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March 25, 2023

Image Source: Reuters

Danish authorities are salvaging an unidentified object that was found near the damaged Nord Stream gas pipeline, which delivers natural gas from Russia to Germany under the Baltic Sea. Swiss-based Nord Stream 2 AG, the pipeline operator, is cooperating with the investigation to identify the object, which could be a maritime smoke buoy.

The pipeline’s blast last September has triggered a wave of accusations, with Russia blaming the US, Ukraine, and Poland.

A pro-Ukrainian group may have been behind the explosion, according to intelligence reports. Western nations have strengthened security on energy infrastructure following the incident, which they blame on sabotage.

Image Source: US Department of Defense

China’s defense ministry reported that it drove away a U.S. Navy destroyer that sailed through China’s territorial waters near the Paracel Islands in the South China Sea.

The U.S. Navy claimed that the guided-missile destroyer was operating under navigational rights and freedoms, but China demanded that the U.S. stop such acts, threatening unforeseen consequences. The U.S. Navy argues that China’s sweeping maritime claims in the South China Sea threaten the freedom of navigation, trade, and economic opportunity of South China Sea littoral nations.

Tensions in the South China Sea have escalated as China claims vast areas that overlap with the exclusive economic zones of various countries, and trillions of dollars in trade flows through the waterway annually.

Image Source: m.afiqsyahmi / Shutterstock

A new consortium led by Global Maritime Forum will explore the development of a maritime green corridor for zero-emission shipping of iron ore between South Africa and Europe, which would be the first such project on the continent. The consortium, made up of players from the iron ore, steel, shipping, freeport and energy sectors, will evaluate bunkering and offtake arrangements, green fuel supplies, and business models for the South Africa-EU green corridor.

Members include Anglo American, Tata Steel, CMB, VUKA Marine, Freeport Saldanha, and ENGIE. The initiative aims to boost the deployment of low-carbon vessels on the trade route.

Image Source: Tilman Ehrcke / Shutterstock

Mitsui OSK Lines, Tabuchi Kaiun, Niihama Kaiun, and others will build a coastal tanker that will run on methanol fuel. The 65.5m vessel will be owned jointly by MOL Coastal Shipping, Tabuchi Kaiun, and Niihama Kaiun, and is expected to be delivered in December 2024. It will be chartered to Niihama Shipping and time-chartered to MOL Coastal Shipping.

Mitsubishi Corporation has already signed a time charter contract with MOL Coastal Shipping, and the tanker will transport methanol domestically. According to MOL, methanol fuel is available at about 130 major ports worldwide.

Image Source: Norstar Ship Management

Norstar Shipping and Tristar Group have teamed up to establish a new joint venture, Norstar Chartering Services DMCC, to operate chemical and clean petroleum product tankers. The company will be based in Dubai with additional offices in the US and Singapore. Tristar’s CEO, Eugene Mayne, said the joint venture will enhance the group’s maritime logistics division, which currently owns and/or operates over 30 oil, gas, and chemical tankers and bulk carriers trading worldwide.

Norstar’s co-owner, Chris Bonehill, believes the partnership will enable his company to expand its existing business and potentially explore other midstream activities. Olav Ekeberg from Norstar will serve as the CEO of the new joint venture.

Image Source: British Columbia Coast Pilots Ltd.

Euronav has announced that John Fredriksen and Marc Saverys will be joining its supervisory board, while Anne-Helene Monsellato and Steven Smith failed to win votes of confidence from shareholders. Grace Reksten Skaugen, Anita Odedra, and Carl Trowell will remain on the board, while the Saverys family’s Compagnie Maritime Belge (CMB) saw three proposed candidates voted against by an average of around 64%. Despite the loss of two independent directors, the majority of the company’s proposals were approved by shareholders.

Jefferies suggested in a report that the make-up of the new board could provide the “perfect antidote” for CMB and Fredriksen to work together on a long-term solution for Euronav.

Image Source: Kyklades Maritime

The European Parliament and Council have agreed on reducing ship emissions by 2% from 2025 and by 80% from 2050.

These emission-cutting requirements will apply to ships above a gross tonnage of 5,000, and to all energy used onboard in or between European Union ports, as well as to 50% of energy used on voyages where the departure or arrival port is outside of the EU. Containerships and passenger ships will be required to use onshore power supply for all electricity needs while moored at the quayside in major EU ports as of 2030.

This regulation is part of the Fit for 55 in 2030 package, which aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by at least 55% by 2030 compared to 1990 levels in line with the European Climate Law.

Image Source: Getty Images

The car carrier orderbook has surged, increasing by 30% in the year-to-date and representing 25% of the fleet on the water.

The sector has become popular due to rising rates and increased ton-miles, partly due to China’s EV exports. With rates remaining high, the sector is expected to continue booming, with only 12 vehicle carriers scheduled for delivery in 2023. However, 46 and 52 vessels are scheduled for delivery in 2024 and 2025, respectively, potentially adding 0.6m ceu capacity to the global fleet by 2025.

Chinese automotive manufacturers are responsible for most of the new orders, and global container carriers like COSCO, CMA CGM, and HMM have also entered the car carrier sector.

Image Source: Ocean Network Express

Singapore-based global container shipping company, Ocean Network Express (ONE), is opening a wholly-owned office in Kenya. The new office, located in Mombasa, will commence operations on April 1, 2023, and will handle sales, customer service, and operations, focusing on regional freight and transshipments from and to East Africa. ONE Kenya will manage all of the company’s services that call at the port of Mombasa from April 4.

Image Source: DP World

Scorpio Tankers, a Monaco-based shipping company, has secured a long-term charter agreement for one of its scrubber-fitted LR2 vessels, worth approximately $44 million. The three-year charter, beginning in April 2023, was signed with an undisclosed client at a daily rate of $40,000.

Scorpio Tankers, led by Emanuele Lauro, currently operates a fleet of 113 product tankers and has reduced its debt by nearly $150 million by repurchasing six of its ships under a sale and leaseback deal.

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.