Industry News




Norwegian Cruise Line cancels cruises to Asia due to Covid-19 epidemic

Norwegian Cruise Line has cancelled its Asian cruises for the third quarter of this year due to the coronavirus (Covid-19) epidemic.

This is expected to cut the company’s earnings by $0.75 per share in 2020.

The impact is attributed to the customer incentive compensation and the 40 cancelled and modified cruises across the three company brands.

The modifications include the redeployment of 21 cancelled voyages to Asia on Norwegian Spirit, which are now redirected to the Eastern Mediterranean.

Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings CEO and president Frank Del Rio said: “As a result of the strong global demand for cruises witnessed throughout 2019, we entered 2020 in the best-booked position and at prices higher than last year’s record levels.

“This trend continued through late January until the Covid-19 outbreak began having an adverse impact on our business.”

To protect the health of passengers and crew, Norwegian Cruise Line and Royal Caribbean barred passengers with passports from China, Hong Kong and Macau irrespective of their place of residency.

Del Rio added: “While the effect of these impacts cannot be fully quantified at this time, our company has an exemplary track record of demonstrating its resilience in challenging environments and we remain confident in our ability to deliver strong financial performance over the long term.”




Diana shipping signs contract with koch shipping for dry bulk vessel

Through its subsidiary, Greece-based Diana Shipping has signed a time charter contract with Koch Shipping Singapore for one of its Panamax dry bulk vessels Coronis.

The deal includes a gross charter rate of $8,000 a day and excludes a 5% commission paid to third parties for a minimum period of nine to ten months.

The charter period started on 20 February.

Previously, the vessel was chartered to Tongli Shipping for a gross charter rate of $5,300 a day.

Built in 2006, Coronis is a dry bulk vessel that can accommodate 74,381 deadweight tonnage (dwt) of goods.

The deal is expected to generate gross revenue of approximately $2.04m for Diana Shipping for a minimum scheduled period of the time charter.

In a separate development, the buyers cancelled the previously announced sale of the ‘Norfolk’.

Last month, Diana Shipping signed a memorandum of agreement (MOA) through its subsidiary for the Norfolk vessel that was built in 2002.

The company received the cancellation notice for the MOA.

Diana Shipping said: “The buyers elected to exercise their right to cancel the contract as a result of vessel’s missing the cancelling date stipulated therein, due to unforeseen events, unrelated to the condition of the vessel, and have requested the refund of the deposit of the purchase price.”

Diana Shipping has initiated the process to return the deposit amount to the buyers.

With the cancelling of the sale of Norfolk, Diana Shipping’s fleet now consists of 42 dry bulk vessels, including four Newcastlemax, 14 Capesize, five Post-Panamax, five Kamsarmax and 14 Panamax.

The total carrying capacity of the fleet is approximately 5.2 million dwt with 9.68 years weighted average age.

Last month, Diana Shipping signed another time charter contract with Aquavita International for a Kamsarmax dry bulk vessel m/v Astarte.




excelerate receives approval for fleet management

Excelerate Technical Management (ETM) has received Interim Documents of Compliance (DoC) from the Republic of the Marshall Islands and the Government of Belgium.

The DoC was awarded under the International Safety Management (ISM) Code. It permits ETM to assume the role of ship manager for the entire fleet of floating storage and regasification units (FSRUs) of Excelerate.

ETM is a subsidiary of Excelerate Energy.

The interim DoC was awarded following the audit of the company’s safety management system and after ensuring that the fleet complies with the ISM standards of safe operation.

The FSRU Experience is the first vessel to be managed by ETM. The vessel departed from Fene-Ferrol, Spain, on 6 February.

Scheduled maintenance and vessel upgrades were carried out in Spain. The fleet will be transferred to ETM ship management by the end of the year.

Excelerate president and managing director Steven Kobos said: “Excelerate has achieved a company milestone with the successful launch of our ship management services. The compliance certification is tangible evidence of the forward-thinking, dedicated effort of our team. We are pleased to offer our clients the advantages of integrated service as a fully independent provider of floating LNG solutions.

“As the largest and most reliable provider of FSRU-based services in the world, Excelerate has built a track record of delivering creative and timely energy solutions for over 15 years. We have endeavoured over the past several years to integrate the components of our business that have the greatest impact on our ability to provide flexible and seamless service to our clients.”

In October 2019, Excelerate Energy signed a five-year bareboat charter agreement with Maran Gas Maritime (MGM) for the FSRU Hull 2477.




hvcc partners with wartsila and carnival for ship-port data exchange

Hamburg Vessel Coordination Center (HVCC) has partnered with Wartsila and Carnival for a joint digitalisation project for data exchange between ships and port.

The companies reported the results at the Smart Ports Summit in London.

The project aims to achieve reliable ship arrivals, improve ship handling and port logistics and reduce fuel consumption and emissions.

When a ship berths at a port, onshore logistics have to be organised and planned with details for cargo and passenger ships.

A delay in the ship arrival might result in financial losses.

In the Port of Hamburg, HVCC coordinated the influx of approximately 3,200 mega-ships last year.

HVCC calculates the ideal arrival time (requested time of arrival (RTA)) for a ship when it is approaching the Elbe. It considered multiple factors such as berth occupancy, oncoming traffic, tide and weather conditions.

HVCC also ensures the approval for an operational overview from authorities is granted before the ship begins its transit to Hamburg, Germany.

The ship operator can change the speed of the ship and route according to the RTA data so that the ship arrives at the port on time. It helps terminals and port service to make plans at the same time.

In partnership with Wartsila and Carnival, HVCC developed and tested its digital solution for ‘just-in-time ship calls’.

Using the solution, the port and ships can exchange real-time data, which will help to optimise the Hamburg approach.

The testing was carried out on the cruise ships M/S AIDAperla and M/S AIDAsol that regularly call at the Port of Hamburg.

The data that is exchanged between HVCC and Carnival Maritime’s Fleet Operation Center in Hamburg was sent to the ship’s electronic nautical chart (ECDIS), using Wartsila’s Navi-Port digital platform.

The project is supported by the classification society Bureau Veritas.

HVCC managing director Gerald Hirt said: “HVCC has always attached great importance to the development of collaborative digital solutions.

“For us, this means ‘passage planning 2.0’, a further step towards intelligent ship coordination and the digitalisation of port logistics.”




dp world london gateway to introduce new weekly service

DP World London Gateway has launched a new weekly service, which is expected to start operations by end of this month.

The launch of the service will be marked by Anna G, the first vessel to call at the London Gateway.

To be operated by Unifeeder, this service will provide better connectivity between northern England and Scotland, as well as and deep-sea markets.

Earlier this week, DP World’s parent company Port and Free Zone World has planned to buy the 19.55% of the company’s shares on Nasdaq Dubai.

With this deal, the company will return to private ownership and ‘delist’ from Nasdaq.

Once the deal is accepted, DP World will be completely owned by Port and Free Zone World.

This transaction is expected to help DP World transform into an infrastructure-led logistics provider from a port operator.

Port and Free Zone World’s board of directors and DP World Independent Directors have agreed on a cash offer for the shares.

Each share of DP World will be bought for $16.75, which is a 29% premium based on the market closing value of $13 on 16 February.

DP World group chairman and CEO Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem said: “The global ports and logistics industry has been undergoing a significant transition as a result of the consolidation of the customer base and the vertical integration of several competitors.

“DP World must be able to continue responding effectively to this rapidly changing landscape and to invest in the future.”

Last week, DP World acquired a 51% share in TIS Container Terminal in the Port of Yuzhny in Ukraine.




chinese containers stuck in indian ports due to lack of documentation

Containers originating from China are stranded in Indian ports as their related cargo documents are in the closed offices in China.

The offices are closed due to the Covid-19 outbreak that has so far killed more than 2,500 people and infected more than 75,000 people worldwide.

Without the necessary documents, the Indian Customs Department cannot file the Bills of Entry (BoE) for granting clearance to the containers.

According to the rules, a BoE needs to be submitted to customs within 24 hours after containers arrive in the port.

If the document is not submitted, the consignees need to pay Rs5,000 ($70) a day for the first three days and Rs10,000 ($140) per day after that.

Chennai Customs Brokers’ Association (CCBA) president S Nataraja said: “Most of the documents of the containers that landed at the Chennai port are locked inside the closed offices of shippers in China. We are unable to file BoEs with the customs to clear the goods.”

Nataraja has asked finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman to waive the penalty charges for the containers.

Documents for the waiver will be submitted to the Customs Department for more than 35 containers.




psa marine acquires Tramarsa Flota in peru

Singapore-based PSA Marine has acquired Peru’s Tramarsa Flota and its subsidiaries from Grupo Romero for an undisclosed amount.

PSA Marine managing director Peter Chew and Grupo Piurano de Inversiones CEO Marco Peschiera signed the agreement in Lima on 12 February.

Tramarsa Flota offers towage, pilotage, launch boat and offshore services to Peru’s ten major ports.

Its fleet of 45 vessels includes 17 tugs, 23 launches and five support vessels that are used for diving activities and other marine services.

Chew said: “We are delighted to welcome Tramarsa Flota to our PSA Marine global family. This strategic move will strengthen our international towage and pilotage network.

“United by the common business language of excellence in all that we do, the PSA Marine group will continue working alongside our key stakeholders to deliver exceptional service to our customers. This is an exciting milestone and I look forward to what we can deliver together as one company.”

Tramarsa Flota managing director Enrique Andres Tarazona Soria said: “My team and I are excited to be part of the PSA Marine global family. We are committed to deliver only the best and maintain a strong foothold in our maritime operations along the Peruvian coastline.

“I will continue to lead Tramarsa Flota and would like to thank the Maritime Authority, the National Port Authority, port community, staff, customers and key stakeholders for their continued support.”

In November 2019, technology group Wartsila signed a letter of intent (LoI) with PSA Marine to jointly develop smart technology for the marine sector.




rand to buy american steamship company from gatx

Rand Logistics has entered an agreement with GATX Corporation to buy American Steamship Company (ASC) for an undisclosed amount.

A member of American Industrial Partners, Rand offers dry bulk shipping services in the Great Lakes region.

With the largest fleet of vessels in the Great Lakes, ASC transports approximately 27 million tonnes of dry bulk commodities each year.

Commodities such as iron ore, coal and limestone are transported on vessels ranging in size from 634ft to over 1,000ft.

The acquisition is expected to help the companies serve different markets with multiple self-unloading vessel classes.

Rand CEO Peter Coxon said: “We are excited about this transformative combination of two leading vessel operators on the Great Lakes.

“This strategic union will create significant additional shipping capacity through network efficiencies and repositioning of the respective fleets. All of which will allow the resulting company to further improve its customer service and offer additional flexibility and shipping capacity to its customer base.”

Rand board of directors chairman and AIP partner Jason Perri added: “ASC is an iconic American company with a rich 113-year history and an important role in moving the materials that build, sustain and drive the vast industrial capacity of the Great Lakes region.

“We are thrilled to partner with management and further increase our investment in the Great Lakes shipping and logistics ecosystem.”

In June 2019, Dutch shipping company Anthony Veder signed an agreement to acquire five gas carriers from GATX Corporation.

According to the contract, the gas tankers started operations in the company’s gas fleet in June.