Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Belgium will arm Belgian Flag vessels in Gulf of Aden

but not if you are not flying the Belgian flag, and, it will cost you...

From Lloyd's List

BELGIUM refused a request to place armed officers on board a Belgian-owned ship sailing through the Gulf of Aden because the vessel was sailing under a foreign flag, it was revealed today.

Belgium is offering owners flying the Belgian flag an eight-strong team of soldiers, flown in from bases in Dubai, Djibouti and Mombasa, at a cost of €115,000 ($161,375) per eight-day voyage. The services would be used for the first time “shortly”, Mr Ramacker said.

click here for complete article

Containerships scrapped at record levels

From the Journal of Commerce

Ship owners assigned 94 fully cellular containerships totaling 184,700 TEUs for scrapping in the first half of the year, Alphaliner said. This is nearly as much as the total tonnage scrapped in the past five years.

Mediterranean Shipping Co., the world's second largest ocean carrier, and Mitsui OSK Lines, the Japanese ship-owner, feature heavily in recent demolition contracts, according to Clarkson, the leading London shipbroker. While MSC has disposed of a number of aging vessels, MOL is demolishing some of the youngest ships to be scrapped since the market downturn, Clarkson said.

Ocean carriers and charter owners are expected to at least maintain current scrapping rates into 2010 when the oversupply of box ship capacity is forecast to peak at around 3.5 million TEUs.

click here for complete article

Monday, June 29, 2009

Will Japan increase oil reserves?

Oil prices went up today. They are saying it's become militants attacked an oil pipeline in Nigeria.

I wonder if it's not because countries are now starting to stockpile oil.

China is increasing their oil reserves from 1 months supply to 3.

Now Japan is following suit.

This from Lloyd's List

JAPAN has struck a deal with an oil company in the United Arab Emirates that would see more crude oil transported to the Far East to fill an onshore reserve base.

And in May 2009, MoneyNews.com reported

Japan's business daily Nihon Keizai reported that Japan may increase its national oil reserves to the equivalent of about four months' worth of domestic consumption, or a 40 percent increase over current levels.

Government officials denied the Nikkei report.

Overall, the price should be going down. Demand is going down according to

June 29 (Bloomberg) -- The International Energy Agency, an adviser to oil-consuming nations, cut five-year forecasts for global crude demand because of the economic slump, predicting consumption won’t regain last year’s levels until 2012.

click here for article from Bloomberg

So, bunker fuel prices should be coming down too. Once all the countries are finished increasing their oil reserve stocks.

At least the good thing about this for the tanker operators is this has increased the demand for tankers. But that will be short lived.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Pirates destroy ship

The actions of Somali Pirates have not been in the news lately, but seems they are getting a bit tired of companies not taking them seriously.

One crew member of the M/V Marathon was killed (reasons not given), and the ship M/V Indian Ocean Explorer was torched and destroyed, after the owner paid less than half of the demanded ransom.

click here for complete reports from The Maritime Executive Magazine.

Why did Eastwind Maritime collapse?

There have been no reasons given for the collapse of Eastwind Maritime

From Reuters

NEW YORK/DETROIT, June 24 (Reuters) - Shipping company Eastwind Maritime Inc said on Wednesday it would liquidate along with most of its affiliates, without giving a reason.

The company and more than 50 affiliates filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy protection in New York.

However, this comment was posted on my blog

Wonder to what extent the demise of Eastwind is due to excessive and aggressive trading by its PROBULK arm!

My guess: very substantial share of the blame goes to Probulk.

June 25, 2009 1:38 PM

Most likely Probulk got caught up in the craziness of the dry bulk market last year, and had too many bad bets they couldn't cover.

Perhaps the fact that Eastwind Maritime, as well as Probulk, were located at
444 Madison Avenue, New York, New York, contributed to their demise.

Livin' a little too high on the hog.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Chiquita and Eastwind Maritime

Eastwind Maritime, an operator of refrigerated ships that is domiciled in the Marshall Islands, filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy protection today in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court of the Southern District of New York.

"We are taking appropriate steps to protect Chiquita's interests under these long-term charters," said Waheed Zaman, senior vice president, product supply organization.

"While Chiquita's shipping operations represent only a comparatively small part of Eastwind's business, we have been monitoring developments closely and are working with the other parties involved in the chartering relationships to help assure ongoing and timely service to our customers," Zaman said.

Chiquita Brands International said it does not expect the bankruptcy filing by Eastwind Maritime and its affiliates to adversely affect service to Chiquita's customers and the delivery of its bananas and other fresh fruit products.

It said all of the 12 oceangoing ships that the company sold in 2007 remain under long-term charter to Chiquita, including the four ships sold to Eastwind.

click here for article from Journal of Commerce

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Eastwind Maritime files Chapter 7 Bankruptcy

Chapter 7 bankruptcy is liquidation of the company, not reorganization.

Eastwind had a deal with Chiquita

The corporation listed assets and liabilities in the range of $500 million to $1 billion. Related affiliates include Kura Shipping Ltd and Probulk Inc.

Eastwind Maritime entered a deal with Chiquita Brands International Inc (CQB.N) in May, 2007, in which Chiquita sold 12 refrigerated cargo vessels to Eastwind for $227 million, then leased them back. The vessels transported about 70 percent of Chiquita bananas shipped to core markets in Europe and North America.

click here for Reuters article

This, from the Eastwind Maritime web-site

Eastwind Maritime Inc. Files Chapter 7

Eastwind Maritime Inc., a Marshall Islands domiciled shipping company, today filed a voluntary Chapter 7 petition for liquidation of the company and most of its subsidiaries in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court of the Southern District of New York. An estate administrator is expected to be appointed by the Court shortly.

Press and Media Contact:

Richard M. Lemanski
Tel: +1 (212) 838-1113
E-mail: rlemanski@eastwindgroup.com

Guess I need to start a list of shipping companies which have been liquidated.

Surplus of oil products - ships used for storage

Oil has been going up due to speculation, (as mentioned in my blog of June 14, click here) and also due to the stockpiling by China.

China's stockpile increases oil prices

Since crude oil and other commodity prices plunged last year - oil tumbled from $147 last July to nearly $33 in December - China has been rushing to build up stockpiles at bargain prices, economists say. That motive, more than a revival in actual industrial demand, has driven its recent import boom of oil, copper and other metals.

Now we are seeing such a surplus of refined oil products, that..

AN INCREASING number of very large crude carrier newbuildings are being hired to store clean petroleum products as an alternative to land-based storage.

VLCCs and suezmax tankers are being chartered straight from the delivery yard before ever taking a crude cargo, brokers have reported

Even more interesting is this comment.

Oil demand has been so flabby in recent months, the refiners have already run the crude and are stuck with the product,” said SSY research director Mark Jenkins.

Assuming this is true, my price target of 55.00 for oil by August may not be too far off the mark. Eventually that will lead to lower bunker fuel prices.

click here for article from Lloyd's List "VLCCS NEWBUILDS USED FOR PRODUCT TANKER STORAGE"

Dr. Oetker companies doing well

Hamburg Sud is part of the Dr. Oetker group of companies, which is a family owned company.

This from Tradewinds

Dr August Oetker Oetker does not release information about its bottom line result but company chief Dr August Oetker said the year had been “pleasantly” profitable.

Shipping mainly under the Hamburg Sud flag is the biggest activity of the Oetker group and more than twice as big as its high profile food or drinks businesses.

Hamburg Sud increased its cargo volume by 25% to 2.7m teu through 2008.

Oetker said the performance was well above the industry average and described the result as “satisfactory.”

Turnover increased to EUR 4.5bn from EUR 3.6bn with 84% attributable to the liner division and 16% to tramp operations.

Hamburg Sud, which includes the Brazilian shipping company, Alianca, operated an average of 167 vessels through 2008 of which 32 were owned.

The 113 containerships had a combined slot capacity of 292,000-teu up 32% on the previous year. Some 54 vessels were operated on tramp services, focussed on panamax and supramax bulkers, although there are also product carriers in the fleet.

Oetker says the current year has not got off to anywhere near as vigorous a start as 2008 with all group companies trading below their target turnover.

What they don't mention is much of the increase has been due to aquisitions, but I am not sure how much.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Container market to fall in 2009

Bloomberg has a lengthy article today on Maersk, commenting how much the container market will contract in 2009.

They are saying "may drop more than 10 percent in 2009".

I believe it will certainly drop more than 10 percent, maybe even more than 20 percent.

There has been continual expansion for more than a couple of decades, so this will be a real shock to most of the managers in international shipping companies.

The container industry, which transports manufactured goods by sea, is in its first year of contraction as consumers in Western economies rein in spending. The market has expanded by more than 10 percent most years since containerization went global in the 1970s. The worst year until now was 1982, with 4.6 percent growth, according to Drewry, which three months ago had predicting only a 5.3 percent contraction in volumes.

click here for article from Bloomberg

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

CSAV won't survive

I don't think CSAV will make it. There will not be a recovery any time soon, and they just don't have the deep pockets which are needed to survive in international shipping.

The ship owners who have ships on charter to CSAV did everything they could to keep them in business, and some are now having second thoughts.

Also, some of the comments now coming out are interesting.

And, by the way, congrats to Janet Porter who called this dead on in her blog posting, Delaying the inevitable.

This, from Lloyd's List

EMBATTLED Chilean container line CSAV has come under fire from rivals and shipowners for cutting freight rates weeks after being handed reduced charter rates on 79 of the vessels operating in its fleet.

But some owners are beginning to regret having agreed to the deal, as CSAV shows little sign of having learned its lesson after threatening counterparties with bankruptcy if they did not bail out the company.

Hamburg shipowners Bertram and Erck Rickmers, who each participated in the rescue in a small way, said CSAV had come within “seconds” of going bankrupt. Furthermore, if CSAV had not been saved, shipowners with vessels on charter to the line would have been liable for delivering cargo in transit to the final destination.

click here for complete article

China's stockpile boosts oil prices

This is the headline of an article in my local paper. It is an Associated Press article, written by Elaine Kurtenbach, byline is Zhoushan, China.

The funny thing is I cannot find this on the web, neither in Kansas.com (which is the link to the paper), nor in Associated Press, nor when I google the writer's name.

So, I am retyping it here. Trust me, this came from the printed version of The Wichita Eagle, dated June 17, 2009.

China's stockpile boosts oil prices

By Elaine Kurtenbach
Associated Press

Zhoushan, China - One reason behind the rebound in world oil prices lies here on China's eastern seaboard, where tidy rows of immense, squat oil tanks tucked away on an island south of Shanghai, have been filled to guard China's energy security.

Patrolled by military personnel, these tanks in Zhoushan are one of four locations where China keeps its national strategic reserves.

Since crude oil and other commodity prices plunged last year - oil tumbled from $147 last July to nearly $33 in December - China has been rushing to build up stockpiles at bargain prices, economists say. That motive, more than a revival in actual industrial demand, has driven its recent import boom of oil, copper and other metals.

The surge in Chinese demand, along with rising hopes for a global economic recovery, has helped lift the price of oil, which is now trading at around $70 a barrel, and other commodities.

The question is how high prices will go before Chinese buyers - and other investors that have flooded into commodities from other markets - decided to cut back, says Simon Wardell, and oil analyst at IHS Global Insight based in London.

"This market is persisting and it may well persist for a few more months yet, simply on the basis of increased optimism," he said.

China is obsessed with making sure it has enough energy and materials to feed its economy. Authorities plan to build more oil reserve tanks while lining up diverse supply sources, from Brazil to Nigeria and Siberia.

Earlier this month, energy chief Zhang Guobao announced government approval of a second phase of strategic oil reserves that will hold 26.8 million cubic meters of crud oil - bigger than the current reserves of 16.4 million cubic meters.

Ultimately, China aims to have about three months of supply in national reserves. It now has about a month's worth.

Perhaps that is one reason China is importing so much iron ore. Not to build ships, but to build oil storage tanks.

I also suspect China thinks spending their U.S. Dollars to buy oil is a good investment.

I don't know how long it will take China to get up to 3 months supply of oil, but you can be sure once they do the price of oil will go down.

Of course, if their present storage tanks are full, they might quit buying for a while. This would be a smart idea anyway, as it would cause the price of oil to fall back down.

Let's play the guessing game.

I guess oil prices will drop back down to around $55 a barrel by October, and if China does stop buying in the next month, it could drop down to that level by August.

What's your guess?

Federal Express continues decline

I just realized Federal Express has changed their official name to FedEx Corp. Just like Kentucky Fried Chicken is now known as KFC. Just goes to show how old I am.

Anyway, FedEx continues to experience declines in cargo, especially international priority deliveries, which fell 12 percent for the quarter ending May 31, 2009.

The good news is, they, like everyone else, are saying the free fall appears to be over. Of course, there are many saying the recovery will be slow in coming.

This from Bloomberg News.

Fourth-quarter revenue (which for FedEx was May 31, 2009) declined 20 percent to $7.85 billion, FedEx said. U.S. express package volumes fell 2 percent and international priority deliveries, one of the company’s most-profitable offerings, plunged 12 percent.

The slide in U.S. express shipments was the smallest in five quarters, an indication that the rate of decline “appears to have leveled off,” Smith said.

click here for complete article

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Ship Hijacking in Nigeria

The hijackings by Somalian Pirates have been in the news quite a lot the last year.

We often forget there are other hotbeds for hijackings - Nigeria being one of them.

A tanker was hijacked in May 2009. Here is the account of the hijacking and release by the military.

One note, what I found interesting is the tanker was hired by the Nigerian Oil company to import refined oil into the country. Nigeria is a huge oil producing state, but they have had problems for years not being able to get it refined locally.

From allAfrica.com

Abuja — Napoleon Emphasis was the captain of an oil tanker ship, MC Spirit chartered by the Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) to bring 20,000 metric tonnes of refined petrol (PMS) to the country on Wednesday, May 13, 2009.

I was actually taken by surprise. There was no sign that the militants were there. I am sure they also took the soldiers by surprise. Almost immediately, their boats numbering over 10 were all over the place. Some of them came in boats while those that first attacked us appeared from the nearby bush. They were very many and they appeared from all directions. I tried to manoeuvre my ship but no way. The militants were all over the place. Before I knew what was happening, they were hanging on my ship.

"The day the soldiers went to attack the camp to rescue us, the militants were also taken unawares by the counter-attack. There was confusion there. At first, the militants didn't know whether to run and leave us. They later summed up the courage and asked us to come out to the open and be waving our shirts so that the military helicopters did not kill them. But when they realised that soldiers were on ground and were advancing toward us, the militants took to their heels.

click here for complete article

Monday, June 15, 2009

Venezuela is just a mess!

The President of Venezuela, Hugo Chavez, has really managed to make a mess of the country. It's quite sad, considering they have so much oil.

There is so much concern about the developments in Venezuela, that London’s marine insurance market placed it on its list of most risky places for shipping.

This from Lloyd's List

Last month, the Venezuelan government seized a slew of marine offshore energy assets in the busy oil shipping area of Lake Maracaibo, including more than 300 support vessels and 39 terminals.

The Venezuelan military in March took control of key ports across the country, following legislative reforms to bring the administration of these strategic assets under state control.

Fears of civil unrest and further nationalisation of strategic assets, including ports and shipping, have prompted the inclusion of the South American region’s energy powerhouse on the market’s “danger area” list.

The Lloyd’s and London company insurance markets’ Joint War Committee draws up the hull war, strikes, terrorism and related perils list to alert underwriters on where in the world vessels face the most danger.

Internal conflict in the Maracaibo region, deteriorating political conditions and rampant inflation have all contributed to raise the alarm bells for London insurers over ships operating in and around Venezuela.

click here for complete article

Sunday, June 14, 2009

What price for bunker fuel?

Oil has been going up.

Personally, I think there is way too much speculation going on which is driving up the price of oil. Hedge funds and others are now buying up oil, putting them in tanker ships, and (in my opinion) manipulating the market to drive up the price.

This of course, is just my opinion.

One of my friends is investing in an oil exploration venture. I have a chance to invest, but as I think the price or oil is now artificially high, I won't be investing.

OPEC says they won't be increasing production until oil hits 100.00 a barrel.

I am guessing there will be a lot of volatility in the market in the next few months.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Fall out from illegal price fixing U.S./Puerto Rico

In general, I have a problem with this whole idea that only U.S. Flag carriers can offer service between the mainland and Puerto Rico. That also applies to Hawaii and Alaska.

To add insult to injury, the carriers operating between the mainland and Puerto Rico got together to illegally fix their rates. Some people went to jail for this action.

This is the outcome for Horizon Lines, one of the carriers.

Horizon Lines was facing multiple class action lawsuits from customers who claimed financial damage because of the company’s allegedly unlawful conduct, after the US Department of Justice antitrust division’s investigation into price fixing between Horizon Lines and its trade rivals became known.

HORIZON Lines has agreed to pay $20m and freeze freight rates in its Puerto Rico trade lane for two years to settle a class action lawsuit brought by disgruntled customers.

Customers with Puerto Rico contracts with the Jones Act container line would have the option, in lieu of receiving cash, of a freeze on their base rates for two years beyond the expiration the contracts.

If I were a customer of Horizon, I would do 2 things.

1) Take the money, not the freeze on rates

2) Start looking for services from Europe and South America to Puerto Rico. Start shopping the rates from those origins, and use these to negotiate new rates with your carrier.

Who knows, maybe in the end it will be cheaper to source products from someplace other than the mainland U.S.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Jobs in International Shipping

There are jobs in international shipping advertised in various publications.

Here are some of the links


Journal of Commerce

Lloyd's List Jobs

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

U.S. "Foreign Corrupt Practices Act"

Most companies were unaware of a law passed during the Carter administration, making it illegal for companies to pay bribes to facilitate business dealings in foreign countries.

That was, until the U.S. started enforcing this law.

The American Shipper has a lengthy article regarding some of the actions against companies.

Panalpina, who is not even a U.S. company, but an international freight forwarder based in Switzerland, was fined by the U.S. for their practices in Nigeria.
Because of this, Panalpina has discontinued operating in Nigeria.

Amazing we, the U.S. can impose our morals on foreign companies.

I'm not saying that bribes should be sanctioned, but it certainly is commonplace in many countries.

click here for article from American Shipper

Giving ‘grease’ the elbow

Foreign Corrupt Practices Act compliance is a growing concern for logistics companies

Last fall the large Swiss forwarding and logistics firm Panalpina ended services within Nigeria, saying it was doing so as part of its compliance remediation efforts after being investigated for possible violations of the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.
The 30-year-old FCPA, which is enforced by the U.S. Justice Department and Securities and Exchange Commission, prohibits bribes or other sorts of corrupt payments to foreign officials for the purpose of obtaining or keeping business.

Updating my predictions

Well, we are half way through 2009.

Most companies are saying the free fall is over, but when we will see a recovery is certainly up for debate.

My last updated prediction was Jan. 2009.

1) U.S. will be in a recession until 2011
2) Unemployment will hit 10%
3) Stock market? Maybe a bottom around 7500-8000

As for international shipping, I guess 10% of the carriers in existence today will be gone. Probably bought by someone else, but in several instances (especially in bulk and tankers) bankrupt.

So far I am about on target for the unemployment rate and stock market bottom - unless the stock market tanks again.

As for international shipping, we have not yet seen any major bankruptcies. This is mainly because all of the banks, creditors, and owners of chartered vessels are doing everything they can to keep companies in business. The only ones not really playing are the shipyards.

They are starting to accept delays, but only if customers are willing to pay the penalties.

But, things are not looking up, and I think the next 6 months will put the squeeze on a lot of carriers.

This from Lloyd's List

Box lines face fight of their lives as ocean rates fall back to zero

Janet Porter - Tuesday 9 June 2009

CONTAINER lines have just four weeks to reverse the slide in Asia-Europe freight rates or risk going out of business.

click here for link to article

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

More trouble in Somalia

This isn't really about international shipping, except for the effect the pirates from Somalia have on the shipping industry.

Somalia has been without a functioning government for almost 20 years. The current one, backed by the U.N. appears to be on it's way to be ousted, and, along with it, aide agencies.

From all Africa

The Somali interim government, which is the 15th attempt to restore national order since 1991, is struggling against an insurgency led by Al Shabaab and Hizbul Islam hardliners, who control sections of Mogadishu and are attempting to overthrow the U.N.-backed government.

A senior member of Somalia's Islamist guerrilla movement Al Shabaab has ordered international aid agencies to leave the southwestern region of Gedo, Radio Garowe reports Monday.

Abdullahi Osman Jibril, a top militia commander in Gedo region, said Al Shabaab informed the aid agencies' local and international offices to leave "within a short period of time."

"Security forces in Gedo [region] have orders to take necessary steps against all aid agencies who refuse to leave the region," said Mr. Jibril, who accused aid groups of "espionage."

No reports have emerged from U.N. and other international aid agencies operating in Gedo, where lack of rainfall this year has contributed to a growing humanitarian crisis.

click here for complete article

No wonder they have turned to piracy.

Monday, June 8, 2009

STX Pan Ocean fined for intentional pollution

It's one thing when there is accidental pollution. That's bad enough.

But, it certainly gives the entire international shipping community a bad reputation, when a company intentionally pollutes, and lies about it.

From the Journal of Commerce

Korean company pleads guilty to dumping oily waste water off Fla.

The corporate owner of a Korean-flag bulk carrier will pay a $2.2 million fine for violating U.S. oil pollution laws, the Justice Department announced Friday.

STX Pan Ocean, which operates the M/V Ocean Jade, pleaded guilty to four counts of conspiracy and making false statements and records in the U.S. District Court in Tampa, Fla. They were charged with dumping oily waste and waste water overboard between July and October 2008, then falsifying log books and lying to Coast Guard inspectors.

click here for complete article

Sunday, June 7, 2009

The BBC Box is abandoned

I don't know for sure the BBC box has been abandoned, but it certainly is being neglected.

It has been empty in Japan for about 3 weeks now, since May 19.

Click here for the latest update from NYK tracking site

Input the container number, prefix and number, no spaces


The BBC hasn't had any reporting since the container arrived in Japan.

I am also a bit disappointed they did not have information as to the destination of the contents of the container and it's use, but instead did a report about the general economy of Japan.

Guess I will e-mail the BBC to find out what's going on.

Friday, June 5, 2009

United Airlines looking to the future

The container carrier industry is just now going through what the airlines have been through the past couple of decades.

If an airline is still in business, they are probably doing some things right.

United Airlines is using the downturn as an opportunity to order some new fuel efficient jets at a good price. They haven't bought new planes in a decade.

From American Shipper

United Airlines may order up to 150 new planes worth $10 billion and has asked both Boeing and Airbus for competing bids on the jets.
The Wall Street Journal reported Thursday that the airline could be seeking to take advantage of the slow economy by requesting bids during the current downturn. The new planes would be used to replace both older widebody planes and B757s, with newer, more fuel efficient planes. Reportedly United has not ordered new jets in a decade.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

CMA CGM credit rating downgraded

All of the three big credit rating agencies downgraded the debt ratings of CMA CGM.

This was the action by Fitch

The ratings company downgraded the long-term Issuer Default Rating and its senior unsecured rating to 'BB-' from 'BB+'. It rated the outlook “Negative.” CMA CGM's Short-term IDR remains 'B.'

And this was the reaction of CMA CGM

FRENCH container line CMA CGM will no longer allow its debt to be rated by any of the big three agencies after losing patience with Standard & Poor’s, Moody’s and Fitch for failure to understand the container shipping industry.

Well, I guess that's one way to handle the bad news.

click here for article from Journal of Commerce

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Piracy Surcharges

I don't find it illogical that ocean carriers sailing in the Gulf of Aden are charging a piracy surcharge. Some of the crews sailing in this area were demanding additional wages, and the carriers must also pay higher insurance premiums.

However, the surcharges vary quite a lot by carrier, with MSC not charging at all.

This from Lloyd's List.

CMA CGM has confirmed it is one of the container lines levying a piracy surcharge to cover the risk of operating in waters where attacks are commonplace.

The French line said it applies a piracy risk surcharge of $20 per teu on its Swahili Express service that links Kenya, Tanzania and Mozambique and on its on Asia-East Africa rotation between Singapore, Port Kelang, Kenya and Tanzania. Both call at Mombasa where cargo interests have vented their anger about the additional costs of shipping cargo.

But in some cases, a far higher piracy fee is in place, with Zim said to be charging $100 per teu as the Israeli line calls at the port of Djibouti.

Some lines such as Maersk and sister company Safmarine have a war risk surcharge of $25 per teu, but they usually do not charge their regular customers, according to agents.

Not every line is charging extra. Mediterranean Shipping Co said: “We have not so far introduced any piracy surcharge for vessels calling at Mombasa.”

click here for complete article

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Future plans of NOL/APL

Neptune Orient Lines (NOL) purchased American President Lines (APL) several years ago. OK, it was probably more like several decades ago, I am old. In fact, I find it interesting that both web-sites only use the acronyms, not the complete names.

Anyway, today NOL announced a "rights issue" allowing current shareholders to purchase stock at a price less than the current market price.

SINGAPORE (AFP) — Singapore container shipping firm Neptune Orient Lines (NOL) announced plans to raise almost a billion US dollars through a rights issue.

NOL said the issue, amounting to 1.43 billion Singapore dollars (993 million US), would boost the company's balance sheet, help repay debt and tap any business opportunities that might arise.

About 1.1 billion new shares will be issued at 1.30 Singapore dollars each, which is about a 15 percent discount from NOL's stock close of 1.53 dollars on the local stock exchange Friday.

Shareholders eligible to subscribe will get three new shares for every four existing ones, NOL said in a statement.

I would say this is a good move on their part. They are going to need cash to get through this downturn, and, who knows what bankrupt carrier they might want to buy at a fire sale price.

Hamburg Süd christens new ship

The vessel Monte Aconcagua was christened in Hong Kong last week.

I find it a bit strange that in this day and age, with hurricanes named using both male and female names, it is still the customary to have women christen ships.

The name of this ship comes from Monte (for mountain) and Aconcagua is from Cerro Aconcagua

Cerro Aconcagua is the highest mountain in the Americas, and the highest mountain outside Asia. It is located in the Andes mountain range, in the Argentine province of Mendoza. The summit is located about 5 kilometres from San Juan Province and 15 kilometres from the international border with Chile.

Here is the press release from Hamburg Sued.

Hamburg Süd: Final "Monte" class ship christened in Hong Kong

Hamburg, 2 June 2009. Friday, 29 May, saw the "Monte Aconcagua", the
last of a series of ten of Hamburg Süd's successful 5,552 TEU "Monte"
class, christened in Hong Kong. The container ship's sponsor was
Luise Klus, daughter of Dr Ingeborg von Schubert, Chairlwoman of the
Advisory Board of the Gundlach Group, Bielefeld.

Following the naming ceremony, the "Monte Aconcagua" was phased into
Hamburg Süd's Asia - South Africa/South America East Coast Service
(New Good Hope Express).

In addition, Hamburg Süd will be adding three further "Rio" class
vessels to its fleet until the end of the year. They have a container
capacity of 5,900 TEU, making them one bay longer than the ships of
the "Monte" class. The "Rio" ships are to be phased into the shipping
group's Europe - South America East Coast Service, gradually
replacing the "Monte" vessels, which will then operate in the Asia -
South Africa/South America East Coast Service.

Technical data of the "Monte Aconcagua":

Capacity 71,270 tdw
Container capacity 5,552 TEU
Length overall 272.00 m
Length between perpendiculars 259.00 m
Breadth 40.00 m
Draught max. 13.20 m
Speed 23.3 kn
Main engine output 45,765 kW

You can download a photo of the christening at www.hamburgsud.com
under Press & Media/Photo Gallery (Ship christenings).