Shipping and Maritime

seafarer aboard cargo ship

MSC Backs Industry Campaign for Seafarers Amid Global Crew Change Crisis

Jan. 26, 2021 - As the latest measure to alleviate hardship on seafarers, MSC has joined forces with peers across the maritime value chain in a worldwide call to action to end the unprecedented crew change crisis caused by COVID-19.

Hundreds of thousands of seafarers are stuck at sea since crew changes were banned by many governments to help curb the spread of COVID-19. This has led to serious consequences for seafarers’ physical and mental well-being, as well as risking serious disruptions to global trade.

In order to accelerate action to solve the issue that has spiralled into a humanitarian crisis at sea, MSC has signed the Neptune Declaration on Seafarer Wellbeing and Crew Change. The declaration defines four main actions to facilitate crew changes and keep global supply chains functioning:

  • Recognise seafarers as key workers and give them priority access to COVID-19 vaccines
  • Establish and implement gold standard health protocols based on existing best practice
  • Increase collaboration between ship operators and charterers to facilitate crew changes
  • Ensure air connectivity between key maritime hubs for seafarers

"As we move in to the second year of the COVID-19 pandemic, the health and well-being of our seafarers is at the top of our minds. The urgent matter of facilitating seafarer repatriations and crew changes is a vital one that needs immediate attention,” said Soren Toft, CEO MSC.

“On top of MSC's efforts last year to bring the critical issue of crew changes to the attention of governments, we believe it is more important than ever to appreciate the valuable contribution that seafarers bring to the global economy and to ensure that these people are recognised as key workers. Seafarers and shipping have kept the world moving amid COVID-19 lockdowns and it is imperative that governments give full support to alleviate the crewing crisis and keep trade flowing unhindered," Toft continued.

MSC crewing offices have been in close contact with seafarers and their families to provide support since the issue began. In addition to working collectively through industry associations to improve the situation for the seafarers, MSC has also engaged directly with intergovernmental bodies and officials in certain countries to address specific situations and as a result some have agreed for allowing crew change in their countries and have approved a standard of protocols to be followed. MSC stands by its seafarers and continues to work hard to ensure they are given the support and good treatment that they deserve.

Despite all these significant efforts by shipowners, international organisations and some governments, the situation is only getting worse as new travel bans are implemented. To seek a solution to this humanitarian crisis, it is crucial that national governments recognise seafarers as keyworkers, strict health protocols are followed onboard and onshore, and the air links between crew change hubs and major seafaring nations are restored.

Learn more about the Neptune Declaration and see the full list of undersigning companies and organizations here.

SOURCE: MSC Mediterranean Shipping Company


Saga Welco - UPM pulp

UPM Signs Maritime Transport Contract with Saga Welco for Pulp Deliveries from Uruguay

Jan. 13, 2021 - UPM has signed a long-term maritime transport agreement with Saga Welco for the transportation of UPM’s Euca eucalyptus pulp production from the Fray Bentos pulp mill and UPM’s new Paso de los Toros pulp mill, which is under construction.

UPM pulp will be shipped from the ports of Nueva Palmira and Montevideo to customers around the world.

Saga Welco noted that it has provided sea transport services for UPM since 2013, delivering 1.3 million tonnes of annual pulp production capacity of the Fray Bentos mill.

In summer 2019, UPM started construction of a second pulp mill in Uruguay – a 2.1 million tonnes per year greenfield eucalyptus pulp mill near Paso de los Toros in the central part of the country. Simultaneously, UPM started building modern port operations specialised in global pulp logistics in the deep sea port of Montevideo and other works to strengthen local infrastructure related to the pulp mill. The project has proceeded according to plans – both pulp production and port operations are scheduled to start in the second half of 2022.

The new pulp mill will increase UPM's current eucalyptus pulp production capacity by more than 50% resulting in a step change in the scale of UPM Euca pulp deliveries and supplies from two mills to global customers in Europe, Asia and other markets.

About Saga Welco

Saga Welco AS is an international shipping company that offers high quality solutions for the transport of forest products and bulk cargoes. The company has its headquarters in Norway and several regional offices in strategic locations around the world.



Swire Shipping - MV Lae Chief

Swire Shipping Deploys First 2,750TEU Newbuild, MV Lae Chief

SINGAPORE, Nov. 23, 2020 - Swire Shipping has deployed its first 2,750TEU newbuild, MV Lae Chief, on its newly upgraded North Asia Express (NAX) service. Launching the new fixed-day fortnightly service with her maiden voyage, the vessel made her first port call in Shanghai on 5 November 2020. She made subsequent port calls in Ningbo, Nansha and Hong Kong SAR, and is currently en route to make port calls in Lae, Port Moresby and Townsville before returning to Shanghai.

The new 2,750TEU vessel is fitted with three 45mt cranes capable of dual lifts, ensuring that they are well-equipped to carry all cargo types, including breakbulk, out of gauge and reefers. With strengthened tank tops to 20t/m², MV Lae Chief is capable of carrying breakbulk such as steel and forest products, as well as vehicles up to 70t.

New, modern vessels deployed to support growth in the region

At 2,750TEU nominal capacity, MV Lae Chief and her sister vessels will be Swire Shipping’s largest container vessels calling in Papua New Guinea. Swire Shipping will deploy three newbuild vessels on the upgraded NAX service, offering its customers and the communities it serves a reliable fixed-day product that will support continued growth in the region.

“This is a proud moment for Swire Shipping, not only because we have launched the fixed-day fortnightly service from North Asia to Papua New Guinea and Australia, but also because we have done this by deploying these owned, modern and eco-friendly vessels,” said Mr Jeremy Sutton, General Manager of Swire Shipping.

“By deploying these new ships on our upgraded service, customers will enjoy a more frequent product, delivered on fixed-days and with the ability for future growth.”

SOURCE: Swire Shipping

G2 Ocean - MyG2

G2 Ocean Launching New Online Platform, MyG2, to Help Customers Improve Logistics Management

Dec. 2, 2020 - G2 Ocean announced that it is launching a new web-based platform for its customers; MyG2. The platform gives customers full visibility and access to live data and information related to various business activities, including:

  • Live Schedules
  • Shipment- and vessel Tracking
  • Dashboard with Performance Data

“MyG2 opens the door to a new world of opportunities for our customers and marks a major step towards improving customer service,” said Project Manager Camilla Naumann-Berg.

“We hope this easy to use platform will foster collaboration, improve efficiency and give customers relevant business insights to help them stay ahead of their competition,” she added.

New features to be added

As part of a frequent upgrade strategy, new features and functionality such as a booking of shipments will be added during 2021. Other updates include:

  • Booking of shipments
  • Extended dashboard functionality, including individual greenhouse gas emission reports
  • Integration of Bill of Lading Issuing Process

To learn more about G2 Ocean’s MyG2 platform, visit:

SOURCE: G2 Ocean


MSC Names Soren Toft as Its New CEO

Soren Toft

Dec. 2, 2020 - MSC Mediterranean Shipping Company today announced the appointment of Soren Toft as Chief Executive Officer, effective 2 December 2020. He reports directly to Diego Aponte, MSC Group President, and Gianluigi Aponte, Founder and MSC Group Chairman.

Toft joins MSC from Maersk, where he served as Chief Operating Officer since 2013 and later as a Member of the Executive Board. His impressive long-standing career in shipping over more than two decades and extensive experience in leadership roles will bring significant value to MSC’s cargo businesses, building on the company’s existing strengths and boosting its development plans even further.

In his role as CEO, Toft oversees MSC’s global cargo businesses including ocean liner and logistics. He will also be a member of the board of directors of Terminal Investment Ltd (TiL), the terminals business which is majority-owned by MSC.

Commenting on the new CEO’s arrival, Diego Aponte said, “With his twenty-five years of experience in leadership roles at Maersk, and his comprehensive understanding of the future of the container shipping supply chain, Soren is the ideal match to help lead MSC into the future at the helm of our family company, building on the strategy which has made MSC such a growing success these past five decades.”

Toft added, “I am very excited and humbled by the opportunity given to me by the Aponte family. Helping to preserve the MSC DNA and lead such a successful company into the future is a great honour and a privilege for me.”


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