News & Media

24 December, 2020

Australian Newsletter - Issue 658

TEN THINGS SHIPPING LEARNED TO DO IN 2020
Source: Lucy Hine (TradeWindsNews.com)
But will the industry still be doing them in 2021?
This year has been one like no other. As the world battled with the fallout from a global pandemic, shipping has rolled on with many tackling aspects of the business in ways they never thought possible — with the odd entertaining interlude. From a stronger focus on online interactions to all aspects of remote operation, ahead are ten new things that shipping has learned to do in 2020.  FULL STORY

FREIGHT BOOM FIRES BUFFETT TRAINS, MAERSK SHIPS AND OIL PRICES
Source: Alaric Nightingale, Jeffrey Bair and Christian Wienberg (GCaptain.com)
A great global restock is at hand, filling ships, trucks and trains, and also firing oil demand.
During the depths of China’s coronavirus crisis at the start of the year, shipping behemoth A.P. Moeller-Maersk A/S reported an unprecedented number of canceled sailings as the Asian country all but shut itself off from the world. Since then, the company’s shares have surged to the brink of a record in Copenhagen. In the U.S., BNSF Railway Co., the freight giant owned by Warren Buffett, is riding a boom that’s pushed the number of carloads and containers it hauls up year-on-year in recent weeks.  FULL STORY

REINFORCING THE IMPORTANCE OF SEAFARER WELLBEING
Source: HellenicShippingNews.com
Seafarer wellbeing has been a focal topic for the Standard Club’s Loss Prevention team in recent years, the COVID-19 world pandemic only serves to reinforce the importance of the work that we do in this aspect. When the Standard Club’s ‘people claims’ statistics indicated a clear upward trend of mental health related illnesses, it prompted the team to take a deep dive into researching the causes and what we can do to assist our members. Collaborating with experts and our members, we released our findings in 2018 in a special edition of Standard Safety ‘Seafarer Wellbeing’, available on the right. We concluded that seafarer wellbeing is a holistic concept that is a combination of physical, mental and social wellbeing. Many of us forget how these aspects are closely intertwined, for example if you do not feel good in your body, you are likely not going to be happy either.  FULL STORY

THE RISE AND RISE OF IRON ORE
Source: HellenicShippingNews.com
Iron ore prices are soaring. Values reached approximately US$160 per tonne by the middle of December. This level was last recorded in early 2013. Demand growth, particularly in China, is driving the increase in the cost of the raw material. The dispute between the authorities in China and Australia is curtailing trade of various goods between the two countries. However, this is yet to affect shipments of iron ore due to the need for high quality material in China. Supply constraints in Brazil have tightened the market. Moreover, steel mills are blaming speculative purchasing by Chinese iron ore buyers for the sharp rise in prices, this month.  FULL STORY

OZ TRADE SURPLUS FALLS UNDER $2B FOR FIRST TIME IN 2 YEARS
Source: Glen Dyer (ShareCafe.com)
For the first time in two years, Australia’s goods trade surplus sank under the $2 billion level, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS). And you can blame China for that fall – both on the export and the import side. The preliminary data, released just before Christmas, is a warning of what we could see in 2021, a continuing weakness in the trade account as China. The ABS said the surplus of $1.958 billion more than halved in November from October’s $4.7 billion. The change in the surplus was impacted by a $1,218 million (10%) in exports to China combined with a $889 million (11%) increase in imports from China.  FULL STORY

PORT OF MACKAY MAINTENANCE DREDGING AT HALFWAY POINT
Source: Zlatan Hrvacevic (DredgingToday.com)
North Queensland Bulk Ports Corporation has just announced that they have reached the half-way point for the maintenance dredging at the Port of Mackay. Maintenance dredging at the Port of Mackay last occurred in 2013. Since then, NQBP has managed siltation through regular bed-levelling. But, recent surveys showed increased siltation that now requires maintenance dredging. NQBP engaged the Port of Brisbane to undertake this maintenance dredging project by using their trailing suction hopper dredger (TSHD) Brisbane, supported by a bed leveller and survey vessel.  FULL STORY

SHELL SELLS STAKE IN QCLNG INFRASTRUCTURE FOR $2.5BN
Source: ArgusMedia.com
Shell has sold a 26.25pc interest in the LNG storage tanks, jetties and operations infrastructure of the 8.5mn t/yr Queensland Curtis LNG (QCLNG) venture in Australia's Queensland state to US-based investor Global Infrastructure Partners (GIP) for $2.5bn. Shell will hold the remaining 73.75pc, which aligns with its stake in the two-train project. The assets that are part of the transaction are the LNG storage tanks, jetties and operations infrastructure, which are known as the common facilities, that services QCLNG, Shell said. This decision is consistent with Shell's strategy of selling non-core assets to simplify its portfolio, the firm said. The transaction is subject to regulatory approval in Australia and is expected to complete in the first half of 2021, Shell said.  FULL STORY

LNG COULD DRIVE $11 BILLION OF AUSTRALIAN NATURAL GAS PROJECT FIDS IN 2021, SAYS WOOD MACKENZIE
Source: Jamison Cocklin (NaturalGasIntel.com)
As the pandemic eases and the global economy recovers, $11 billion of Australian natural gas projects could be sanctioned as soon as next year, according to a report by Wood Mackenzie. The country has helped drive growth in global liquefied natural gas (LNG) supplies in recent years and exports are expected to drive the next wave of Australian final investment decisions (FID) next year. “After doing everything possible to tighten belts this year, Australian operators will open their wallets and start spending,” said Wood Mackenzie senior analyst Daniel Toleman.  FULL STORY

AUSTRALIA'S WOODSIDE AND NORTH WEST SHELF PARTNERS SIGN DEALS TO PROCESS GAS
Source: Arpit Nayak (NASDAQ.com)
Woodside Petroleum WPL.AX and its North West Shelf LNG venture partners executed two agreements to process gas through the project's facilities in Western Australia, the gas producer said on Wednesday. The Perth-based firm said the North West Shelf facilities will process about 7.5 million tonnes of liquefied natural gas (LNG) over five years from the Waitsia Gas Project Stage 2, owned jointly by Beach Energy BPT.AX and Japan's Mitsui & Co 8031.T. The project partners also signed a three-year deal to process about three million tonnes of LNG and 24.7 petajoules of domestic gas at the project's Karratha gas plant under a deal signed with Woodside Burrup, a unit of the company.  FULL STORY

MAJOR NZ PORTS SWAMPED
Source: PortStrategy.com
Iain MacIntyre assesses how a perfect storm of interconnected disrupting circumstances has caused significant congestion and delays at New Zealand’s ports. Congestion is rife in New Zealand. Ports of Auckland (PoAL), the country’s major import port is the worst affected, but with knock-on effects being experienced at the Port of Tauranga, the country’s major export and principal container port. One of the major causes is the ongoing waterfront industrial action on the Australian eastern seaboard. Generating vessel delays, the rumbling dispute is forcing the rescheduling of berthing windows in New Zealand – in turn triggering further delays.  FULL STORY

A PERFECT STORM AT THE PORTS: INSIDE NEW ZEALANDS FREIGHT AND PORT DELAYS
Source: Dileepa Fonseka (Stuff.co.nz)
Gupreet Singh's truck is parked up on the side of his road near his house in Takanini ready for him to slip into the cab at 5am. As a driver for PBT, he'll spend three hours driving into Northland to pick up one or two of the more than 1000 containers being offloaded from the Constantinos P at Northport. If he picks up a container from the port directly he might spend three hours waiting in line to get it. He's been a truck driver for two years in Auckland and never made a run to Northland before Covid-19 hit. Now he's doing it regularly. Singh is one small player in a perfect storm engulfing supply chains across the globe and particularly this region.  FULL STORY

SHIP FIRE AT NAPIER PORT
Source: Press Release (Scoop.co.nz)
Firefighters opening the hold of the ship Thursday 24 December. The hold was closed since last Friday to give it time to cool down. A drone will also be used to assist the fire crews. The ship will moved to a different area of the Port so that firefighters can complete this operation. While this is underway, there will be an exclusion zone of 500m around the ship. This exclusion zone is within the Port boundary. The investigation into the cause and origin of the fire remains ongoing. It is likely that this will take some time to complete.  FULL STORY and ORIGINAL STORY

'GOVT SHOULD BE ASHAMED': CRUISE FOR KIWIS CANCELLED BECAUSE GOVERNMENT APPROVAL 'TOOK TOO LONG'
Source: Brook Sabin (Stuff.co.nz)
A New Zealand travel agency is furious that the Government took months to approve a small cruise ship to enter New Zealand waters, saying the delay cost the country millions and is an “incredible waste and lost opportunity." Ponant Cruises has been given permission to operate in New Zealand with the Le Laperouse ship, and voyages with New Zealand-based guests will get underway in February. However, Christchurch-based travel agency Holland Clarke & Beatson had chartered the ship for a January 30 cruise from Dunedin to Auckland. Cabins had almost sold out – with some reportedly costing up to $75,000.  FULL STORY

PORT NELSON REDUCES ITS FUEL AND CARBON EMISSIONS BY INVESTING IN A NEW CRANE TO IMPROVE EFFICIENCIES
Source: Port Nelson LTD (Scoop.co.nz)
Port Nelson continues to improve efficiencies with the purchase of a new Liebherr Crane, an investment of nearly $9 million. This is part of a multi-million-dollar programme of works to enable Port Nelson to meet the trend towards larger vessels. The new crane will provide safer and more efficient container operations and will replace the Port’s crane “No 2”. The new crane comes with impressive statistics; 85m in height, with a reach of 58m and the capability to safely lift 140 tonnes on hook and 65 tonnes on spreader. This is compared to crane “No 2” which stands at only 70m, has a reach of 48m, and lifts 102 tonnes on hook and 52 tonnes on spreader.  FULL STORY

INDONESIA STARTS OPERATIONS FROM NEW PORT WITH BRUNEI EXPORTS
Source: Claire Jiao (Bloomberg.com)
Indonesia’s Patimban International Port, which will become the country’s largest such facility, started operations Sunday with the export of 140 vehicles to Brunei. The port, considered a national strategic project, will have capacity for 7.5 million 20-foot equivalent units (TEU) of containers when it is completed in 2027, according to a cabinet secretariat statement. The car terminal can hold 218,000 assembled vehicles and will be expanded to 600,000 capacity by 2024 to boost the country’s automotive exports.  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.