News & Media

05 June, 2020

Australian Newsletter - Issue 629

INACTIVE CONTAINER SHIPPING FLEET HITS ALL TIME OF 11.6% OF CAPACITY
Source: Marcus Hand (Seatrade Maritime News)
The inactive container shipping fleet has reached an all time high of 11.6% of the fleet in capacity terms at the end of May, according to analyst Alphaliner. The idle containership fleet stood at 2.72m teu as of 25 May, or 11.6% of capacity, due to a combination of blank sailings to mitigate the impact of lower demand from the Covid-19 pandemic and vessels taken out of service for scrubber retrofits. Some 571,858 teu, 64 vessels, of the inactive are currently undergoing scrubber retrofits meaning that the portion of fleet take out service to manage capacity has passed the 2m teu mark.  FULL STORY

THE MISSION TO SEAFARERS LAUNCHES NEW SEAFARER SUPPORT CAMPAIGN
Source: Sam Chambers (Splash 24/7)
The Mission to Seafarers has launched a new flagship campaign to address the severe welfare issues facing seafarers worldwide in the wake of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. The Flying Angel Campaign has targeted a funding total of 600,000 pounds to deliver this new programme. The Mission to Seafarers has been assessing the needs of seafarers through the Seafarers Happiness Index, and the use of its recently launched digital support system ‘Chat to a Chaplain’. Although circumstances are evolving with some crew changes possible, it is clear that seafarers are still suffering, and their mental health and wellbeing will continue to be significantly impacted in the long term.  FULL STORY

ASSOCIATIONS CALL FOR ACCELERATED MARITIME TRADE DIGITALIZATION POST-COVID-19
Source: Port Technology
An urgent call to action has been made by several shipping and port industry partners to accelerate the pace of digitalization the cope with a post-COVID-19 new normal. BIMCO, which is part of the call, has noted that while some port communities seized the opportunities of the fourth industrial revolution and developed into full-fledged ‘smart’ ports, many others have barely grasped the essentials of digitalization. The latter continue to struggle with larger reliance on personal interaction and paper-based transactions as the norms for shipboard, ship-port interface and port-hinterland based exchanges, the organization said. To date, only 49 of the 174 Member States of the International Maritime Organization (IMO) possess functioning Port Community Systems – co-signees call for wide-ranging adoption of secure electronic data exchange.  FULL STORY

THE SPIKE BEFORE THE SLUMP? AUSTRALIAN COAL EXPORTS TO CHINA SOAR IN MAY
Source: Hellenic Shipping News
Australia’s coal exporters are bracing for a slump in shipments to China, making it somewhat ironic that May is likely to be the strongest month in nearly two years for Chinese imports. Traders are expecting that China’s coal imports may fall in coming months amid moves by Beijing to restrict cargoes to protect the domestic mining industry and prices. While the port restrictions are expected to apply to all coal exporters, including China’s major suppliers of Indonesia, Australia and Russia, it’s also possible that Australian cargoes may suffer more given the ongoing political tensions between Beijing and Canberra.  FULL STORY

GET 70 PER CENT OFF CRUISES AS LINES BATTLE TO WIN BACK PASSENGERS
Source: Teresa Ooi (Cruise Passenger Aus)
Cruise lines are slashing fares by up to 70 per cent in a concerted effort to attract passengers back to holiday on the high seas post COVID-19 pandemic. Deals include, Blue Lagoon Cruises offering 70 per cent off on its three, four and seven day cruises in Fiji Islands for the first 70 passengers who book a cruise under its “buy-now-pay-later” 70th birthday sale. A three-night cruise on Fiji Princess departing Port Denarau and others. The deals come as the country gradually lifts restrictions although there is no confirmation when overseas travel would be allowed. However, the Australian Border Force has banned cruise lines from entering Australian waters until 17 September.  FULL STORY

SEAFARERS DENIED MEDICAL CARE FOR SERIOUS CONDITIONS, ICS WARNS
Source: Shipping Australia
Cases of seafarers being denied medical care for conditions unrelated to COVID-19 have been reported to the International Chamber of Shipping. The body, which describes the news as “alarming”, has observed that there are cases of seafarers being refused entry to port or, in some cases, being denied evacuation for over four days. “This is simply not acceptable,” said Guy Platten, Secretary General of the ICS. In a recent webinar, held on May 28 by the World Health Organization, Natalie Shaw of the ICS also reported that seafarers are finding it difficult to get vital medicines.  FULL STORY

ESSENTIAL QUEENSLAND COAL INFRASTRUCTURE TO BE PLACED UNDER QCA OVERSIGHT
Source: Mining Monthly Aus
THE Queensland government has declared the Central Queensland Coal Network and the Dalrymple Bay Coal Terminal as regulated monopolies until 2040 and 2030 respectively. Queensland Resources Council CEO Ian Macfarlane said the decision meant the critical pieces of economic infrastructure would be under the independent regulatory oversight of the Queensland Competition Authority, which would set conditions on the access and pricing of the regulated monopoly businesses. "This is not a small technical point," he said.  FULL STORY

PORT OF MELBOURNE LAUNCHES LOGISTICS CHAIN STUDY FOR FUTURE PRODUCTIVITY
Source: Imogen Hartmann
The Port of Melbourne and the Victorian Government will conduct a $1 million industry study to survey freight and containerised trade logistics, aiming to improve supply chain productivity. The 2020 Port of Melbourne Container Logistics Chain Study (2020 CLCS) will examine the port’s container flow, trends and changes since the last study in 2009, and the impact and nature of growth in container volumes. Brendan Bourke, Chief Executive Officer, Port of Melbourne, said a fresh understanding of Victoria’s international and coastal container trade was critical to ensuring that appropriate infrastructure, industrial land, planning controls and policy settings are in place to support a responsive and productive supply chain.  FULL STORY

SHEEP BOUND FOR VIRUS SHIP TO STAY IN WA
Source: Angie Raphael (The Transcontinental)
The federal government has refused an exemption to its live export ban that would have allowed 56,000 sheep to be transported to the Middle East, and they will now be slaughtered in WA. The Al Kuwait vessel docked in Fremantle on May 22 was to take the sheep, but when crew members began testing positive to COVID-19 it left the ship stranded and the livestock in limbo at a feedlot. The Department of Agriculture said it considered animal welfare and trade implications before denying Rural Export and Trading WA an exemption to its northern summer live export ban, which began on Monday, and reasons would be given this week. "The livestock that was to be exported in this consignment remain at registered premises and ... there are no welfare concerns," the department said. WA Agriculture and Food Minister Alannah MacTiernan said she presumed a rational decision had been made based significantly on weather analysis.  FULL STORY

ANL CONFIRMS 50-CONTAINER NSW SPILL LOSS
Source: Port Lincoln Times
The Singapore-flagged ship which spilled some of its cargo off the NSW coast has confirmed it lost 50 containers in the incident. The APL England was en route to Melbourne from China when rough seas caused the shipping containers to topple overboard on Sunday. The Australian Marine Safety Authority has laid charges against the master of the APL England for offences relating to pollution and damage of the marine environment as a result of poor cargo loading. But operator ANL said the APL England's crew had done well to manoeuvre the ship to safety amid poor weather conditions. The ship is now detained at the Port of Brisbane.  FULL STORY

PORT OF TAURANGA NAMES MELANIE DYER AS NEW CORPORATE SERVICES MANAGER
Source: Bay of Plenty Times
Port of Tauranga Limited has announced Melanie Dyer as its new Corporate Services Manager. Dyer replaces the recently retired Sara Lunam and will join Port of Tauranga later this year. She is currently the General Manager People and Culture for Tauranga-based Trustpower Limited. Prior to joining Trustpower in 2014, Dyer spent 11 years at Hydro Tasmania, where she held various roles including People and Performance Manager and Manager Health, Safety and Quality.  FULL STORY

PORT COMMITS TO SAFE MOVEMENT OF GOODS
Source: The Gisborne Herald
Eastland Port has joined an international port authorities' global initiative for safe and efficient movement of goods and shipping during the Covid-19 crisis. Worldwide, 56 port authorities have agreed how they will work together facilitating maritime trade as the countries involved fight Covid-19. The independent chairman of the New Zealand Port Company CEO Group, Charles Finny, signed the international declaration on behalf of New Zealand ports. “Along with 55 other worldwide port authorities, all New Zealand ports have committed to the safe and efficient movement of goods and shipping during the Covid-19 crisis,” Eastland Port chief operating officer Andrew Gaddum said.  FULL STORY

PILE DRIVING VESSEL SINKS AT PORT NELSON
Source: Warren Gamble (Stuff.co.nz)
A pile driving vessel working on a major wharf redevelopment took on water and partly sank at Port Nelson. Harbourmaster Andrew Hogg said the barge had been working on the Main Wharf North redevelopment on Thursday morning when it started taking on water. Two tugs took it to a disused boat ramp at the end of the Akersten St right-of-way where its bow sank to the seabed. An oil boom was placed around the vessel as a precaution. Hogg said it was not yet known what damage the port-owned vessel had sustained to cause it to sink.  FULL STORY

PORT, REGION TO REAP BENEFITS OF OIL FARM
Source: Samesh Mohanlall (Stuff.co.nz)
A multimillion-dollar oil tank farm terminal, which is nearing completion in Timaru, will bring a significant trade boost for the town's port. PrimePort chief executive Phil Melhopt said the addition of the new tank farm would "be great for our business". Pacific Petroleum-owned Timaru Oil Services Limited is building the farm, which will include six bulk fuel storage tanks, an office building and truck loading facilities, once completed. TOSL expects to have the four-tank, 32 million litre facility operational in July. Two six-million litre tanks will be added later.  FULL STORY

NEW ZEALAND'S KIWIRAIL TO ORDER ROPAX PAIR
Source: Marine Link
New Zealand's state-owned KiwiRail has issued a request for proposal to find a preferred shipyard to build two new RoPax ferries for operator Interislander. The international tender follows a NZ$400 Million (US$256.1 million) contribution to the 2020 Budget that enables KiwiRail to procure two new modernized vessels for service between capitol Wellington on the North Island and Picton on the South Island. When entering into operation in 2024 and 2025, the new ferries will replace the existing fleet of three ships, and at that time it will be more than 25 years since New Zealand last introduced purpose-built ferries.  FULL STORY

Whilst every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information contained herein, Inchcape Shipping Services accepts no liability nor makes any representations or warranties of any kind, express or implied, as to its completeness, accuracy, reliability or suitability