How IMO 2020 turned into the Y2K of ocean shipping

bulk ship with scrubbers

FreightWaves to shipping analyst: “So, we’re doing a follow-up story about IMO 2020 and scrubbers …” 

Analyst to FreightWaves: “Oh, Jesus.”

IMO 2020 is the Y2K of ocean shipping. After years of dire warnings on fallout to world trade — and dubious pitches on stocks poised to profit — the IMO 2020 regulation ended up being a damp squib. What went so wrong with all the forecasts? And is this story really over for vessel owners, cargo shippers and stock investors?

The short answers are “coronavirus”...


146 Mark Bell, General Manager, The Society for Gas as Marine Fuel

In episode 146 we meet Mark Bell, General Manager, The Society for Gas as Marine Fuel, and we speak about the fuels roadmap to 2030/2050 and what needs to be done now in order for us to achieve the goals set.

We cover a lot in this episode, bunker infrastructure, safety, alternative fuels, sulphur, carbon, regulations, engines – but also how to make the shipping industry more visible to the general public.

Mark is an engineer and he has been working for classification societies after he sailed...


Ocean carrier group seeks dray truckers’ chassis complaint dismissal

Federal Maritime Commission

A group of ocean carriers that has been accused of abusing its commercial position in how it secures container chassis wants a complaint brought before the U.S. Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) dismissed.

The American Trucking Associations’ Intermodal Motor Carriers Conference (IMCC) alleged in its Aug. 17 complaint to the FMC that the Ocean Carrier Equipment Management Association (OCEMA) and its 10 carrier members use “unjust and unreasonable” chassis provision model practices by “requiring...


Oil tankers face new normal amid pandemic and decarbonization drive

Platts spot freight rates 2020

The global tanker shipping industry is likely to find a new normal in the medium term, with sales of second-hand ships taking center stage while orders for newbuilds slow down.

Meanwhile, existing tanker companies may become bigger as ships change hands, or they may form pools to enable better bargaining with charterers, while shying away from ordering new ships.

Uncertainties over how and when the coronavirus pandemic will end are partly behind the new approach, but so is the higher use of...


Chinese container factories are now sold out until February


Watch the containers to see which way the economic winds will blow. How many are ordered, for when and for how much. And if you do, you’ll see that box demand is strong — not just through year-end, but into 2021. 

Three of the largest container-equipment lessors — Triton (NYSE: TRTN), Textainer (NYSE: TGH) and CAI International (CAI) — conducted virtual presentations for institutional investors over the past week, hosted by Keefe, Bruyette & Woods (KBW). Notes on those presentations provided...


Container rates are on fire. How can you invest in that?

container ship

Containers have wrestled the ocean-shipping headlines away from tankers and bulkers as stratospheric China-to-California box rates approach $4,000 per forty-foot equivalent unit (FEU). Container shipping, declares a glowing new report by Fearnleys Securities, is “The Unsung Hero.”

How can investors expose themselves to this historic trans-Pacific rate spike? Can box stocks woo tanker and bulker shareowners? And what do the curiously low prices of some container equities say about sentiment...


Investigator testifies Golden Ray violated stability regulations

A naval architect testified Tuesday that the Golden Ray’s ballast level was not compliant with stability regulations when the vehicle carrier capsized while departing the Port of Brunswick in September 2019. 

“If the vessel had kept the additional ballast on board that was discharged during the Freeport-to-Jacksonville voyage, this would have resulted in full compliance with the 2008 Intact Stability Code and likely would have prevented the capsize,” said Lt. Ian Oviatt of the U.S. Coast Guard...


COVID fears pummel already battered shipping stocks

stock exchange

The good news is that shipping stocks seem to be more leveraged to a post-COVID global recovery than most other equities. The bad news is that shipping stocks seem to be more leveraged to mid-COVID global fallout than most other equities.

Shipping stocks fell across the board on Monday on fears of just that. Yet again, shipping equities fell harder than the major indices. After an already painful year to date, shipping equities have yet to find a bottom.

“Capital for shipping is transient. Either...


Ports of Seattle, Tacoma foresee better volumes ahead

While volumes handled by the Northwest Seaport Alliance (NWSA) remain down year-over-year, the tide appears to be turning, according to CEO John Wolfe.

Wolfe said he was “encouraged” that total August volumes were down 13.8% year-over-year instead of the approximately 20% recorded in previous months.

The ports of Seattle and Tacoma handled a total of 276,407 twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs) in August.

“That still holds us at about 17.5% down over last year year-to-date August for the container...


Pilot radioed ‘I’m losing her’ as Golden Ray capsized

The pilot guiding the M/V Golden Ray out of St. Simons Sound recalled seeing “fear in the faces” of the crew as the car carrier capsized.

Port of Brunswick pilot Jonathan Tennant, represented by counsel, testified Friday during a hearing being conducted to determine the cause of the September 2019 capsizing of the roll-on/roll-off (ro-ro) vessel.

The hearing, which is scheduled to continue through Tuesday, is being conducted by the Coast Guard, National Transportation Safety Board, Republic of...