Shipping and Maritime

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


Commissioner Dye Leading FMC Initiative to Address Urgent COVID-19 Supply Chain Impacts

Rebecca DyeMarch 31, 2020 - The Federal Maritime Commission today issued an order authorizing Commissioner Rebecca Dye to identify operational solutions to cargo delivery system challenges related to Coronavirus-19.

The Order notes that “Recent global events have only highlighted the economic urgency of responsive port and terminal operations to the effectiveness of the United States international freight delivery system.  Given the Commission’s mandate to ensure an efficient and economic transportation system for ocean commerce, the Commission has a clear and compelling responsibility to actively respond to current challenges impacting the global supply chain and the American economy.  Accordingly, the Commission has determined there is a compelling need to convene new Supply Chain Innovation Teams to address these challenges.”

In addition to authorizing Commissioner Dye as the Investigating Officer for “Fact Finding No. 29 International Ocean Transportation Supply Chain Engagement”, the Order allows her to form one or more FMC Supply Chain Innovation Teams to support the efforts.

“The United States depends on reliable international ocean freight delivery to support the economic security of our country.  The maritime supply chain extends upstream and downstream from the ports and closely located logistics centers to American exporters and importers and keeping the system functioning is a priority of national importance.  This initiative is an effort by the Commission to do everything we can to eliminate pressing problems in the freight delivery system,” said Commissioner Dye.

Commissioner Dye will engage key executives to participate on the Innovation Teams.  These industry leaders will represent all facets of the ocean cargo system including public port authorities, marine terminal operators, beneficial cargo owners, ocean transportation intermediaries, liner shipping companies, drayage trucking companies, longshore labor representatives, rail officials, and chassis providers.

Commissioner Dye will commence her work by interviewing port directors to determine what steps they can identify to mitigate critical supply chain challenges.

“Small and medium-sized shippers are especially affected by a lack of cargo storage space and are running out of options of where to send shipments once offloaded and I applaud this contribution.   The Pacific Northwest Seaport Alliance has identified sites in their complex that can be used to stage cargo and containers off terminals.  I applaud their initiative.  We are calling on everyone engaged in moving ocean cargo to do what they can in this effort,” said Commissioner Dye.

Individuals wishing to provide information to Commissioner Dye may do so by writing to [email protected].

SOURCE: Federal Maritime Commission

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