A failure to follow recommended maintenance procedures, or possibly a perceived shortcut in the process, is believed to have caused a fire that resulted in $1.2 million in damage and disabled a 46,700 dwt product tanker while she was maneuvering within the confines of a shipping channel. The National Transportation Safety Board issued a report highlighting how a maintenance error was likely the cause of a preventable casualty, but that the fast response and appropriate actions of the crew prevented more damage or injuries.
The NTSB used this instance to highlight the consequences of a crew’s actions. They report that they have investigated several recent casualties involving mechanical or fuel line fitting failures that led to engine fires following the maintenance of shipboard diesel engines. The report concludes that the fire that occurred in April 2022 aboard the Malta-flagged Endo Breeze “shows what can happen when equipment manufacturers’ recommended maintenance procedures are not followed.”
The 600-foot product tanker was departing the Sunoco Terminal in Linden, New Jersey on April 29, 2022. Approximately two hours after leaving the berth and navigating around Staten Island, the bridge ordered full ahead on the engines. At around the same time, the second and fourth engineers who were making a round in the engine room smelled fuel oil and saw a haze in the air near the starboard main diesel engine. The spotted fuel oil on the deck and a fuel mist coming from the aft end of the engine.
Within approximately two minutes, they noted that the leak had turned into a fire near cylinder no. 4 on the starboard engine and the fire was quickly spreading. The engine room space and control room were evacuated while the second engineer secured all ventilation, pumps, fuel and oil values, and some auxiliary machinery. The vessel lost main power going on to its emergency generator and the engine room’s fixed carbon dioxide fire extinguisher system was employed. The tanker made an emergency anchorage in the Raritan Bay Channel. It would be two days before the New York Fire Department would give the all-clear that the crew could re-enter the engine room with the danger of a reflash.
During its investigation, the NTSB discovered that the second engineer, aided by a motorman and wiper, performed maintenance the previous day on the starboard main engine which included replacing fuel injectors and fuel injector pumps. The second engineer told the NTSB he had experience conducting this type of maintenance and followed the recommended procedures including for the reassembly. He replaced consumable items and reused prescribed parts including the banjo tube and bolts that were found to be in good condition. He also reported testing the engine at the end of the process and found no leaks. In conducting a post-casualty examination, however, the NTSB found a slight offset, resulting in misalignment to the fuel injector pump and a fracture near the top portion of the inboard side of the banjo tube mounting surface to the sealing flange.
Ruling out other issues with the parts, the NTSB writes it is likely the engineer did not correctly follow the manufacturer’s reassembly procedure for the fuel injector pump. It specified an order of steps and points such as the torque settings. The report concludes that when the engine was fully loaded with a full-ahead order, the expanded stress due to heath and the slight misalignment caused the banjo tube to fracture resulting in the leak that caused the fire.
“In this case, not following the tightening sequence described in the diesel engine manufacturer’s manual led to the misalignment and failure of a high-pressure fuel connection on an engine’s fuel injector pump’s assembly,” the report concludes. “Due to the high risk of fire associated with pressurized fuel, when working with diesel engine components, it’s critical to carefully follow manufacturer assembly procedures and review manufacturer manuals and guidance on a regular basis to ensure familiarity with correct maintenance procedures.”
The NTSB report also emphasized the need for training to prevent and contain engine room fires. The crew’s effective response to the fire aboard the Endo Breeze they concluded limited the damage and prevented injuries.
The CEOs of five of the world’s largest shipping companies took the unusual step of joining together to outline a shared vision to accelerate the decarbonization of the global maritime industry. Timed to the conclusion of the UN’s COP 28 conference in Dubai, the executives of CMA CGM, Maersk, MSC, Hapag, and Wallenius Wilhelmsen called for cooperation including an alliance with the International Maritime Organization and the definitive regulatory measures needed to create the investment conditions critical to accelerating the industry’s green transition.
As four of the largest container shipping companies, along with the leader in vehicle logistics, each of the companies highlights that they have taken steps to drive the transition. They are investing in efforts within their fleets and reiterating their belief that the importance of shipping achieving the IMO’s greenhouse gas targets is very clear.
“A crucial next step is to introduce regulatory conditions which ensure that we create the most greenhouse gas emission reductions per invested dollar,” said Vincent Clerc, CEO of A.P. Moller – Maersk. “The momentum for green fuel is building and we are pleased to see strong partnerships across the industry as we continue our joint efforts of making decarbonization in shipping successful.”
As frontrunners, the CEOs are convinced that even closer collaboration with IMO regulators will produce the effective and concrete policy measures needed to underpin the investment within maritime shipping and its ancillary industries that will enable decarbonization to occur at the pace required. Their joint declaration calls for the establishment of regulatory cornerstones to ensure the next steps for the industry and support the transition.
Soren Toft, Chief Executive Officer of MSC Mediterranean Shipping highlights the belief that the shipping industry is at the forefront of technological innovation when it comes to decarbonization. He added, “The support of governments across the world will be an essential element to reach our common goal.”
The headline grabber from the executives is a call to set an end date for the new building of fossil fuel-only vessels and a clear GHG Intensity Standard timeline to inspire investment confidence for new construction and the required fuel infrastructure. They however are also calling for vessel pooling in regulatory compliance so that the performance of a group of vessels could count instead of only individual new builds.
“We believe that a regulatory framework and clear targets are crucial to accelerating the introduction of alternative fuels and reducing our carbon footprint,” said Rolf Habben Jansen, CEO of Hapag Lloyd.
Asserting that regulation can play a key role in mitigating the cost of the green transition, the CEOs are also endorsing a global maritime GHG pricing mechanism with “predictable pricing,” which they said could be used to build incentives for energy efficiency. To reduce the price gap between fossil fuel and sustainable marine fuels they are also calling for a pricing mechanism to level the field. They called for distributing the premium for green fuels across all the fossil fuels and suggested the “green balance fee” should go to an RD&D fund and investments in developing countries.
Rodolphe Saade, Chairman and CEO of CMA CGM Group agreed that the program sets ambitious milestones saying that the industry should reach the upper targets of the IMO trajectory. Speaking for the coalition he also called for others to follow them and join in the efforts to accelerate decarbonization.
The tectonic plates of world trade are shifting. Southeast Asia’s replacement of China as the world’s manufacturing powerhouse has enormous implications for international shipping routes, ports, and supply chains – particularly in the U.S. Complicating this gradual redrawing of shipping trade routes are new environmental policies, increased climate risks, and the need to accommodate an emerging generation of supercarriers. Ports on both U.S. seaboards are already reacting and as with any upheaval, there will be winners and losers.
During the past few decades, U.S. West Coast (USWC) ports enjoyed a greater share of U.S. trade than their Atlantic Coast rivals. This was due to the dominance of China as Asia’s premier manufacturing hub. However, a gradual shift towards US East Coast Ports (USEC) started in 2006, helped by the expansion of the Panama Canal to accommodate vessels of 14,000 twenty-foot container equivalent units (TEU). During this period, traffic to USWC consolidated around the ports of Vancouver and Los Angeles/Long Beach, which together account for around 75 percent of all USWC container traffic.
Last year, the freight handled by USEC ports pipped the USWC by 46 percent to 45 percent. This trend is likely to continue. The route from Southeast Asia – particularly from India which now counts the US as its largest trading partner – is shorter and faster using the Suez Canal-Atlantic route. Furthermore, the Suez Canal can accommodate the large 24,000 TEU supercarriers built to realize economies of scale and lower costs. Also, unlike the Panama Canal, the Suez Canal has so far been unaffected by climate change.
Problems in Panama
By contrast, the Panama Canal is suffering from the worst drought conditions in 73 years. And the long-term prognosis is not exactly rosy either. According to scientists, El Niño, the cyclical warming of ocean water in the equatorial Pacific, is being exacerbated by man-made climate change.
The drop in the canal’s water level caused the Panama Canal Authority (PCA) earlier in the year to impose a 20% draft restriction on vessels and reduce the number of daily crossings. The resulting costly delays and lower volumes show no signs of abating with the PCA saying that it “aims to maintain a maximum draft of 44ft or 13.4m through the remainder of the current year and part of 2024.” Worse still, the number of daily crossings will also be reduced further until February 2024.
In August, the number of daily went from 36 to 32. It will reduce to as few as 18 by February 1, 2024. Consequently, desperate shippers are bidding feverishly for the two daily vacant crossing times the PCA puts to auction. On 8 November, Japan’s Eneos Group made a record queue-jumping bid of $3.97 million, more than $1 million more than the previous top bid of $2.85 million made in October. By comparison, the normal crossing fee is around $900,000.
While climate woes impacting the Panama Canal should further benefit the Suez Canal, concerns over regional tensions escalating and a repeat of the disastrous Ever Green u-turn linger long in the minds of insurers. Neither are champagne corks popping just yet for the USEC ports. The looming overcapacity in the container industry will drive shipping companies to deploy larger vessels on longer routes, such as through the Suez Canal, which can absorb more tonnage. Yet, unlike their larger USWC and European counterparts, no port on the USEC can accommodate the new 24,000 TEU supercarriers.
U.S. ports play catch-up
This growing size/capacity of container carriers is nothing new. Vessels too large to go through the Panama Canal – those at 14,000+ TEU – already represent 14% of the total fleet and a significant 26 percent of future orders.
Not surprisingly, USEC ports are scrambling to dredge and invest in infrastructure to compete for a lucrative part of the Southeast Asia-Suez-Atlantic pie.
The Port of Savannah, Georgia is deepening its channel to up to 52ft (15.85m) so that it can handle 22,000 TEU vessels. The Port of Charleston did the same last year, and the Port of Norfolk Virginia will dredge to 55ft feet (16.76m) by 2024 to provide two-way traffic for the largest supercarriers
Finally, another feather in the cap of USEC ports is that they have enjoyed longer periods without serious labor disputes than their West Coast rivals, although this may be put to the test when new contracts are up for negotiation.
This rebalancing of international trade routes to the US is nothing new and will no doubt happen again. Presently, the pendulum swings in favor of the USEC ports and the Suez Canal.
For now, the unpredictability of the Gulf region and the threat of climate change are the most pressing concerns. The latter must not be lost on policymakers gathering later this month at COP28 in Dubai, for a world without a functional Panama Canal is almost unthinkable.
Jolke Helbing is a director at the international engineering consultancy at Royal HaskoningDHV. He is an expert in the port and shipping industry with a strong record in consulting on the development of high-performance port operations. Jolke has an MSc in Civil Engineering from the Delft University of Technology.
Like the legendary “Flying Dutchman,” a product tanker thought lost in the Philippines two weeks ago washed ashore today, December 1, hundreds of miles away in Vietnam. The Provincial Board Guard Command was puzzled by an uncrewed vessel grounding on its coastline.
The authorities were investigating reports of a large vessel drifting off the coast of Cu Lao Cham island located offshore from Da Nang on the central Vietnamese coast. The vessel appeared abandoned and was driven onto the rocky coast by strong waves. The bow of the vessel was damaged by the grounding, and it became lodged along the coastline.
The Vietnamese Boarder Guard however reported it was impossible to board the vessel because of its position and the strong waves. They were able to identify the vessel as the King Rich, a 132 meter (433 foot) long product tanker registered in Sierra Leone. Other than the damage to the bow during the grounding, the 13,925 dwt vessel however appears to be in good condition.
“Currently, there are no crewmembers aboard the King Rich vessel, and we have not yet ascertained the remaining cargo and fuel on the ship. Authorities are actively implementing surveillance and protection measures to restrict public access to the ship,” the leadership of the Border Guard Command of Quang Nam Province reported.
The previously reported position of the King Rich was on November 18, approximately 80 nautical miles from Badoc Island, in the Philippines, nearly 1,000 miles away from Vietnam near the Philippine island of Luzon.
The 13 Indonesian and three Chinese crewmembers aboard the King Rich abandoned ship on November 18 reporting that the ship’s propeller shaft had broken, and it was taking on water. They later told the Philippines Coast Guard that they had secured the engine and fuel tanks before getting into the life rafts. The Coast Guard congratulated a Hong Kong-registered containership for its quick action in rescuing the crew.
Two days after the vessel was abandoned, the Philippine Coast Guard overflew the area and reported the ship was still afloat. They had ordered the owner to make arrangements to tow the vessel before it was lost.
Eleven days later, the King Rich grounded in Vietnam apparently having drifted in a southwesterly direction across the width of the South China Sea.
It is the second incident this week when an unmanned vessel washed ashore. South Korea was faced with a mystery when a small, Chinese-registered vessel was found abandoned and sinking on its coast. The Chinese owner of the vessel reported that the vessel had washed away from an anchorage in Shandong Province, while the Koreans were also checking to make sure the vessel was not conducting illegal activities or being purposefully sunk for an insurance claim.
The joint EU-sponsored force responsible for maritime security along the East African coast including Somalia reports that it has tracked and provided details to the Somali police forces for follow-up on the recent security incident. First reported a week ago, the disappearance of a fishing boat raised fears of new piracy activity in the northwestern Indian Ocean off Somalia and came days before the assault on the tanker Central Park, which the U.S. blamed on pirates.
Media reports in Somalia last week highlighted the seizure of the ALMERAJ 1 possibly as a stateless vessel involved in illegal fishing activities. The report said that pirates had seized the fishing dhow and were demanding $400,000 in ransom while threatening to use the vessel as a mother ship for additional assaults on commercial shipping.
The European Union Naval Force Operation (EUNAVFOR) ATALANTA which monitors shipping to maintain security in the region reports it was informed of the incident on November 22 by the commander of the Somali Coast Guard. EUNAVFOR began investigating the reports of an abduction of what they are calling an Iranian-flagged fishing dhow off the coast of Eyl (Puntland, Somalia).
Operation ATALANTA monitored the dhow closely for more than 230 nautical miles away from the coast of Somalia. This included the deployment of an unarmed drone and the involvement of the EU embassy in Mogadishu and the Somali authorities. An Italian and a Spanish warship are currently deployed to the area of operation for Operation ATALANTA.
EUNAVFOR reports tracking the vessel including through the use of a drone (EUNAVFOR)
“Ultimately, having also lost its two towed skiffs in adverse weather, ALMERAJ 1 reversed course toward the Puntland coast and reached the Somalia territorial waters,” reports the command of the EU operation. After being closely monitored by ATALANTA units, they communicated its last known position to the Somali police forces. “Eventually, Somali police forces took over the escort to shore, and for following actions with regard to the suspected pirates.”
EUNAVFOR reports that the last piracy incident in the region took place in 2019. The operation remains vigilant to any maritime security events in its area. They also strongly recommend merchant and other vulnerable vessels register in the Maritime Security Centre – Horn of Africa’s Voluntary Registration Scheme, to provide the most effective monitoring and response by ATALANTA forces and their partners in countering maritime security threats.
Operations and the registration requirements transitioned to a voluntary basis after the successful efforts reduced the risk and ended the frequent actions against merchant ships in the region. However, with renewed tensions across the region, the U.S. and UK issued new security warnings this week for all ships operating in the areas ranging from the Gulf of Aden, the Indian Ocean, and the Persian Gulf.
For the third time in seven weeks, the U.S. Department of Treasury’s Office of Foreign Asset Control (OFAC) has imposed sanctions targeting the trade in Russian oil. It is reported to be part of a concerted campaign that is beginning to affect the Russian oil trade and causing some shipping companies to reconsider their business transporting Russian oil.
“Enforcement of the price cap on Russian oil is a top priority for the United States and our coalition partners,” said Deputy Secretary of the Treasury Wally Adeyemo in a statement issued today, December 1, outlining the latest actions. “By targeting these companies and their ships, we are upholding the dual goals of the price cap by restricting Russia’s profits from oil while promoting stable global energy markets.”
There have been numerous reports that the price of $60 a barrel launched a year ago has had little effect on the trade which has continued to flourish and grow. S&P Global Maritime Intelligence in a recent report calculated that there were over 432 ship-to-ship transfers of Russian oil in the third quarter up from basically none at the start of 2022 before the Ukraine war. They reported that the price of Russia’s main crude export has risen from $52 in June to nearly $80 in September well exceeding the price cap.
Today’s action by OFAC imposed sanctions on three shipping companies and designated three more tankers as blocked property. This follows the first round of actions launched on October 12 which blocked two crude oil tankers and a second round of sanctions on November 16 which also targeted three tankers indirectly associated with Russia’s Sovcomflot.
“The vessels NS Champion, Viktor Bakaev, and HS Atlantica carried Russian Urals crude oil priced above $70 per barrel after the crude oil price cap took effect. The NS Champion, Viktor Bakaev, and HS Atlantica used U.S.-person services while transporting the Russian-origin crude oil,” the U.S. stated in the announcement.
The NS Champion (110,000 dwt) built in 2005 and the Viktor Bakaev (118,175 dwt) built in 2013 have both been previously managed by SCF but are now listed as run by UAE-based Sterling Shipping and Streymoy Shipping, which were each sanctioned for the price cap violations. Both vessels are registered in Liberia. Also designated is the HS Atlantica (114,896 dwt) built in 2006. It is managed and registered in Liberia and management in India.
U.S. officials said that the actions were taken because the vessels used Price Cap Coalition services while carrying Russian crude oil about the coalition-agreed price cap. They highlighted the action as once again demonstrating Treasury’s commitment, alongside its coalition partners, to “responsibly reduce oil revenues that the Russian government uses to fund it is war against Ukraine.”
The Financial Times is quoting a U.S. senior diplomat as saying that the U.S. aims to cut Russia’s oil and gas revenues in half by 2030. The report says that the U.S. is looking for ways to target the “shadow fleet” of tankers.
Some indications are that the efforts are already having an effect. Bloomberg traced the previous batch of blocked tankers as transporting oil to India and the AIS signal from the Viktor Bakaev shows it just departed India. Reports are that India has been holding another sanctioned tanker offshore while it debates its response.
At the same time, Reuters is reporting that three Greek shipping companies stopped transporting Russian oil to avoid U.S. sanctions. The U.S. is believed to have sent written warnings to the Greek shipping community calling for them to immediately cease participation in the Russian oil trade and warning of potential actions. The U.S. has previously gone after Greek shipping interests for transporting Iranian oil including the seizure of the oil from the Suez Rajan controlled by Empire Navigation of Greece.
After having left ship ownership to become a manager and pool operator, Maersk Tankers along with investment partner Mitsui & Co. looks to lead the tanker sector into ammonia transportation. The company, which is owned by A.P. Moller Holding and has Mitsui as an investor in Maersk Product Tankers, placed the largest tanker order to date in the ammonia sector.
Maersk Tankers reported that it has placed an order with Hyundai Samho Heavy Industries in South Korea for large ammonia carriers. It includes a firm order for four tankers as well as options for up to six additional vessels. Maersk Tankers will operate the vessels and expects them to enter the charter pool by 2027 with Mitsui as a co-investor in the first four vessels. HD Korea Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering, the holding company for the shipyard, reported the value of the four-vessel order at $432.4 million.
Maersk highlights that many of today’s clean ammonia projects under development will require seaborne transportation. Ammonia is poised to become a fuel source as well as a carrier for hydrogen which can be released through a cracking process. Maersk Tankers looks to become a first mover in the sector responding to the market which is looking for solutions to transport larger volumes of ammonia.
“Concrete actions are needed for the tanker industry to progress the energy transition, and in Maersk Tankers, we want to play our part in making transportation of clean energy a reality,” said Tina Revsbech, CEO of Maersk Tankers.
The newbuilds will have a capacity of 93,000 cbm, which will be among the largest ammonia carriers in operation, capable of carrying a full cargo of ammonia. The first four VLACs are due to be delivered between late 2026 and the second half of 2027.
Maersk Tankers reports it is working with MAN Energy Solutions and Hyundai Heavy Industries’ Engine Machine Division (EMD) to make the vessels capable of running on ammonia. However, a decision to install ammonia-capable engines requires both regulatory and customer support.
Hyundai’s rendering of large ammonia gas carriers
Both companies look to leverage their experience in gas tankers to develop this new segment of the market. Maersk Tankers highlights it was an early entrant into LPG and ammonia shipping starting in 1972 and continuing till it sold its gas tanker business in 2013. This year, the company again began managing gas tankers and reports it has nearly 30 very large gas carriers VLGCs now under management. Maersk Tankers manages a fleet of 150 vessels with 40 pool partners.
HD Korea Shipbuilding has been working on the development of designs for large ammonia gas carriers, having previously received design approvals from leading classification societies. Hyundai is building the segment reporting in September an order for four 88,000 cbm ammonia tankers with two to be delivered to EPS while the other two are being built for Greece’s Capital Management and will be operated by EPS. The deliveries are anticipated to begin in the second half of 2027 and each contract includes an option for one additional vessel.
Hyundai highlights that its shipbuilding operation has won approximately 61 percent of the orders for ultra-large LPG and ammonia carriers placed this year. They have a backlog of 23 ships from a total of 38 orders placed for gas carriers. In total, Hyundai’s shipbuilding companies have received orders valued at $15.74 billion in 2023 for a total of 154 vessels and a floating offshore production unit. HD Korea Shipbuilding reports that the orders represent more than 138 percent of its yearly target.
One of the Royal Navy’s most advanced vessels, the HMS Diamond, one of the six-member Type 45 destroyers launched a decade ago, is underway to the Middle East. The vessel departed Portsmouth a week ago the Royal Navy reports with a mission to strengthen patrols aimed at ensuring freedom of navigation, reassuring merchant vessels, and ensuring the safe flow of trade.
“Recent events have proven how critical the Middle East remains to global security and stability,” said UK Defence Secretary Grant Shapps revealing the deployment on November 29. “From joint efforts to deter escalation, following the onset of the renewed conflict in Israel and Gaza, to now the unlawful and brazen seizure of MV Galaxy Leader by the Houthis in the Red Sea – it is critical that the UK bolsters our presence in the region, to keep Britain and our interests safe from a more volatile and contested world.”
The UK has already stepped up its presence in the region after Iranian vessels harassed merchant ships earlier this year. Shapps highlights the importance of the region noting that each day around 115 major merchant ships pass through the Strait of Hormuz and around 50 large merchant ships pass through the Bab-el-Mandeb connecting the Red Sea to the Gulf of Aden. While the UK did not reveal the exact departure date, it appears to have come before the most recent incidents and the warning issued to shipping by the UK on Wednesday.
The Diamond will be joining the HMS Lancaster, an older frigate (built in 1992) that has been deployed to the region since 2022. In addition, three mine hunting vessels, HMS Bangor, HMS Chiddingfold, and HMS Middleton, and a Royal Fleet Auxiliary support ship, RFA Cardigan Bay, are also deployed as part of the operation, helping to keep the vital trade routes of the Middle East open for business.
The Royal Navy said HMS Diamond departed last week (Royal Navy photo)
The Royal Navy highlights that the Diamond was dispatched on short notice. She had just completed three months of operations in Northern Europe with the UK’s Carrier Strike Group. She was providing air defense for the carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth.
The destroyer, which is 152 meters (498 feet) in length and displaces 7,350 tonnes, has a top speed of 30 knots. Commissioned in 2011, she carried a normal complement of more than 200 and has a range of 7,000 nautical miles.
The Royal Naval highlights the class was built for anti-aircraft and anti-missile warfare, equipped with some of the most sophisticated long-range and missile detection radar. The SAMPSON system lets the Diamond track threats from over 250 miles away as well as guide friendly missiles. The Sea Viper missile system can launch eight missiles in under 10 seconds and guide up to 16 missiles simultaneously.
The Diamond is also carrying a Wildcat helicopter with Marlet air-to-surface missiles. The destroyer is armed with a 4.5-inch main gun as well as its sophisticated electronics. She expands the air coverage as the Lancaster is also equipped with a Wildcat helicopter which has been central to her activities since arriving in the region last year. According to the BBC, Lancaster is scheduled to remain on station in the Gulf region until at least 2025.
Maersk Group has decided to settle a lawsuit over the disruption caused by the grounding of the massive boxship Ever Given, which shut down the Suez Canal for six days in 2021.
The number-two ocean carrier filed suit in Denmark against unspecified parties in connection with the grounding, and had sought damages of about $45 million. Danish outlet ShippingWatch confirmed Thursday that the lawsuit has ended with an out-of-court settlement.
The Ever Given went aground in the Suez Canal on March 23, 2021, shortly after she entered the southern entrance. Her length exceeded the canal’s width, and with bow and stern firmly wedged in each bank, she blocked the waterway to all marine traffic.
For the complex salvage operation, the Suez Canal Authority brought in shore-based excavating equipment, cutter suction dredgers and at least 10 tugs. With much effort, the ship was finally refloated on March 29. The event made global headlines and put shipping in the spotlight, providing consumers with a rare direct example of how maritime commerce can affect their daily lives.
Over the course of the six-day shutdown, up to 400 ships had their voyages disrupted by the shutdown of the canal, including 50 boxships with connections to Maersk. In response, Maersk sued shipowner Shoei Kisen Kaisha and operator Evergreen at Denmark’s Maritime and Commercial Court for damages from the disruption.
Evergreen denied responsibility for the incident. “As Ever Given is leased by Evergreen under the terms of a time-charter agreement, all expenses for the refloating operation and any liabilities are the responsibility of the vessel’s owner,” the firm said in a statement after the suit was filed.
The case’s progress was closely watched in the liner shipping world, as a win for Maersk could provide a blueprint for other affected carriers to file similar claims. On Thursday, Maersk confirmed that it has withdrawn the lawsuit, following news of a settlement agreement.
Boskalis, owner of salvor SMIT Salvage, filed suit in a London court earlier this year seeking compensation from Shoei Kisen Kaisha for its role in freeing the stranded ship. According to the FT, the estimated value of the Ever Given job was in the range of $25-50 million.
SMIT has continued to work with Shoei Kisen Kaisha: the salvor played a role in the response to the burning car carrier Fremantle Highway, which caught fire off the coast of the Netherlands in July.
Avia Solutions Group, the world’s largest ACMI (Aircraft, Crew, Maintenance, and Insurance) provider, has announced its financial results for the third quarter of this year. The company’s adjusted EBITDA is €316 million, representing a 31% growth compared to the same period last year when it was €242 million. Furthermore, the group’s revenue increased by 22% to reach €1.64 billion, compared to €1.34 billion for the same period in the previous year.
According to Jonas Janukenas, CEO of Avia Solutions Group, financial results of Q3 is a direct reflection of the substantial demand for ACMI services in the global aviation market: “The year 2023, especially the extremely active summer season, demonstrated the tremendous need for ACMI services in the aviation industry worldwide.”
During the third quarter of this year, the group continued its active expansion of the aircraft fleet, adding 24 new ones since the beginning of the year. The fleet now consists of 197 passenger and cargo aircraft. Janukenas underlines that Avia Solutions Group plans to maintain its leading position in the ACMI market and has future expansion plans in the Asia-Pacific region. The establishment of the new companies BBN Airlines Thailand and BBN Airlines Indonesia marks a new phase of development in the region. By the end of 2024, the group aims to own five airline companies operating in various Asian countries.
CEO of Avia Solutions Group says: “Expanding in Southeast Asia and South America is a key strategic direction for the group, allowing us to balance the reduced seasonal demand in Europe during the winter by shifting aircraft to these regions. Additionally, significant investments are being made in MRO infrastructure for the group’s aviation companies providing ACMI services. The total investment in the initial development phase in the region amounts to €25 million.”
Recently, Avia Solutions Group has begun the construction of a 20,000 sq. m aircraft maintenance hangar in the Dominican Republic and a 17,000 sq. m aircraft maintenance hangar in Bali. The group’s subsidiary, Avion Express has established ACMI airline in Brazil to serve the needs of clients in Colombia, Chile, Brazil, and the Dominican Republic.
In the Q3, the main revenue-generating regions for Avia Solutions Group were Europe (69.4%), Asia (19.2%), North and South America (5.8%), Africa (3.9%), and Australia and the Pacific (1.1%). The most significant change, compared to 2022, is observed in Asia, where the group’s annual revenue increased by 9.2%.
Irish-based Avia Solutions Group is the parent company of over 100 subsidiaries. Supported by 11,700 highly skilled aviation professionals, the group operates in 68 countries worldwide.
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