Shipping and Maritime

Royal Wagenborg - EasyMax vessel

Royal Wagenborg’s New EasyMax Completes First Sea Trial on the North Sea

Jan. 27, 2021 - Royal Wagenborg announced that the second EasyMax completed her first sea trials on Jan. 26. Starting in the port of Delfzijl, various tests were completed on the North Sea.

According to Royal Wagenborg, with a load capacity of 14,200 tonnes and a hold volume of more than 625,000 cft, the EasyMax is the biggest ship ever built in the north of the Netherlands on the landward side of the dikes. With a length of 149.95m, a beam of 15.90m and a draught of 8.60m, the EasyMax has the maximum possible dimensions for the Royal Niestern Sander shipyard.

With two large rectangular holds — 13.50m wide, 12.10m high, and 47.36 and 64.38m long, respectively — the EasyMax excels in her class with her very high capacity for heavy or light cargo, timber and paper, and open-top loading. This allows for maximum deployment in Wagenborg’s operating area.

The EasyMax is suitable for worldwide commercial operations, including in such areas as the Baltic, the North Sea, the Mediterranean, the St Lawrence Seaway, the Panama Canal, and the Suez Canal.

The vessel is expected to be delivered to Royal Wagenborg and affiliated owners soon.

EasyMax sea trialNote: See video of sea trial of Royal Wagenborg's EasyMax:

SOURCE: Royal Wagenborg


vessel loading sawn timber

MPV Sector Benefits from Container Chaos

Originally published by Heavy Lift & Project Forwarding International

Delays, lack of space and a surge in tariffs is plaguing the liner shipping market. While the current situation is causing headaches for shippers and forwarders alike, there are opportunities for the breakbulk and multipurpose shipping sector.

Jan. 26, 2021 - In calling for the Competition Directorate of the European Commission to intervene, the European Freight Forwarders Association (CLECAT) and the European Shippers’ Council (ESC) said that practices adopted by the liner shipping sector is adversely impacting European companies, from retail, fashion, automotive, cosmetics to IT businesses.

“The violation of existing contracts, the establishment of unreasonable conditions concerning the acceptance of bookings and the unilateral setting of rates far in excess of those agreed in contracts,” were some of the practices currently being adopted by liner carriers, according to the associations.

CLECAT commented: “Carriers have been reserving for themselves the ability to change rates whenever they see fit notwithstanding the specific rates and charges agreed. Carriers are continuing to top their rates with surcharges, general rate increases, etc. Similarly, shippers and forwarders are being confronted with refused bookings and rolled cargo if carriers deem it more profitable to accept higher rated cargo for a particular sailing. Unacceptable practices also include imposing an extra fee as a price for accepting cargo at a new tariff charge, simply refusing to accept bookings at all for customers, forcing a customer with contract rates to move it to spot rates at a much higher price.”

The disruption in the supply chain because of the unprecedented number of blank sailings (up to 30 percent on some trades), combined with the lack of reliability (with only 50 percent of ships on time over the last year), has led to the current shortage of empty containers. Carriers are trying to ship containers back to China as fast as possible, simply because there is a need and profits are extremely attractive.

This, according to CLECAT, has a domino effect. “As a consequence, forwarders and shippers are now also confronted with all sorts of new surcharges such as ‘equipment imbalance surcharges’, which carriers are imposing,” it said.

Belgium-headquartered logistics provider Ahlers has also raised awareness to the “madness” in container freight rates. “Today we face an unprecedented high volume demand out of Asia to the USA and Europe in the container market. The freight rate ex-Far East to the USA last year has nearly tripled with serious equipment shortage. Though some shippers accused the carriers of this situation due to the blank sailings last year, carriers claim that unusual demand is the reason.

“Since many countries re-opened, following strict lockdown in 2020, the demand for consumer goods went through the roof,” said the company.

One knock-on effect, however, is new opportunities for breakbulk, multipurpose and ro-ro carriers.

Ahlers explained: “Aside from some bigger multipurpose, container-fitted vessels being chartered for carrying containers, there is an increase in cargo volumes due to more containerised cargo coming back to the breakbulk market, in addition to the traditional machinery and special equipment.”

For example, Ahlers has witnessed shipments of sawn timber, which for several decades now has typically been shipped out of South East Asia in containers, requesting breakbulk vessels due to the high container rates and equipment shortage.

“Freight forwarders are forced to look for unconventional new ways – such as moving cargo to tri-modal container terminals – desperately trying to find different shortsea shipment solutions with smaller coaster vessels and trucking the cargo to its destination,” said Ahlers.

Read the complete article on Heavy Lift & Project Forwarding International's website

SOURCE: Heavy Lift & Project Forwarding International


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
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