A word from GPLN: Newsletter Issue 79 / Mar-Apr 2021
Last month we all watched with concern the incident with Ever Given, an ultra large containership that was stuck in the Suez Canal for around six days, blocking one of the busiest shipping lanes in the world. This has created a traffic jam of more than 400 vessels which were left waiting at either end of the canal when the 400m-long Ever Given became wedged across it on March 23, 2021. In the meantime, the ship was formally arrested on April 13 by Egypt’s Authority over non-payment of claims of around USD 916 million. They didn’t explain where this amount comes from, nor have they provided a breakdown of expenses. It could include paying for lost USD 95 million in transit fees while the Ever Given blocked the Suez Canal, 2 dredger ships, 11 tug boats of varying sizes, wages of 800 Egyptian workers who operated around the clock to free the ship, damage to the canal and other miscellaneous equipment used to free the ship, such as excavators etc. We leave it to you to make your own opinion if this huge amount of almost USD 1 billion is justified. Furthermore, we think that the Egyptian Authority resolved this problem quite efficient within 6 days, which was faster than diverting a vessel and go around the horn of Africa, which adds an additional seven to nine days to a trip. Taiwan’s Evergreen Marine Corp., operator of the containership whose thousands of containers are stranded on it, is exploring now the possibility of transferring the cargo to another ship. This would enable the release of millions of dollars’ worth of goods, which are meant to be delivered all over Northern Europe.
In better news, the strong wind energy market, recovery of the dry bulk market, positive oil price development etc. contribute to the flourishing demand for multipurpose vessels. The charter rates have increased around 18% more than this time last year and have made a remarkable recovery since their low-point in June last year. Following the initial decline in demand as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, the charter rates fell to a low. Since then, the charter rates climbed back up steadily until December, after which the increase accelerated driven by generally high demand and capacity issues in the container segment. Some project carriers even posted pictures on social media of their heavy-lift vessels fully loaded with containers.
According to the Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC) wind energy had a record setting year in 2020. Undeterred by the coronavirus pandemic, installations grew 59 percent year-on-year compared to the previous year. Leading the charge was China, which broke the world record for most wind power capacity installed in a single year with 52 GW of new capacity. Asia Pacific as a whole is increasingly driving the global wind energy industry’s growth, with the region accounting for 60 percent of all new wind power capacity in 2020. In addition to China, Australia, Japan, and Sri Lanka all had record years for new wind power installations in 2020 and strong demand is also continuing in 2021.
As you may know, Breakbulk Europe event in Bremen was moved from May this year to a new venue in Rotterdam from May 17-19, 2022. GPLN will exhibit at this event and has secured a prime location in the main hall. This is obviously subject that the world is back to normal by then.
In regards to our AGM in 2021 which is scheduled from September 18-20, 2021 at the Dorint Park Hotel in Bremen, we are carefully monitoring the situation and are also regularly in touch with our GPLN members in Germany. Furthermore, we are now evaluating an alternative location in Asia in the first quarter of 2022 as a back-up.
Please stay safe and healthy!
Your GPLN Team
|New GPLN Members / March – April 2021
||CF&S Finland Oy
||Transmaritim international GmbH
||TEAMGLOBAL Logistics Pvt. Ltd.
||Afriasia International Shipping & Logistics Limited