The Valencia Containerized Freight Index (VCFI) continues its upward trend, reaching 2,314.89 points in April, an increase of 17.39% over the previous month. In a global context marked by the generalized growth of freight rates, the VCFI links its ninth consecutive month of growth and exceeds two thousand points for the first time in its history since the index began in January 2018. The effects of the incident with the Ever Given vessel in the Suez Canal, released at the end of March, have added to the complexity of an already stressed market. To this, we must add the upward forecasts for world GDP which reinforce market demand, the congestion in the main US ports and the increase in the price of some fuels.

Thus, the April World Economic Outlook, published by the International Monetary Fund (IMF), points to an increase in world GDP in 2021 of 6%, compared with the estimate of 5.5% in January and 5.2% in October 2020. Regarding trade in goods, the projection is for a growth of 9.4%, 1.1 points higher than in the previous report. With regard to port traffic, the RWI/ISL Container Throughput Index benchmark reflects an increase in March (latest available month), which places shipping levels above the pre-pandemic situation.

According to Alphaliner data, the commercially idle fleet remains at minimal levels, i.e. 56 vessels, representing 0.8% of total capacity. In terms of equipment, some shipping lines have announced orders for new units to alleviate the market situation.

With regard to bunker prices, the behavior during this month has been fairly stable. According to Shipandbunker data for the main bunkering ports, the price of low sulphur bunker fuel closed April at 514 dollars per tonne, which represents an increase of 3% compared to the beginning of the same month.

By geographical areas, and given their relevance in Valenciaport’s relations, it is worth highlighting the increase in export freight rates to the U.S. and Canada of more than 30%, which has now increased for nine consecutive months. In addition to demand factors, the congestion situation that some US ports have been suffering for weeks is exerting constant pressure on freight rates. The trend seems to be pointing, albeit timidly, towards an improvement, even if the problem remains serious, as illustrated for example by the 7.5 days waiting time required for ships to berth in the ports of Los Angeles or Long Beach. Problems of capacity or availability of equipment are thus aggravated. In fact, this situation is being extended to the entire American continent and the restrictions are also causing freight rates to rise.


Source: maritimetoday

Defense, engineering and IT conglomerate Leidos announced on Friday it has completed its $380 million cash acquisition of marine engineering and naval architecture firm Gibbs & Cox.

The deal, announced in February, will see Gibbs & Cox operate as a wholly-owned subsidiary combined with Leidos’ maritime systems division.

Headquartered in Arlington, Va., Gibbs & Cox is the largest independent ship design firm focused on naval architecture and marine engineering. The acquisition positions Leidos to provide a broad set of engineering solutions to the U.S. Navy and to an expanding set of foreign Navies.

Leidos chairman and CEO Roger Krone said, “Gibbs & Cox is widely regarded for developing the most talented and experienced naval designers in the world. We look forward to this new era of innovation while combining the best of both companies.”

Gibbs & Cox president and chief executive Chris Deegan said, “Gibbs & Cox will remain the nation’s largest independent provider of maritime services. The combination of our world-class naval architecture, design and engineering services with Leidos’ speed, security and scale will significantly enhance our combined offerings in the fast growing maritime undersea, autonomous and cyber security segments.”


Source: marinelink

Singapore-based Sembcorp Marine expects losses to continue this year as it faces headwinds from COVID-19 and a shortage of skilled workers.

Sembcorp Marine provided the outlook in an interim business update for the first quarter of 2021 released Monday, which also provided an update on the continuing impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The Group continues to face COVID-19 supply chain constraints and a shortage of skilled workers. Foreign workers who left Singapore over the past year were unable to return due to ongoing border controls in countries such as India and Bangladesh. Singapore’s improving economy has also led to increased competition for foreign labor already here, resulting in labor attrition to competing industries. The shortage of skilled workers has impacted the execution and scheduled completion of some of our projects,” the update said.

Sembcorp Marine said that coordinating and rescheduling project completion with customers remains a “key priority,” adding that the group has not experienced any cancellations to date on existing projects. The group is also “actively seeking” skilled workers from other countries and working with authorities to accelerate its entry into Singapore.

The group also highlighted the winning of a major contract in the renewable energy sector, as well as securing a long-term repair and upgrade contract with a European cruise ship owner and the completion of a floating storage regasification unit.

In the first quarter, GE Renewable Energy’s Sembcorp Marine and Grid Solutions jointly secured a $900 million contract from RWE Renewables to supply the high-voltage direct current (HVDC) power transmission system for the 1.4 gigawatt (GW) Sofia offshore wind farm. The scope of the contract includes the design, construction, installation and commissioning of the offshore converter platform (OCP), comprising an 18,000-ton top and deck foundation structure piled on the seabed.

“The award of the Sofia contract validates the Group’s thrust in the renewable energy market and adds to our list of secured projects in the offshore wind sector,” the update stated. Sembcorp Marine is also currently constructing two decks for the offshore substations at Orsted’s 1.4 GW Hornsea 2 offshore wind farm in the UK North Sea. In addition, it is fabricating 15 foundations for the Formosa 2 offshore wind farm in Taiwan.

In February, Sembcorp Marine secured a $375 million sustainability-linked loan, believed to be the first in Singapore’s offshore sector.

Summary of the most significant transactions

In mid-March, Sembcorp Marine delivered a floating regasification unit (FSRU) to KARMOL ahead of its deployment in Senegal. The 125,000 cubic meter vessel, KARMOL’s first FSRU, will bring cleaner LNG-fueled electricity to locations where domestic gas production or infrastructure is not yet available.

Our Repairs and Upgrades division carried out the following key projects in 1Q21:
– Major upgrade of the heavy lift vessel Aegir for Heerema Marine Contractors for deployment at the Changhua offshore wind project in Taiwan.
– Major upgrades of the FPSO Ningaloo Vision and the FPSO Tantawan.
– Major repairs of four LNG carriers.
– The Group continued to focus on the safe and timely execution of its existing order book of over $1.89 billion, including $290 million of repairs and upgrades underway for delivery in 2021.

The Group secured multiple repair and upgrade contracts, including a long-term contract with a European owner and operator of luxury cruise ships and yachts. With this award, Sembcorp Marine is working with four global operators that collectively own more than 15 cruise ship brands.

In terms of future orders, market sentiment has improved, although the post-COVID-19 recovery remains uncertain. There are increasing signs of active review of FIDs (final investment decisions) and improving order visibility. However, competition for new projects remains intense.

The Group is actively tendering for more than 10 projects, especially in the Renewable Energy and Gas Solutions segment. A similar number of tenders are in progress for the Process Solutions segment covering FPSOs, FSOs and FPUs.

In terms of outlook, Sembcorp Marine offered the following:

Notwithstanding the challenging operating environment, the Group’s strategic investments have positioned us well for the global transition to a low-carbon economy and the pivot towards cleaner and greener energy sources.

With the re-introduction of COVID-19 measures in recent weeks, including tighter border controls, the Group’s operations could be further impacted by workforce supply and quarantine restraints. Current and future restrictions on travel and transportation could also disrupt global supply chains. Resolving the skilled manpower shortage on a timely basis is the Group’s key priority to address the risk of project delays or terminations.


Source: fullavantenews

Viking Life-Saving Equipment has acquired HydroPen, the company behind the unique HydroPen container firefighting solution.

HydroPen, attached to a ship’s hose and raised on a telescopic arm by a single crew member, uses water pressure alone to power its ‘drill and spray’ nozzle to penetrate a container door before switching to spray mode to extinguish a fire with water, foam or CO2 – directly at its source.

HydroPen was founded in 2016 by Martin Winkel, CEO and Jesper Rosenfeldt Hansen, CTO and system inventor, to help revolutionize a persistent problem in maritime: firefighting on board container vessels.

“This is a significant acquisition for VIKING ,” said Lasse Boesen, Senior Product Manager, VIKING.

“We approached the HydroPen originators shortly after the system won the 2017 Danish Tech Challenge accelerator prize. From its official launch at SMM 2018, VIKING became HydroPen’s exclusive distributor, going on to support orders from some of the industry’s biggest names.”

“Once crews familiarize themselves with HydroPen, there is no going back – and since its introduction, the system has already proven itself in live firefighting situations. Recently, HydroPen has also generated interest among land-based fire-fighting operators who have been quick to recognize its value, adds Boesen.”


Source: maritimeprofessional

Houston-based offshore driller Vantage Drilling has reportedly received conditional letters of award for its 2009-built jackups Aquamarine Driller and Sapphire Driller for two-to-three-year deals in the Middle East.

The two rigs are set to commence the new contracts, believed to have a combined value of $157m, during Q1 2022. The operator has not been disclosed, however, both ADNOC and Qatar Petroleum have multi-year, multi-rig tenders out for rigs in the region.

Sapphire Driller and Aquamarine Driller are expected to be reactivated in Q2 2021 to begin their drilling campaigns in West Africa and Southeast Asia, respectively.

In addition, Vantage has bagged a short-term deal with APO offshore Tunisia for its 2009-built jackup Topaz Driller, currently operating off Montenegro for Eni.

The company reported a net loss of approximately $36m in Q1 this year.


Souece: splash247

The U.S. Coast Guard Mid-Atlantic is working to raising awareness related to commercial fishing vessel safety including the importance of having and properly registering an emergency position indicating radio beacon (EPIRB), an invaluable device designed to transmit a distress signal if you get into trouble at sea.

EPIRBs aren’t just for boaters, either. Commercial fishing remains one of the most dangerous occupations in the United States, and by law all commercial fishing vessels operating more than three nautical miles from the coast are required to carry one of the devices, whether offshore, on inland waters or the Great Lakes.

The U.S. Coast Guard 5th District for the Mid-Atlantic region recently held a media event in order draw attention the importance of the life-saving EPIRBS and their role in commercial fishing vessel safety. While vessel owners and operators are ultimately responsibility over the safety or any vessel, the Coast Guard aims to foster safety in the industry by enforcing regulations and providing oversight of safety practices and procedures.

All commercial fishing vessels are legally required to follow regulations listed in 46 Code of Federal Regulations Part 28 – Requirements for Commercial Fishing Industry Vessels, regardless of type, size or state or federally-registered.

According to the Coast Guard, the Mid-Atlantic region alone is home to approximately 5,800 commercial fishing vessels. Coast Guard commercial fishing vessel safety examiners with the 5th District conduct over 500 dockside examinations a year, and between 500 and 600 at-sea boardings by Coast Guard boarding officers.

Coast Guard 5th District examiners and boarding officers also issue on average 40 EPIRB-related deficiencies to commercial fishing vessels each year, but vessels can avoid violations and penalties by having the proper equipment from the start.

Once activated, an EPIRB sends your location to the Coast Guard to kick off search and rescue efforts, making them fastest and most-accurate way of calling for help during an emergency at sea. EPIRBs also continue to transmit your location, providing command centers with updated positions and data based on current conditions during search and rescue.

Vessels over 36-feet are required to have a Category 1 EPIRB which automatically release from their mounting brackets when immersed in water, while Category 2 EPIRBs must be manually released. Both can be activated automatically by immersion in water, as well as manually.

The Coast Guard also highlights current registration as the surest way to correctly notify the SAR system, as well as allows the Coast Guard to contact your family or other point of contact to find out additional details. To register or update your EPIRB, go to You can also check your registration status by calling 888-212-SAVE (888-212-7283), where can speak with a real person about your registration status.

The Coast Guard also highly recommends all commercial fishing vessels undergo safety exams even though all vessels are not required (for commercial fishing vessels operating beyond three nautical miles from the territorial sea baseline or Great Lakes coastline, safety exams are mandatory).

For over 20 years, the Coast Guard has conducted no-cost, no-fault voluntary dockside safety exams on commercial fishing vessels, issuing a safety decal valid for two years for successful completion of the exam. The Coast Guard also says it is beneficial for every commercial fishing vessel to maintain a current safety decal, which could facilitate a more streamlined safety check if boarded at sea.


Source: gcaptain

Container ship SINAR SOLO collided with Panamax bulk carrier TAHO AUSTRALIA at around 2330 LT May 6 in Singapore Strait off Lagoi, northern Bintan Island, Riau islands, Indonesia. SINAR SOHO sustained starboard damages in cargo deck area, several containers understood to be damaged, too. Bulk carrier sustained superficial damages and shortly after accident, was allowed to resume voyage, she’s en route from Santos Brazil to China. Container ship was anchored near collision site and later, on May 7, moved to Singapore Anchorage. As of 1300 UTC May 7, she remained in the same position. SINAR SOLO is en route from Singapore to Bangkok Thailand.


Source: fleetmon

Shipowners and seafarers’ representatives have asked the United Nations to establish an interagency task force to examine the implementation and practical application of the MLC, 2006 during the pandemic, including its impact on seafarers’ fundamental rights and on the shipping industry.

The crew change crisis peaked at over 400,000 seafarers trapped on ships working beyond their contracts because of local Covid restrictions and the failure of governments to cooperate and coordinate to address the crisis.

The number of seafarers still stranded is around 200,000 and is on the rise again as authorities respond to new variants and explosions in cases like the devastating second wave currently tearing through India. While some governments have responded well, designating seafarers as key workers and facilitating their travel, too many are sitting idly by while ship’s crews are unable to get home in a situation that is tantamount to forced labour. Urgent action is needed.


Source: marineinsight

This annual report summarizes the port State control developments and activities of the Tokyo MOU in 2020. Moreover, the report also provides port State control statistics and analysis on the results of inspections carried out by member Authorities during the year.

The activities of the Tokyo MOU were also seriously affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Due to the impact of COVID-19, the number of inspections has reduced by approximately
40%, and the inspection rate is reduced by 20 points compared with the previous year.
Furthermore, the joint concentrated inspection campaign (CIC) on Stability in General with
the Paris MoU scheduled in 2020 had to be postponed by one year. In addition, almost all the planned technical co-operation activities were either postponed or cancelled.

Looking through the statistics in 2020, the notable increase trend of deficiencies relating to
Working & Living Conditions or Maritime Labour Conditions can be identified, which reflects
the severe impacts by COVID-19 on crew change and seafarers’ repatriation. In line with
previous years, ISM is the most common category where detainable deficiencies are recorded in 2020. Moreover, percentages of ISM related deficiencies and detainable
deficiencies are higher than the previous year, which also reflect inefficient and inappropriate responses by ships and their companies to the COVID-19 crisis. The safety management system, which is already a vital part for ensuring ships to sail safely, securely and to minimise pollution events, is even more important during the pandemic situation.

Currently, the COVID-19 situation is still evolving and the challenges emanated could be
expanded and prolonged. Recognizing the importance of port State Control activities to
ensure maritime safety, marine environment protection and living and working conditions of seafarers, the Tokyo MOU has initiated some countermeasures for reducing and minimizing impacts of COVID-19 to the activities and will further explore and employ necessary pragmatic steps so as to maintain appropriate and effective maritime operations under this difficult time.


Source: maritimecyprus

Seven foreign-flag vessels have been detained in Oregon since November after Coast Guard examiners found shortcomings during Port State Control inspections – including one case where a ship’s carbon dioxide firefighting system was inoperable.


In that most recent instance the Coast Guard Marine Safety Unit Portland found 100 CO2 cylinders still had in place safety pins that prevent accidental discharges of the gas during transportation and installation. That mistake would have prevented extinguishing any fire in the ship’s cargo holds or machinery spaces, Coast Guard officials said.


Foreign vessels are detained in the U.S. when serious lifesaving, firefighting, machinery, pollution prevention, or security failures are discovered during an examination.  A detention controls the movement of a foreign commercial vessel until after the serious deficiencies are rectified.


“The Coast Guard maintains the safety of the port by preventing damage to property or the marine environment,” said Capt. Tom Griffitts, commanding officer, Marine Safety Unit Portland, in a prepared statemnent. “Inspectors from our unit do a great job of identifying major non-conformities aboard vessels and through this identification we ensure vessels are safe, secure, and environmentally sound to transit the complex Columbia River System.”


Source: workboat