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Philadelphia Port Welcomes the Largest Ship to Ever Call at the U.S East Coast

Philadelphia Port Welcome...

The Philadelphia Port welcomed the biggest contain...

South Korea Launches 1st Container Ship Built for Autonomous Operations

South Korea Launches 1st...

South Korea has launched a container ship that wil...

U.S. Blacklists Companies Over $100 Million Iranian Commodity Shipment to China

U.S. Blacklists Companies...

The U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Fo...

DP World seeks solar power opportunities with Masdar

DP World seeks solar powe...

The three-year deal will look for optimal sites fo...

Ukrainian Danube Shipping Company begins to create container convoys

Ukrainian Danube Shipping...

Ukrainian Danube Shipping Company has held consult...

First of new 2,000 TEU box ship series delivered to CMA CGM

First of new 2,000 TEU bo...

CMA CGM Mermaid, the first of a series of 10 vesse...

Houthis Fire Missiles At Iran-Bound Cargo Ship In Red Sea, Minor Damage Reported

Houthis Fire Missiles At...

Yemeni Houthis reportedly fired two missiles on Mo...

Chartered feeders de rigueur in Red Sea crisis

Chartered feeders de rigu...

Houthi military action has successfully seen the d...


international (157)

The Philadelphia Port welcomed the biggest container ship to ever call at America’s East Coast on Friday morning.

The 1300-foot-long ship CMA CGM Marco Polo is now at the Packer Avene Marine Terminal on the River Delaware.

The ship is humongous, 180 feet taller than the city’s tallest structure, the Comcast Technology Center, and longer than four football fields combined.

The ship has 16,000 containers, mostly filled with fruit and vegetables, such as clementines from Morocco.

According to officials, Marco Polo is part of CMA CGM’s NAMEX service, which is said to have an economic impact of around $81 million annually and offers 600 jobs in Greater Philadelphia.

Per sources, NAMEX would link the Philadephia Port with the markets along the Asia-Med region.

PhilaPort CEO Jeff Theobald said the ship is the result of many years of hard work and preparation for a new class of ships.

South Korea has launched a container ship that will promote autonomous shipping operations. The nation’s Ministry of Ocean and Fisheries described the ship as the first oceangoing vessel for Level Three autonomous shipping.

There are plans to undertake the first demonstration of autonomous shipping with this ship in the latter part of the year.

The country’s Hyundai Mip Dockyard Co. held the vessel’s christening event on Friday. The 1800 TEU vessel was named Pos Singapore. Industry sources say it will be given to Pan Ocean Co. by the end of this month.

The order for this ship was placed in 2022. It is 172 m or 564 ft long and is registered in Liberia. The 22,200 DWT container ship will be handed to its owner and will undergo outfitting and trials for the autonomous system.

The Government of South Korea emphasised that autonomous ships were the main goal in the Advanced Maritime Mobility Development Strategy, which was announced in 2023. The autonomous shipping project was launched in 2020, and the government gave over $120 million for research and development of these technologies.

According to the ministry, the ship is designed to function autonomously without any crew, and its operations would be controlled by a remote control.

From its designing phase, Hyundai Mipo and Pan Ocean completed the preparations for installing the autonomous navigation system, which would now be installed on the ship. The system includes autonomous navigation, communication, security technologies, and advanced digital agency monitoring systems.

South Korea has tested several autonomous systems over the last few years. In 2022, Hyundai undertook the world’s first transoceanic journey of a commercial ship using autonomous navigation. The system was installed on the 97,500 DWT LNG Carrier, covering over 11,000 nautical miles of the Pacific.

The trials for the new version of this technological system began in 2023 onboard the comparatively small 69-ton ship Ocean Nuri. The plan is that Pos Singapore will conduct its first trials on an international shipping route in September 2024.


The U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) has issued new sanctions against two companies for operating a tanker shipping over $100 million in Iranian commodities to China.

The companies, Kohana Company Limited and Iridescent Co Ltd, are registered in Hong Kong and the Marshall Islands, respectively. The transactions were conducted on behalf of Iran’s Ministry of Defense and Armed Forces Logistics (MODAFL), which is aiding Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and providing weapons, specifically unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), to Iranian-aligned militia groups in the Middle East.

“Iran’s Ministry of Defense is engaged in a series of schemes to fund destabilizing activities that range from supplying militia groups with weapons used to attack U.S. forces to aiding Russia’s invasion of Ukraine,” said Under Secretary of the Treasury for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence Brian E. Nelson. “Treasury will continue to disrupt the illicit revenue-generation efforts that support these destabilizing acts.”

The action taken by OFAC is in line with the counterterrorism authority in Executive Order (E.O.) 13224, as amended. MODAFL was previously designated by OFAC under the EO on March 26, 2019, for its support to the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps-Qods Force (IRGC-QF), a group that has been providing support to multiple terrorist groups since October 25, 2007.

According to the U.S., entities associated with MODAFL are involved in the production of Iranian weapons systems, including UAVs, which are often transferred to Russia or provided to Iran’s proxy and partner groups to use against U.S., allied, and partner interests throughout the Middle East. To support these efforts, the Iranian government allocates billions of dollars’ worth of commodities to Iranian military entities, including MODAFL.

In late January 2024, MODAFL organized a shipment of Iranian commodities valued at over $100 million to companies in China aboard the Panama-flagged tanker KOHANA. The vessel, currently eon route to China, is owned by Kohana Company Limited and operated by Iridescent Co Ltd.

As a result of their activities, Kohana Company Limited and Iridescent Co Ltd have been designated under E.O. 13224 for their material assistance and provision of financial, material, and technological support to MODAFL. The vessel KOHANA is identified as property in which Kohana Company Limited has an interest.

Wednesday, 28 February 2024 08:14

DP World seeks solar power opportunities with Masdar

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The three-year deal will look for optimal sites for solar generation and battery energy storage systems, and accelerate their deployment through knowledge sharing on the regulatory landscape and other challenges. The programmed will have an initial focus on Saudia Arabia, Senegal, and Egypt.

DP World has a history in the realm of solar power, from sponsoring solar power technical qualifications for women in Nothern Senegal to installing solar panels on its port gatehouse building at London Gateway and 157,000 panels across rooftops in Jebel Ali Free Zone and Port Rashid.

Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem, DP World Chairman and CEO, said: "Our partnership with Masdar represents a significant step forward in our commitment to sustainable operations at our ports and terminals. By exploring renewable energy solutions, we aim to reduce our carbon footprint and drive positive change in the supply chain industry." 

Mohamed Jameel Al Ramahi, Masdar Chief Executive Officer, added: "Masdar and DP World are leading the way in the decarbonization of the company’s port operations and supply chain, to explore all options to advance the development and deployment of renewable energy power and storage systems in hard-to-abate sectors.” 

Ukrainian Danube Shipping Company has held consultations with carriers regarding the creation of the first barge container convoys sailing towards the Middle Danube and the Upper Danube.

The relevant statement was made by the Ukrainian Communities, Territories and Infrastructure Development Ministry on Facebook, an Ukrinform correspondent reports.

“Ukrainian Danube Shipping Company PrJSC is preparing to launch barge container convoys sailing towards the Middle Danube and the Upper Danube. The company offers the delivery of containers to the Danube ports of Bulgaria, Serbia, Hungary, Slovakia, Austria, Germany, and Romania’s Port of Constanța,” the report states.

The company has already started consultations with carriers regarding the involvement of the required number of containers to create the first convoys.

Currently, Ukrainian Danube Shipping Company has 25 self-propelled vessels (20 in reserve) and more than 200 barges. The ministry believes that the company’s resources and capabilities are enough to intercept the flow of containers by road.

A reminder that, since the Ukrainian Sea Corridor was launched, a total of 18 million tones of cargo has been exported to 32 countries, including 12.7 million tones of agricultural products.


CMA CGM Mermaid, the first of a series of 10 vessels developed by the container line with Chantiers de l'Atlantique and Hyundai Heavy Industries boasts emissions reductions of up to 20%, compared to VLSFO ships, CMA CGM claimed.

The most striking design aspect of the ship is its front superstructure, the first such layout in the CMA CGM fleet. The 204.29 m length and 29.6 m width are optimized for aerodynamic and hydrodynamic performance.

The vessels are destined for routes in the Mediterranean and Northern Europe and will add to CMA CGM’s over 30 vessels running alternative fuels. By 2028, the group said it will have almost 120 ships powered by low-carbon energies thanks to its over $15bn investment in fleet renewal.

“Between April and July, six of the series will join the Intra-Northern-Europe line to serve the Baltic and Scandinavian ports from the hubs of Hamburg and Bremerhaven. Four other ships will join the Intra-Mediterranean line between the end of September and the end of November,” said CMA CGM.

The design was created in close collaboration with Chantiers de l'Atlantique, and advanced from concept to industrial prototype by Danish engineering firm Odense Marine Technique. GTT worked closely on the design and conception of the 1,053 cu m storage tank and gas supply system.

The last vessel in the series is expected to be delivered with a 1 MW hydrogen fuel cell, one of the most powerful fuel cells on board a ship, when it hits the water in 2025.


Yemeni Houthis reportedly fired two missiles on Monday at a vessel that was bound for a port-based in Iran, causing minor damages but zero injuries to the crew members, the authorities said. The attacks on the Greek-operated Marshall Islands-flagged bulk carrier named the Star Iris show how widely the Houthis target vessels that sail through the waters of the Red Sea, the Bab el-Mandeb Strait, and the Gulf of Aden linking the two waterways.

The Star Iris was heading to Bandar Khomeini in Iran from Brazil. Iran is the key backer as well as the armor of the Houthis in Yemen’s age-old war. Without providing any evidence, the Houthis tried to present the Star Iris as an “American” ship and alleged to have fired several missiles against it.

The Houthi military, via Brig. Gen. Yahya Saree, spokesperson, will not hesitate to launch additional operations in retaliation to Zionist crimes against the group’s brothers in the Gaza Strip. Also, as a response to the current American-British aggression against their dear country, the statement read following the attack.

The attack was reported by the British military’s UK Trade Operations Center (the organization in charge of monitoring seas in the Middle East). It was stated that the strike happened when the Star Iris was sailing south via the Bab el-Mandeb Strait, which divides East Africa and the Arabian Peninsula.

The ship’s captain reported that the vessel had been attacked by two missiles and said minor damages, the UKTMO informed. Both the ship and its crew are now safe. It is heading toward the upcoming port of call.

The Star Iris strike occurred after days when no Houthi attacks on vessels had been reported. What had brought about the pause is also still not evident. However, the British and US militaries have carried out multiple airstrikes targeting Houthi missile arsenals and launch sites in the territory they control.

November onward, the rebels have targeted vessels repeatedly in the Red Sea over the ongoing Israeli offensive in Gaza. They have also targeted vessels with tenuous/no apparent links to Israel, imperiling shipping in a crucial trade route for Asia, Europe, and the Mideast.

Wednesday, 14 February 2024 05:02

Chartered feeders de rigueur in Red Sea crisis

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Houthi military action has successfully seen the disruption of trade to the Mediterranean and Northern Europe, as well as parts of the Middle East and India following the war in Gaza, with many vessel owners opting to divert tonnage from the Red Sea/Suez Canal route.

Around 50% of vessels are now diverting and the liner carriers in particular are preparing for a medium-term disruption by chartering vessels to meet demand in the Mediterranean. 

A Hapag-Lloyd spokesman confirmed the move: “The current short-term charters concluded recently by Hapag-Lloyd are being fixed due to the current Red Sea situation and the rerouting of vessels via the Cape of Good Hope and/ or replacements for ships in dry dock.”

Maersk Line, CMA CGM and Hapag-Lloyd have fixed up to 15 vessels in the 2,500 to 5,000 TEU range for periods varying from one month to 12 months.

Jonathan Roach at shipbroker Braemar in London said that the increased activity in the charter market was mainly due to the feeder vessel market, given that there are few larger ships available, and that this had pushed the average charter period from five to six months to around 12 months.

“There has also been a slowing of vessel demolition, the numbers being scrapped are the same as last year, same number of ships, same average size, around 1,700 teu at an average age of 28 years old,” said Roach.

The slowing of the rate of demolitions, also put down to the Red Sea crisis has also had the effect of the broker’s net fleet growth expectations, with more ships now expected to be in the fleet than was previously the case.

“We expect there to be more investment to bolster regional trade,” said Roach, who said there is a looming crisis in feeder and regional type ships that have been ignored in the previous newbuilding rounds, implying a shortage of these vessels around 2027.

Lack of investment in smaller tonnage has led to the growth in the average size of feeders, with vessels up to panamax sizes now used in this regional capacity, one operator had suggested to Braemar that in the near future sizes will increase again with vessels up to 7,000 TEU used for regional trades.

However, Roach believes this is unlikely given that these medium sized vessels tend to be long and thin, and they would be taking up quay space and crane access for the larger Deepsea tonnage.


Neptune Lines is further expanding its fleet through the Genesis Project and is to build two more LNG-fuelled PCTCs from China’s Fujian Mawei Shipbuilding.

Katherine Si | Feb 02, 2024

The addition of two more 4,200 ceu LNG dual-fuel PCTC vessel is a key component of Neptune Lines' strategic plan to bolster its fleet over the next decade. The new vessels will increase cargo capacity by 36% compared to the current core fleet ships.

Continuing the successful collaboration established with the first two vessels, Neptune Lines reaffirmed its partnership with Deltamarin for the co-design of the two additional vessels and remains engaged with Fujian Mawei Shipyard for the construction, bringing its newbuilding number at Mawei to four. 

The Houthis of Yemen on Thursday said that as part of their campaign to block shipping in opposition to the Israeli bombardment of Gaza, their naval forces had targeted an unidentified British merchant vessel in the Red Sea. The United Kingdom Maritime Trade Operations (abbreviated UKMTO) agency announced earlier on Thursday that an explosion was detected at a distance off the starboard side of a vessel west of Hodeidah in Yemen.

The UKMTO reported that the crew members and the vessel were safe. Whether it was the vessel that the Houthis had been aiming for was unknown.

Per a statement from the Houthi military spokesperson, the attacks on shipping are going to persist till the aggression ceases and the current siege on the Gaza Strip gets lifted. As unrest from the Israel-Hamas conflict spread throughout the region, the US and Great Britain started strikes on Houthis in Yemen. They restored the militia to their list of terrorist organizations.

Since November 19, the Houthi terrorists, backed by Iran and hold control over the most populous regions of Yemen, have been firing missiles and drones at commercial vessels.

Other regions of the Middle East were also affected by the Gaza conflict. Along the border, Hezbollah and Israel, affiliated with Iran, have been exchanging gunfire, while armed groups in Iraq have targeted American forces deployed there.



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