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Thursday, 29 March 2018

Moore Stephens reports four-year high in shipping industry confidence

Moore Stephens reports four-year high in shipping industry confidence

Shipping confidence reached a four-year high in the three months to end-February 2018, according to the latest Shipping Confidence Survey from international accountant and shipping adviser Moore Stephens.

The average confidence level expressed by respondents was up from 6.2 out of 10.0 in November 2017 to 6.4 this time. Confidence on the part of owners was also at a four-year high, up from 6.4 to 6.6, while managers’ confidence was up too, from 6.1 to 6.4. The rating for charterers, however, continued its recent erratic performance – down to 5.0 from 7.7 in November 2017, but up on the 4.7 recorded in August 2017. Confidence on the part of brokers, meanwhile, was down from 6.3 to 6.1.

Confidence was up in Europe from 6.3 to 6.6, equalling the highest ever rating for this category of respondent in the life of the survey, which was launched in May 2008 with an average confidence rating across all respondents in all geographical areas of 6.8. Confidence was also up in Asia, from 5.7 to 6.3, and in North America, from 5.8 to 5.9.

The likelihood of respondents making a major investment or significant development over the next 12 months was up on the previous survey from 5.3 to 5.5 out of a maximum possible score of 10.0, its highest level since May 2014. Of note was the increased confidence of charterers (up from 6.2 to 6.8) and of managers (up from 5.3 to 5.6). Geographically, increased expectations of major investment were highest in Asia (up from 5.0 to 5.8).

The number of respondents who expected finance costs to increase over the coming year was up from 59% last time to 64%, the highest figure since May 2008 (66%). One respondent said, “Starting next year, the industry looks set to benefit from capacity reductions at shipyards, but the cost of funding will rise for most market participants.”

Demand trends, meanwhile, were cited by 24% of respondents as the factor expected to influence performance most significantly over the coming 12 months, followed by competition (19%) and finance costs (15%). According to one respondent, “The supply and demand equation will balance out in line with industry growth rate over the coming years.”

The number of respondents expecting higher freight rates over the next 12 months in the tanker market was down by five percentage points on the previous survey to 39%, whilst those expecting lower rates were unchanged at 13%. Meanwhile, there was a four percentage-point increase, to 54%, in the numbers anticipating higher rates in the dry bulk sector, accompanied by a four percentage-point fall to 8% in the numbers anticipating lower rates. In the container ship sector, there was a two percentage-point increase to 38% in the numbers expecting higher rates, and a three percentage-point fall, to 12%, in those anticipating lower rates.

One respondent said, “The shipping market is still characterised by high volatility and excess tonnage in most sectors, particularly bulk carriers and tankers, but there is cause for slight optimism.”

When asked to predict where per-barrel crude oil prices would be in 12 months’ time, 36% of respondents opted for the $60-$69 range, as opposed to 29% when the same question was posed in February 2017. The 19% of respondents who opted for the $50-$59 range was just half the 38% who did so last year, while 28% of respondents favoured the $70-$79 price range, as opposed to just 10% 12 months ago.

Richard Greiner, Moore Stephens partner, Shipping & Transport, says, “The volatile nature of the shipping industry dictates that optimism should be tempered with caution. But a four-year high in confidence must be welcomed as extremely good news.

“Shipping is more confident of making a major new investment over the next 12 months than at any time in almost four years, even though finance will probably be costlier to access in the year ahead. Net freight rate sentiment is positive in all main tonnage categories and, whilst slightly down in tankers, it increased both in the dry bulk and container ship trades.

“Familiar problems persist. Excess tonnage in many trades and insufficient demolition levels continue to perpetuate uncertainty, and freight rates are not yet at the levels required to turn promise into reality. In the wider world, the impact on shipping of continuing political unrest in the Middle East, the US President’s proposal to impose tariffs on US steel imports, and the response of other countries to this, remains to be seen. All of this serves to underline how vulnerable shipping is to geopolitical influences. But the industry must take heart from its proven durability. Confidence breeds confidence, and confidence breeds success.”

Moore Stephens LLP is noted for a number of industry specialisations and is widely acknowledged as a leading shipping, offshore maritime and transport & logistics adviser. Moore Stephens LLP is a member firm of Moore Stephens International Limited, one of the world's leading accounting and consulting associations, with 614 offices of independent member firms in 112 countries, employing 30,168 people and generating revenues in 2017 of $2.9 billion. www.moorestephens.co.uk/shipping-transport

For more information:
Richard Greiner
Moore Stephens LLP
Tel: +44 (0)20 7334 9191

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Wednesday, 14 March 2018

Liberian Registry, NAMEPA and ProSea launch environmental training program

The Liberian Registry, the North American Marine Environment Protection Association (NAMEPA), Netherlands-based ProSea Marine Education, and Maritime Training Services (MTS) of Seattle, Washington, have jointly developed a ground-breaking marine environmental awareness training program for seafarers and shoreside staff.

The computer-based training program provides a comprehensive overview of the complex and diverse marine environment, explaining how it is impacted by shipboard waste, discharge and spills, and by shipping generally. It also covers marine ecology, environmental compliance plans and management systems, sustainable shipping and the role of the human element in pollution prevention. In addition, it provides an overview of MARPOL regulations and other relevant IMO conventions, emphasizing the importance of regulatory compliance in general.

Christian Mollitor, vice-president of the Liberian International Ship & Corporate Registry (LISCR), the US-based manager of the Liberian Registry, says, “This program provides the training that seafarers and shoreside staff need in an era of strict environmental compliance and oversight.

“Environmental performance, regulatory compliance and safety awareness all play a vital role in the commercial success of every company engaged in the shipping industry. In keeping with its reputation as the most technologically advanced maritime administration in the world, and as part of its corporate social responsibility program, the Liberian Registry is delighted to have worked with NAMEPA, ProSea and MTS in producing this program, which provides a framework for individuals to take an active role in balancing economic prosperity, environmental quality and social awareness in the shipping industry.”

Joe Hughes, Chairman of NAMEPA, says, “This program is an excellent example of a successful collaboration to protect the marine environment. Leveraging the strengths of strong partners limits the adverse impact of shipping on the environment and is a powerful step in NAMEPA’s commitment to its mission to Save Our Seas.”

The marine environmental awareness training is suitable for use by those with a vested interest in protecting the marine environment, including all seafaring and port personnel and all office-based maritime industry staff. It is based on the IMO model course 1.38 and meets the requirements of STCW Chapter VI. Liberia will issue a special qualification (SQ) certificate in Basic Environmental Awareness to anyone who successfully completes the course and submits an application and training certificate. Seafarers will receive an SQ sticker for their Seafarer’s Identification & Record Books. Shoreside personnel and cruise ship crew will be issued an SQ card.

For more information, or to purchase copies, please contact publications@liscr.com
or visit www.liscr.com/CBT

The Liberian Registry has a long-established track record of combining the highest standards of safety for vessels and crews with the highest levels of responsive and innovative service to owners. Moreover, it has a well-deserved reputation for supporting international legislation designed to maintain and improve the safety and effectiveness of the shipping industry and protection of the marine environment. www.liscr.com

The North American Marine Environment Protection Association (NAMEPA) is a 10-year-old marine industry-led organization of environmental stewards preserving the marine environment by promoting sustainable marine industry best practice and educating seafarers, students and the public about the need and strategies for protecting global ocean, lake and river resources. Visit us at: www.namepa.net Media inquiries: Carleen Lyden Walker +203 255 4686 executivedirector@namepa.net

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Tuesday, 6 March 2018

Offshore Ship Designers presents new series of Ice Class vessel designs

Offshore Ship Designers (OSD) has unveiled a new series of Ice Class vessel designs, especially suited for marine services around the development of new arctic ports, terminals and offshore structures.

A prerequisite for this type of vessel, operating under arctic conditions, is the ability to deal with the presence of first-year or floating ice, cold conditions and less developed shore facilities. Apart from the ability of the vessels to perform their specific tasks, typical design requirements are increased strength, special installations for tank heating and winterization, high manoeuvrability and limited draft.

Development of this series of designs follows the extensive experience OSD has gained with the development of the shallow-draft anchor-handling tug supply vessels Arctic and Antarctic for Ark Shipping. Arctic and Antarctic were designed in close co-operation with the owner, have a Bureau Veritas 1A Ice Class Notation, and are fully equipped to operate in the challenging and extreme conditions of the Caspian Sea, where ice formation of around 80 cm during the winter period is not exceptional.

Herm Jan de Vries, technical manager at OSD, explains, “We have incorporated feedback from our clients into the designs. As such, the new OSD ice-class series is a response to identified market needs, covering a variety of tasks, such as supply of bulk and break cargo, towing, anchor handling, ice management, personnel transfer, environmental clean-up and safety/stand-by duties.

“In order to meet these diverse roles, the propulsion plant of the vessels can be adapted to suit the operational profile. Options include installation of controllable-pitch or fixed-pitch propellers, with or without nozzle, driven by a diesel direct, hybrid or full diesel electric power plant. The use of podded propellers is also possible. In this way, optimal performance can be achieved in various conditions such as maximum bollard pull, higher speed transfer duties, slow-speed duties for ice management or stand-by duties.”

The designs are available, as standard, in three different lengths at 50 m, 65 m and 80 m, and have a bollard pull ranging from 45 up to 70 tonnes.

Herm Jan de Vries says, “Due to the limited length and cargo capacities, the smaller design is best suited for towing and pushing, ice management and anchor handling duties. The middle design brings the best of both worlds, while the larger design is typically aimed at the supply function, having a large deck area and ample tank space below deck. However, it can also perform light construction and safety standby duties.”

Offshore Ship Designers specializes in newbuild design and basic engineering for a wide range of ship types, including tugs, workboats and vessels for the offshore, renewable energy, passenger transport, fishing and general cargo markets. Strategically located in Europe and Asia, its experienced teams provide a full range of consultancy, naval architecture and marine engineering services, including concept FEED studies, vessel refit and conversion, and structural and stability investigations.


For more information:
Merijn Brusselers
Offshore Ship Designers
+31 (0)255 54 50 70

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