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Tug to Retrieve Burning Yantian Express in North Atlantic
by Mike Schuler
Monday, January 07, 2019
The U.S. Coast Guard on Monday is continuing to coordinate the response to a container fire on board the now abandoned Yantian Express located approximately 1,015 miles northeast of Bermuda. Saturday evening, 11 non-essential crew members were evacuated from the Yantian Express to the tugboat Smit Nicobar, following by the remaining crew Sunday morning. All […]

Bunker Fuel Spilled from Maersk Ship at Port of Hong Kong
by Mike Schuler
Monday, January 07, 2019
An unknown quantity of bunker fuel was spilled at the Port of Hong Kong on Sunday during bunkering operations on a Maersk ship at berth, A.P. Moller Maersk confirmed Monday. The bunkering was taking place on the 4,340 TEU Maersk Gateshead as it was berthed at the Modern Terminal Limited. At this time, the amount […]

U.S. Sees Trade Deal Within Reach as China Dispatches Top Aide
by Bloomberg
Monday, January 07, 2019
By Andrew Mayeda, Kasia Klimasinska and Jenny Leonard (Bloomberg) — The Trump administration expressed optimism it can reach a “reasonable” trade deal with China as President Xi Jinping dispatched one of his top aides to negotiations in Beijing on a lasting truce to a conflict that has roiled financial markets. “There’s a very good chance that we’ll […]

UK Opposition Labour Party Rebukes Government Over Ferry Contract
by Reuters
Monday, January 07, 2019
LONDON, Jan 7 (Reuters) – Britain’s opposition Labour Party on Monday criticized the government for awarding a 14 million pound ($18 million) contract to a ferry company with no ships to provide backup freight cover in the event of a no-deal Brexit. Labour’s transport spokesman, Andy McDonald, said the transport ministry had failed to carry […]

Airstrike Kills Al Qaeda Operative Behind USS Cole Attack
by The Maritime Executive
Monday, January 07, 2019

Al Qaeda member Jamal al-Badawi, one of the organizers of the deadly bomb-boat attack on the destroyer USS Cole in 2000, has been killed by an American airstrike. 

On October 12, 2000, Al Qaeda terrorists attacked the Arleigh Burke-class destroyer USS Cole using a suicide boat while the Cole was refueling in Aden, Yemen. The explosion left a 40-by-60 foot hole in the port side of the ship, killing 17 sailors and injuring 39 others. Cole's sailors fought fires and flooding for the next four days, and they succeeded in saving their ship. 

After the attack, USS Cole was transferred back to the United States on a heavy-lift ship and repaired at Ingalls Shipbuilding. She remains in service today.

U.S. Central Command confirmed Sunday that Jamal al-Badawi - who was previously convicted by a Yemeni court of involvement in the attack - was killed in a strike in Marib governate, Yemen on January 1. 

“Jamal al-Badawi was a legacy al Qaeda operative in Yemen involved in the USS Cole bombing. U.S. forces confirmed the results of the strike following a deliberate assessment process," said CENTCOM spokesman Capt. Bill Urban in a statement. “[He] was indicted by a federal grand jury in 2003, charged with 50 counts of various terrorism offenses, including murder of U.S. nationals and murder of U.S. military personnel; was wanted by the U.S. for his role in the Oct. 12, 2000, terrorist attack against USS Cole; and was also charged with attempting with co-conspirators to attack a U.S. Navy vessel in January 2000.”

For his role in planning the attack, Jamal al-Badawi was convicted by a Yemeni court and sentenced to 15 years in prison. He escaped from jail in Yemen twice, once in 2004 and again in 2007, and the FBI had issued a $5 million reward for his arrest. 

The alleged leader of the USS Cole attack, Abd al-Nashiri, was captured by the CIA in 2002. He is currently held at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, where a military trial over his alleged involvement is ongoing. 

Two Killed, Four Missing as Cargo Ship Sinks in Black Sea Off Turkey
by Mike Schuler
Monday, January 07, 2019
At least two people are dead and four others were missing after a Panamanian-flagged bulk carrier sank in the Black Sea off Turkey’s coast on Monday. The Turkish Coast Guard received up a distress signal from the ship Volga-Balt 214 with 13 crew members on Monday morning as it was approximately 80 miles off the […]

Spill During Bunkering Operations in Hong Kong
by Ship Bunker
Monday, January 07, 2019

As Maersk Gateshead was lifting bunkers from tanker Carlung.

AECO Signs Declaration to Combat Illegal Wildlife Trade
by The Maritime Executive
Monday, January 07, 2019

The Association of Arctic Expedition Cruise Operators (AECO) has signed the Travel and Tourism Declaration on Illegal Trade in Wildlife. 

On December 7, the Association signed the Buenos Aires Declaration, which states that signatories cannot knowingly facilitate the carriage or sale of illegally traded wildlife products. The Declaration on Illegal Trade in Wildlife covers wildlife products, where the trade in those products is contrary to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), and as such is illegal under international laws.

AECO has committed to a zero-tolerance policy regarding illegal trade in wildlife products and encourages visitors to the Arctic to support local communities by buying legal and sustainable products. The organization has additional guidelines in place to protect Arctic nature. Guests traveling with AECO operators are not permitted to collect stones, bones, antlers, driftwood, flowers, plants and other items from nature. However, purchasing local souvenirs and products is encouraged.

“Our members are subject to a strict non-disturbance principle when it comes to wildlife, and AECO operators actively support wildlife protection through education, wildlife sighting programs and contributions to science and conservation societies. Signing this declaration reaffirms our dedication to showing the utmost consideration of the natural environment in all aspects of operations,” says Executive Director Frigg Jørgensen.

“For millennia, people in the Arctic have harvested animals and plants to produce food, clothing and artisanal goods. This includes fur products, carved bones and tusks and local foods such as meat and fish. Buying locally made products generates income for the community and can contribute to upholding local craft traditions. When buying animal or plant products, it is important to make sure that they have been harvested and produced legally. In some cases, you will also need a permit to export the product,” says Jørgensen.

Qingdao Offers Financial Incentive for Cruise Industry
by The Maritime Executive
Monday, January 07, 2019

Qingdao, a coastal city in eastern China's Shandong province, is offering financial incentives aimed at accelerating the build out of the China Cruise Tourism Development Experimental Zone in Qingdao as part of the city's transition into an international tourism destination. 

On December 11, the Qingdao Municipal Tourism Development Committee and Shibei District People's Government jointly released plans to provide subsidies of up to three million yuan (approximately $435,000) to cruise firms that include the city as a port of call in their itineraries and travel agencies that organize sightseeing tours in the city, as well as for outbound travel agencies and ticket agents that operate rented and chartered cruises in Qingdao.

The subsidies include $14,500-$58,000 per voyage for departures from Qingdao, $72,500 for every 10 voyages to cruise firms that have launched formal operations in Qingdao and $435,000 for at least 50 voyages. Additionally, outbound travel agencies and ticket agents that rent or charter cruise ships with the base of operations in Qingdao and succeed in boarding 5,000 or more passengers per year who then travel abroad would be entitled to a subsidy of approximately $29 per passenger.

The cruise sector is seen as having huge revenue potential for the city. As a key port city in northern China and an open coastal city, Qingdao boasts rich tourism resources, a favorable climate and an excellent deep-water port, says the government. Qingdao's docking facilities for cruise ships are located in proximity to the city's railway station and downtown area. With the ability to draw in an increasing number of tourists from other parts of Shandong province as well as nearby Beijing, Henan and Shanxi provinces, combined with the rollout of the Jinan-Qingdao and Qingdao-Lianyungang high-speed railways, the government believes the local cruise market has a promising future.

The city's attractions include Laoshan, the highest coastal mountain in China, and Badaguan, a historical area dotted with opulent mansions, garden-like villas and European-style buildings. The city features a distinctive urban landscape and unique culture that combines oriental and western elements. The city has also increased its appeal as a travel destination by hosting several internationally recognized sailing competitions, most notably the Qingdao Olympic Sailing Competition, as well as the Qingdao International Beer Festival.

Singapore Bunker Tanker Arrested
by Ship Bunker
Monday, January 07, 2019

Second operated by Heng Tong Fuels to be detailed in recent days.

Delta Queen Steamboat to Resume Overnight Voyages
by The Maritime Executive
Monday, January 07, 2019

The U.S.’s last authentic overnight steamboat may once again cruise the rivers of the nation’s Heartland and Deep South. Late last year, the U.S. House of Representatives voted to reinstate an exemption to allow the Delta Queen Steamboat to return to service after a decade-long retirement.

In 2008, the Delta Queen was forced to retire from service when her Congressional Exemption from the 1966 Safety at Sea act expired. The law intended to prohibit ocean-bound vessels from carrying overnight passengers unless completely made of non-combustible materials included the Delta Queen, even though she was never more than several hundred yards from shore. Congress approved nine exemptions over four decades to allow the Delta Queen to continue operations until 2008. The latest vote completes a decade-long legislative effort to renew the exemption.

Once signed into law by the President, major repairs will begin to allow the Delta Queen to return to overnight service. Beginning in 2020, themed voyages will operate on the Mississippi, Ohio, Tennessee, Cumberland, Kanawha and Arkansas Rivers. The vessel will first undergo an extensive renovation in Louisiana.

“Preserving the boat’s historic integrity and ensuring passenger safety are our priorities,” said Cornel Martin, President and CEO of the Delta Queen Steamboat Company. “With this approval, we may now move forward with our renovations and return her the waterways, where she belongs.”

The 176-passenger Delta Queen is a National Historic Landmark and on the National Register of Historic Places. The steamboat is also included in the National Maritime Hall of Fame and was named a National Treasure by the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

She was built in 1926, and entered service on June 2, 1927 for the California Transportation Company, along with her identical twin Delta King. They operated together in the nightly San Francisco-Sacramento ferry trade, each vessel leaving the opposite port at 6:00 PM every night, passing each other at the half way point. The vessels carried cargo on the main deck, while offering passenger accommodation on the upper decks. This nightly ritual continued for 13 years until 1940 when improved highways and rail service forced the boats out of business.

The vessels then entered service for the U.S. Navy to support the war effort. Designated YFB-56, the Delta Queen was painted in battleship gray during World War 2 and carried troops from the shallow water piers around San Francisco Bay to the ocean going troop transports anchored in the bay. As many as 3,000 men would be loaded onto the vessel during each trip. The Delta Queen received the first wounded from the attack on Pearl Harbor, ferrying them from hospital ships to the shore based hospitals around San Francisco.

After the war, Delta Queen was purchased by Captain Tom Greene, operator of a tourist steamer, the Gordon C. Greene. After a more than 5,000 mile long journey in which the Delta Queen was towed down the California coast, through the Panama Canal, and across the Gulf of Mexico, she arrived in New Orleans and entered service in 1948, based out of Cincinnati. 

In 1966, the U.S. Congress enacted the “Safety At Sea” act requiring any vessel carrying more than 50 overnight passengers to be constructed entirely of non-combustible materials. The Delta Queen was inadvertently included in the new law, effectively putting her out of business. However, based on the Delta Queen’s impeccable safety record and close proximity to land at all times Congress granted her an exemption from the new law. This exemption was continually renewed with overwhelming support until 2008 when the boat’s owners at the time failed to take the actions necessary to obtain its renewal. Eventually she was purchased in February 2015 by the newly reformed Delta Queen Steamboat Company dedicated to returning her to service.

IN THE KNOW Podcast 7: Planning for Real-World Cyber Threats
by The Maritime Executive
Monday, January 07, 2019

In this edition of "In The Know," the Maritime Executive Magazine podcast, we explore the serious liabilities that cyberattacks can create for maritime companies of all types and sizes, from small family enterprises up to the largest conglomerates. 

To gain insight into the nature of these real-world threats to business, we spoke with three American experts: Gary Kessler, professor of cybersecurity and chair of the department of security studies and international affairs at Embry-Riddle; Andrew Lee, a partner at law firm Jones Walker and co-chair of the firm’s privacy and data security team; and Lt. Kevin Kuhn, an expert in cybersecurity policy at the U.S. Coast Guard's Washington headquarters. For the full story, listen in below: 

To download the file for offline listening, click here.


Norway Delays Emissions Cap in World Heritage Fjords
by The Maritime Executive
Sunday, January 06, 2019

The Norwegian Maritime Authority has delayed the entry into force of the new emissions legislation that was originally planned for January 1, 2019. It is now scheduled for the end of February 2019.

The Authority is proposing that ships must use fuel with a sulfur content of maximum 0.10 percent by weight, that the use of both open and closed loop exhaust gas cleaning systems is prohibited and that the incineration of waste on board ships is also prohibited in the world heritage fjords.

Additionally, the new legislation will allow, upon written application from a company, exemption for a ship from the Tier I requirements set out in MARPOL regulation VI/13, if it can be documented that the ship will comply with the Tier III requirements not later than January 1, 2022.

The regulations would apply in the Nærøyfjord, Aurlandsfjord, Geirangerfjord, Sunnylvsfjord and Tafjord. 

In practice, they means that the use of heavy fuel oil in the world heritage fjords will be banned, and that ships that currently use heavy fuel oil combined with an exhaust gas cleaning system will have to use marine diesel instead when sailing in the world heritage fjords.

“Experience shows that today’s cleaning systems emit visible smoke emissions, and some systems also generate discharges to sea. Even if the visible smoke is partly water vapor, it has a negative impact on people’s experiences of our world heritage fjords,” says Bjørn Pedersen, Head of Department of Legislation and International Relations. 

Carnival to Launch Four New Ships in 2019
by The Maritime Executive
Sunday, January 06, 2019

Carnival Corporation will launch four new cruise ships in 2019 across three of its leading global brands – Carnival Cruise Line, Costa Cruises and Princess Cruises.  

Carnival Cruise Line will debut Carnival Panorama, scheduled to begin sailing from her homeport of Long Beach in December 2019. Also launched will be Sky Princess, Princess Cruises’ fourth Royal-class ship; Costa Smeralda, the second of Carnival Corporation’s 11 new LNG-powered ships joining the fleet by 2025; and Costa Venezia, Costa Cruises’ first ship designed and built specifically for the China market.

The four ships are part of Carnival Corporation's ongoing fleet enhancement strategy with 20 new ships scheduled for delivery between 2019 and 2025.

Carnival Corporation launched four ships in 2018, Carnival Horizon from Carnival Cruise Line, Seabourn Ovation from Seabourn, ms Nieuw Statendam from Holland America Line and most recently, AIDAnova – the world’s first cruise ship that can be powered by LNG both in port and at sea – from AIDA Cruises.

Carnival Panorama 

When Carnival Panorama arrives in Long Beach next December, she will become the brand’s first new ship to homeport in California in 20 years, sailing year-round voyages from the newly renovated Long Beach Cruise Terminal to the Mexican Riviera.

The 4,008-passenger, 133,500-ton Carnival Panorama is the third in the line’s Vista-class series, the largest ever constructed for Carnival Cruise Line, which includes Carnival Vista and Carnival Horizon. The three ships are all named to reflect the connection between the vessels and the sea.

Carnival Panorama is scheduled to debut on December 11, 2019, with a special three-day inaugural cruise from the Long Beach Cruise Terminal, which is housed in a 146,000-square-foot geodesic dome that once contained Howard Hughes’ Spruce Goose airplane. Most California residents and the surrounding area live within a day’s drive of the port. Year-round, seven-day Mexican Riviera cruises begin December 14, departing Long Beach every Saturday to destinations along the Mexican Riviera, including Cabo San Lucas, Mazatlán and Puerto Vallarta.

Sky Princess 

The 143,700-ton Sky Princess can accommodate 3,660 passengers, and she joins three Royal-class sister ships – Royal Princess, Regal Princess and Majestic Princess – in October 2019. 

New to Sky Princess are Sky Suites, centrally located on the top deck. Measuring 700 square feet and with a 270-degree panorama, the suites feature the largest private balconies at sea with a prime view of the ship’s Movie Under the Stars screen. Sky Suites have sleeping capacity for five guests. Also new for Sky Princess will be the addition of a Wakeview pool on her aft decks, plus two new deep-tank top deck pools, a restorative Retreat Pool and more Jacuzzis than previous Royal-Class ships, including two cantilevered over the deep-tank pools. 

The inaugural Mediterranean deployment of Sky Princess is set to feature 10 cruise departures on eight unique itineraries, beginning October 20, 2019, with a seven-day Mediterranean and Adriatic cruise from Athens (Piraeus) to Barcelona. On November 17, the ship is scheduled to set sail from Barcelona for Fort Lauderdale to sail the Caribbean before she returns to tour Europe beginning in April 2020. 

Costa Venezia 

Costa Cruises claims to be the first international cruise brand to serve the China market, with a homeported ship in 2006, and Costa Venezia is the brand’s first ship built specifically for China. The 135,500-ton, 5,260-passenger Costa Venezia will be Costa Cruises’ largest ship operating homeport cruises from China and is expected to commence operation in May 2019. Passengers will be able to enjoy Italian dining, luxury Italian shopping and world-class Italian entertainment, while enjoying familiar comforts such as a range of Chinese cuisines and Chinese-style karaoke bars.
Costa Smeralda 

At 182,700 tons, and with over 2,600 guest rooms, Costa Smeralda will be the largest ship in Costa Cruises’ fleet. She is named after the Emerald Coast of Sardinia and will also be Costa Cruises’ first vessel powered by LNG in port and at sea.

She will host a unique onboard museum, the Costa Design Museum, which will be dedicated to the excellence of Italian design, showcasing many of the Italian designers that contributed to the ship's construction.

The ship is scheduled to make her maiden voyage on October 20, 2019, with a 15-day cruise from Hamburg, with stops in Rotterdam, Lisbon, Barcelona and Marseille before arriving for a naming celebration at Savona, in northwest Italy, on November 3. On November 4, the six-day inaugural cruise is expected to depart from Savona, calling on Barcelona, Marseille and Rome (Civitavecchia). Costa Smeralda will continue to sail in the Western Mediterranean until April 2020, with seven-day cruises calling on Savona, Marseille, Barcelona, Palma de Mallorca, Civitavecchia and La Spezia.

An Option for a Montreal – New York City River Cruise
by The Maritime Executive
Sunday, January 06, 2019

It is presently possible for small private watercraft to sail between the shorter and more direct inland waterway route from New York City to the Lower Saint Lawrence River east of Montreal. However, a large commercial river cruise vessel carrying tourists could sail into the southern region of Canada’s Richelieu River and as far as the quaint Quebec town of Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, located some 25 miles (40 kilometers) from Montreal.


Following the demise of trans-oceanic passenger ship services that lost market share to the airlines, a small number of maritime managers adapted the last commercial ocean-going passenger transportation ships to cruise and tour services. The service proved popular, and ocean tour and cruise operations have developed into a thriving and vibrant industry. Prior to the demise of ocean passenger ships, there was a time when river passenger vessels proved popular along major navigable inland waterways including into the era of the passenger trains. River vessels sailing overnight schedules offered more comfortable, cost competitive service on between several pairs of cities.

Competition from the combination of railway services, inter-city bus services and competitively priced airline service resulted in the closure of overnight river transportation services carrying passengers. Tour operators tested the market for multi-day cruises along inland waterways, with the result that such cruises are available along several inland waterways across Europe along the Danube River, Asia along the Yangtze River and even North America along the Mississippi, Ohio and Saint Lawrence Rivers. Small river cruise vessels carry 40 to 90 guests on multi-day tours along such waterways as the Erie Canal and Rideau Canal.  

New York City – Montreal Cruise

At present, Great Lakes Cruises operates 88 passenger vessels that sail north along the Hudson River from New York City to the Erie Canal and then to the Oswego Canal into Lake Ontario. The vessels than sail north along the windswept eastern region of Lake Ontario to the Saint Lawrence River, then eastbound to quayside at Montreal. An alternative route would sail from New York City north along the Hudson River and continue north to the Champlain Canal, where a series of locks connects to Lake Champlain that flows into the Richelieu River that flows to the Lower Saint Lawrence River.

The 88-passenger cruise vessel could sail along the Hudson River through to Lake Champlain and into the Richelieu River as far as the central area of the town of Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu that is located some 25 miles southeast of Montreal. While the voyage would be extremely scenic between New York City and Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, a tour bus would be required to ferry passengers to and from Montreal. A 12-mile canal with nine navigation locks bypasses a non-navigable section of river and can transit vessels of up to 100 feet length by 21 feet width by six feet draft.

Mini-Cruise Vessel

A mini-cruise vessel built with a draft of six feet, beam of 21 feet and length of 112 feet with lift-up bow would be narrower than the mini-cruise vessel that carries tourists along the Rideau Canal. A multi-day cruise aboard a mini-cruise vessel would need to involve multiple stops to provide passengers with pre-prepared meals that would be delivered to the vessel, or passengers would disembark to take meals at nearby restaurants. Some stops could be overnight stops to allow for passenger accommodation at waterfront or nearby hotels. The cruise vessel would operate like a long-distance bus tour.

Borrowing from the precedent of the barge industry, there would be scope to develop an extended-length, coupled two-section version of the mini-cruise vessel that would sail between New York City and Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu. It would be uncoupled and operate in two sections through the navigation locks along the Chambly Canal, to sail as a coupled assembly north of the canal to the Saint Lawrence River. The addition space aboard a two-section coupled vessel could enhance accommodations for a possible compliment of 50 passengers. Tour planners would need to evaluate market prospects for a mini-cruise vessel sailing between New York and Montreal.

Lengthening Navigation Locks

Extending the length of navigation locks may be a long-term possibility if sufficient commercial tourist traffic materializes on the New York City – Montreal river cruise via Lake Champlain. While the Lower Ottawa River only involves two navigation locks, there are nine navigation locks in the Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu region and lengthening each of those locks will involve much greater expense.

River Port Development

The prospect of operating multi-day river cruises via Lake Champlain between New York and Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu would require the development of a suitable dock area where a vessel of up to 300 feet in length by 43 feet width may be berthed. 

Change of Vessels

Coordination of schedules and maintenance involving two vessels would be required to offer river interlined cruise services between Montreal and New York City. Such a service would include extended sailing to Quebec City and Ottawa, especially if Canadian authorities were willing to lengthen navigation locks along the Lower Ottawa River between Montreal and Ottawa. An international vessel would sail between New York City and the southern entrance to the Chambly Canal at Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu while a Canadian vessel would sail to/from Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu connecting to Quebec City, Montreal and Ottawa. Cruises would include a one-night hotel accommodation at Saint-Jean.

During a scheduled overnight layover, accommodations aboard both vessels would be cleaned and prepared for new customers. One group of customers would be traveling to Canada while another group would be returning to New York. Alternatively, Canadian customers sailing south may board a prepared vessel at Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, for a multi-day return cruise to/from New York City while customers from New York City area sail on an eastern Canadian inland waterway cruise. Vessels 300 feet long and 43 feet wide could sail New York City – Saint Jean, with vessels 35 feet wide sailing north of Saint-Jean.

Tour Service Interlining

The close proximity between Montreal and Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu allows for possible interlining between multi-day cruises based at Montreal, with multi-day cruises that sail via Lake Champlain between New York City and the Richelieu River. If Canadian authorities were willing to lengthen the pair of locks along the Ottawa River, multi-day river cruise excursions could sail the Ottawa – Montreal – Quebec City route. Some multi-day river cruises could originate at Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu to carry tourists south to New York City and back, or south to Albany and west toward Niagara Falls.

A circular river cruise could involve two vessels sailing from New York City, departing several days apart. The first vessel would sail to the Erie Canal to Lake Ontario, then to the Saint Lawrence River and to Montreal and Quebec City. On its return voyage, it would sail to Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu where a northbound vessel from New York City would arrive. The vessels would be serviced to switch passengers, with the passengers who arrived from New York City then sailing to Quebec City and the passengers who arrived from Quebec City, would sail south to New York City via Lake Champlain.


While a large passenger cruise vessel sailing via inland waterway from New York City north via Lake Champlain cannot sail into the Lower Saint Lawrence River, it can sail within 25 miles of Montreal, perhaps sufficiently close that tourists might find a 40-minute bus ride quite acceptable.

For tourists seeking to sail via inland waterway from Canada aboard a large river vessel, the close proximity between Montreal and Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu could make that town an acceptable location from where tourists might begin and end their river cruises.

There may actually be a market for a multi-day river cruise between New York City and Montreal, involving a mini-cruise vessel or a two-section coupled version of such a vessel capable of fitting into the navigation locks on the north side of Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu.

U.S. Kills Terrorist Behind 2000 USS Cole Bombing
by Reuters
Sunday, January 06, 2019
WASHINGTON, Jan 6 (Reuters) – The U.S. military said on Sunday it has killed a militant in Yemen believed to be one of the planners of a deadly bombing of the Navy destroyer USS Cole in 2000. Jamal al-Badawi was killed in a precision strike in Yemen’s Marib governate on Jan. 1, U.S. Central Command […]

Micky Arison to Lead Florida-Caribbean Cruise Association
by The Maritime Executive
Sunday, January 06, 2019

Micky Arison, chairman of Carnival Corporation & plc, has been named the incoming chairman of the Florida-Caribbean Cruise Association (FCCA). Arison will also lead the FCCA Executive Committee, consisting of company leaders from the association's member lines.

The trade association represents the mutual interests of destination stakeholders in the Caribbean and Latin America and FCCA member lines. Created in 1972, it is a not-for-profit trade organization that provides a forum for discussion on tourism development, ports, safety, security, and other cruise industry issues and builds bilateral relationships with destinations' private and public sectors.

Albino Supino Di Lorenzo, vice president of cruise operations of MSC Cruises USA, has been named the incoming chairman of the FCCA Operations Committee, which includes operational cruise executives and is involved in frequent meetings with destination stakeholders.  

Both appointments became effective on January 1, 2019.
"I am honored to again take the helm as FCCA Chairman," said Arison, who is one of the original members of the Executive Committee and has served as FCCA Chairman in the past for a total of 12 years. "Over the years, I have watched the growth of not only the industry and association, but also the partners we serve. These partnerships and building a foundation for long-term mutual success in the Caribbean and Latin America are more important than ever, with the the industry having matured and developed on a global and macroeconomic scale, so I could not be more excited and encouraged to help destinations and stakeholders maximize the potential win-win situations this dynamic industry offers."
Arison's latest tenure as FCCA Chairman, from 2015-2017, was shorter than his prior decade-long term, but in that time he boosted the FCCA Platinum Membership by adding new benefits and further developed the partnership between the FCCA and Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA). He also led the globalizing and rebranding of the FCCA's quarterly magazine, Travel & Cruise.
Arison replaced Adam Goldstein, vice chairman of Royal Caribbean Cruises, at the end of his term. "I am honored to have served as FCCA Chairman and extremely proud of the cruise industry's efforts to strengthen relationships with destinations and stakeholders in the Caribbean and Latin America," said Goldstein. "This outreach has become increasingly important with the region facing challenges and opportunities in today's highly competitive and globalized environment, and I am confident that Mr. Arison's leadership will continue to steer the course for mutual success between cruise lines and destinations."
Under Goldstein's direction, the association engaged in initiatives including the Caribbean Is Open / Caribbean for Everyone advertising campaign launched by the FCCA to display the region's readiness for tourism despite the 2017 storms, along with providing life-sustaining supplies, such as sleeping pods and semi-permanent structures, and coordinating many of the relief efforts between the affected destinations and member lines. He also led the restructuring of the largest and only official cruise tourism conference and trade show in the Caribbean, the FCCA Cruise Conference & Trade Show. 

Di Lorenzo will replace Carlos Torres de Navarra, vice president, global port & destination development, Carnival Corporation & plc, as part of the committee's standard two-year rotation. Under Navarra, the Operations Committee undertook initiatives such as its first-ever joint destination meetings to work with Eastern Caribbean representatives from the British Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, St. Maarten and the U.S. Virgin Islands following the historic 2017 hurricane season in order to aid in recovering cruise tourism, building back better and forming lessons learned and best practices to share with the region.
"The term 'partnership' is the most appropriate badge of FCCA and represents all those who embrace and participate in the important work that the association does," said Di Lorenzo. "The past has shown us that by working together we can do remarkable things. Even in the face of extreme adversities, such as devastating hurricane events, cruise lines and destinations joined forces to help our regional partners endure. The FCCA played a pivotal role in engaging the industry to step up."

Watch: Celebrity Edge's Magic Carpet
by The Maritime Executive
Sunday, January 06, 2019

Perched on the starboard side of the ship, Magic Carpet is the most distinctive feature of Celebrity Edge. Offering open-air panoramic views, it is the world’s first cantilevered venue at sea to move 15 decks.

Celebrity Edge is designed to give passengers a greater connection to the ocean with her outward-facing design.

Inaugurated in December 2018, the 2,900-passenger vessel is the Celebrity Cruises' first new ship in six years and first new ship series in more than a decade. She is the first of four vessels from Celebrity Cruises’ Edge Class and will be joined by her sister ship, Celebrity Apex, in 2020. The next two ships will follow in 2021 and 2022.

Videos showing the vessel from design to inauguration can be viewed here.

Ship Specifications

Double Occupancy: 2,918
Crew: 1,320
Guest Decks: 14
Staterooms: 1,467
Tonnage: 129,500
Length: 1,004 feet
Beam: 128 feet
Draft: 27 feet
Cruising Speed: 22 knots

Worldwide Ferry Safety Conference Set for February
by The Maritime Executive
Sunday, January 06, 2019

The Worldwide Ferry Safety Conference will take place on February 21-22, 2019 in Bangkok.

“2019 is a year of promise for ferry safety,” says Dr. Roberta Weisbrod, Executive Director of the Worldwide Ferry Safety Association (WFSA). “Why? Because there are new and upgraded ferry systems coming on line in Asia. Participants at the Fifth Annual Ferry Safety Conference will learn that both India and Bangladesh are working with the World Bank and developing their inland waterways; the World Bank’s Senior Transport Specialist, Rajesh Rohatgi, will present.” 

Dr. Weisbrod notes further that: “The Director General, Shipping of Bangladesh, Commodore Syed Ariful Islam, has been invited to present on initiatives to improve safety and efficiency in Bangladesh.” In Asia, both Manila and Bangkok (the site of the conference) will be updating their urban river ferries. The advent of new ferries, in a time of real commitment to ferry safety as evidenced at the recent ASEAN meetings, bodes well for improvements in well being for crews and passengers alike.

The goal of the conference, beginning February 21, will be to explore how technology, particularly digitalization, can help new and existing ferry systems in improving their safety and efficiency. Mr. Chaiwat Tongkamkoon, Thailand’s Permanent Secretary - Ministry of Transport, will preside the opening of Conference. US Coast Guard Captain Kevin Kiefer will discuss an important initiative to provide enhanced messaging of AIS, with the aim of improving communication of upcoming sudden hazardous weather to ferry operators. An initiative to extend AIS to the ferries of Bangladesh will be discussed by WFSA’s Nurur Rahman. Weather information and the capture of AIS signals around the equatorial Pacific Ocean will be vastly improved thanks to the imminent launching of nano-satellites; these efforts will be the subject of a presentation by Karsten Pedersen of Aerial-Maritime. 

On the insurance front, there will be a presentation by Michael Watts of Marsh Insurance about new maritime insurance offerings including precision, use- and performance-based coverage. Life vests, always an important question for the ferry industry, will be the subject a presentation by David Meddings, from the World Health Organization, who is the author of WHO’s Global Report on Drowning. Ferry accidents will be the subject of a discussion by an international panel of experts from Indonesia, China and Italy. They will join their Thai counterparts in reviewing recent accidents and findings from investigations– with a major focus on RoPax fires, with an eye towards preventing future

WFSA conferences always feature an important “hands on” component. Day 2 of the conference starts at the Hotel Riva Surya, on the Chao Phraya River (which runs through Bangkok), to discuss training, with a focus on how Archipelago Ferries, based in the Manila area, has blended online learning with the personal approach to safety culture. Additionally, SeaVersity (also from the Philippines) will present on Virtual Reality being used to assist training. Bangkok is unique; it has retained its ancient culture and while evolving with the times and infusing its own Thai-style. Chao Phraya River Boat Company owner and chairperson, Ms. Supapan Pichaironarongsongkram, will make a lively presentation on the changes. A technical tour, immediately following the presentation, will feature a river cruise, emphasizing the ferry’s connections- including linkages with surface transportation, as well as commercial and recreational highlights. See attached graphic of vessel used on the river cruise.

For further information- please contact Dr Roberta Weisbrod at

The conference will also include presentations of awards to winning student entrants in the International Student Design Competition for a Safe Affordable Ferry. This year’s mandate was for students to design an express ferry for the Pasig River of Manila. This year marks a milestone with designs moving beyond concepts, into the realm of actual vessel specifications; ideas from the winning entries are being considered by the agency in Manila responsible for an ongoing vessel procurement. A reception honoring the students will be held on the evening of Feb 21. The conference organizers are delighted that the IMO is sending two key staff members, Bekir Sitki Ustaoglu, Technical Cooperation Division, and Irfan Rahim, Maritime Safety Division, and look forward to introducing them to the students.

In summing up, Dr. Weisbrod, WFSA’s Executive Director, said “This year’s conference combines innovation, serious intent, and plenty of good news to create opportunities to share ideas and business practices. And this unbeatable combination will occur against the superlative backdrop of Bangkok- sometimes called “The City of Angels.”

IRClass Review of 2018 and Projections for 2019
by The Maritime Executive
Sunday, January 06, 2019

The Indian Register of Shipping (IRClass) continues to record steady growth in its classed fleet, flag recognition and geographical presence, mirroring the shipping industry’s ongoing recovery.

Fleet Growth

With tankers and bulk carriers continuing to dominate IRClass’s tonnage, the classed fleet has grown more than four percent in the past year, with the foreign flag fleet seeing a particularly impressive growth of 22 percent which is 16 percent in tonnage terms and indicative of strong overseas growth.

Flag Recognition and Geographical Presence

IRClass is now recognized by 41 flag states globally, seeing recent additions in 2018 from the Netherlands, Vietnam, Jordan and Bahrain.

Towards the end of 2018, it also received approval from Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC), strengthening its offshore portfolio in the Middle East and opened an office in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to better service its customers in the region.

Strengthened Portfolio with Defence and Government Projects

On the domestic front, Defence continues to be a growth area for IRClass with key project wins as well as construction of Inland Waterways vessels.

These additions to IRClass’s project portfolio demonstrate the classification society’s competence and capability in handling large scale and technically challenging projects.

Commitment towards Information Security

The ISO 27001:2013 certification awarded to IRClass for its Information Security Management System from the British Standards Institution (BSI), underscores the classification society’s commitment towards risk management. It inspires confidence in IRClass’s level of data protection, assuring customers that their information is well-protected.

Optimising Operations through Digitalisation

IRClass started issuing electronic certificates for all its classed vessels earlier this year, giving ship owners, regulators and charterers real-time online access to the latest class and statutory certificates.

The implementation of e-Certificates is expected to reduce the administrative burden and document handling costs for ship owners, coupled with increasing operational efficiency from IRClass, leading to better service delivery.

IRClass has also introduced computational fluid dynamics (CFD) analysis as part of its shipbuilding services which is another instance where efficiencies in ship design are unlocked through software sophistication, creating added value.

New Services

During the year, IRClass launched several new services which include Cyber Risk Management, IMO DCS, Vessel Performance Management System (VPMS) and Ballast Water Management to benefit its customers.

Recently, it won the ‘Classification Society of the Year’ award at the Samudra Manthan Awards 2018, recognizing its efforts in the classification sector.


To promote environmentally friendly fuels in shipping, IRClass has published Guidelines for Methanol fueled ships.

With a view to develop inland waterways usage in India, rules for inland waterways oil tankers, chemical tankers, liquefied gas carriers and passenger ships have been developed.

Centre of Excellence in Maritime & Shipbuilding (CEMS)

It has been a year since IRClass first announced the formation of a ‘Centre of Excellence in Maritime and Shipbuilding’ (CEMS) – to meet industry demand in bridging the skills gap and provide upskilling for the maritime and shipbuilding workforce.

A lot has happened over this time period with 18 world-class labs being established in Visakhapatnam and six labs on the Mumbai campus. CEMS will focus on the end-to-end needs of various stakeholders including academic institutes, students, government departments and key maritime industry sectors.

Looking ahead to 2019

While the classification society’s primary focus remains to enhance its classed fleet and improve its service offerings, 2019 will be a year where IRClass will be focusing more on the emergence of new trends, delivering value to its customers through digitalisation, as well as further strengthening its footprint in Europe, Asia Pacific and the Middle East.

It also aims to improve its global visibility through its presence at key industry events.

Yantian Express Abandoned in North Atlantic Due to Ongoing Container Fire
by Mike Schuler
Sunday, January 06, 2019
The crew of the containership Yantian Express has been evacuated as the container fire continues to burn on board the ship in the North Atlantica, Hapag-Lloyd said in an update on Sunday. The fire started in one container on January 3rd and has since spread to other containers. Due to bad weather conditions, the fire […]

Pope Appeals for Safe Ports for Migrant NGO Ships
by Reuters
Sunday, January 06, 2019
By Philip Pullella VATICAN CITY, Jan 6 (Reuters) – Pope Francis urged European leaders on Sunday to stop bickering over the fate of 49 migrants stuck aboard two humanitarian rescue ships on the Mediterranean and let them land at a safe port of call. With his comments in an address to 60,000 people in St. Peter’s […]

Parcel Courier Service Could Use Winged Boats
by The Maritime Executive
Saturday, January 05, 2019

A major sector of the international transportation industry carries small parcels between cities both domestically and internationally, depending on fast delivery involving airlines, trucks and railways. There may be a market niche for winged boats to carry loads of parcels between coastal cities.


The history of transporting small parcels between cities domestically and internationally dates back over centuries. In the modern era, a large segment of the small parcels transportation market requires fast delivery based on coordinated intermodal connections between airlines and trucks. The development of commercial winged boats occurs at a time of increasing online purchasing which is expanding the parcel transportation and delivery sector. There may be a potential market niche for fast maritime-based parcel transportation between distant coastal cities.

Some of the biggest commercial airplanes operate as freight and cargo carriers flying between distant major cities. While big airplanes are viable over extended distances, their viability decreases over short distances. Trucks are viable and competitive over short distances. In some countries, while some fast passenger trains include a section that carries fast parcel freight, railways have lost a major share of the parcel transportation market to airlines and trucks. The need for fast and cost-competitive transportation opens a possible market application for winged boats carrying parcel freight.

Winged Boat Capabilities

Winged boat builders located in South Korea, Singapore and Germany are designing their vehicles to travel at speeds of 100 to 200-km/hour over distances of up to 1,600 kilometers (1,000 miles). 

Internationally, many coastal cities are located within that distance of each other, and some of these cities are actually served by coastal airports. While winged boats are being designed to touch down on and lift off from water, take-offs and landings at coastal airports are possible. One South Korean company is focusing on developing a vehicle capable of lifting itself to an elevation of 150 meters (500 feet). 

Winged boats capable of lifting to 150 meters and equipped with landing gear could provide service between coastal airports while carrying the equivalent payload as commercial cargo airplanes. Traveling at half the speed of commercial aircraft can reduce fuel consumption by over 75 percent. Annual fuel costs account for the dominant cost item in commercial airline transportation. Winged boats carrying parcel freight could operate between coastal airport runways or between designated seaplane runways located along the ocean coast, at river estuaries or even along rivers at inland locations far from the sea. 

Higher Performance

The Russian built Caspian Sea Monster (Kaspian Monster) could attain a speed of 300 km/hr (300 mi/hr). Boeing developed the theoretical ‘Pelican’ Type-C ground-effect vehicle that was intended to cover greatly extended distances at speeds of 300 miles per hour while traveling in ground effect mode close to the ocean to reduce fuel consumption. Upon approach to a coastline, it was intended climb to high elevation and fly toward an airport. The Boeing concept might have been a few years ahead of its time, and the growth of the air freight and parcel transportation markets provides an application for the technology.

Super-sized, high-speed versions of the technology would be suitable for extreme long-haul service, occupying a transportation market niche that is between that of container ships and freight aircraft. Traveling at speeds of 400 to 500 km/hour would appreciably reduce energy consumption to some 25 percent that of freight aircraft. A segment of the parcel market may be willing to delay delivery of their freight by a few hours in exchange for savings in transportation cost. Different sizes and speeds of winged boats could fulfill freight transportation requirements between different pairs of coastal cities.

Pilot Duty Cycles

In overnight parcel and freight transportation, there is scope to combine different speed capabilities of different winged boats with the eight to 10 hour duty cycles for commercial pilots. The distance of some overnight routes could allow pilots undertake return trips within their duty cycles while the time-in-transit duration of other long-distance overnight routes would involve one-way travel. On such routes, companies would need to provide daytime accommodation for pilots who would need off-duty rest time prior to returning to service piloting a winged boat laden with revenue cargo to their home-base terminal.  

Asian Market Potential

The Singapore – Hong Kong link represents Asia’s premium air cargo freight route that cargo Boeing 747 aircraft can complete within four hours. Courtesy of rapid unloading and loading of freight containers at airports, crews and aircraft can complete return trips during crew duty cycles. Type-B winged boats with 150-meter elevation capability and designed for 400-km/hour cruising speed could travel between Singapore and Hong Kong within eight hours, incurring lower fuel costs than traditional freight aircraft. Within a year of operation, fuel cost represents the dominant cost of long-distance transportation service operations, savings that could be passed on to customers.

Departure from airport runway at 11:00PM could result in customers receiving delivery by 3:00PM instead of by 10:00AM, with earlier delivery incurring premium transportation costs. Other fast winged boat routes could include Hong Kong - Seoul (Incheon airport), Hong Kong - Osaka (Kansai Airport) and Singapore - Manila. Slower vessels with 250 to 300-km/hour capability could operate Singapore - Bangkok and Hong Kong - Manila links. Operations involving seaplane runways would occur at Taipei, Shanghai, Jakarta, Manila and Bangkok. Return service overnight routes could include Singapore - Jakarta, Hong Kong - Manila, Hong Kong - Taipei and Taipei - Shanghai.

European Market Potential

Despite fast and efficient railway connections, winged boats could provide overnight return service across the Irish Sea, connecting the British cities of Liverpool and Cardiff/Bristol to the Irish cities of Belfast and Dublin. Across the North Sea, winged boats could connect the British cities of London, Hull, Newcastle and Edinburgh to such European cities as Oslo, Hamburg, Antwerp, Rotterdam and Amsterdam. In the Mediterranean region, winged boats could provide service on such links as Palermo - Roma, Palermo - Napoli, Palermo - Genoa, Barcelona - Genoa, Barcelona - Roma/Napoli, Barcelona - Nice and Roma - Nice.

Coastal airports serve Roma, Genoa, Nice, Barcelona and Palermo where intermodal connections to trucks would likely be available, the result of pre-existing air cargo and truck intermodal connections. Other coastal cities would require that winged boats lift off from and touch down on water. 

United States

Many large American coastal cities are located on a bay, river or ocean inlet and the list includes New York City, Norfolk, Charleston, Savannah, Jacksonville, Tampa, Houston, San Francisco and San Diego. Using water touch downs and lift offs, winged boats could carry overnight parcel on such links as Houston - Tampa/St Petersburg, New York City - Norfolk, New York City - Charleston, Chesapeake Bay - Charleston/Savannah, Chesapeake Bay - Jacksonville and Chesapeake Bay - Boston. Winged boats would be able to pass under high bridges at New York City, Tampa, Chesapeake Bay and San Francisco. 

Depending on the American Department of Transportation, type-B winged boats with 150-meter (500-foot) elevation capability could provide overnight parcel transportation service between Los Angeles Airport and Oakland International Airport at San Francisco, also operating to and from Boston’s Logan Airport to provide service to and from Bermuda. Operating between American coastal cities, winged boats could offer greater travel speed than trucks while incurring lower operating cost by consuming a fraction of the amount of fuel as cargo aircraft.


There is market application for maritime-based fast transportation service carrying parcel freight between coastal cities where the travel time between them coincides with pilot overnight duty cycles. While delaying parcel delivery for a few hours, the maritime option offers savings in fuel costs and in turn more competitive parcel transportation costs compared to air freight.


Names of Two Future U.S. Destroyers Announced
by The Maritime Executive
Saturday, January 05, 2019

U.S. Secretary of the Navy Richard V. Spencer announced the names of two future Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyers last week.

The first is named in honor of U.S. Navy Vietnam veteran, Navy Cross recipient and former U.S. Senator from Alabama, Admiral Jeremiah Denton.

In 1947, Denton graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy and served as a test pilot, flight instructor and squadron leader, and developed operational tactics still in use, such as the Haystack Concept, which calls for the dispersing of carrier fleets to make it more difficult for the enemy to find the fleets on radar. 

On July 18, 1965, Denton was shot down over North Vietnam and spent nearly eight years as a POW, almost half in isolation. During an interview with a Japanese media outlet, Denton used Morse code to blink “torture,” confirming that American POWs were being tortured. He suffered severe harassment, intimidation and ruthless treatment, yet he refused to provide military information or be used by the enemy for propaganda purposes.

In recognition of his extraordinary heroism while a prisoner-of-war, he was awarded the Navy Cross.  Denton was released from captivity in 1973, retired from the Navy in 1977 and in 1980 was elected to the U.S. Senate where he represented Alabama. 

Spencer also announced the name of a another Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer - this time honoring Senator Ted Stevens, who represented Alaska from 1968 to 2009.

Stevens served as a pilot in the Army Air Corps from 1943 to 1946 and was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross before being discharged in 1946. Stevens was elected as a state representative in Alaska in 1964, re-elected in 1966, and in 1968 he was appointed to fill a vacancy in the U.S. Senate. In 1970, Stevens was elected to the seat in a special election and was subsequently re-elected five times. He left office in 2009 as the then-longest serving Republican U.S. Senator in history.

The Destroyers

Arleigh Burke-class destroyers conduct a variety of operations from peacetime presence and crisis response to sea control and power projection. The new vessels will be capable of fighting air, surface and subsurface battles simultaneously, and will contain a combination of offensive and defensive weapon systems designed to support maritime warfare, including integrated air and missile defense and vertical launch capabilities.

The ships, to be built at Huntington Ingalls Industries, will be 509 feet long, have a beam length of 59 feet and be capable of operating at speeds in excess of 30 knots.

Global Trade Routes of Ultra Large Container Vessels
by The Maritime Executive
Saturday, January 05, 2019

As a product of the global economy and an effective tool to handle fierce market competition, more and more Ultra Large Container Vessels (ULCV) are utilized in nowadays in long-haul shipping. 

According to ships’ AIS navigation records, in the fourth quarter of 2018, 118 fully cellular container ships which each carrying capacity of more than 14,500 TEUs were active in the high seas.

These ULCVs made 1,818 calls connected 63 ports in 32 countries. 69 percent port pairs were the result of international sailings. Shanghai Port was top, receiving 164 port calls from ULCVs. It was followed by Ningbo-Zhoushan which had 133. Rotterdam placed third with 122.

The ULCV network is plotted in the diagram above. The width of the arrows indicates the volume of callings. Country pairs with both back and forth voyages are represented in distinctive colors. Although the liners are making round-the-world looping voyages, certain pairs such as China with Singapore, Malaysia, South Korea, and the Netherlands with Germany had frequent bidirectional connections thus more exchanges.

Trade routes bridging Asia and Europe received the greatest share of these giant ships’ cross continental deployments. 96 ships sailed between the two continents in the quarter, 70 ships dedicated for continental itineraries. The rest mostly included Middle East and North Africa in their journeys.

ULCVs visited 23 ports in 10 countries in Asia. Singapore stands as the hub for distributing eastern cargo to Europe. Algeciras, Southampton and Felixstowe were Singapore’s principal destinations. Singapore's neighbor, the port of Tanjung Pelepas in Malaysia, received more Chinese inbound calls and some shifted to Singapore before departed Asia. Tanger Med, Sines and Rotterdam were its top three fixtures.

Conversely, Singapore conveyed inbound goods to China, mainly Hong Kong and Shanghai. Shanghai was also key for Tanjung Pelepas.

China itself, compared to the hubs, had much less direct callings to Europe. Shanghai to Rotterdam, Xingang and Shekou to Marseille were the only major contacts recorded. On the other hand, China had 30 intakes, of which Jebel Ali to Yantian and Hong Kong, Rotterdam to Shanghai each had 10.

In northeast Asia, China and South Korea had tight bilateral connections via ULCVs. Almost 93 percent of the port calls of ULCVs from Busan and Gwangyang to China fell entered Ningbo-Zhoushan. In return, the Chinese port Xingang became a nearest door to South Korea. 

The U.K. and Greece topped in Singapore’s exports by ULCVs. Sri Lanka, Morocco and Portugal became the most important direct doors to Malaysia. The Netherlands, Germany, Belgium, France and the U.K. also featured. Rotterdam, Hamburg, Antwerp and Bremerhaven respectively played the most important role in regional trades with ULCVs.

Ned Li is a maritime professional with over 10 years’ experience. He holds a Master of Science degree in Maritime and Transport Management and is currently undertaking a Master of Technology degree in Analytics at the National University in Singapore. 

Maersk Container Industry Exits Dry Container Business
by The Maritime Executive
Saturday, January 05, 2019

Maersk Container Industry (MCI) is exiting the dry container manufacturing business to focus on growing its cold chain business. 

Currently, one out of three refrigerated containers used in global perishable transportation uses Star Cool container technology manufactured by MCI. With the recent launch of Sekstant® Global Guidance solutions, the company is entering the IoT space, transforming reefer operations through the use of operational data.

The market for dry containers has been under enormous pressure for some time, says MCI, but reefer volumes continue to grow due to global demand for fresh produce and other commodities. The decision to exit the dry container business means that the company's production facility in Dongguan, China, will close. The factory has been idle since the beginning of December 2018.

“MCI’s strategy is to grow in cold chain where our Star Cool technology is a clear leader. This growth requires focused investment in the best products and services,” explains Sean Fitzgerald, CEO of Maersk Container Industry. “By putting all of MCI’s resources on the cold chain business will ensure sustainable growth and continued investment in the best products and services for our customers.”

 In June 2018, MCI closed its manufacturing facility in San Antonio, Chile, consolidating all its reefer manufacturing in the company’s original facility in Qingdao in China where production commenced in 1998. 

MCI received a record reefer order in October last year, with Hapag-Lloyd ordering 8,600 units, of which 2,000 will be controlled atmosphere reefers. The successful launch of Hapag-Lloyd’s ExtraFresh and ExtraFresh Plus services has driven the company's demand for more controlled atmosphere reefers. The order brings the number of Star Cool controlled atmosphere reefers in Hapag-Lloyd’s ExtraFresh fleet up to 5,000. MCI is producing the 8,600 Star Cool Integrated reefers at their Qingdao facility. 

Flashback: LNG Tanker Makes Record Northern Sea Route Transit
by The Maritime Executive
Saturday, January 05, 2019

Soon after delivery, in January 2018, the ice-breaking LNG carrier Eduard Toll completed both her first loading at Sabetta Terminal in Russia and her first discharge in Montoir, France. This marked a major milestone for shipping in the Arctic, as it was the first time a shipping vessel made independent passage, without the support of an ice breaker, during this time of year.

During the voyage, she broke ice 1.8 meters thick at speeds of five knots astern – and arrived at the Sabetta terminal ahead of schedule.

Eduard Toll is the fourth of 15 Arc7 LNG carriers being built for the Yamal LNG project and Teekay’s first of six LNG carrier newbuildings contracted to service the project.

Since that January 2018 voyage, Teekay’s ice-class Arc7 LNG carriers have been pushing through the Arctic ice all year, delivering cargo from Sabetta to markets around the world. The video below is footage released in January 2019 of Eduard Toll en route to China.

Target 2050
by The Maritime Executive
Saturday, January 05, 2019

With the IMO targeting 50 percent fewer CO2 emissions by 2050, the industry is already looking beyond LNG to a hybrid electric future for propulsion.

For the transition, Patrick Toll, Managing Director of Hamburg-based PT-Shipmanagement, says: “The reality is the diesel engine, in whatever configuration, will remain a dominant supplier of propulsion or electricity for marine vessels. Simply put, with current technology there is no better translation from fuel to power in terms of efficiency.”

LNG will come, but it will struggle until the infrastructure is there. “There will be a smarter way of arranging propulsion systems to cope with the needs of the specific vessel,” Toll adds. “We will see hybrid engines with batteries and diesel engines that might run on biofuel.”

Hybrid Applications

Equipment manufacturers are already extending their range to suit hybrid applications. Rolls-Royce launched its latest in a series of LNG-fueled marine engines in September and also unveiled ELegance, a new podded propulsion system, the same month.

The ELegance pods – one with an open propeller, the other ducted – feature a “twin tail” concept to improve efficiency while significantly reducing cavitation-induced noise and vibration. A new, integrated hull-fitting interface allows a compact head-box to be used, minimizing drag and further improving hull efficiency. It also allows the height and tilt of the pod to be adjusted, enabling operators to select the optimum propeller size for the vessel.

Rolls-Royce is further launching a lithium-ion-based energy storage system for ships called SAVe Energy, a liquid-cooled, modular battery system that complies with international regulations for zero emission propulsion systems. The development work has been partly funded by the Norwegian Research Council of Norway’s ENERGIX program. Color Line, Norled and the Norwegian Coastal Administration Shipping Company have been partners in its development, which is expected to suit a wide variety of marine applications including ferries, cruise vessels and multi-purpose vessels.

Andreas Seth, Rolls-Royce EVP, Electrical, Automation & Control – Commercial Marine, notes: “The electrification of ships is building momentum. From 2010 we have delivered battery systems representing about 15MWh in total. However, now the potential deployment of our patent-pending SAVe Energy in 2019 alone is 10-18MWh.” Combined with an LNG or diesel-powered engine in a hybrid solution, Seth says SAVe Energy will increase efficiency and reduce emissions and can be coupled with most types of propulsion units.

Becker Marine Systems is also pursuing battery technology. The company continues to develop its COBRA maritime battery system which, it says, is the most compact on the market. COBRA is currently undergoing type approval by Bureau Veritas and DNV GL. In principle, it can be used on any ship and, depending on type and application, as part of a hybrid/electric drive, peak-shaving buffer or energy storage system. Possible applications include offshore vessels, harbor and workboats, police and fire brigade ships, passenger ships and car ferries.

“Currently installed as the prime energy source on a small ferry, the unique design offers solutions to many of the problems that have plagued lithium-ion battery systems in the past such as space, weight and direct water cooling,” says Mike Pevey, Sales Director, Becker Marine Systems USA. “COBRA is an advanced concept employing tried and tested 18650 lithium ion cell technology and taking the special requirements of maritime operation and classification into account. Any scale of power storage will be available by freely configuring modular units in standardized cabinets of up to 1,000V DC including integrated and individually controlled cooling equipment.”

The ferry installation is for the water taxi Liinsand, owned by Watten Fährlinien GmbH. The vessel currently exceeds all current and planned IMO environmental regulations and uses two redundant, hybrid-diesel propulsion systems with two propellers, two Becker rudders and two battery systems of 50kWh each.

The move to battery technology is a continuation of Becker Marine Systems' ongoing efforts to boost efficiency and reduce emissions. The company invented the High Lift Flap Rudder, and rudders have always been its core business. In addition to the original Flap Rudder, Becker invented the Twisted Leading and Trailing Edge Rudder technology. It owns the Schilling Rudder patent and is the designer of the King Support Full Spade Rudder, Heracles enclosed linkage Flap Rudder and rudder bulb technology. The company also delivers standard NACA and Hollow Profile Rudders.

The Mewis Duct® was introduced in 2008 and is mainly targeted at the tanker and bulker market up to about 17 knots, providing an average 6.5 percent fuel savings as confirmed by test results done for each vessel. “We have sold over 1,000 units to date,” says Pevey. The company's Mewis Duct Twisted followed in 2012 for higher speed vessels such as container ships and ferries. “For the environment, we are pleased to report that the Mewis Duct has reduced CO2 emissions by an estimated six million tons or more per year.”

Thruster Technology

Schottel has launched a new series of azimuth thrusters that it says demonstrate endless flexibility and meet requirements in terms of shifted engine power classes, new ice class rules and the trend toward electrically or hybrid-driven vessels. The so-called M-Series consists of three azimuth thruster sizes covering the power range of 500 to 1,000kW. The modular system ensures flexibility for any vessel design, offering three underwater gear modules, different installation variants and various power source options.

Hans Laheij, Deputy CEO & President, Marine, says Schottel sees new hybrid concepts as a great opportunity for shipowners to reduce operational cost and emissions: “When applying such new concepts, vessel crews have to be trained to work with a hybrid propulsion system. Vessel designs need to be adapted to accommodate the integration of hybrid components. At the same time, the savings on fuel and reduced emissions can generate further savings during the operation of a vessel.”

Accordingly, Laheij sees more new concepts based on alternative fuels and battery operation. For example, Schottel is supplying its high-efficient Rudder EcoPeller®, an azimuth thruster, for zero-emission battery ferries for Norwegian ship operator Fjord1 and for gas-electric hybrid LNG ferries operated by Torghatten Nord.

Meanwhile, Caterpillar Marine has released its latest generation of azimuth thrusters, the MTA v3. With the introduction of a hybrid interface, the new technology enables a switch ability between mechanical and electric power. The company notes the many benefits of a hybrid system including higher average engine load, fewer running hours on main engines, maximum up-time and increased redundancy.

New Frontiers

Developments continue, and Scott Bergeron, CEO of the Liberian Registry, notes that the industry is already looking beyond the 2020 sulfur cap in designing new technologies to reduce CO2 as well as NOx and SOx. “While LNG as fuel is one option that is already available and regulated, there are ongoing projects with other propulsion types such as full electric, diesel renewable, nuclear, fuel cell, hybrid and gas turbines.”

For example, Bergeron notes, “At the IMO Carriage of Cargoes and Containers meeting in September it was agreed to prioritize the work to draft technical provisions for ships using methyl/ethyl alcohol fuels, hence a clear indication that – due to industry demands – methyl/ethyl alcohol fuels are now highest priority for inclusion in the IGF (International Gas Fuel) Code that, so far, only includes LNG. After methyl/ethyl alcohol fuels, technical provisions for ships using fuel cells will be developed as it is a key potential fuel source for them. There are already a number of ships using methyl alcohol as fuel, and it’s an area that’s growing.”

Fuel cell development and associated fuel sources are advancing on a number of fronts. Ferguson Marine Engineering is building the world’s first fuel cell ferry that will use hydrogen harvested entirely from renewable sources. Known as Hyseas III, the ferry will operate around Scotland’s Orkney Islands, which are producing hydrogen in volume from renewable energy. The vessel will be delivered in 2020 with steel cut around October of next year.

In October, PowerCell Sweden inaugurated “one of the world’s most complete and powerful” fuel cell laboratories with two test beds, each with a testing capacity for fuel cells up to 150kW. In August, the company signed an MOU with Siemens for the joint development of fuel cell-based drive and power-generating systems for commercial shipping.


Proponents of fuel cell technology see it as a game-changer for meeting the IMO's 2050 targets and beyond, and a range of potential fuels can potentially offer flexibility and sustainability. IMO is already moving to tighten its Energy Efficiency Design Index requirements to reduce shipping emissions next decade, and 2050 is not that far away. – MarEx

Wendy Laursen is the magazine’s Asia-Pacific Editor.



Petrochemical Leak Hits Local Aquaculture Industry in Fujian
by The Maritime Executive
Saturday, January 05, 2019

[By Feng Hao]

One lunchtime in November last year, Zhang Yan, from Xiaocuo, a village in Quanzhou, Fujian province, walked into his kitchen and was met by an acrid odour that made him nauseous. He was cooking sea bass from the family fish farm, near the site of a major chemical leak earlier that month. 

Despite official notices that local water and air quality are up to standard and aquatic products safe to eat, Zhang is adamant that the leak, of “C9 aromatic solvent”, was to blame for his ruined lunch. He and others from the area are still worried. Xiaocuo has a population of 8,000 and is the closest village to the site of the incident. The local fish farms sell to Quanzhou’s port district, and to Quanzhou and Fuzhou cities.

The accident

Early in the morning of November 4, workers at Donggang Petrochemicals were hosing C9 aromatic solvent onto a tanker at Quanzhou’s port. The hose broke and 69 tonnes of the substance leaked into the ocean. C9 is an industrial solvent of similar toxicity to petrol and is an irritant to the skin, eyes and respiratory tract. The chemical leak has been blamed on breaches of rules by staff and the company’s failure to identify potential risks.

Zhang, 40, spends most of the year working in Xiamen, but returns to Xiaocuo once a month to help on the family’s fish farm. He and his three brothers have a stable income and have all built their own houses. But the chemical leak has upset their usually calm lives.

The villagers mostly make a living by fishing or aquaculture, building net cages in calmer waters that are supported by floats. These are often tied together in rows.

“I heard the news in the morning. There was a big slick of yellow oil on the sea and a foul smell. The whole village was out discussing it. The stuff was melting the floats on the cages, so we knew it wasn’t any ordinary chemical,” Zhang said. “We were worried that the fish would get polluted and news would get out. How would we sell the fish then?”

C9 soon became the main topic of village discussion. Many of the port’s fishermen needed hospital treatment following the leak. The chemical dissolved the floats on the fish cages, which then sank. The fish either died or escaped. A government notice said that 0.6 square kilometres of ocean was affected, with impact on fish farming concentrated in Xiaocuo: 152 fish farmers and 0.2 square kilometres.

The traders don’t dare buy fish from Xiaocuo now.

The fish cages are the only asset many families have, and a row of them can be worth up to a million yuan (US$145,000). Xiao Wei, 58 and also a local, found his family’s cages had sunk. He tried to attach new floats, but “the new ones melted quickly as well.” Xiao has been fish farming for 28 years. Close proximity to the pollutant meant his chest felt tight the next day and he was taken to hospital.

Damage to the fish farms

Despite an official announcement that water quality is now good enough for fish farming, it is hard to assess the long-term impact. According to a report in Caijing magazine, fish farmers spend over one million yuan a year on juvenile fish, food and equipment. But concerns about pollution will make consumers wary of fish from here. In an interview with Xinhua, Xiaocuo villagers said “the traders don’t dare buy fish from Xiaocuo now. They’ve heard it’ll be months before the pollution is gone, so everyone is worried”.

To rebuild confidence, local officials arranged a live broadcast of people eating fish in the Xiaocuo village square. But privately the locals wondered if the fish were even produced locally. “What we want to know is what impact the pollution will have on the fish and the environment,” said Zhang. “When will we be able to sell our fish like normal? Who’s responsible for compensating us?”

Fish farmers rushed to land their fish after the leak (Image: Stam Lee)

Compensation problems

The company official directly responsible for the leak has been detained. But more than a month later there is no decision on compensation for the villagers’ losses.

On November 11, the Quangang district government arranged an emergency transfer of 5.5 million yuan – 1,000 yuan per fish cage – as compensation for losses to fish farmers. Data on losses have been compiled for fish farmers in Xiaocuo but not for ocean-going fishermen and others. Zhang thinks the emergency transfer was insufficient: “Some households have lost millions of yuan in fish cages alone.”

Professor Liu Xiang, of the China University of Politics and Law’s (CUPL) Centre for Legal Assistance to Pollution Victims, told chinadialogue that currently the authorities will be going through procedures to identify who is responsible and working to have that party pay compensation. But that does not mean all damages will be made good, and the locals could also seek relief through the courts.

Wang Canfa, professor at CUPL’s School of Civil, Commercial and Economic Law, said that under the Marine Environment Protection Law and the Tort Liability Law the locals could seek compensation through the courts for losses such as fish cages, and for clean-up costs and loss of earnings. However, he added that the legislation does not allow for compensation to be paid for reduced sales due to reputational damage.

Environmental organisations are also considering bringing public interest lawsuits, as the company involved had not carried out the proper procedures and the facility had been built before approval was granted. Wang Wenyong, chief legal advisor to the China Biodiversity Conservation and Green Development Foundation, said that it was gathering evidence and may bring a case.

Since the chemical link, nobody knows what to do with the fish left on their farms.

Ma Yan, associate professor at CUPL’s School of Civil, Commercial and Economic Law, said that marine pollution issues are complex, particularly in China, where the sea is owned by the state, but usage rights transferred to various other parties. Overlapping interests can often lead to conflict over environmental protection and safety.

“Nobody’s going out fishing now, as the fish just aren’t selling. Nobody knows what to do with the fish left in the fish farms,” Zhang said. He is worried for the future: “How long after a pollutant like that gets into the water will the fish be safe to eat?”

The villagers of Xiaocuo are doing everything they can to protect their rights. While waiting for compensation proposals, they have had the village committee ask the company to pay 200 yuan per villager in annual health insurance costs, as compensation for the impact on their health. No agreement has yet been reached.

“We want to be able to continue to make a living, but also stay healthy,” Zhang said. “But it seems difficult.”

Some names in this article have been changed.

Feng Hao is a researcher at chinadialogue. This editorial appears courtesy of China Dialogue Ocean, and it may be found in its original form here

Netherlands Seeks Damages for MSC Zoe Cargo Cleanup
by The Maritime Executive
Saturday, January 05, 2019

Authorities in the Netherlands intend to seek damages from number-two ocean carrier MSC for the cleanup costs stemming from the container ship MSC Zoe's recent cargo loss. They have also opened a criminal inquiry into whether the casualty was the result of any criminal acts - in particular, whether the country's domestic Pollution Prevention Act may have been violated. The inquiry is expected to last at least several weeks. 

270 containers fell off the Zoe in heavy weather off the coast of the Netherlands on Wednesday. The incident occurred near the German island of Borkum, and the containers floated south-west, towards the Dutch islands of Terschelling.

About 35 missing containers have been found to date, and  and the loose cargo is still washing up on the islands of Terschelling, Vlieland, Ameland and Schiermonnikoog. Most of the debris is relatively benign - plastic toys, blankets, shoes, tires, furniture, packaging and other sundry goods - but the volume is significant. Residents and sightseers have visited the scene to remove items of value, but the balance of undesired cargo will have to be disposed of. Images of the scene show beaches heavily littered with plastics and debris. Local volunteers are assisting with the work, and about 100 Dutch troops have been deployed to assist with the cleanup. 

"First, we thought it was funny," said visitor Beau Oldenburg, speaking to CNN. "I even found a pair of sandals that fit my size and kept them. But then we realized it was actually a catastrophe."

One missing container was carrying dangerous goods: 280 bags of dibenzoyl peroxide powder, which can pose a danger to human health in large quantities. Two bags have already been found and safely removed, and the authorities have warned residents and cleanup crews not to touch anything resembling the hazardous bags. An official hotline was briefly overwhelmed with calls after comparably-shaped bags filled with plastic beads washed up on shore, and an additional bulletin was issued with specifics about the hazardous material's packaging (below).

Bagged organic peroxide powder from the MSC Zoe's cargo (Courtesy Rijkswaterstaat)

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WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 2829 [post_author] => 1 [post_date] => 2013-03-14 04:31:37 [post_date_gmt] => 2013-03-14 04:31:37 [post_content] =>

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