Sea Lead Launching New East Asia Container Service That Bypasses the West Coast

Sea Lead Launching New East Asia Container Service That Bypasses the West Coast

Singapore-based Sea Lead Shipping on March 3 revealed that it was launching a new service linking ports in East Asia with ports on the East Coast of the United States, while completely bypassing West Coast ports. “The Asia East Coast (AEC) service will provide shippers with a reliable and timely service that avoids the port congestion that is hampering efficient service at many other (West Coast) ports,” Sea Land said in a statement. The new weekly service commenced March 7 with the first sailing from the Port of Nansha in south China. Port rotation for the service will be as…
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Shipping Companies Suspend Russia Bookings Due to Ukraine Conflict

Shipping Companies Suspend Russia Bookings Due to Ukraine Conflict

In early March, multiple global shipping firms, including Switzerland-based MSC, Denmark-headquartered Maersk and France’s CMA CGM announced that they’ve halted cargo bookings to and from Russia until further notice due to Russia’s invasion of neighboring country Ukraine. “As the crisis in Ukraine continues and governments impose new sanctions on Russia and its allies, A.P. Moller—Maersk is keeping a close eye on developments and making necessary adjustments in line with the latest restrictions,” Maersk said in a March 1 statement explaining its decision. “As the stability and safety of our operations is already being directly and indirectly impacted by sanctions, new…
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UN Agencies Renew Call to Support Seafarers During Pandemic

UN Agencies Renew Call to Support Seafarers During Pandemic

Four United Nations agencies on Feb. 28 issued a joint statement urging stakeholders to collaborate to prevent undue hardship to seafarers during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The International Labour Organization (ILO), International Maritime Organization (IMO), United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) and the World Health Organization (WHO) issued a joint statement asking stakeholders to take action to support the world’s 1.9 million seafarers from being unduly impacted by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and associated restrictions. The statement came in the wake of the Omicron COVID-19 variant of concern (VOC), which has, once again, caused many countries to close…
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Caution Urged Despite Downturn in Reported Maritime Piracy Incidents

Caution Urged Despite Downturn in Reported Maritime Piracy Incidents

Maritime piracy and armed robbery attacks in 2021 reached their lowest recorded level since 1994, according to the annual piracy report of the International Chamber of Commerce, published Jan. 13. The chamber’s International Maritime Bureau (IMB) attributes the drop in incidents to vigorous action taken by authorities, but it is also calling for continued coordination and vigilance to ensure the long-term protection of seafarers. “While the overall reduction in globally reported incidents is welcomed, the IMB Piracy Reporting Centre urges coastal states to acknowledge the inherent risk from piracy and armed robbery and robustly address this crime within the waters…
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Tank Container Risk Analysis Reflects Supply Chain Pressures

An analysis of 2020 insurance claims data by London-based insurance and related risk management services provider TT Club points to an increase in impact related incidents, with corrosion of tank containers’ inner surface and contamination caused by cargoes previously carried as significant other causes of loss. The analysis makes clear that the effects of increased volumes of tank containers used to trade chemicals and other liquids on the primary east-west trades have altered, to a degree, the risk profile of damage to such units. While in previous years there has been a consistent dominance of contamination as the major source…
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European Oil Port Terminals Crippled by Cyberattack and Ransomware

European Oil Port Terminals Crippled by Cyberattack and Ransomware

In late January 2022, a substantial ransomware attack negatively impacted at least 17 ports and oil terminals in Western Europe. The ransomware/malware attack also affected oil storage and transport. The companies reportedly impacted, according to a report on the GovInfoSecurity website included Oiltanking and Mabanaft in Germany, SEA-Invest in Belgium, and Evos in The Netherlands. Also affected were six oil storage terminals in the Amsterdam-Rotterdam-Antwerp area. The impacts of the cyberattack resulted in re-routing tankers, significantly disrupting supply chains and causing difficulty loading and unloading refined product. The Baker Botts LLP international law firm indicated that as of early February,…
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Panama Canal Closes Fiscal Year 2021 with Record Tonnage

Panama Canal Closes Fiscal Year 2021 with Record Tonnage

The Panama Canal closed its fiscal year 2021 with a record-breaking annual tonnage of 516.7 million Panama Canal tons (PC/UMS), coming in 8.7% higher compared to the 2020 fiscal year (FY20) and 10% above tonnage registered in FY19, the waterway’s last pre-pandemic fiscal year, according to data released by the Panama Canal Authority (ACP). The gains were despite fiscal year 2021 for the Canal being marked by unprecedented supply chain challenges caused by the continued impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Related disruptions drove container rates to rise exponentially and production to slow down across various sectors, due to raw material…
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U.N. Security Council Adopts Anti-Piracy Resolution

U.N. Security Council Adopts Anti-Piracy Resolution

The UN Security Council on Dec. 3 adopted a resolution to combat the continuing threat of piracy off the coast of Somalia, as measures to keep vessels safe have returned to levels not seen since before the COVID-19 pandemic. The Security Council adopted Resolution 2608, which, among other things, condemns piracy and armed robbery at sea off the Somali coast, underscoring that it exacerbates instability by introducing “illicit cash that fuels crime, corruption and terrorism.” However, the resolution only provides for a three-month extension for an existing program that allows international naval forces to fight piracy off Somalia’s coast. Although…
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IMO Council Creates International Day for Women in Maritime

The International Maritime Organization’s Maritime Council has established an International Day for Women in Maritime, which is to be observed each year on May 18. Adopted by the IMO Assembly in December 2021, the observance would celebrate women in the industry, promote the recruitment, retention and sustained employment of women in the maritime sector, raise the profile of women in maritime, strengthen IMO’s commitment to gender equality and support work to address the current gender imbalance in maritime.    The proposal to establish an International Day for Women in Maritime was first addressed by IMO’s Technical Cooperation Committee (TCC) in…
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Maritime Piracy and Armed Robbery Incidents at Lowest Level in Decades: IMB

The latest global piracy report from the International Maritime Bureau recorded 97 incidents of piracy and armed robbery for the first nine months of 2021—the lowest level of reported incidents since 1994. In 2021, the IMB’s Piracy Reporting Centre (PRC) reported 85 vessels boarded, nine attempted attacks, two vessels fired upon and one vessel hijacked. Although reported incidents are down to their lowest level in decades, violence against seafarers has continued with 51 crew members kidnapped, eight taken hostage, five threatened, three injured, two assaulted and one killed, according to the latest statistics from the IMB, which is a division…
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