News & Media

06 August, 2021

Australian Newsletter - Issue 690

SHIPPING LOSSES REMAIN AT HISTORIC LOWS, BUT COVID, MEGA-SHIP, SUPPLY CHAIN AND CLIMATE CHALLENGES LOOM LARGE
Source: AGCS.Allianz.com
Marine insurer Allianz Global Corporate & Specialty SE’s (AGCS) have published their Safety & Shipping Review 2021. The international shipping industry continued its long-term positive safety trend over the past year but has to master Covid challenges, apply the learnings from the Ever Given Suez Canal incident and prepare for cyber and climate change challenges ahead. The number of large vessels lost remained at record low levels in 2020, while reported incidents declined year-on-year, according to marine insurer Allianz Global Corporate & Specialty SE’s (AGCS) Safety & Shipping Review 2021. FULL STORY  

DIGITAL TRAINING PROPOSED TO HELP PLUG SEAFARER SHORTAGE
Source: ShipInsight.com
Ship managers and operators facing a potential seafarer shortage because of Covid-19 can increase their talent pipeline by outsourcing digital maritime training to a specialist says Nigel Cleave, Senior Advisor at OneLearn Global. Ship managers and operators facing a potential seafarer shortage because of Covid-19 can increase their talent pipeline by outsourcing digital maritime training to a specialist. Nigel Cleave, Senior Advisor at OneLearn Global, the digital eLearning maritime training provider, said his company was available to help shipping companies train existing and develop new mariners amid the crew change crisis. “The shipping industry has been rocked by several challenges in recent years, not least the global pandemic,” he said following the release of the ‘Alllianz Safety and Shipping Review 2021’, which warns of long-term consequences for the maritime sector. FULL STORY

SHIPPING BRACES AS CHINA GOES INTO LOCKDOWN MODE
Source: Sam Chambers (Splash247.com)
Shipping will need to start to make contingency plans if cases of Covid-19 continue to escalate in China, the world’s most important nation for shipping movements. The delta variant has broken through the country’s virus defences, which are some of the strictest in the world, and reached nearly half of China’s 32 provinces in just two weeks. While the overall number of infections — more than 360 so far — is still lower than Covid resurgences elsewhere, the wide spread indicates that the variant is moving quickly with many millions of Chinese now in lockdown. “For freight markets, the implications include delays at ports as authorities screen crews of incoming vessels and a hit to China’s oil demand if widespread lockdowns are imposed,” a report from Braemar ACM pointed out Monday. FULL STORY

SHIPWRECKED IN THE FEDERAL COURT: ACCC SUFFERS COMPREHENSIVE LOSS AGAINST NSW PORTS
Source: Liza Carver and Linda Evans (Lexology.com)
The Federal Court has handed down its decision in ACCC v NSW Ports Operations Hold Co Pty Ltd [2021] FCA 720, rejecting the case that the NSW State Government’s port privatisation process contravened the Competition and Consumer Act 2010 (CCA). Even if there was conduct that might amount to a breach of the CCA, the Court found that those provisions did not apply to the conduct of the State of NSW or the successful bidder, NSW Ports. The State was protected by Crown immunity and NSW Ports was protected by “derivative crown immunity”.  FULL STORY

11 CORONAVIRUS CASES OFF CENTRAL QUEENSLAND COAST LIKELY TO BE DELTA, MARITIME SAFETY QUEENSLAND SAYS
Source: Jasmine Hines (ABC.net.au)
The 11 cases of coronavirus on a ship docked off the coast of central Queensland is likely to be the Delta variant, Maritime Safety Queensland says.
General manager of Maritime Safety Queensland Angus Mitchell said the affected ship, the Pan Europe, is an LNG tanker which is at anchor near Gladstone. "We're still waiting on that serology to come back, but it certainly does look like Delta is likely and that's really some advice from Health around the spread of infection," general manager Angus Mitchell said. He said it was encouraging that most of the crew – 23 out of 26 were vaccinated. FULL STORY

PORT OF NEWCASTLE RESPONDS TO AUSTRALIAN COMPETITION TRIBUNAL DECISION
Source: HellenicShippingNews.com
The following comments are from Craig Carmody, CEO Port of Newcastle. Port of Newcastle is pleased that the Australian Competition Tribunal has affirmed the decision of the Federal Treasurer, made on the advice of the expert National Competition Council, that it is not in the public interest to declare the Port of Newcastle under the National Access Regime. Yet again, the Tribunal’s decision reinforces nine previous decisions or recommendations already made by two Federal Government Treasurers and the specialist National Competition Council. FULL STORY

CITRUS EXPORTS HELD UP BY SHIPPING PROBLEMS BUT DEMAND FROM CHINA STILL STRONG
Source: Kellie Hollingworth (ABC.net.au)
Australia's citrus harvest is expected to drag out a little bit longer this year due to a shortage of pickers and shipping delays. The Mildura Fruit Company operates Australia's largest citrus packing sheds and between mid-April and mid-October this year it expects to pack 89,000 tonnes of citrus fruit to be sent off to market. Oranges, mandarins and smaller volumes of tangelos, lemons and grapefruit will pass through the shed over the next few months. Managing director Perry Hill said shipping to export markets had been severely disrupted this year due to a shortage of refrigerated containers and coronavirus outbreaks in different countries. FULL STORY

PORTS AUSTRALIA CALLS FOR CALM IN WA
Source: HellenicShippingNews.com
Ports Australia is urging both the Western Australian Government and shipping charterers and lines to work together to avoid circumstances where the State Government is forced to punish or even turn away ships which have passed through ports in high COVID-19 risk nations. Ports Australia appreciates the complexities behind managing the challenges catalysed by COVID-19 as well as the Western Australian Government’s concern and objective to protect its community, but this needs to be balanced with the desire to protect the Australian economy. FULL STORY

KOTUG AUSTRALIA TO MANAGE TOWAGE OPS IN PORT HEDLAND
Source: MarineLink.com
KOTUG Australia Pty Ltd  (KOTUG) and WESTUG PTY Ltd (Westug) have successfully concluded an agreement to re-shape the towage services for Pilbara Marine, a subsidiary of Fortescue Metals Group (Fortescue) in Port Hedland. The service includes the operation of nine state of the art Rotortugs at Port Hedland, which have been servicing Fortescue and other port users since the commencement of operations in 2019. After almost three years of working together to successfully establish the towage service for Fortescue in Port Hedland, Westug and KOTUG have mutually and amicably agreed to exit their agreement as of August 1, 2021 with regard to this operation. FULL STORY

CASE FOR NEW ZEALAND SHIPPING NOW URGENT
Source: Maritime Union of New Zealand (Scoop.co.nz)
The Maritime Union says New Zealand freight companies need to focus on a secure supply chain, and abandon the “low wage” ideology. Maritime Union National Secretary Craig Harrison says there is a growing realisation that New Zealand needed to have shipping capability to ensure reliable and secure services. He says an increasing number of charters by exporters was proof that New Zealand needed local solutions to shipping congestion. Leading figures in the logistics industry had acknowledged the need for New Zealand coastal shipping and new ideas. Mr Harrison says there is still however an element of business owners who want to keep New Zealand shipping and New Zealand workers excluded from this process. FULL STORY

AUCKLAND PORT'S HYDROGEN PROJECT SNAGS KEY JAPANESE INVESTOR
Source: Catherine Harris (Stuff.co.nz)
A Japanese company which helped build a pilot hydrogen plant near Taupo is investing on a second energy project at Ports of Auckland. Obayashi Corporation and iwi-based Tuaropaki Trust are preparing to open what's described as the country's first megawatt-class green hydrogen facility near Taupo. Their joint venture, Halcyon Power, is expected to formally open a pilot plant in a few weeks. In the meantime, Obayashi has become an equity partner in Ports of Auckland's hydrogen project. The port plans to eventually build an electrolyser which would provide enough green hydrogen not only for the port but potentially for other vehicles such as buses and rail. FULL STORY

WORKERS SENT HOME – THEN GIVEN ALL CLEAR – AT PORT OF TAURANGA AFTER APPARENT COVID-19 SCARE
Source: Scott Yeoman (Stuff.co.nz)
Stevedores unloading a container ship at the Port of Tauranga on Wednesday night were unexpectedly told to stop working and to go home and isolate after an apparent Covid-19 scare. Then on Thursday morning, local health authorities gave the all clear for work to continue on the vessel, with no need for workers to isolate. The Ministry of Health said the initial action was taken “from an abundance of caution” and it now considered the risk to be minimal. On Tuesday, Port of Tauranga received an alert from Maritime NZ that a container ship at anchor – the Rio de la Plata – had been boarded two weeks ago by an Australian pilot who recently tested positive for Covid-19. FULL STORY

ONE-ON-ONE THE WAY TO BREAK PORT WORKER VACCINE FEARS
Source: RNZ.co.nz
As New Zealand's vaccination campaign ramps up speed, closer attention is being paid to those who are hesitant, with low rates among port workers in the spotlight. The Maritime Union is calling for health authorities to offer one-on-one consultations for port union workers who are unsure about vaccination. The union, which represents waterfront and port workers and seafarers, says that's the best way to counteract Covid-19 disinformation. Covid-19 Minister Chris Hipkins has blamed a 'wave of misinformation' for keeping 44 percent of port workers from getting their first dose of Pfizer. Maritime Union national secretary Craig Harrison told Morning Report that one-on-one engagement with concerned workers is the way to go. FULL STORY

LIVE CATTLE EXPORT SHIPS CONTINUE TO DEPART
Source: RNZ.co.nz
Five live export ships have departed New Zealand since the government announced they'd to be phased out, with another arriving Monday. In April, the government announced it would ban all live cattle exports by sea with a two-year phase out period. The Ministry for Primary Industries said since the announcement five ships have left New Zealand shores with approximately 25,259 head of cattle. A sixth ship The Al Kuwait arrived in Timaru Port Monday with permission to export 15,401 cattle from across the South Island bound for China. FULL STORY

SAMOA GOVT CONFIRMS CHINA-BACKED PORT PROJECT SHELVED
Source: RNZ.co.nz
Samoa's new prime minister has opted not to proceed with a China-backed port development project championed by her predecessor. Fiame Naomi Mata'afa said the $US100 million ($NZ139m) project would have significantly added to the country's exposure to China which already accounts for 40 percent of its external debt. The proposed construction in Vaiusu Bay has been a divisive issue in Samoa, playing a part in April's national election where long-serving leader Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi lost his parliamentary majority. After a protracted impasse following the election, in which Tuilaepa's HRPP administration refused to concede defeat until legal avenues were exhausted, the new government of Fiame's Fa'atuatua i le Atua Samoa ua Tasi (FAST) party was confirmed late last month. 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.