Shipping and Maritime

Shipping Decarbonization Hinges on Owners of Cargo, Not Ships

The single most important vessel-supply question for the coming decades is: Will the ocean shipping industry decarbonize on a global scale?

By Greg Miller for Freight Waves

Feb. 7, 2020 - The single most important vessel-supply question for the coming decades is: Will the ocean shipping industry decarbonize on a global scale?

Even those who view carbon reduction with contempt and are entirely focused on their own bank accounts take this question very seriously, given the enormous sums to be gained or lost. What’s at stake is nothing less than the long-term supply-demand balance of the world’s shipping network.

Decarbonization would reduce the number of vessels at sea, revolutionize ship designs, and force ocean freight rates higher to cover the added cost. For this to happen, ship owners must be denied the capital to finance new carbon-emitting ships, and they must be forced to decarbonize via binding International Maritime Organization (IMO) regulations.

None of that is possible unless it’s supported by the cargo side: the world’s largest ocean shippers of oil, gas, ore, coal and grain, as well as the governments of the countries that have the most to gain from ocean trade, whether of bulk commodities or containerized goods — particularly countries in Asia.

The pro-decarbonization game plan was laid out in detail at the Hellenic-American/Norwegian-American Chambers of Commerce (HACC/NACC) Joint Shipping Conference in New York on Tuesday. Advocates claimed that not only ship finance but also cargo interests are on board.

The shipping banks launched a decarbonization initiative called the Poseidon Principles in June 2019. According to Citi Global Head of Shipping Michael Parker, the chairman of the Poseidon Principles, the charterers that ship the cargo are about to follow suit.

“There is a parallel initiative to the Poseidon Principles underway at the moment, currently code-named ‘The Charterers’ Charter,’” he disclosed. “They met with us when we started this process and diverged off because they were concerned that the banks would be too proscriptive.

“They are right behind us. We expect something to come out [of the charterers’ side] by October, where the main users of [dry and wet] bulk shipping will have a view about the emissions of the vessels. It won’t just be about the emissions. It will be about cargo owners coming to a common set of principles on what vessels they will charter.

Read the complete article at: Freight Waves


G2 Ocean Names Arthur English as New CEO, Succeeds Rune Birkeland

Rune Birkeland

Jan. 25, 2020 - G2 Ocean recently announced that Rune Birkeland decided to resign from his position as Chief Executive Officer. He will be replaced by Arthur English, Chief Commercial Officer, effective 1 January 2020.

Birkeland will continue to take an active part in the company as a Grieg Group representative.

Birkeland has been with Grieg for 15 years and served as CEO of G2 Ocean since its launch in 2017. During his tenure, Birkeland has helped build a strong foundation for G2 Ocean.

“I look back at the last three years with great satisfaction – it has been an incredible journey and a privilege to lead this business. I want to thank every single employee at G2 Ocean for helping to make it all possible,” Birkeland said.

Arthur English

Birkeland noted that Arthur English is the ideal candidate for the role of CEO at G2.

Arthur has been a major contributor to G2 Ocean’s growth and success over the last three years. Having worked side by side with him, I have appreciated his qualities and I am confident that we have found an ideal successor to lead the company into its next phase of growth,” Birkeland emphasized.

English has worked 25 years for Gearbulk and G2 Ocean.

“I am very honored to be given the opportunity to lead G2 Ocean together with more than 360 highly competent colleagues worldwide. It is with humility I take on this task,” English said.

Birkeland will support English closely in the coming months to ensure a smooth transfer of leadership.

About G2 Ocean

G2 Ocean is a joint venture of two of the world’s leading breakbulk and bulk shipping companies: Gearbulk and Grieg Star. The company operates the largest fleet of open hatch vessels worldwide, in addition to a substantial fleet of conventional bulk carriers.

SOURCE: G2 Ocean


SCA's Ship Owning Business is Moving Home to Sweden

SCA OstrandJan. 25, 2020 - SCA Group at the beginning of January announced that it is moving its vessel registration home to Sweden, forming SCA Shipping AB. The measure is the result of the new Swedish tonnage tax system.

“Gathering our entire shipping business is a more logical solution,” says Per-Anders Westin, Finance Manager SCA Logistics.

SCA's shipping operations have been located on the Isle of Man for a number of years; however, some 10 Swedish companies, among them SCA, have applied to the Swedish Tax Agency to move their shipping businesses back home from 1 January. This is the result of a change to taxation regulations for vessel ownership.

“Thanks to the tonnage tax, more shipping companies will be registering here in Sweden instead of abroad,” says Per-Anders.

This change will not result in price rises for customers

In conjunction with this, there will be changes to what are known as Liner Terms and Conditions; however, this will not result in any changes to either administration or the cost to our customers. The tonnage tax system will make it easier to develop maritime-related businesses in Sweden.

“This is positive for Sweden and for the shipping community,” concludes Per-Anders.

The new company's impact on SCA

The new shipping company refers to our own RoRo vessels m/v SCA Ortviken, m/v SCA Obbola and m/v SCA Ostrand. The chartered container vessels m/v SCA Munksund and m/v SCA Tunadal will not be a part of the new company. From an employment point of view, the shipping company will not have employees on the vessels. There have also been some adjustments for the systems relating to finance, invoicing and transport. All of these are prepared to work in the new shipping company from January 1, 2020.


1The Swedish Government's stated aim and expectations in establishing the Swedish tonnage tax regime is to increase the Swedish shipping industry's competitive situation and the proportion of Swedish flagged vessels. Shipping companies will pay corporate income tax on a calculated, standardized income based on the vessel's net tonnage. Qualified vessels are those primarily used in international shipping or domestic shipping in another country. The tonnage tax is applied in the majority of EU Member States that undertake significant commercial shipping operations. The Swedish tonnage taxation system is voluntary.

1The Swedish Shipowners' Association



Kongsberg to Test Autonomous Short Sea Shipping

KonebergJan. 23, 2020 - Konsgberg, a provider of next-generation technology for the maritime sector, will install and test autonomous technology on two short sea vessels after receiving a record-breaking funding grant from the EU.

The first vessel involved is Eidsvaag Pionner, which is owned by the Eidsvaag shipping company and operates along the Norwegian coast and fjord regions.

The second is a Belgian pallet shuttle barge owned by Blue Line Logistics NV, which operates on canals in Europe, transporting goods to and from large container ports.

The aim is to test and further develop key technology linked to fully autonomous navigation systems, intelligent machinery systems, self-diagnostics, prognostics and operation scheduling.

In order to do this, Kongsberg will develop cloud-based communications systems and advanced simulations to test and ensure that the autonomous vessels operate safely and optimally.

In a statement, the company said the EU had granted it $22.3 million (EUR 20.1 million), one of the largest grants ever awarded to a Norwegian firm.

The funding will be made through the AUTOSHIP project, a four-year scheme which is part of Horizon 2020, an EU research and innovation program.

“The Norwegian maritime cluster,” said Egil Haugsdal, CEO, Kongsberg Maritime “which Kongsberg is part of, is the world leader in autonomous shipping.

“Now we are further strengthening our position through the AUTOSHIP project which will accelerate the realisation of next-generation autonomous ships and create a roadmap for commercialising autonomous shipping in the EU in the next five years.

“There is increasing market demand for waterborne transport in the EU,” Haugsdal added.


Resolute Joins Consortium on Maritime Transportation Sustainability

Jan. 22, 2020 (Press Release) - Resolute Forest Products has joined the OCIANA™ Consortium, a cross-industry team representing world-class companies working to develop safe, secure, efficient and environmentally responsible maritime transportation solutions. The consortium will also focus on commercializing OCIANA vessel management system based on artificial intelligence. This initiative will allow us to explore ways of lowering greenhouse gas emissions in our supply chain.

The OCIANA system will support a path to safer, cleaner vessel operations as well as enhanced maritime risk assessment and management. It works by rapidly processing satellite data with other data sets harvested from ocean, weather and port activity to provide decision-making information in near real-time. Its implementation is expected to lower fuel costs and associated greenhouse gas emissions, improve port and terminal utilization, and improve efficiency in the maritime sector. This technology could play a significant role in the international maritime industry’s commitment to halve its emissions by 2050. Resolute will contribute to the initiative by providing input from our environment and global logistics teams. Participating in this initiative reinforces our commitment to reducing the company’s carbon footprint at all levels of our supply chain.

“Reinforcing our environmental credentials by taking appropriate steps to responsibly manage climate change is a primary area of focus of Resolute’s sustainability strategy. We are committed to reducing our environmental footprint, and are proud to be a part of the OCIANA Consortium,” said Pascale Lagacé, vice president, Environment, Energy and Innovation.

Global Spatial Technology Solutions (GSTS), an artificial intelligence company focused on the maritime domain, designed the OCIANA system. On January 15, 2020, Sustainable Development Technology Canada (SDTC) awarded GSTS a contract valued at C$2.94 million to further develop the system. The funding is part of the Government of Canada’s commitment to support the development of clean technologies that cut pollution, build healthier communities and create well-paying jobs.

Alongside Resolute, the OCIANA Consortium includes Canada Steamship Lines, National Research Council and the Port of Montreal.

SOURCE: Resolute Forest Products

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