Long Beach Reports Consecutive Record Months

By MarEx 2015-09-10 14:30:28

Traffic at the Port of Long Beach continues to surge as container volumes set records in July and August at the 104-year-old port. Overall cargo volume grew by nearly 23 percent in August and 18 percent in July compared to the same months last year.

Cargo volume in August, measured by the number of containers moving through the port, reached 703,652 TEUs. The amount bested July’s total and showed that shippers are responding to recent improvements at the port. A combined 1,393,896 TEUs moved through the port in July and August.

Long Beach appears poised to overtake Los Angeles as the nation’s number one gateway for container traffic. In the first eight months of the year, volumes are up more than five percent compared to 2014. Meanwhile, traffic at the Port of Los Angeles has lagged in the past four months after enjoying near record volumes in March.

“As consumer confidence grows, the dollar strengthens and retailers stock shelves, the Port of Long Beach’s strategic partnerships continue to yield positive results,” the port said in a statement.


Nigeria Lifts Ban on 113 Tankers

By MarEx 2015-09-10 14:23:47

Nigeria has lifted a two-month ban on 113 tankers from operating in its sovereign waters.

In a statement, the state-owned Nigerian National Petroleum Corp. (NNPC) said: “The President has graciously approved the consideration of all incoming vessels into the Nigerian territorial waters subject to receipt of a Letter of Comfort from all terminal operators and off-takers of Nigerian oil and gas as a guarantee that nominated ships are free and will not be utilized for any illegal activity whatsoever.”

The NNPC imposed the ban on July 15 to curb alleged illegal shipping of crude out of the country. The tankers were prohibited from entering oil facilities and territorial waters.

Despite NNPC’s lifting the ban, the International Association of Independent Tanker Owners (INTERTANKO) continues to advise its members against taking any vessel on Nigeria’s list of banned tankers either into Nigeria or its 200-mile Exclusive Economic Zone.

In a statement, INTERTANKO said: “While some are interpreting this latest letter as a lifting of the ban, we continue to advise against trading to Nigeria any ship on the banned list. The penalties for any alleged contraventions of Nigerian law by these ships are draconian, including forfeiture of the ship and life imprisonment of the crew.”

INTERTANKO also added:

“This latest NNPC letter does represent something of a changeand may even suggest that all ships are now welcome in Nigeria provided a ‘letter of comfort’ is received. However, the language of the letter is vague and we do not believe it can be relied on by owners to clear the vessels on the banned list for trade to Nigeria.”


DryShips to wind down

DryShips has confirmed plans to sell its remaining fleet, with vessels yet again shifting to founder George Economou’s private account.
The NASDAQ-listed company has agreed to sell 17 of its 39 bulkers and their charter agreements to Economou for USD377 million, including assumption of USD236.7

US box imports continue to climb

Container business at America’s major box terminals continued a steady growth trend that began earlier in the year as US retailers head into the peak shipping season.
Overall import volume is expected to increase 1.2% to 1.61 million teu in September compared with September 2014, according to the

London Among Top Maritime Service Centers

By MarEx 2015-09-10 12:06:52

London has finished atop a listing of the of the world’s top maritime service centers in a report published by the Baltic Exchange and Xinhua, China’s news agency. Singapore ranked first overall list for its combined port and maritime services offering.

The International Shipping Centre Development Index (ISCD) covers 46 of the world’s largest ports and cities and is designed to bring clarity to investors and governments on the relative performance of shipping centres around the world.

London makes second place on the overall index, closely followed by Hong Kong. All three cities have large port facilities and support comprehensive maritime business service sectors. Shanghai has moved up to sixth place, overtaking Dubai. Tokyo has dropped out of the top ten with Athens taking its place at number ten.

Of the top ten global shipping centres, four are in Asia, four in Europe, one in the Middle East and one in the USA.

The report also provides a supplementary ranking, grading cities based solely on the breadth and depth of their maritime services sector. London tops this ranking, followed by Singapore, Hong Kong, Shanghai and Athens.

Commenting on the report’s findings during London International Shipping Week, Baltic Exchange Chief Executive Jeremy Penn said:

“Singapore and London have continued to thrive for many reasons not least because of their locations, experience, strong legal frameworks, tax frameworks and the ease of doing business. As an international shipping organisation with members all around the world, the Baltic finds this report useful for demonstrating to governments the important role that a successful shipping centre plays for any country. Ports and the professional maritime services sector are big employers bringing international revenues to national economies.”

The index is based on evaluations of the following criteria:

1) Maritime Services: Brokerage, Maritime Legal Services, Arbitration, Shipping Finance, Ship Management, Maritime Insurance, Ship Engineering, Ship Repairs.

2) Business Environment: Economic Freedom, Tariffs, Logistics Efficiency and Developed Infrastructure, Official Corruption / Transparency, National IT and Communications Development.

3) Port Conditions: Container and Commodity Cargo Volume, Port Depth, Container Berths, Number of Quay Cranes.

Click here for the full report.