News & Media

27 August, 2021

Australian Newsletter - Issue 693

EXECUTIVES WARN OF GROWING CONTAINER SHIP SHORTAGES
Source: Harry Dempsey (FT.com)
Orders for new vessels are surging but availability is still unlikely to keep pace with global logistics demand. For months the world’s largest shipping groups have grappled with container shortages and a lack of berths in ports, as seesawing demand and Covid-19 heaped pressure on global logistics. Now another shortage is occupying the industry’s attention: that of the ships themselves. Executives have warned that, despite a recent surge in orders for new vessels, the availability of container ships is likely to remain strained in coming years given soaring demand for their services and the complexity of retooling fleets for environmental reasons. Xavier Destriau, chief financial officer of Israel’s Zim, one the world’s largest shipping groups, said that the tight supply of vessels posed “a potential major threat” given that many companies have hesitated until this year to order new capacity, while many old ships are overdue for scrapping. FULL STORY  

ONE IN 20 BULK CARRIERS CAUGHT IN CHINA PORT CONGESTION
Source: Michelle Bockmann (Lloydslist.maritimeintelligence.informa.com)
Unwinding of logistics logjam to determine the direction of rates in the coming months. Port congestion at this scale has not been seen in China since the halcyon days of the 2000s. Almost 6% of the world’s bulk carrier fleet is at anchor off Chinese ports as rising port congestion underpins bulk carrier rates, now at their highest in 11 years. Some 599 bulk carriers (over 10,000 dwt) totalling 52.6m dwt are tracked at key anchorages along the Chinese coast, according to Lloyd’s List Intelligence data compiled by Lloyd’s List. The massive logistics logjam means that nearly one in every 20 ships from the global fleet of some 11,850 bulk carriers is now waiting at ports in China to either load or discharge cargo. FULL STORY

CHINA REOPENS TERMINAL AT WORLD’S THIRD-BUSIEST PORT
Source: Bloomberg.com
The Meishan terminal at China’s second-busiest port reopened Wednesday following a two-week shutdown that further snarled already stressed shipping routes in Asia. The terminal will start the resumption of normal operations Wednesday, a port official said at a press conference in the city of Ningbo. The terminal was about a quarter of the Ningbo-Zhoushan port’s capacity and was shut from Aug. 11 after a worker was found to be infected with Covid-19. The congestion and delays on global shipping routes due to Covid has only worsened this year as Chinese exports hit new records due to rising global demand. This was the second closure of part of a port in China this year due to a Covid outbreak, after the month-long shutdown of Yantian port from late May. FULL STORY

VIKING ANNOUNCES NEW WORLD CRUISES FOR 2023-2024
Source: Donald Wood (TravelPulse.com)
Viking announced its new 2023-2024 Viking World Cruise, which will span 138 days, 28 countries and 57 ports, with overnight stays in 11 cities. After the 2021 and 2022 World Cruises sold out in record time, Viking will now offer a choice of two dates from Fort Lauderdale, including Viking Sky departing on December 20, 2023, and Viking Neptune departing on December 23, 2023. Passengers on both ships departing Florida will journey to Central America, before transiting the Panama Canal and sailing up the West Coast of North America. Guests booking the shorter 121-day Viking World Journeys itinerary will join the adventure in Los Angeles. FULL STORY

‘ROOM FOR EVERYONE’ TO MAKE GREEN HYDROGEN, SAYS DBI
Source: Jenny Wiggins (AFR.com)
Dalrymple Bay Infrastructure believes there should be “room for everyone” in Australia to produce green hydrogen, chief executive Anthony Timbrell said after the coal export terminal delivered a first-half net profit of $113.2 million. DBI already had an established deep-water port at a closer shipping distance to Asia than some other green hydrogen proposals being contemplated around Australia, but it did not expect competition to be an issue, Mr Timbrell said. “If the hydrogen industry develops to the extent that some experts are forecasting, then there will be room for everyone and it won’t necessarily be a matter of just one or two select projects getting up,” he said. FULL STORY

GOVERNMENT MOVES ON LONG-TERM VICTORIA PORTS REFORM
Source: TrailerMag.com.au
The State Government of Victoria will action a three-pronged effort to tackle recommendations made from a recent Victorian ports system review. The government response addresses the 63 recommendations handed down in the Independent Review of the Victorian Ports System that include strategic management, legislative charter and other key reforms. From the review three main areas of action have been identified. These involve setting up Ports Victoria; creating Ports Victoria’s legislative charter; and outlining key reforms, including pilotage and towage services. FULL STORY

MAJOR PORT PROPOSAL IN WESTERN AUSTRALIA DIVIDES OPINION
Source: SkyNews.com.au
A major port proposal that’s promising significant economic benefits is dividing a town in Western Australia. It comes as company Gascoyne Gateway wants to open up Exmouth to the world by building a major deepwater port just south of the town. Gascoyne Gateway CEO Mick Edwards said, “12 to 15 different types of trades or revenue streams will use this”. If the port is built in Exmouth, it would also create hundreds of local jobs. However, residents fear it could turn the pristine Exmouth Gulf, along with its precious ecosystem, into a busy shipping lane for large vessels – with regulators currently assessing the environmental risks and impacts. Some veterans and defence experts have also come out, backing the proposal to build the port. FULL STORY

WILD WEATHER, COVID-19 SLOW AUSTRALIAN COAL EXPORTS
Source: ArgusMedia.com
Bad weather and a spreading Covid-19 outbreak are disrupting activity at coal ports in the Australian state of New South Wales. Ships were ordered away from anchorages outside the NSW ports of Newcastle and Port Kembla because of storms earlier this week, just as delayed Covid testing is straining supply chains, leaving shipping queues outside Newcastle stubbornly above 40 vessels. Although the storms that hit the NSW coast have eased, allowing ships to return to anchorage. The Covid-19 outbreak in Newcastle and other parts of NSW is likely to continue to hit supply chains. FULL STORY

KEN HOU CREW TEST POSITIVE FOR COVID IN FREMANTLE PORT
Source: Nicolas Perpitch (ABC.net.au)
Twenty of the 22 crew members of a cargo ship berthed at Fremantle port have tested positive to COVID-19. They were tested on the dock next to the Ken Hou ship yesterday after it arrived in port, with more than half the crew reporting symptoms. The last time the ship was in port was in Si Racha in Thailand on August 7. Mr McGowan said it was still unclear what would happen with the crew, but the preference was to manage them on board. "It all depends on health advice and the condition of the crew, whether they can isolate on board, whether they're well enough to run the ship's systems," he said. It is the latest ship to come to WA carrying the virus, including the BBC California and MV Darya Krishna.  FULL STORY

COVID-19 PORT BREACH AS WA TWEAKS BORDERS
Source: Michael Ramsay (MundurahMail.com.au)
Western Australia's health minister has expressed frustration about a COVID-19 breach involving port workers as the state prepares for further border tweaks. It comes as police investigate a breach involving port workers at Fremantle who were photographed not wearing face masks while unloading a vessel. Others were photographed in close proximity to a foreign seafarer who was also not wearing personal protective equipment. "It's very disappointing," Health Minister Roger Cook told reporters. "WA Police have been made aware of that particular incident, they're investigating and obviously sanctions will apply in the event that they're found to be appropriate." FULL STORY

NZ SHIPPING CONTAINER FIRM GRAPPLES WITH SUPPLY CHAIN DISRUPTIONS
Source: RNZ.co.nz
Persistent supply chain disruption has forced local shipping container services firm ContainerCo to bring forward investment to help ease the pressure. Supply lines have been hit over the past 12 months by port closures and disrupted shipping services as they struggle to cope with consumer demand and rebound in global activity. Freight companies typically hire containers from shipping firms and return them to a storage facility by specific date. However, delays at ports means containers are not where they are needed and a lack of ships is causing congestion at container depots. ContainerCo operates 11 depots around the country and managing director Ken Harris said many of its facilities were above capacity. FULL STORY

DEBBIE SUMMERS STANDS FOR RE-ELECTION AS CHAIR OF NEW ZEALAND CRUISE ASSOCIATION
Source: Helen Hutcheon (Seatrade-Cruise.com)
Debbie Summers will stand for re-election as chairman of the New Zealand Cruise Association for the sixth consecutive year, following Tuesday’s annual general meeting. Summers told Seatrade Cruise News she believes continuity is important at this critical time in New Zealand’s cruise history. The meeting was chaired by Jacqui Lloyd of Destination Marlborough as Summers is on bereavement leave following the death of her husband Brendan after a two-year battle with cancer. David Kriel (Napier Port), Oscar Nathan (Tourism Bay of Plenty) and Avinash Murthy (Ports of Auckland) were elected to the board.  FULL STORY

NEW DIRECTOR APPOINTED AT PORTS OF AUCKLAND LIMITED
Source: OurAuckland.AucklandCouncil.govt.nz
Auckland Council has appointed Jan Dawson CNZM to the board of Ports of Auckland Limited. Mayor Phil Goff says, “I am pleased to announce that Jan Dawson has been appointed to the board of Ports of Auckland. “Jan comes to the board with a wealth of leadership and governance experience including recently as Chair of Westpac New Zealand Limited and Deputy Chair of Air New Zealand Limited. “Her experience and skillset will be invaluable to the Port as it continues to respond the impacts of the COVID-19 crisis and its effects on global shipping. FULL STORY

PORT OF TAURANGA LIMITED (NZX: POT) FINANCIAL RESULTS FOR THE YEAR TO 30 JUNE 2021
Source: ShareChat.co.nz
Port of Tauranga, New Zealand’s largest port, today reported Group Net Profit After Tax of $102.4 million, a 15.4% increase, on 25.7 million tonnes of trade. A 14.3% increase in log exports and a 46.0% increase in Subsidiary and Associate Company earnings were balanced by increased costs and reduced container volumes due to supply chain congestion. Port of Tauranga Chair, David Pilkington, says the results are very pleasing considering the well-documented supply chain challenges of the past year. “There has been major disruption in international supply chains. Constrained capacity in parts of the New Zealand supply chain, especially at Ports of Auckland, has exacerbated delays and restricted our ability to adapt quickly to the needs of importers and exporters,”. FULL STORY

EMPLOYER COPS HUGE FINE AFTER WORKER'S HORROR FALL
Source: Georgia Neaverson (HCAMag.com)
In a recent decision, the Tauranga District Court considered a worker who fell two metres whilst onboard a cargo ship and was left stranded with severe injuries for nine hours. Although the injury occurred in international waters, the Court identified the breach as having occurred by the worker’s New Zealand employer. It ultimately awarded $60,000 in damages to the worker and fined his employer $245,000. Karl Brown was employed as a technician at Genera Limited (“Genera”), a biosecurity and fumigation services company. At the time of his injury, Brown was aboard the vessel M.V Bunun Justice, which carried log stacks from New Zealand to China. 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.