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.

Record decrease in inland waterways transport due to low water levels

(Destatis) In 2018, the volume of goods transported on inland waterways decreased by 11.1% compared with the previous year. The Federal Statistical Office reports that a total of 198.0 million tonnes of goods were transported on German inland waterways. In 2017, the relevant volume of freight was 222.7 million tonnes.

COSCO’s 25,000 TEU Megaship Takes Shape

COSCO, the third largest container line in the world by market share, has had designs for its record-breaking 25,000 TEU vessel approved by China’s state-owned shipbuilding company.

Dry Bulk Market: Mid-Sized Bulkers Could Be Headed Towards Higher Ground

(hellenicshippingnews) Predicting the future course of the dry bulk market has proven to be more than difficult these days, with most estimates falling way off the mark given the unpredictability of freight rates and the effect of one-off events, like the recent Vale accident, which took out of the market a major part of dry bulk cargoes.

Italy Signs on for Chinese "Belt and Road" Port Investments

(maritime-executive) Italy's government is headed squarely for a deal with China on direct investment in as many as four major seaports, explicitly endorsing Beijing's "belt and road" economic development program.

As U.S. Oil Grows, So Does Its Influence on Global Prices

(gcaptain) For a glimpse into what the global oil price might look like one day, a good place to look is the Dutch port of Rotterdam.

Lianyungang port upgrades as part of Belt and Road

(destatis) Lianyungang port is continuing to expand to realise synergies from river-sea combined transportation.

U.S.-bound shipments fall for first time in 24 months in February, says Panjiva

(logisticsmgmt) February shipments, at 909,947, fell 4.5% annually, with containerized freight handled shipments down 4%. What’s more, this decline follows an aggregate increase of 5.5% over the previous three months.

Ship owners worry about clean fuel bill as ports ban ‘scrubbers’

(hellenicshippingnews) More ports around the world are banning ships from using a fuel cleaning system that pumps waste water into the sea, one of the cheapest options for meeting new environmental shipping rules.

Drewry: Sulphur Cap to Trigger Slow Steaming, Transhipment

(worldmaritimenews) The shipping industry could see more slow steaming and transhipment being triggered as part of the IMO 2020 sulphur rule, according to shipping consultancy Drewry.

Grain trades provide bulker hope

(splash247) Chief correspondent Jason Jiang writes that despite the ongoing China-US trade spat, 2019 looks set to be an improving one for the grain trades.

Port Growth to Level Off Over Next Decade

(maritime-executive) Volume growth will continue for ports throughout the world but at a more modest pace over the next 10 years, according to Fitch Ratings in a new report.

Trump Supports Charleston Deepening Project

The South Carolina Ports Authority (SCPA) has announced that it will receive US$138 million in funding from President Trump’s Fiscal Year 2020 Budget for its 52-foot Charleston Harbour Deepening Project.

Drewry: Rising Demand to Push China’s Chemical Freight Rates Up

(worldmaritimenews) China’s increasing domestic demand for chemical shipping is expected to strengthen coastal freight rates, according to shipping consultancy Drewry.

Dry Bulkers Head to the Scrapyards, While Tankers are Being Kept in Service

(hellenicshippingnews) The tide has shifted when it comes to demolition activity so far in 2019.

Labour costs up 2.3% in 2018

(Destatis) In Germany, labour costs per hour worked rose a calendar adjusted 2.3% in 2018 compared with a year earlier. The Federal Statistical Office (Destatis) also reports that the costs of gross earnings increased by 2.4%, while non-wage costs were up 2.0%.

Australia Confident of Mining Future

(maritime-executive) Australia's coal exports to China could face a continued slowdown as Chinese authorities step up their campaign to reduce air pollution, but the Australian
government remains confident of the nation's mining future.

ICTSI Increases 2018 Profit, Cautiously Optimistic for 2019

(worldmaritimenews) Philippines-based port management company International Container Terminal Services (ICTSI) has increased its 2018 profit on the back of a six percent increase in TEU volume and inclusion of new terminals.

As China Growth Slows, U.S. Companies See Falling Profits

(hellenicshippingnews) Beijing’s movers and shakers are meeting for the so-called “two sessions” this week, where they will discuss things like trade wars and economic development. The first order of business for the market: a new GDP target range that puts guidance as low as 6% to as high as 6.5%.

World’s First Mega-Container Vessel LNG Retrofit Contracted

(maritime-executive) The 15,000 TEU Hapag-Lloyd container ship Sajir will be the first mega-container vessel to be converted to dual-fuel operation.

Jaxport Approves New Container Terminal

The Jacksonville Port Authority (Jaxport) Board of Directors has unanimously approved a long-term agreement with terminal operator SSA Marine for the development and operation of a new $238.7 million international container terminal at the port's Blount Island Marine Terminal.

U.S. Maritime Workforce Grows to 650,000

The Transportation Institute, a maritime association that promotes the Jones Act in the U.S., has published details of a PwC report that demonstrates a 30 percent increase in domestic maritime job creation enabled by the Jones Act. The industry now employs nearly 650,0000 Americans across 50 states and contributes $154 billion to the nation’s economic growth annually.

Dry Bulk Market: Capesizes Still Under Pressure, While Smaller Classes Improve

Vale’s ongoing absence from the Brazil spot market continued to have a negative impact on sentiment.

Drewry: World Container Index Down 8%

The composite index is down 8% this week, but 1% up as compared with same period of 2018.

Virginia to Become US Hub for Reefer Imports

The Port of Virginia has completed the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) “Southeast In-Transit” Cold Treatment pilot programme, increasing its capacity for refrigerated imports by 66%.

Panama Canal Connects 1,700 Ports

For more than 100 years, the Panama Canal has improved global commerce, transportation and connectivity, enabling growing opportunities for countries around the world. The waterway currently serves 140 routes, connecting 1,700 ports and 160 countries.

Classic panamaxes under severe pressure in Asia, scrapping on the cards

The sudden large volume of classic panamaxes struggling to find employment again could make owners think about a renewed batch of tonnage to scrap.

China’s LNG Imports Rise To Record High

China’s liquefied natural gas imports in January rose to a record as an increase in residential heating demand during the winter after the country’s shift to gas heating spurred higher shipments, customs data showed on Saturday.

IMO Finalizes Sulfur Cap Consistency Guidelines Draft

The IMO Sub-Committee on Pollution Prevention and Response (PPR 6) met last week and finalized draft guidelines for the consistent implementation of 2020 sulfur cap.

Positive Changes to the BVI Merchant Shipping Legislation

The recently published Merchant Shipping Act, 2018 became law on 18 January 2019 and includes some salient and welcome maritime developments in the British Virgin Islands (“BVI”).

Drewry: Iron Ore Inventories Threaten Capesize Demand

Demand for Capesizes is being threatened by high iron ore inventories at Chinese ports and looming uncertainty in the global economy, according to shipping consultancy Drewry.

Trump Delays Tariff Hike

U.S. President Donald Trump said on Sunday that he would delay his planned increase in tariffs on Chinese goods after “productive” talks in China. Trump had planned to raise tariffs on $200 billion of Chinese goods from 10 to 25 percent on March 1 but now hopes to meet with Chinese President Xi Jinping to finalize a deal.

CSA 2020: Scrubbers Are Safe for the Ocean Environment, Study Reveals

The Clean Shipping Alliance 2020 (CSA 2020) has presented results of a three-year study of the composition and quality of exhaust gas cleaning system (EGCS) washwater based on samples taken from cruise ships.

China and Kuwait to Build New Port

Kuwait and China have signed a memorandum-of-understanding (MoU) to begin Phase 1 construction of the Silk City megaproject, an industrial and logistics initiative designed to boost free trade between the two countries, which will include the development of the Mubarak Al-Kabeer Port.

What would a no-deal Brexit mean for the economy and financial markets?

The impact of a no-deal Brexit would show up almost immediately in financial markets, more slowly in the wider economy. There would be three big things to watch with regard to markets: government-bond yields, share prices and the value of the currency.

Elbe Deepening Turns Crucial as Port of Hamburg Throughput Falls

Container throughput at the port of Hamburg declined for the second consecutive year in 2018. The port’s throughput was down to 8.73m teu, adding urgency to the completion of the long-awaited deepening and widening programme in the river Elbe.

World Trade Growth Slowing

The World Trade Organization (WTO) expects slower trade growth this year. The weakness is likely to extend into the first quarter of 2019, according to the WTO’s latest World Trade Outlook Indicator released on February 19.

Suez Canal Extends Toll Cuts for Bulkers

The Suez Canal Authority (SCA) has extended discounts concerning dry bulk vessels operating between American and Asian ports after considering “new changes in the global shipping market and the world economy”.

China is Germany's main trading partner once again

According to provisional results, goods worth 199.3 billion euros were traded between Germany and the People's Republic of China in 2018 (exports and imports). The Federal Statistical Office reports that the People's Republic of China was Germany’s most important trading partner in 2018 for the third consecutive year.

Rotterdam Port Sets New Record in Container Volumes

The Dutch Port of Rotterdam ended 2018 with a total container throughput slightly higher than in 2017, which was a record year for the port.

BIMCO tempers GDP growth projections ahead of IMO’s next greenhouse gas study

A global shipowning body has called for regulator International Maritime Organization (IMO) to dismiss high global gross domestic product (GDP) growth projections when addressing its next greenhouse gas (GHG) study, due to get underway next month.

ICS: Shipping Cannot Achieve Climate Goals Using Fossil Fuels

The International Chamber of Shipping has concluded that it will not be possible to achieve the IMO's target for greenhouse gas cuts using fossil fuels.

Contamination fears fuel calls for greater bunker transparency ahead of 2020


Calls are growing for greater transparency in the bunker industry ahead of the 2020 global sulphur cap.

Top 10 Shipowning Nations: China Sees Biggest Increase

It's no surprise that Greece tops the world for shipowning, but China has seen the biggest increase in value out of the top 10, according to VesselsValue.

GPA to Establish Megaship Trade Hub

The Georgia Ports Authority (GPA) has unveiled a new Big Ship/Big Berth programme that will enable the Port of Savannah to service six 14,000 TEU megaships simultaneously.

APM to Build New Asia Terminal

APM Terminals has announced it will jointly develop a new 345,000 TEU capacity Greenfield container terminal in Bangkok, Thailand, to accommodate the country’s rapidly growing containerized import and export trade.

Global Economy: Factory activity shrinks across Asia as cooling China threatens global growth

(business-standard) Factory activity shrank across much of Asia in January, falling to the weakest in years in several countries and adding to worries that trade tariffs and cooling demand in China pose an increasing threat to global growth.

Hyundai Heavy Industries in Talks to Buy DSME

(maritime-executive) South Korea's "Big Three" shipbuilders may soon become the "Big Two," as Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI) has reportedly expressed interest in taking over state-owned Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering (DSME).

Shipping Investment Activity Limited to the S&P Markets Thus Far In 2019

Ship owners are not committing funds for the long-term so far in 2019, which means that, instead of newbuilding orders, they ‘re opting for second hand vessels.

CNOOC Makes Major New Oil Discovery in North Sea Off Scotland

(gcaptain) China state oil company CNOOC on Tuesday announced a major new oil discovery at the Glengorm prospect in the U.K. sector of the North Sea.

New Initiatives Unveiled to Strengthen Singapore as a Global Maritime Hub

(worldmaritimenews) Singapore has announced two new initiatives intended to strengthen the region’s standing as a global maritime hub.

IMO 2020: Oil Refining Capacity to Grow at Record Pace

(maritimepropulsion) Global oil refining capacity is set to increase at its fastest pace on record this year, possibly boosting stocks of products such as diesel, gasoline and marine fuel, the International Energy Agency said.

First Gate for ‘World’s Largest Sea Lock’ Arrives in IJmuiden, Netherlands

(gcaptain) The first of three lock gates for the new, larger lock being constructed at the entrance of the North Sea Canal at IJmuiden, Netherlands arrived at its final destination this week after being transported from South Korea.

Dry Bulk Net Fleet Growth in 2018 At 3%

(hellenicshippingnews) The dry bulk market’s fundamentals are still positive, given that during 2018 net fleet growth was quite low, at 3% despite the fact that demolitions stood at record low levels.

Port of Hamburg: We’re Ready for Brexit

(porttechnology) 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.