global

IMO talks work towards climate goals

Tightened energy efficiency targets and a commitment to further discuss proposed speed reduction rules were the key outcomes of the International Martime Organisation’s (IMO) latest round of talks, held in London last week.

But environmental campaigners were quick to argue the results showed a “total lack of ambition” on the part of the shipping industry, which currently emits three per cent of global CO2 emissions but risks seeing its share expand to 10 per cent by 2050 unless efforts to decarbonise accelerate.

With some members and leading shipping operators calling for bolder climate policies and others continuing to push back against proposals that they fear would impose new costs on their national shipping industries, the IMO agreed to tighten energy efficiency targets for new vessels across seven ship types.

The accelerated targets for containers, general cargo ships, hybrid diesel-electric cruise ships, and LPG and LNG carriers cover about 30 per cent of ships and about 40 per cent of CO2 emitted from ships subject to energy efficiency regulations.

The measures could reduce CO2 emissions by 750 million tonnes of CO2 cumulatively from 2022 to 2050, equivalent to about two per cent of all emissions from the industry over that time period, according to an analysis by the International Council on Clean Transportation.

The IMO also committed to considering additional requirements for new ships after 2025 and looking at new efficiency requirements for in-use vehicles at the next meeting, fueling hopes standards could be strengthened as investment in cleaner shipping technologies steps up.

“IMO’s move shows that further efficiency improvements are still possible for fossil fueled ships,” said Bryan Comer, senior researcher in the ICCT’s marine program. “Future standards should promote new technologies like wind assist and eventually zero emission fuels like hydrogen and electricity.”

However, a decision on whether to implement speed reduction targets was kicked down the road, and will now be taken up at the IMO’s next GHG working group in November. The deferral of any decision on speed limits came despite a joint letter signed by over 100 shipping CEOS ahead of the MEPC74 talks calling for global speed limits at sea, which is widely seen as the most effective short-term measure for curbing the industry’s emissions.

“We’ve seen over 100 individual shipping companies united with NGOs in calling for speed reduction, overruling the policy stance of the industry associations,” said Faig Abbasov, shipping policy manager at Transport and the Environment. “The shipping industry associations no longer represent the best interests of shipping companies.”

Countries who blocked further action reportedly included Saudi Arabia, the US, Brazil, and Cook Islands, with opposition to the speed reduction proposals also understood to have come from Chile and Peru.

The outcome from the meeting should provide a boost to investment in fuel efficiency measures across the sector, but it will also provide further ammunition for those shipping operators and environmental campaigners who accuse the international body of failing to deliver sufficiently ambitious climate policies.

Aviation and shipping are the only two industries to operate outside the framework of national climate action plans established by the Paris Agreement, with the IMO and its sister body the International  Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) instead tasked with delivering new policies to curb emissions from the carbon intensive sectors.

But while the ICAO has come forward with detailed plans for an international carbon offsetting scheme, albeit one that has continued to face criticism from green groups, IMO has made much slower progress in delivering new policy proposals.

In April 2018, the IMO responded to post Paris Agreement calls for it to deliver a new strategy by announcing targets to reduce the industry’s greenhouse gas emissions by at least 50 per cent by 2050 compared to 2008 levels. As a mid-term goal, it pledged to reduce the carbon intensity of the sector by at least 40 per cent by 2030. In order to achieve these targets, it promised to produce a detailed plan for emissions reduction by 2023 as well as immediate measures to achieve greenhouse gas reductions before this.

Without extensive action to tackle emissions, the shipping industry – which was exempted from the Paris Agreement – could see them grow 250 per cent by 2050 as trade increases, according to a 2014 study by the IMO.

A 2018 report from the OECD warned that failure to act would leave the sector emitting the equivalent of well over 200 coal power stations by 2035. The think tank called for more research into zero carbon technologies, greater transparency on carbon footprints within the industry, a carbon price for global shipping, and other mechanisms to incentivise efficiency such as ports differentiating fees based on environmental criteria.

Also last week, environmental campaigners demanded a moratorium on the shipping industry’s use of Exhaust Gas Cleaning Systems (EGCS), known as scrubber technology.

EGCS were seen as a possible route to ensure compliance with IMO rules which will enforce the use of bunker fuels with a sulphur content of 0.5 per cent from 2020, down from the existing limit of 3.5 per cent. But concerns over their efficacy have been thrown into sharp relief by their role in an ongoing case against cruise operator Carnival Corporation, in which multiple EGCS failures contributed to significant air and water pollution violations.

With the clock ticking, international pressure is intensifying on the IMO to take meaningful steps towards meeting its own emission reduction targets. Focus will now move on to the organisation’s next session in November with hopes growing that recent calls for bolder action are finally taken on board.

Source: Businessgreen.com

future of shipping

Maritime black carbon emissions must decrease

The Clean Arctic Alliance has issued a call for international shipping operators and national governments to cut maritime black carbon emissions.

Black carbon particles are predominantly produced by ships burning heavy fuel oil; when black carbon is released by vessels operating in the Arctic region, the particles reduce the reflectivity of ice and snow – the resulting heat absorption accelerates the rate of warming across the Arctic. Black carbon emissions represent both the second largest contributor to global warming and a significant health hazard to humans. The Clean Arctic Alliance, a collective of non-profit bodies advocating an end to the use of heavy fuel oil (HFO), is calling on International Maritime Organisation (IMO) member states to agree on measures to ensure the reduction of maritime black carbon emissions at this year’s meeting of the Marine Environmental Protection Committee, which begins today.

Sian Prior, Lead Advisor to the Clean Arctic Alliance, said. “By cutting ship-sourced emissions of black carbon, IMO member states could take a quick and effective path to countering the current climate crisis; and minimise further impacts on the Arctic. We’re calling on IMO member states to champion a move away from using heavy fuel oils – shipping’s number one source of black carbon – in Arctic waters. With cleaner shipping fuels already available and innovation and ambition driving the global shipping industry towards lower emissions, IMO member states must move rapidly towards zero emission solutions.

“All eight Arctic countries made a commitment to demonstrate leadership on black carbon in 2015 – and it now seems that all except Canada are backing a move away from heavy fuel oil in the Arctic. As recent comments from Russia’s President Putin and Finland’s President Niinistö demonstrate, the political will for a HFO Free Arctic exists – now it is the time for IMO member states to turn this will into action, by moving urgently to reduce black carbon emissions and by backing the ban on the use and carriage of HFO in the Arctic, currently under development.”

Source: Governmenteuropa.eu

air pollution

Vessel emissions won’t be cut by sailing slower

Policy director of the UK Chamber of Shipping Anna Ziou has slammed French proposals to impose speed limits as a way to cut shipping emissions.

She claims it would give a “false impression” of the industry taking action. 

Ms Ziou’s objection follows an outcry from container lines following the French IMO delegation’s proposals becoming public last month. 

“To achieve a 50% cut in emissions, the shipping industry needs continued investment in green technologies that will allow ships to conduct their business through a range of low-carbon fuels, such as battery power, hydrogen fuel cells or even wind power,” said Ms Ziou. 

“Shipowners have already limited speeds considerably in the past decade and while these proposals are well-intentioned, slow-steaming as a low-carbon [plan] is just not good enough. 

“It will give a false impression that the industry is taking action, when in reality it will deliver no meaningful reduction in emissions, and the scale of ambition required for the industry to meet the 50% target should not be underestimated.” 

Ms Ziou noted that if selected, the plan could penalise companies developing and installing low-carbon technologies and could discourage “meaningful” attempts at cutting emissions. 

At best, she claimed, speed limits would delay any form of transition to low-carbon fuels and in so doing would store up greater costs for the industry. 

She added: “Speed reduction could result in supply chains using alternative modes of transport, such as road haulage, which would increase overall emissions. 

“In addition, ships may call at certain ports that are tidally constrained where a delay of just one hour could result in a knock-on delay of 12 hours to the vessel as it awaits the next tide, unnecessarily creating further emissions during the additional waiting time.” 

Despite the objections, it seems there is mounting support for the introduction of speed limits after chief executives from more than 100 shipping companies described climate change as “possibly the greatest challenge of our time” in a recent open letter to IMO member states. 

Source: The Loadstar

One Manato

$586m loss hits ONE’s parent carriers

Japanese merged carrier Ocean Network Express (ONE) recorded a net loss of $586m in its first year of operation, however it said it expected to move into the black in its second year. ONE, formed from the container businesses of K Line, MOL and NYK, was supposed to produce synergistic returns for its parents. Instead it has dragged down the P&L accounts of the trio, which announced annual results today. 

NYK, which holds a 38% equity stake in ONE, posted a massive group loss of ¥44.5bn ($400m) for the year, prompting the replacement of Tadaaki Naito as president.

The company said  it resolved a change of its chairman, president and representative directors. The new president will be Hitoshi Nagasawa, currently executive vice president corporate officer.

And, like its compatriots, NYK also underestimated the cost of ending its legacy liner business. It said it suffered “higher than expected one-time costs required to terminate the container shipping business”, which included severance payments to agents and penalties incurred on returning surplus containerships to owners earlier than the charter party expiry dates. 

K Line recorded a loss of ¥11bn ($99m) for the year, citing red ink incurred from its 31% stake in ONE as the primary reason. 

Only MOL, which also has a 31% holding in ONE, managed to stay in the black for the year, achieving a positive result of ¥27bn ($240m), mainly attributable to good performances from its dry bulk and energy transport businesses. 

But the carrier noted the business performance from ONE had resulted “in a significant deficit” from the sector. 

The botched launch of ONE on 1 April last year resulted in a significant loss of business and an estimated $400m impact on the bottom line. 

Chief executive Jeremy Nixon explained to investors in November that management had “underestimated the initial launch resource requirement”, causing chaos on operations desks throughout the new organisation and obliging loyal Japanese trading house customers to book their containers with other carriers. 

On the key Asia-Europe and transpacific tradelanes, it took ONE several months to regain customer confidence and thus restore load factors to acceptable levels. 

For the full-year utilisation levels recovered to 87% and 88%, respectively for the Asia-US and Asia-Europe headhaul routes, having plunged below 70% in the first quarter. 

Turnover in the first 12 months was $10.9bn, but ONE is seeking to improve its revenue in year two by 17% to $12.7bn and is targeting a profit of $85m. 

ONE is more optimistic about growth than some of its peers and is projecting a 4% increase in demand. 

“Profit is expected to gradually recover throughout H1, with improved lifting,” said ONE, adding it expected that liftings would be restored to the pre-integration levels of the three carriers during the period. 

It said however that in the first three months of the calendar year, and the carrier’s Q4, trade had been “relatively weak” eastbound between Asia and the US “due in part to a backlash downturn from the earlier rush demand ahead of additional US tariffs on China”. 

In regard to the Asia to Europe tradelane it said that although long-term contracts had improved, soft demand following the Chinese new year had resulted in a decline in spot rates. 

ONE said that its action plan for profit improvement was to “establish an organisation that can tolerate market volatility” advancing the carrier from a period of “stabilisation” to a secondary stage of “reformation”. 

The four parts of its 2019 action plan are: cargo portfolio optimisation; product rationalisation; an organisation restructure and an increase in the targeted $1bn cost saving synergies from the merger to 96% this year, from the 82% achieved in the first year.

Source: The Loadstar

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

future of shipping

New bunker adjustment fees keep spot rates firm

Asia-Europe ocean carriers from have announced further hikes in their FAK rates this month after successfully pushing through 1 January spot rate increases.

Alphaliner said rates on the route “remained firm in December, despite the resumption of the 2M’s AE2/Swan service”.

Hapag-Lloyd said that on 16 January, “due to strong demand”, it was increasing its FAK rates  from Asia to North Europe and the west Mediterranean to $2,200 per 40ft.

Maersk Line has increased its FAK rates to $2,300 per 40ft and CMA CGM has will raise its FAK rate by $200 to $2,400 per 40ft from 15 January.

This follows a surge in spot rates in the final week of last year, which saw the North Europe component of the Shanghai Containerized Freight Index (SCFI) leap 14.2% to $996 per teu, with spot rates for Mediterranean ports jumping 15.3% to $967 per teu.

There was no further increase for North Europe in today’s SCFI, although the Mediterranean saw a further increase of 3.1% to $997 per teu.

Moreover, since 1 January, carriers are implementing new bunker surcharge formulae, based on October/November fuel prices, which were a third higher than they are currently, at around $320 per tonne. So shippers should see the fuel surcharge element of their rates reduce in the coming months in line with the decline in bunker costs.

Elsewhere, the bear run on transpacific spot rates, which has seen prices tumble 32% and 24% respectively for Asia to the US west and east coasts since early November, was halted in the final week of 2018. In week 52, the SCFI recorded a 6.8% increase in spot rates for the west coast , to $1,883 per 40ft, and for east coast ports there was a jump of 9%, to $2,998 per 40ft.

The momentum continued this week, with the SCFI recording a 2.7% uplift for rates to the west coast to $1,933and to the US east coast by 4% to $3,119.

Phase 2 of the implementation of 25% tariffs on the import of over 5,700 Chinese goods is currently set for 2 March.

Source: The Loadstar

maersk

Sea Machines gains financial support to develop autonomous containerships

The prospect of unmanned container vessels serving global container supply chains has taken another step forward.

Sea Machines Robotics, a US developer of autonomous vessels, announced it had raised $10m from venture capital funds.

The investors were led by Accomplice VC and Eniac Ventures, but also include Toyota AI Ventures, TechNexus Venture Collaborative, NextGen VP, Geekdom Fund, Launch Capital and LDV Capital, and brings Sea Machines’ external funding up to $12.5m.

Boston-headquartered Sea Machines, which in April signed up Maersk Line to pilot its “perception and situational awareness technology aboard one of the company’s new-build Winter Palace ice-class containerships”, said it would use the new funds to grow its R&D and engineering teams as well as expand its sales efforts globally.

“We are creating the technology that propels the future of the marine industries and this investment enables us to double down on our commitment to building advanced command and control products that make the industry more capable, productive and profitable,” said Michael Gordon Johnson, founder and chief executive.

Jim Adler, founding managing director of Toyota AI Ventures, added: “We believe autonomous mobility can help improve people’s lives and create new capabilities – whether on land, in the air or at sea.

“Sea Machines’ autonomous technology and advanced perception systems can reduce costs, improve efficiency and enhance safety in the multi-billion dollar commercial shipping industry. This marks our first investment in the maritime industry, and we’re excited to embark on this journey.”

Vic Singh, founding general partner at Eniac Ventures, added: “The level of traction Sea Machines has from the global maritime industry is a tell-tale sign that the industry is the next frontier for autonomy.”

And Michael Rodey, senior manager at AP Møller-Maersk, said: “I think this investment sends a strong signal on the types of technologies that will come to define the maritime industry in the future.”

Source: The Loadstar

milan Maersk

The future of box shipping: less vessel cascading and fewer liner alliances?

Vessel cascading has been an ever-present feature of container shipping since liner executives first understood the benefits of economies of scale and began the box ship capacity arms race.

But over the next few years, there are likely to be only a few arenas where it will take place, according to Drewry Maritime Advisors’ director of ports, Neil Davidson.

Mr Davidson also suggested that, with an outstanding orderbook of some 130 vessels of over 10,000 teu still to be delivered, the main areas that cascading could take place would be the North American Pacific coast.

There the maximum vessel size is expected to grow from 14,500 teu to 18,000 teu, and the west Mediterranean, where it is forecast to grow from 14,000-16,000 teu to the 18,000-22,000 teu range.

Other trades where smaller vessels continue to be deployed – for example, the Australian trades this year saw its first 8,600 teu vessel call – would continue to be constrained by port dimensions, he said.

However, he suggested that the most recent increases in vessel size – the largest ships growing from the 18,000 teu Maersk Triple-E, to the 23,5000 teu vessels currently under construction – could well be the last box ship size increases for a considerable period.

“Our analysis is based on the orderbook, and although there are some units of 23,500 teu under construction, in terms of length and beam, they are not dimensionally larger.

“In fact, the impact of ULCVs on the wider supply chain suggests that the maximum vessel size may have be to large,” he added.

He was referring the widespread belief that one of the causes of the recurrent port congestion over the past few years has been the introduction of ULCVs and the sheer number of containers they can unload in a single call. This has put huge pressure on hinterland supply chains.

Mr Davidson added: “There are also clear commercial reasons for not going bigger – service frequency has had to be reduced to fill those ships, and there has been an impact on market share, and carriers have needed to enter into alliances to maintain market share and fill those ships.” And he believes this this could have a deep impact on how shipping alliances are formed in the future.

“In the long-term, the most interesting thing is that, if we have reached the ceiling of maximum vessel size, and if container volumes in the market continue to grow, operators that currently need alliance partners to help fill their vessels may well find themselves able to fill them on their own and we may begin to see the break-up of alliances,” he said.

Source: The Loadstar