Maritime News Update Week 35/2019


According to COSCO’s notice, AEU7 CSCL JUPITER of COSCO had a collision at TCTT - CAPMEP TCTT (VIETNAM) on 22nd, AUG evening. CSCL JUPITER was damaged, but no casualties and marine environmental pollution were caused. There is no damaging on all loaded cargoes. Vessel is expected to delay around one week due to temporary repairs. COSCO’s schedule recovery plan will be advised as soon as possible according to the progress of ship repair.


South Korean container shipping major Hyundai Merchant Marine (HMM) is expected to add some 34 ships to THE Alliance’s network in 2020, according to data provided by Alphaliner.

Citing deployment plans revealed earlier by HMM, the shipping analyst said that the company would add up to 519,000 TEU to the network once it joins THE Alliance as a full member on April 1, 2020.

Although the alliance members have not yet disclosed their new network plans for the next year, Alphaliner noted that the Korean carrier’s ships are expected to be deployed on the following routes:

– Asia – North Europe route, where twelve 23,000 TEU new buildings are scheduled for deployment from the second quarter of 2020;
– Asia – Med or Asia – US East Coast route would feature ten of the company’s 13,000 TEU ships, including three vessels currently chartered out to the 2M alliance;
– Asia – Pacific Southwest (USWC) route, where HMM would send six 10,000 TEU units, all of which are currently chartered out to the 2M;
– Asia – Pacific Northwest (USWC) route, where the company would deploy eight of its 8,600 TEU vessels.

Additionally, another eight HMM 15,000 TEU new buildings are expected to be deployed on the Asia – US East Coast route from the second quarter of 2021.

Alphaliner further said that HMM is expected to cooperate with THE Alliance partners on the Far East – Middle East routes, although its participation in the trade is to be downgraded from the 13,000 TEU scale to tonnage of 5,000 to 6,600 TEU.

Apart from the new buildings that the South Korean major would receive in 2020 and 2021, its fleet will be strengthened in April 2020 by redeliveries of nine 10,000 – 13,000 TEU ships currently (sub-)chartered out to Maersk and MSC.

The charters were among the conditions set for the 2M-HMM agreement that was signed in March 2017. It resulted in the withdrawal of HMM tonnage from the Far East – North Europe, Far East – Med and Far East – USEC routes.

The new arrangement with THE Alliance will allow HMM ships to return to the Far East – Med and Far East – USEC routes. At the same time, the carrier will be able to gradually replace the 5,000 TEU classic panamax ships that it started to send onto the Far East – North Europe route in 2018, with 23,000 TEU giants as of April 2020.



MSC has successfully loaded a first-time shipment of table grapes from Spain to Vietnam. The grapes were loaded in Murcia in collaboration with the transport company Mosca Marítimo, using Cold Treatment (CT) protocol. MSC is the leading carrier applying Cold Treatment in the Spanish market and the first company to ship table grapes from Spain to Vietnam.

Cold Treatment procedure is a chemical-free way to eliminate pests in fresh fruit that might damage the biodiversity and agricultural industries of importing countries. During CT process the fruit is maintained at a specific temperature for a set period of time. This can vary depending on the type of fruit and the country of origin. 

Our 1,000+ reefer cargo transport specialists are available 24/7 to help customers with their transportation needs. In addition, we have developed a strong service offering and built one of the largest and most modern reefer container fleets in the world.

MSC continues to invest in the latest reefer technologies to ensure we offer our customers the optimal transport conditions for their perishable cargo. We offer sophisticated, advanced reefer technology to help exporters to reach faraway destinations and open new markets in countries demanding Spanish products.



MSC Mediterranean Shipping Company today announced that MSC Gülsün, the world’s largest container ship, has arrived in Europe after completing its landmark maiden voyage from the north of China.

MSC Gülsün is the first of a new class of 23,000+ TEU* vessels to be added in 2019-2020 to the global shipping network of MSC, a world leader in transportation and logistics.

Built at the Samsung Heavy Industries (SHI) Geoje shipyard in South Korea, MSC Gülsün sets a new standard in container shipping, in particular in terms of environmental performance.

At some 400 metres long and more than 60 metres wide, MSC Gülsün has a record-size capacity for a container ship: 23,756 TEU. Bigger ships generally emit less CO2 per container carried, helping companies which move goods on MSC’s services between Asia and Europe to lower the carbon footprint of their supply chains.

As a family-owned group with a strong maritime heritage, MSC is confirming its commitment to investing in the world’s largest and busiest trade lanes with the arrival of MSC Gülsün and the 10 other ships in the pipeline in this class.

The vessel is equipped with more than 2,000 refrigerated containers, boosting the trade of food, drink, pharmaceutical and other chilled and frozen items between Asia and Europe.

Innovative engineering

This new class has been designed with a wide range of environmental, efficiency, stability and safety matters in mind.

MSC Gülsün features a remarkable approach to energy efficiency with the shape of the bow designed to enhance energy efficiency by reducing hull resistance. State-of-the-art engineering minimises wind resistance, resulting in lower fuel consumption.

Ocean container shipping is already one of the most environmentally friendly forms of cargo transportation, producing lower CO2 emissions per unit carried than other forms of freight transportation such as planes, trains, trucks or barges.

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.

To comply with an upcoming marine fuel regulation in 2020, the ship is also equipped with a UN IMO-approved hybrid Exhaust Gas Cleaning System and has the option of switching to low-Sulphur fuel, or to be adapted for liquefied natural gas (LNG) in the future.

Safety first

Ensuring crew and cargo safety is MSC’s No. 1 priority. This new class of ships are equipped with double hull protection around the engine, as well as a 3D hull condition assessment program. A new dual-tower fire-fighting system with high-capacity pumps has been installed to further enhance the safety of seafarers onboard and protect cargo carried across the whole deck of the ship. 

MSC Gülsün together with her 10 sister ships are also all designed to meet the next steps in digital shipping. Enabling fast data transmission to shore and connection for smart containers help make the shipping experience more transparent, safe and reliable for our customers.

SHI will deliver six of the new class of ships, while Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering (DSME) is constructing the other five, also in South Korea.



Singapore’s container shipping company Pacific International Lines (PIL) has obtained the Environmental Ship Index (ESI) certification for its fleet comprised of about half a million TEUs.

As explained, this is a major milestone for the ship owner and operator ahead of the transition towards the International Maritime Organization (IMO) sulphur cap 2020 from January 1 next year.

ESI certification is an ongoing initiative by the World Ports Sustainability Program (WPSP) and is a voluntary program for ship owners to enroll their vessels – attesting that their vessels exceed the basic standard set by the IMO.

To qualify for the certification, vessels have to demonstrate that their emission level of nitrogen oxide (NOx), sulphur oxide (SOx) and carbon oxide (CO2) is well below what is allowed by the IMO. This is an indicator of the environmental performance of the ocean-going vessels and is aimed at encouraging the adoption of green ships.

Back in 2017, the International Association for Ports and Harbours (IAPH) set up WPSP with the aim of enhancing and coordinating future sustainability efforts of ports worldwide as well as fostering international cooperation with partners in the supply chain.

“Sustainability will remain a key part of how we conduct our business and we take protecting our maritime and port environment very seriously. We are doing this not just for ourselves but for the next generation who will be inheriting this earth from us,” Teo Siong Seng, Executive Chairman and MD of PIL, commented.

“PIL is proud to be part of the program and we will continue to engage with business, governmental and societal stakeholders to create sustainable value-add to the local communities and beyond,” he added.

PIL owns and operates with a fleet of around 150 container and multipurpose vessels, serving over 500 locations in 100 countries.



The company carried 731,000 TEUs, 5.3% fewer than in the same period last year, but still the second highest quarterly volume in its history.

ZIM Integrated Shipping Services reported a net profit in the second quarter of 2019 of $5.1 million, compared to a $33.2 million net loss in the second quarter of 2018.

Eli Glickman, the president and chief executive officer of the Israel-based carrier, said, “ZIM’s results for the first six months of 2019 are encouraging. We can now clearly see the benefits of our long-term strategy, specifically the operational cooperation with the 2M Alliance, recently expanded to a fourth trade.”

Adjusted earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) in the second quarter were $38.7 million in the second quarter this year, compared to a negative adjusted EBIT of $3.1 million in the second quarter of 2018.

Adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) were $94.4 million in the second quarter of 2019, compared to $24.3 million in the second quarter of 2018.

ZIM cautioned, however, that the comparability of results this year and last year is limited because as of Jan. 1, it is applying the IFRS 16 accounting standard for leases. That results “in a reduction in the company’s lease expenses, along with an increase in its depreciation expenses and interest expenses.” In addition, this year the company “includes its share of profit of associates as part of its results from operating activities (EBIT).”

Total revenues in the second quarter of 2019 were $834.3 million, reflecting an increase of 3.9% over the $803.2 million recorded in the second quarter of 2018.

ZIM carried 731,000 TEUs in the second quarter. That was 5.3% less than in the second quarter of 2018, when the company had an all-time record of 772,000 TEUs, but it was still the second-best quarter ever for ZIM.

Glickman said, “In addition to the positive bottom line delivered this quarter, ZIM recorded a meaningful improvement in all parameters and continues to be a top performer in the shipping industry in terms of adjusted EBIT margin.”

He said the company “will double down on our efforts to strengthen our competitive position by growing with our partners, upgrading our customer service, while driving relentless cost management and striving for commercial and business excellence. This is all the more relevant in light of the uncertainties lying ahead for the industry, mainly the USA-related trade restrictions and the upcoming implementation of the IMO 2020 regulation.”

In September 2018, Zim began sharing space with the 2M Alliance of Maersk and Mediterranean Shipping Company on services between ports in Asia and the U.S. East Coast. During the first quarter of this year, that cooperation was expanded on routes connecting Asia with ports in the East Mediterranean, as well as Asia and the Pacific Northwest — Seattle/Tacoma, and the British Columbia ports of Vancouver and Prince Rupert.

This month ZIM and the 2M Alliance began cooperating on services between Asia and ports on the U.S. Gulf — Houston, Mobile and Tampa — as well as Miami.



A.P. Moller – Maersk delivers a 17% increase in earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) to USD 1.4 bn in Q2 compared to the same quarter last year. Revenue grew slightly to USD 9.6bn, which is on par with last year, and the underlying profit increased to USD 134m from USD 15m in Q2 2018. 

“Q2 was a quarter of solid progress. EBITDA was up 17% and cash flow improved 86% year on year, driven by continued recovery in Ocean,” says Søren Skou, CEO of A.P. Moller – Maersk.  

On the back of the increases in volume and freight rates, Ocean EBITDA in Q2 increased 25% to USD 1.1bn. The Ocean business continued to recover with enhanced unit cost, utilization and reliability and revenue grew 2.9% to USD 7.2bn compared to Q2 2018. 

Revenue in Terminals & Towage grew 13% to USD 957m compared to Q2 last year. In gateway terminals, volume in Q2 grew by 8.5% compared to last year, leading to higher utilization. EBITDA increased by 11%, partly offset by one-off items. 

In Logistics & Services EBITDA grew to USD 61m in Q2 compared to USD 52m in the same quarter last year. Revenue was at USD 1.5bn, positively impacted by increased revenue in supply chain management, but offset by declining revenue from sea and air freight forwarding.

In Q2, A.P. Moller - Maersk distributed USD 615m in cash to shareholders through an ordinary dividend of USD 469m and USD 146m related to the first phase of the share buy-back program announced in May 2019 of DKK 10bn (around USD 1.5bn) over a period of up to 15 months.

Progressing well on transformation

During the first half of 2019, A. P. Moller – Maersk formed one sales organisation. Its focus is now on giving customers an integrated experience and offering them even more products, thus improving the financial results across the business and accelerating the transformation. 

“The transformation progressed further with an improved cash return on invested capital of 6.9% and synergies of USD 1bn realized earlier than expected. Growth in revenue and gross profit in Logistics & Services still need to improve as we continue to build capabilities within logistics and services,” Skou elaborates. 

The latest example of a digital innovation to improve customer experience is Maersk Spot, which simplifies the buying process and offers increased visibility and reliability by enabling customers to search and get competitive rates online, while ensuring cargo gets on board the selected vessel. TradeLens, the blockchain platform developed together with IBM, also progressed with several new commitments from carriers and port authorities during the quarter. 

Guidance for 2019 

While EBITDA for the first half year improved by USD 500m to USD 2.6bn, A.P. Moller - Maersk reiterates it’s full-year guidance for 2019 of an EBITDA of around USD 5.0bn including effects from IFRS 16. 

“We reaffirm our guidance for 2019, while the macro environment continues to be subject to considerable uncertainties,” says Skou. 

The guidance continues to be subject to considerable uncertainties due to the weaker macroeconomic conditions and other external factors impacting container freight rates, bunker prices and foreign exchange rates. 

Please see downloads below for Highlights Q2 2019 and Sensitivity Guidance Q2 2019.



French shipping major CMA CGM has decided that none of its 500 vessels will use the Northern Sea Route along Siberia, which is now open due to climate change.

Additionally, the company said it would give priority to liquefied natural gas (LNG) to power its future ships in order to further protect the environment.

 “With this decision, CMA CGM makes the resolute choice to protect the environment and the planet’s biodiversity despite the major competitive advantage this route represents for shipping companies,” Rodolphe Saadé, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the CMA CGM Group, said.

The decisions were to be presented at the G7 meeting taking place at Biarritz, France, from August 24-26.

The Northern Sea Route, which runs the length of the Siberian Coast, connects Asia to Europe today. The route has been made navigable due to the effects of global warming.

 “The use of the Northern Sea Route will represent a significant danger to the unique natural ecosystems of this part of the world, mainly due to the numerous threats posed by accidents, oil pollution or collisions with marine wildlife,” according to CMA CGM.

Furthermore, the company explained that today LNG offers the best proven solution available to significantly reduce the environmental footprint of maritime transport. The use of LNG reduces emissions of sulphur and fine particles by 99%, nitrogen oxides emissions by 85% and carbon dioxide emissions by up to 20%.

CMA CGM would use LNG to power its ultra-large ships that are designed to carry up to 23,000 containers. The first ship in this fleet of nine container vessels are scheduled for delivery as early as 2020. By 2022, the company will have 20 LNG-powered vessels in its fleet.

The shipowner added that it continues research into other energy sources after a successful test of biofuel oil at port of Rotterdam aboard the 5,095 TEU containership CMA CGM White Shark in March 2019. CMA CGM is also establishing research partnerships to develop hydrogen as a potential long-term energy solution.

During the meeting, Saadé is to deliver to the President of France, Emmanuel Macron, on behalf of the maritime industry, the SAILS (Sustainable Actions for Innovative and Low-impact Shipping) Charter, formalized on the initiative of the Ministry for the Ecological and Inclusive Transition.

Through this charter, ten French signatory shipping companies, including Brittany Ferries, CMA CGM, Corsica ferries, Corsica Linea, Express des îles, Jifmar, La Méridionale, LDA, Orange Marine, PONANT, all members of Armateurs de France, commit to implementing specific actions in the reduction of emissions of air pollutants and greenhouse gases, whale protection, vessel energy optimization and performance, and strengthening of relations with the scientific community.

Between 2005 and 2015, the group reduced its CO2 emissions per container transported by 50% and has a target to further reduce these emissions by a further 30% by 2025.

“We make these decisions for the future, to leave our children a cleaner planet,” Saadé said, inviting the entire industry, competitors, partners and customers, “to join us.”

(Source: World Maritime News, American Shipper, MSC Website, Maersk Website, Cosco Website)