What We're Reading: Trendwatch Week 17

UK shipping sector wants assurance on four areas of concern over IMO 2020

April 23, 2019 - The International Maritime Organization has been urged to clarify four areas of IMO 2020, as carriers scramble for compliance with the forthcoming low-sulfur fuel limit. The “once-in-a-generation disruptor to shipping’s commercial environment” takes effect on 1 January 2020: a fuel sulfur content limit of 0.5%, down from 3.5% in some parts of the world, at some considerable cost to the industry.
Source: The Loadstar


Xi talks peace as China's Navy celebrates 70 Years

April 23, 2019 - Chinese President Xi Jinping called for concerted efforts to safeguard maritime peace and build a maritime community with a shared future on Tuesday during a multi-national naval event marking the 70th founding anniversary of the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) Navy. China pursues a national defense policy that is defensive in nature and champions new thinking on common, comprehensive, cooperative, and sustainable security, he said. "The peace-loving Chinese people long for peace and will unswervingly stay on the path of peaceful development." 
Source: Maritime Executive

Belt and road initiative: Indonesia, Malaysia rail projects may give China more deals

April 23, 2019 - In a rural part of Indonesia's Java island, two orange-clad workers confer in Mandarin over plans to lay tracks on a stretch of a US$6 billion high-speed rail project between the capital Jakarta and the textile hub of Bandung. Both are employees of the state-owned China Railway Engineering Corp (CREC), and have previously worked on a rail project in Uganda, another part of Beijing's sweeping multi-billion dollar "Belt and road" initiative (BRI) to connect China with Asia, Europe and beyond.
Source: The Business Times

Trade commission's much-anticipated USMCA report finds 'moderate' economic impact

April 18, 2019 - The United States Mexico and Canada (USMCA) agreement would have a "moderate" overall impact on the U.S. economy, according to a report from the International Trade Commission (ITC) released Thursday. The report simulated effects of the deal and found it would raise U.S. GDP by $68.2 billion or 0.35% and create 176,000 jobs. 
Source: Supply Chain Dive


Expanded Panama Canal sees 6000th neopanamax transit

April 23, 2019 - Less than three years since its opening, the Panama Canal has welcomed the 6,000th vessel transit. The milestone was achieved by Energy Liberty, a liquefied natural gas (LNG) carrier, which passed through the expanded waterway on April 23, 2019, Jorge L. Quijano, CEO of the Panama Canal Authority said on social media.
Source: World Maritime News

Autonomous shipping and the Arctic

April 22, 2019 - Autonomous shipping is about to become a fact of life, particularly in what is arguably the backbone of the global economy – the container industry. In a 2017 report, McKinsey and Company projects that “in 50 years, container ships will operate autonomously and will be nearly three times the size of the largest current vessels.” The global management consulting firm also predicts that the shake-out may leave only three or four liner companies, and that will operate “either as digitally enabled companies or as small units of tech giants.”
Source: American Journal of Transportation

First LNG ship-to-ship bunkering for “Wes Amelie” And “Kairos”

April 23, 2019 - On April 21st, 2019, the world’s first container ship retrofitted with a Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) engine, the “Wes Amelie”, received LNG through a ship-to-ship operation from the world’s largest LNG bunker supply vessel “Kairos”. The operation took place in the anchorage area in front of Visby, Sweden. The transfer of LNG between the two vessels marks an important step in several aspects, with “Wes Amelie” having received LNG for the first time from a bunker supply vessel and the Baltic Sea, in general, seeing the first ship-to-ship LNG bunker operation for a vessel of that kind.
Source: The Maritime Executive