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Daily Briefing July 20 2020

Free to read: Crewing costs soar as shipping’s spat with airlines leaves seafarers stranded | China ports tighten reefer containers control amid virus concerns | The Lloyd’s List Podcast: Shining a light on digital disruption

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


Costs related to crew changing have soared by around 150%, with some flights to Asia from Europe up to five times higher than usual, if they are available at all, according to shipmanagement association InterManager.

Ports in Southern China have imposed restrictions on handling of reefer containers amid concern that imports of frozen food are testing positive for coronavirus.

The Lloyd’s List Podcast: Beacon, the Jeff Bezos-backed digital freight disrupter has all the hallmarks of another AI-fuelled flight of fancy, promising to revolutionise the analogue inefficiencies of our archaic maritime logistics sector. But as Beacon’s chief executive officer Fraser Robinson reveals in this week’s podcast, he’s not here foretell the death of freight forwarding — far from it — he thinks the sector has a bright future. There will, however, be collateral damage along the way.


Analysis


Aframax tanker Minerva Libra was the first to load on Friday at the new South Texas Gateway Crude Export Terminal at Corpus Christi, Texas, one of two in the US Gulf now able to accommodate very large crude carriers.

Some of the industry's largest companies have decided on 45 partnerships they believe could generate commercial decarbonisation services for maritime. This was just the first phase and more are expected to run until the end of 2022.

Week in charts: Efforts by the Philippines to create a ‘green corridor’ for crew changes to take place appear to be paying off. Meanwhile, tankers rates have stabilised again after a recent upturn and container throughput remains below year-ago levels at key US and Chinese ports.


Opinion


Singapore once again faces the prospect of leadership renewal in its cabinet. Following an election that saw two key office-bearers bowing out of the transport ministry, questions have resurfaced about whether this ‘hot-potato’ portfolio can attract and retain the talent it badly needs, writes Hwee Hwee Tan.


Markets


Marine insurers will have to wait to find out how the coronavirus will impact its activities in the long term. Otherwise, headline trends are a mixed bag, with some of them favourable and some of them not.

Tsakos Energy Navigation is looking for opportunities to acquire further very large crude carriers, its chief executive has said.

Rio Tinto, one of the world's largest miners, said that conditions in China improved through the second quarter, following coronavirus closures, and “appear to be stabilising”.


In other news


Wärtsilä, the Finnish technology company, reported a 51% drop in quarterly operating profit as it said operations continue to be affected by the coronavirus outbreak and the measures taken to contain the global pandemic.

First Gen Corp has taken the next step in plans to charter a floating storage and regasification unit for its liquefied natural gas terminal in Batangas.

The United Nations is holding talks with Yemen’s government for the necessary approvals to gain access to an abandoned decaying oil tanker in the Red Sea.

The Sino-US trade war and the coronavirus outbreak have taken their toll on cargo throughput at the port of Los Angeles, which executive director Gene Seroka sees as part of a decades-long downward trend that needs reversing.

French lender BNP Paribas has become the world’s biggest shipping bank, according to new research by Petrofin Research that also suggests the global shrinkage in bank ship finance may be slowing.

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