• 2018 September 25 16:57

    Shippers suspect sulphur stitch-up

    The Global Shippers Forum has reacted with suspicion to the announcement by the Maersk container shipping line of new fuel surcharge arrangements from 1 January 2019 to recover presumed costs from the introduction of low-sulphur marine fuel from 1 January 2020.

    Based on the information released by Maersk, the new charges, which are additional to agreed contract rates, are based on two factors - an average cost of fuel and a ‘trade factor’ that upscales the costs on head trades and discounts the fuel cost on reverse trades. But because the charge is per box, the greater number of revenue-earning boxes sailing west will collectively pay far more than they need to in order to compensate for the same boxes returning east when empty.

    This has the effect of applying higher than average surcharges on their most profitable routes. For example, the Far East to North Europe route has a trade factor of 1.3, but North Europe to Far East of 0.7. In addition, Maersk has decided to help itself to a whole year of higher fuel surcharges, a full 12 months before the rules requiring them to use surcharges actually come in. And the new charging structure would apply to all variations of fuel price, not just due of the introduction of low sulphur fuel.

    James Hookham, GSF Secretary General, said: “Asking customers to contribute to new environmental costs is to be expected, but this charge lacks transparency; no data is available to let customers work out how the charge has been calculated. Given historical experiences with surcharges, shippers are naturally suspicious over something shipping lines say is ‘fair, transparent and clear’. GSF will be taking this piece of financial engineering apart piece by piece as we suspect this has more to do with rate restoration than environmental conservation.

    “Maersk has other options. Global rules allow lines to meet air quality standards by fitting ‘scrubbers’ to clean up exhaust emissions, rather than buying more expensive low-sulphur fuel. This requires a one-off capital expense, but for shippers this is a better option than paying sulphur surcharges indefinitely. Some of Maersk’s biggest competitors are taking this different approach, and customers will be looking at the options and voting with their wallets.

    “What also disappoints shippers is the lack of negotiation about the timing and the structure of the charge. It would have been better if Maersk had discussed its plans with individual customers in the course of confidential contract reviews, rather than just publishing something that wouldn’t be out of place in the puzzles section of your daily newspaper.

    “We suspect that other shipping lines will be tempted to follow suit, but it would surely be of concern to competition authorities around the world if the same formula were to be used by other shipping lines, especially in the same Alliance.

    “GSF would encourage Maersk to consult with customers and reconsider their strategy. These new charges may be all about low-sulphur fuel, but they still stink to us!”




2018 December 9

17:01 Jan De Nul starts beach protection project in Benin
16:06 MOL to participate in construction, ownership, operation of FSRU for Jawa 1 Gas-Fired IPP Project in Indonesia
14:40 Coast Guard continues search for survivors of capsized migrant vessel off Dominican Republic
13:38 CMA CGM announces FAK rates for Asia-Middle East Gulf trade
11:39 MHI Vestas clinches largest MW turbine order for Scotland's Moray Firth

2018 December 8

17:15 Huntington Ingalls Industries names Herman Shelanski as new VP, Business Development at it's shipbuilding division
16:07 Gladding-Hearn built pilot boat delivered to Southwest Alaska Pilots Association
13:12 EGCSA blasts MPA's ban on open-loop scrubbers in Singapore
10:28 Torqeedo displays 2019’s new electric boating products at Salon Nautique International de Paris.

2018 December 7

18:01 Naming ceremony for Arctic condensate tanker Boris Sokolov held at Guangzhou Shipyard International
17:38 Tellurian and Vitol sign MOU for 15-year LNG sale on JKM
17:14 Port of Tallinn rewards emission-reducing ships with a discount of up to 8% on tonnage fees
16:50 Vladimir Putin presents Captain Zybko with Distinguished Maritime Service Order
16:26 BSAP updates move forward at HELCOM key meeting
16:02 Orange Business Services keeps Arctic Shipping Company fleet connected along the Northern Sea Route
15:37 EU NAVFOR promotes maritime security dialogue in Somalia
14:59 Protection structures to be built at the port of Sochi
14:25 Northern Fleet's frigate Admiral Gorshkov takes part in training in the Barents Sea
14:08 ABS signs MOU with KOMERI to create a new facility dedicated to improving the safety of LNG as fuel
13:08 Crowley adds 400 new refrigerated containers to its fleet
12:26 Freight turnover of Neva-Metal (Saint-Petersburg) in 11M’18 climbed by 3% Y-o-Y to about 2.9 million tonnes
11:57 Montreal, Canada to host 14th Arctic Shipping Summit on 13-14 March 2019
11:24 Vladivostok Sea Fishing Port handled 284,000 tonnes of fish in 11M’18, up 25.8% Y-o-Y
11:08 SEA Europe and ECSA pleased with EU’s actions on trade-distortive South Korean measures in shipping and shipbuilding
10:45 Extraordinary General Shareholders Meeting of LUKOIL approves interim dividends
10:21 Brent Crude futures price down 0.62% to $59.69, Light Sweet Crude – down 0.41% to $51.28
10:06 Barcelona City Council supports reducing pollution in the Mediterranean with a low emissions zone
09:42 Bunker prices are slightly down at the Port of Saint-Petersburg, Russia (graph)
09:19 Baltic Dry Index is up to 1,339 points
09:03 Fincantieri launches new ship “Carnival Panorama” for Carnival Cruise Line
08:07 NYK concludes long-term charter agreement for two LNG carriers with Total
07:24 ‘Breakbulk carrousel’ gives breakbulk and heavy cargo companies space for further growth in Rotterdam’s Waalhaven

2018 December 6

18:05 ONE Thailand receives 2018 Best Container Liner Award from Thai National Shippers’ Council
17:54 IAPH LNG bunkering audit tool already used to license operations at Port of Rotterdam
17:35 IMO highlights key elements of the Initial IMO Strategy on reduction of GHG emissions from ships
17:17 2019 port tariff increases at North Sea Port stay below inflation level
17:05 Chinese group Lingang signs 5 MOU’s for the realisation of the Lingang Overseas Modern Industrial Park in Zeebrugge
16:40 RF Navy's Northern Fleet to protection Russia’s national interests in the Arctic
16:15 Nexans strengthens its focus on Inspection, Maintenance and Repair (IMR) services with a dedicated team of IMR experts
16:01 MABUX: Big chance for bunker prices to turn into firm upward evolution again
15:38 Samskip's investments secure supply chain against Brexit
15:26 Russian Railways: Loading of export cargo bound for domestic ports up 4.9% to 279.8 million tonnes in 11M’18
15:01 Höegh LNG announces delivery of FSRU number nine, "Höegh Gannet"
14:47 Shipboard equipment localization center encourages shipbuilders to scale up their activities in info-field
14:12 MV S’hail al Wajbah is the newest addition to the Baumarine Pool
13:49 Throughput of port Taganrog in 11M'18 up 3% to 2.78 million tonnes
13:33 FESCO transported 24,000 tonnes to Chukotka under northern delivery of cargoes-2018
13:12 Jan De Nul signs 25 year concession agreement to dredge Guayaquil Port Access Channel
12:50 Modernization of FESCO terminal in Novosibirsk to halve the time of container handling
12:28 Bunker prices continue going down at the Far East ports of Russia (graph)
12:09 CMA CGM announces FAK rates from Asia to Red Sea
11:54 BashVolgotanker carried 1.8 million tonnes of oil products in navigation season of 2018, flat Y-o-Y
11:22 Ukraine accedes to load lines convention
11:00 Bunker sales at port Vladivostok in 11M’2018 grew by 64% to 1.034 million tonnes
10:37 Work on Freeport of Riga Development Programme for 2019-2028 nears completion
10:15 Brent Crude futures price down 0.83% to $61.05, Light Sweet Crude – down 1.04% to $52.34
09:56 CMA CGM and Freightos sign landmark agreement advancing digitization in the shipping industry
09:43 Vostochny Port exported 22.3 million tonnes of coal in 11M’2018, up 5.8% Y-o-Y
09:18 Baltic Dry Index is up to 1,296 points

2018 December 5

19:13 Damen’s first Fishing Seminar success as new leasing fund welcomed by South African fishing community