News & Media

26 March, 2021

Australian Newsletter - Issue 671

SHIP BLOCKING SUEZ CANAL LIKE ‘BEACHED WHALE’ COULD BE STUCK FOR WEEKS
Source: Yusri Mohamed, Gavin Maguire and Florence Tan (SMH.com.au)
A container ship blocking the Suez Canal like a “beached whale” may take weeks to free, the salvage company said, as officials stopped all ships entering the channel in a new setback for global trade. The 400m Ever Given, almost as long as the Empire State Building is high, is blocking transit in both directions through one of the world’s busiest shipping channels for oil and grain and other trade linking Asia and Europe. The Suez Canal Authority (SCA) said eight tugs were working to move the vessel, which got stuck diagonally across the single-lane southern stretch of the canal on Tuesday morning amid high winds and a dust storm.  FULL STORY

SUCCESS OF IMO 2020 RULE SETS MOMENTUM FOR SHIPPING'S DECARBONIZATION GOALS: IMO DIVISION HEAD
Source: Surabhi Sahu, Claudia Carpenter and Dania Saadi (SPGlobal.com)
Excellent cooperation and preparation by IMO member states, ports and the shipping industry's fuel providers was key to the successful implementation of the IMO 2020 rule, and has provided a future pathway for impending stricter environmental rules and other changes in shipping. Since January 1, 2020, the IMO received only 59 Fuel Oil Non-Availability Reports, or FONARs, showing very good availability of compliant fuels around the world, Hoenders said at the 12th International Fujairah Bunkering & Fuel Oil Virtual Forum, or FUJCON 2021, organized by Conference Connection. "Most of those [FONAR] cases were reported in the first six months of 2020 but we actually find very few cases in the last 6-8 months," Roel Hoenders of the Marine Environment Division at IMO, said.  FULL STORY

UNVACCINATED SEAFARERS PUT SHIPPING IN ‘LEGAL MINEFIELD’, SAYS ICS
Source: GCaptain.com
The International Chamber of Shipping is raising the alarm on seafarer vaccinations. The shipping trade group has warned that lack of access to vaccinations for the world’s seafarers puts shipping in a ‘legal minefield’, while leaving global supply chains vulnerable. A legal document due to be circulated by ICS to the global shipping community later this week highlights concerns that vaccinations could soon become a compulsory requirement for work at sea because of reports that some governments are insisting all crew be vaccinated as a pre-condition of entering their ports.  FULL STORY

AUSTRALIA SHIPPING & TRADE INSIGHTS – WHAT IS REALLY GOING ON DOWN UNDER?
Source: Alice Farley (GlobalTradeMag.com)
The global shipping industry is in a state of flux – unprecedented congestion, delays and unfeasible freight prices have caused chaos beyond anticipation. The entire sector is fraught with uncertainty, with lockdowns and border closures bringing national economies to a grinding halt. The global pandemic has affected virtually every aspect of shipping – everything from large-scale shipping line contracts down to the price of a single freight container. Australia is no exception. Whilst a smaller market, the shipping industry in the land down under has certainly felt the colossal impact of COVID-19 over the past 12 months.  FULL STORY

BAILEY REITERATES UNEASE ON STEVEDORE CHARGES
Source: Rob McKay (FullyLoaded.com.au)
The Queensland government has again registered its concern about stevedore terminal access charge (TAC) and other fee hikes in the wake of Patrick’s latest hikes and the Queensland Trucking Association’s (QTA’s) dismay at their endless rises. Transport and main roads minister Mark Bailey reveals that there has been consultation with long-term charges critics from Container Transport Alliance Australia (CTAA), which argues that the extension of charges to longer combinations mean the issue has become a productivity problem. "We are monitoring the issue of landside stevedore fees in Queensland and have met with transport industry figures to hear their concerns," Bailey tells ATN.  FULL STORY

FLOODS IN EASTERN AUSTRALIA HIT COAL MINING OPERATIONS, SUPPLY CHAINS
Source: HellenicShippingNews.com
Floods in eastern Australia, affecting the states of New South Wales and Queensland, have impacted operations at coal mines in the region, stalled railway transportation, affected port schedules and disrupted supply chains in general, mainly for thermal coal exports. With weather conditions getting worse, companies and government officials were still assessing the impact, but market participants expect more rail and port infrastructure to be affected in coming days. Miner Glencore said in a statement March 23 about its coal operations that it had taken “precautionary measures, including the decision to operate at reduced capacity at some sites”.  FULL STORY

WOOL EXPORTERS FACE CREDIT SQUEEZE AS SHIPPING DELAYS ADD UP TO 40 DAYS ON TO EXPORT TIMES TO CHINA AND EUROPE
Source: Michael Condon and Tim Fookes (ABC.net.au)
Wool exporters are the latest casualty in the worldwide delays affecting the shipping industry. A bottleneck at both Australian ports and in Singapore has meant that wool is taking up to 90 days to get to Europe, which is 40 days more than usual, and an extra 10 days to get to China. Dubbo-based wool broker Don McDonald said the delay is mainly affecting exporters and they may start buying less of the wool as a consequence. "One of the issues that's really hampering things at the moment is a congestion in shipping, particularly around Singapore," he said. "And, you know, half the world's freight goes through Singapore.  FULL STORY

WHITEHAVEN COAL (ASX:WHC) SUSPENDS SHIPLOADING AT THE PORT OF NEWCASTLE
Source: Rachael Jones (FinNewsNetwork.com.au)
Whitehaven Coal (ASX:WHC) reports that Newcastle Coal Infrastructure Group has suspended shiploading at the Port of Newcastle after a structural assessment identified faults. Storm-related damage to its other shiploader in November 2020 is expected to return to operation in Q4 CY21. Since November 2020 Whitehaven has been redirecting ships across to Port Waratah Coal Services where possible. Current weather-related port restrictions mean there is a backlog of 40 ships waiting at the Port of Newcastle.  FULL STORY

MUA SLAMS 'HORRIFIC' LIVING CONDITIONS ABOARD QATARI-OWNED VESSEL DETAINED AT PORT KEMBLA
Source: Tim Fernandez and Kelly Fuller (ABC.net.au)
The Maritime Union of Australia (MUA) has criticised the living conditions aboard a Qatari cargo vessel that has been detained at Port Kembla for more than a month. On February 19 the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) ordered the MV Maryam be held over 36 safety and crew welfare deficiencies. After speaking to the ship's captain and crew, the inspectors found owner Aswan Trading had failed to pay key contracts, leaving the ship without fuel for the engine, power and lighting. "It's a horrible situation — no other way to put it," the MUA's Michael Cross said.  FULL STORY

EGP TO CONNECT TO PORT KEMBLA
Source: PipeLiner.com.au
Jemena and Australian Industrial Energy (AIE) have signed an agreement to connect the Eastern Gas Pipeline (EFP) with the Port Kembla Gas Terminal. Under the terms of the deal, Jemena will build and operate a 12 km pipeline connecting AIE’s LNG import terminal in New South Wales to the EGP, with first gas expected to flow in early 2023. Jemena Managing Director Frank Tudor said the Port Kembla terminal will help alleviate anticipated gas shortfalls in the first half of this decade. “The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) recently identified a potential for a gas shortfall of around 30 PJ from as early as 2024 unless an LNG regassification terminal or speculative resources are developed,” he said.  FULL STORY

REDEVELOPMENT PLANS FOR PORT OF HOBART
Source: Imogen Hartmann (InfrastructureMagazine.com.au)
The Port of Hobart will be the state’s international gateway to the Southern Ocean thanks to TasPorts’ planned multi-million-dollar redevelopment for Macquarie Wharfs. The initiative will actively support world-class Antarctic exploration and scientific research whilst also enabling growth in well-established key trade areas over a 30-year horizon. The recent inclusion of the redevelopment on Infrastructure Australia’s Priority List 2021 signals its national significance, supporting TasPorts commitment to actively future-proof the state’s ports for the benefit of all Tasmanians. TasPorts Chief Operating Officer, Stephen Casey, said the critical component of this initiative is the development of a 720m continuous quay line at Macquarie Wharf 4, 5 and 6. FULL STORY

MORGAN STANLEY IN PRIVATE PORT RAISING, INTRODUCES IPO CANDIDATE
Source: Sarah Thompson, Anthony Macdonald and Tim Boyd (AFR.com)
Morgan Stanley’s asking clients to tip into an intriguing port company’s $45 million private funding round, with the lure of a potential initial public offering in 2023. Morgan Stanley’s retail arm, MSWM, has kicked off a $45 million unlisted capital raising for ICAM Duxton Port Infrastructure Trust (IDPIT), which has developed an innovative shallow-water port at Lucky Bay in South Australia. IDPIT’s pitch is about disrupting traditional deep-water ports, by taking the port to where products are based.  FULL STORY  

FIREFIGHTERS FORCED INTO COVID ISOLATION AFTER FIRE ON CARGO SHIP OFF WA COAST
Source: ABC.net.au
A number of firefighters have been directed to self-isolate after battling a fire on a cargo ship berthed at Port Hedland Wednesday night. Fire crews who attended the blaze say they were told the ship’s crew had not yet been given permission to disembark under Western Australia’s COVID-19 laws. As a result of possible contact with the crew, the firefighters and their close contacts have been told to self-isolate. A smoke warning was issued for Port Hedland after the fire broke out, with both volunteer and career firefighters attending the scene. The blaze was brought under control.  FULL STORY

PORT NELSON SIGNALS PROFIT GAINS IN HALF-YEARLY REPORT
Source: Stuff.co.nz
Port Nelson Limited has enjoyed a positive financial return for the first half of the financial year, which it says puts it in a strong financial position despite the challenges of Covid-19. In its recently released Interim Financial Report, Port Nelson reported an interim net profit after tax of $4.3M from July 1 to December 31 2020, compared to $3.7M for the same period last year. Revenue was $35.7M, up $2.1M compared with the same period last year. In a statement, Port Nelson chief executive Hugh Morrison said the strong financial position had come about through an increase in revenue due to the performance of the Port’s fourth-party logistics and supply chain solutions provider QuayConnect.  FULL STORY 

CONGESTION HITS AUCKLAND, POSING A 'MULTI-MILLION DOLLAR' PROBLEM FOR SHIPPERS
Source: Sam Whelan (TheLoadStar.com)
Delays at the New Zealand port of Auckland have become a “multi-million dollar problem” for the nation’s shippers. Rocketing demand for containers, staff shortages and a half-finished automation programme have combined to create a “perfect storm” of delays, exporters say. Local reports claim Ports of Auckland Ltd (POAL) is only using a third of its crane capacity and has been unable to fully use its new automated straddle carriers, because overseas engineers were blocked from entering the country after its borders closed.  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.