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March 21, 2023

Enstructure, a marine terminal and logistics company based in the US, has acquired Richardson Companies, which operates in Port Houston and the Port of Mobile.

Richardson manages a diverse range of breakbulk cargoes, including steel and forest products, and operates around 1 million square feet of industrial warehousing in several locations. With this acquisition, Enstructure will operate 20 terminals along the Gulf Coast, East Coast, and inland river system, employing more than 1,200 people and offering over 5 million square feet of industrial warehouse capacity.

All of Richardson’s 270 employees, including management, will remain in their positions following the acquisition. Enstructure’s expertise in terminal operations and its growing market presence were key factors in the decision, according to Kelly, Chance, and Mike Richardson, the owners of Richardson.

They believe that the acquisition will provide long-term growth opportunities for customers across the Gulf Coast by allowing them to share best practices and invest in their systems and equipment.

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GoodBulk, a Monaco-based company, is taking advantage of the recent uptick in the dry bulk shipping market by selling two 2012-built, 179,000 dwt ships named Aquatonka and Aquahaha for around $28m each. This sale is part of GoodBulk’s move to capitalize on investments made six years ago in this segment. Copenhagen-based Norden is said to be connected to the deal.

GoodBulk’s sale of the two Hanjin Subic-built vessels comes after acquiring them in 2017 for roughly $31.8m in a cash and share deal from CarVal Investors. The dry bulk sector has seen more sales than the tanker sector in the past 11 weeks.

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The Port of Los Angeles has signed Memorandum of Understandings (MOUs) with the Port of Tokyo and the Port of Yokohama during the 2023 California Japan Clean Energy Trade Mission.

The agreements will formalize cooperation between the three ports on sustainability and environmental issues, including the establishment of a Green Shipping Corridor partnership. The MOUs also call for cooperation on the digitization of the supply chain, the testing and deployment of zero-emission vehicles and vessels, and the exploration of alternative energy sources.

The Port of Los Angeles and the Port of Tokyo have a longstanding relationship, formalized through a Sister Port agreement in 1987.

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BIMCO has launched the “25 by 25 pledge”, an initiative to increase the usage of electronic bills of lading (eBLs) in the dry bulk shipping sector.

The pledge commits some shippers to move 25% of their annual seaborne trade volume for at least one commodity using eBLs by 2025. The use of eBLs increases efficiency, reduces costs, and improves transparency and security in the supply chain. Paper bills of lading are inefficient and pose legal and commercial risks.

Major players in the dry bulk sector, including BHP, Rio Tinto, and Vale, have already backed the initiative. BIMCO invites owners and operators to support the initiative as they are key stakeholders in the process.

The Philippine Coast Guard has reported that the oil spilled by the Princess Empress product tanker, which sank in stormy conditions on February 28th, has reached the shores of Isla Verde along the Verde Island Passage (VIP).

The VIP is a marine corridor that is home to 1,700 fish species, 300 coral species, and 36 marine protected areas. The tanker was carrying 900,000 liters of industrial fuel oil on a domestic voyage, 100,000 liters more than had originally been reported. Rear Admiral Armand Balilo from the Philippine Coast Guard has warned that the oil spill will spread wider and that a lot of oil would spill if it were to be released continuously.

The ship’s history has been brought into question, with officials saying that the vessel was very old and had been modified twice, including a period where it traded as an LPG carrier. The ship did not have a permit to operate before it headed on its fateful voyage, according to the administrator of the country’s Maritime Industry Authority.

Associate professor Irene Rodriguez from the Marine Science Institute at the University of the Philippines has warned that the oil spill, which is spreading to popular beach destinations, could take up to three years to clean up.

On Sunday, a Liberia-flagged oil tanker chartered by Chevron Corp collided with another vessel, the Bueno, in Venezuelan waters. The Bueno has not navigated international waters since the U.S. Treasury Department last year imposed sanctions on it and four other vessels for alleged involvement in moving Iranian origin shipments.

The Chevron-chartered tanker Kerala, which was near the Amuay ship-to-ship transfer area on Sunday night, collided with the Bueno. The Kerala is scheduled to load about 240,000 barrels of Venezuelan heavy oil at the Bajo Grande terminal at Lake Maracaibo this week. Neither tanker was significantly damaged, and there were no injuries or spills reported. Both were instructed to anchor in specific positions and await inspections.

PDVSA and Chevron did not immediately reply to requests for comment. As of Monday, the Kerala had moved away from the collision site while waiting for a loading window at the Bajo Grande terminal, according to Refinitiv Eikon vessel monitoring data.

Maersk has announced the sale of its offshore marine service provider, Maersk Supply Service, to A.P. Moller Holding for $685 million, as part of the company’s strategic shift towards its transport and logistics business. Maersk’s Chief Financial Officer, Patrick Jany, said the sale marks the completion of the company’s initial decision to divest from energy-related activities and focus on integrated logistics.

The sale was originally planned in 2019 but was abandoned due to market conditions. Maersk Supply Service provides services to the offshore wind and oil and gas industries using 36 vessels.

Offshore workers at major UK North Sea oil and gas operators, including BP, Shell, and Total, are set to take strike action over job security, pay, and working conditions.

The strike is set to affect dozens of oil and gas platforms in the region, with around 1,400 offshore workers from five companies taking part. The action is expected to create a “tsunami of industrial unrest in the offshore sector,” according to Unite general secretary Sharon Graham.

The workers are demanding a fair share of the profits being made by oil and gas companies in the region, and the strike action is the biggest mandate received in a generation in the offshore sector. Two further industrial action ballots are due to take place this week, potentially bringing the final total to around 1,500 offshore workers taking action.

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.