Maersk’s transformation wins over customers
Maersk’s transformation from an energy and shipping conglomerate to an integrated container logistics group has proved a clear winner, with customers driving the process forward. With billions of dollars worth of mergers and acquisitions, Maersk withdrew from energy-related activities to focus on supplying services along the supply chain. The takeover of LF Logistics in the third quarter will further rebalance the business portfolio.
Read more: Lloyd’s List
COSCO acquires a minority stake in one container terminal in the Port of Hamburg
The port operating arm of China state-owned Cosco Shipping will take over a minority 25 percent stake of Hamburger Hafen und Logistik (HHLA) ‘s Container Terminal Tollerort (CTT), down from the 35 percent share agreed upon in September 2021. The sale of the shares was subject to approval by the German government under investment law, but significant resistance from within the government dragged out the process. Nevertheless, despite political resistance from Berlin, Mr. Scholz and his cabinet have approved a deal for Cosco Shipping to acquire a minority stake.
China’s foreign ministry has accused the US of interfering in its cooperation with Germany after Washington “strongly suggested” that Beijing would not obtain a controlling stake in an acquisition deal involving a Hamburg port terminal.
DOT awards $703 million for US port upgrades
The Biden administration announced it would award $703 million in grants to upgrade US port infrastructure. It includes approximately $214 million that will go toward container port operations ranging from constructing a 25-acre container facility at the Port of Oakland to updating equipment and cargo-handling operations at the Port of Long Beach. According to the Department of Transportation statement, the grants are an unprecedented investment in US port infrastructure and will fund 41 projects in 22 states and one territory.
Read more: JOC
New threat of US rail disruptions
The US narrowly avoided a shutdown in September after extensive mediation by White House officials led to a successful last-ditch effort to reach a tentative agreement. But while six unions have ratified the agreement, two others have recently rejected it, and four more are slated to vote by the end of November.
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Shipping lines addressing decarbonization
COSCO orders 12 dual-fuel 24,000 teu vessels at two joint venture shipyards with Kawasaki Heavy Industries of Japan. The vessels are expected to be delivered between the third quarter of 2026 and the third quarter of 2028. Its Hong Kong-listed subsidiary Orient Overseas (International) Limited, ordered seven of 12 new buildings.
Italy’s Grimaldi Group has signed orders for up to 10 pure car truck carriers (PCTCs) with China Merchants Heavy Industries (Jiangsu). The deal includes a firm order for five PCTCs with a capacity of more than 9,000 car equivalent units (CEU), plus options for five similar vessels. The company said that the initial five ships would be delivered between 2025 and the end of 2026.
MAN B&W is developing the world’s first ammonia-powered marine fuel engine, with the prototype due to be completed for handover to licensee Mitsui E&S Machinery and Mitsui OSK Lines by the end of 2024.
Maersk has signed a deal with the Spanish government that could deliver up to 2 million tons of green fuels a year as the carrier moves to lock in greater access to renewable energy sources critical to its net-zero pathway.
Shipping industry opinions on IMO regulations
In a new submission to the IMO, the International Chamber of Shipping has proposed a carbon levy on international shipping be paid to ‘first movers’ using low-emission fuels. The fresh “fund-and-reward” proposal aims to support switching at least 5% of global shipping to alternative fuels by 2030, reducing marine fuel oil consumption by about 15 million tons annually.
Shipping groups have raised concerns over the negative impact of newly introduced carbon intensity metrics on the industry, calling for exemptions and methodology adjustments to the technical measure. Their submissions to the IMO highlight distortions in the ship’s performance and carbon intensity indicator rating depending on time spent at ports and the types of voyages.
Mediterranean Shipping Co. has called for the IMO to revise its calculation methodology of the Carbon Intensity Indicator (CII) regulation to avoid “unintended consequences” that distort the performance of a ship.
Shipping industry’s reaction to EU regulations
The World Shipping Council (WSC) has raised concern over Europe’s decision to adopt green hydrogen-based marine fuels quotas. FuelEU Maritime legislation mandates 2% of marine fuels be derived from renewable hydrogen from 2030. WSC says the mandate is unnecessary and distracts from the goals of reducing greenhouse gas intensity outlined in the FuelEU Maritime regulatory package.
Mediterranean Shipping Co. has become the second ocean carrier after Maersk to unveil the cost of complying with the European cap-and-trade emissions reduction system that will be extended to include shipping from Jan. 1.
Investment in transportation visibility providers
Transportation visibility provider Shippeo has landed a $40 million venture funding round as investments into the space continued to be stirred by memories of pandemic-induced supply chain upheaval. The latest round indicates that investors broadly believe there is no single dominant multimodal supply chain visibility player.
In the meantime, Maersk and CMA CGM participated in an $80 million funding round by visibility provider project44, which has raised more than $320 million since January. The company will use the cash injection to build a system for measuring so-called Scope 3 supply chain emissions. The involvement of Maersk and CMA CGM is notable as those companies continue to develop their respective end-to-end integrator strategies and prepare for more stringent environmental regulations from the IMO.