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.

May 8, 2023

A US nuclear-armed submarine will visit South Korea in the coming months as part of a new public signaling strategy, contradicting its long-standing mission to stay undetected. The visit follows an announcement of the Nuclear Consultative Group by President Joe Biden during the White House visit of South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol.

The Ohio-class submarine is designed to glide undetected and carries up to 20 D-5 Trident ballistic missiles. The US Navy has occasionally showcased its submarines in the past, but the pace has increased in the last year, with publicized port visits by nuclear-armed Ohio-class submarines and Los Angeles-class subs carrying conventional Tomahawk cruise missiles.

Credit Suisse Group AG will offer a yield of less than 6% on a new bond for Ecuador’s ocean-friendly debt swap, which is set to be the world’s largest. Proceeds from the bond sale will fund the purchase of Ecuador’s heavily discounted sovereign debt, providing savings the government will use to protect the Galapagos Islands. This development will reduce debt servicing and could lead to a new floor in debt prices in the short term, according to Ramiro Blazquez, head of strategy at BancTrust & Co. in Buenos Aires.

Thousands of people protested on Saturday against a planned nuclear-powered submarine base at Port Kembla in eastern Australia. The base is part of the AUKUS defense pact, worth A$368 billion ($244.1 billion), signed with the United States and Britain.

According to state broadcaster ABC, the port is the preferred site for a new east-coast submarine base. Protesters marched through the town carrying trade union banners and flags to voice their opposition. Australian Defence Minister Richard Marles said last month that no decision had been made on the site for a new east coast submarine base. Prime Minister Anthony Albanese has defended the submarine project after two former leaders criticized the deal over its cost, complexity, and potential sovereignty issues.

The US Navy is urging its Middle East allies to increase their number of unmanned surface vessels (USVs) around the Arabian Peninsula to improve the detection of threats posed by countries such as Iran. The move is aimed at safeguarding waterways that are essential for global commerce and oil trade.

The US aims to have more than 100 USVs in operation by the end of this summer. Iran seized a second tanker in less than a week, raising US concerns. China’s efforts to expand military and security ties with Gulf Arab states are also being watched, as it is already the largest trading partner for most of those countries and has a naval base in Djibouti in the Horn of Africa. The US Navy is leading the way in unmanned maritime systems, such as USVs, to improve surveillance and reconnaissance. These are made by Canadian, Israeli, and US companies, among others, and cost between $800,000 to $3 million.

Connecticut-based Ridgebury Tankers has reportedly sold its 14-year-old suezmax vessel, Ridgebury John Zipser, to an unknown buyer for $45m. The scrubbed-fitted vessel, which has a deadweight tonnage of 164,800, was built by Hyundai Samho Heavy Industries in 2009 and was purchased from Awilco in 2013 for $43.3m. The sale leaves Ridgebury with only two remaining tankers in its fleet, namely Ridgebury Galileo and Ridgebury Judith, with a combined valuation of approximately $64m according to VesselsValue.

New York-based Libra Group’s maritime subsidiary, Lomar Shipping, has acquired three supramax vessels to expand its bulk carrier fleet to nine ships. The company purchased the 57,000 dwt Ariadne, now renamed Oslo Trader, for $13m. Lomar Shipping expects the deliveries of the two remaining vessels, namely the 57,075 dwt Rome Trader (formerly Haut Brion) built in 2011 and the 56,702 dwt Lima Trader (formerly Universal Bangkok) built in 2012, later this month. This acquisition is Lomar’s first since early 2022 and is estimated to be worth nearly $43m.

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.