News & Media

20 August, 2021

Australian Newsletter - Issue 692

COVID-19 IS CAUSING YET ANOTHER SHIPPING BOTTLENECK IN CHINA, DRIVING CONTAINER RATES THROUGH THE ROOF
Source: Stavros Karamperidis (MarketWatch.com)
Ningbo-Zhousan may not exactly be a household name, but find something in your house made in China and it’s quite likely it was delivered from there.
Ningbo-Zhousan, which overlooks the East China Sea some 200 kilometers south of Shanghai, is China’s second-busiest port, handling the equivalent of some 29 million 20-foot containers every year. At the time of writing, it has more than 50 ships waiting to dock. This is because the Ningbo-Meishan terminal, which handles about one-fifth of the port’s total volumes, has been closed for a week after a member of staff tested positive for COVID. With still no word of a reopening, many more ships have diverted to alternative ports. Unfortunately, this is the tip of the iceberg in shipping. FULL STORY  

COVID-19 PANDEMIC: SALUTING THE RESILIENCE OF THE MARITIME INDUSTRY
Source: HellenicShippingNews.com
The Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic took the world by storm in early 2020, devastating economies, disrupting lifestyles, and generally bringing the world literally to its knees. The development forced countries around the world to go into lockdowns, mainly for the purpose of limiting the spread of the disease and put in place strategies to respond to the existential threat it posed to humanity. The pandemic adversely affected all sectors of the economy, causing many to shut down, with attendant losses that could not really be quantified. To the shipping industry, the challenge was huge, perhaps more than what other sectors faced, because of its peculiar nature and the strategic role it plays in the world economy and, by extension, the lives of the entire world population. FULL STORY

CHINA PORT CONGESTION WORSENS AS SHIPS DIVERT AWAY FROM NINGBO
Source: Kevin Varley and Ann Koh (Aljazeera.com)
The partial closure of the world’s third-busiest container port is worsening congestion at other major Chinese ports, as ships divert away from Ningbo amid uncertainty over how long virus control measures in the city will last. In nearby Shanghai and in Hong Kong, congestion is once again increasing after dropping due to the reopening of Yantian port in Shenzhen, which shut in May for a separate outbreak. The number of container ships anchored off Xiamen on China’s southeast coast rose to 24 Tuesday from 6 at the start of the month, according to shipping data compiled by Bloomberg. FULL STORY

OCEAN TECHNOLOGIES GROUP OFFERS SUPPORT TO HELP SEAFARERS COPE WITH PIRACY ATTACKS
Source: HellenicShippingNews.com
Piracy attacks on vessels in the commercial shipping sector are an on-going problem with particular hotspots in areas such as the Gulf of Aden, the Gulf of Guinea and the South China Sea. In a recent declaration, BIMCO and 99 other maritime organisations including flag states agreed to work towards the suppression of piracy attacks in the Gulf of Guinea. The declaration has highlighted the need for interested parties to work together with regional states to create active anti-piracy operations. It is believed that this will lead to an 80% reduction in piracy attacks in the area by 2023. FULL STORY

MORE MISERY FOR AUSTRALIAN SHIPPERS FORCED INTO SPOT BUYING AS D&D FEES RISE
Source: Sam Whelan (TheLoadStar.com)
As scarce shipping capacity forces more Australian shippers onto the spot market, rising container detention costs are piling more pressure on supply chains. According to the Container Transport Alliance Australia (CTAA), cargo owners are already dealing with shipment delays, rolled cargo, equipment shortages and unprecedented freight rates. Now, as the industry heads into peak season, CTAA says, one “insidious consequence” of the capacity squeeze is container detention costs imposed by shipping lines. “Even major forwarders and importers are being forced into the spot market to secure container import space on vessels, rather than longer-term contract conditions,” it said. FULL STORY

AUSTRALIA WATCHDOG WARNS OF GAS SHORTFALL IN 2022
Source: Nathan Richardson (SPGlobal.com)
Australia's competition watchdog said on Aug. 17 that east coast LNG producers will need to step up their efforts to ensure the domestic market is adequately supplied or the region could face gas supply shortfalls by as soon as 2022. As part of the most recent Heads of Agreement signed between the LNG producers and the Australian government in January, the exporters must offer uncontracted gas to the domestic market on internationally competitive terms before it is exported. They are required to provide material to the watchdog, the ACCC, to demonstrate their compliance. FULL STORY

QUEENSLAND COAL PORT PIVOTS TO RENEWABLE HYDROGEN AS WIND AND SOLAR PIPELINE SURGES
Source: Michael Mazengarb (RenewEconomy.com.au)
A Queensland coal export terminal soon become host to renewable hydrogen production and export infrastructure as the state looks to unlock up to $23 billion in wind and solar projects. A MoU has been signed by the ASX listed Dalrymple Bay Infrastructure, along with the Queensland government owned North Queensland Bulk Ports Corporation, infrastructure investors Brookfield Group and Japanese trading group Itochu Corporation. The group will undertake a study into the potential production, storage and export of renewable hydrogen from the Dalrymple Bay terminal, which is one of the world’s largest metallurgical coal export facilities and is served by coal producers in the Bowen Basin. FULL STORY

PORT OF BRISBANE CEO STEPS DOWN
Source: Bill Craske (TrailerMag.com.au)
Port of Brisbane Pty Ltd (PBPL) has announced that its Chief Executive Officer, Roy Cummins, has tendered his resignation, effective Friday 20 August.
Cummins was considered highly effective as a leader and guided PBPL through a significant period of growth. He also helped deliver two of the largest capital projects in the Port’s history: the $110m Port Drive Upgrade and the $177m Brisbane International Cruise Terminal. PBPL Chairman Guy Cowan thanked Cummins for his service as CEO. “Roy has provided six years of dedicated leadership of our company, where he not only ensured excellent stewardship of our asset, but also delivered key value accretive asset enhancement projects,” he said in a statement. FULL STORY

AUSTRALIA’S NCIG COAL SHIPLOADER RESTART FALTERS
Source: Jo Clarke (ArgusMedia.com)
The ship queue outside Australia's largest coal export facility at Newcastle has passed 40 vessels again, as the Newcastle Coal Infrastructure (NCIG) terminal struggles to return to normal operations following the return of shiploader 2. The NCIG shiploader, which has been out of operation since November, was reinstated on 20 July, with the potential of adding 1.25mn t/month in export capacity at the port and helping to clear the extremely high ship queues. But shipping data show that no ships have been loaded at the K10 berth, which is loaded by this shiploader, since 25 November, and loadings from the other two berths operated by NCIG — K9 and K8 — have not ramped up. FULL STORY

PORT FINED OVER FORESHORE CLEARING
Source: Cameron McCullough (MPNews.com.au)
The Port of Hastings Authority has been fined $20,000 at Frankston Magistrate’s Court for unauthorised vegetation removal in February 2020.
The 7200 square metres of foreshore cleared was adjacent to the Crib Point jetty. The port authority was prosecuted by Mornington Peninsula Shire Council after the authority failed to gain approval for the clearing. The court was told that representatives of the Port of Hastings Authority and power company AGL – which planned to establish a now-abandoned gas import terminal at the jetty – had met with a council arborist in mid-2018 to discuss removal of some vegetation around the boundary of the property. The authority then hired a contractor to remove virtually all the vegetation from the site, leaving a few significant trees. FULL STORY

VENTURE LOCKS IN MAIDEN TASSIE IRON ORE SHIPMENT
Source: Matt Birney (BusinessNews.com.au)
ASX-Listed Venture Minerals in on the verge of shipping its first iron ore from its Riley mine in north-west Tasmania having chartered a vessel that will transport the ore in early September. The milestone achievement comes after the mine reached steady state production enabling enough ore to be generated for continuous haulage to the Port of Burnie for export. A recently commissioned wet screening plant has allowed for 24-hour processing at the mine to reach steady state production and set the company on a transformational path from iron ore explorer to iron ore producer. FULL STORY

WESTPORT GROWS LEGS AS WA DEMANDS TRADE GROWTH
Source: Henry Ballard (AustralianMining.com.au)
The long deliberated Westport, south of Perth, has been the subject of a market briefing, as plans for Western Australia’s latest port facility look to satiate the state’s trade needs including ore and mineral exports. In Kwinana, the concept of another port has been considered since 2017, when a Westport taskforce was established to investigate its feasibility. Minister for Transport and Ports Rita Saffioti said the process was arduous but necessary. “Planning for a new port is extremely complex, and that is why we want to partner with businesses that can bring world-class knowledge to the project,” Saffioti said. FULL STORY

SIMON CRADDOCK APPOINTED PORT TARANAKI CHIEF EXECUTIVE
Source: Stuff.co.nz
Experienced company executive and director Simon Craddock has been appointed chief executive of Port Taranaki Limited. Craddock succeeds Guy Roper, who announced his retirement earlier this year and leaves Port Taranaki on September 30. The 48-year-old will take up the role in early October. Craddock has more than 20 years’ experience across professional services, engineering and aviation, leading and working on strategy and transformation projects and, more recently, in governance. He has a background in corporate strategy, operations and performance improvement, having held senior management positions at Air New Zealand, and having worked at Deloitte and Fisher & Paykel Healthcare. FULL STORY

SAMOA PORT UPGRADE UNDERWAY
Source: RNZ.co.nz
The Asian Development Bank and the Samoa Government have held a groundbreaking ceremony to officially begin an upgrade of the country's international port. The project will rehabilitate and upgrade the port in Apia so it can withstand a 100-year storm event and 50-years of sea-level rise. The redevelopment will include a customs facility with a new container x-ray scanner to enable more effective border management. A new tug is also being provided. Gender-responsive green port initiatives will be included to promote clean and sustainable port operations and management. FULL STORY

WHY AI IS A FIRST RESPONDER FOR OVERLOADED CREWS IN SHIPPING’S TOUGHEST ERA YET
Source: HellenicShippingNews.com
Communities around the world are reeling in the wake of a global pandemic right now – and seafarers are right at the eye of the squall. Even at the best of times, shipping crews are more vulnerable to fatigue than most, with demanding workloads and lack of sleep ramping up pressure in unpredictable circumstances. Covid-19 has created a perfect storm from these issues. Crew budgets are being slashed – and those that do remain are on the sharp end of a major relief shortage due to coronavirus restrictions. Disrupted maintenance and supply of equipment add fuel to the fire. With supply chains under serious strain, the Ever Given crisis then aggravated the situation further. 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.