zoom Europe-based container shipping majors Hapag-Lloyd and CMA CGM plan to enhance their joint service linking North Europe and Central America, starting from January 2017. The companies intend to add a call at London Gateway in the United Kingdom and to replace the current call at Cartagena, Columbia by calling Caucedo in the Dominican Republic.The changes will become effective with M/V CMA CGM Fort St. Georges calling at London Gateway on January 6, 2017, according to CMA CGM.The enhanced service will include the following ports: London Gateway (UK), Hamburg (Germany), Rotterdam (Netherlands), Antwerp (Belgium), Le Havre (France). Caucedo (Dominican Republic), Kingston (Jamaica), Santo Tomas De Castilla (Guatemala), Puerto Cortes (Honduras), Puerto Limon (Costa Rica).The service will be run by five CMA CGM vessels of 2,300 TEUs and one Hapag–Lloyd vessel.Hapag-Lloyd refers to the service as the Central America Express (SW3) service and CMA CGM as the ECS service.Image Courtesy: Hapag-Lloyd
zoom Greek shipping companies Oceanic Illsabe Limited and Oceanfleet Shipping Limited were sentenced to pay a fine of USD 2.7 million after being convicted of obstructing justice, violating the Act to Prevent Pollution from Ships (APPS), tampering with witnesses and conspiracy. Oceanic Illsabe Limited is the owner of the M/V Ocean Hope, a large cargo vessel that was responsible for dumping oily waste into the Pacific Ocean during 2015, while Oceanfleet Shipping Limited was the managing operator of the vessel.The vessel’s operator was sentenced to pay a USD 1.35 million fine and make a USD 450,000 community service payment to Gray’s Reef National Marine Sanctuary in recognition of the threat posed by illegal discharges of oily waste to the marine environment.Oceanic Illsabe Limited was sentenced to pay a USD 675,000 fine and make a USD 225,000 community service payment to the reef.Each company was placed on a five-year term of probation and barred from sending ships to United States ports until its financial penalty has been satisfied.The case stems from an inspection of the the cargo ship, conducted by the U.S. Coast Guard at the Port of Wilmington, North Carolina in July 2015, during which senior engineers for the companies tried to hide that the vessel had been dumping oily wastes into the ocean for months.The vessel’s two top engineers were previously convicted and sentenced to serve prison sentences in connection with these crimes.Cassius Samson, 52, the second engineer of the Ocean Hope, was sentenced a term of 12 months in prison followed by a year of supervised release, while Rustico Ignacio, 66, the chief engineer, was sentences to a term of nine months followed by a year of supervised release.
zoom Greek owner and operator of container and dry bulk vessels Navios Maritime Partners has plunged into red as it reported a net loss of USD 52.5 million of the year ended December 31, 2016, compared to a net income of USD 41.8 million seen in the previous year.The result was negatively affected by USD 27.2 million of impairment loss on the sale of the 13,100 TEU containership MSC Cristina, sold for USD 125 million, and the 52,073 dwt Navios Apollon, sold for a total net sale price of USD 4.8 million.The company’s time charter and voyage revenues stood at USD 190.5 million in 2016, down from USD 223.6 million reported a year earlier, mainly attributable to the decrease in Time Charter Equivalent (TCE) to USD 16,364 per day from USD 19,739 per day reported in 2015.Despite the drop in numbers, Angeliki Frangou, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Navios Partners, said: “I am pleased with the results for 2016, a year of many challenges.”“We actively managed our liquidity in 2016, generating about USD 151 million from the sale of vessels and securities. We also reduced long-term debt by almost USD 178 million and increased the collateral value of the Term Loan B by about USD 100 million. Overall, we are positioned to take advantage of a recovery in the dry sector,” Frangou added.For the fourth quarter, Navios Partners reported a net loss of USD 2 million, negatively affected by an impairment loss for the Navios Apollon, against a net income of USD 7.8 million seen in the same quarter in 2015. The company’s time charter and voyage revenues for the respective periods fell to USD 49.6 million from USD 53.3 million.The decrease in revenues was mainly due to a drop in TCE to USD 16,954 per day for the three month period from USD 18,223 per day seen in 2015, driven by a decline in the freight market during the year.Navios Partners has currently contracted out 72.6% of its available days for 2017, 38.2% for 2018 and 20.1% for 2019, including index-linked charters, respectively, expecting to generate revenues of approximately USD 111.9 million, USD 82.4 million and USD 54.7 million, respectively.The average expected daily charter-out rate for the fleet is USD 19,240, USD 26,690 and USD 24,972 for 2017, 2018 and 2019, according to the company.In a separate announcement, Navios Partners said that it intends to launch syndication of a USD 400 million term loan B, subject to market conditions. The company intends to use the net proceeds from loan to refinance the existing term loan B and to pay related fees and expenses.
zoom Athens-based containership owner Danaos Corporation swung to a net loss of USD 366.2 million in 2016 from a profit of USD 117 million in 2015, largely impacted by the bankruptcy of South Korea’s Hanjin Shipping. The company saw a decrease in operating revenues as well, which went down to USD 498.3 million in 2016 from USD 567.9 million in 2015.During the fourth quarter of 2016, Danaos posted a net loss of USD 446.6 million, compared to a profit of USD 6.5 million seen in the same quarter of 2015. Revenues for the quarter amounted to USD 112.1 million against USD 143.3 million recorded in Q4 2015.“Danaos’ results for the fourth quarter of 2016 reflect the impact of the bankruptcy of Hanjin Shipping, which previously chartered eight of our vessels on long term charter party agreements representing approximately 20% of our fixed contracted revenue. These charter party agreements were terminated, and each of the chartered vessels was returned to us,” John Coustas, Danaos’ CEO, commented.After Hanjin canceled the charters, Danaos’ fleet utilization decreased to 90.4% in Q4 2016.“We have re-chartered five 3,400 TEU vessels on short term charters at market rates that reflect the prevailing weak chartering environment and managed to secure employment of up to 12 months starting from April 2017 for the remaining three 10,100 TEU vessels. Excluding the effect of these cancellations, our fleet utilization increased to 99.5% compared to 98.3% in the fourth quarter of 2015,” the firm’s CEO added.Coustas further said that, as a result of the decrease in Danaos’ operating income and charter attached values, the firm was in breach of certain financial covenants as of December 31, 2016, for which it has obtained waivers until April 1, 2017. As the waivers are for a period less than 12 months after the balance sheet date, all of the debt has been classified as current on the December financial statements.Danaos revealed it has submitted to the Bankruptcy Court of Seoul an unsecured claim for unpaid charter hire, charges, expenses and loss of profit against Hanjin totaling USD 597.9 million.As of December 2016, Danaos recorded an impairment loss of USD 415.1 million related to 25 of its vessels, compared to an impairment loss of USD 41.1 million in relation to 13 of the company’s ships.Danaos’ fleet is currently comprised of 59 containerships with an aggregate tonnage of 353,586 TEUs, including four vessels owned by Gemini Shipholdings Corporation, a joint venture between the company and its largest shareholder.
zoom UK-based power systems provider Rolls-Royce has signed a deal with Swedish ferry company Stena Line AB to collaborate in the development of its first intelligent awareness system.“Intelligent awareness systems will make vessels safer, easier and more efficient to operate by providing crew with an enhanced understanding of their vessel’s surroundings,” Rolls-Royce said.The company added that this would be achieved by fusing data from a range of sensors with information from existing ship systems, such as Automatic Identification System (AIS) and radar. Data from other sources, including global databases, will also have a role, the company informed.“We have been exploring and testing how to combine sensor technologies effectively and affordably for some time. Pilot projects such as this will allow us to see how they can be best adapted to the needs of a commercial vessel and its crew and allow us to develop a product which better serves both,” Asbjørn Skaro, Rolls-Royce, Director Digital & Systems – Marine, said.“Successful pilots and product development programmes are also an important step towards the further development of remote and autonomous vessels and meeting our goal of having a remote controlled ship in commercial use by the end of the decade,” Skaro added.Rolls-Royce said it expects to be able to undertake an Approval of Concept and have its intelligent awareness product commercially available later in 2017.Earlier in March, the company received an approval for a research grant by Tekes – the Finnish Funding Agency for Innovation, supporting its aim to make remote and autonomous shipping a reality bu enabling it to invest further in a research and development centre in Turku, Finland.Rolls-Royce plans to carry out further development projects there focused on the future development of land-based control centres, and the use of artificial intelligence in future remote and autonomous shipping operations.The intelligent awareness system will benefit from Rolls-Royce’s experience in the Tekes funded project Advanced Autonomous Waterborne Applications Initiative (AAWA), which has been running since June 2015.
zoom Singapore-based Odfjell Asia II Pte Ltd, which was convicted in 2014 of violating the Act to Prevent Pollution from Ships, has admitted to violating the conditions of its probation, the US Department of Justice said. As a result, the company’s term of probation, which was scheduled to conclude this month, was extended by one year, and the company has agreed to additional probation conditions.Back in May 2014, the US District Judge Vanessa L. Bryant in Hartford, Connecticut sentenced Odfjell Asia II, a subsidiary of Odfjell SE, to a three-year term of probation and a total criminal penalty of USD 1.2 million for violating the Act to Prevent Pollution from Ships.A special condition of probation required the company to implement remedial environmental measures as part of an Environmental Management System Plan (EMS/P). As part of the EMS/P, the company was required to implement enhanced procedures for internal reporting of violations.On May 16, 2016, a crewmember reported to Odfjell Asia II that, while he was serving onboard the company’s oil/chemical tanker Bow Santos, there may have been a MARPOL compliance issue involving the disposal of machinery-space bilge water in December 2015. The company reported the possible MARPOL compliance issue to US authorities and conducted an internal investigation.During the internal investigation, the vessel’s chief engineer, Oswaldo Dela Torre Salazar, denied any knowledge of, or involvement in, any MARPOL violations. Upon completion of its internal investigation, the company was unable to determine whether a MARPOL violation occurred.The US and Odfjell Asia II agree that there was a breakdown in the company’s internal reporting system in that it took more than six months before any crewmember of the Bow Santos reported the alleged incident to the company.Odfjell Asia II has also agreed that the breakdown in its internal reporting system constitutes a probation violation because the EMS/P’s internal reporting system had not been fully implemented as required by the special conditions ordered by the court, the Department of Justice said.As a result of this violation, on May 15, 2017, Judge Bryant ordered that the company’s term of probation be extended for one year. During the additional year of probation, the Bow Santos will undergo an environmental audit, and Odfjell Asia II must notify the US.Probation Office, the US Department of Justice and the US Coast Guard if Oswaldo Dela Torre Salazar is serving onboard a company’s vessel bound for a US port.
Guatemalan and US officials have seized up to 3 tons of cocaine hidden in false-bottomed compartments aboard the Tanzania-flagged containership Tiamat.The 1995-built containership was intercepted in the waters off the coast of Guatemala in the Pacific and taken to Puerto Quetzal in early May, according to AIS data provided by Marine Traffic.Once the vessel docked, the authorities launched an inspection aboard, discovering some 3 tons of cocaine so far. The 8,717 dwt vessel remains in Puerto Quetzal where the inspection process continues.Thirteen persons who were aboard the ship at the time, including citizens of Colombia, Ecuador and Peru, were detained.The drugs aboard Tiamat, which was en route from Ecuador to Ensenada, Mexico, were reportedly destined for North America.World Maritime News Staff; Image Courtesy: Guatemalan Army
zoomIllustration. Image Courtesy: Pixabay under CC0 Creative Commons license Monaco-based dry bulk shipping company Safe Bulkers has availed of attractive prices to expand its fleet with a Japanese-built Capesize vessel.The 181,000 dwt bulker was built in 2009 and its purchase was financed from cash on hand, the company said.The identity of the seller and the name of the vessel have not been revealed.Safe Bulkers said that the ship will be employed in the time charter market following a dry docking of the ship.As of August 13, 2018, the weighted time charter average of the Baltic Exchange Cape Index was USD 26,059 per day.“While we remain focused on the optimization of our capital structure by buying back later this month a Kamsarmax class vessel under sale and lease back agreement, our board has decided to invest opportunistically in a second-hand Capesize class vessel, the second acquisition since December 2017, which we believe will be accretive to our revenues and further expand our fleet and our operations in the Capesize market,” Loukas Barmparis, president of the company, said.Safe Bulkers’ operational fleet comprises around 40 drybulk vessels with an average age of 7.9 years.
zoomImage Courtesy: Studio Ponant – Nathalie MICHEL Norwegian shipbuilder Vard has held a steel cutting ceremony marking the start of construction of a polar exploration vessel for French cruise company Ponant.The shipbuilding process for the new unit, to be named Le Commandant Charcot, was launched on November 6 at Vard Tulcea in Romania.Ponant said that the delivery of its new flagship, which will be an electric hybrid vessel powered by liquefied natural gas (LNG), is scheduled for 2021.Designed for intense polar explorations, and with PC2 Polar Class certification, Le Commandant Charcot is expected to start visiting the geographic North Pole following delivery.Ponant and Vard signed a contract for the design and construction of the electric hybrid cruise icebreaker in December 2017.The Ponant icebreaker will be approximately 30,000 gross tons, about 150 meters long, 28 meters wide, and will have a cruise speed of 15 knots in open water. The vessel can accommodate 270 passengers in 135 staterooms, in addition to a crew of 180 persons.
zoomIllustration; Image Courtesy: DP World Dubai-based port and terminal operator DP World has decided to extend its global footprint with the acquisition of a Chilean port operator.The company has signed an agreement to acquire 71.3% stake in Puertos y Logistica S.A. (Pulogsa), listed on the Santiago stock exchange, from Minera Valparaiso and other shareholders associated with the Matte Group.DP World said that the acquisition would be effected via a tender offer to acquire all outstanding shares of the business. The company would offer USD 502 million in consideration for 100% equity ownership. As of September 30, 2018, Pulogsa had net financial debt of USD 226 million.The acquisition is expected to be earnings accretive in the first full year of consolidation and it would be financed from existing balance sheet resources, the terminal operator explained.The transaction is subject to relevant third party consents and is expected to close in the first half of 2019.Pulogsa operates a long-term concession for Puerto Central (PCE) in San Antonio, in Chile’s Central Region V, and owns and operates Puerto Lirquen (PLQ) in Chile’s Southern Region VIII.“These new assets will allow DP World to serve cargo owners and and shipping lines at five key gateways on the west coast of South America in Posorja (Ecuador), Callao and Paita (Peru) and San Antonio and Lirquen (Chile),” Sultan Ahmed Bin Sulayem, Group Chairman and CEO, DP World, said.
zoomIllustration. Image Courtesy: Stena Bulk/Tommy Chia Iranian authorities seized a British-flagged, Swedish-owned oil tanker while transiting the Strait of Hormuz on Friday.The 46,575 cbm ship, Stena Impero, was captured for “breaching international maritime law”, Tehran-based Press TV reported, referring to a statement issued by the country’s Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC).The ship allegedly turned off its tracker and ignored several warnings by the IRGC before being boarded by the armed guards. What is more, the MR2 tanker reportedly failed to respond to a distress call sent by an Iranian fishing boat.The Iranian Ports and Maritime Organization (PMO) was cited as saying that the vessel had also been releasing oil residues from its tanks.Stena Impero’s owner Stena Bulk and ship manager Northern Marine Management confirmed that the 2018-built tanker was approached by small naval craft and a helicopter at around 16:00 BST on July 19. The vessel suddenly deviated from its passage to Jubail and headed north towards Iran. Neither the vessel owner nor the operator were able to establish contact with Stena Impero.“There are 23 seafarers onboard of Indian, Russian, Latvian and Filipino nationality. There have been no reported injuries and the safety and welfare of our crew remains our primary focus. We are in close contact with both the UK and Swedish government authorities to resolve this situation and we are liaising closely with our seafarers’ families,” Erik Hanell, President and Chief Executive, Stena Bulk, said.A second oil tanker, which flies the Liberian flag but is managed by Norbulk Shipping UK, was boarded by Iranian armed personnel on Friday. The 315,000 dwt Mesdar was instructed to head north towards Iran. However, Mesdar was soon cleared to resume its voyage.“Communication has been re-established with the vessel and Master confirmed that the armed guards have left and the vessel is free to continue the voyage. All crew are safe and well,” Norbulk said in a statement released on late Friday.Separately, British Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt said he is “extremely concerned by the seizure of two naval vessels by Iranian authorities in the Strait of Hormuz”. “The seizures are unacceptable. It is essential that freedom of navigation is maintained and that all ships can move safely and freely in the region,” Hunt pointed out.Tensions between the UK and Iran mounted in early July when Gibraltar and Royal Marines detained the Iranian tanker Grace 1 on suspicion it was carrying a shipment of crude oil to Syria. The ship was arrested due to the alleged breach of EU sanctions against Syria. Although Gibraltar claimed it was enforcing the existing sanctions, Iran described the seizure as unlawful as the country is not an EU member.World Maritime News Staff