• 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 October 15

18:23 MOL joins hands with partners to launch FOCUS project
17:59 Moscow to host a conference on construction of LNG-powered and LNG bunker ships on October 24
17:46 Algoma announces cancellation of Croatian newbuilds contracts
17:05 Klaveness Combination Carriers AS registered on NOTC
16:56 Tall ships arrive at Port of Ipswich as part of 'Race of the Classics'
16:37 Coast Guard ends search after plane crash victims bodies are located
16:20 Krasnoye Sormovo shipyard delivers 8,140 DWT Pola Fiva, fifth dry cargo carrier of Project RSD59
16:04 DNV GL leads consortium to update Carbon Trust Floating LiDAR Roadmap
15:34 East Mediterranean projects take steps towards adoption of alternative fuels
15:04 NYK approves Japan Climate Action Summit declaration
14:51 Wärtsilä LNG solutions featured on environmentally advanced cruise ship
14:35 Coast Guard sets port condition X-ray in Georgia, South Carolina
14:17 Andrey Shunin appointed as General Director of Caspian Energy Management
13:28 Cooperation for sustainable shipping in the Mediterranean
12:41 ACL christens its newest G4 vessel, the Atlantic Sun
12:13 Kongsberg Digital and KPMG launch new complete cybersecurity partnership for the maritime industry
11:55 Nevsky Shipyard took part in Offshore Marintec Russia
11:19 ABS leads industry discussion on digitization, safety and compliance
11:12 New shipping route links Gdansk and Scandinavia
10:51 Port of Gdansk considered as transport hub for Slovakia
10:29 Brent Crude futures price up 1.21% to $81.4, Light Sweet Crude – up 1.04% to $72.08
10:10 Tuco Marine Group to build a multipurpose first responder boat for Hovedstadens Beredskab I/S
09:53 Baltic Dry Index is up to 1,579 points
09:34 Gazprom and Shell discuss next steps in Baltic LNG project
09:15 Throughput of port Helsinki (Finland) in 9M'18 up 8.4% Y-o-Y to 11.38 million tonnes (table)
08:07 PIL terminates all calls to Iran due to US sanctions
07:06 ChainPORT hackathon held for the first time simultaneously in the ports of Antwerp and Los Angeles
06:16 Vinalines posts profit of US$900,000 in the first nine months of 2018

2018 October 14

09:19 CMA CGM announces FAK rates from Asia to North Africa
09:17 CMA CGM announces FAK rates from Asia to the Mediterranean
09:16 Port of Corpus Christi moves record tonnage in first nine months of 2018
09:12 Port of New Orleans receives Excellence Award for Master Plan

2018 October 13

09:06 OOCL fleet moves forward to meet IMO 2020 regulation
09:04 CMA CGM announces FAK rates from Asia to North Europe
08:56 Algoma announces cancellation of Croatian new build contracts
08:54 Panama Canal sets record annual cargo tonnage in fiscal year 2018

2018 October 12

18:07 Port of Antwerp on track for sixth record year
17:36 Strengthening of Kaliningrad seaway canal's embankment included in Russia’s territorial development strategy through 2025
17:08 Stena Bulk in partnership with Bay Crest Management for expansion in Asia
16:04 Groundbreaking ceremony marks start of work at DP World Berbera in Somaliland
15:52 LNG Croatia invited bids for import LNG terminal infrastructure
15:35 Azerbaijan Caspian Shipping Company continues expanding its operations in international waters
15:03 Maersk Line announces an increase in FAK rates from Far East to North Europe
14:47 Minister Berner: Finland strives to reduce emissions from shipping
14:03 CMA CGM to introduce new quarterly BAF for long term contracts from 1st of January 2019
13:44 LUKOIL commissions fifth well at Filanovsky field second stage
13:21 Ocean Network Express enters bilateral feeder network cooperation with Hapag - Lloyd
13:10 MOL consolidation service succeeds with trial of remote container tracking management device
12:28 Germany furthers support to WMU with Simulator Lab refurbishment
12:05 Yangzijiang Shipbuilding Group in China and Mitsui & Co., Ltd. to establish a shipbuilding joint venture
11:47 BPO pays a visit to the Port of Ust-Luga
11:26 Rosterminalugol exported 16 million tonnes of coal YTD
11:05 Grimaldi further boosts its freight services to Sardinia
10:54 Bunker prices continue going up at the Port of Saint-Petersburg, Russia (graph)
10:50 Port of Gothenburg starts construction of new terminal
10:30 Brent Crude futures price up 1.2% to $81.22, Light Sweet Crude – up 1.18% to $71.81
10:11 De Boer holds naming ceremony for Damen RSD WID Tug 2915 Hybrid Fregate and ASD Tug 2310 SD Papillon
10:09 Baltic Dry Index is down to 1,515 points
09:58 Damen signs for another three years as founding partner of the Nederlands Dans Theater
09:51 Fuel oil prices show no significant changes in the Far East ports of Russia (graph)