Sea Technology

JUL 2013

The industry's recognized authority for design, engineering and application of equipment and services in the global ocean community

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soundings )) First Triple E Mega-Vessel Delivered to Maersk Line. The largest container ship in the world, Maersk Mc-Kinney Moller, was expected to be delivered to Maersk Line (Copenhagen, Denmark) in June, Reuters reported. The 55,000-tonne vessel is the frst of 20 megavessels intended to bring cost-effciency and proftability as they replace older, smaller vessels. "Hopefully the ships will help us to get closer to proftability on Asia to Europe," which is the largest sea trade route in the world, Maersk Line Chief Executive Soren Skou said. Tough competition among major container shipping companies has led to the regional freight rate dropping 60 percent since mid-March. "It is probably the fastest rate drop we have seen ever," Skou said. The new feet comprises Triple E (economies of scale, energy effciency, environmental improvements) vessels, which are expected to save Maersk Line 35 percent in fuel per 20-foot container. Maersk Mc-Kinney Moller was expected to start service on July 15. Four more Triple E vessels will be delivered to Maersk Line this year, with delivery of 15 others expected in 2014 and 2015. )) Container Freight Rates Continue to Drop. According to Xeneta (Oslo, Norway), the average container freight rates from Asia to North Europe continued to drop to $2,564 per 40-foot container and $1,341 per 20-foot container. Due to overcapacity and various economic turmoil in the market, the market index for 40-foot containers has decreased 44 percent from May 2012. Xeneta's global market index for sea freight has seen a consistent downward slope in the past months since the general rate increase was released in March and April. The fall in ocean rates could be seen across several popular trade lanes in AsiaNorth Europe. For the Shanghai, China, to Rotterdam, Netherlands, trade route, average shipping prices for containerized freight was as low as $1,141 per 20-foot container and $1,978 per 40-foot container. Although the market is dropping, there are still freight buyers that cannot keep up with the market's rapid fuctuations, resulting in them overpaying on their routes. )) Slow Global Economic Growth Continues to Affect Shipping. The International Monetary Fund forecast that global growth will be 3.3 percent in 2013 and 4 percent in 2014, which does not bode well for the shipping industry, according to a report by White & Case. Ships are still being built, despite overcapacity, and rates are low. Current newbuild is outpacing scrappage. In 2012, shipyards built a near-record 152 million deadweight tons, according to Clarksons (London, England). The desire for newbuild is contributing to the shortening life of ships in service. Maintenance on ships just a few years old has dropped to marginal levels, meaning the plunge in their rates and resale value is accelerating. Contractions or withdrawals in lending have occurred, and more are expected. In the future, more of the industry's fnancial sources will be found elsewhere—including from private equity and, potentially, the capital markets. Low prices and ongoing changes in the sector's fnancing mean there are attractive prospects for investors who can deploy capital quickly and have a view on the cycle. New private equity is moving into the sector, and Greek money is coming back strongly. China wants to emerge from the global recession as the shipping capital of the world and is looking to consolidate fnancing, infrastructure, shipbuilding and feet control. The tanker market is looking up as shipment of LNG, industrial growth in non-Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development countries, and moves by energy and other companies to own or manage their own vessels will help speed recovery. Related port and offshore infrastructure projects are likely to beneft, and the offshore rig business continues to demonstrate strength. )) Creation of Arctic Shipping Code. The International Maritime Organization said that an Arctic shipping code will be operational in 2015 and implemented in 2016, Reuters reported. As the ice cap recedes, maritime traffc is expected to increase, for instance, by more than 30 times in the region's northern sea route over the next eight years. This traffc could constitute about 25 percent of the cargo shipments between Europe and Asia by 2030. The Arctic shipping code will encompass the technical requirements of design and operations and will focus on safe navigation in a harsh environment and the competence of seafarers. )) Joint Safety Award for Pilot Technology. SevenCs (Hamburg, Germany), Australian Reef Pilots (Fortitude Valley, Australia) and VoyageBank jointly won a 2013 IHS Safety at Sea Award. The cooperation of the three companies has resulted in a technology platform that combines portable pilot units (PPU), a cloud-based PPU server and the Australian Reef Pilots Safety Management System (SMS). This unique approach connects the pilots to shore-based pilotage planning, monitoring and management systems in real time via the SevenCs touch screen PPU. )) Research Cruise Underway to Study Antarctic. Researchers from the Alfred Wegener Institute, Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research set off in June on the RV Polarstern for an expedition to the Antarctic winter. They will spend two months in the Southern Ocean, exploring the sea ice, atmosphere and waters until the expedition ends in August in Punta Arenas, Chile. The Antarctic is where deep water, which drives global ocean currents, is formed. On the Greenwich Meridian through to the Antarctic coast, the team plans to investigate why Antarctic sea ice is expanding slightly while the sea ice cover in the Arctic is steadily shrinking. The second half of the expedition will move on to the incipient spring: The planned route takes the Polarstern from the Antarctic coast in a northwesterly direction, away from the polar night and into the rising sun. The second central question addressed by the research program looks at which mechanisms permit the ecosystem of the Southern Ocean to come back to life after the long, cold, dark winter. n July 2013 / st 9

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