• 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 12

14:25 Giant Octopus added to the CPC’s stock of ER equipment
14:01 London hosts global port environment experts
13:20 Pola Anatolia, dry cargo ship of RSD59 design, successfully passed sea trials
13:01 Newcastle Container Terminal to deliver savings for regional NSW
12:36 Sovcomflot BoD considered the Group’s financial plan for 2019 and a forecast for 2020-2021
12:01 Diana Shipping announces time charter contract for m/v Ismene with Koch
11:49 Yury Trutnev appointed as head of revised State Commission for Arctic Development
11:22 Three icebreaker escort operations performed in eastern part of Gulf of Finland during 24 hours on December 11-12
11:00 COSCO SHIPPING Ports partners with Abu Dhabi Ports to create regional trading hub and Middle East gateway for Belt and Road
10:47 Throughput of Rostov-on-Don port in 11M’18 up 15% Y-o-Y to 22.9 million tonnes
10:20 Brent Crude futures price up 1.16% to $60.9, Light Sweet Crude – up 0.67% to $52.3
10:11 Full bonded area is opened in Port Bronka
10:01 WMU welcomes ITF General Secretary and President
09:59 GTT receives an order for the tank design of two new LNG carriers
09:44 Bunker prices continue going down at the Port of Saint-Petersburg, Russia (graph)
09:16 Baltic Dry Index is down to 1,364 points
08:28 Boskalis Ndurance’ cable trencher successfully tested at Alexiahaven
08:05 Maritime Blockchain Labs announces new consortium to improve crew management

2018 December 11

17:59 ASW Severomorsk of RF Navy's Northern Fleet makes a call to the Republic of Djibouti
17:33 Diesel submarine of RF Navy’s Pacific Fleet conducted training exercise in the Sea of Japan
17:10 Port of Antwerp International to consult USPA on tariff setting, concession and environmental policy
16:46 Van Oord supports the 6th Forum of Dredging Companies as its Sponsor
16:21 Yamal LNG reached full capacity
16:02 Hapag-Lloyd announces rates from Indian Subcontinent & Pakistan to North Europe
15:32 Georgia Ports Authority on track for 4.3M TEUs in 2018
15:20 Four new sponsors confirmed to join line-up at 2019’s Maritime Reconnaissance and Surveillance Technology conference
15:02 Hapag-Lloyd announces rates from Middle East to North Europe
14:48 Draft law on Arctic administration approved in the third reading by Russia’s State Duma
14:32 ECSA welcomes the decision by the EU Commission to update the EU list of ship recycling facilities
14:02 Global Ship Lease announces new long-term charter agreements with CMA CGM
13:32 Maersk Broker Bulk Chartering and Wonsild Dry to merge as of January 2019
13:15 Throughput of port Kavkaz in 11M’18 grew by 13% Y-o-Y to 45.61 million tonnes
13:02 COSCO SHIPPING Ports and Abu Dhabi Ports inaugurate CSP Abu Dhabi Terminal
12:46 Throughput of Russian seaports in 11M’18 grew by 4.2% to 746.81 million tonnes
12:13 Alfa Laval sells more than 100 GCU units for LNG newbuilds
12:01 Overseas Shipholding Group and American Shipping Company jointly announce extension of tanker charters
11:44 One icebreaker escort operation performed in eastern part of Gulf of Finland during 24 hours on December 10-11
11:40 The second phase of IMO-implemented safe and sustainable ship recycling project in Bangladesh starts
11:17 Bunker prices are flat at the Far East ports of Russia (graph)
10:58 NYK сoncludes long-term charter agreement for three LNG carriers with MC
10:30 MAN Cryo and partners develop marine liquid-hydrogen fuel-gas system
10:05 Port of Gdansk reports new quarterly record
09:39 Brent Crude futures price up 0.37% to $60.19, Light Sweet Crude – up 0.31% to $51.16
09:16 Baltic Dry Index is up to 1,385 points

2018 December 10

18:08 US major retail container ports imports reach 2 million containers in October 2018
17:50 Taganrog Sea Commercial Port spent USD 67,300 for its environmental programme in 9M’2018, up 6% YoY
17:27 Icebreakers of FSUE Rosmorport assisted 322 ships in navigation season 2018-2019
17:06 Nexans awarded contract for the manufacturing, delivery and installation of 350 kV HVDC submarine cable in the Philippines
16:49 Throughput of port Riga (Latvia) in 11M’18 climbed by 6.5% Y-o-Y to 33.1 million tonnes
16:33 Konstantin Ponomarev appointed as head of RS Nuclear Ships Branch
16:10 Ship Recycling Transparency Initiative launches new online platform
15:58 MOL to participate in construction, ownership, operation of FSRU for Jawa 1 gas-fired IPP project in Indonesia
15:52 MOL LNG сarrier LNG Fukurokuju rescues castaway
15:26 Gasum consolidates its position as the leading Nordic LNG provider
14:58 NIBULON Shipbuilding and Repair Yard adds a new high-capacity German crane to its cranes
14:25 BIMCO publishes two 2020 sulphur clauses
14:00 Average wholesale prices for М-100 HFO down to RUB 16,794 in RF spot market
13:09 EU NAVFOR marks 10 years of operations
12:44 Pertti Korhonen to chair Traffic Management Finland BoD
12:07 Incheon Port container traffic increases by 10.4% in October 2018