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11 December

Singapore and China to develop green shipping corridor

The Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) has signed an MoU with China’s Tianjin Municipal Transportation Commission to develop the Tianjin Green and Digital Shipping Corridor.

The corridor is being developed to promote the decarbonisation, digitalisation, and expansion of the maritime sector between Singapore and the Bohai Region.

The agreement will further encourage the adoption of new fuel technologies and the offtake of fuels with zero or nearly zero greenhouse gas emissions.

According to the MPA, its aims through this agreement include fostering innovation, supporting the expansion of the maritime startup community, and facilitating manpower training and professional development.

This agreement follows recent efforts from the MPA to expand its green corridor operations. The MPA and the Port of Rotterdam Authority recently set new targets for their corridor to “achieve a 20-30% reduction in emissions by 2030 on the road to net zero by 2050”.

1 December

Carriers taking alternative routes to avoid Panama Canal restrictions 

The shipping industry appears to be beginning to take alternative routes to avoid the ongoing restrictions at the Panama Canal as the region continues to suffer from its greatest drought in 70 years. 

Reports have emerged of numerous shipping companies choosing to find a different way of moving their ships after the Panama Canal Authority announced further restrictions to movement through the major shipping lane, allowing just 25 booking slots per day and planning to reduce this further to 18 in February 2024. 

Analysis by contain booking platform Freightos found that carriers have also begun introducing surcharges for containers looking to travel through the canal.

It said: “Two more carriers announced upcoming surcharges for containers transiting the canal due to climbing operational costs, and in addition to a handful of vessels that have already taken alternate routes, The Alliance announced that three Asia – East Coast services will start rerouting via the Suez canal.” 

20 November

Australian maritime authority bans third Briese Heavylift vessel

The Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) has banned another ship from Briese Heavylift GmbH & Co from entering Australian waters, taking the company’s total to three bans by the authority this year. 

The AMSA issued a 90-day ban on the BBC Jade general cargo vessel following an inspection that found 57t of explosive substances that had been improperly stored during transit, adding to the previous bans of the BBC Weser and BBC Pearl earlier this year. 

The ban adds to the German heavy lift operator’s troubles in Australian waters after it saw another 90-day ban in June for the BBC Weser over an inspection deeming the vessel “unsafe and unseaworthy” and a 180-day ban for the BBC Pearl after multiple failures of its safety management system. 

Additionally, the AMSA said the Antigua and Barbuda-flagged BBC Jade had also seen safety violations identified by the country’s flag state control that were in the process of being rectified. 

3 November

Maersk shares plummet 17% on “worsening outlook” Q3 report

Danish shipping group AP Moller-Maersk published its intention to cut 3,500 more staff by 2024 as it filed its third-quarter (Q3) results and its downgraded full-year outlook.

The container shipping giant confirmed its quarterly EBITDA at $1.8bn, a huge decline from $10.8bn for the same quarter in 2022.

Sales from its Ocean arm fell by nearly 60% as demand and international container rates slipped.

Maersk said it had already cut 6,500 roles from the start of 2023 to November, but said it was not enough due to the “worsening outlook”.

It confirmed another 2,500 job losses likely before the end of the year and a further 1,000 in 22024, to make a total of 10,000 redundancies in approximately 12 months.

2 November

RightShip announces partnership with AD Ports Group

Australia-based digital maritime platform RightShip has announced a partnership with AD Ports Group to deploy “ground-breaking” technology, which will in turn reduce environmental shipping emissions.

This agreement is based on the provision of RightShip’s Maritime Emissions Portal (MEP), which will allow the Abu Dhabi Group to calculate its ship emissions within the port.

According to the AD Ports Group, technology investments are part of its expansion strategy to strengthen UAE GDP.

The MEP tool uses an energy-based model to calculate emissions while also adhering to guidelines set out by UNEP and UNFCCC. The system features a combination of Automatic Identification System vessel movement data with RightShip’s “unique” vessel insights.