News & Media

01 April, 2021

Australian Newsletter - Issue 672

SHIPPING COMPANIES COUNTING COST OF SUEZ CHAOS
Source: Jonathan Saul and Carolyn Cohn (Reuters)
The owners and charterers of ships unable to sail through the the Suez Canal for nearly a week face at least $24 million in expenses they will be unable to recoup as their insurance policies do not cover them, industry sources say. Up to 400 ships, which include oil tankers and vessels carrying goods to consumers that had been stuck, are counting the cost after traffic through Egypt’s Suez Canal was halted for six days. A giant container ship that had blocked the waterway since March 24 was refloated on Monday, the canal authority said. Ships typically have various types of insurance, including protection & indemnity (P&I) for pollution and injury claims. Separate hull and machinery policies cover vessels against physical damage.  FULL STORY

MAPPING THE WORLD’S KEY MARITIME CHOKE POINTS
Source: Carmen Ang (Visual Capitilist)
Maritime transport is an essential part of international trade—approximately 80% of global merchandise is shipped via sea. Because of its importance, commercial shipping relies on strategic trade routes to move goods efficiently. These waterways are used by thousands of vessels a year—but it’s not always smooth sailing. In fact, there are certain points along these routes that pose a risk to the whole system. Here’s a look at the world’s most vulnerable maritime bottlenecks—also known as choke points—as identified by GIS.  FULL STORY

SUEZ CANAL BEGINS CLEARING VESSEL BACKLOG
Source: Gary Howard (Seatrade Maritime News)
Transits of the Suez Canal began again in the evening of March 29 after the Ever Given was refloated and towed from the area in which it grounded. An update from a local shipping agency at 1140 hrs local time on March 30 said that 37 vessels resumed their canal transit from the Great Bitter Lakes on the evening of March 29, and six remained at anchor there awaiting transit as of the early hours of March 30. The update said that 25 vessels were due to start their transit from Suez beginning at 0800 hrs. In all, 163 vessels were awaiting transit in Suez, 137 vessels were awaiting transit in Port Said and six vessels were waiting in the Great Bitter Lakes. FULL STORY

EVER GIVEN: ‘LESSONS NEED TO BE DRAWN TO IMPRIVE SAFETY,’ SAYS MARITIME EXPERT
Source: Euronews with AP
Lessons need to be learned from the running aground of the Ever Given, the massive container ship that was stuck in the Suez Canal for nearly a week, an expert in maritime affairs has told Euronews. Captain Jamil Sayegh, who has experience navigation the Suez Canal, said accidents happen especially in difficult conditions, “but we have to draw lessons out of this accident to enhance the safety of navigation not only in this canal but every canal and river where we have restricted water.”  FULL STORY

ITF WANTS ASWAN SHIPPING VESSELS BANNED FROM AUSTRALIAN WATERS
Source: Jonathan Boonzaier (Trade Winds News)
Union claims detention of two bulkers shows the company is a habitual offender of crew rights. The International Transport Workers Federation (ITF) has called for Australia to ban the ships of Aswan Shipping after two of its bulkers were detained over serious technical problems and labour rights issues. The union said that companies like Aswan should be fearful of the consequences of violating the rights of seafarers. Detained over the past two months by the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) are Aswan's 97,000-dwt bulker Maryam (built 2004) and 91,800-dwt-dwt bulker Movers 3 (built 2002).  FULL STORY

FIREFIGHTERS FORCED INTO COVID ISOLATION AFTER FIRE ON CARGO SHIP OFF WA COAST
Source: ABC Pilbara
A number of firefighters have been directed to self-isolate after battling a fire on a cargo ship berthed at Port Hedland in the early hours of Thursday morning.  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 WA Health spokesperson said the isolation was a precaution.  FULL STORY

‘FAST MOVING AND POTENTIALLY DEADLY’: FISHERMAN’S PHOTO SPARKS URGENT WARNING
Source: Alex Turner-Cohen (7News)
As flooding eases along the NSW coast, authorities have warned swimmers and boaties to remain vigilant. A picture shared by NSW Maritime shows a massive water tank lurking just below the surface of the water off Lake Macquarie near Newcastle. “A good reminder that just because you’ve headed offshore doesn’t mean your (sic) safe from debris from the recent floods,” the warning read. “This 2.5m diameter water tank was located off Lake Macquarie over the weekend.”  FULL STORY

MINERS SURGE AS IRON ORE PRICE JUICES PROFITS
Source: Richard Henderson (Australian Financial Review)
Bumper demand for iron ore has sent shares in Australia’s biggest miners to trade at record levels this year and led analysts to ponder whether another commodities supercycle has emerged. In January, Fortescue Metals shares closed at a record high, a feat promptly repeated by BHP Group in February and then by Rio Tinto this month, as Australia’s global mining giants eclipsed the heights reached during the boom days of Chinese growth a decade ago. The trio is set to prosper further as demand for iron ore is sustained, analysts predict, after shaking off concerns that a pollution crackdown in China would dampen orders from the country’s steel producers.  FULL STORY

NEW TUG WELCOMED TO THE PORT OF GERALDTON
Source: Lydia Woellwarth (Dry Bulk Magazine)
The third and final new state-of-the-art tug, Svitzer Wilu was welcomed to the Port of Geraldton, Australia, last week, joining Svitzer North and Svitzer Abrolhos to form the new fleet. Following a community naming competition held jointly with Mid West Ports Authority, the vessel Svitzer Wilu was named in recognition of the rich indigenous heritage in the Mid-West. ‘Wilu’ is the Aboriginal word for ‘sea, seaside or salt water’ and was received as a nomination in the competition by a community member. Svitzer Wilu is 30 m in length, has 70 t of bollard pull, and increased safety capabilities with advanced firefighting capabilities on board. Mid West Ports Authority CEO, Dr Rochelle Macdonald advised “It’s very exciting to welcome the final tug to our fleet. The three new tugs provide an extra level of capability for the Port while assisting ships in heightened weather conditions and in the event of an emergency.”  FULL STORY

FREMANTLE PORTS SIGNS TEN-YEAR CONTAINER TERMINAL LEASES
Source: Imogen Hartmann (Infrastructure Magazine)
Patrick and DP World have signed ten-year leases with Fremantle Ports for two existing container terminals in Fremantle. The leases are for a ten-year term, with potential for Fremantle Ports to extend the term by up to a further eleven years, subject to the Western Australian Government’s planning timeline for a transition to a new Outer Harbour Westport container terminal. The new leases took effect from January 2021. Acting Fremantle Ports CEO, Sean Craig, said he was delighted to have agreed to new ten-year leases with Patrick and DP World. “This provides many benefits to WA shippers and the wider container industry,” Mr Craig said.  FULL STORY  

VICTORIAN GOVERNMENT BLOCKS AGL PROPOSAL FOR CRIB POINT GAS TERMINAL
Source: Nick Toscano, Miki Perkins, Benjamin Preiss and Mathew Dunckley (The Age)
The Victorian government has rejected a proposal for a gas import terminal at Crib Point in Western Port and an associated pipeline to Pakenham. Planning Minister Richard Wynne said the proposal from power company AGL and pipeline business APA would have “unacceptable effects on the environment in Western Port, which is listed as a Ramsar wetland of international significance”. The $250 million proposal had generated substantial local opposition, with an environment effects statement (EES) process garnering more than 6000 submissions.   FULL STORY

FORREST’S LNG IMPORTS CRUCIAL TO AVOID GAS SHORTFALL
Source: Angela Macdonald-Smith (Australian Financial Review)
Andrew Forrest’s LNG import terminal in Port Kembla will help push out Victoria’s expected shortfall in local gas supplies until 2026, although the operator of Australia’s energy market is warning of shortages as early as winter 2023 if the project is delayed and demand is high. Without the plant, which is under development at a former NSW coal terminal, the decline in gas flows from mature fields would leave the south-east heavily reliant on storage and increasingly squeezed pipelines to meet demand, the Australian Energy Market Operator said in its closely watched annual outlook for the gas market.  FULL STORY 

PORT BOTANY LOGISTICS STILL IN CRISIS DESPITE SLIGHT EASING
Source: Fully Loaded
CTAA sees continuing reports of record landside container redirections Sydney’s empty container congestion continues with imports measured by twenty foot-equivalent units (TEU) continuing to outpace exports, according to Port Botany operator NSW Ports’ statistics. In the last six months, total imports have exceeded total exports by about 12,000 TEU. The silver lining is that there has been a significant increase in the repatriation of empties by containership lines from below 60,000 TEU a month last July to around 80,000 in the five months before March.  FULL STORY

PORTS OF AUCKLAND: MARITIME UNION URGES CHIEF EXECUTIVE TONY GIBSON TO RESIGN
Source: Radio New Zealand
The Maritime Union is calling for Ports of Auckland chief executive Tony Gibson to resign after a scathing report into health and safety failings at the Ports. Several Auckland councillors have also joined the chorus of criticism following the release of the independent report. There had been three deaths at the port in recent years, two occurring in 2018. The Auckland Council commissioned report found Ports of Auckland's health and safety approach didn't reflect the level of risk inherent in port operations. It gave recommendations to address the failures.  FULL STORY 

'SIGNIFICANT' HEALTH AND SAFETY CHANGES NEEDED AT PORTS OF AUCKLAND, REVIEW FINDS
Source: Laine Moger and Lucy Xia (Stuff.co.nz)
Serious health and safety changes need to be made at Ports of Auckland Limited, an independent review has found. The review, released on Tuesday morning, was undertaken after three fatalities at the ports in as many years. Ocean swimmer Leslie Gelberger died in 2017 after being struck by a Ports of Auckland pilot boat, and the following year, young father Laboom Midnight Dyer died after the straddle carrier he was driving tipped. In 2020, 31-year-old Pala’amo (Amo) Kalati died after being crushed by a container, which led to Maritime NZ slapping the company with a notice to urgently improve safety.  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.