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March 29, 2023

Image Source: Eloisa Lopez — REUTERS

The Philippine Coast Guard has reported that around 40% of the cargo in the ruptured tanks of the Princess Empress oil tanker, which sank on February 28 off the island of Mindoro, has yet to spill into the sea. The sunken tanker, which was carrying over 800,000 litres of industrial fuel oil, has leaked more than 300,000 litres of oil so far, with slicks now spanning around 162 sq km. Oil has been found as far away as Palawan Island, over 350 km from the tanker’s sinking site, and some oil has also drifted north to the Verde Island Passage, an area known for its marine biodiversity.

The tanker’s history has been called into question, with conflicting reports about its age and modifications, as well as a lack of permits for operation.

Image Source: Yonhap — REUTERS

North Korea has unveiled new, smaller nuclear warheads and announced its intention to produce more weapons-grade nuclear material to expand its arsenal, according to state media.

The move came as a US aircraft carrier arrived in South Korea for military drills. Photos of the warheads, named Hwasan-31s, were released, showing progress in miniaturizing warheads that are powerful yet small enough to mount on intercontinental ballistic missiles. The weapons are intended for use with at least eight different delivery platforms listed in posters on the wall, including missiles fired from submarines.

North Korea’s leader, Kim Jong Un, ordered the production of weapons-grade materials to boost its nuclear arsenal “exponentially” and produce powerful weapons. In response, the US reiterated its willingness to discuss verifiable denuclearization of the Korean peninsula, but stated that North Korea had shown no interest in such talks.

Image Source: Ian Simmonds — Unsplash

The global shipping industry is experiencing a slowdown in orders of new oil tankers. According to a recent report by Clarksons Securities, the ratio of crude tanker capacity on order to crude tanker capacity in service has dropped to an all-time low of 2.7%.

The situation is severe for very large crude carriers (VLCCs), which are essential for crude exports from the U.S. Gulf and the Middle East, with only one new VLCC scheduled for delivery in 2025. The reason behind the drop in orders is the expected peak oil demand that is anticipated to come between 2025 and 2030 due to the acceleration in the shift away from a high-carbon economy, caused by COVID-19 and the European energy crisis. As a result, the energy requirements of maritime shipping will see a decline by a third each decade through 2050, followed by a slower decline to roughly 200 megatonnes in 2090 and 2100. Biofuels, electric planes, electric ships, and dual-fuel engines will replace fossil fuels.

However, the replacement technology is still under debate, and while some prefer green methanol and green ammonia, it remains a challenge to select a cost-effective option that will make dual-fuel ships more affordable.

Image Source: Gulf Marine Services

Gulf Marine Services, a UAE-based company that operates a fleet of 13 self-propelled self-elevating support vessels, has secured two new contracts for one of its vessels in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) region.

The small class vessel has been fixed for a total duration of 272 days, with the first contract set to start at the end of Q1, and the second at the beginning of Q3. GMS’ executive chairman, Mansour Al Alami, expressed optimism about the market conditions for the rest of 2023, with high levels of utilization and a tight market reflected in the day rates achieved. These recent awards indicate the continued strength of the industry in the region.

Image Source: Himalaya Shipping

Himalaya Shipping Ltd. has announced its plans to launch an initial public offering (IPO) of $45 million worth of common shares on the New York Stock Exchange. The Bermuda-based independent bulk carrier company operates two newbuild LNG dual-fueled, scrubber-fitted Newcastlemax vessels and plans to use the proceeds for general corporate purposes, including funding vessel acquisitions, maintaining liquidity, repaying indebtedness, and supporting working capital needs.

The company is expecting the delivery of nine more vessels by July 2024. Himalaya Shipping intends to list 7.72 million common shares, with the IPO price expected to align with the closing price of the company’s shares on Euronext Expand in Norway. Underwriters will also be granted a 30-day option to purchase up to an additional $6.75 million of common shares. Himalaya Shipping will remain listed on the Euronext Expand in Norway under the same ticker, while also applying to list its common shares on the NYSE.

Image Source: Dampskibsselskabet Norden A/S

Danish shipping company Norden has made its debut in the capesize market by acquiring four ships through two separate deals. The expansion will enable Norden to offer all dry cargo sizes, including capesize, providing value to its customers and partners globally.

Norden’s venture into capesize will further enhance its logistics projects by providing customers with the optionality to upsize, bringing down operational costs and complexity, while also reducing emissions. The four ships, which have not yet been named, are expected to be delivered in the coming months.

Image Source: Bintang Subsea

ADS Maritime, the Oslo-listed shipping company, has expanded its investment portfolio by acquiring a 10% stake in the 2017-built dive support vessel Southern Star.

The move is in line with the company’s strategy of opportunistic growth within the shipping and offshore industries. ADS will act as the commercial manager and will be primarily responsible for following up on Tasik Subsea’s activities related to the vessel and its bareboat contract with Australia’s Shelf Subsea. This investment follows ADS’s recent entry into the shuttle, VLCC, MR, and subsea segments. ADS made its return last year and has since invested in several tanker segments.

Image Source: VSLJOIN

Lila Global, owned by Anil Sharma, has announced a new deal with Chinese shipping firm COSCO, marking their third agreement this year.

After acquiring two VLCCs, the latest purchase includes two capesize vessels: the CHS Splendor, built in 2006 at IHI Marine in Japan, for $18m and the 2003 Taiwanese-built Huang Shan for just under $15m. This move is a shift from wet to dry for Lila Global, who owns GMS, a top cash buyer for ships heading for demolition.

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.