Maritime News Update Week 34/2019

World’s Largest Boxship Wraps Up Maiden Voyage
MSC Gülsün, the world’s largest containership, has arrived in Europe after completing its maiden voyage from the north of China, Swiss Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC) said.

MSC Gülsün is the first of a new class of 23,000+ TEU vessels to be added in 2019-2020 to the company’s global fleet. Ten other ships in this class have been ordered by MSC.
Built at the Samsung Heavy Industries (SHI) Geoje shipyard in South Korea and delivered in July this year, MSC Gülsün is said to set a new standard in container shipping, in particular in terms of environmental performance.
With a length of some 400 meters long and a width of more than 60 meters, the Panama-flagged MSC Gülsün has a record-size capacity for a containership – 23,756 TEU.
As explained, this new class has been designed with environmental, efficiency, stability and safety matters in mind. One of the features is the vessel’s shape of the bow designed to enhance energy efficiency by reducing hull resistance. What is more, ship wind resistance is minimized, resulting in lower fuel consumption. Additionally, it is possible to connect the ship to shore power, enabling it to tap local power sources in port.
MSC Gülsün’s improved energy efficiency and fuel economy ensure that MSC is on track to meet international 2030 environmental policy targets set by the UN International Maritime Organization (IMO) ahead of time, building on a 13 percent improvement in CO2 emissions per ton of cargo moved already achieved across the MSC fleet between 2015 and 2018, the company said.
To comply with an upcoming marine fuel regulation in 2020, the ship is also equipped with a UN IMO-approved hybrid scrubber and has the option of switching to low-sulphur fuel or to be adapted for liquified natural gas in the future.
MSC Gülsün and its 10 sister ships are also all designed to meet the next steps in digital shipping by enabling fast data transmission to shore and connection for smart containers.
SHI will deliver six of the new class of ships, while SHI’s compatriot shipbuilder Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering (DSME) is constructing the other five units.

Port of Tanjung Pelepas breaks its record for container vessel utilisation
Navis, a part of Cargotec Corporation and provider of operational technologies and services that unlock greater performance and efficiency for the world’s leading terminal operators, and the Port of Tanjung Pelepas have announced that the terminal has gone live with the Navis N4 TOS to help them scale as demand at the terminal grows.
PTP, a joint venture between MMC Group and APM Terminals, is Malaysia’s most advanced container terminal, with the capacity to handle up to 12.5 million TEUs annually. PTP is situated on the eastern side of the mouth of the Pulai River in South-West Johor, mere 45 minutes from the confluence of the world’s busiest shipping lanes. PTP has 14 linear berths 5.04 km. The terminal is equipped with 58 Super Post Panamax cranes, 16 of which have a 24-box outreach catering for the next generation of Triple E size vessels. These cranes also have twin-lift capability to further enhance productivity. PTP’s current average berth productivity for mainliner vessels stands at 100 moves per hour minimum.
To meet the future expected volume growth, PTP has upgraded its TOS to Navis N4 which provides improved performance and scalability. With Navis N4 in operation, PTP has again broken the record for vessel utilization after the MSC Gulsun, the largest container ship in the world, departed with 19,574 TEU in July 2019. This milestone means PTP has broken the record three times in a row and has become the first port in the world to set back-to-back records for container vessel utilization.
“I have personally been involved in many ‘go lives’, but never one of this size and scale and also never one that has gone so well in so many areas, including change management, adoption of new processes and frontline technology. Without a doubt, the ownership of this project - from the shareholder level to the hatch clerk front line and everybody in between - has been second to none. This is the result of a lot of hard work from many people, both onsite and globally. Thanks to our great foundation and Navis’ second to none commitment to this project’s success, we have done what many thought was impossible, by migrating one of the single biggest facilities in the world with no unplanned impact to our landside or waterside customers,” said Joe Schofield, COO, PTP.
“The implementation of Navis N4 has been years in planning and preparation. With the support of teams from PTP, Navis, MMC, APM Terminals and other vendors, N4 was successfully implemented on time and with no unplanned disruption to daily port operations. We would like to congratulate PTP on the successful implementation of N4, once again setting a new utilization record. A note of special gratitude for making the implementation such success goes to Marco Neelsen, CEO PTP, Joe Schofield, COO PTP, and Gaurav Sharma, CIO PTP, for their excellent leadership during the planning and implementation,” said Simon Doughty, Vice President and General Manager, Asia-Pacific, Navis.

Maersk warns trade war could hurt container business
A.P. Moller-Maersk warned a trade war between the United States and China could curb container traffic this year after the world’s largest container shipping company beat second-quarter profit expectations.
Maersk said the escalating trade dispute between Washington and Beijing could limit growth in global container traffic to the lower end of its 1% to 3% guidance range this year, after growth of around 2% between April and June.
Newly imposed tariffs between the United States and China combined with additional U.S. tariffs due to be implemented later this year could remove up to 1.5% of global container demand in 2020, Maersk said.
However, Chief Executive Soren Skou remained upbeat.
“It is not tariffs that decide how many goods are being transported, but rather how much Americans buy when they go to Walmart. Luckily for us, the U.S. consumer is still in a good mood,” Skou told a media briefing.
He said Maersk had seen “solid progress” in the second quarter, including realizing synergies of $1 billion from restructuring earlier than expected.
Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) grew 17% to $1.36 billion, topping the $1.24 billion forecast by analysts in a Reuters poll.
Maersk benefited from higher container freight rates, larger volumes and lower costs and said it still expects EBITDA for the full year to total $5 billion. Analysts on average expect EBITDA of $5.4 billion for 2019.
The shares traded as much as 7% higher in early trade, but were trading 2.5% lower at 6,808 crowns each at 1027 GMT.
“The results were good, but in a market where concerns over the global economy are escalating, investors are not going to reward a cyclical stock like Maersk,” said Frans Hoyer, analyst at Handelsbanken.
Some investors may have been disappointed that Maersk did not raise its full-year guidance despite a good result for the first six months.“It looks like consensus was running ahead and some had seen Maersk’s guidance as conservative,” Hoyer said.
“But I think it would be crazy to lift guidance in this environment,” he said.
Skou said he was planning for low growth in container shipping demand this year and next but not recession.
“Some expect a recession in the United States. We doubt it will happen this year or next,” Skou said.
“We wake every morning to new tweets from the U.S. president. Now tariffs have been canceled on all the consumer goods that will be in demand during Christmas shopping. Those are the goods we ship, so now we’re a bit more optimistic,” he said.
Skou has overseen a major shift in Maersk’s strategy, which has included selling off its oil and gas business to focus on the container and logistics business for customers which include Walmart and Nike.
While Maersk moves around one in five containers shipped at sea, it handles the land transportation from ports to warehouses and distribution centers for less than a quarter of its customers.
Maersk’s share price has fallen 43% since a peak in July 2017 and now trades around the level it was at when Skou took on the CEO job in June 2016.

Samsung Heavy Joins Forces with MAN on Smart Ship Tech
South Korean shipbuilder Samsung Heavy Industries (SHI) has teamed up with German engine specialist MAN Energy Solutions in a bid to secure a “competitive edge” in winning orders.
More specifically, the two sides will cooperate in developing smart ship technology.
According to SHI, the Memorandum of Understanding mainly aims at enhancing operating services of main marine engines by applying the engine diagnosis and control technology of MAN to SVESSEL, an SHI-developed cloud-based smart ship system.
The South Korean shipbuilder said that shipbuilding companies would be able to reduce operating costs with accurate data provided in real time via the upgraded SVESSEL to onshore control centers and vessels on the water.
Samsung is expanding its collaboration with major equipment companies on the development of technologies for smart ship solutions.
The company has also been working with WinGD of Switzerland to develop a remote engine diagnosis technology applicable to LNG-fueled vessels.
“Equipment manufacturers have actively participated in technology development of our cloud-based smart ship system and this will provide more useful and diverse services to shipowners,” Shim, Yong-Lae, Vice President of SHI Ship & Offshore Research Institute, said.
By solidifying the ecosystem where both shipbuilders and equipment producers coexist, we will take the lead in developing innovative smart ship system.” 

Embarking on the next level of port digitalisation
Given the pace at which technological advancements are changing the efficiency of operations and trade flows, many ports have embarked on a digital strategy, but true disruption has yet to come for most ports in the developing world.
Harsh Vardhan, head – ERP practice at Ramco Systems, noted that there has been a lot of focus in making ports sustainable for energy needs, carbon footprint and even compliance of safety standards.
“Many ports are facing stiff competition from other ports who do well on these parameters, as most likely, with their level of maturity, they have already mastered the basic systems to monitor energy usage and scheduling issues,” Vardhan told Seatrade Maritime News.
In developing countries, the issues they face in general are restricted space availability for ports, finding ways to handle large volumes at lower costs, difficulty in establishing transhipment operations, and lack of computerised systems leading to longer wait time for ships, making them uncompetitive.
Ports in developing countries tend to face common tech problems such as multiple systems and manual hand offs between systems, no single portal for all agencies to interact with the port, and lack of data sharing between customer systems, terminal operating systems (TOS) and various agencies like customs, banks.
“What would be ideal is data sharing not only amongst these, but also between ports. There is a lot of data that can be shared, without losing competitive edge, for example ship schedules, arrival times shipment details etc,” he said, adding that having a TOS remains the most crucial piece of the jigsaw.
The more advanced ports in the world are in Europe such as Amsterdam and Rotterdam, and Singapore in Asia. The ports are more concerned about TOS (Terminal Operating System) as this is their main function.
Vardhan further pointed out that ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) remains an enabler for purchasing, billing, finance and HR/payroll. As a result, however, ERP functions tend to be very fragmented and are managed on basic home-grown systems.
The top functions requested by port authorities in their ERP strategy is often to look at automating the mundane tasks such as inventory standardisation, spare part optimisation, enterprise asset management for preventive maintenance, payroll, balance sheet and other financial dashboards. Most ports will want a set of dashboards for real-time awareness of all financial and operational issues.
“Ramco is addressing this fragmentation by helping organisations optimise their operations around third-party logistics, truck and rail interfaces, Enterprise asset management to handle cranes (both fixed and RTG), machine learning algorithms to simulate and route schedules. An integrated ERP system is also used to coordinate all the players through a single portal,” Vardhan explained.
In February, Malaysia’s Port of Tanjung Pelepas (PTP) sealed an agreement with Ramco Systems to upgrade the port’s current ERP system. The upgrade is part of PTP’s ongoing efforts in empowering digital strategy and enhancing its operational efficiency.
In general, Vardhan shared that digitalisation involves three steps in the “increasing order of benefits but decreasing order of efforts.”
The first step is Standardisation – consolidation of IT systems, uniform procedures, common portals, common master data structures, common database or data sharing, real-time awareness – requiring significant time and resources. The benefits would be in the range of 20 to 30%.
“After this, the Optimisation phase is when the computer systems would automate, optimise the real-time work by artificial intelligence and machine learning. This would give a 10% increase over and above the previous stage,” he said,
“The third stage is Innovation, which could involve major business model changes like sharing warehouses, trucks, in general product as a service. This would give return of many times.”
The efficiency of the ports will show up as a direct correlation to the port throughput, Vardhan argued.
“Technology can help in many ways, right from scheduling the asset use, to monitoring its power usage, health parameters like vibration, temperature, before things would break down. Using machine learning for predictive maintenance improves uptime by at least 10%,” he said.

Global container port volumes forecast at 973m teu by 2023
Global container port demand is forecast to rise for the next five years with box throughput reaching 973m teu by 2023, though capacity expansion plans are likely to be muted, according to a latest analysis by Drewry.
The consultant has projected a global growth of 4.4% a year on average for the next five years in container port demand, lifting the world’s container port throughput from 784m teu in 2018 to 973m teu by 2023.
The latest five-year forecast is a far cry from the heady days of the 2000s when forecasts were around 9% growth per annum until the global financial crisis of 2007-08 brought this to a shuddering halt, Drewry noted.
Global container port capacity, on the other hand, is expected to increase approximately 2% a year, based on confirmed additions only. This is well below the projected demand growth and reflects the continued easing off from greenfield projects by investors over the last few years.
Consequently, average utilisation on a global level is forecast to increase from 70% in 2018 to 79% by 2023.
The sharpest upward swings on utilisation level is expected in Greater China and Southeast Asia, with the former hitting 100% by 2023.
“The previous very rapid pace of capacity expansion is on hold, with the focus instead being on consolidation of port and terminal ownership into large groups. This, plus the uncertainty about China’s international trade growth in the face of tariff wars and protectionism, suggests that the government is taking a cautious approach,” said Neil Davidson, Drewry’s senior analyst for ports and terminals.
At present, the world’s top seven terminal operators are PSA International, Hutchison Ports, China Cosco Shipping, DP World, APM Terminals, China Merchants Ports, and Terminal Investment Limited (TIL). They accounted for nearly 40% of global throughput in 2018.

(Source: Seatrade Maritime, Sea News, World Maritime News, Marine Link, VN MOT, Container Management, Vietnam Shipping Gazette)