Maritime Safety News Archives - Page 3 of 66 - SHIP IP LTD

Fire erupted in cargo compartment of ro-ro cargo ship KING MARINE 1, berthed at Sudan port, in the afternoon Jun 13. It took firefighters some 5 hours to take fire under control, she was taken out to port’s outer anchorage and anchored at night Jun 13. Reportedly, the ship was destroyed by fire, but probably, it’s an exaggeration, her AIS was on while she was taken out of port and anchored. No AIS during last 11 hours, as of 0630 UTC Jun 14. The ship arrived from Qatar on Jun 1 with cargoes of cars and understood, cattle feed. Reportedly, feed caught the fire.

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movable floating wind turbines
The concept is floating wind turbines for harsh locations that are rented for short-term needs (Odfjell Oceanwind)



A Norwegian start-up company launched as a partnership with Odfjell Drilling last year focusing on floating wind turbines for harsh environments, is furthering its novel concept for mobile installations through a newly signed agreement with Siemens Gamesa and Siemens Energy. Odfjell Oceanwind plans to use the companies’ technologies in the development of its concept for Mobile Offshore Wind Units (MOWUs).

According to Odfjell Oceanwind it is developing a solution ideal suited to micro networks that have short-term or needs for electricity for a fixed period of time. Its Mobile Offshore Wind Units are floating wind turbines that can move from location to location as and when there is a need for renewable power. The company says the installations are ideally suited to provide power to oil and gas fields that require power for a limited period.

The Norwegian oil and gas industry has announced targets to cut its carbon emissions by 50 percent before 2030, but to do this the industry needs to find a source of renewable energy for its offshore fields. Odfjell Oceanwind explains that it is difficult to provide power from shore for the oil fields far out in the North Sea for example while using carbon capture technology is both expensive to install and requires space typically not available on an oil platform. Using power from offshore wind farms is possible but Norway’ timeline for the development of those facilities means that a significant power supply would not be available to the oil industry to meet its 2030 ambitions.

Odfjell Oceanwind’s concept is to develop floating offshore wind turbines that can be moved to the oil fields and would be rented to the operators of the rigs for the life of the field.

“We are really excited to enter into this cooperation,” says newly-appointed CEO of Odfjell Oceanwind, Per Lund. “Odfjell Oceanwind is on a fast-track development to build a rental fleet of floating mobile wind units with a potential to contribute to the oil and gas industry’s emission reduction targets faster than any other available technology. The cooperation with both Siemens Gamesa and Siemens Energy gives us access to world-leading and proven solutions for wind turbines, energy storage, as well as solutions for power and integration to the host platforms. This is vital for us to minimize time to market, and being able to scale quickly.”

The intention of the new MoU is for the three companies to jointly develop MOWUs. Odfjell Oceanwind is developing its WindGrid hybrid for micro-grids which will be integrated with Siemens Energy’s BlueVault energy storage solution, which includes batteries, AC PowerGrids, transformers, switchboards and power control system. Odfjell Oceanwind’s harsh environment semisubmersible MOWUs are intended to use Siemens Gamesa SG 14-222 DD or SG 11.0-200 DD offshore wind turbines, featuring either 14 MW or 11 MW capacities. The MoU is of non-binding nature.

The goal is to have the first MOWU units producing renewable power from 2024.



Seattle container port expansion modernization
Four of the tallest cranes arrive for Seattle’s T5 modernization (Port of Seattle)



Efforts are underway to expand port capacity where possible in response to the continuing surge in import volumes all along the West Coast of the United States. It is also creating new opportunities for regional ports to increase their competitive position as carriers look for alternatives to avoid the congestion and bottlenecks which have challenged their ability to maintain schedules.

This week the Northwest Seaport Alliance (NWSA) which operates the Port of Seattle along with SSA Marine that operates Terminal 5 in the port took a key step forward with their long-term plan for port expansion. Four of the tallest cranes on the West Coast arrived in Seattle harbor as part of the Terminal 5 modernization project.

“We believe the Northwest Seaport Alliance and Terminal 5, have a very strong future ahead,” said Ed DeNike, President of SSA Terminals. “The purchase of these new cranes underscores our commitment to the market and our customers. We know larger ships carrying increased volumes are coming. We want to be out in front of that curve and are preparing our terminal to service our customers’ needs.”



The four ZPMC Super-Post Panamax Cranes were built in China and were shipped to the port aboard a heavy lift vessel from Shanghai. Standing 316 feet in height with a 240-foot outreach boom, each crane can lift 100 tons of cargo providing increased capacity for the port.

“The arrival of the T-5 cranes into Elliot Bay demonstrates our collaborative commitment to invest in the critical infrastructure needed to secure the future of living wage maritime jobs in Seattle,” stated Port of Seattle Commission President and NWSA Co-Chair, Fred Felleman. “Reopening T-5 will not only enable us to reduce the truck traffic congestion serving T-18, but with the new cranes able to serve larger vessels, more cargo can be moved on fewer ships. Furthermore, air, noise and climate impacts will be reduced by enabling ships to use shore power rather than running their generators while at berth – benefiting our killer whales and communities alike.”

The new Terminal 5 cranes will begin moving cargo at the beginning of 2022, when phase one of the two-phase construction project is complete. In 2014, the port began planning the expansion and modernization of Terminal 5, which at the time could only handle ships with a maximum capacity of 6,000 TEU. Five years after operations were suspend at the terminal, work finally began in July 2019 on the modernization project.

At completion, Terminal 5 will feature 185-acres of additional capacity and on-dock rail to handle discretionary cargo and shorepower. According to port officials, beyond import cargo, Terminal 5 will also increase opportunities for exporters from the mid-west and eastern Washington to move their goods to market. The new terminal will be able to accommodate the largest vessels in the Transpacific trade.

The NWSA is the fourth-largest international seaport in the United States. In 2019, the seaport handled more than 3.3 million TEUs, which was down 12 percent versus 2019. The port, however, has experienced a strong rebound in 2021, with volumes up more than 18 percent in the first five months of the year to over 1.5 million TEU.



oily sheen
Smithsonian file image



Spanish authorities have diverted and detained a tanker for discharging petroleum on the high seas about 150 miles off Las Palmas, and its operator may be facing a record-setting fine.

On Monday, Spain’s Ministry of Transport, Mobility and Urban Agenda (Mitma) announced that its General Directorate of the Merchant Marine (DGMM) had ordered the master of the tanker Aldan – which was under way in the Mediterranean, bound for Piraeus – to divert to Almeria. A Spanish naval vessel escorted the tanker into port in order to “supervise compliance with the order at all times.”

10 days earlier, a satellite operated by the European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA) observed the Aldan allegedly carrying out an illegal discharge of hydrocarbons at a position about 150 miles to the northwest of La Palma – within Spain’s EEZ. According to the ministry, the spill contaminated about 20 square miles of the sea.

The Maritime Captaincy of Almería has opened an investigation into the vessel’s activities and is holding the ship in detention pending the deposit of a bond. Given the size of the pollution event, the agency said that the operator could face “one of the highest sanctions imposed so far by the General Directorate of the Merchant Marine.”

Upon the vessel’s arrival in Almería, port state control inspectors recorded issues with her sewage plant, radio log, charts, compass, emergency generator, EPIRB, SART, railings, liferafts, drills and ISM code compliance, giving additional grounds for detention.

The 2003-built Aldan is owned and operated by a single-vessel company in the UAE, Muhit Maritime, which took possession of the ship in December. Aldan has no prior history of detentions.

Discharging untreated oily waste is an unlawful cost-saving practice, and it has been banned since MARPOL entered into force in 1983. However, it still occurs on a regular basis, particularly in certain regions. Indian government researchers have suggested that intentional discharges from tankers are so common in the Arabian Sea that they are a source of chronic tarball pollution on the shores of Goa.



Dominika Werdecka-Latarska, Poland, painting inspector (file image courtesy IMO)



The World Maritime University’s (WMU) research and capacity-building program on Empowering Women for the UN Decade of Ocean Science (Empowering Women Programme) has been endorsed as a “Decade Action” by the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (IOC-UNESCO).

The program will enhance capacity to explore and promote women’s empowerment and gender equality in the conduct of ocean science and in science-dependent governance systems. Research findings will identify key barriers and good practice contributing to a proposed strategy and action plan to help deliver equal opportunities for full participation and leadership by women at all levels of ocean science under the Ocean Decade.

WMU’s Empowering Women Programme is generously sponsored by Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO), with additional support from The Nippon Foundation, and is delivered through a multidisciplinary team at the WMU-Sasakawa Global Ocean Institute.

“The Ocean Decade provides a golden opportunity to achieve gender equality in ocean science. I firmly believe that through a range of initiatives, the Empowering Women Programme, delivered by the WMU-Sasakawa Global Ocean Institute, will enhance the capacity to explore and promote women’s empowerment and gender equality in the conduct of ocean science, as well as in science-dependent governance systems,” said Dr. Cleopatra Doumbia-Henry, President of WMU. “We could not be more pleased that the importance of this Programme has been duly recognized by IOC-UNESCO.”

The Ocean Decade promotes “the science we need for the ocean we want” by strengthening international scientific cooperation. It also contributes to UN processes protecting the ocean and its resources, such as the SAMOA Pathway, the United Nations Convention for the Law of the Sea, the Convention on Biological Diversity and the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction.



ever given
File image courtesy SCA



Ever Given cargo owners sweat over merchandise release as Egyptian court hears compensation suit

The owners of Ever Given’s cargo expect to know the fate of the release of their merchandise this coming Sunday when Egyptian courts meet to review a compensation case filed by Suez Canal Authority (SCA).

On May 29, the Ismailia First Instance Economic Court adjourned the case to allow the SCA and shipowner Shoei Kisen Kaisha to negotiate an agreement on compensation for the boxship’s blockage of the Suez Canal in March.

With the parties failing to reach an agreement, the case will be back in court on June 20 with cargo owners hoping for a determination that will allow the release of the 18,300 cargo containers, some of which are said to contain perishable goods.

Dixons Carphone, IKEA and Lenovo are among companies and retailers that are counting losses as goods worth $780 million remain stuck in Egypt indefinitely. The owners will have to pay a general average bond to get their goods back, but those goods cannot be delivered until the ship is released or another solution is found.

The Ever Given and her cargo have been held in the Great Bitter Lake area of the canal after the courts gave SCA authority to detain the mega ship, which caused an unprecedented snarl-up after it ran aground and blocked vessel traffic for six days.

The UK Club, the protection and indemnity insurer of Ever Given, announced that serious and constructive negotiations are ongoing and that the involved parties hope for a resolution in the near future.

The UK Club said the owners of the Ever Given have also filed limitation proceedings in the High Court of London, with hearings due to take place in the near future. “For the avoidance of doubt, these proceedings do not involve the SCA,” it said.

The determination of the Economic Court on Sunday is eagerly awaited because it could unlock the compensation impasse and facilitate the release of Ever Given’s cargo.

SCA is demanding $550 million in compensation, a 40 percent reduction from its previous push for $916 million. The authority had said that it will accept $200 million in advance to allow the vessel to leave, and the remaining $350 million can be paid later with letters of guarantee.

Ever Given’s owners and insurers have disputed SCA’s damage claim, describing it as “largely unsupported” and accused the SCA of not providing a detailed justification for the extraordinarily large value.

The Panama-flagged Ever Given is owned by Panama-based Luster Maritime, a subsidiary of Japanese Shoei Kisen Kaisha. She is chartered to Taiwanese carrier Evergreen, with ship management by Japanese firm Higaki Sangyo Kaisha and technical management by the Hong Kong division of BSM.

As the shipowner, Shoei Kisen Kaisha is widely expected to bear the brunt of damage claims from shippers and shipping interests.



first LNG FSRU arrives in Africa for powership project
LNG FSRU will be used to fuel a powership in Senegal (MOL)



The first LNG Floating Storage and Regasification Unit (FSRU), that is to be used by KARMOL as part of a power installation in Africa, arrived in Senegal as it prepares to deploy. After arriving in Africa at the end of May, it is being positioned at its mooring location and undergoing the commissioning process to join an existing powership in the port of Dakar.

Known as the Karmol LNGT Powership, the 105,000 gross ton tanker, that was built in 1994, recently completed trials after a conversion at the Sembcorp Marine in Singapore. The vessel is being operated a KARMOL, a joint venture between Karpowership and Japan’s Mitsui OSK Lines (MOL).

KARMOL sees the combination of FSRUs and Powerships as a ground-breaking solution to bring LNG utilized power generation to countries with no natural gas infrastructure or supply. The company believes that will provide a unique, cleaner solution to providing stable electric power to a broader range of developing countries seeking to expand their electric supply.


The tow commenced in Singapore in April and arrived in Africa at the end of May (MOL)


The FSRU will connect to a Powership, a floating power plant, owned by Karpowership, through gas pipelines. The Karadeniz Powership Aysegül Sultan, has a capacity of 235MW, and has been in operation since October 2019, supplying 15 percent of Senegal’s electricity with 220MW of power to Senegal’s grid. Previously the powership was fueled by traditional fossil fuels, which will now be replaced by the cleaner burning LNG.

The FSRU, which is 272 meters long, has a capacity of 125, 470 cubic meters of gas. The FSRU arrived in Senegal with an initial supply of LNG on board and the first refueling will be carried out by Shell in July.

The company plans to convert its fleet of Powerships to LNG to add a sustainable and affordable component to its operations. Currently, plans are underway to deploy the second LNG FSRU in Mozambique.



Japan’s Mitsubishi HC Capital (MHC) has snapped up San Francisco-based container leasing company CAI International in a $1.1bn deal.

The deal comprises of $104m of preferred stock and $986m of common stock equity value, and has an enterprise value of $2.9bn, the New York-listed CAI International said.

MHC has offered $56 per share in cash, marking a 46.8% premium over CAI International’s last closing price on June 17. The transaction has been unanimously approved and is currently expected to close in late Q3 or early Q4 of 2021.

After the closing of the transaction, MHC expects to retain CAI’s existing management team and employees. CAI’s shares will no longer be listed on the New York Stock Exchange and its headquarters will remain in San Francisco, said the newly-promoted CEO and president, Timothy Page.

In 2014, Mitsubishi UFJ Lease entered into the container leasing market with the acquisition of Beacon Intermodal Leasing (BIL) and, since then, it has been looking to expand its presence in the field. In September last year, the company reached an agreement with its smaller rival, Hitachi Capital, to create MHC.


Mitsubishi HC Capital takes over container leasing company CAI International

The ebb and flow of record global liner congestion is neatly encapsulated in two maps provided below from Seaexplorer, a container shipping platform created by logistics giant Kuehne+Nagel.

As of 3.30 pm Singapore time today (see top map) there were 304 ships idle in front of ports around the world waiting for berth space to open up. Seaexplorer data shows there are 101 ports reporting disruption such as congestion. Officials at the Kuehne+Nagel digital offshoot report the number of ships forming queues hit 350 in the middle of this week before falling back to 304, the same level as this time last week (see lower map). Red dots in the enlargeable maps represent clusters of ships while orange ones mark out ports that are congested or suffering from disrupted operations.

The clear change over the past week is how the congestion, so visible in recent weeks in south China, a key export area hit by a Covid-19 outbreak, is now spreading to other important hubs. Singapore, for instance, has seen the number of boxships waiting for berth space increase by 37.5% over the past week, while intra-Asia hubs such as Laem Chabang are now reporting tailbacks and in the US, east coast ports are suffering all manner of disruptions.

While last week, boxships queueing in Chinese waters made up more than 50% of the global total, this has dropped today to less than 40% indicating the growing global congestion contagion.

Terminals are becoming global bottlenecks, be it at berths, yards or gating out cargo


Maersk, the world’s largest containerline, in a post from earlier this week discussed the stretched nature of global supply chains, something it warned was now the new normal.

“The trend is worrying, and unceasing congestion is becoming a global problem. Due to Covid-19 and a significant volume push since the end of last year, terminals are becoming global bottlenecks, be it at berths, yards or gating out cargo, and it’s continuing throughout the logistics chain – in the warehouses, the distribution centres – with numbers on the rise,” Maersk stated.

Splash reported yesterday how the partial shutdown of Yantian Port following a Covid-19 outbreak late last month is now on track to affect twice as many containers as were impacted during March’s high profile blockage of the Suez Canal.

Blank sailing data tracked at major Shenzhen ports, including Yantian, by box tracking service project44 has shot up.

Over the period of June 1 to June 15, 298 container vessels with a combined total capacity of more than 3m teu skipped Shenzhen, a 300% increase in blank sailings in one month. Though the total capacity was not meant for Yantian, the volume of loaded export containers that were left behind has caused a severe backlog.

Dwell times at Yantian also paint a grim picture. Over the last two weeks, the seven-day average of median dwell times on export containers from the Yantian terminal doubled in number, reaching 23.06 days on June 15. The mean dwell times on import containers into Yantian were lower, at 5.96 days for the same period, suggesting that carriers are avoiding the port.

“While the epicentre of this particular breakdown is Yantian, these numbers spell trouble across the maritime shipping world, and particularly for companies that rely on these routes,” said Josh Brazil, vice president of marketing at project44. “Even shipments not directly impacted by the Yantian situation could feel the impact, as carriers adjust their networks to avoid congestion at Yantian.”

Hind Chitty, principal consultant at Drewry’s supply chains advisory practice, told Splash: “Carriers are skipping Yantian port in their rotation, creating massive rollovers and multiple side effects, as an additional shortage of empty equipment in the region and an unprecedented surge in the east-west ocean freight rates, which may spread to the other trades lanes.”

Drewry’s World Container Index (WCI), published yesterday, increased 3.4% or $231 this week, and is 305.7% higher than a year ago.

The average composite index of the WCI, assessed by Drewry for year-to-date, is $5,427 per feu, which is $3,468 higher than the five-year average of $1,960 per feu.

The Shanghai Containerized Freight Index (SCFI) also climbed to new highs today, up another 44 points this week to settle on a record 3,748 points with some speculating the extraordinary market forces at play could see the SCFI cross the 4,000 mark soon.

18th June 2021



Liner congestion spreads across the planet, 304 ships queuing for berth space

Estimates suggest more than 600,000 teu has now been affected from the fallout of an outbreak of Covid-19 around Yantian Port in southern China with ports around the world braced for a severe shortage of equipment in the coming weeks, just as the US peak season gets underway.

Quizzed by Splash today as to the total number of boxes hit by the three-week Yantian crisis, Lars Jensen, one of the world’s most respected container shipping analysts, said: “A reasonable estimate right now is that at least 600,000 teu have been impacted – also indicating a backlog of some 300,000 teu of export cargo waiting to get moved out of the region with the remainder being a mix of import cargo and import empty equipment.”

Putting the 600,000 number in context, the Yantian partial shutdown is close to affecting twice as many containers as were hit when the Suez Canal was closed for six days in March during the high profile Ever Given accident.

“The current estimated wait is over a fortnight, causing many carriers to divert vessels to other ports. In total, over 300 sailings from all liners will omit Yantian,” Maersk, the world’s largest containerline, stated in an update today.

Boxes arriving from China to the US today are taking 42% longer than last June

Fortunately, on site there are clear signs that the port’s productivity is improving, albeit it will take many weeks to get through the backlog of boxes with most lines omitting Yantian from many of their schedules for the remainder of June.

An advisory from South Korean liner HMM yesterday stated that Yantian’s productivity is running at 70%.

A customer advisory from Yantian International Container Terminals yesterday stated: ““Current overall operational capacity has returned to 70% of normal levels, and container yard utilisation has dropped from 100% to 70%.”

Looking at these latest numbers Jon Monroe, who runs his own eponymous liner consulting company, pointed out via LinkedIn that based in Yantian’s daily normal throughput of 38,000 teu, if it is operating at 70%, that means 11,400 teu are still being backed up daily.

HMM mentioned waiting times for Yantian gate-in are in excess of seven hours while a Maersk advisory from Tuesday stated that vessel reliability will continue to suffer with an average waiting time of 16 days and counting.

As for the spill-over effects on the neighbouring ports of Shekou and Nansha, HMM stated yesterday that barge connections between Nansha and Yantian are presently difficult to arrange and subject to heavy delays.

The latest setback to liner schedules in southern China is having a noticeable impact on freight rates.

Online international freight marketplace Freightos today noted Asia-US rates to both coasts are now at least triple their level last June.

Asia-US West Coast prices now stand at $6,614 per feu, up 206% year-on-year. Asia-US East Coast prices are now at $9,889 per feu, 244% higher than rates for this week last year.

“The disruption is expected to worsen empty container shortages at skipped ports, and the delays will also mean more cancelled sailings and effectively less capacity in June and July even as demand continues to surge,” Freightos noted today.

The impact of the outbreak at Yantian will be amplified because the industry as a whole is already operating at a deficit – just as it was when the Suez was blocked – with no extra capacity to throw at new problems. For example, Freightos marketplace data show ocean shipments now arriving from China to the United States took 42% longer than last June and this will probably get worse before it gets better.

Echoing this theme from earlier in the month, Alan Murphy, CEO and founder of Danish container shipping consultancy Sea-Intelligence, wrote in an article for Splash that liner shipping’s run of accidents over the past few months had been near impossible to absorb given the uniquely stretched status of carrier equipment around the world.

“High freight rates are driven by equipment and space shortages, which in turn are driven by a confluence of unprecedented US demand (due to pandemic shifts from services to goods) and supply-side disruptions,” Murphy wrote, going on to list port congestion, Covid infections and quarantines in ports such as Yantian, vessels being grounded due to quarantines, and the challenges of vessels getting stuck in canals, dropping boxes, or catching on fire.

“In the past 10 years, vessel incidents would be terrible for those immediately impacted, but they would not have any systemic impact, as the unaffected boxes and boxes waiting to be loaded would just go on the next half-empty ship, but all of the ships are full now,” Murphy pointed out.


More than 600,000 teu impacted from Yantian fallout


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