Currents Shipping Digest Logo

The shipping industry is constantly changing, and it’s essential to stay in the loop. That’s where ‘Currents’ comes in handy! It’s a daily summary of the most important news stories from the shipping world, so you can keep up-to-date without wasting time sifting through endless articles.

You’ll be the first to know about the latest trends, challenges, and opportunities that could impact the maritime sector. With ‘Currents,’ you can stay informed, make smarter decisions, and stay ahead of the competition.

You may submit your contact details below to receive ‘Currents’ daily in your inbox.

June 1, 2023

Several countries raised concerns at a UN agency about North Korea’s missile tests posing a threat to commercial shipping in northeastern Asia. The nuclear-armed country’s recent failed satellite launch led to emergency alerts in South Korea and Japan. Over 100 countries attending the International Maritime Organization’s security committee strongly condemned these tests, emphasizing the safety of seafarers and international shipping. North Korea rejected the resolution, stating that the tests were self-defensive measures without the ability to provide prior notification.

A Cyprus-flagged cargo ship, AAL Dampier, and its operator, AAL Dampier Navigation Co Ltd, were found guilty by an Australian Magistrates Court following an accident involving a faulty pilot ladder. During the vessel’s departure from the Port of Fremantle, a marine pilot fell and sustained serious injuries due to snapped ropes. The Australian Maritime Safety Authority presented the case, highlighting safety regulation breaches. The court imposed fines of $30,500 on the company and $5,500 on the vessel’s Master, stressing the importance of upholding maritime safety standards.

Singapore’s Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau (CPIB) has initiated an investigation into corruption allegations concerning Seatrium, a shipyard conglomerate formed by Keppel and Sembcorp. The probe focuses on events predating 2015. CPIB’s statement confirmed the investigation against Seatrium and individuals linked to the offshore and marine engineering company, particularly related to alleged corruption offenses in Brazil.

Xeneta’s Shipping Index (XSI®) reported a significant 27.5% drop in global long-term freight rates within the container shipping industry in May. This decline marks the largest monthly fall ever recorded on the platform and extends the industry’s nine consecutive months of rate drops. Xeneta attributes the collapse to the new market reality, where subdued markets and the conclusion of existing 12-month contracts in the US contribute to the sharp decrease. The decline in long-term rates poses financial strain for carriers and reflects ongoing macroeconomic uncertainty.

Ulrik Andersen, Chief Executive of dry bulk player Golden Ocean Group, has decided to step down from his position. Andersen, who joined the company in April 2020, will remain available until September 1, 2023. Lars-Christian Svensen, the Chief Commercial Officer, will serve as interim CEO. Golden Ocean’s chairman expressed gratitude for Andersen’s contribution during a transformative period of fleet growth and fleet renewal. The company, listed on Nasdaq and Oslo stock exchanges, recently reported a first-quarter net loss of $8.8 million.

Norwegian energy company Equinor ASA has announced a postponement of its Bay du Nord Canadian offshore oil project for up to three years, citing increasing costs. The project, which had received support from Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s government due to its low emissions, is one of Canada’s largest oil ventures in recent years. Equinor plans to reassess the project in light of changing market conditions and explore optimization strategies. While Newfoundland & Labrador Premier Andrew Furey expressed disappointment, he remains hopeful that the project will eventually proceed. The partnership with BP PLC and the estimated cost of C$16 billion ($11.97 billion) make this delay a significant setback for Equinor.

For the first time this year, there is now a compelling economic case for owners of dual-fuel LNG ships to utilize LNG as a fuel. LNG has been the preferred alternative fuel for ships, with 904 confirmed LNG-fueled vessels in operation or on order. However, due to prohibitively high LNG prices, most dual-fuel ships have been operating on traditional bunker fuel. Recent observations indicate that LNG used as bunkers has become more affordable compared to compliant fuel oil, reaching price parity with heavy fuel oil. Rotterdam LNG prices currently stand at $440 per ton, equivalent to IFO380 bunker fuel, making it an attractive option.

DHT Holdings, a shipping company, has purchased a five-year-old VLCC (very large crude carrier) from Korea for $94.5 million. The vessel is expected to be delivered in the third quarter of 2023. DHT’s president and CEO, Svein Moxnes Harfjeld, expressed optimism about the investment, noting the vessel’s design aligns with the trading patterns of their key customers and offers premium earning capabilities. The acquisition is seen as an advantageous move, as the Baltic Exchange now values similar ships at $98 million each, indicating potential future value appreciation for DHT.

Norwegian shipping company Grieg Maritime Group has entered into a contract with the CSSC-affiliated Huangpu Wenchong Longxue yard for up to four ammonia-ready 82,300 dwt open hatch vessels. The order includes two firm vessels and an option for two additional ones.

The newbuilds, set to deliver from spring 2026, will be Norwegian-flagged, DVN-classed, and meet the EEDI Phase 3 requirements. With a length of 225 meters, these vessels will surpass Grieg Maritime Group’s current largest ships. The design, known as “PulpMax,” has been developed in collaboration with Grieg Shipbrokers and G2 Ocean, showcasing the company’s commitment to climate action and its intention to remain a leading player in the open hatch segment. Grieg Maritime Group aims to align with the Norwegian Shipowner’s Association’s climate targets, ordering only zero-emission technology-equipped ships from 2030 onward, and considers ammonia as a promising fuel option for these vessels, while remaining open to other alternatives as technology advances.

You can read previous issue of ‘Currents’ here.

Disclaimer: ‘Currents’ is an online shipping news service by Earl’s Rock Trading (Pvt) Ltd that reports on the latest developments and trends in the maritime industry. We do not take any responsibility for the accuracy or completeness of the information provided in our news stories or for any opinions expressed by the people quoted in them. Our aim is to provide our readers with up-to-date news and insights from reliable sources. However, we do not endorse or take any responsibility for any actions taken by our readers based on the information provided in our news articles. We also want to make it clear that we do not own any of the images used in our news stories, unless stated otherwise. All images belong to their respective owners, and we use them solely for illustrative purposes. If you are the owner of any image used in our news stories and want it to be removed or credited, please contact us, and we will take the necessary action.