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.

IMO Seen as Best Suited for Developing a Future Carbon Market for Shipping

(gCaptain) The International Maritime Organization is expected to codify a transitional (i.e. 2030) energy efficiency pathway for commercial ships in an upcoming meeting in June of its Maritime Environmental Protection Committee (MEPC 76).

India to spend $82bn on port development

(splash247) India will make investments totaling $82bn in various port projects by 2035 in order to boost the country’s maritime sector.

U.S. Imports at Full Speed Show Uneven Global Recovery Pace

(gcaptain) A surge of imports into the U.S. economy shows little sign of slowing down, clogging American ports and highlighting ways the pandemic is still causing imbalances in the global recovery.

US ports set to break annual import record

(porttechnology) US ports are set to break their annual import record after November traffic increased by 24.5% year-on-year (YoY), according to National Retail Federation (NRF) and Hackett Associates.

Dry Bulkers In Demand

(hellenicshippingnews) Dry bulk carriers have been in high demand recently, as ship owners looked to capitalize on second hand investment opportunities.

Car sales boom in China as economic recovery continues

(Telegraph) Chinese exports rose 9.9pc last month, boosted by sales of PPE and laptops as its trading partners remained in Lockdown.

China’s new coal projects account for 90% of global total in H1

(hellenicshippingnews) China built more than half of the world’s new coal-fired power plants this year and accounted for 90% of new planned capacity, a study showed on Monday, with Beijing still commissioning new projects even as capacity worldwide declines.

Container shipping demolition reaches 41-month high in July

(hellenicshippingnews) With August just around the corner, container shipping demolition has already hit a 41-month high in July, reaching 52.8 thousand TEU and thereby surpassing the 50.6 thousand TEU demolished in June.

China sets clear course for economic recovery in wake of pandemic

(hellenicshippingnews) Chinese President Xi Jinping has outlined a clear course for China’s economic recovery in the wake of the novel coronavirus pandemic, a Cuban expert on China said Tuesday.

Demand For Dry Bulk Second Hand Tonnage is on the Rise

(hellenicshippingnews) Prices for dry bulk carriers could be on the rise, as the market has started to adapt to the realities of the COVID-19.

Chinese port congestion approaching record levels

(splash247) Chinese port congestion is approaching record levels thanks to rampant demand, dire weather and slower operations because of Covid-19 protocols.

Iron Ore Prices Peak on Rising China Imports & Demand Worries

(hellenicshippingnews) Iron-ore prices have surged to around $110 per ton — levels last seen August 2019. The steel making commodity has gained 17% year to date, stoked by apprehensions of a supply crunch owing to the worsening coronavirus situation in Brazil while demand in China continues to pick up.

Shipping Losses Continued Downward Trend in 2019, Allianz Says

(gcaptain) Asian waters accounted for a third of the shipping industry’s total losses at sea globally last year, even as shipping losses continued their declining trend, says marine specialty insurer Allianz Global.

Import cuts could trigger more shortages as states reopen

(hellenicshippingnew) After “blanking” (canceling) around 20% of Asia-to-U.S. capacity this month and next, it now appears almost certain that carriers will cut fewer sailings in July.

Beyond COVID-19: Investing in a Sustainable Future for Shipping

(maritime-executive) We can’t celebrate a pandemic. People are dying. Economies are crashing. Unemployment rates are rocketing. We are distanced – from those we love, but also from our immediate past. Life as we know it has been turned upside down. So, we can’t celebrate. But nature can.

Germany: March import prices -5.5% on March 2019

(destatis) As reported by the Federal Statistical Office (Destatis), the index of import prices decreased by 5.5% in March 2020 compared with the corresponding month of the preceding year. This has been the highest price decrease compared to the previous year since May 2016 (-5.7%). In February 2020 and in January 2020 the annual rates of change were -2.0% and -0.9%, respectively. From February 2020 to March 2020 the index fell by 3.5%.

Product Tankers Among the “Winners” Of Today’s Market

(hellenic shipping news) It’s not only VLCCs crude oil tankers benefiting from the oil market disruptions.

HMM Takes Delivery of World's Biggest Boxship

The South Korean government plans to increase its support for national champions in shipbuilding and shipping with billions of dollars in new financial assistance, President Moon Jae-in told media on Wednesday.

Carriers Axe 3 Million TEU Capacity from Key Asia-Europe and Transpacific Routes

Headhaul capacity withdrawn by Asia-Europe and transpacific carriers has reached 3m teu, according to a survey by Sea-Intelligence.

Oil Soars After Trump Says Saudi Arabia, Russia to Cut Supply

(gcaptain) Oil surged in London as China planned to start buying up cheap crude for its strategic reserves, while the U.S. president said he thought Saudi Arabia and Russia would resolve their differences to ease the price war.

Shipping Industry Urges G20 to Keep Freight Flowing as Virus Hits Supply Chains

(gcaptain) Ships and their crews must be able to trade freely with minimal port restrictions to ensure supply lines don’t freeze up while the coronavirus shuts down much of the globe, shipping and port officials said on Tuesday.

China’s Port Jam Eases, but Refrigerated Container Rates Soar

(gcaptain) By Muyu Xu and Dominique Patton BEIJING, March 13 (Reuters) – Severe congestion at Chinese ports is easing, say officials and industry participants, although a logjam of refrigerated containers has disrupted supplies of fresh and frozen food and pushed up freight rates outside China.

Busiest Port in U.S. Sees 23% Drop in Cargo Volumes in February

(gcaptain)  U.S. West Coast ports were already facing headwinds this year from the protracted U.S.-China Trade War.

International container volume, shipping rates highlight weakness in imports from China

(hellenicshippingnews) Following one of the worst weeks in the stock market, questions about the impact of the coronavirus on supply chains abound.

Fed cuts interest rate half a percentage point, largest emergency cut since the financial crisis

(washingtonpost) President Trump earlier called for a “big” interest rate cut by the Federal Reserve and a payroll tax cut for consumers.

China’s commodity imports hold up better than the PMIs, for now

(hellenicshippingnews) There’s no way to sugar-coat the worst-ever reading of China’s manufacturing indexes, which were pummelled as the economy was largely shut down in February as Beijing battled to contain the coronavirus epidemic.

U.S. Container Ports Seeing Impact of China's Coronavirus Slowdown

(maritime-executive) America's seaports are now beginning to feel the effects of the sailing cancellations that ocean carriers implemented at Chinese ports over the span of the past month.

2020 Ocean Super Year – What Does It Mean for Business

(allaboutshipping) A series of major ocean events and developments will take place this year, with important implications and opportunities for ocean industries.

Shipping Industry Faces $370 Million Hit from Panama Canal ‘Freshwater’ Charge

(gcaptain) A new “freshwater” charge that came in this month to help the Panama Canal cope with climate change will cost the shipping industry up to $370 million a year, marking another blow for maritime companies already hit by fallout from the coronavirus.

Seaborne cargo throughput increase in Port of Hamburg – and double-digit growth in seaport-hinterland rail transport

(Port of Hamburg) In 2019 seaborne cargo throughput rose to 136.6 million tons, or by 1.1 percent. Container handling at 9.3 million TEU advanced substantially, by 6.1 percent.

Ships Are Skipping China and It’s Causing Turmoil for Trade

February 2020 will come to be remembered as a period of historic disruption to physical supply chains the world over, as the coronavirus wrecks trade.

Coronavirus to Hit U.S. Retail Imports in February

(gcaptain) Imports at the United States’ major retail container ports are expected to see a sharper-than-usual decline this month as the coronavirus causes factory shutdowns in China, according to a new report by the National Retail Federation and Hackett Associates.

German exports in 2019 increased

(destatis) In 2019, German exports and imports exceeded the former record highs of 2018. However, foreign trade growth slowed in comparison with previous years: in 2019, Germany exported goods to the value of 1,327.6 billion euros and imported goods to the value of 1,104.1 billion euros. The Federal Statistical Office reports that exports were up 0.8% from 2018. Imports rose by 1.4%. In 2018, exports increased by 3.0% and imports by 5.6% compared with the previous year. In 2017, exports were 6.2% and imports 8.0% higher than a year earlier.

Scrubber Demand Declined in the Fourth Quarter of 2019: Wärtsilä

(shipandbunker) Demand for Finnish engineering company Wärtsilä's scrubbers predictably declined in the fourth quarter of last year from "exceptionally high" levels a year earlier, according to its CEO.

New Study Casts Shadow on LNG Fuel’s Climate Footprint

(gCaptain) One of the shipping industry’s great hopes for improving its environmental performance — engines powered by liquefied natural gas — won’t offer the benefits that many vessel owners are hoping for.

China Tax Changes Unlikely to Boost Marine Fuel Supply Until Q2

(gcaptain) Chinese oil refiners are unlikely to boost their output of cleaner marine fuels until at least the second quarter of 2020 because they will need to upgrade their facilities, even after the government granted tax waivers to boost output.

IMO: Smooth Transition into Sulfur Cap Regulations

(maritime-executive) The IMO says information from various sources has indicated a relatively smooth transition to the 0.5 percent sulfur cap for bunker fuel.

Container Shipping market outlook remains soft

(porttechnology) Despite the boost of the Phase One trade agreement between the US and China, the outlook for the container shipping market remains soft, this according to Drewry’s Container Forecast report.

Shanghai Keeps its Title as World's Busiest Container Port

(maritime-executive) Shanghai International Port (Group) has announced that it posted record high container traffic in 2019 with 42 million TEU in throughput. This amount is about four percent higher than last year, and it is enough to maintain Shanghai's status as the world's busiest container port for the ninth year in a row.

US to invest heavily in marine highways

(porttechnology) The US Department of Transportation’s Maritime Administration (MARAD) has will invest $7.5 million in nine Marine Highway projects as it looks to make the movement of cargo and people at sea and on land more efficient.

Dry Bulk Market: Where to Next for South Africa’s Coal Exports?

(hellenicshippingnews) One of the major coal exporters, South Africa is now having to rely more on markets like the ones in the Indian Subcontinent, especially India, in a bid to find buyers for its product. South Africa hasn’t managed to penetrate Far East Asian markets, but it’s faring better in the Subcontinent, where demand is booming.

Global Shippers Forum Signals Pushback on IMO2020 Surcharges

(maritime-executive) Shippers are signaling that there will be tough negotiations ahead over who will pay for new IMO 2020-compliant low sulfur fuel oil (LSFO). At current pricing, compliant fuel costs roughly twice as much as the heavy fuel oil that most ships could legally burn until last week.

Dry Bulk Market: Capesize Market Starts on the Wrong Foot

(hellenicshippingnews) Capesize: The New Year started with an erosion on pre-Christmas rates as the higher low sulphur fuel costs due to IMO 2020 affected levels.

2019 Leaves Shipping With Bittersweet Taste

(hellenicshippingnews) When it comes to assessing 2019 from a shipping market’s point of view, it appears that the year that we just left behind, was “the year that could have been, but never really materialized as such”.

China will push more lending to manufacturing sector next year

(hellenicshippingnews) China will actively help firms in the traditional manufacturing sector to get out of liquidity trouble next year, the banking and insurance regulator said on Friday, after recent liquidity woes and bond defaults by private firms.

Shipowners Share Scrubber Installation Experience

(maritime-executive) Members of the Clean Shipping Alliance (CSA) 2020 are advising those shipowners looking to install marine exhaust gas cleaning systems (EGCS or scrubbers) to ensure that manufacturers, shipyards and installers are using quality, high-end materials.

Developments in Ship Recycling in 2019

(maritime-executive) "For the sixth year running I have been asked by The Maritime Executive to provide a review of the year’s notable developments on ship recycling and my expectations for the coming year."

Scrubber Queue Grows Ahead of IMO 2020

Another containership fitted with an exhaust gas cleaning system (scrubber) is added to the global fleet every 10 hours, according to Alphaliner data.

Port Tracker report pinpoints U.S.-China trade war as focal point of import volumes

(logisticsmgmt) U.S. reports covered in the report handled 1.95 million Twenty-Foot Equivalent Units (TEU) in October, the most recent month for which data is available, which is up 0.6% over September’s 1.97 million TEU and down 7.5% annually compared to the 2 million TEU handled in October 2018, which stands as the all-time monthly record.

German exports increased by 1.9%

(destatis) Germany exported goods to the value of 119.5 billion euros and imported goods to the value of 98.0 billion euros in October 2019. Based on provisional data, the Federal Statistical Office (Destatis) also reports that German exports increased by 1.9% and imports decreased by 0.6% in October 2019 year on year. 

Drewry publishes first low-sulphur BAF reference price

(hellenicshippingnews) As part of a series of initiatives aimed at bringing greater transparency to fuel costs resulting from the new IMO 2020 low-sulphur regulation, Drewry is pleased to announce the publication of its first low-sulphur reference bunker index tracker.

China Establishes World’s Largest Shipbuilding Group

(gCaptain) China on Tuesday formally established China Shipbuilding Group, which the country’s government-run broadcaster described as the world’s largest shipbuilder.

Dry Bulk: Capesize Market Ends Week With Slight Improvement

(hellenicshippingnews) After a week of value being eroded on the Capesize market, Friday brought improved sentiment across most of the routes.

Port of Hamburg Reports Strong Growth So Far in 2019

(gCaptain) The Port of Hamburg saw strong growth in the first nine months of 2019, with seaborne cargo throughput rising by 3.2 percent to 104 million tons. At that rate, Hamburg exceeds the growth rate of competing ports in northern Europe, which on average have reported just one percent growth, according to the Port of Hamburg. 

The great ‘crude’ game is on

(hellenicshippingnews) RIYADH and Tehran are engaged in an intense ‘crude’ battle, making in the process interesting moves to checkmate the other on the geopolitical chessboard.

Greek Owners: South Korean Shipyards Dominating Orders Attracting $14 Billion of Invested Capital

(hellenicshippingnews) South Korean shipyards remain the preferred option among Greek ship owners, especially when it comes to ordering their latest high-tech and niche-busting LNG carriers.

China Plans $1B Port Investment in Brazil

(maritime-executive) During a visit by Chinese President Xi Jinping to Brasilia this week, China is expected to announce a $1 billion investment in the port of Sao Luis by state-owned China Communications Construction Company (CCCC). President Xi is in Brazil for the annual BRICS summit, a gathering of the leaders of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa.

Volatility Reigns in the S&P Market, as Newbuilding Orders Dry Up

(hellenicshippingnews) The second-hand market for ships is quite volatile at the moment, as many owners are actively looking for investment opportunities, in a time when the majority of them refrain from newbuilding orders.

ITF Calls for Action on Gulf of Guinea Piracy

(maritime-executive) Following back-to-back attacks on two vessels in the Gulf of Guinea last week, the International Transport Worker’ Federation has called for urgent global and regional cooperation to fight piracy off West Africa.

Manufacturing output shows modest progress in October, reports ISM

(logisticsmgmt) The report’s key metric, the PMI, eked out a 0.5% gain to 48.3 (a reading of 50 or higher indicates growth), following declines of 1.3% and 2.1%, respectively, in October and September. The October PMI marks the third consecutive month the PMI has come in below 50, while the overall economy grew in October for the 126th consecutive month.

Iron ore prices are coming back down to earth — but how far will they fall exactly?

(hellenicshippingnews) Booming iron ore prices have been one of the main storylines in commodity markets this year.

Crude Exporters Brace for Sustained High Shipping Costs

(oilandgas360) The U.S. blacklisting of the Cosco tankers set tanker freight rates on fire, but maritime fundamentals will keep prices high.

In Shipping Markets, Rollercoaster Rides Are the Main Theme

(Hellenic Shipping News) Turbulence, volatility and extreme highs and lows are the “name of the game” these days, when it comes to the shipping markets.

Panamaxes and Capesizes Lead as Australian Coal Exports To China and South Korea On the Rise

(Hellenic Shipping News) Australian coal exports are on the rise this year, with China and South Korea proving to be the preferred markets so far.

Update: Can the U.S. Fix Its Failing Infrastructure?

Overall infrastructure spending has fallen, according to the Congressional Budget Office, but the need is greater than ever.

US-China tariff delay does little to stabilise freight demand

(lloydslist) The decision to postpone the October 18 scheduled import duty rise on $250bn worth of goods has failed to lift the uncertainty in a ‘mercurial trade environment’ where importers have to assume the worst to avoid rising Costs.

EIA: U.S. Offshore Oil Production On Track for New Records

(maritime-executive) Crude oil production in the U.S Gulf of Mexico hit 1.8 million bpd in 2018, setting a new annual record. The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) predicts that the industry will set new production records in 2019, despite the temporary shut-ins related to Hurricane Barry in July.

September freight shipments and expenditures see annual declines in September, reports Cass

(logisticsmgmt) September shipments, at 1.199, were up 0.8% compared to August and down 3.4% annually, and expenditures were off 4.5% annually and up 0.5% compared to August.

Ballast Water Management Convention Amendments Enter Into Force

(maritime-executive) The Ballast Water Management Convention amendments formalizing the implementation schedule for the D-2 standard entered into force on October 13.

Foreign trade with the United Kingdom losing importance

(destatis) The downward trend of goods trade with the United Kingdom observed since the Brexit referendum is persisting. As reported by the Federal Statistical Office (Destatis), the United Kingdom ranked seventh among Germany's most important trading partners in the period from January to July 2019, with a foreign trade turnover (exports and imports) of 68.5 billion euros.

A trade-war punch to chemical shipping

(hellenicshippingnews) The escalating US-China trade war, if not settled in October as per the planned meeting between authorities of the two countries, will impact not only the Transpacific trade route, but also other major trade routes as China is the main demand driver.

World fleet 60% larger than 2008, but emitting 18% less carbon

(splash247) Despite the global merchant fleet being 60% bigger than in 2008, its carbon footprint has dropped by 18% over the last 11 years, according to data from Clarkson Research Services.

Coal prices slide as stock levels swell

(hellenicshippingnews) European coal prices face further pressure this week amid swelling stock levels, softer gas prices and muted generation demand, participants said.

Container Carriers Still Concerned About Low Sulfur Fuel Availability

(hellenicshippingnews) A senior shipping executive said there is still concern in the container shipping industry about whether there will be sufficient low sulfur fuel available for shipping lines to meet the International Maritime Organization requirement.