CMA CGM’s First Newbuild for French West Indies Delivered

French shipping major CMA CGM has taken delivery of the first unit of an order for four container ships dedicated to the French West Indies, CMA CGM Fort de France.

With a capacity of 3,500 TEUs and a length of 219 meters, the new ship stands out by its draft which is adapted to the West Indies ports.

It is also equipped with plugs for refrigerated containers for transport of perishable goods – 850 of such containers can be installed on the ship.

Following the delivery of CMA CGM Fort de France, the company would see the remaining three vessels from the batch join its fleet in the spring and summer of 2019. The remaining units are named CMA CGM Fort Royal, the CMA CGM Fort Saint Charles and CMA CGM Fort Fleur D’Epee.

The ships, which will sail under the French flag, will be deployed in replacement of the existing Forts on the North Europe French West Indies line. This service links Europe and Metropolitan France to Guadeloupe and Martinique, crossing the Atlantic Ocean in under ten days.


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String of Human Errors Caused Collision between Ulysse and CLS Virginia

A series of human errors caused the collision between the Tunisian Ro-Ro ship Ulysse and Cyprus-flagged containership CLS Virginia that took place in October 2018, approximately 28 kilometres north-west of Cape Corsica, according to preliminary findings of a joint inquiry into the case.

The report findings of the tripartite commission, comprised of Tunisian, French and Cypriot investigators, were presented on Monday, January 7, by the Tunisian Ministry of Commerce, Agence France-Presse informed.

Namely, the watch officer of the Tunisian RoRo was speaking on the phone while his counterpart on board the CLS Virginia was not attentive to the radar alarms at the time of the incident, which sent hundreds of tons of bunker fuel into the Mediterranean Sea, some of it hitting the French coastline.

Specifically, as a result of the impact, the boxship’s fuel tanks ruptured resulting in a bunker spill.

What is more, the Cypriot containership is said to have dropped anchor in the middle of a busy sea lane. AFP cited Youssef Ben Romdhane, director general of sea transport in Tunisia’s commerce ministry, as saying that this was the first time a ship had dropped anchor in the location in question.

The estimated damage claims of the two ships total in around EUR 13.5 million (USD 15.5 million), coupled with estimated EUR 10 million (USD 11.4 million) due for coastal cleaning efforts.

Mr. Romdhane is yet to provide World Maritime News with a comment on the matter.

To remind, the two ships were locked together for five days in order to avoid further damages and pollution of the environment before being disentangled on October 11, 2018.

The Italian and French authorities coordinated a fuel spill response, however, a portion of hydrocarbons did reach the beaches of Var, on Southeast France.

The Tunisian RoRo did not sustain significant damage and was cleared to head for Tunisia a week after the collision.

Damaged Cyprus-flagged containership spent almost three weeks anchored off Cape Corsica before being allowed to set sail toward the Port of Constanta, Romania, for repairs.

World Maritime News Staff


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43 Containers from MSC Zoe Remain to Be Located

Relevant authorities and the Swiss shipping major Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC) have located 238 of the 281 MSC Zoe containers which fell overboard on January 2.

The majority of containers were found at two locations, Dutch public works and water management department Rijkswaterstaat said on January 6. Containers were spread over a length of 23 miles above the Dutch municipalities Terschelling, Schiermonnikoog and east of this line.

A third party utilizing three vessels with sonar, including the MS Arca measuring and research vessel from Rijkswaterstaat, is still on the lookout for the remaining 43 missing containers. The Dutch Coast Guard is also searching for the units from air.

Germany’s Central Command for Maritime Emergencies said that search efforts are being hampered by inclement weather conditions.

Rijkswaterstaat informed that two of the containers that have been fallen from the ship contain hazardous substances. One of the containers has 280 bags of 25 kg of dibenzoyl peroxide each, while the other was loaded with 1400 kg of lithium batteries.

“Several bags of dibenzoyl peroxide have been found, which makes it clear that this container has been opened,” the authority said, adding that health risks of dibenzoyl peroxide are limited as long as the packaging remains intact.

The location and condition of the container with lithium batteries is still unknown.

Once the location of all the containers is known, the recovery company would remove the units from the water. The duration of the recovery efforts will depend on the weather conditions, the depth at which the containers are located and the location in the traffic lane, Rijkswaterstaat said, adding that safe storage of all containers would take weeks or even months to complete.

World Maritime News Staff


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ONE Thailand Reaches 1 Mn TEUS of Container Shipments

Ocean Network Express (ONE) Thailand recently achieved a milestone by attaining 1 million TEUs, merely 9 months into the business.

From January to December 2017, the export & import laden containers volume in Thailand was 8 Million TEUs.

The achievement of 1 million TEUs marked an important chapter for ONE Thailand. Since the commencement of the business in April 2018, ONE Thailand said it took ‘proactive measures’ to overcome challenges over the months.

“In addition to the memorial milestone, with newly built container vessel “ONE Columba” whose loading capacity of 14,000 TEUs being the largest ever to call Thailand in late 2018, we successfully demonstrated ONE’s commitment to the Thai government’s policies for economic growth, especially for the national project Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC),” Kiyoshi Tokonami, Managing Director of ONE Thailand, said.

The 145,647 gross ton ONE Columba docked at Hutchison Ports Thailand’s Terminal D at Laem Chabang Port in late November, becoming the largest container vessel of this size to berth in Thailand.

Built at Kure Shipyard in Japan in 2018, the boxship features a length of 364 meters and a width of 51 meters.


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MOL Suspends Cruise Ship Master after Allision in Guam

Mitsui O.S.K. Passenger Line, a part of Japan’s shipping major MOL, suspended the Master of the cruise ship Nippon Maru following an allision in Guam.

Namely, the Master in charge of maneuvering the 22,472 gross ton vessel was suspended pending the results of the investigation as there were reports of alcohol use on the day of the accident.

Namely, MOPAS requires personnel to “abstain from drinking alcohol four hours before performing scheduled duties on the day” and anyone in violation of the policy is subject to immediate removal.

The company also suspended cruises after Nippon Maru allided with a US Navy fuel pier in Apra Harbor, Port of Guam, in the evening hours of December 30, 2018.

The vessel, which was carrying 372 passengers and a crew of 252 on board, was scheduled to sail to Saipan.

“Fortunately, no passengers or members of the crew were injured, and there was no fuel spillage as a result of the collision,” MOL said.

The Nippon Maru returned to port and is currently docked and undergoing a full assessment. An initial examination shows the Nippon Maru sustained damage to the lower portion of the stern of the vessel.


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Fuel Spills from Maersk Ship during Bunkering in Hong Kong

An unknown quantity of bunker fuel has spilled from a container vessel owned by Danish shipping giant Maersk during bunkering operations in Hong Kong, a company spokesperson confirmed to World Maritime News.

“We can confirm that on January 6 our container vessel Maersk Gateshead had oil spilling during bunkering operations while at berth at Modern Terminal Limited in Hong Kong,” the statement read.

The company said that bunkering operations were ceased instantly and the leakage was stopped.

Hong Kong Marine Department and Environmental Protection Administration were informed and clean-up operations carried on throughout the day, on vessel deck, hull and sea surface.

The 4,340 TEU Maersk Gateshead, which arrived at the terminal in the evening hours of January 5, has suspended all cargo operations and is awaiting further instructions.

“Maersk takes this incident very seriously. In coordination with relevant authorities an investigation into the circumstances behind the incident has been launched,” the spokesperson added.


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Tugboat to Tow Hapag-Lloyd’s Disabled Boxship to Halifax

Tugboat Maersk Mobilizer will help tow Yantian Express, Hapag Lloyd’s disabled containership, to Halifax, Nova Scotia, the US Coast Guard said.

On January 7, 2019, the 95-meter-long tugboat was en route to the 7,506 TEU boxship which was some 1,015 miles northeast of Bermuda, according to the USCG.

The German-flagged container vessel caught fire on January 3 while it was sailing from Colombo to Halifax. The fire started in one container aboard the ship and spread to additional containers.

Efforts to extinguish the fire were launched on the same day but they were hampered by bad weather conditions.

During the weekend, the ship’s crew members were evacuated to the tugboat Smit Nicobar after the fire increased in intensity.

The USCG said the tugboat remained on scene, providing firefighting assistance.

“We’ve been monitoring the situation to provide as much assistance as possible and keeping in open communication,” Chief Petty Officer Ryan Langley, operations unit watchstander at the Fifth District command center, said.

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Good News and Bad News for Container Ports in 2019

Good News and Bad News for Container Ports in 2019

The global container terminal industry is expected to remain a very profitable business in 2019, with its throughput set to exceed 800 million TEU generating an EBITDA worth over USD 25 billion, according to UK-based shipping consultancy Drewry.

The projection is being made despite the upcoming headwinds the sector faces from growing geopolitical uncertainties like US-China tariff wars and Brexit. As such, Drewry anticipates to see a softening of the global container port demand growth rate, down from an estimated 4.7 pct in 2018 to just over 4 pct in 2019. Nevertheless, 4 pct is still very respectable and adds over 30 million TEU to the world total.

“We can expect to see continued caution by investors and operators in terms of investment in new capacity because returns are not what they used to be. Even Chinese players may be affected if China’s economy slows markedly,” Drewry said.

“Greenfield expansion projects will be the area hardest hit. Nevertheless, a global capacity addition of over 25 million TEU can be expected in 2019, representing a spend of ~USD 7.5 billion.”

On the positive note, the sector will not have to deal with significant increases in maximum containership sizes this year, as physical dimensions of the vessels remain the same despite some upticks in maximum TEU intake.

However, the shipping consultancy believes there will be mounting pressure on ports from cascading of vessels across all trade routes, especially for berths that are able to handle the biggest ships, resulting in increased obsolescence of older berths.

Moving forward port operators and port authorities are expected to continue to look into the opportunities offered by digitization/automation/blockchain/smart ports/IoT/hyperloop as well as expanding their supply chain portfolio as they endeavor to diversify revenue sources.

In doing so, they are likely to face fierce competition from top tier liner shipping companies which are trying to do the same thing, Drewry concludes.


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