• 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!”




2019 May 22

18:05 CMA CGM to resume the Bijagos Shuttle service
17:50 RF Government approves rules for collecting port investment dues from ship owners in Russian seaports
17:38 The University of Calabria and Finсantieri ink training agreement
17:05 CMA CGM PAD-Service delivers first Zespri kiwifruits to the port of Zeebrugge
16:44 CMA CGM announces GRR from Asia to South Africa
16:05 Jinling Shipyard in China orders 4 × MAN 51/60DF engines for Baltic RoPax newbuilding
15:31 Throughput of port Helsinki (Finland) in Jan-Apr’19 fell by 3.5% to 3.89 million tonnes (table)
15:09 Rob Grool appointed new CEO at ZEABORN Ship Management
14:45 CMA CGM to upgrade its EUROSAL XL service between North Europe, the Caribbean and South America West Coast
14:29 InterMoor wins 2 mooring installation contracts from COOEC
14:04 Comprehensive drill held at CPC Marine Terminal
13:28 Astrakhan branch of Ship Repair Center ‘Zvezdochka’ launches rescue towboat SB-427 for RF Defence Ministry
13:09 DOF, KONGSBERG, SINTEF Ocean and NORCE join forces to deliver ‘Intelligent Efficiency’ for offshore operations
12:52 Gazprom Neft develops partnerships with leading cruise operators
12:27 New standard Cyber Security Clause agreed by BIMCO’s Documentary Committee
12:09 PETRONAS floating LNG Satu achieves its first LNG drop post relocation
11:44 ESPS Navarra provides maritime security training in Seychelles
11:09 Hamburg Süd christens “Polar Ecuador” in Antwerp
10:51 Throughput of port Vyborg in Jan-Apr’2019 fell by 34% Y-o-Y to 275,500 tonnes
10:30 Throughput of port Kaliningrad in Jan-Apr’2019 fell by 16% Y-o-Y to 3.94 million tonnes
10:08 Austal partners with Fred. Olsen on next generation MARINELINK Smart technology rollout
09:53 Baltic Dry Index is up to 1,049 points
09:37 Bunker market at the port of Saint-Petersburg, Russia sees mixed price movements (graph)
09:37 WesCom Signal and Rescue showcases its commitment to safety training at Nor-Shipping 2019
09:20 Brent Crude futures price is down 0.62% to $71.73, Light Sweet Crude – down 0.82% to $62.61
09:08 West Africa Container Terminal makes further investment in equipment
08:53 MABUX: Bunker market this morning, May 22
08:08 Ocean Yield takes delivery of two modern Ultramax dry bulk vessels with 11-year charters

2019 May 21

18:33 Maersk to charter 13 new feeder ships powered by conventional fuel from 2021
18:25 Long-term Wärtsilä service agreements support optimal performance for LNG Carriers
18:04 GTT notified by Samsung Heavy Industries for the tank design of a new LNG carrier for Nisshin Shipping
17:48 Throughput of port Vysotsk in Jan-Apr'2019 climbed by 7% Y-o-Y to 6.65 million tonnes
17:25 Bunker prices still show no considerable changes at the Far East ports of Russia (graph)
17:19 ABB to enable world’s first hydrogen-powered river vessel
17:04 Port of Zeebrugge sets new record with maiden call of OOCL United Kingdom
16:42 Sredne-Nevsky Shipyard lays down Pioner-M, research ship of Project 25700
16:19 USCG host workshop to discuss safe operation of commercial passenger vessels
16:04 IMO issues additional guidance for sulphur 2020 implementation
15:33 UN agency pushes forward on shipping emissions reduction
15:19 Nevsky Shipyard delivers Nevsky Shipyard second vessel in a series of five dry cargo vessel of project RSD59
15:03 Panama Canal announces enhancements to its Green Connection Environmental Recognition Program
14:27 DSD sells its ferry and expressboat company Norled
14:06 Throughput of port Primorsk in Jan-Apr’2019 grew by 5% Y-o-Y to 18.95 million tonnes
14:03 MOL and Weathernews release of FOCUS Project part I 'Fleet Viewer' application
13:44 Port of Hamburg posts Q1 2019 results
13:41 Czech and Polish officials visit the Port of Gdansk to promote trade between the countries
13:14 Multipurpose Reloading Complex boosts investments in environment protection 15 times to RUB 8 million
12:49 Port of Ust-Luga handled 35.55 million tonnes in 4M’19, up 8% Y-o-Y
12:25 Throughput of Port St. Petersburg in Jan-Apr'2019 grew by 2% Y-o-Y to 19.67 million tonnes
12:02 IAPH Port Planning and Development Committee published a report “Autonomous Vehicles’ Impact on Port Infrastructure Requirements ”
11:28 Port of Kiel welcomes “Aidaprima” for its maiden call
11:00 Container Terminal Saint-Petersburg allocated RUB 2.9 million for implementation of its social programme in 1Q’2019
10:11 Swan Hunter completes modular offshore grid cable storage load-in
09:56 Brent Crude futures price is up 0.31% to $72.19, Light Sweet Crude – up 0.43% to $63.48
09:27 Debmarine Namibia to invest in world’s first custom-built diamond recovery vessel
09:13 Baltic Dry Index is up to 1,041 points
08:05 MABUX: Bunker market this morning, May 21

2019 May 20

18:35 First MAN dual-fuel, diesel-mechanical propulsion package bound for LNG-powered ferry
18:24 Peel Ports expands logistics services with acquisition
18:06 CMA CGM announces FAK rates from Asia to North Africa