World Maritime News (83)

Panama Canal increases draught limit and transit slots

The Panama Canal has increased the maximum authorized draught and added another transit slot on its neopanamax locks as it celebrates eight years since its huge expansion. The Panama Canal Authority (ACP) said the draught increased from 46 ft (14.02 m) to 47 ft (14.32 m) on June 27 and would increase again to 48 ft (14.63 m) on July 11. A new booking slot will be added to the canal’s neopanamax locks on August 5. That will take the number of daily booking slots to 35 and continue the increase of transits through the crucial waterway in recent months as water levels on Gatun Lake continue to rise.


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Ocean carriers unable to cover demand despite huge capacity injection

The strong demand for vessels on Asia’s export trade lanes is absorbing huge amounts of capacity being injected by carriers, frustrating efforts to manage unseasonally heavy volume and cope with longer voyages around southern Africa and congestion in key ports. Ocean carriers have received delivery of almost 1.6 million TEUs of capacity so far this year, according to Alphaliner. Still, it has done little to address the supply/demand imbalance in Asia-Europe and the trans-Pacific.


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South Korea eyes launch of methanol-fuelled transpacific route in 2027

South Korea aims to launch the world’s first transpacific green shipping route by 2027, using methanol-powered merchant vessels. The trade lane will link the ports of Busan and Ulsan to Seattle and Tacoma in the US, featuring containerships and car carriers capable of running the alternative fuel, according to a statement by the Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries. “If a zero-emission containership traveled the green shipping corridor between the port of Busan and the port of Seattle for one year, it would reduce carbon emissions equivalent to the annual emissions of approximately 32,000 cars,” the ministry said.


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FuelEU will leave no assets stranded, says EU Commission rep

FuelEU Maritime will not leave any ships or fuel systems as stranded assets. A European Commission representative told an industry forum. Ricardo Batista, a policy officer at the transport directorate DG Move, sought to dismiss shipowner fears that the upcoming EU regulation will mean far greater penalties for noncompliance than the EU ETS, which the industry is still adapting. Anassis asked Batista about European shipowners’ concerns that the two new green regulations would drive business from European ports to nearby ports in North Africa, the UK, Türkiye, and elsewhere. Batista said commission studies had considered the problem of ports’ competitiveness since the first proposed regulations and studied the market reaction to them. He said that shifting trade patterns because of regional regulation was a natural business response, adding that ships that diverted from the EU to avoid green charges would face other logistics costs.


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Sustainable fuels thought to be more than 15 years away, survey finds

According to a transport industry survey, cost and inadequate supply chain infrastructure will be the most significant barriers to a sustainable fuel transition. Law firm Reed Smith surveyed its clients across aviation, logistics, utilities, manufacturing, environmental services, and shipping. Almost half of the 47 respondents thought it would take more than 15 years for transport to be powered by fully sustainable fuels. Nearly half of respondents said dual fuel and LNG would be transitional fuels in the next three to five years. A similar share cited biofuel and green hydrogen as the two sustainable fuel sources they thought had the most potential for broad application in transport.


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Ocean shipping faces sobering reality of long-term diversions around southern Africa

The Red Sea crisis has now persisted for more than seven months since the Galaxy Leader was hijacked by Houthi rebels operating from Yemen. It has been more than six months since major container carriers felt compelled to divert all main services from Asia to Europe around southern Africa for safety reasons. It is time for the stakeholders — shippers and carriers alike — to do two things. One is to analyze the situation and let their respective governments know the economic ramifications for the national economies should the current situation persist for the next eight years. The other is to start planning for a situation where “around-Africa” services for the major deep-sea trades become the norm for the next eight years.


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LA-LB ports investing $25 million in charging infrastructure for electric trucks

Los Angeles and Long Beach ports will invest a combined $25 million to help develop charging infrastructure for electric-powered heavy-duty trucks serving the harbor and warehouses in Southern California. In the meantime, each port’s harbor commission approved allocating $12.5 million from their respective clean truck funds toward the installation of up to 207 charging units throughout the region. The South Coast Air Quality Management District is administering the project contracting. The funding comes after trucking interests, led by the California Trucking Association (CTA) and the Harbor Trucking Association (HTA), told the Journal of Commerce’s TPM24 conference in Long Beach in early March that a massive investment in charging infrastructure in Southern California will be needed to comply with the California Air Resources Board (CARB) regulation requiring 100% zero-emission truck fleets by 2035.


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HMM digitizes bills of lading with software provider CargoX

Container line HMM has allowed customers to use electronic bills of lading (eBLs) from July 8 using software from technology vendor CargoX. The product lets shippers and forwarders generate eBLs by creating a PDF version or through CargoX’s blockchain-based platform, a so-called public ledger intended to secure the documentation and provide audit logs for any amendments. South Korea-based HMM will provide the eBL capability through its website-based digital service platform.


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