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Daily Briefing February 21 2020

Free to read: Maersk sets sights on recovery after lowering expectations over coronavirus | Polemis company leaves American Club as P&I providers confirm firmer pricing | German official pitches for EU Maritime Co-ordinator to raise sector’s profile | Coronavirus: Chinese owners seek sulphur cap reprieve

Good morning. Here’s our quick view of everything you need to know today.

The Lloyd’s List Daily Briefing is brought to you by the Lloyd’s List News Desk.

What to watch   |   Analysis   |   Opinion   |   Markets   |   In other news




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What to watch


The impact of coronavirus on the container sector is likely to mean a weak first quarter for all carriers but a V-shaped recovery could follow as supply ramps up again after March, according to Maersk chief executive Søren Skou.

Adam Polemis’ New Shipping has parted company with the American Club, making it one of the few sizeable operators to switch P&I provider ahead of this year’s renewal deadline yesterday. In general, churn seems to have been minimal, in contrast with the often frantic pace of activity seen in mid-February in the past.

Germany’s federal maritime co-ordinator Norbert Brackmann wants to establish a European Union position with an office that will help co-ordinate related activities in the bloc and will launch a new initiative dubbed Maritime Europe when Germany takes over the Council of the EU presidency later this year.

China’s shipowners’ association has suggested Beijing should halt the IMO sulphur mandate in the country’s waters for a few months in order to reduce the financial burden brought by the spread of coronavirus.


Analysis


AP Moller-Maersk has agreed to purchase US warehousing and distribution firm Performance Team in a further effort to become an “integrated and focused” container shipping, ports and logistics company. The value of the is $545m and will bring its holdings to 46 sites in the US for a total of 1,363,000 sq m of warehouse space. Most significantly about 530,000 sq m of that total is in Southern California alone.

Port operators should consider investing in their own 5G infrastructure to avoid being left behind amid concerns about lack of standards, cybersecurity and interoperability.

The hijack of the product tanker Alpine Penelope means eight ships in four months have had crew kidnapped for ransom off West Africa


Opinion


Claes Berglund took over as president of the European Community Shipowners’ Associations last October. His in-tray includes the aftermath of Brexit, concerns about the pace of emissions reduction, and gender equality.


Markets


Coronavirus and IMO 2020 are causing ‘significant uncertainties’, according to Maersk’s full-year outlook, with earnings set to dip in 2020.

Feeder containership owner Euroseas has said that it is targeting further growth after adding eight ships to its fleet in the last two financial quarters.

Shipowners are turning to Sembmarine for support relating to the repair and upgrade of more vessels in the light of the heightened coronavirus risk in China. But the group has not be spared supply chain pain, with the integration of an FPSO project held back by the delayed delivery of a hull.

GoodBulk has carried some strong fixtures into the current year despite a wilting dry bulk market.


In other news


The coronavirus outbreak could cause issues for vessels en route or planning to sail to Chinese shipyards for inspections and certificate renewals, according to the Union of Greek Shipowners.

To achieve just-in-time arrival, there is a gap between the port and the ship that needs co-ordinating. To create a system that could close that gap into a smooth transition requires all three sides — the shipowner, port and technology supplier — to work together.

Ukraine is looking to attract major global players to operate, manage and develop the ports of Mariupol, Berdyansk, Odessa and Chornomorsk.

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