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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

cosco

Mega Containership Equipped with ABB Turbochargers

China’s newest and largest container ship has ABB turbochargers installed to help to ensure optimal performance and fuel efficiency. 

The flagship in Cosco Shipping Line’s Universe mega containership series, the 21,000+ TEU COSCO Shipping Universe, was delivered in June 2018 by Chinese shipbbuilder Jiangnan Shipyard (Group) Co. Ltd. The vessel is equipped with three ABB A180-L two-stroke turbochargers to match the diesel main engine and four ABB TPL67-C33 4-stroke turbochargers to match four auxiliary engines.

Cosco, the largest container shipping operator in Asia and fourth largest globally, already has hundreds of ABB turbochargers in operation across its fleet and has also selected the equipment for all main and auxiliary engines across the six new 21,000+ TEU vessels being delivered by 2019.

At a capacity of 21,237 TEU, COSCO Shipping Universe has eclipsed the record for China’s largest containership set weeks prior by a different Cosco Lines vessel, the Cosco Shipping Virgo. The pioneering vessel has an overall length of 399.9 meters and an overall height of 72 meters, with a deadweight of 198,000 tons and a traveling speed of 22 knots. Cosco Shipping Universe is planned to serve in the route from the Far East to Northwest Europe.

Oliver Riemenschneider, Managing Director, ABB Turbocharging, said, “The ABB turbochargers on Cosco Shipping Universe will support maximum performance and fuel efficiency, in addition to contributing to Cosco Shipping Lines pursuing green shipping practices for long-term success. We foresee the ABB turbochargers on the forthcoming mega containerships in the Universe series will contribute similar viable operational gains.”

According to the manufacturer, key benefits for ABB’s A100 series include compliance with IMO Tier II and Tier III emission limits; reduced fuel consumption; high operational flexibility, reliability and availability; long intervals between inspections, routine maintenance and overhauls; absolute operational safety with rigorous testing and reduced engine room noise.

The TPL-C series, respectively, is designed to meet growing market demand for greater power, efficiency and long operational life, ABB said. In addition to its fuel savings and low emissions capabilities, the TPL-C series boasts a modular design with minimized spare parts for easy installation and service.

ABB Turbocharging also provides servicing support for all ABB turbochargers in use across the Cosco Shipping Lines fleet. The firm provides access to 24/7 servicing, 365 days a year, and guaranteed 98 percent spare parts availability.

Source: Marinelink.com

global port

Global container port demand rising

Drewry’s latest five-year global container port demand forecast is 4.3% per annum, up from last year.

The maritime consultancy made the announcement in its summary of the key trends and developments in the global container port and terminal industry.

Projected port capacity expansion is 2.7% per annum, so average utilisation levels will rise, said Drewry.

Neil Davidson, senior analyst ports and terminals at Drewry, pointed out, however, that there is a strong focus on optimisation of existing facilities as opposed to building new ones and that terminal operators are focusing on cost control and efficiency to maintain project margins.

Drewry’s latest assessment of port throughput indices showed that the global index fell in September 2017 but was 10 points up on September 2016 and 12 points up on 2015.

Mr Davidson said that the growth rate in 2017 showed a sustained upward trend.

North America and Latin America showed the highest annual increases, 12.6 and 11.1 respectively, while Europe had the lowest increase at 4.4%.

The top five global terminal operators were calculated as being PSA International, Hutchinson Ports, DP World, APM Terminals and China Cosco Shipping.

According to BIMCO, the worlds largest international shipping association, container shipping has shown strong growth forecasts supported by equal demand so far this year, 

Source: Port Strategy / Port Technology

emissions

Shipping emissions to be halved by 2050

Following on from our earlier article concerning shipping emissions, over 170 countries reached agreement on Friday (13 April) to reduce CO2 emissions from shipping by “at least” 50% on 2008 levels by 2050, ending years of slow progress.

Despite opposition from nations including Brazil, Saudi Arabia and the US, the states came to a final agreement on Friday, signalling to industry that a switch away from fossil fuels is fast approaching.

Ultimately the goal is for shipping’s greenhouse gas emission to be reduced to zero by the middle of the century, with most newly built ships running without fossil fuels by the 2030s.

Kitack Lim, Secretary-General of the International Maritime Organisation (IMO), said the adoption of the initial strategy “would allow future IMO work on climate change to be rooted in a solid basis”.

The compromise plan to halve shipping emissions by 2050 leaves the door open to deeper cuts in the future, placing a strong emphasis on scaling up action to 100% by mid-century.

“Meeting this target means that in the 2030s most newly built ocean-going vessels will run on zero carbon renewable fuels. Ships, which transport over 80% of global trade, will become free from fossil fuels by then,” the European Climate Foundation said in a statement.

European Union countries, along with the Marshall Islands, the world’s second-biggest ship registry, had supported a goal of cutting emissions by 70 to 100% by 2050, compared with 2008 levels.

But opposition from some countries – including the United States, Saudi Arabia, Brazil and Panama – limited what could be achieved at the IMO session last week in London.

In Brussels, the European Commission hailed the deal as “a significant step forward” in the global effort to tackle climate change.

“The shipping sector must contribute its fair share to the goals of the Paris Agreement,” said EU Transport Commissioner Violeta Bulc and her colleague in charge of Energy and Climate Action, Miguel Arias Cañete.

While the EU had sought a higher level of ambition, the Commission said the deal was “a good starting point that will allow for further review and improvements over time”.

Shipping currently represents 2-3% of global CO2 emissions and could reach 10% by 2050 if no action is taken, the Commission reminded.

Dr Tristan Smith, an energy and shipping reader at the UCL Energy Institute, said that the 2050 target is likely to be tightened even further in the future.

“Even with the lowest level of ambition, the shipping industry will require rapid technological changes to produce zero-emission ships, moving from fossil fuels, to a combination of electricity (batteries), renewable fuels derived from hydrogen, and potentially bioenergy,” he said.

While he admitted that such changes are “massive” for a global industry with over 50,000 ships trading internationally, Smith said these reductions can be achieved “with the correct level of investment and better regulation”.

“What happens next is crucial,” said John Maggs, president of the Clean Shipping Coalition and senior policy advisor at Seas At Risk, an umbrella organisation of environmental NGOs.

“The IMO must move swiftly to introduce measures that will cut emissions deeply and quickly in the short-term. Without these the goals of the Paris agreement will remain out of reach,” he warned.

According to the text produced by the IMO working group submitted to member states, the initial strategy would not be legally binding for member states.

A final IMO plan is not expected until 2023.

Source: Edie.net / Independent 

One Manato

ONE’s very first container ship, ONE Manato has launched in Japan

The first magenta containership of the Japanese merged containership business, Ocean Network Express (ONE), has been launched at Imabari Shipbuilding in Japan.

The 14,000 TEU ship is named ONE Manato and will now undergo final touches before it gets delivered in December 2018, data from VesselsValue shows.

It is the first tailor-made boxship for the company, featuring the magenta livery and ONE logo on its hull, as the current fleet is comprised of a combination of container vessels that have been serving the Japanese trio respectively.

ONE, a joint venture between Japanese carriers K Line, MOL and NYK, worth USD 3 billion, launched its container shipping business on April 1.

The JV has been described as the world’s sixth-largest container shipping line with 230 vessels in its fleet totalling 1.44 million TEUs.

The network includes a total of 85 services, calling at over 200 ports in 100 countries.

Source: World Maritime News

emissions

Can shipping slash emissions?

Next week, countries are supposed to finalise a deal on limiting greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from international shipping.

The International Maritime Organisation (IMO) environment meeting in London is expected to set a concrete target for shipping emissions in the coming decades. After the Paris Agreement and a deal on emissions from International Aviation, shipping is the last sector to contribute to global climate action.

A climate shipping deal has been long in the making. The IMO first adopted a resolution on GHG emissions in 1997.  However talks have stalled. There are several issues to overcome. There is concern that the impacts of any deal will fall disproportionately on flag states with many ships registered. Just six flag states – Panama, China, Liberia, the Marshall Islands, Singapore and Malta – account for over half of global shipping CO2 emissions.

However, there is concern that there is not yet enough data on ship emissions to consider setting a global target, or that shipping does not have the technical means to decarbonise.

the IMO adopted two technical measures on energy efficiency in 2011 and will require ships to report on their fuel consumption from 2019, no overall cap or reduction on shipping emissions has been set.

EU member states, including the UK, have supported a “70-100%” reduction on 2008 emissions by 2050, and a 90% reductions in the carbon intensity of shipping.

Japan has proposed that emissions be cut to 50% below 2008 levels by 2060, along with a 40% improvement in ships’ fuel efficiency by 2030. Japan also includes the idea of “amendments” to the goal, pending an IMO review of its achievability at a later date.

The International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) and other trade groups have proposed simply capping shipping emissions at 2008 levels, along with a 50% efficiency improvement by 2050. A group of low-ambition countries, including Argentina, Brazil, China and Turkey, argue against any absolute emissions cap, saying it could result in carbon leakage to other transport modes such as rail and air.

The shipping industry emitted 932 million tonnes of CO2 in 2015, according to a recent report from the International Council on Clean Transportation (ICCT). This corresponded to around 2.6% of global energy-related CO2 emissions, up from around 2.2% in 2012.

The IMO’s most recent study on international shipping emissions estimated they could grow between 50% and 250% by 2050, under current measures. As other sectors are set to decarbonise, this means shipping could grow to represent an ever larger portion of global emissions if not cap is set.

According to Green Peace, Ships carry over 80% of world trade, using vessels that operate on marine fuels which are cheaper but dirtier than road transport diesel fuels.

If the shipping sector were a country, it would rank sixth in the list of carbon emitters, just above Germany. The sector’s emissions have been growing three times faster than global emissions and if left unchecked emissions could grow by 50-250% by 2050.

Source: Carbon Brief / Green Peace 

karachi collision

An investigation has been launched into the collision of 2 container ships at Karachi port

The Karachi Port Trust (KPT) has ordered investigations into the collision between two container ships that took place at the Karachi port this week.

The incident occurred on Monday at a private terminal – South Asia Pakistan Terminals – affiliated to Karachi Port when a cargo ship during berthing slightly hit an anchored cargo ship.

The collision was captured on film by a dock worker, and video showed a Hapag-Lloyd ship, the Tolten, clipping a stationary ship while pulling into port in the Pakistan capital.

The Tolten was reportedly carrying  8,000-containers when it collided with the anchored cargo ship carrying 6,350 containers.

The footage showed containers bobbing around the harbour, while another sank. Over 20 containers fell into the sea after the collision causing loss of millions of rupees.

After the incident, transportation of containers was suspended for a few hours, before being restored at night.

A special operation to pull out the fallen containers from the sea was underway with the help of Pakistan Navy. Sources said that the operation would take at least two to three days to be completed.

According to a statement from Port Technology,  Hapag-Lloyd said they regretted the incident and would investigate how it happened.

“We have ascertained on-site that no-one was injured as a result of the incident, and that there has been absolutely no environmental pollution,” the statement said.

“There is yet to be a definitive explanation for this incident.”

To watch the video please go here

*Source: The News/ ABC /

calm sea

Calmer seas for world Shipping in 2018

The 2018 marine forecast for transpacific and other major shipping trade routes notes that full recovery depends on a number of political, economic and technological factors.

China is also a concern.  “I know analysts have been harping on about it for years,” said Transport Intelligence Ltd. economist David Buckby, “but I think given what the Chinese government has said following the 19th [Communist] Party congress – that it will be switching focus from meeting long-run economic growth targets to other objectives – coupled with recent comments on trying to manage down debt, there is a real chance that Chinese growth will stutter.”

Buckby said the slowdown might not occur in 2018, but it will likely happen over the next few years.

“As the linchpin of so many global supply chains, what affects China is going to impact the rest of the world. I don’t know exactly when that’s coming, but when it does, I think it will adversely impact global port volumes quite significantly.”

McKinsey & Co.’s Container Shipping: The Next 50 Years also points to warning signs about China’s retooled economic development model. It estimates that the swing away from exports of goods to a model based on consumption and services has coincided with a drop in China’s real gross domestic product to between 6% and 7% from more than 10%.

Asia, and China especially, are major containerised-shipping drivers. Asia accounted for 64% of the world’s container throughput in 2016, and McKinsey notes that China imported and exported 52 million 20-foot equivalent units (TEUs) in 2015 compared with 13 million in 2000. It also maintained that China’s dramatic growth and the resultant boom in container trade over the past three decades is unlikely to be repeated elsewhere in the world.

But John Murnane, a partner in McKinsey’s travel, transport and logistics practice, noted in an email response to Business in Vancouver that in the near term, continued growth in container-shipping demand is likely.

“The U.S. and Canada continue to grow strongly, and volumes in 2017 outpaced expectations. This is good news for all ports and terminals. We expect 2018 to continue this strong volume growth.”

Oxford Economics agrees. The U.K.-based economic research company raised its global GDP growth forecast to 3.2% in 2018 from 2.9% in 2017 based on what it sees as a continuing strong performance of the world economy and positive “omens for 2018.” Its December 4 global outlook research briefing pointed to four key reasons for that optimism: strong trade growth, low inflation, robust emerging markets and resilience to political uncertainty.

In a November brief, it also revised its world trade forecast up 0.5 percentage points to 4.2%.

Oxford Economics’ forecast for Canada predicts that exports will rise 2.9% in 2017 and 4% in 2018. It sees imports up 3.7% in 2017 and 2.4% in 2018, but Canada’s GDP growth slipping to 2.1% in 2018 from 3% in 2017.

The International Monetary Fund’s World Economic Outlook, meanwhile, projects global economic growth of 3.6% for 2017 and 3.7% in 2018.

In its 2017 nine-month financials, Hapag-Lloyd (ETR:HLAG), the world’s fifth-largest ocean container company, noted that global container-shipping volume from 2018 through to 2021 is projected to increase between 4.8% and 5.1%.

The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development’s Review of Maritime Transport 2017, meanwhile, pointed to CETA and the economic partnership agreement concluded between Japan and the EU in July as positive developments for global trade and shipping. It added that the growth of cross-border e-commerce could also drive long-term container-shipping demand.

However, it noted that a sustained recovery will require a strong commitment to “coherent and co-ordinated multilateral policies.” It also red-flagged the growing cybersecurity threats to world shipping supply chains.

While Buckby agreed that CETA will benefit port volumes, he doubted that it would significantly increase cargo through Vancouver and other Canadian ports.

“The dirty secret of many free-trade deals is that they don’t tend to have a substantial economic impact, especially if they just address tariffs, which tend to be low anyway, and don’t focus much on breaking down non-tariff barriers.”

Buckby added that port volumes would drop if NAFTA collapses.“And even if it is successfully renegotiated, supply chains still face disruption, thanks to possible changes to rules of origin.”

The newly widened Panama Canal has also opened the way for larger transpacific ships to reach East Coast ports directly. Infrastructure and operations in those ports consequently face similar pressures.

Port productivity suffers because a mega-container ship can take up to five days to unload. “Some ports are rising to the challenge and investing, but smaller ports and constrained ports risk losing some mainline services.”

Source: Hellenic Shipping News

london gateway

Changes to the London Gateway network

London Gateway is to lose one of its Asia-Europe services next year after THE Alliance partners unveiled their network plans for 2018.

The five Asia-North Europe services will remain largely unchanged, other than in the UK where one call has been switched from London Gateway to Southampton.

Hamburg and Rotterdam will both retain five weekly calls and Antwerp three, while Southampton will gain one weekly call to make four a week – although there have been reports from hauliers about growing congestion at the port over the course of the past year.

The Gateway will next year boast an extra call, as it is now included in four of THE Alliance’s five transatlantic services between North America and North Europe.  There may also be other changes globally for THE Alliance’s network next year, as the schedule published today revealed it has yet to decide on a South-east Asia hub.

Currently, the five carriers – Hapag-Lloyd, Yang Ming, K Line, NYK and MOL – use Singapore as their main transhipment hub in the region, but the reluctance to identify an actual port other than  the reference to a “South-east Asia hub” suggests that the partners are continuing negotiations with other possible ports. The loss of CMA CGM volumes from Port Klang to Singapore would make the Malaysian hub an obvious candidate.

The grouping’s transpacific and Asia-US east coast services have also remained largely unchanged, although there appears to be an opportunity for one of the North-west Pacific ports of Vancouver, Prince Rupert or Seattle-Tacoma to win an extra service, given that an unnamed “Pacific North-west” call has included on its PS8 service at the expense of Oakland.

However, the number of services provided by THE Alliance globally is set to increase from 32 to 33 from next April, with the addition of a second deepsea service between Asia and the Middle East – the AGX2, which will feature direct calls at the Iraqi port of Umm Qasr and the newly opened Hamad terminal in Qatar. This service will also include two direct calls at Dubai.

Source: The Loadstar

global

What does the 2020 Global Sulphur emissions policy mean in practise?

In little more than 2 years shipping will have to shift to low sulphur fuel. The International Maritime Organisation (IMO) has set a global limit for sulphur in fuel oil used on board ships of 0.50% m/m (mass by mass) from 1 January 2020. This will significantly reduce the amount of sulphur oxide emanating from ships and should have major health and environmental benefits for the world, particularly for populations living close to ports and coasts. 

IMO has been working to reduce harmful impacts of shipping on the environment since the 1960s and the regulations for the Prevention of Air Pollution from Ships seek to control airborne emissions from ships (sulphur oxides (SOx), nitrogen oxides (NOx), ozone depleting substances (ODS), volatile organic compounds (VOC) and shipboard incineration) and their contribution to local and global air pollution, human health issues and environmental problems.

Under the new global cap, ships will have to use fuel oil on board with a sulphur content of no more than 0.50% m/m, against the current limit of 3.50%, which has been in effect since 1 January 2012.

The interpretation of “fuel oil used on board” includes use in main and auxiliary engines and boilers.

Exemptions are provided for situations involving the safety of the ship or saving life at sea, or if a ship or its equipment is damaged.

Another exemption allows for a ship to conduct trials for the development of ship emission reduction and control technologies and engine design programmes. This would require a special permit from the Administration(s) (flag State(s)).

Ships can meet the requirement by using low-sulphur compliant fuel oil.

An increasing number of ships are also using gas as a fuel as when ignited it leads to negligible sulphur oxide emissions. This has been recognised in the development by IMO of the International Code for Ships using Gases and other Low Flashpoint Fuels (the IGF Code), which was adopted in 2015. Another alternative fuel is methanol which is being used on some short sea services.

Ships may also meet the SOx emission requirements by using approved equivalent methods, such as exhaust gas cleaning systems or “scrubbers”, which “clean” the emissions before they are released into the atmosphere.

Last month, an ExxonMobil survey highlighted an ongoing sense of confusion and a lack of preparedness, with 70% of respondents saying that they do not believe that the industry is ready for the deadline, when a global limit of 0.5% sulphur will be imposed on marine fuel for vessels trading internationally.

The survey suggests that only 500 ships have been equipped with scrubbers. There has been something of a backlash against scrubber technology, most notably from Maersk and Klaveness, who have said they see the technology as being expensive and immature.

Other respondents to the ExxonMobil survey said they were concerned that shipping companies would cheat and falsify the sulphur content of their marine fuel.

what mix of fuels will be available in 2020 and at what cost for each type? Refiners have not been so forthcoming with information about what new capacity they are adding to deal with the expected rise in demand. If ship operators do switch to gasoil, they will have to compete with truck drivers and SUV owners to buy the fuel, which could drive up prices and possibly lead to shortages in supply.

Meanwhile, there will be a loophole for shipowners in 2020: vessels will be permitted to sail without compliant fuel if none is available, even if they do not have scrubbers installed.

Panos Zachariadis – Technical Director at Atlantic Bulk Carriers Management Ltd doesn’t believe that the industry is ready either.

“The industry is not ready. And by “industry” I mean mostly the fuel producers, by their own admission. That is the main problem. There were two studies submitted to IMO, one by “industry” including refiners.  Industry said there will be no fuel available by 2020 even if we started preparations and the required investments yesterday. In addition a submission by ISO cautioned about the danger of “designer” fuels.  These were simply ignored.  The majority of IMO member-states wanted favourable news headlines for various reasons (to show the EU that they take action etc). It was a “political” decision.  We have seen before what happens when facts are ignored and political decisions are taken (remember Ballast Water Treatment?)

In short I expect a mess and I’ll be very surprised if this goes smoothly and on schedule.  One possibility I see is that, come 2019, IMO will have to face reality (not enough availability of safe fuel) and re-examine the application date.  One other – unfortunate – possibility is that, since MDO cannot be available in such quantities, untested “designer” fuels will be introduced to fill the void.  Current experience with hybrid (desulfurised) fuels is not good; they are very unstable.  But a further fear is that inappropriate blends may also appear pausing a safety threat!  ISO in its submission to IMO warned that cutting heavy fuel with e.g. naptha may show acceptable flash point limit but still may be explosive!  And there will be no ISO or other quality standards for such “designer” fuels by 2020.”

It seems apparent that the information regarding the switch is causing uncertainty with regards to what the choices will be to make sure that ships are properly equipped to deal with the change. It could be a case that companies are waiting for their competitors to go first so that they can then make an informed decision on the best way to go, but with little over 2 years to go this seems a difficult strategy.  Compliance seems to be something of a grey area, but companies should by now have plans in place to make sure that as of 1st January 2020 they are ready to go.

Sources:

Hellinic Shipping News

Green 4 sea.com

Iims.org

Imo.org