News Digest 28-Aug-2021

Share it now

Following Stories in this News Digest for the week from 24 Aug 2021 to 28 Aug 2021 in descending order:

  • India on cusp of major maritime revolution
  • Supporting seafarers on the frontline of COVID-19
  • BIMCO: 381 boxships ordered worldwide in 2021
  • Japan Coast Guard Plans Drones for Monitoring and SAR Efforts
  • Seafarers holding OCI told to surrender Indian CDC
  • World’s first crewless, zero emissions cargo ship will set sail in Norway
  • ‘Tas Global’ commercializes world’s first hull cleaning robot system
  • MOL, Tata Steel to develop eco-friendly bulk carrier
  • Maersk orders carbon-neutral methanol-powered fleet
  • New ILO-recognised health and safety app welcomed by dockers’ unions
  • Japan’s MOL Explores Use of Robotics to Solve Shipping’s Challenges
  • Shehara creates history as Ceylon Association of Shipping Agents’ first woman chairperson
  • Rally Looks Set as Dry Bulk Shipping Rates Soar
  • World’s 1st all-electric container terminal completed

 28 Aug: India on cusp of major maritime revolution
India is on the cusp of major maritime revolution and requires a vibrant and strong maritime industry for both economic and strategic reasons, Union minister Sarbananda Sonowal said on Friday.

The goals set to achieve in Maritime India Vision 2030 will help accelerate the growth of the sector and aspire to bring the Indian maritime industry at par with the top global benchmark in the next 10 years, he added. Stressing upon the importance of reducing logistics cost in the country, he noted that the recently passed Inland Vessels Act, 2021 will usher a new era in the inland water transport sector. Sonowal also pointed out that the government is focusing on the domestic shipbuilding and ship repair market.

Ministry of Ports, Shipping and Waterways Secretary Sanjeev Ranjan said the government is working towards positioning the Indian maritime sector at par with international standards by attracting domestic as well as international investments. Reference


28 Aug: Supporting seafarers on the frontline of COVID-19
The COVID-19 pandemic has put seafarers around the world in precarious situations. As of July 2021, It is estimated that 250,000 seafarers are currently stranded on ships beyond the end of their original contracts and unable to be repatriated, due to COVID-related travel restrictions. A similar number of seafarers are stuck at home, unable to join ships and provide for their families.

Source: IMO

IMO’s Seafarer Crisis Action Team (SCAT) is working to help resolve individual cases, alongside other organizations like the International Labour Organization (ILO), the International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF) and the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS). IMO’s SCAT team works around the clock – contacting representatives from national governments, NGOs, trade unions or relevant associations, or orienting seafarers towards the right organisation, to find solutions. To date SCAT has dealt with over 500 cases involving thousands of individual seafarers.

Seafarers and their relatives can contact the SCAT by sending an email to . Reference


28 Aug: BIMCO: 381 boxships ordered worldwide in 2021
Shipowners are enjoying a cash-rich period despite coronavirus challenges and continue investing in new vessels. A total of 381 containerships have been ordered in 2021 alone and never has 3.44 million TEU been ordered in such a short time span, BIMCO, the world’s largest international shipping association said. As a result of very healthy shipowner bottom lines and carriers experiencing a lack of tonnage, a total of 619 container ships are now on order for future delivery.

Illustration. Image Courtesy: Kees Torn on Flickr under CC BY-SA 2.0 license.

Freight rates are record high, record amounts of cargo are shipped across the Pacific Ocean, as well as globally, and the previous yearly record for new containership orders has just been broken (measured in capacity) in less than eight months. Still, it’s not a record for the total orderbook, as 6.8 million TEU were on order by the end of July 2008, compared to 5.3 million TEU by late-August.

“Size still matters, but it is no longer the only thing that matters. Your ships must be ready to fit emerging trade lanes, and many of the new ships on order will be scrubber-fitted.”

The 16,000 TEU ship was the most popular on order Reference


27 Aug: Japan Coast Guard Plans Drones for Monitoring and SAR Efforts
The Japan Coast Guard is the latest maritime authority planning to deploy drones. The Japanese will join a growing number of mostly European maritime authorities that are using unmanned aircraft for maritime surveillance.

European Maritime Safety Agency is supplying drones to EU member states (EMSA)

The Coast Guard said the purpose of the drones would be to increase its efficiency in conducting surveillance throughout Japan’s territorial waters. They noted that there have been repeated intrusions by foreign vessels into Japan’s waters. The drones will be used both on patrols to monitor ships in Japan’s waters and will also be deployed on missions such as at sea searches and dangerous elements such as overflying volcanos. Reference


26 Aug: Seafarers holding OCI told to surrender Indian CDC
In an order issued by the Ministry of Ports, Shipping, and Waterways, Overseas Citizenship of India (OCI) holders, or foreign citizens of Indian origin have been asked to surrender their Indian CDC. The above order has been issued on August 25 by Subhash Barguzer, Deputy Director-General of Shipping (Crew).

“Merchant Shipping notice was issued directing the seafarers of Indian origin who have acquired foreign nationality and are in possession of Indian Continuous Discharge Certificate (CDC), to surrender the same to the jurisdictional shipping master, the government of shipping office”, the order stated. Reference


26 Aug: World’s first crewless, zero emissions cargo ship will set sail in Norway
A Norwegian company has created what it calls the world’s first zero-emission, autonomous cargo ship.
If all goes to plan, the ship will make its first journey between two Norwegian towns before the end of the year, with a reduced crew on board to test the autonomous systems. Eventually, all movements will be monitored from three onshore data control centers.

The Yara Birkeland is scheduled to make its first journey before the end of the year.

It’s not the first autonomous ship — an autonomous ferry launched in Finland in 2018 — but it is the first fully electric container ship, say its makers. Developed by chemical company Yara International, the Yara Birkeland was designed to reduce emissions of nitrogen oxides, which are toxic pollutants and greenhouse gases, and carbon dioxide, as well as moving freight away from roads to the sea. Reference


26 Aug: ‘Tas Global’ commercializes world’s first hull cleaning robot system
World’s only robot capable of cleaning freely on curved surfaces.
“We have commercialized an economical and environment-friendly underwater robot cleaning system for the first in the world.” Awarded the new technology representative certification in the mechanics field by the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy the next year after its establishment, Tas Global, led by CEO Kim, is showing solid technological strength.

Hull cleaning with Robots

The hull cleaning robot of Tas Global attaches strongly and softly on ships underwater and on the water surface. It is the only robot capable of cleaning while moving freely on curved surfaces. The robot is operated by various sensors and 8 cameras facing all directions. While the robot’s body weighs 200kg, it moves smoothly by maintaining positive buoyancy. An in-house developed portable filtration system of Tas Global, connected to the robot’s body, can clean microorganisms and microparticles in 3 stages. Reference


25 Aug: MOL, Tata Steel to develop eco-friendly bulk carrier
Japan’s Mitsu O.S.K. Lines (MOL) and Indian steel company Tata Steel announced that they will work together to develop an environment-friendly bulk carrier to transport raw materials to the steel mills. The goal is to deploy a new bulk carrier that can reduce greenhouse gas emissions in Tata’s supply chain

MOL’s concept of the Wind Challenger on a dry bulk carrier (MOL)

In the initial stage, the partnership will explore the environmental benefits and commercial and operational feasibilities of various technologies. This will include a design concept that MOL has been developing with partners to add supplemental wind propulsion to its dry bulk carriers. Known as the Wind Challenger, it is a hard sail, which would reduce emissions by harnessing wind energy. MOL has been jointly studying the technology with cross-industrial partners and the first vessel to be equipped with the Wind Challenger is slated to start operation in 2022. Reference


25 Aug: Maersk orders carbon-neutral methanol-powered fleet
Danish container shipping giant Maersk revealed plans to add to its fleet a total of eight large ocean-going container vessels capable of being operated on carbon-neutral methanol. As informed, the first newbuild in the series will be completed in the first quarter of 2024.

Illustration; Image courtesy: Maersk

South Korean shipbuilder Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI) has been contracted to build the eight ships which will have a nominal capacity of about 16,000 TEU. The agreement with HHI includes an option for four additional units in 2025.

The vessels come with a dual-fuel engine setup. Additional capital expenditure (CAPEX) for the dual-fuel capability, which enables operation on methanol as well as conventional low sulphur fuel, will be in the range of 10-15% of the total price, enabling Maersk to take a significant leap forward in its commitment to scale carbon-neutral solutions and lead the decarbonisation of container logistics, the company said. Reference



24 Aug: New ILO-recognised health and safety app welcomed by dockers’ unions
Dockers’ unions are welcoming the launch of a new safety app that helps teach workers how to identify and reduce hazards in ports. Port workers who download the OSH Ports app and complete the short course can then take an assessment and receive an official completion certificate recognised by the International Labour Organization’s International Training Centre (ILO-ITC).

Image used for representational purposes only (Image Courtesy: ITF Seafarers)

The new occupational safety and health training app is funded by the ITF Seafarers’ Trust and is free to download. The content and curriculum of the app was developed with strong input from dockworkers themselves through ITF-affiliated unions. The app takes port workers through occupational health and safety fundamentals specific to the ports sector, covering how and why things go wrong in ports, identifying hazards and risks that may affect workers and their workmates, and best-practice guidance on how they can contribute to accident investigations. The app is available in both English and in Arabic. Reference


24 Aug: Japan’s MOL Explores Use of Robotics to Solve Shipping’s Challenges
Japan’s Mitsui O.S.K. Lines is exploring a novel solution for the growing lack of seafarers as well as the need to improve safety and efficiency in its ocean-going shipping operations. MOL announced that it will undertake a study with Japan’s MELTIN to explore the adoption of MELTIN’s remote-control robotic technology in MOL’s ocean shipping-related operations.

MELTIN remotely controlled avatar robot (MELTIN)

Under the new agreement, MOL and MELTIN will study the details specific to different vessel types and routes for the introduction of remotely controlled robots and associated technologies. The discussions will seek to determine the feasibility of the introduction of remotely controlled robots in ocean shipping. Among the issues that will be addressed is the level of onboard telecommunication technology required at sea, while they seek to move forward by implementing a proof of concept. MOL believes that the use of robotic technology can help to address issues facing the shipping industry ranging from prevention of accidents to improving the efficiency of operations. Reference



24 Aug: Shehara creates history as Ceylon Association of Shipping Agents’ first woman chairperson

CASA New Chairperson Shehara De Silva

CASA, the voice of the shipping industry, held its Annual General Meeting on 17 August virtually with the attendance of over 100 members and stakeholders. McLarens Shipping Ltd. Group Managing Director Shehara De Silva was elected as Chairperson, creating history as the first woman chairperson of CASA. Hayleys Advantis Ltd. Group Director M.I.S. Sabar was elected as Vice Chairman and Asha Shipping Ltd. Executive Vice President Janesh Ratnadasa was elected as the Treasurer. Reference


24 Aug: Rally Looks Set as Dry Bulk Shipping Rates Soar
For a glimpse at how fast demand for commodities has rebounded in the wake of the coronavirus, look no further than the market for shipping them. Monday marked the 10th consecutive increase for the Baltic Dry Index, a benchmark measure of commodity hauling costs that has surged to an 11-year high.

FILE PHOTO: A general view shows bulk ships waiting to load coal at the coastal city of Newcastle, located 120 km (75 miles) north of Sydney, March 11, 2007. REUTERS/David Gray/File Photo

“Earlier in the year, people thought this was a short-term spike in the market, but now people see it as more structural and longer term,” said Jan Rindbo, the chief executive officer of D/S Norden A/S, a 150-year-old Danish operator of more than 500 vessels.

The Baltic Dry hit 4,147 points on Monday, the highest since May 2010. Rates for Capesize carriers jumped 2% to $50,708, the strongest market since at least 2014, according to the Baltic Exchange. Forward contracts are pointing to continued bullish expectations. Reference


24 Aug: World’s 1st all-electric container terminal completed
The Port of Long Beach on Friday announced the completion of the Long Beach Container Terminal at Middle Harbor. The terminal is equipped with nearly all electric and zero-emissions equipment, and is being touted by the port as one of the most technologically advanced cargo facilities in the world.

Port of Long Beach

Mario Cordero, executive director of the port, said the terminal is “the world’s first all-electric, zero-emission mega terminal” and “will allow us to increase our throughput, improve air quality and maintain our status as a leading gateway for trans-Pacific trade.”

All ships calling at the terminal plug into shore power connections while berthed, allowing them to shut down diesel engines and connect to the landside electrical grid. All major structures are built with features to save power and water, meeting strict gold-level Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) standards. Reference

Share it now