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April 25, 2023

Singapore, Port of Long Beach, and Port of Los Angeles, along with support from C40 Cities, signed a memorandum of understanding to establish a green and digital shipping corridor to decarbonize the maritime industry and improve efficiencies through digitalization. The corridor aims to facilitate the transition to low- and zero-emission alternative fuels by ships calling at Singapore and the San Pedro Bay ports complex, and identify digital shipping solutions, standards, and best practices for green ports and the bunkering of alternative marine fuels. The MOU marks the latest “green shipping corridor” partnership in line with the IMO’s Initial Strategy for the Reduction of Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Ships and the respective Nationally Determined Contributions of Singapore and the United States.

The “Ocean Shipping Competition Enforcement Act” was introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives, which would allow the Federal Maritime Commission to block agreements among ocean carriers or marine terminal operators that are determined to be unreasonably anticompetitive without needing to first obtain a federal court order. The bill follows Federal Maritime Commissioners’ request for the change in federal law to fully enforce the Ocean Shipping Reform Act of 2022. The legislation aims to curb anticompetitive behavior among ocean carrier alliances, which can harm American consumers and businesses.

European leaders surrounding the North Sea pledged to scale up offshore wind power generation to strengthen energy security and reduce reliance on Russian gas, and carbon emissions from fossil fuels. Leaders from seven EU countries and non-EU countries, including Britain, pledged to aim for a combined 120 GW of offshore wind capacity by 2030 and 300 GW by 2050, which would quadruple the countries’ 25 GW of existing North Sea wind capacity. The leaders also plan to develop “energy islands” and carbon capture and renewable hydrogen projects in the region. Companies, including Orsted and Equinor, warn of the sector’s small size to support the infrastructure expansion, and the need for increased policy support and funding to deliver the targets.

MSC, the world’s largest container line, explains the thinking behind its rapid fleet expansion over the past two years, which currently has 4.88 million TEU of capacity in its fleet and another 1.67 million TEU’s worth on order. MSC’s fleet expansion came in the immediate aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic when global trade disruptions led to record rises in container freight rates. The expansion in both second-hand acquisitions and newbuild orders came for a variety of reasons, including growth, fleet renewal, competitiveness, and replacing a number of charters.

China’s vast influence in global trade makes it impossible to remove the country from the world’s supply chains, according to Michael Fitzgerald, deputy CFO of Orient Overseas Container Line (OOCL). Despite the shift of production outside of China, China’s smaller growth rate still represents a significant portion of the supply chain. While major corporations like Apple, Samsung, Sony, and Adidas have relocated manufacturing from China to Southeast Asia in recent years, Fitzgerald claims a sudden exodus of manufacturing is simply not feasible. OOCL and its parent company control about 11% of the global container shipping market.

Security advisers from North Sea nations will work on a pact to jointly protect critical sub-sea gas pipelines and power cables, telecoms connections, and wind farms. The plan is to set up a cross-border information sharing platform for security incidents and enable action to be taken to help in the territorial waters of the member countries. Since the Nord Stream attacks in September, NATO members have increased monitoring with satellites, aircraft, ships, and submarines for the North and Baltic seas. The nine North Sea nations pledged to turn the North Sea into one of the world’s biggest hubs for renewable energy, with a combined target of installing 120 gigawatts of offshore wind capacity by 2030 and 300 gigawatts by 2050.

Avance Gas has switched Øystein Kalleklev from his role as executive chairman to CEO, while the company seeks a new chairman. John Fredriksen-backed Avance Gas owns and operates a fleet of 13 VLGCs and three dual fuel newbuildings for delivery in 2023 and 2024.

The Georgia Ports Authority (GPA) is recording eight consecutive months of growth in Roll-on/Roll-off (Ro/Ro) cargo handling, with a 22% increase compared to the same period last year. The Port of Brunswick processed 62,100 units of vehicles and heavy equipment, with Savannah’s Ocean Terminal contributing an additional 1,700 units, totaling 63,800 units in March alone. As of March, the fiscal year-to-date figures reveal that GPA has managed 540,735 units of vehicles and heavy equipment, marking an 80,443-unit or 17.5% increase. GPA Chief Commercial Officer Cliff Pyron explains that an easing of the microchip shortage has led to increased production, contributing to the growth at Brunswick. The capacity expansion at Colonel’s Island is also underway, with the construction of 350,000 square feet of near-dock warehousing for auto processing.

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.