According to NGO Shipbreaking Platform, in the second quarter of 2018, 169 ships out of 220 which were demolished were sent to South Asian beaches.
During the period, American shipowners top the list with 26 vessels beached in South Asian yards, followed by Greek and UAE owners.
In the end of April, Pakistan re-opened the market to the import of tankers. In two months alone, twenty-two tankers reached the shores of Gadani to be demolished. Industry sources show that low freight rates resulted in the demolition of over 100 tankers in the first half of this year.
Only three ships had a European flag – Greece, Malta and Norway – when they were beached during the quarter.
It is noting that more than half of the ships sold to South Asia this quarter changed flag to the registries of Comoros, Niue, Palau and St. Kitts and Nevis just weeks before reaching the beach.
What's more, the Platform's report showed that between April and June, six workers have lost their lives and seven others have been severely injured when breaking ships in Chittagong, Bangladesh. Another worker was reported dead after an accident at a shipbreaking yard in Alang, India.
2017 was another year of exceptional growth for Asian cruise market, according to the latest report released by Cruise Lines International Association's (CLIA) on Asia Cruise Trends.
Asian sourced cruise passenger numbers hit record high in 2017 of 4.052 million. Asia accounted for about 15 percent of total global ocean passenger volume in 2017.
According to Joel Katz Managing, Director for CLIA Australasia & Asia, after another year of exceptional growth which saw Asia outperform other established markets, it's clear that cruising is continuing to grow in popularity as cruise lines continue to deploy significant capacity in the region, including brand new, large cruise ships purpose-built for Asian consumers.
Joel added that 2018 is expected to deliver another year of growth as Asian travellers increasingly recognize cruising as an easy, relaxing, and great value for money way to travel.
According to the same report, the year of 2018 will see 38 cruise brands deployed, up by 3 in 2017. More ships are also bound for Asian waters in 2018, with 78 ships are set to be deployed in Asia, up from 66 in 2017.
In addition, there is a tendency toward deployment of bigger cruise ships which can hold 3,500 passengers as well as small upscale ships in the region.
Destination markets seeing the most calls are Japan, Mainland China, and Thailand in 2018, with the figures of 2,601, 1,012, and 581 respectively.
Miami-based cruise ship major Carnival Corporation & plc has realized a 26.3 percent cut in CO2 emissions compared with the figure of 2005, surpassing its 2020 target in advance.
By the end of last year, 62 percent of the company's fleet was equipped with exhaust gas cleaning systems, which can reduce sulfur compounds and particulate matter in vessels' engine exhaust. In addition, 43 percent of the fleet had the capability to use shoreside electric power when docked.
According to Bill Burke, chief maritime officer at Carnival Corporation, in order to be a responsible global organization, it needs to have sustainability in all aspects of its operation.
Besides, the compnay has invested in two major environmental intiatives, EGCS and LNG. They provide a balanced approach to fuel usage and clean-air emissions. For example, in 2017, Carnival Corp added the world's second cruise ship powered by LNG while in port.
It is worth noting that this December, AIDAnova will start its maiden voyage as the first fully LNG-powered cruise ship globally. It is capable of running exclusively on LNG both in port and at sea. What's more, six more fully LNG-powered vessels under the company will be put into operation by 2022.
The Women’s International Shipping and Trading Association (WISTA) International has received an approval for consultative status from IMO.
The International Maritime Organization’s governing body, the IMO Council, approved WISTA’s application on July 5, 2018.
“Consultative status gives us the opportunity to promote diversity, inclusion and women’s empowerment, which are our main aims,” Despina Panayiotou Theodosiou, WISTA International President, said.
“We can now formally contribute to the discussion for increasing capacity in our industry, a critical component of which is promoting women in the industry, both shoreside and shipboard. WISTA’s efforts support the overarching principles in IMO’s Strategic Plan, especially the promotion of Gender Equality and the empowerment of women.”
WISTA International has been a voice for female executives in the maritime industry since 1974. Today, WISTA International has more than 3,000 members worldwide representing 44 National WISTA Associations.
The enthusiasm for newbuild orders across most shipping markets has started to wane after over USD 10 billion were committed in the first quarter of 2018, according to a report from VesselsValue.
The total committed to new deliveries is now the lowest since the start of 2016. Ordering trends in the start of the year were highest in the markets that recorded the highest returns. This includes the dry bulk and LNG carrier markets, while interest in the low earnings environment tanker markets was softer.
“In one sense this highlights the short-term view that some investors take of the market. It still appears to be easier to secure financing for ships in a strong market as opposed to those that are suffering in the doldrums.”
VesselsValue explained that rising asking prices from shipyards are partially to blame in the downturn in new orders. Higher steel prices, smaller workforces, and less willingness by yard creditors to accept low margins are contributing to lower buyer interest.
“The slowdown in newbuilds is an encouraging sign that over-ordering may not be a significant issue.”
Some of the market segments have a large outstanding orderbook, but most of these are offset by an equal number of ships on the water which are equal to their recycling value. If orders remain between USD 4 and 8 billion level through rest of the year it should support the asset values of younger ships as well, VesselsValue said.
The headwinds to global trade may give some owners pause in fleet renewal plans, especially in the container and dry bulk markets, however, most shipping markets appear to be at their trough level or improving.
German container shipping line Hapag-Lloyd has lowered its profit forecast for the financial year 2018 amid increasing operational costs.
This in particular relates to fuel related costs and charter rates combined with a slower than expected recovery of freight rates in the first five months of this year, the liner explained.
“These developments cannot be fully offset by cost saving measures that have already been initiated,” the company said announcing the decision of its Executive Board.
Hapag-Lloyd also referred to the uncertainty regarding the development of freight rates in the upcoming peak season as one of the factors for the outlook revision.
The new figures forecast an EBIT in a range between EUR 200-450 million and an EBITDA ranging between EUR 900 million and 1.150 billion.
Hapag-Lloyd managed to shrink its net loss in the first quarter of this year, however, market challenges persist, the company’s CEO Rolf Habben Jansen warned.
The company’s net loss for the period stood at EUR 34.3 million (USD 41 million), almost halved when compared to the last year’s loss of EUR 58.1 million.
Aside from UASC merger, the better financial performance was ascribed to a positive development of the worldwide container transport volume and a slight recovery of freight rates.
Following the mergers with the container activities of CSAV (2014) and UASC (2017) the number of the company’s employees increased by around 70 pct.
In order to streamline its operations, the company is also embarking on a workforce redundancy plan, which is expected to result in the cutting of up to 12 percent of its almost 11,000 land-based workforce.
In addition, 159 full time employees are planned to be laid off in the company’s headquarters in Hamburg by the end of 2019.
Speaking to World Maritime News, a company spokesman said that this number could be somewhat lower, adding that there are some positions in the company yet to be filled.
However, overall, a greater number of people is expected to be affected by the redundancy measures, as there are plans of outsourcing jobs and eliminating certain positions.
South Korea's Hyundai Heavy Industries has cut a third of the executive workforce in its offshore and engineering division, Yonhap said citing the shipbuilder.
The world's biggest shipbuilder is shrinking the workforce as its orders in the sector completely dried up.
The decision was made only weeks after Hyundai Heavy said it decided to temporarily shut down its offshore shipyard.
At the time, the shipbuilding major informed that the facility would run out of work by the end of July, when it finalizes its last order secured in November 2014, and subsequently close its doors in August.
This would be the first time the facility shuts down since the start of operations in 1983.
Yonhap earlier informed that the shipyard closure will leave some 5,600 offshore workers redundant, 2,600 of which are regular employees and 3,000 are supplier workforce.
The shipbuilder established a task force with its labor union in an effort to devise a solution for the redundant workers. HHI informed that the union demands paid leave for workers in rotation, however, the company is considering a number of options.
Shipping confidence held steady in the three months to end-May 2018, according to Moore Stephens' latest Shipping Confidence Survey.
The average confidence level was unchanged at the four-year high of 6.4 out of 10.0 recorded in February 2018. Confidence on the part of owners was also sustained at a four-year high, of 6.6, while managers’ confidence was up from 6.4 to 6.7.
The rating for charterers was up to 6.7 from 5.0 and confidence in the broking sector was up from 6.1 to 6.3. The survey was launched in May 2008 with an overall rating for all respondents of 6.8.
Moore Stephens said that the likelihood of respondents making a major investment or significant development over the next 12 months was down on the previous survey from 5.5 to 5.2 out of a maximum possible score of 10.0.
Confidence was highest among charterers, followed by owners (down from 5.9 to 5.5), managers (down from 5.6 to 5.4) and brokers (down from 4.0 to 3.5).
The number of respondents expecting higher freight rates in both the tanker and container ship sectors was up, from 39% to 50% and from 38% to 43% respectively. In the dry bulk trades, such expectations were unchanged at 54%.
“We first launched the survey in 2008 just months before the Lehman Brothers bankruptcy which was to trigger a protracted global financial recession. Shipping markets were buoyant at the time, with an average confidence level of 6.8 out 10.0.”
“Ten years is a long time in shipping, and the past decade has doubtless felt a lot longer still to those industry participants who have lived through it, even those inured to the peculiar cyclicality of the industry. Confidence may have fluctuated, but it has never collapsed, and portents for the coming decade can reasonably be expected to be better,” Moore Stephens concluded.
European Transport Workers Federation (ETF) and the European Community Shipowners’ Associations (ECSA) have discussed possible solutions to increase women’s participation in the shipping industry in Europe.
Currently only 2% of the seafaring workforce available for the EU fleet consist of women, whilst gender equality is being put at the heart of the EU’s fundamental values for sustainable and inclusive growth.
Discussions focused on maritime training and career development for women, as well as the recruitment and retention of women in the shipping industry.
Alongside representatives of both the ETF and the ECSA, participants came from a wide range of stakeholders such as the European Commission, the European Economic and Social Council, the UK Merchant Navy Training Board, national administrations from France and the UK, researchers from the Paris Descartes University, and the Community of European Railway and Infrastructure Companies (CER), who were there to share good practices from other sectors.
“If we want strong, prosperous and socially sustainable maritime clusters in Europe, gender diversity should be a leading principle as a means to attract and retain new talent in the shipping industry,” Said Martin Dorsman, Secretary General of the ECSA, said.
ECSA said that the meeting has proven that social partners “are willing to work together on this issue and have taken a first step towards finding concrete proposals for joint action.”
French container shipping giant CMA CGM has decided to acquire Containerships, a Finland-based company specialized in the intra-European market.
As informed, CMA CGM has signed an agreement with Container Finance pursuant to which the container shipping and logistics business Containerships and Container Finance’s holdings in Multi-Link Terminals and CD Holding will become part of the CMA CGM Group.
The agreement remains subject to approval by the relevant authorities and the estimated closing is between 3-6 months, according to Containerships.
Upon closing of the transaction, Container Finance’s entire container logistics operations will integrate CMA CGM intra-regional market offering in Europe and Mediterranean area.
CMA CGM Group is already present on the intra-regional market through its subsidiaries: CNC in Intra Asia, Mercosul in Brazil, Sofrana in the Pacific Islands regional maritime trade, and MacAndrews in Europe.
“The acquisition of Containerships will strengthen even more the development strategy implemented by Rodolphe Saadé, CMA CGM Group’s Chairman and CEO, aimed at densifying the group’s regional network,” CMA CGM said in a statement.
Founded in 1966, Containerships is an intra-European Shortsea specialist with a presence in the Baltic market, Russia, Northern Europe, North Africa and Turkey. With a workforce of 560 people, Containerships offers a complete range of services, as well as logistics solutions by ship, truck, rail and barges.
Commenting on the recently signed agreement, Containerships said it“continues to execute its LNG strategy as planned and will launch four LNG-fuelled vessels between August 2018 and January 2019.”