Never again: The era of super returns has produced numbers we will never again see in our lifetime, according to the chief executive of German container shipping major Hapag-Lloyd. Rolf Habben Jansen said the phenomenal €5.1bn ($5.26bn) in profits that the carrier earned in the third quarter of the year are more likely to mark a watershed. With markets starting to normalise, Hapag-Lloyd is preparing for further freight rate falls, higher costs and incoming container ship capacity, raising the question of whether container markets are in for a ‘soft’ or a more damaging ‘hard’ landing.
Rongsheng return: Ex-Chinese shipbuilder Jiangsu Rongsheng Heavy Industries is apparently making a comeback. The Nantong-based yard was once China’s largest privately owned shipyard but the debt-laden yard exited the shipbuilding business in 2014 following the global financial crash. But this week it inked a letter of intent for 10 bulker newbuildings with Greek shipowner George Economou’s Cardiff Marine. Sources said that Rongsheng’s chief executive David Luan has been rehired to restart Rongsheng.
Dry bulk price slide: While trading in capesize bulkers remains active, recent deals and market price indices suggest values are continuing to slide for the biggest dry bulk vessels. At least three sale-and-purchase transactions for capesizes show continued falls since an upturn in prices peaked in May and June, followed by a slump over the summer that has market watchers wondering whether prices will decline further.
Fuel failure: As the COP27 climate meeting kicked off in Egypt this week, a report being discussed at the event has highlighted the failure of shipping companies to invest in alternative fuels and calls into question the credibility of the industry’s emissions-cutting targets. South Korean operator HMM emerged as the best prepared of the major shipping companies to cut carbon from its operations, but progress on hitting net-zero targets across the transport sector has been limited, warned the non-profit World Benchmarking Alliance.
Climate crosshairs: Climate change activists could target ships for arrest if owners fail to live up to commitments to cut greenhouse gas emissions, according to prominent maritime lawyers speaking at a recent seminar in London. With environmental-related litigation on the rise, pressure groups are likely to place the industry under ever-closer scrutiny and activists could target shipowners that have failed to make proper plans to cut emissions or have over-inflated claims about the steps they are taking, the seminar heard.
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