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April 6, 2023

Image Source: Ishara S. Kodikara — AFP/ Getty Images

A Chinese surveillance vessel, the Yuan Wang 5, which can track rocket and spacecraft launches, has docked at the eastern port of Durban in South Africa. The vessel’s presence may raise concerns that South Africa is moving closer to China and Russia, even though the bulk of its total trade is with Western nations. South Africa’s presidency stated that it did not track the docking of ships on a day-to-day basis and referred queries to the defense department and state port operator. South Africa has previously drawn criticism from the US and its allies for refusing to condemn Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and holding the naval exercise with several Russian and Chinese vessels off its east coast in February 2022.

The docking of the vessel may add to fears that the country is further shifting its allegiance towards China and Russia.

Image Source: Sheila Fitzgerald — Shutterstock

French company CMA CGM and Swiss-based Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC) have both reached significant tonnage milestones for purchasing secondhand boxships. MSC has acquired over 300 ships since August 2020, and CMA CGM has acquired 100 vessels since embarking on its buying spree in 2020. CMA CGM recently purchased three further secondhand units, including the Amoliani, CMA CGM Pelleas, and Spirit of Lisbon. Both MSC and CMA CGM have been active in the charter market too. According to VesselsValue, container values are beginning to stabilize.


Edouard Louis-Dreyfus, a member of France’s famous shipping dynasty, has taken over the presidency of Armateurs de France, the French shipowners’ association, for two years. Louis-Dreyfus has vowed to boost the local flag and protect the rights of seafarers, working against the social dumping of seafarers. The shipowners’ body is also seeking to establish a public/private maritime decarbonisation institute in France.

Image Source: REUTERS

Taiwan’s defense ministry has confirmed that a Chinese aircraft carrier group led by the Shandong passed through the Bashi Channel into the waters southeast of Taiwan. The appearance of the carrier group coincided with the arrival of French President Emmanuel Macron in Beijing and President Tsai Ing-wen’s meeting with US House Speaker Kevin McCarthy in Los Angeles. China has previously conducted war games around Taiwan, and tensions remain high between the two countries. The Taiwanese military closely monitored the ships, and the defense ministry provided pictures of the carrier group.

Image Source: Ryan O. Ferguson — Ørsted US

Edison Chouest Offshore (ECO) is building the first-ever offshore wind service vessel (SOV) in the US. The 262-foot long vessel, called ECO Edison, is currently being constructed in Louisiana and is expected to be christened in 2024. The SOV is designed to be a year-round home base for 60 American offshore wind turbine technicians, with special features focused on passenger safety and comfort, enhanced maneuverability, extended offshore endurance, and reduced emissions. ECO Edison will be Jones Act-compliant and serve as a model for the US offshore wind industry. The vessel will support domestic energy production and play an integral role in the operation and maintenance of Ørsted and Eversource’s wind projects, which are planned to generate more than 1.7 GW of offshore wind energy.

Image Source: CHANG W. LEE — NYT

The South Fork Wind project has received clearance to start turbine construction in federal waters off the coasts of Rhode Island and New York. The Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) completed its review of critical design and installation reports for the project, and the construction of wind turbines is set to begin this summer, with an estimated completion date later this year. The project is the first commercial-scale, offshore wind energy project in the United States to start turbine construction in federal waters.

Image Source: Abu Dhabi Ports

Abu Dhabi’s AD Ports Group has signed a $2bn financing agreement with a syndicate of 13 banks. The multi-currency general corporate facility includes three tranches of $620m, €600m, and AED2.86bn for up to two-and-a-half years. The success of the facility reflects the company’s strong financial position and the confidence the banking sector has in the group’s long-term financial performance, according to Mohamed Juma Al Shamisi, the Group CEO and Managing Director.


Gianluigi Aponte, the founder of Mediterranean Shipping Co (MSC), saw his wealth grow by $14.4bn in the 12 months through March 10, according to Forbes. This growth places him sixth on the Forbes billionaires index for the 12-month period, with a net worth of $31.2bn. MSC has an 18.2% global market share in liner shipping and made a collective record net income north of $200bn last year, according to Forbes.

Image Source: SHansche

Greek boxship owner Euroseas has fixed its 2009-built panamax Synergy Keelung for a two-year deal at $23,000 per day with two months of options. The new rate is an improvement compared to its previous charter at $14,500 per day. The charter is expected to generate earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortisation (EBITDA) of $10m. Aristides Pittas, the Chairman and CEO of Euroseas, believes that the rate and duration of the charter indicate the resilience of the containership market.

You can read yesterday’s 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.