Shipping and Maritime


CMA CGM Group Secures EUR 1.05 Billion Loan Backed by French Government

May 13, 2020 - The CMA CGM Group [on May 12] announced that it has secured a EUR 1.05 billion syndicated loan from a consortium of three banks: BNP Paribas, HSBC and Société Générale. This loan is part of France's State-guaranteed loan scheme established at the end of March in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The State guarantees 70% of the loan, which has an initial one-year maturity and an extension option for up to five additional years. This new funding further strengthens CMA CGM’s cash position in order to confront uncertainties in the global economy resulting from the health crisis and lockdown measures in a large number of countries. At this stage, the Group anticipates a limited slowdown in its activity over the near term, with an estimated decrease in market volumes of 10% in the first half of 2020 compared to the first half of 2019.

As soon as the first wave of the epidemic hit China, the Group implemented several measures, including:

  • Protecting the health and ensuring the safety of its employees, both on land and at sea;
  • Reorganizing and adjusting maritime services to the needs of its customers;
  • Stepping up the cost reduction program for both maritime operations (ports and vessels) and logistics operations (adapting warehouse activities).

In addition, the CMA CGM Group is using its expertise to transport essential goods, particularly medical and pharmaceutical products, thereby helping to combat the health crisis in France and around the world.

“I would like to thank the French authorities for having introduced this scheme so effectively and quickly,” said Rodolphe Saadé, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the CMA CGM Group. “This loan also shows the confidence our banking partners have in the CMA CGM Group's business model and strategy.

“In the context of this unprecedented crisis, controlling the supply chain has become crucial. Thanks to our expertise, commitment and agility, we have transported several hundred million masks and medical supplies that are essential in responding to the health emergency.

“Looking ahead, we will apply this same know-how to support the recovery of the French and global economy. The current crisis supports our view that globalization should be rethought, based on more balanced and more environmentally friendly forms of trade,” Saadé concluded.



Alexander Global Logistics - wood pulp

Alexander Maritime Services Charters Two Breakbulk Vessels to the Middle East

May 11, 2020 (Press Release) - Alexander Maritime Services (AMS), a sister company of Alexander Global Logistics (AGL), has successfully performed two breakbulk charters from the Port of Flushing in the Netherlands, to the ports of Aqaba and Bahrain in the Middle East.

AMS is certainly not shy when it comes to chartering. On a regular monthly basis, they charter 8-10 coaster loaded with wood pulp and other bulk cargos within the European waters. This time, these two charters came on top due to the lack of container space and equipment on this route caused by the COVID-19 situation. The cargo originated from South America, and was available in Flushing for immediate shipment to guarantee production of hygienic material in the Middle East. Thanks to the AMS team, the goods should arrive in time to be put into the production process.

In addition to the above routes, AMS is organizing on a regular basis breakbulk wood pulp shipments from Southeast Asia to the Middle East. Main other discharging ports in the Middle East are Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Jeddah. As we write this article, the team is busy working on yet another charter for wood pulp from Northern Europe to China.

SOURCE: Alexander Global Logistics GmbH


SCA Charters Two Large Container Vessels

May 4, 2020 (Press Release) - On April 22, 2020, SCA takes two bigger container vessels on charter. The vessels have considerably larger cargo capacity than their predecessors. They are today named m/v Baltic Shearwater and m/v Baltic Petrel.

“We at SCA Logistics have a strategy to develop large-scale solutions that make us even more cost-effective in the long term. With the new vessels, the goal is to load 40 percent more container cargo. By large-scale, the vessels also contribute to a lower climate impact while at the same time strengthening our customers' competitiveness,” says Nils Johan Haraldsson, Vice President Marketing and Business Development at SCA Logistics.

To enlarge the container traffic is also part of the ongoing efforts of expansion and development of the ports in Sundsvall and Umeå.

“In both cities, the port developments will bring increased opportunities for container traffic. The trend with bigger container volumes is also evident, not least in our own ports where container volumes are steadily increasing and have been doing so for many years,” continues Nils Johan.

Southbound, the cargo is dominated by export products from the forest industry, to a large extent our own goods from SCA, but also from other pulp, paper and sawmill industries. There is also cargo from other basic industry and mechanical companies. Northwards the freights are containers with mostly consumer goods and intermediate products, which are shipped to the industries.

“It is important that we can build larger and more stable volumes from Umeå and Sundsvall, that strengthens also the competitiveness of our customers in a global market," says Nils Johan.

Initially, the new vessels will run according to the current route Umeå-Sundsvall-Oxelösund-Rotterdam. After an initial period, the plan is to transport the vessels into a shipyard for repainting. It may then also be relevant to rename them so that the vessels receive SCA names.

About SCA's new vessels and fleet

After four successful years, the new container vessels replace m/v SCA Tunadal and m/v SCA Munksund, which have also been chartered. The theoretical capacity of the new vessels is 1638 TEU nom1. It can be compared with the two previous vessels which had a capacity of 1018 TEU nom. With heavy products from the forest industry, however, the number of containers falls to some extent. The larger vessels are more fuel efficient and reduce carbon dioxide emissions per shipped container. In addition to the new container vessels, SCA's fleet consists of our own three RoRo vessels m/s SCA Obbola, m/s SCA Ortviken and m/s SCA Östrand.

1 TEU = A load gauge for a container vessel that refers to the space of a 20-foot container.



Federal Maritime Commission Issues New Guidance on Detention & Demurrage

April 29, 2020 - The Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) has issued new guidance about how it will assess the reasonableness of detention and demurrage regulations and practices of ocean carriers and marine terminal operators (MTOs) under 46 U.S.C. 41102(c).

The final rule, “Docket No. 19-05, Interpretive Rule on Demurrage and Detention under the Shipping Act”, will become effective upon its publication in the Federal Register.

Under the new interpretive rule, the Commission will consider the extent to which detention and demurrage charges and policies serve their primary purpose of incentivizing the movement of cargo and promoting freight fluidity.  The rule also provides guidance on how the Commission may apply that principle in the context of cargo availability (and notice thereof) and empty container return.

The Commission may also consider in assessing the reasonableness of detention and demurrage practices factors related to:

  • Content and clarity of carrier and MTO policies addressing detention and demurrage.
  • Clarity of carrier and MTO detention and demurrage terminology.

The final rule adds two provisions that were not included in the proposed rule published in September 2019.  The first clarifies that the guidance in the rule is applicable in the context of government inspections. The second clarifies that the rule does not preclude the Commission from considering additional factors, arguments, and evidence outside those specifically listed.

This final interpretive rule is the culmination of a process initiated by a petition (Petition P4-16) submitted to the Commission in December 2016 by a coalition of shipper groups.  In the intervening period, the FMC held public hearings in January 2018; initiated a Fact Finding Investigation in March 2018 led by Commissioner Rebecca Dye (Fact Finding 28); and issued a proposed rule in September 2019.

The Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) Mission is to ensure a competitive and reliable international ocean transportation supply system that supports the U.S. economy and protects the public from unfair and deceptive practices. For further information, visit:

SOURCE: Federal Maritime Commission


Shipping Alliance Calls for Solution to Crew Change Shutdown

April 15, 2020 - An alliance of leading maritime companies is calling on governments around the world to make interim arrangements for crew changes, which have been effectively halted in many localities due to the COVID-19 lockdown. At present, over 100,000 seafarers are effectively stuck at sea because the global patchwork of coronavirus policies prevent them from entering countries, transiting through non-destination countries or finding flights on which to return home. This has implications for seafarer wellbeing, safety and the operational integrity of the supply chain, the alliance warns.

The alliance represents 1,500 vessels and 70,000 seafarers, and it includes leading names like D/S Norden, Grieg Star, Reederei Nord, Dynacom, V.Group, Wilhelmsen Ships Service, Pacific Carriers Limited (PCL), Magsaysay, Augustea, Columbia Ship Management, Inchcape Shipping Services and Synergy Group. The group's proposals have support from the International Chamber of Shipping and the International Transport Workers’ Federation.

“We understand Covid-19 is a black swan event. But measures aimed at protecting society were never intended to prevent key workers from carrying out tasks essential to the ongoing wellbeing of society. These policies were also not intended to be detrimental to the welfare of key workers such as seafarers," said Capt. Rajesh Unni, head of Synergy Group. “Our collective aim as responsible owners and managers employing tens of thousands of seafarers is to pursue every means possible to get crew back to their families.”

“Prolonged periods of service onboard will ultimately result in a significant increase in mental wellbeing issues among the seafaring community,” said V.Group CEO Graham Westgarth. “We should also be aware of the negative impact it will have on their families. Ultimately, such a situation can only jeopardise the safety of the individuals and potentially the vessels they sail on."

Over 1.6 million seafarers keep the world’s merchant fleet running, and about 100,000 of them need to rotate on and off every month in accordance with employment contracts and international conventions, including the Maritime Labour Convention (MLC). The alliance's members believe that collective crew changes at a small number of identified ports are a feasible short-term goal (with port state assistance). The proposed ports for these changes include Singapore, Houston, Rotterdam, Gibraltar, Jebel Ali, Fujairah, Hong Kong and Shanghai.

The alliance believes that collective crew changes can be managed at minimal risk. “Matters such as access to airlines and airports and immigration clearances are political decisions,” alliance members said a joint statement. “The shipping industry and seafarers are now relying on the world’s politicians to respect their human rights and protect their welfare in these difficult times. Seafarers are key workers and they should be classified as such and their plight addressed with all expediency.”

Keith Obeyesekera, the managing director of Reederei Nord B.V., said that governments should recognize seafaring as an essential service and give seafarers special status for travel and visa issuance. “Currently, in some instances, crew members requiring urgent medical attention have not been allowed ashore, or have not been allowed to sign off in their own home countries," he said.

SOURCE: The Maritime Executive

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