Maritime News Update Week 45/2019

 Marseille Port Completes Blockchain Trial

The Port of Marseille Fos (Grand Port Maritime de Marseille; GPMM) has just completed a blockchain pilot scheme to enhanced efficiencies at France’s largest seaport.

The focus of the project for freight transportation on the  Mediterranean-Rhone-Saone (MeRS) corridor is to run a trial to evaluate the security of the digital transport chain. It will involve applying blockchain technology to supply chain logistics and freight forwarding, particularly where goods are transported in multiple ways such as sea and road.

Results from trials held over recent months have now been reviewed at a meeting hosted by the port and demonstrated that harmonization of the digital transport chain improved fluidity, reliability and competitiveness of pre- and post-forwarding on the crucial hinterland axis.

Focused on export processes between Lyon and Marseille Fos, the pilot was carried out by cargo tracking specialist Marseille Gyptis International (MGI); BuyCo, which provides shippers with a collaborative platform simplifying container imports and exports; and Blockchain solutions company KeeeX.

Using the KeeeX Stories solution, the tests were supported by various manufacturing companies together with their road and river transport suppliers.

The Blockchain solution allows users to share access to protected data ranging from customs documentation to cargo tracking including the loading/discharge, weight and origin/destination of containers.

The project is being overseen by an inter-ministry MeRS development body as a key part of national port strategy and the French Smart Port in Med initiative.

Alongside Marseille Fos, the pilot was financed by La Banque des Territoires – an arm of public sector investment institution Caisse des Depots – and waterways bodies Voies Navigables de France and La Compagnie Nationale du Rhone.

Navis Solution On Evergreen Newbuilds

Navis, the provider of maritime software solutions for cargo and vessel performance and compliance,  announced that its MACS3 loading computer will be installed on two newbuilding series of container vessels owned and operated by Taiwan-based Evergreen Marine Corporation.

Navis, a part of Cargotec Corporation, said that due to the owner’s decision to have this loading computer installed, they are moving to support safer and more effective onboard cargo handling.

The newbuildings are currently being built at two different Chinese shipyards. The Jiangnan shipyard is currently building four container ships with a capacity of 2,500 TEU, which will be delivered between February and November 2020.

Two other 1,800 TEU fully containerized vessels are being built at Jiangsu New Yangzijiang shipyard and are planned to be commissioned in March and May 2021 by Evergreen, currently operating a fleet of around 200 owned and chartered-in vessels. All vessels will sail under Japanese classification society Class NK.

According to the company, as the industry standard loading computers for container vessels, MACS3 provides an advantage for cargo securing rules. MACS3 incorporates the most comprehensive set of updated lashing regulations of all major classes that provides vessel operators a greater flexibility for planning the vessel’s utilization while being compliant in terms of safety.

“Ensuring the availability of most accurate lashing force data is an important step towards our goal to optimize the vessel utilization,” said Capt. Hwang, Deputy Senior Vice President at Evergreen.

“Our software engineers collaborated closely with the classification societies in order to secure the implementation of all rules providing by different systems into MACS3, while maintaining the performance of the loading instrument,” said Ajay Bharadwaj, Head of Product Management for Navis Carrier and Vessel Solutions. “We will work to ensure that all of our customers reap the benefits of applying the updated lash rules from MACS3.”

Navis also recently launched MACS3 API Services, offering lash rules calculations in the cloud. For the first time, ocean carriers, terminal operators and other key stakeholders in the shipping industry can directly access ship-specific loading calculation results for lashing and integrate them into the workflow of stowage planners.

China’s weekly export container shipping index rises

China’s index of export container transport rose in the past week, according to the Shanghai Shipping Exchange.

The average China Containerized Freight Index (CCFI) stood at 777.36, up 0.1 percent from a week earlier, according to the exchange.

The sub-index for the Persian Gulf/Red Sea service led the increase with a week-on-week growth of 10.8 percent, followed by the Australia/New Zealand service, which rose 4.9 percent from last week.

The sub-index for the Korea service led the decline with a 3-percent slip from the previous week. The sub-readings for the Mediterranean and E/C America routes fell 2.6 percent and 1.6 percent, respectively.

The CCFI tracks spot and contractual freight rates from Chinese container ports for 14 shipping routes across the globe, based on data from 22 international carriers.

Container shipping volume slips in Q3, average freight rates decline: Maersk

The third quarter of 2019 saw growth in the global container volumes slip to 1.5% while freight rates declined an average of 3.6% according to AP Moller – Maersk in its Q3 earnings statement.

The Danish shipping company said that in the third quarter global container volume growth softened to around 1.5%. “The slowdown is in line with our revised expected full year growth of 1-2% in 2019 and reflects the broad- based weakening of the economic environment in all the main economies. Negative effects from escalating trade restrictions also weighed on trade growth,” Maersk said.

In particular US container imports fell 0.5% in the quarter, with imports from Asia dropping by 0.9%, which it said reflected the US – China trade restrictions.

On supply side the growth in the container shipping fleet capacity outstripped demand with a 3.9% in increase in Q3 to 23.1m teu.

AP Moller – Maersk ceo Soren Skou commented: “While the global container demand, as expected, was lower in Q3 due to weaker growth in the global economy, AP Moller – Maersk continued to improve the operating results.”

In terms of freight rates the China Composite Freight Index (CCFI) showed that rates were 1.7% lower in Q3 2019 than the same period a year earlier. The drop was particularly steep on the Asia – North Europe trade where rates declined 9% in the quarter.

Despite the lower trade growth and declining freight rates Maersk reported an underlying profit of $452m for Q3 2019 compared to $234m in the same period a year earlier, with revenues of $10.05bn for the quarter.

Singapore Welcomes Its Largest Containership to Date

The 23,656 TEU MSC Isabella made its maiden call at the Port of Singapore on November 10, 2019, becoming the largest containership to visit this port to date.

The ultra large container vessel (ULCV) is one of the eleven new ships from Mediterranean Shipping Company’s (MSC) Gülsün-class of boxships. The Gülsün-Class is currently the world’s larges series of containerships.

Featuring a length of 400 meters and a width of 61 meters, the newbuild can carry up to 24 rows of containers, with a height of 13 tiers on deck. Its length exceeds that of the Eiffel Tower and it can transport the equivalent of about 384 million pairs of shoes.

Aside from its capacity, the vessel is also equipped to carry more than 2,000 refrigerated containers.

PSA Singapore’s container terminal is MSC Isabella’s first port-of-call in Asia after sailing back from Europe. Delivered to MSC by South Korean shipbuilder Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering (DSME) in August 2019, the vessel started sailing from the Qingdao port on August 28 and has now completed its first round-trip between Asia and Europe.

“Our biggest and most energy efficient ships are being deployed on the Asia-Europe trade, which demonstrates our continued commitment to this largest and busiest trade corridor. We are delighted to welcome the first port call in Singapore by MSC Isabella from our largest Gülsün-Class of ships,” YJ Tan, Regional Managing Director for MSC Asia Regional Office in Singapore, commented.

Deployed on MSC’s Swan service, the vessel will next call at the Port of Hong Kong after leaving Singapore.

MSC Isabella belongs to the series of the most energy-efficient ships in MSC’s fleet of container vessels, with the lowest carbon footprint per container carried by design. A combination of the latest green technologies and greater economies of scale have helped reduce energy requirements over time, according to MSC. Some of the features include the optimized shape of the ship’s bulbous bow and rudder bulb lower resistance while sailing, further enhancing energy efficiency.

What is more, MSC Isabella is fitted with an IMO-approved hybrid exhaust gas cleaning system and has the option of switching to low-sulphur fuel or to be adapted for LNG use in the future, complying with the upcoming IMO sulphur cap 2020.

China aims to strengthen port development

China’s national government departments and the state-owned enterprise issued the guidelines for strengthening the high-quality development of China’s ports in the coming years.

The central authorities, including Ministry of Transport, National Development and Reform Commission, Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Natural Resources, Ministry of Ecology and Environment, Ministry of Emergency Management, General Administration of Customs, State Administration for Market Regulation and China State Railway Group, jointly released the guidelines to promote and develop world-class ports in China.

According to the guidelines, China aims to achieve significant progress on green, smart and safe port development by 2025, develop the major ports with world leading levels by 2035, and to form several world-class port clusters by 2050.

The guidelines listed six major task sectors for port development, including improving comprehensive port service capacity, accelerating green port construction, speeding up intelligent port development, promoting opening up and integration port development, strengthening safe port construction and improving modernization of port management system.

The guidelines urged local governments and related sectors to strengthen the implement of the development items, provide policy supports and optimize business environment.

(Source: World maritime news; Seatrade maritime; American Shipper)