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Daily Briefing November 18 2019

Free to read: Søren Toft linked to key role in MSC management shake-up | Maersk lowers container growth outlook | The Lloyd's List Podcast: Have mandatory speed limits hit a road block? | Exclusive interview with Bronson Hsieh

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


Former Maersk chief operating officer Søren Toft is rumoured to be taking over at 2M alliance partner MSC. The world’s second-biggest ocean cargo mover has declined to comment on rumours of a management shake-up, but industry speculation suggests that veteran chairman Gianluigi Aponte might be about to step down.

Maersk has reported improved earnings in its ocean segment, despite revenues falling in a slowing market. “While the global container demand, as expected, was lower in the third quarter due to weaker growth in the global economy, we continued to improve our operating results,” said chief executive Søren Skou. Meanwhile, Maersk will continue to carry on cost cutting, despite the departure of Søren Toft, according to Mr Skou.

With reported incidents for cargo-related boxship fires on the increase, calls have been made for more action to curb misdeclared cargoes.


Analysis


The prospect of mandatory speed limits on ships has been dealt a significant blow after global regulators this week brushed it aside during decarbonisation negotiations.

After three years at the helm, Bronson Hsieh, chairman of Taiwan-based Yang Ming, has put the idea of ordering super-sized boxships on the back burner. He tells Lloyd’s List how his optimism about the market prospects is laced with caution and he believes the company’s investment in scrubbers will pay off.


Opinion


The Lloyd’s List Podcast: The campaign for mandatory speed limits for shipping suffered a blow during technical talks at IMO this week. For some that is crucial mistake and a missed opportunity. For others it is an effective strategy to reduce emissions. In this week's podcast we get the view from both sides: Danish Shipping director Maria Skipper Schwenn and Transport & Environment shipping analyst Faig Abbasov explain what the future is for decarbonisation.

The courts have now decided that two high-profile casualties were deliberate attempts to cheat marine insurers. As to the big picture, though, it remains unclear whether fraud is on the increase in shipping, writes David Osler.

The freight forwarder Unsworth and DP World were the big winners at this year’s Global Freight Awards. Other triumphant companies were Charles Kendall Freight, Metro Shipping, Deugro, Caliber.global, Maersk, MSC, HMM, Grimaldi, Freightliner, Maritime Transport, MACS Shipping Line, Pall-Ex, and Ontruck.


Markets


The American Club has become the first International Group affiliate to ask members for hefty supplementary calls this year, demanding 22.5% for the 2016 policy year and 17.5% for 2018, while the London Club is seeking a substantial general increase.


In other news


Sovcomflot, Russia’s tankers giant, has been benefiting from a stronger spot tanker market.

Sea Corp, an independent owner and operator of containerships, has agreed to purchase a fleet of six containerships for around $380m.

Pyxis Tankers regards the increase in product tanker rates as the start of “a sustained improvement” for the sector.

The European Commission has launched an investigation into tax exemptions in place for Italian ports, while welcoming a Spanish commitment to scrap similar breaks for its ports as a result of earlier pressure from Brussels.

Offshore supply vessel provider Vallianz Holdings has been better off for venturing into the Middle East but has not been immune to weak current business conditions and expects a tough environment for the rest of the year.

GasLog, the liquefied natural gas carrier owner, has raised NKr900m ($98.3m) from a Norwegian bond issue linked to extending the maturity of a significant portion of its existing bonds.

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