World Maritime News(29)

Ukraine Crisis

Most of the world’s major carriers have now suspended shipments to and from Russia, severely restricting commercial maritime access to the country after it invaded Ukraine.

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has prompted the closure of the country’s main port of Odesa, forcing container carriers to divert vessels.


Read more: JOCJOC2 


The movement toward restricting the shipping industry

US President Joe Biden has called on Congress to address problems in the ocean shipping industry, especially the immunity of alliance agreements from antitrust scrutiny under current law. However, the World Shipping Council said, “it is unfortunate that the president is demonizing ocean carriers, the industry that is the backbone of the US and global economy and that has been working around the clock through the pandemic to move more cargo than at any time in history.”

The strengthening of a partnership between the US Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) and the Department of Justice (DOJ) will allow maritime regulators to tap antitrust experts amid increased global monitoring of competition in container shipping.

In Europe, the European Association for Forwarding, Transport, Logistics and Customs Services (Clecat) has called for the EU competition commission to use its investigating powers to establish the degree of “concentration, consolidation, coordination, and cartelization” in container shipping and moves by carriers into freight forwarding.

An international group of competition authorities using global intelligence networks has formed a working group to investigate and potentially prosecute suspected anticompetitive behavior and collusion within global supply chains.


Read more: Lloyd’s ListJOCLloyd’s List2JOC2


The US measures against ports congestion

The US Department of Transportation said that it has nearly doubled the amount of grant money it had last year to support port improvement projects through the US.

Although White House Port Envoy John Porcari is stepping down from leading the White House’s intervention in port operations, the administration will continue to push for short- and long-term fixes for port congestion.

California said that six state-owned properties would be made available for off-port container storage five months after the state’s governor issued an executive order for more storage.


Read more: JOCJOC2JOC3 


China cuts port fees further to reduce logistics costs

China has moved to trim port charges further to support the country’s exporters and importers, which are facing elevated shipping costs. Effective from April 1, the new policy will see a reduction in port security fees and pilot charges, and Beijing has asked port operators to increase price transparency.


Read more: Lloyd’s List 


Outlook for containerships delivery and containers supply

The projected containership fleet growth of about 4% this year will not be enough to offset global supply chain issues, including port congestion and a lack of container equipment, despite the expectation of a downturn in global trade growth.

A key feature of the container shipping crisis has been a shortage of equipment as it has taken longer to process boxes through the supply chain. Port congestion, hinterland transport disruptions, worker shortages, and warehouse congestion conspired to break this chain. As demand for exports has continued and in many markets increased, the pool of available equipment has shrunk as it gets caught up in delays at multiple points.

Both carriers and equipment lessors have invested heavily in new stock to counter this.

Analysis of container transport delays by Sea-Intelligence indicates that even when supply and demand start to balance out again, the large store of empty containers in importing economies threatens to clog up the system further.


Read more: Lloyd’s ListLloyd’s List2


San Pedro Bay ship queues set to increase again

The number of containerships queuing for berths at Los Angeles and Long Beach has fallen sharply since its peak earlier this year, but there are warnings that the situation could soon reverse and return to levels on par with its earlier high point. The maximum reduction in ship queuing would be the first week of March. Still, by projecting forward from the baseline in the fourth quarter of 2021, Sea-Intelligence warned that the queue could theoretically grow to 120 vessels.


Read more: Lloyd’s List


CMA CGM launches global biofuel trial on 32 vessels

CMA CGM is intensifying its decarbonization shift with a global trial on the use of different biofuel blends aimed to reduce carbon emissions by up to double digits. Under the trial scheme, some of its vessels will be fueled in Singapore with B24 biofuel, comprised 24% of used cooking oil methyl ester and blended with conventional fuels. According to a statement, up to 32 of its containerships, which serve multiple key trade lanes, will participate in the six-month trial.


Read more: Lloyd’s List 


Alternative fuels to make up just 1% of fuel mix by 2030

Alternative fuels other than liquefied natural gas will make up just 1% of the bunker mix by 2030, but ammonia and methanol will lead the way from then on. S&P Global Platts freight analyst Anastasia Zania said LNG would dominate the green transition for at least the next decade, going from 4.6% of bunkers in 2021 to 10.7% by 2030, when the number of LNG-fueled ships could pass 4,000. But the share of high-sulfur fuel oil would increase, from 17.7% to a predicted 27%, as scrubber-fitted ships made up a bigger share of vessels and older ships without them were scrapped.


Read more: Lloyd’s List


Shipping lines urged to stop all plastic waste exports

Hapag-Lloyd, Maersk, MSC, Hyundai Merchant Marine, Evergreen, and Cosco have been cited among the largest shippers of plastic waste. Green groups have called on shipping lines to completely stop plastic waste exports as they cause environmental and social harm to receiving countries. They said that while restrictions existed, they were not being respected, and the “reality is that exporters can load virtually anything in a container and ship it to another country to a willing, complicit importer.”


Read more: Lloyd’s List


Major shippers urge FMC to consider national freight portal

Representatives of Amazon and FedEx told the Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) that the lack of consistent, uniform data about ocean carrier services and vessel calls to the US creates inefficiencies and raises costs. They argued for the necessity of the government to keep better data on the ocean supply chain.


Read more: JOC