Forecasting the Future

By MarEx 2015-09-08 15:50:45

Lloyd’s Register, QinetiQ and the University of Southampton are exploring what’s next for the shipping industry in a report titled Global Maritime Technology Trends (GMTT) 2030. As trade expands and technological innovation reshapes the industry, the report aims to aid business and policymakers to understand the future of shipping.

GMTT 2030 argues that the shape of the marine world in 2030 will depend on the interactions between peoples, economies and natural resources and examines a range of technologies with the potential to transform the maritime domain in the next 15 years. Specifically, the report identified 18 technologies with the greatest potential to be widely available and in demand by 2030.

Autonomous systems and robotics are among them: “A robot is capable of carrying out complex actions automatically. Assembly, collaboration with humans or machines, inspection, manipulation, and exploration are some examples of tasks that could be programmed into a robot,” the report states. Further, GMTT 2030 expects smart ships to be the industry standard in a decade and a half and anticipates that remote operations will soon be an industry norm.

The report does allow that while most of these advancements will improve shipping it could come at a cost:

“Technology, of course, is a double-edged sword and has the power to deliver great benefit, but can also introduce both direct and indirect threats to industries, states and economies. This needs to be considered alongside the discussion of each technology.”

Click here to read the full report.

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Chinese Shipping Companies Deny Merger Agreement

By MarEx 2015-09-08 15:33:51

Officials from Chinese Merchants Energy Shipping (CMES) and Sinotrans & CSC Group have denied reports of a merger between the two companies. In separate filings to the Shanghai Stock Exchange on September 8, the companies stated that their shareholders have not received any information about a merger.

According to reports, both CMES and Sinotrans have submitted inquiries to their parent companies to clarify the possibility of a merger.

In August 2014, CMES and Sinotrans formed a $1.1 billion joint venture named China VLCC. CMES owns 51 percent of the venture and Sinotrans the remaining 49.

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Financial Services Conglomerate Invests in Bharati

By MarEx 2015-09-08 15:23:26

Edelweiss Asset Reconstruction Company (ARC) has acquired 70 percent of India’s Bharati Shipyard’s debt as part of a plan to revive the struggling yard. While Bharati is about $800 million in debt, ARC is attracted to the yard’s strong order-book. Bharati has a backlog of more than 60 vessels and expects to complete 21 of them in the next 18 months. The 21 vessels are expected to generate more than $200 million in revenue.

Bharati Shipyard was once India’s second-largest private shipbuilder, but announced it had become a “sick firm” in late July. Shipping analysts attribute Bharati’s decline to its 2009 acquisition ofGreat Offshore Ltd oil services firm.

Bharati had set its sights on entering the lucrative business of supplying ships to the offshore oil industry and believed purchasing Great Offshore would help achieve that aim.

Great Offshore had a fleet of 41 vessels at the time, 16 of which were capable of servicing the deepwater oil exploration market, which commands premium charter rates. In addition, 14 of Great Offshore’s ships were built by Bharati.

But the offshore oil industry’s downturn dashed Bharati’s hopes, and the company is currently indebted to a consortium of 23 banks.

ARC is one of India’s leading financial services conglomerates. The company acquires non-performing assets from financial institutions and develops resolution strategies. ARC’s first move will be renaming the company Bharati Defence and Infrastructure to align with its proposed business plan to build warships for India’s navy.

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NewLead bullish on dry bulk

Greece’s NewLead Holdings will be looking for chartering opportunities in the dry bulk market as it attempts to grow its bulker fleet, according to the shipowner’s CEO.
In an 8 September announcement reviewing the commercial performance of its bulker Newlead Albion, NewLead chief Michael Zolotas
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Tanker rates get a boost

Divergence in refinery margins between the Atlantic and the Far East is driving both product and crude carrier freight rates, according to shipping analysts at Pareto Securities in Oslo.
Crude tanker rates started to move upwards last week, as product tankers fell back from the recent record high
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