CSSC-affiliated Guangzhou Wenchong Shipyard has signed a letter of intent with German shipowner Nordic Hamburg for the construction of four 1,400teu dual-fuel container vessels with options to order two more.
Nordic Hamburg ordered the six vessels at Yangzhou Guoyu Shipbuilding in 2014 and planned to charter the vessels to Finnish company Containerships. Nordic Hamburg and Containerships cancelled the orders at Guoyu Shipbuilding in May due to the poor financial situation at the yard.
Canadian ferry operator BC Ferries held a christening ceremony for its second and third Salish-Class vessels, the Salish Eagle and Salish Raven, at Remontowa Shipbuilding S.A. in Gdansk, Poland on June 2.
"This ceremony marks a major milestone in the construction of our three new Salish-Class vessels as they each take another step closer to entering our fleet," Mike Corrigan, BC Ferries' President and CEO said.
The 107-meter ferries are capable of carrying 145 vehicles and up to 600 passengers and crew. There are two car decks and each ferry has a speed of 15.5 knots.
The Salish-Class vessels are fuelled by natural gas, what will result in the reduction of an estimated 9,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent per year as well as in the reduction of costs, according to the company.
The first vessel, the Salish Orca was christened in November 2015. It is planned to arrive in B.C. by the end of this year, sailing on the Comox – Powell River route.
The Salish Eagle is expected to arrive early in 2017 and the Salish Raven in the spring of 2017. The two vessels are to provide service to the Southern Gulf of Islands.
All three vessels are planned to be in operation in the summer of 2017, according to the company.
Major shipbuilding nations will be put to the test during 2016, as the shipbuilding industry enters one of the toughest years in recent history, according to IHS Maritime & Trade.
Competition between shipbuilding nations is expected to intensify as a consequence of diversification in other sectors.
Chinese yards seem to be destined to enter the technically complex areas of cruise vessels and liquefied natural gas (LNG) tankers, while some of the recent Japanese yards' orders for container ships and tankers are expected to add to the build-up in competition.
Huge demand for shipping and commodities in the period after China's accession to the World Trade Organization (WTO) that drove demand for cargo space appears to have come to an end, said Dalibor Gogic, principal analyst at IHS Maritime & Trade.
The tanker sector saw only a few ships booked in different sub-segments; for crude oil tankers, this is still in the single digits. A glut of orders in 2015, a lack of available finance, and a risk adverse mindset among shipowners appear to be affecting the orderbook numbers for this year. As in other trades, the numbers seem to coincide with the introduction of the IMO's Tier III emission standards regulation in January. Product tankers follow a similar pattern with only 16 ordered in the Handysize segment and about 9 ordered in the MR (medium range) sector.
Dry bulk seems to be suffering badly as a result of the current prices. With the exception of 30 VLOCs booked this year, activity was unsurprisingly minimal. When taking into account the number of dry bulkers booked in the first five months of this year, this number is actually worse than in 2009 and 2012, Gogic said.
Another suffering vessel fleet sector at the moment is container ships. Like the dry bulk fleet, orders are at a record low and it remains to be seen if current market conditions will impede bookings for the rest of the year.
Specialized sectors, such as the LPG and LNG sector, have received a lot of attention from investors in the past few years. However, the combination of the large number of deliveries in recent years, delays in some projects, and low crude oil prices, which are typically used as a benchmark for LNG prices, has pushed freight returns for the spot market lower recently. So far this year, there were no orders for LNG ships, while only a few LPG vessels were ordered in the VLGC and small sizes this year.
Other specialised fleets, such as cruise vessels, are generating a lot of interest in new markets in Asia. Contrary to the large commodities fleets, this sector is seeing much stronger demand. Another sector that seems to be doing very well is ro-ro cargo vessels, with demand largely driven by fleet renewals.
While the tanker fleet outlook remains cautiously optimistic on demand for cargo space and future freight rates, the freight rates are expected to soften towards the second part of the year as more ships are expected to hit the waves, particularly in the crude oil tanker segment. Demand for both crude oil and products is expected to remain healthy.
The dry bulk fleet is expected to have very low number of orders this year, while the container fleet could face a very low ordering activity throughout this year as overcapacity threatens the very survival of shipping lines.
Tokyo-headquartered shipbuilder Japan Marine United Corporation (JMU) has increased its orderbook as it received a contract to build a 10,000 gross ton RoRo vessel, showed data provided by VesselsValue.
Under the contract, signed with an undisclosed buyer on May 27, the new 6,200dwt ship is expected to join its owner's fleet in 2018.
Featuring a length of 153 meters and a width of 30 meters, the new RoRo will fly the Japanese flag.
Separately, the shipbuilder said it had just delivered a 182,000dwt energy-saving Capesize bulk carrier to the Norwegian dry bulk shipping company Golden Ocean Group.
With a length of 292 meters and a width of 45 meters, the new bulker Golden Fulham is currently on its way from Japan to Singapore, where it is expected to arrive on July 12, Marine Traffic's AIS data shows.
Just last week Japan Marine United received an order for two 84,000cbm Very Large Gas Carriers (VLGCs) from Japanese shipping company NYK Line. The vessels, which are scheduled for delivery in January 2019, are priced at US$75m each.
Besides the latest RoRo deal, JMU's orderbook currently stands at 22 ships, including Capesizes, Panamax bulkers, Suezmax tankers, VLGCs and LNG carriers, according to data from VesselsValue.
Japanese shipping company NYK Line has ordered two Very Large Gas Carriers (VLGCs) for transportation of liquefied petroleum gas from its compatriot Japan Marine United Corporation (JMU).
The two 84,000cbm vessels are slated for delivery in January 2019 and are priced at US$75m each, showed data provided by VesselsValue.
NYK Line already has one 165,000cbm LNG carrier on order at JMU to be delivered in August 2017.
The latest order brings JMU's orderbook to 12 ships, including three capesizes, 2 Panamax bulkers, one suezmax tanker, two VLGCs and four LNG carriers.
Hong Kong-based Seaspan Corporation has recently received a 14,000teu container vessel, the YM Width.
Constructed at CSBC Corporation in Taiwan, the new containership is Seaspan's eighth 14,000teu SAVER design containership and fourth delivery in 2016.
The YM Width will commence a ten-year, fixed-rate time charter with Yang Ming Marine Transport that can be extended for up to additional two years.
The ship is the eighth of a total of nine boxships from the same series to be chartered by Seaspan to Yang Ming.
Norwegian RoRo shipping company Höegh Autoliners has named the fourth vessel in its New Horizon class series, Höegh Trapper, at a christening ceremony at Xiamen Shipbuilding Industries in China.
Höegh Trapper is the fourth in a series of six Post-Panamax vessels under the said design that Höegh Autoliners will take delivery of within this year.
With its deck space of 71,400 square meters and carrying capacity of 8,500 car equivalent units, the vessel is one of the world's largest Pure Car and Truck Carriers (PCTC), according to Höegh.
Featuring a length of 199.9 meters and a width of 36.5 meters, the 20,766dwt vessel has a gross tonnage of 77,000 Mt.
Höegh Trapper will begin its maiden voyage from East Asia to Europe in June, and will thereafter sail from Europe back to East Asia via Africa and Oceania.
Sinotrans&CSC Jinling Shipyard under China's state-owned enterprise Sinotrans&CSC Holdings Co., Ltd. launched a 49,500dwt bulk carrier being built for compatriot shipowner Ningbo Marine Company Limited on May 26, according to the yard's website.
The newbuilding is the first one of a series of three the shipowner contracted the yard to construct.
The vessel measures 199.99m in length overall, 32.26m in breadth moulded, and 16.40m in depth moulded. It is being built in accordance with the standards required by CCS.
The bulker is expected to be delivered this October.
Tokyo-based Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha, Ltd. (K Line) has expanded its coal carrier fleet with the latest addition of an 88,000 dwt-type special coal carrier Corona Victory on May 24.
Featuring a length of 230 meters and a width of 38 meters, Corona Victory was handed over at the Japanese Marugame Shipyard, a part of Imabari Shipbuilding Co., Ltd.
At 49,721 gross tons, the vessel belongs to the company's Corona-series fleet for transport of thermal coal.
The Corona-series, which now consists of 19 carriers, is equipped with wide beam and shallow draft.
In April, K Line said that it closed the fiscal year in the red with JPY51.1bn (US$457m) net loss, while the company's operating revenues for the period were at JPY1.2tn, as a result of severe market conditions.
What's more, K Line's operating income was at JPY9.427bn, down 80.4% year-on-year.
The company said that the losses were also attributed to business structural reform aimed at reducing the risk of exposure to market conditions and further accelerating the reduction of fleet scale, focused on small- and medium-size vessels, in the dry bulk business.
Shipyards in Europe received in the first quarter of 2016 more orders than their competitors in Asia, German Shipbuilders and Ocean Industries Association Verband für Schiffbau und Meerestechnik (VSM) reports.
Namely, out of US$6.5bn worth orders on a global scale placed in the first quarter of this year, European shipyards won orders worth US$3.7bn, more than 50 percent, with the majority orders booked by the cruise ship construction sector in Europe.
Yards in Germany have experienced a major boost, with Meyer Werft winning an order from Saga Cruises and Disney Cruise Line for up to four ships in total. Italian shipbuilding major Fincantieri also kept itself busy working on deliveries of four new ships to Carnival and receiving orders for four new cruise ships, to be built for Costa Asia for deployment in China, and one for P&O Cruises Australia and Princess Cruises respectively. In addition, at the end of March, Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings placed an order to construct a sister ship to Seven Seas Explorer for its Regent Seven Seas Cruises with Fincantieri.
The ordering streak continues into the second quarter as well. Earlier this month, Malaysian Genting Group ordered ten cruise ships from three German shipyards – Wismar, Warnemünde und Stralsund. The contracts' value amounts to EUR3.5bn (US$3.93bn).
According to Reinhard Lüken, VSM's CEO, this is the first time the turnaround in newbuilding orders has happened in a long time.
The situation in the shipbuilding market has drastically changed when compared to 2015. Specifically, South Korea, the world's top shipbuilding nation won 30 percent of US$80bn worth newbuilding orders in the previous year. However, the slowdown in the global maritime industry has prompted owners to abstain from new orders as they work to cut costs. As a result, in the first quarter of 2016, Korea won only six percent of total orders.
The nation's Big Three shipbuilders Hyundai Heavy Industries, Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering and Samsung Heavy Industries have booked losses of up to US$6.7bn.
Due to the heavy losses, the three yards have launched massive restructuring programs which include layoffs and asset sale aimed at bolstering their liquidity as they struggle to secure more orders.