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March 28, 2023

Image Source: Shutterstock — Vallehr

Spain has issued a new rule to restrict ship-to-ship oil transfers off its Mediterranean and Atlantic coasts, even outside territorial waters, amid an increase in the activity.

The rule, which takes effect in 20 days, requires tankers to seek authorization from the closest Spanish port captaincy. The boats servicing them will also need to request specific authorization. The regulation was introduced in response to concerns over the rising number of tankers performing these operations, which have become more frequent due to complicated fuel trading, but are also posing a growing safety risk.

Image Source: Austal USA

The US Navy and Coast Guard have launched a joint patrol in the Western Pacific to enforce fisheries laws, combat transnational crimes, and enhance security in the region.

The USS Mobile (LCS 26) is leading the mission and working with the Coast Guard to enforce the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission Convention (WCPFC) agreement. The WCPFC agreement aims to protect highly migratory fish stocks in the Western and Central Pacific Ocean.

The mission is conducted under the Oceania Maritime Security Initiative (OMSI) to eliminate illegal fishing, combat transnational crimes, and enhance regional security. The initiative enhances maritime security and domain awareness, and helps the US military fulfill its security commitments to allies, partners, and friends.

Image Source: NYK Line

NYK has agreed to acquire all shares of Mitsubishi Ore Transport Co. (MOT) from Mitsubishi Corp, Tokio Marine & Nichido Fire Insurance, and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries. MOT is a joint company of NYK, MC, Tokio Marine & Nichido, and MHI, mainly operating vessel management and ship-owning businesses with 17 ships. The acquisition of MOT will enable NYK to strengthen its ship management system and pursue synergy in its dry bulk business.

It will also help address issues like introducing next-generation fuel vessels for decarbonization.

Image Source: COLUMBIA Shipmanagement Ukraine

Tsakos Columbia Shipmanagement, a joint venture between Tsakos Group and German/Cypriot manager Columbia, has been dissolved. Columbia is set to sell its stake in the company, which had been providing technical and crew management to over 60 Tsakos ships, and the firm will be rebranded. Despite this, Columbia has been expanding its global footprint, including signing an agreement with Aurus Ship Management to explore ship management opportunities in India, joining forces with Monaco-based Sea World Management and Saudi Arabia’s Spectrum, and taking a stake in Ahorn Capital.

Image Source: AP

A ship sailing off the Republic of the Congo has reportedly been hijacked by armed pirates, marking an end to the recent lull in piracy activity off Africa’s west coast.

According to reports, the 13,700-dwt product tanker Monjasa Reformer was either boarded or hijacked by five armed pirates who approached the vessel in a skiff. The ship is managed by Monjasa’s Dubai subsidiary, and the crew is reported to be safe in the citadel. The International Maritime Bureau has issued a “missing tanker” report, and the French Navy is said to be assisting with the search.

The Gulf of Guinea was once the world’s piracy hotspot, but since 2022, criminal activity has fallen off considerably.

Image Source: Tom Fisk

Sea-Intelligence analysis reveals that the earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) of the liner shipping sector in the past three years have exceeded the combined profits of the previous 63-year history of container shipping. The analysis shows that the liner sector made an EBIT of $208bn last year, which is more than the $164bn and $24bn made in 2021 and 2020 respectively. While some analysts are divided on liner profitability in 2023, Sea-Intelligence experts remain optimistic.

However, multiple container indices have been on a downward curve for many months, with no evidence that the market has bottomed out yet.

Image Source: Scott Barbour — Getty Images News

Shell has signed a 20-year agreement with Mexico Pacific to purchase approximately 1.1 million tonnes of liquefied natural gas (LNG) annually from the third train of Mexico Pacific’s Saguaro Energia LNG facility in Puerto Libertad, Sonora, Mexico.

The Saguaro Energia facility has a capacity of 14.1 million tonnes per annum and offers cost and logistical advantages. The LNG sourced from the facility will have the lowest landed price of North American LNG into Asia, with low-cost natural gas sourced from the nearby Permian Basin and a shorter shipping distance to Asia, reducing transportation emissions and landed pricing vs. the US Gulf Coast.

Shell’s Executive Vice President of Energy Marketing, Steve Hill, stated that investment in liquefaction projects is needed to avoid an expected supply-demand gap in the late 2020s.

Image Source: Unsplash — Nicholas Doherty

EDF Renewables and Maple Power have secured a tender to build a 1 GW offshore wind farm off the coast of Normandy. The joint venture, Eoliennes en mer Manche Normandie, will construct the wind farm with work starting in 2026 or 2027, and it is expected to be operational by 2031. The project saw competition from five other developers, including Shell, TotalEnergies, RWE consortium, Iberdrola, Ocean Winds, and a consortium formed by Vattenfall, WPD (Skyborn Renewables), and Banque des Territoires. The French-Canadian consortium has proposed a price of less than €45 per MWh for the project.

Image Source: Capital Ship Management

Capital Ship Management Corp. has taken delivery of the M/T ‘Avax’, an eco-type Chemical/Product MR tanker, from Hyundai Vietnam Shipyard.

The vessel has Wind-Assisted Ready and HVSC-Ready notations from ABS and is the third of six LNG Fuel Ready sister ships to be delivered to Capital in 2023. The M/T ‘Avax’ has a future-proof design compliant with EEDI Phase 3 and is annotated with ABS SUSTAIN-1, which demonstrates adherence to the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. The vessel is Tier III compliant for reduced NOx emissions, equipped with ABS ENVIRO, Wind-Assisted Ready, HVSC-Ready, and LNG Fuel Ready notations, and has IHM notation for safe recycling.

Image Source: Terntank AS

Neste, the Finnish renewable fuels producer, has teamed up with Swedish shipping firm Terntank Rederi to charter two eco-friendly product tankers that can be powered by e-methanol, produced using renewable energy sources and captured carbon.

Capable of carrying up to 15,000 tons of liquid cargoes including waste and residue oils and fats, the tankers will be constructed in China and have a range of innovative features such as foldable suction sails and a hybrid power supply system, allowing them to operate on low-emission fuels in pursuit of net-zero emission goals. They will emit 40 percent less CO2 than previous models, with wind assistance further reducing the emissions by 8 percent.

Delivery is scheduled for 2025-26, reinforcing Neste’s commitment to sustainability and reducing emissions across its value chain.

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.