Energiesnet.com01 30 2024
Nearly 1,700 seafarers abandoned in 132 cases reported to the International Labour Organization last year, while a China-controlled carrier looks to grab a slice of the high-risk, high-reward Red Sea route as ultra-large box tonnage migrates south prompting a rerouting of Asia-Europe trade.
THE International Transport Workers’ Federation reported a record 132 seafarer abandonment cases last year, with Panama, Palau and Cameroon the worst offending flag registries.
Cases were up 10% on 2022 when 119 cases were reported to the ITF, with at least seven over 2023 involving gas carriers and tankers engaged in Iranian oil and petroleum products trading, reported Lloyd’s List Intelligence’s principal analyst Michelle Wiese Bockmann.
Of the record 132 abandonment cases reported last year, 23 were flagged with Panama, 12 with Palau, 11 with Cameroon and eight with St Kitts and Nevis, figures show.
Some 1,676 seafarers contacted the ITF from abandoned vessels, with $10.9m in wages owed secured in 60 of the 132 vessels reported.
Almost all ultra-large box tonnage sailing round Cape of Good Hope
Ultra-large box tonnage serving the Asia-Europe trade route is now sailing almost exclusively round the Cape of Good Hope in response to Houthi attacks in the Red Sea, reported deputy editor Linton Nightingale.
A snapshot of vessel movements captured by Lloyd’s List Intelligence last week laid bare the dramatic shift in trade patterns that has emerged, highlighting the notable absence of ULCs, the predominant workhorses on the trunk east-west route, in the Red Sea and the convoy of vessels looping south round Africa.
This is in stark contrast to vessel movements captured in early December last year, when trade conditions were still relatively normal, with ULCs still dotted along the Red Sea route before embarking on their mass migration south.
Red Sea rerouting
Ultra-large box tonnage is sailing almost exclusively round the Cape of Good Hope in response to Houthi attacks on commercial shipping
Data from Lloyd’s List Intelligence shows Suez Canal transits by ultra-large containerships have also slowed to a mere trickle amid the exodus, which, in turn, has led to almost a complete rerouting of trade in little over a month.
Mysterious new Chinese carrier emerges to capitalise on risky Red Sea trades
A mysterious new carrier has set sail in the perilous Red Sea lanes, seeking to capitalise on the turbulence caused by the Houthi militia, according to Lloyd’s List sources.
The recently formed Chinese shipping company, Sea Legend Shipping, has swooped in to grab a slice of the high-risk, high-reward market by snapping up secondhand vessels last December, reported APAC editor Cichen Shen.
The new carrier appears aiming to fill the void left by mainstream carriers who retreated from the vital Asia-Europe route because of the escalating attacks on merchant ships off the coast of Yemen.
The table below shows the line’s latest schedule lists for seven vessels plying services from China via the Red Sea to Türkiye.
Sea Legend claims to provide “ultimate care for crew, cargo and vessel with high security level” for Red Sea transits. This includes escorts by the Chinese navy and private armed guards on board.
The company’s website suggests its ship SFT Turkey (IMO: 9238753) received protection from a naval vessel around December 26 while traversing the Bab el Mandeb Strait.
Multipurpose sector faces fleet replacement challenge
Newbuilding deliveries of multipurpose general cargo vessels dropped to their lowest level in two decades in 2023. Nevertheless, investment in new tonnage has begun to pick up, as the sector faces up to a need to replace ageing ships with more efficient vessels, reported markets editor Rob Willmington.
Prior to 2023, newbuilding investment was focused on larger tonnage, in particular for project cargo vessels. As such, more sophisticated vessels equipped with heavy lift gear will drive fleet growth for the multipurpose sector in 2024.
Total fleet growth across the sector (4,000 dwt – 40,000 dwt) was only around 1.5% for 2023, according to Lloyd’s List Intelligence data.
World’s first deepsea methanol-fuel boxship named Ane Maersk
Markets editor Rob Willmington reported on the ship naming ceremony, where 16,592 teu vessel Ane Maersk (IMO: 9948748) was named after Ane Maersk Mc-Kinney Uggla, chair of the AP Moller Foundation and AP Moller Holding, in a ceremony at the shipyard in Ulsan.
Maersk was the first shipowner to order dual-fuel methanol boxships, however, now as many as 143 such vessels have been contracted worldwide, including 25 ships from the Danish carrier, according to data tracked by Lloyd’s List.
Box freight rates turn a corner
Container spot freight rates appear to have peaked from recent highs and are now beginning to soften, according to data from the Shanghai Containerised Freight Index.
Containers editor James Baker reported how the SCFI’s index fell back 60 points, or 2.7% this week, the first fall since last November, when rates started their sharp ascent on the back of disruptions to Red Sea services.
Rates on Asia-Europe and Asia-Mediterranean trades, those most directly affected by the closure of the Red Sea routing, were down 5.6% and 4%, respectively and now stand at $2,861 per feu and $3,903 per feu.
On the US trades, rates rose again, but at a lower pace than in recent weeks.
lloydslist.com 01 29 2024