Recent updates

Read the latest news from Germany, Europe and the world. Ernst Russ brings the news of the day & top breaking headlines on shipping, real estate and economy.

Port of Hamburg: We’re Ready for Brexit

The Port of Hamburg is prepared for a ‘No Deal’ Brexit after the House of Commons rejected the Withdrawal Agreement on January 16, 2018, according to a statement.

EIA: Sulfur Cap Effects Will Diminish Over Time

The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) has predicted that the effects of the sulfur cap on crude oil and petroleum product markets will be most acute in 2020 and will diminish over time.

US Ports Smashed Records in 2018

US container imports had a record-breaking year in 2018 but could still feel the pressure of the trade war with China, according to BIMCO, the world’s largest shipping agency.

German economy grew 1.5% in 2018

(destatis) According to first calculations of the Federal Statistical Office (Destatis), the price adjusted gross domestic product (GDP) was 1.5% higher in 2018 than in the previous year. The German economy thus grew the ninth year in a row, although growth has lost momentum. In the previous two years, the price adjusted GDP had increased by 2.2% each.

Crude & Fuel Outlook: Fund Managers Neutral

Hedge fund managers show signs of having completed their recent sale of crude and refined fuels, with positions edging up slightly in the first week of the new year, amid hopes a recession can be averted.

Ultra large container vessel battle is over: Drewry

(splash247) Major lines have sated their appetite for ultra large container vessels, with UK consultants Drewry slashing its projected boxship order forecasts from 2020 onwards.

Ship Owners With Larger Vessels Prefer to Install Scrubbers Ahead of IMO 2020 Rules

(hellenicshippingnews) The debate over the strategy with the best results, when it comes to complying with the 2020 IMO rules for the use of lower sulphur fuels on the existing fleet, is still raging.

World Bank Gloomy About Global Economy

(maritime-executive) The outlook for the global economy in 2019 has darkened, according to the World Bank's January 2019 Global Economic Prospects Report.

Retail Imports Level Off After Rush to Beat Tariffs

(maritime-executive) Imports at major retail container ports in the U.S. have slowed down after a months-long rush to beat increased tariffs on goods from China, according to the monthly Global Port Tracker report released by the National Retail Federation and Hackett Associates.

How Environmental Rules Will Actually Make Shipping Fuel Dirtier

(hellenicshippingnews) In fewer than 12 months’ time, thousands of merchant ships are going to start burning fuel containing higher concentrations of sulfur. That’s a quirky outcome of rules that are supposed to cut emissions of the pollutant.

H1 Outlook: Volatility expected for Asia dry bulk markets in 2019

(hellenicshippingnews) In spite of a depressed fourth quarter in 2018, all segments of the dry bulk freight market saw earnings increase year on year. Volatility was the dominant theme for 2018, and the second, third, and fourth quarters saw mercurial freight movements led by a myriad of fundamental and sentimental shifts amid an uncertain second-half of the year.

Four Container Terminal Operators Form Hong Kong Seaport Alliance

(worldmaritimenews) COSCO-HIT Terminals (Hong Kong) Limited (CHT), Asia Container Terminals (ACT), Hongkong International Terminals (HIT) and Modern Terminals Limited (MTL) have decided to collaborate together in order to better use terminals and enhance their competitiveness.

Drewry: Shipping will be Strong in 2019

(porttechnology) The shipping container terminal industry will remain solid and profitable in 2019, according to maritime insight and intelligence provider Drewry.

China Follows Singapore on Scrubber Wash Water

(maritime-executive) China's Maritime Safety Administration has announced a ban on scrubber wash water release, effective January 1, 2019.

Western China to Launch International Trade Network

(porttechnology) Eight provinces and regions, in the west of China, have signed a framework agreement to collaborate on the building of a new international land-sea trade corridor, according to Xinhua.

2018 Review: How Are The Year End Stats Looking?

(hellenicshippingnews) The ClarkSea Index made steady progress in 2018 (+13% to $12,144/day) taking it above the average since the financial crisis. Tankers had a miserable year before being “saved” by a strong Q4, bulkers consolidated their 2017 gains and LNG finished the year on a high. Fleet growth continues to trend below 3%, with just 11% of the fleet on order, while trade growth eased and needs to be watched closely.

Dredging Starts at UK Port That May Be Used in No-Deal Brexit

(gcaptain) Work began on Thursday to extend a small British port that could serve as a back-up if the UK leaves the European Union with no trade deal, providing the government some respite after days of criticism.

Dry Bulk Market: Capesizes Primed for Further Gains in 2019

(hellenicshippingnews) The dry bulk market for large ships, i.e. Capesizes, is gearing up for further recovery in 2019, as demand is at healthy levels and net fleet growth remains subdued, despite a slower demolition rate in 2018.

Seaborne trade outlook: the energy transition

(hellenicshippingnews) Economic activity is the main driver of maritime transport. DNV GL has developed a model to forecast future volumes of goods to be transported by sea, with a focus on crude oil, oil products, gas, bulk and containerized cargo.

2019 prospects are rosy for the Handy-Supramax bulker segment

(hellenicshippingnews) The future prospects of the Handy/Supramax bulker segment appear to be more than favorable as we enter 2019, perhaps even more than their larger “siblings” of the dry bulk market segment.

China Celebrates Growing Naval Capabilities

(maritime-executive) China has highlighted its anti-piracy efforts over the past 10 years, noting its naval fleets have escorted 3,400 foreign ships, around 51 percent of the total escorted over that time.

Kenya Risks Losing Port of Mombasa to China

(maritime-executive) Kenya runs the risk of losing control of the Port of Mombasa if it should default on loans from state financial institution China Exim Bank, according to a new report from Kenya's auditor general. The terms of a $2.3 billion loan for Kenya Railways Corporation (KRC) specify that the port's assets are collateral, and they are not protected by Kenya's sovereign immunity due to a waiver in the contract.

Test of Class Survey Using Drones Demonstrated in Japan

Japanese shipping line Mitsui O.S.K. Lines has participated in a demonstration test of ship class survey using aerial drones to inspect an MOL-operated coal carrier in service.

CNOOC Signs Agreements with Nine International Oil Companies

China's National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC) has signed Strategic Cooperation Agreements with nine international oil companies including Chevron, ConocoPhillips, Equinor, Husky, KUFPEC, Roc Oil, Shell, SK Innovation and TOTAL. The move comes as the nation celebrates 40 years since its opening-up.

BIMCO: Global Shipping on the Lookout for Future Growth

Emerging and developing countries could be the source of economic growth that would spur shipping demand in the next five years, BIMCO said citing the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

Drewry: Liner Industry’s Appetite for Scrubbers Grows

After a slow start, adoption of exhaust scrubbers as a solution to the 2020 low-sulphur regulations is picking up, according to shipping consultancy Drewry.

Port of Buenos Aires Announces Modernization Plan

The Port of Buenos Aires has announced a US$2 billion modernization programme which will seek to increase its capacity to 2.7 million TEU by 2030, the Argentinian government has announced.

China details 0.1% sulphur cap plans

China’s Ministry of Transport (MOT) has detailed its emission control area plans with a 0.5% sulphur limit effective from January 1 next year, and more pertinently 0.1% sulphur limits on ship fuel kicking in along its rivers from January 1 2020 and around the southern island of Hainan from the start of 2022.

BIMCO publishes two bunker clauses to prepare for IMO 2020 rule

BIMCO, the world's largest international shipping association, said Monday it has published two bunker clauses to ensure a smooth transition to the International Maritime Organization's global sulfur limit rule for marine fuels.

Moving Containers at High Speed through a Tube Could Become a Reality at Hamburg Port

Hamburger Hafen und Logistik AG (HHLA) and Hyperloop Transportation Technologies (HTT) have established a joint venture aimed at developing a system that would enable transporting containers at high speed through a tube to and from the Port of Hamburg.

Global Exports Could Reach $19.6 Trillion in 2018

Global merchandise exports could grow by 10.4 percent this year, hitting almost $19.6 trillion, according to data published in the 2018 UNCTAD Handbook of Statistics.

Russia's Rosneft Signs Oil and Gas Deal with China

Russian oil giant Rosneft said that China National Chemical, known as ChemChina, agreed to purchase 2.4 million tons a year of crude oil. That amount is equivalent to 6% of Rosneft's total exports to China in 2017.

China Imports First U.S. Crude in Two Months But Traders Still Wary

China imported its first U.S. crude oil cargo in around two months last week, according to industry sources and Refinitiv Eikon data – a deal made by an independent “teapot” refiner as larger players held off amid trade tensions.

Trade War Leading To Headwinds For The Fragile Dry Bulk Recovery

(hellenicshippingnews) The first twelve weeks of the 2018/19 marketing year, which started on 1 September 2018, have painted a dire picture for US soya bean exports which are 43% lower than in the same period last season. Down from 21 million tonnes of accumulated exports by 23 November 2017 to 11.9 million tonnes by 22 November 2018. A loss of 122 Panamax (75,000 tonnes) or 183 Supramax (50,000 tonnes) loads.

Rio Tinto to build new $2.6 billion iron-ore mine

(hellenicshippingnews) Rio Tinto PLC (RIO.LN) approved a US$2.6 billion iron-ore mine in the Australian Outback that will be the miner’s most high-tech operation to date and buoy future production as older pits are depleted.

Newbuilding Orders Quiet Down

(hellenicshippingnews) In an encouraging sign for the future tonagge supply, newbuilding ordering activity has quieted down over the course of the past couple of weeks.

British Ports Face Chaos as Brexit Looms

(porttechnology) There is potential for chaos at British ports if the UK leaves the European Union without a deal, according to the London Evening Standard.

Containership Scrapping Gathers Pace Ahead of IMO 2020

(gcaptain) In the last 30 days, 23 container vessels have been sold for scrap – nearly half the number sent to breakers’ yards in the past year.

Tariffs won't change China, but the WTO might

(washingtonexaminer) All eyes at the G-20 summit in Buenos Aires this weekend will be on President Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping.

Container Shipping: Slow growing demand is a constant challenge

(bimco) By examining our fleet-growth estimate alone, 2019 looks like a year in which the fundamental balance can only improve. But the trade war remains the wild card here.

UK’s ‘Eye in the Sky’ to Tackle Oil Spills, Illegal Shipping

(worldmaritimenews) UK has unveiled the first images from a new satellite which can see through clouds and image the Earth round the clock to help stop oil spills and illegal shipping.

Charleston Project Receives Funding Boost

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) has announced that it will grant US$41.4 million to the Charleston Harbour Deepening Project, as part of the Fiscal Year 19 Work Plan.

Stronger Capesize Demand Pushes up Baltic Index

The Baltic Exchange's main sea freight index, tracking rates for ships ferrying dry bulk commodities, rose on Wednesday, buoyed by higher demand for capesize vessels.

Two New Berths Planned for COSCO-PSA Terminal, Singapore

(marex) COSCO Shipping Ports and PSA Corporation Limited have signed a memorandum of understanding for the addition of two new berths at the COSCO-PSA Terminal in Singapore.

Rotterdam and Busan Strike Growth Deal

(porttechnology) The Busan Port Authority has signed a Letter of Intent (LOI) with the Port of Rotterdam Authority to build a sustainable warehouse on 5 to 10 hectares of the Maasvlakte Distribution Park West.

APEC Fails to End US-Sino Trade War

(porttechnology) The US and China failed to solve their trade dispute during the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit, which ended without a joint public statement for the first time.

US import prices increase more than expected in October

(CNBC) U.S. import prices increased more than expected in October, boosted by a surge in petroleum and food prices, but underlying imported inflation pressures remained tame amid a strong dollar.

BPA Worried Over Growing Uncertainty as Draft Brexit Deal Gets Hammered Out

(worldmaritimenews) In the wake of a deal on the draft withdrawal agreement between the European Union and the UK, the British Ports Association, representing the interests of over 100 port members, has warned that it could be some time before it is clear what the final arrangements will mean for ports.

ICS Chairman Delivers Trade War Warning

(porttechnology) International Chamber of Shipping (ISC) Chairman Esben Poulsson has warned of the threats facing the global economy during a speech in Tokyo.

China to Develop Multi Billion Dollar Deep Sea Port In Myanmar

China and Myanmar are moving ahead with a China-backed deep-sea port project in Kyauk Phyu Special Economic Zone (SEZ) , 250 miles northwest of Yangon.

NRF: US Retail Imports Remain Strong ahead of Tariff Increase

Although imports at major retail container ports in the US have slowed down from their pre-holiday peak, they remain at unusually high levels as retailers continue bringing in merchandise before tariffs increase in January.

Deals Made at China's Import Expo Top $57 Billion

(maritime-executive) The China International Import Expo ended on Saturday, with the value of intended deals topping over $57.8 billion, according to the CIIE Bureau. Belt and Road deals made up about $4.7 billion of this.

German exports declined by 1.2%

(destatis) Germany exported goods to the value of 109.1 billion euros and imported goods to the value of 90.7 billion euros in September 2018. The Federal Statistical Office reports that German exports declined by 1.2%, while imports increased by 5.3% in September 2018 year on year.

Container Lines and Terminal Operators Sign Blockchain MOU

(maritime-executive) Nine ocean carriers and terminal operators have signed an MOU to form a consortium to develop the Global Shipping Business Network (GSBN), an open digital platform based on distributed ledger technology.

44 Pct of 2018 Orderbook Yet to Be Delivered

(worldmaritimenews) Out of 1,966 vessels scheduled for delivery in 2018, only 1,100 have hit the water so far this year, resulting in 44 pct of the 2018 orderbook outstanding, data from VesselsValue shows.

ExxonMobil Starts New Antwerp Unit to Produce Marine Gasoil, Diesel

(worldmaritimenews) ExxonMobil has started operations of a new unit at its Antwerp refinery in Belgium to convert heavy, higher-sulfur residual oils into high-value transportation fuels such as marine gasoil and diesel.

Rise in Piracy, Rise in Crisis Care for Seafarers

(maritime-executive) Sailors’ Society’s Crisis Response Network (CRN) provided support to its 100th case this week, with piracy, death at sea and abandonment accounting for almost two-thirds of those supported.

Opinion: Winners and Losers From a Sea Change in Oil

(gCaptain) Despite efforts by the Trump administration to turn it, a supertanker is bearing down on drivers, oil majors, and even Inc.

Pirates Abduct Eleven from Container Ship

(maritime-executive) Pirates have seized 11 crewmembers from the container ship Pomerenia Sky off the coast of Nigeria.

BIMCO Analyst Peter Sand: Cool Down Of Globalisation Will Make Us All Poorer

(gCaptain) Following the change in pattern of US exports of crude oil, what is the likely scenario for 2019?

Gate of the World’s Largest Sea Lock Heads for the Netherlands

(worldmaritimenews) The new gate intended for the world’s largest sea lock under construction at the North Sea Canal entrance in IJmuiden, headed from South Korea for the Netherlands, on October 23.

UK Chamber of Shipping: UK Needs a Deal, Not Chartered-In Ships

(worldmaritimenews) The UK Chamber of Shipping believes that the UK Government’s plans to charter in ships to bring in supplies in an event of a No-Deal Brexit would not be a smart move.

Wärtsilä Opens World’s 1st International Maritime Cyber Center of Excellence

(worldmaritimenews) Finnish-based technology group Wärtsilä opened an International Maritime Cyber Centre of Excellence (IMCCE) today in Singapore.

Trump Administration Considering West Coast Military Bases to Export Coal, Gas

(gCaptain) President Donald Trump’s administration is considering using West Coast military facilities to export coal and natural gas to Asia, according to an Associated Press report on Monday, citing U.S. Department of Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke.

ONE, Hapag-Lloyd Partner for Feeder Services

(marinelink) Japan's Ocean Network Express (ONE) and Germany's Hapag-Lloyd have agreed to share space on their feeder services.

Asia Leads in Container Shipping Connectivity

(maritime-executive) China remained the trading nation best connected to others by sea in 2018, according to UNCTAD’s latest Liner Shipping Connectivity Index (LSCI), released alongside the Review of Maritime Transport 2018.

Top shipmanager warns on spiralling costs of scrubber maintenance

(splash247) Had 30 refineries around the world spent $1bn each years ahead of the global sulphur cap the issue would have been dealt with at source, rather than risking the potential $200bn bill shipping might have to pay in the run up to - and enforcement of - the IMO’s crackdown on bunker fuels.

BIMCO: Iran No. 1 Buyer of US Soya Beans

(worldmaritimenews) Iran has emerged as the biggest buyer of U.S. soya beans in the aftermath of trade tensions between China and the U.S.

US Ports Brace for Hurricane Michael

(porttechnology) The US Coast Guard (USCG) has set conditions X-Ray for ports in Georgia and South Carolina in preparation for Hurricane Michael, which is expected to make landfall by Wednesday afternoon US time.

BIMCO: US Crude Oil Exports to China Dropped to Zero in August

(worldmaritimenews) The brewing trade war between the global super powers, China and the United States, has led to a complete freeze of US seaborne exports of crude oil to China.

Container Carriers Sail Towards a Tipping Point of Ocean Freight Rates and Fuel

(gCaptain) The bellwether Shanghai Container Freight Index (SCFI) did not publish on Monday, due to the national holiday in China, but current sentiment suggests that ocean carriers will find their rates under pressure following the Golden Week break.

UNCTAD Snapshots the World Fleet

(MarEx) Seaborne trade expanded by four percent in 2017, the fastest growth in five years, according to its Review of Maritime Transport 2018. Volumes across all segments are set to grow in 2018, with containerized and dry bulk commodities expected to record the fastest growth at the expense of tanker volumes.

Drewry: Container Demand Forecast Downgraded

(worldmaritimenews) Amid a gloomier world economic outlook and rising trade tensions, the forecast for container demand was downgraded for the next five years, shipping consultancy Drewry said.

Shippers ‘Left in the Dark’ as Carriers Look to Recover IMO 2020 Costs

(gcaptain) There has been insufficient mainstream publicity on the IMO’s 2020 global emissions regulation for shipping, and a lack of transparency by container lines on their recovery strategies.

All cost types contribute to ship operating costs decline for sixth successive year

(transportweekly) International accountant and shipping consultant Moore Stephens says total annual operating costs in the shipping industry fell by 1.3% in 2017. This compares with the 1.1% average fall in costs recorded for 2016. For the third successive year, all categories of expenditure in 2017 were down on those for the previous 12-month period, most notably for insurance costs and stores.

Drewry: Asia to Middle East, South Asia Trade Sees Weak Demand

(worldmaritimenews) Demand revisions suggest that demand from Asia to the Middle East and South Asia is in a steep decline, according to a report from shipping consultancy Drewry. Alliance 2020 hat sich eine Gruppe von Reedereien zusammengetan, um die Entwicklung von Abgasreinigungssystemen zu unterstützen.

Any Light at the End of the Tunnel for Tankers?

(worldmaritimenews) The tanker market has been faced with a perfect storm that has kept earnings down for almost three years now.

Tariffs Could Create New Opportunity for Feeder Services

Officials at the Panama Canal have lamented that America’s trade dispute with China has the potential to reduce container ship transportation through the canal.

EU Has Capacity to Break Its Ships, New Report Shows

(worldmaritimenews) Ship recycling yards approved by the European Union will have enough capacity to handle demand from EU-flagged ships that need to be scrapped, a new report says.

Georgia Ports Plan 8 Million TEU Capacity by 2028

(marinelink) The Georgia Port Authority (GPA) has unveiled a $2.5 billion plan to expand the capacity at the Port of Savannah to 8 million TEUs by 2028.

Trump Signs $147 Billion Infrastructure Act

(Marex) U.S. President Donald Trump signed into law a three-part package called a “minibus” at a signing ceremony in Las Vegas on Friday. The $147 billion act covers dredging activities in harbors and channels, infrastructure projects and beach and coastal restoration.

Savannah port sets out to double box throughput in the next 10 years

(splash247) The port of Savannah on the US east coast has outlined a plan to nearly double box volumes in the next 10 years. The fastest growing port in the US last year has reaped huge benefits from the widening of the Panama Canal, with latest figures showing 40% of boxes now coming to the Georgian destination originate from China.

WEF: Blockchain Worth $1 Trillion to Global Economy

(porttechnology) The World Economic Forum (WEF) has claimed in a report that distributed ledger technology, such as blockchain, could generate US $1 trillion for the global economy by 2025.

Trump Ramps Up Tariff Pressure With $200 Billion China Hit

(bloomberg) New Tariffs a More 'Significant Blow' to China Than U.S., Crumpton's Blanchette Says - The Trump administration will impose a 10 percent tariff on about $200 billion in Chinese goods next week and more than double the rate in 2019, deepening what’s shaping up to be a prolonged trade war between the world’s two biggest economies.

Charleston and Virginia Ports Reopen

(porttechnology) The US Coast Guard (USCG) has reopened the Ports of Charleston and Virginia after Hurricane Florence forced them to close.

Idled Containership Fleet Expected to Rise Amid Capacity Cuts and Trade War Seen

(gcaptain) A perfect storm of radical capacity cuts by carriers and US president Donald Trump’s threat to hike tariffs on Chinese goods could see many more containerships laid-up, according to Alphaliner.

Poten: Tankers in the Eye of the Storm?

(worldmaritimenews) The Hurricane Florence has officially made landfall in North Carolina as a category 1 storm early Friday morning, unleashing hurricane-force winds and heavy rains.

British Ports Prepare for Brexit “No Deal” Outcome

(maritime-executive) The British Ports Association (BPA) has welcomed new Government proposals to help ensure maritime vessels and vehicles are able to travel to and from the E.U. post Brexit, following the publication of more of the U.K. Government’s advice on contingency planning for a “no deal” Brexit outcome.

Trade War Crossfire to Seriously Hit Shipping

(worldmaritimenews) The already long list of tariffed goods has been made even longer as the US proposed slamming tariffs on goods worth USD 200 billion, according to BIMCO.

Marine Bunkers: The end of the world as we know it

(hellenicshippingnews) The world of bunkers is heading for rapid and fundamental changes and not just because of the 0.50% sulphur cap in 2020. While IMO and stakeholders are working hard to deal with this unprecedented global fuel specification change, discussions have moved on to just how soon we should phase out the use of fossil fuels altogether.

Dry bulk orders leap 60%, ultramaxes lead the charge

(splash247) Dry bulk newbuild orders have leapt 60% year-on-year with ultramaxes leading the charge. According to data from brokers Intermodal, in the first eight months ultramax orders have more than tripled with capesize/VLOC orders, up 41%, in second place. The only sector to have recorded a slowdown over 2017 figures has been the handysize segment.

Peter Döhle Schiffahrts Opts for Erma First’s BWMS for Fleetwide Retrofits

(worldmaritimenews) Peter Döhle Schiffahrts-KG, a German provider of maritime services, has signed an agreement with Erma First, a Greek manufacturer of Ballast Water Treatment Systems (BWTS) for the installation of BWTS onboard its vessels at this year’s SMM trade fair.

Manufacturing Output in U.S. Rises by Most in Four Months

(bloomberg) U.S. factory production rebounded in June by the most in four months as the industry regained its footing after a fire-related disruption at an auto parts supplier, Federal Reserve data showed Tuesday.

World’s 1st Ocean Cleanup System Launched

(worldmaritimenews) The Dutch non-profit organization, The Ocean Cleanup, launched the world’s first ocean cleanup system from the San Francisco Bay on September 8.

Container shipping: It is obviously very difficult to hold down fleet growth to improve the market

(hellenicshippingnews) When judged by global volume, demand growth alone – 3.8% for the first six months – is not that bad. It’s just that the nominal fleet grew by 3.9% during the same period, and the active fleet even more. The trend points towards lower demand growth this year, as global volume demand has fallen since April.

Hamburg welcomes the maritime world to SMM

(hansa) Smart shipping and eco-efficient technology are the "hot topics" of this year's SMM.

Clarksons: A Quarter of Ships on Order to Be Fitted with Scrubbers

(worldmaritimenews) The time of the “wait and see” approach to the 2020 sulphur cap is over as owners and operators have realized that the implementation date would not be delayed. According to Clarksons, 2018 has seen enthusiasm for scrubbers grow and now over 25 percent of the orderbook by tonnage is confirmed to feature scrubbers. Nevertheless, the figure is still under 3 pct of the fleet.

ifo Business Climate Index Rises Clearly

(ifo) Business confidence in German firms has improved noticeably. The ifo Index rose to 103.8 points in August after 101.7 points in July.


Hull Losses at Lowest Level since 1996

(worldmaritimenews) Hull losses recorded in the first half of the year stood at their lowest level since 1996, according to a report from The Nordic Association of Marine Insurers (Cefor).

Strait of Malacca Key Chokepoint for Oil Trade

(maritime-executive) More than 90 percent of crude oil volumes flowing through the South China Sea in 2016 transited the Strait of Malacca, the shortest sea route between suppliers in Africa and the Persian Gulf and markets in Asia, making it one of the world’s primary oil transit chokepoints, reports the EIA.