by all member states, including Egypt. However, governments officially need to pass laws in their own countries for the regulation to become enforceable.

Around 80% of the scrubber systems installed on ships are of the open-loop type that use seawater to separate the sulphur content from the fuel before it enters the ships’ exhaust funnel.

There are a limited number of ships with closed-loop scrubbers, which keep the wash water on board for later discharge, and there is hybrid equipment that can switch between the two operations, but both are expensive to install and operate.

A number of independent studies have sought to prove that the use of open-loop scrubbers is a “safe and effective means of complying with IMO 2020”, but ship operators have struggled to get the message across. Indeed, more than 80 ports around the world have prohibited the use of open-loop scrubbers in their territorial waters.

The Clean Ship Alliance (CSA), a pro-scrubber lobby, told The Loadstarrecently it was “actively engaging” with port authorities over their concerns, but suggested the bans had been put in place after “very little hard research”, with many ports deciding to prohibit their use on the back of bans by others.

Vessels fitted with open-loop scrubbers calling at ports with ban need to switch tanks to compliant fuel before entering the jurisdiction, as is the case for the ultra-low ECAs (emission control areas) of North Europe and the US.

Source: The Loadstar

new year

New Year Freight rates now available

New Year Freight Rates now available

Please contact us for our latest 2020 Ocean & Air Freight rates.

Please book now to avoid missing out on space before Chinese New Year

china usa

Key details still remain unclear despite the US-China trade agreement

After the U.S. and China announced the “phase-one” trade agreement, a critical point remains in question: agricultural purchases.

Bilateral trade is a significant part of the dispute between the world’s two largest economies, especially after both sides decided to break the negotiations into phases, rather than tackling a slew of American concerns, which range from the trade deficit in goods to state control in the economy.

On Friday, both countries held separate press conferences to announce that they reached the phase-one agreement.

President Donald Trump said the Chinese would buy $50 billion in agricultural purchases “pretty soon.” More specifically, Reuters reported that U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer told reporters that China would buy at least $16 billion more agricultural goods in each of the next two years. The report said that could bring total purchases to near $50 billion in 2020 and 2021.

“That scale of purchases seems implausible and Chinese officials were reluctant to mention any specific target during their press conference,” Nomura analysts, including chief China economist Ting Lu, said in a note released Saturday, Beijing time.

Trade between the U.S. and China has fallen as both sides applied tariffs on billions of dollars’ worth of goods from the other. In 2018, China ranked fifth of top destinations for U.S. agricultural exports at $9.2 billion, down from second place a year earlier, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture Foreign Agricultural Service.

In an encouraging first step, the U.S. held off raising tariffs on Chinese goods on Sunday, and Beijing did not go ahead with planned retaliatory tariffs. China has also been increasing its purchases of American soybeans this year, despite an overall expected decline in Chinese demand for the product, according to the U.S. Soybean Export Council.

Chinese stocks traded mildly lower Monday, following a muted U.S. stock market response to news of the trade agreement on Friday.

Larry Hu, head of Greater China economics at Macquarie, said in a note Saturday that the trade tensions have a greater impact on sentiment than economic growth, which is more reliant on other factors.

“Therefore, a phase-1 trade deal could prevent things from getting worse by cancelling the new tariff, but could not make things much better,” Hu said.

It’s still unclear how and when the U.S. will roll back other tariffs, a condition for a phase-one deal that the Chinese side has firmly maintained. The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative said in a statement that the United States will keep 25% tariffs on about $250 billion of Chinese imports, along with 7.5% duties on roughly $120 billion of Chinese imports.

Both sides also still need to sign the text of an agreement, which Chinese officials said requires legal review and translation. Lighthizer said both countries hope to sign the deal in Washington in early January, and there would be no new tariffs as long as China negotiates in good faith.

Scott Kennedy, senior advisor and trustee chair in Chinese business and economics at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, pointed out Friday in an online article that this marks the “fifth instance during the U.S.-China trade dispute that a deal has been prematurely declared.”

“With only limited concessions, China has been able to preserve its mercantilist economic system and continue its discriminatory industrial policies at the expense of China’s trading partners and the global economy,” he said. “Trump could reverse course and renew tariffs, but Beijing has bought itself a likely respite from the daily uncertainty for at least a few months and perhaps for the remainder of Trump’s current term.”

Source: The Loadstar

How to make Europe climate-neutral by 2050 – New EC president unveils Green Deal

The new European Commission president today presented the policies of the European Green Deal, which have been largely welcomed by clean transport groups. 

Ursula von der Leyen announced a package of measures to make Europe climate-neutral by 2050, which include reducing emissions by half in the next 10 years, a €100bn fund to finance the change, a carbon border tax and various industry initiatives.  

Under plans for transport, aviation will see its free allowances in the Emissions Trading System (ETS) carbon market reduced, and the end of kerosene tax exemptions. And shipping would finally be included in the ETS. 

“The European Green Deal could be a defining moment in the fight against pollution and climate change,” said William Todts, executive director of NGO Transport & Environment. 

The plan to end aviation’s tax holiday, make sure shipping pays for its emissions and mandate the deployment of clean fuels and technology is welcome.  

In this respect, it is reassuring that ICAO and IMO, the UN agencies that have been sabotaging climate progress in these two sectors for at least two decades, are only mentioned in passing as bodies that the EU should coordinate with. 

But he added: “Of course this is just a declaration of intent. The devil will be in the detail of the new laws and whether EU governments support the Green Deal, but it is a good start.”   

The Green Deal will also see tighter emissions standards for cars and vans from 2021 and create a “clear pathway” to zero emissions. 

However, T&E warned that the plan fell short of what’s needed to reach the 2050 target.

“For example, the commission’s plan to boost “sustainable alternative fuels in different sectors” risks reopening the door for gas as well as deforestation and hunger-causing biofuels.” 

However, the airline industry disagrees. In a speech to media this morning, IATA director general Alexandre de Juniac said: “We must get governments to focus on driving the technology and policy solutions that will make flying sustainable. In the immediate term, that means focusing on sustainable aviation fuels which have the potential to cut our carbon footprint by up to 80%.” 

But Mr Todts argued: “We really can’t afford to waste time revisiting failed policies, like the promotion of biofuels, or wasting limited resources promoting gas vehicles.

“Europe’s green energy policy is driving deforestation and wildlife destruction worldwide. We need to end this now, not make it worse. We need  a realistic plan to deploy zero-emission electrofuels in aviation and green hydrogen in shipping. 

He added that truck emissions had been largely ignored in the Green Deal.  

“The revision of CO2 standards for trucks needs to come as early as possible and must mandate zero-emission trucks.” 

T&E also argued that a revisited plan to apply the ETS to road transport would not work. It said earlier this month: “Moving these sectors from the Climate Action Regulation to the ETS framework, would actually lead to member states washing their hands of their legal obligations to reduce emissions from these sectors.

“Letting national governments off the hook and implementing a socially unjust, high-risk/low-reward policy is not how the new EC should start its mandate.” 

Jo Dardenne, ETS and aviation expert with T&E, said: “The ETS is not the miraculous solution to regulate the climate impact of road transport. On the contrary, it won’t do much to transport emissions unless the carbon price goes through the roof.

“Let’s not push a sector to fit a policy, but ensure the policy is fit for the sector.” 

Source: The Loadstar

 

christmas

Christmas Freight Rates

***CHRISTMAS FREIGHT RATES***

Our competitive rates for this month include IMO – please contact us now to ship before Christmas & to avoid the CNY rush at the end of January

If you have any urgent airfreight shipments needed before Christmas please contact us as soon as possible to avoid disappointment

container port

Guidelines Published to help reduce Container fire risk

A container shipping group, set up to increase safety levels in the industry following a string of sometimes fatal box ship fires, has produced its first set of guidelines to help operators prevent further incidents.

The Cargo Incident Notification System (CINS) today published Safety Considerations for Ship Operators Related to Risk-Based Stowage of Dangerous Goods on Containerships, specifically in response to “a number of serious fire incidents in recent years, often caused by deficiencies in cargo declaration and cargo packing”.

A copy of the publication can be downloaded here.

CINS chairman Uffe Ernst-Frederiksen said: “Cargo-related incidents which result in fire and explosions are rooted in cargo problems. Subsequent investigations demonstrate a wide range of deficiencies relating to cargo presented for shipment.

“These deficiencies include erroneous classification and declaration, packing, segregation and securing, not complying with IMDG or not following the CTU Code and packaging not complying with IMDG. This new best-practice guidance for DG stowage is intended to help improve fire safety in our industry,” he added.

The group stressed that the guidelines “complement – but do not replace – the existing measures already developed and implemented by ship operators for the carriage of properly declared dangerous goods. Likewise, they do not replace the SOLAS and IMDG requirements for stowage and segregation – in fact, they will enhance the requirements of these regulations”.

Investigations into deadly fires on board containerships in recent years have demonstrated that there is a class of cargo which, although not classed as dangerous goods, is thought to have increased the severity of some of the fires.

“Such commodities include, but are not limited to, charcoal, wood pellets, metal scrap, borings, shavings, turnings and seed cake,” advises the publication, which also includes stowage plan strategies to mitigate the risk of this type of cargo escalating a blaze into a severe fire.

CINS was established in in 2011 and its board comprises five of the world’s largest container shipping lines – Maersk, Hapag Lloyd, MSC, CMA CGM and Evergreen – together with three advisory board members, International Group of P&I Clubs, TT Club and Exis Technologies.

Its membership comprises over 85% of the world’s container slot capacity.

Source: The Loadstar

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

Ghana Outlook

Supreme Charity Work – Maths Textbooks Arrive Safely

The maths textbooks which we sent to our charity Ghana Outlook have arrived safely!

The books will be going to a school in the community of Abordahi, near Ho in the Volta Region of Ghana. It is a very deprived community where GO has spent time and effort in raising the aspiration of the community and its children. They have built three schools that cover the full age range of the children plus a teacher’s accommodation block, each with its own latrine and safe water supply.

If you know a charity that could benefit from our help please contact us…

Ghana Outlook

 

solent 250

Supreme in the Solent 250

We are very proud to announce that we are again featured in the Solent 250 – and this year we are in the top 50!

The Solent 250 is the annual ranking compiled by The Business Magazine, and as a Solent 250 company we have been invited to Christmas Drinks and Canapes at the Harbour Hotel in Southampton, where guest speaker, Simon Hart from RSM will share his observations on the current global economic climate and his insights and predictions for 2020.

We would like to take this opportunity to thank all our wonderful members of staff and our loyal customers for your support this year, and look forward to an even higher position next year!

To view the full list please go here:

https://www.businessmag.co.uk/solent-250-2020/

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