Caribbean Maritime, issue 44 – Increasing freight rates. Maritime carbon emissions

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OCT 2021 - JAN 2022









P O R T S T. J O E

Caribbean Maritime is delivered to subscribers in biodegradable packaging and the magazine is produced using paper from PEFC certified sources implementing sustainable forestry policies to help preserve our environment. Issue No 44 OCT 2021 to JAN 2022


The official journal of the:

caribbean shipping association


MISSION STATEMENT To promote and foster the highest quality service to the maritime industry through training development; working with all agencies, groups and other associations for the benefit and development of its members and the peoples of the Caribbean region. GENERAL COUNCIL 2020-2021 President: Juan Carlos Croston Vice President: Marc Sampson Immediate Past President: David Jean-Marie Group A Chairman: Eduardo Pagán Group A Representative: Yuri Jardine Group A Representative: Sandra Casanova Group A Representative: Nazilia Simone Phillips Group B Chairman: Anibal Ochoa Group B Representative: Mark Williams Group C Chairman: María del Mar Rodríguez Group C Representative: Robert Bosman Group D Chairman: William Brown Group D Representative: Juan Carlos (JC) Barona CSA General Manager: Milaika Capella Ras CSA Secretary: Dionne Mason-Gordon


We have only just begun in Antigua


Rates scale new heights


Cruising to make a comeback



The impact of Climate Change Regulations on Global Shipping


TOWT TransOceanic Wind Transport


Caribbean Shipping Association 4 Fourth Avenue, Newport West PO Box 1050, Kingston CSO, Jamaica Tel: +876 923-3491 Fax: +876 757-1592 Email: Advertising:

Looking back as we plan ahead

A regional beacon celebrates 40 years


A long way in a short time




The not-so-new kid on the block


Dry dock’s revival gets go ahead


Land & Marine Publications Ltd 1 Kings Court, Newcomen Way, Severalls Business Park, Colchester Essex, CO4 9RA, United Kingdom Tel: +44 (0)1206 752902 Fax: +44 (0)1206 842958 Email: Views and opinions expressed by writers in this publication are their own and published purely for information and discussion and in the context of freedom of speech. They do not necessarily represent the views and opinions of the Caribbean Shipping Association – The Publisher. ©2021 Land & Marine Publications Ltd.

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The latest news from around the Caribbean





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Looking back as we plan ahead W

hile global focus remains squarely on combatting the coronavirus pandemic, our neighbors in Haiti face the dual fall-out of a devastating 7.2-magnitude earthquake which rattled the nation in mid-August. With over 2,200 fatalities, 300 people missing, and almost 53,000 homes destroyed, this is a stark reminder that our regional and local authorities must remain prepared to respond to natural disasters, and to aid our neighbors where possible. We extend thoughts and prayers to our friends in Haiti even as we contemplate how best to support. For those wishing to assist, donations may be made to the CSA Disaster Relief Fund, which will be contributed to the ongoing recovery efforts. You may contact CSA Secretariat at for further information. The fear of increasing disasters linked to climate change is one that continues to worry those in the maritime industry. With rising greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions globally, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has warned that drastic change is needed in the coming

2 Caribbean Maritime | October- January 2022

Juan Carlos Croston President Caribbean Shipping Association

decade to avoid a climate collapse. The IPCC cautions that GHG emissions must be reduced in the next decade if there is to be any hope of holding global heating to within 1.5 degrees Celsius of pre-industrial levels which can aid in averting widespread devastation.

COMMITMENT However, even with the recent commitment of the International Maritime Organization (IMO) to require commercial vessels to improve energy efficiency and aid in the reduction of the industry’s carbon intensity by 40 per cent, leadership on the issue

must be unified and regulated as we work towards a collective outcome. Since the publication of our previous issue, the Caribbean Shipping Association (CSA) has had much to celebrate with the launch of the Caribbean Research Institute (CRI) during the Caribbean Shipping Executives’ Conference in late May. The CRI is poised to revolutionize the regional maritime industry with biannual reports that will provide data and analyses to modern economies while providing additional revenue for the Association via advertisements and subscriptions. Its inaugural report will focus on the impact

The Caribbean Research Institute's inaugural report will focus on the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on shipping globally, on Caribbean ports, maritime trade and the regional liner shipping services with particular focus on the Eastern Caribbean

of the COVID-19 pandemic on shipping globally, on Caribbean ports, maritime trade and the regional liner shipping services with particular focus on the Eastern Caribbean. This information is imperative to aid companies’ responses to market trends, customers’ needs, and business competitiveness as required by our evolving industry.

POSTPONED The report’s finalization was on course to coincide with the CSA’s annual general meeting – initially scheduled for November 1 to November 3 – however

that has now been postponed until early 2022 due to the pandemic. As we continue to put our participants first, we acknowledge that there was no way to ensure their safety amid the increasing number of infections and virusrelated deaths, particularly associated with the new Delta variant; growing travels restrictions to the United States for some countries and employers restricting staff from unnecessary travel. The Secretariat will announce a new date shortly, and encourages our members to continue engaging with us, and planning for their attendance, as we

make preparations to host an event that is testament to the resilience and recovery of our industry which even now continues to face the virus’ adverse impact. As we aim to finish the year strongly, I urge all our members to recommit to the highest health and safety standards as we balance the welfare of our staff with the need to sustain and improve our respective operations. Stay safe, and we look forward to celebrating with you in 2022! 3


We have only just begun in Antigua Dona Regis-Prosper has skilfully combined roles in the maritime and tourism sectors. As a result, she has secured top positions across the Caribbean; working for port authorities, cruise terminal operators and national tourism organizations. Dona now uses her wide-ranging experience to run Antigua Cruise Port – a fast expanding, privatelyrun facility that following the pandemic hiatus has taken the lead in re-introducing cruiseships to the region. Here Dona speaks to Caribbean Maritime about her stellar career and her interests. 4 Caribbean Maritime | October- January 2022

Q. Where were you born and where did you grow up? A. I was born in the city of Castries on the island of St Lucia in the Eastern Caribbean. I grew up in a wonderful tight-knit community called Gesneau about 30 mins from the capital city of Castries. I moved to Trinidad and Tobago for college when I was 16 years old so I would also say that I grew up in the land of steel pan, calypso and soca music. Q. How big an influence were your parents on your early life? A. I grew up in a single-parent household and was raised by a strong and loving mother who taught me the value of education and hard work from an early age. She

was a huge influence on my early life and continues to support me today. I was also blessed with a big extended family who all looked out for my siblings and me. Q. Where did you go to school and then to university? In which subject(s) did you graduate? A. I attended the St Joseph’s Convent in St. Lucia where I focused on business subjects. I went on to Caribbean Union College in Trinidad & Tobago, an affiliate of Andrews University in Michigan, where I graduated with an Associate degree in computer science and a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration ( BBA) with a focus on accounting. I then attained an MBA from Durham University, United Kingdom. My thesis was on the sustainable development of the cruise industry in St Lucia. I also pursued several courses in port management, travel, and tourism. I am also a certified marketer, customer service trainer and image consultant. Q. What was your first job on leaving fulltime education? A. My first job after leaving university was at a hotel in St. Lucia where I worked as a duty manager. I was also a part-time business studies lecturer at a night school on the island where I taught, business accounting and computer literacy. Q. When did you join the St Lucia Air & Seaports Authority (SLASPA) and why? A. I joined SLASPA in 2000 after working in an accounting capacity with an international company for two years. While I enjoyed working with the company, I knew that accounting was not my calling and that I belonged in a more dynamic industry where I would be more creative and develop as a young manager. Therefore, when I got the opportunity to join the maritime and tourism industries I happily accepted. Q. You have held various senior positions with the St Lucia Tourism Authority and subsequently for organizations based in the BVI and Jamaica. What experience did you gain for these various roles? A. While maintaining my position as director of marketing and product

development with the SLASPA, I simultaneously served as a board member with the St Lucia Tourism Authority for three years. I was appointed as the chairperson of the Cruise & Yachting Committee as well as a member of the Marketing Committee. I moved to the British Virgin Islands (BVI) in 2015 after being offered the role of chief executive officer of Tortola Pier Park Ltd, the company that managed the cruise port in the BVI. After three years in this role, I moved to Montego Bay, Jamaica, to take up the role of business development director with Margaritaville Caribbean Group. Each of those roles was related but offered unique experiences. Firstly, the fact that they were all in different geographical locations afforded me the ability to learn different cultures both socially and in business practices. In addition, these roles allowed me to work in different capacities within the maritime and tourism space. In St. Lucia, for instance, I worked with cargo, cruise, yachting, ferry, airport operations, aviation and the hotel sector. In the BVI, I had the privilege of leading the team charged with the responsibility of building a cruise experience from inception to completion. This experience was life changing for me because it was my first experience in an executive role and I had to perform in an unfamiliar country as well. So, I built on my experience from St Lucia and understand the many facets of this industry. Jamaica was yet another perspective where I worked with a very dynamic company focused on the food and beverage sector and entertainment with 80% of its clientele being cruise passengers. With this experience I felt that I had come full circle in the industry from a regulator to a port operator to a port user. Q. In 2019 you moved to Antigua and joined Global Ports Holding (GPH) – the world’s largest cruise port operator. At the time, GPH had just won a 30-year concession to manage Antigua’s cruise facilities. So how

did you feel about joining a company that was comparatively new to the Caribbean region? A. Being born and raised in the Caribbean and working in the cruise industry for over 20 years, I am both personally and professionally happy to be part of Global Ports Holding. I share the vision of the company for development of the cruise industry in the Caribbean which includes the development of world-class cruise facilities that will ensure the overall development of the regional ports and the great people which live and work in the region. Q. Antigua has always been a popular cruise destination, but what did GPH believe it could offer in terms of enhancing the island’s attractiveness? A. Antigua is not only a popular cruise destination but is also a cruise port with huge growth potential. Our plans include tapping into this potential by making both investment in infrastructural development as we have done with the fifth berth and investment in the upland development. We have only just begun in Antigua. We are in the early stages of developing a master plan for the cruise port which will transform Antigua Cruise Port into one of the most sought-after destinations in the southern Caribbean – not just as a transit port but also as a homeport. We have also stayed true to our commitment to invest in the people of Antigua and Barbuda despite the pandemic, by recently launching training programs and certifications for a variety of stakeholders – from our internal team to our taxi operators and tour guides. 5

PROFILE DONA REGIS-PROSPER Q. How has the global pandemic and the effective halting of the world’s cruise industry impacted on GPH’s plans in St John’s and, more widely, on the local economy? A. Undoubtedly, the pandemic has been a difficult time for the entire industry. In spite of the extensive loss of life, livelihoods, and simple freedoms that our global community, and our individual ports and nations have experienced, we can still find so much to be grateful for if we look for the opportunity. The fact that we completed the US$30 million cruise port project in the middle of a pandemic shows that we are moving on with our plans. We are now working on the upland development to receive the Oasis-Class vessels this year and are also moving ahead with the master planning process for Antigua Cruise Port. These developments will have a major impact on the local economy. Q. How much has GPH invested in Antigua and are there still more investments to make? A. We are so grateful for the opportunity to work with the Government and people of Antigua in the development of such a wonderful cruise destination with so much growth potential. Thus far GPH has invested US$55 million in Antigua and intends to invest another US$25 million in the commercial development which include an entertainment, food and beverage and retail experience at Antigua Cruise Port. Q. GPH now has three key locations in the Caribbean: Havana, Nassau and Antigua & Barbuda. Is GPH looking to expand its Caribbean portfolio in the near-to-medium term or has the global pandemic altered the company’s strategy for the region? A. The global pandemic has impacted the destinations of the Caribbean significantly, especially given its reliance on tourism. However, we at GPH remain very focused and optimistic about the cruise industry in general and about the Caribbean in particular. We are continuing our discussions with several countries in the region and expect to begin supporting other cruise destinations soon. Stay tuned!

6 Caribbean Maritime | October- January 2022

Q. How satisfied are you with the completion of the new Pier 5 and the fact that Antigua can now handle the world’s largest cruise ships? A. I am very satisfied with the completion of the fifth berth, in particular the fact that we were able to complete on time and on budget and in middle of a pandemic is nothing but amazing. We are looking forward to leading Antigua’s cruise tourism into its next phase by accommodating the world’s largest cruise ships. This is certainly a game changer for Antigua. We have not only increased the passenger capacity but also the berthing capacity.

quite at home in all those islands during my tenure. However, each island is unique in its own way and so Antigua is very personal to me because my husband is Antiguan by birth, and so I have an extended family here. I really do enjoy Antiguan cuisine, beaches, perfect climate and the fact that the country is a safe place to live and work. Q. What are your main interests outside of work? A. I have really simple tastes, if I may say so myself. I’m very passionate about health and fitness, fashion, personal branding, image building and branding. I also love traveling and discovering new cultures.

Q. What differences have you found living and working in Antigua when compared to life back in St Lucia? A. Over the past six years I have worked across the region: St Lucia, BVI, Jamaica and now Antigua. During my journey across the Caribbean, I have realized that there is so much more we have in common than we perhaps think. I have worked with some of the most talented and amazing people in the Caribbean and I was privileged to feel

I grew up in a single-parent household and was raised by a strong and loving mother who taught me the value of education and hard work from an early age


RATES SCALE NEW HEIGHTS As one carrier tries to stem the tide

These are unprecedented times for liner shipping. A faster-than-expected recovery from the global pandemic has led to super high freight rates, incidences of serious port congestion and a general lack of available slots and tonnage. How to resolve this? Capping freight rates, deploying non-container ships to carry boxes or going breakbulk? There are no easy answers.

8 Caribbean Maritime | October- January 2022

PHENOMENON This is not just a Caribbean phenomenon, of course, and it’s a situation that is impacting the entire globe. A quick look at Drewy’s World Container Index shows that the average cost of moving a 40 ft box has increased fivefold in just over 12 months from under US$2,000 in August 2020 to just below US$10,000 by September 2021. These high rates have resulted in record earnings for many shipping lines. Ports, too, have seen record cargoes. For example, PortMiami – a bellwether of our region’s box volumes – has reported a 30 per cent jump in container traffic this year over 2020.

But it’s not just boxes. It’s much the same in non-containerized markets. The situation was neatly summed up by Hamburg shipbrokers Toepfer – compilers of a widely watched multipurpose shipping index. The present situation in other sectors, Toepfer says, “reflects high demand and a shortage of available tonnage”. Adding: “While container and wind-power related cargoes are further taking up the available general cargo space, so shippers and forwarders are now forced to book their cargoes fairly in advance instead of spot or prompt, as in the past, to ensure that the transport will take place within the required time frame.” But help, of a kind, could be at hand. French carrier CMA CGM and its associated brands (that’s CNC, Containerships, Mercosul and APL) took the decision in September to prioritize its long-term

Somebody has to pay these increased costs and, naturally enough, it will be end users who will be picking up the tab

TetKabrit /


et’s face it, it has been a tremendous 18 months or so for global liner operators as carriers have more or less named their price to move containers. And they look like they will be able to do so for many months to come and well into next year - or at least they did. The soaraway box rates of 2021 are in marked contrast to previous years when the world’s leading operators struggled to make money yet continued to invest eye-watering amounts in bigger and bigger tonnage as they drove down slot costs. Only to then see these hard-won savings passed on to shippers in the form of lower freight rates. Now the tables have been dramatically turned. But what is good news for both global and regional carriers and for the wider shipping industry is probably bad news for more or less everyone else – especially many fragile Caribbean island economies already reeling from the coronavirus pandemic and its negative impact on tourism and cruise revenues. OK, not all Caribbean imports arrive in containers, but a large percentage do. So, depending on the cost of the freight element in the final price of any particular imported item then this will have in 2021 been feeding its way into rising prices for consumers and stoking inflation. Somebody has to pay these increased costs and, naturally enough, it will be end users who will be picking up the tab. 9


relationship with its customers rather than to impose higher and higher spot rates on them – as had been the case until this point. As CMA CGM noted, container shipping spot freight rates have continued to rise due to port congestion and a major imbalance between demand and the effective capacity of maritime container transport. The carrier nevertheless decided to put any further increases in spot freight rates on hold for all services until February. CMA CGM’s decision was followed by Hapag-Lloyd.

allows shippers to use the latest prices as a max to work on their budgets for new and continuing business rather than worrying about profitability changing drastically due to constant increases. On the other hand, and contrary to the prevailing mood elsewhere, rates between the US and Puerto Rico have this year

held fairly steady. Economist José Joaquín Villamil, CEO of Estudios Técnicos, says that the increase in rates from freight outside of the Jones Act trade should open the door for rethinking negative assumptions about the cabotage law. Music to the ears of Jones Act proponents. Forecast from French carrier CMA CGM.

But despite CMA CGM’s actions, the carrier also acknowledged that rate increases in the wider market would continue into 2022. Jean-Yves Duval, CMA CGM’s Senior Vice President of Latin American & Caribbean, told Caribbean Maritime: “We have gotten very good feedback from clients here.” He also believes that the move has "put some optimism" (into the market) and that things could now stabilize. Adding: It also

lazyllama |


DE-CONTAINERIZATION There is, at the margin, a way around skyrocketing container rates and the lack of box availability and that’s what might be called de-containerization. If it takes effect, it will buck a steady 40-year trend in the opposite direction. So, if you can’t find containers for your cargo or don’t want to pay over the odds when you do, why not switch to breakbulk. OK, rates are still higher than they were a year ago but still represent good value for money for the right type of freight. There have been several examples of this in recent weeks with cargoes such as bales being shipped as breakbulk instead of in containers. In turn and in the current rising market, breakbulk vessel owners appear to be getting choosier about the freight they are prepared to transport with these de-containerized cargoes taking precedence over previously popular out-ofprofile items such as wind turbine blades (see also Russbroker report on page 43).

Or taking matters a step further in the same direction and more bizarrely, perhaps, loading containers onto bulkcarriers. And it’s already happening. Singaporeheadquartered Swire Bulk is among the first dry-bulk owners to be actively moving containers on its dedicated fleet of bulkcarriers, with a host of other wellknown names in the sector thought to be looking to follow suit. For example, another Asian owner, Hong Kong’s Pacific Basin Shipping, is also said to be ready to offer some box shipments on its handy fleet. As is Oslo-based Golden Ocean Group. Rob Aarvold, general manager at Swire Bulk, explains: “It’s obviously less efficient to stow containers on a bulk vessel, but it can provide critical supply chain support for shippers that have urgent requirements.” Some regulation and much-needed guidance are on their way, too. Bureau Veritas, for instance, has developed a

formalized approach to support the safe carriage of containers in bulkcarriers. The guidance outlines two main pathways for stowing containers in holds, either as a ‘block’ of lashed cargo without retrofitting of special container securing fittings, or as more conventional stacks of containers, in which case such equipment may need to be fitted permanently or temporarily.

What gives people feelings of power? MONEY



Cruising to make a comeback on


12 Caribbean Maritime | October- January 2022

The centrepiece of the ambitious program is the construction in Colombia of the five-star, all-suite, river cruise vessel AmaMagdalena Pictured, another AmaWaterways vessel, the AmaMagna


n Europe, the Rhine and Danube – not to mention the Maas, Seine and the Douro – are crazily full of sleek river cruise vessels, or at least they were until coronavirus struck in March 2020. The same is equally true for the less busy Mississippi, Columbia and Snake Rivers in the US. The upside of river cruising is clear to see: no chance of rough seas, no dreary at-sea days, an ever-changing view as the world slides by (both port and starboard) and calls where passengers can enjoy an evening ashore before departing overnight to the next picture-postcard destination. And now river cruising is coming to the Caribbean rim. This follows an announcement by California’s AmaWaterways, which will launch operations in late 2023 to explore Colombia's mighty Magdalena River. And explore does seem to be the right word in what will be an exciting and dramatically new destination for river cruise aficionados. The project represents a significant investment by river cruise specialists AmaWaterways – a top brand that also sells journeys on waterways throughout mainland Europe and decidedly more exotic trips on the Mekong, Chobe and Nile. The centrepiece of the ambitious program is the construction in Colombia of the five-star, allsuite, river cruise vessel AmaMagdalena, which will accommodate between 80-100 passengers and feature three restaurants. The design of the vessel will broadly resemble those already in service in Europe.

One of the great commercial rivers of South America, the Magdalena is Colombia’s longest and busiest, flowing northwards for about 1,528 kilometers from its source in the Andes to its outlet to the sea at Barranquilla. In theory it is navigable through much of its lower reaches and as far as upstream as Honda, but it’s also one that has traditionally suffered from sedimentation; unfortunately resulting in draft restrictions. As such, the Magdalena River only a guarantees two meters water depth for 145 km inland from Barranquilla and hence El Banco will be the furthest point upriver navigated by the AmaMagdalena. Even this is only possible thanks to a US$24 million dredging program that will take place during the latter part of 2021.

ITINERARY Seven-night itineraries will be scheduled year-round with cruises departing from either Cartagena’s Muelle de las pegasos (currently used for party boats and large sailing vessels) and Barranquilla’s attractive Malecón turistico on the Magdalena’s west bank. Probable calls on the Magdalena River en route to El Banco will include Salamina, Cerro de San Antonio, Pedraza, Zapayán, El Plato, Guamal and Mompox. AmaWaterways will operate the vessel in association with specialist South American firm Metropolitan Touring (MT), which will handle shoreside excursions. MT is not new to cruising and has decades-long experience of the Galápagos 13


Islands expedition sector. Both companies are very excited about the new venture. “Not since my early university days exploring the Amazon River have I felt the excitement of discovering a new destination that is so rich in biodiversity and culture, as I found on the Magdalena River in Colombia,” said Rudi Schreiner, president and co-founder of AmaWaterways. “I’m absolutely captivated by the rich history, wildlife and friendly welcome that awaits our guests.” Hopefully two years will be enough time for the river cruise sector to have fully recovered from the global pandemic and the seemingly bold decision made now by AmaWaterways to launch on the Magdalena River will seem perfectly timed.

PIONEERING The launch of the AmaWaterways river cruise operation may appear pioneering, but the Magdalena River has a long and somewhat checkered history as a passenger carrying waterway emulating, in some small way, the colorful past of the Mississippi with its distinctive steamboats and as an irresistible magnet for adventurers, authors and drifters. It was also a river much loved by Colombia’s greatest writer Gabriel García Márquez. He spent much of his youth journeying the Magdalena River and, in particular, chronicled his many trips on the luxury 120-passenger capacity steamboat David Arango. The 1940s were an age when passengers dressed impeccably for dinner, larger-than-life captains brightened every voyage and where vague timetables and unexpected groundings were all part of the experience. Unfortunately, García Márquez lamented the decline of the river during the 1950s and 1960s which he said had, at that time, become beyond redemption with its increased pollution and the denuding of its evocative jungle banks.

Meanwhile, similar plans to launch cruises in Guyana on the Demerara, Essequibo River, Berbice rivers have so far failed to materialise.

And he felt that the burning in 1961 in Magangué of the ill-fated David Arango was a highly symbolic end to the era of passenger transport along the river. He said that the vessel’s sad demise coincided with a period of growing violence that briefly turned the river into what he considered was “the most dangerous part of the world”. Luckily for AmaWaterways, the Magdalena River, like Colombia itself, has seen a pleasing and dramatic revival since those dark days of the past and this eyecatching new cruise will be one of which García Márquez would be justly proud.

The AmaPrima

WATERWAY IMPROVEMENTS The success of the AmaWaterways project is heavily dependent on major improvements being made to the long-neglected Magdalena River – historically one of Colombia's most important transportation arteries. Corporación Autónoma Regional del Río Grande de la Magdalena (Cormagdalena), the autonomous corporation charged with overseeing the Magdalena River Waterway, originally awarded in 2014 a 13-year concession to the Navelina consortium to dredge and make navigable a 908 km long stretch between Puerto Salgar in

Cundinamarca province and the mouth at Barranquilla. But this contract was pulled in 2017 and had to be re-tendered as a public private partnership (PPP) and one now technically endorsed by the InterAmerican Development Bank. Due to past problems with the original contract, work is only getting underway in the second half of 2021. The Colombian government has for some time been keen to make greater use of the Magdalena inland waterway as a costeffective alternative for the transport of cargo (via pusher craft and barges) and

for passengers while upgrading riverine connections between Bogotá, Medellín and Cali and the coast. Even so and ahead of the dredging work, freight movements on the river are already on the increase and were up over 21% in June compared the same month in 2020 while the Port of Barranquilla also recorded its highest-ever first half figures this year. Once dredging and other work is complete, cargo transported on the river is expected to grow from around 1.5 million to 6 million tons per year and up to 10 million tons by the end of the decade. 15


The impact of

CLIMATE CHANGE REGULATIONS ON GLOBAL SHIPPING MEPC 76: FROM GOALS TO MEASUREMENT TO COMPLIANCE The June meeting of the IMO’s Maritime Environmental Protection Committee (MEPC 76) successfully gained member consensus on two important issues: • Acceptance of the IMO’s carbon reductions goals: 30% reduction by 2030 and 50% reduction by 2050, as compared with 2008 levels;

Stephen Metzger


Principal, International Competitive Assessments


he global shipping industry is in the vortex of a chaotic market with levels of demand for shipping services and freight rates at historic highs. At the same time, the industry must deal with impending climate change regulations focused on reducing the industry’s carbon footprint. This article deals with the latter issue, but it is important to bear in mind that current market conditions will play a role in whether or not the pending regulations can be effectively implemented.

16 Caribbean Maritime | October- January 2022

• Acceptance of two carbon emission measurement tools, the Energy Efficiency [for] Existing Ships Index (EEXI) and the Carbon Intensity Indicator (CII).

EEXI AND CII POINT THE WAY TO SYSTEMIC CARBON REDUCTION The EEXI establishes a “Required EEXI” for specified ship types, and an “Attained EEXI” to be calculated for each individual ship. The calculation of Required EEXI builds on the Energy Efficiency Design Index (EEDI), with a table of reduction factors specific to the EEXI calculation. Vessels over 5,000 gross tonnes will be required to quantify and report on carbon emissions from operations on a yearly basis called the Annual Operational Carbon Intensity Indicator report. The CII provides

ship operators with the factor by which they must reduce CO2 emissions annually to ensure continuous improvement and regulatory compliance. To summarize, the EEXI is established by reference to technological factors and sets a standard for compliance by ship type and individual ship. CII, on the other hand, is a measurement of carbon emissions occasioned by actual vessel operation. Comparison of the CII, to the EEXI, signals the degree of compliance and provides a set of required improvement factors. For more information on the EEXI and CCI see: https:// understanding-new-imo-decarbonizationmeasures-eexi-and-cii .

LNG, HYDROGEN, AND AMMONIA VIE FOR POSITION AS THE DOMINANT ALTERNATIVE MARITIME FUEL Given the tools of carbon measurement and the goals to be achieved, shipping must find a substitute for heavy fuel oil (HFO), which is now, almost universally used to power vessels of all sizes. LNG, ammonia, and hydrogen are considered, and promoted by their respective interest groups, as alternatives to HFO,

Transportation determined that use of LNG even over a relatively short 20-year period offered no net benefits, as compared with conventional bunker fuel oil. See: https:// . Hydrogen: Uses natural gas as the source of methane, which is converted to carbon dioxide and hydrogen. In an article published in Energy Science and Engineering on August 12, researchers from Stanford University and Cornell concluded that even with carbon dioxide capture, emissions in the form of methane remain “very large”. See: https://news.

The big decarbonization challenge will only be solved when we have carbon neutral fuels available at scale none of the three likely candidates, offer a uniquely clean emissions solution. Here are the issues in each: LNG: In the process of extraction transmission, and combustion, LNG gives off methane gas, which has particularly deleterious effects on atmospheric temperatures because of its capacity for heat entrapment. A study by the International Council on Clear

Ammonia: Ammonia is composed of nitrogen and hydrogen. Natural gas is a source of hydrogen and nitrogen is drawn from the atmosphere. The elements are combined in a refinery process to produce ammonia. Ammonia can be a carrier and storage agent for hydrogen – the ammonia then cracked back to hydrogen at the point of use. Methane leakage is again a problem in the production and use of hydrogen, while burning ammonia gives off the nitrogen oxide pollutant. Use of either of these fuels requires significant modification of currently available IC engines now used in the maritime industry. An excellent overview of these issues can be found here: gas/op-ed-whats-the-verdict-on-ammoniaas-fuel-or-as-hydrogen-carrier/.

THE REAL CHALLENGE – A DOSE OF REALISM FROM MSC’S CEO Given these complexities that have to be worked out over time, perhaps the most realistic assessment was given by Søren Toft, the newly appointed CEO of Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC) in an interview

with the Financial Times. Toft stated, “The big decarbonization challenge will only be solved when we have carbon neutral fuels available at scale,” adding that until such fuels come into place MSC would be focused on energy efficiency improvements for its fleet in the interim.

IMPACT ON CARIBBEAN SHIPPING AND THE CARIBBEAN REGION’S PARTICIPATION IN CLIMATE CHANGE INITIATIVES Complexities aside and despite Toft’s misgivings, the two major cruise lines serving the Caribbean have taken definitive positions with regard to fuel choice. Carnival has explicitly stated that its next class of ships will be powered by LNG, while Royal Caribbean has indicated the same intention, albeit suggesting fuel cell technology will be an ongoing consideration. The endorsement of LNG as the fuel of choice by these two giants of the cruise industry, lends further impetus to plans for establishing LNG hubs in key locations in the Caribbean. Projects already started include Jamaica’s floating LNG storage and distribution system in Old Harbour Bay, St Catherine and Aruba’s electric power/refinery project with Houstonbased Eagle LNG Partners. We may well see Belize involved in similar projects. The country recently became part of The GreenVoyage2050 Project, a partnership project between the Government of Norway and the IMO, aiming to transform the shipping industry towards a lower carbon future. In particular the project will also build capacity in developing countries, including small island developing states. Of no small note is that Guyana and neighboring Suriname will become major global sources for oil and gas. Thus, the Caribbean could well become a massive regional hub in terms of both supply and demand of LNG for shipping – and a force for boosting the shift to cleaner maritime fuels. 17

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Image courtesy of TOWT. Herskovits & Tobie. Photograph: Michel Bizien

Turning back the clock Commercial sailing vessels make a come-back


t seems a lifetime ago when schooners sailed Caribbean waters at the mercy of the winds, when loose cargo was loaded manually by stevedores and when seafarers really did need to know the ropes. Now a French company wants shipping to turn back the clock to this bygone age with a bold vision of reintroducing commercial sailing vessels to the transatlantic liner

trades as well as regular calls at ports in the Caribbean. The planned new service forms part of a wider green-tinged maritime counter culture that appears to be gaining traction in sharp contrast to the economies of scale that have driven liner shipping in recent decades. So instead of rows of neatly stacked boxes this new service will be delighted to see cargo decks piled high

with wooden barrels, cases of rum and loose gunny sacks.

RETURNING A PROFIT All this may be laudable especially a time when the wider shipping industry is, in any case, actively reducing its carbon emissions, but how does a company turn a profit from a slow-ish, entirely wind-reliant liner service and with a strictly limited cargo 19


Diana and Guillaume

capacity? Well, Guillaume Le Grand CEO of Brittany-based TransOceanic Wind Transport (TOWT) thinks he has the answer. He aims to back his hunch by building four new purely sail-powered vessels at a total cost of around US$72 million for the company’s planned transatlantic liner service. Despite those who may be sceptical that such a business model makes any sense, this is a serious commercial venture that aims to sell cargo space based on its ultralow carbon footprint. It’s a transport concept that immediately appeals to fair trade, highend, super sustainable brands that tend to retail at a serious premium and to those consumers who value such eco-products. This view is quickly confirmed by leafing through the names of the 30 or so cargo owners who have already committed to the project. And here’s a perfect example: in July, French drinks company’s Martell Mumm Perrier-Jouët announced it had partnered with TOWT for the shipment from 2023 of at least 400,000 bottles of champagne and cognac per year to New York. Passengers will be another source of

revenue for TOWT and there will be 12 feepaying berths available per voyage. TOWT says these passengers will benefit from spacious cabins and access to common areas on board – such as a lounge, library, and a sun deck. Up until now, TOWT has just charteredin small sailing vessels of up to 100 tons carrying capacity and only undertaken a variety of ad hoc voyages for its disparate cargoes of rum, coffee and cocoa. What’s now proposed is on another scale altogether. The four vessels to be ordered will each be 67.5 meters in length, have a 1,000 tons cargo carrying capacity and would hope to achieve an average speed of 12 knots. But despite TOWT looking to launch the new service in late 2022, no firm orders for the quartet have, as yet, been placed with a shipyard.

OPERATIONS While these three-masted sailing vessels will also trade elsewhere, emphasis will be placed on operations between the Caribbean/Central America and northern Europe with Guadeloupe and Santa Marta already identified by TOWT as ports of call. TOWT will be the second French company to use purely sail or sailassisted power on transatlantic routes and alongside the Canopée which will operate for Jifmar Offshore Services between France and Guyane from late 2022 serving the European space site at Kourou.

FUTURE ORIENTED TOWT describes itself as a future-oriented Breton company, specializing, since 2011 in the transport of goods by sail. Up until now TOWT has used former working or replica sailboats. TOWT says it is reviving an environmentally friendly mode of transportation that

addresses current and future environmental issues. The company believes wind energy allows the transport of goods at both regional and international levels while considerably limiting CO2 emissions compared to conventional modes of transport.

20 Caribbean Maritime | October- January 2022

FRANCE’S AGENCY FOR ECOLOGICAL TRANSITION (ADEME) TOWT has for some time been conducting a research and development program for the construction of a new type of working sailing boat. Supported by France’s Agency for Ecological Transition (ADEME), the project benefits from the Agency’s Investors of the Future Program. It aims to design a new generation of tall ships (such as the four vessels proposed by TOWT) for the transportation of goods that meet the criteria of cost, reliability, capacity and speed. It will enable the application of new technologies, particularly in naval architecture, and also new environmentally friendly logistical and commercial uses.

ANEMOS All products shipped on TOWT’s vessel carry the ‘Anemos’ (the Greek word for wind) label. This label informs consumers that the products they buy are shipped onboard sailing ships. It provides buyers with the opportunity to discover the exact route of the ship, with pictures taken during the journey, weather data, carbon reduction – all adding, TOWT’s customers hope, to the purchasing experience. 21


A regional beacon celebrates 40 years




t gives me tremendous joy to commend the members of the Shipping Association of Barbados (SAB) on achieving the hallmark of 40 years in existence. The need for this Association was recognized in the late 1970s when members of the shipping industry felt that their representation at that time by the Barbados Employers’ Confederation was not strong enough. As such, there was a need for a dedicated shipping association to be started. This desire gave rise to the formation of the Shipping Association of Barbados which was created in 1980 and became operational on January 1, 1981. In its four decades of existence, this Association has unified the businesses, partnerships and other stakeholders who are bona fide registered ships agents and stevedore contractors operating in Barbados. The founders of the Association were committed to ensuring that Barbados had a voice in regional shipping through participation in the Caribbean Shipping Association (CSA). David Harding was the first Barbados agent to be president of the CSA. In terms of training, the SAB helped developed many training modules using the CSA as the platform to develop skills all through the Caribbean Islands. SAB members have developed as agents in Barbados, the region and beyond. SAB has financially supported several measures through the Jamaica Maritime

In its four decades of existence, this Association has unified the businesses, partnerships and other stakeholders Institute which became the Caribbean Maritime Institute (CMI) and more recently known as the Caribbean Maritime University (CMU). Looking towards the future of the SAB, it is my hope that we continue to serve the

stakeholders of this vibrant local shipping industry. As an association, we have been a beacon in the region as a founder member of the CSA. Beyond the region, the SAB is held in high esteem internationally and is affiliated with the American Caribbean Maritime Foundation (ACMF). Therefore, as we embark upon this new decade as an association, I look forward to seeing even greater ties with both the CSA and the ACMF.

ARLIN KELLMAN President of the Shipping Association of Barbados. 23


A long way in a short time Led by Elbert Hepburn, Bahamian firm Elnet Maritime Agency is one of a new breed of shipping agents. Based in Freeport, Grand Bahama, Elnet has just moved into a new service center complex


t’s full steam ahead for Grand Bahamabased Elnet Maritime Agency as the company moves to a new service center. Elnet has come a long way in a comparatively short time and today is a full-service maritime agency committed to providing excellent service to its clients and is active on both land and sea through lightering, ship agency, husbandry, and now trucking services. Elnet began operations in August of 2008, with an ambitious initial goal of servicing five to 10 vessels per month. This goal was quickly achieved, and 13 years later Elnet acts on behalf of an average of 50-60 tankers per month and this figure continues to grow. Elnet’s in-depth local knowledge of operational conditions and its strong relationships with local governmental and industry bodies has resulted in Elnet becoming one of the leading shipping agencies in The Bahamas.

CONTRIBUTIONS Over the same period, Elnet has endeavored to play its part locally within the Grand Bahama community and has contributed over US$1 million in philanthropic donations, and empowerment projects. Up until now, though, Elnet has specialized in the tanker market but the agency has handled bulkcarriers and yachts, has acted as a Customs broker, is involved in some inter-island logistics

26 Caribbean Maritime | October- January 2022

and wants to enter the cruise and container market in Grand Bahama. At the same time, Elnet is looking to return to St Croix and where it was working previously. CEO Ellie Hepburn told Caribbean Maritime: “We have intentions about coming back into the St Croix market in the future after we've completed the Maritime Center. We've been advised by several clients that if we do, in fact, decide to journey into the market again, that they will support the business plan.” But as business and staff numbers continued to expand, there came a need for more office space. But instead of just

moving to larger premises, Ellie then launched plans to create a full maritime facility that would be the first of its kind on Grand Bahama. “Work on the Maritime Center commenced in 2018 and was originally due to open mid-to-late 2020. But the pandemic caused (and Hurricane Dorian) a delay in its construction,” Ellie explained. The end result in August this year is a new, Maritime Center which sits on a 1.2-acre plot near the port of entry and oil refinery industrial area at South Riding Point. The 11,804 sq ft facility also includes a warehouse.

We have intentions about coming back into the St Croix market in the future after we've completed the Maritime Center. We've been advised by several clients that if we do, in fact, decide to journey into the market again, that they will support the business plan 27


PORT OF PORT ST. JOE The not-so-new kid on the block

After a 20-year hiatus, Florida’s Port of Port St. Joe is springing back to life – and in a big way – clearly signaling to the international maritime community that it once again means business with arrival earlier this year of the its first foreign-flag ship since the start of the century. 29



he port’s reopening has taken many years and has been the singular mission of husband-and-wife team Clay and Ashley Crosby, owners of the local Twin Rivers Paper Company. The successful forest products firm expanded sales around 18 months ago and won an export order of wood chips that involved shipping the wood biomass from Florida to Puerto Cortés, Honduras. The Crosbys saw the nearby, and then unused, Port of Port St. Joe as the ideal outlet for the biomass exports. At the same time, Panama City-based Eastern Shipbuilding Group’s (ESG’s) has expanded into the Port of Port St. Joe where finishing work has been underway on three new Ollis-class Staten Island ferries. The first of which was delivered in August. ESG has leased 20 acres at the port site to develop its shipbuilding and repair and industrial steel fabrication operations in the Gulf-coast region and now uses 300 meters of frontage at the port. The company held a grand opening ceremony at the yard in July. And has also launched a US$50 million project to build a 15,000 ton capacity drydock.

HISTORY “It’s a great day in the history of the Port of Port St. Joe, with the finishing work on the Staten Island Ferries being done by Eastern Shipbuilding, and the return of international shipping with the Twin Rivers Company,” said Guerry Magidson, Port Authority Chairman for the Port of Port St. Joe. Located in Gulf County, the Port of Port St. Joe currently offers a deepwater seaport with nearly 580 linear meters of frontage.

As Twin Rivers has discovered the port is well-suited for bulk and cargo shipments, offering access to rail, the US Gulf Intracoastal Waterway, as well as state and interstate highways. The reestablishment of a working shipyard, as well as the reestablishment of international exports, is also seen as a victory for the local Gulf County Economic Development Coalition (GCEDC). Florida senator Rick Scott's priority has been job creation, with special emphasis given to expanding the state’s seaports. Local land owner the St. Joe Company, in alliance with the Port of Port St. Joe Authority, has been working to bring new business opportunities as well as securing funding for infrastructure improvements. For example, the Florida Department of Transportation awarded in late 2015 a US$1 million grant to the Port St. Joe Port Authority to fund final design of the dredge material disposal areas and to prepare specifications and bid documents for their construction. The intent then was to

It’s a great day in the history of the Port of Port St. Joe, with the finishing work on the Staten Island Ferries being done by Eastern Shipbuilding, and the return of international shipping with the Twin Rivers Company 30 Caribbean Maritime | October- January 2022

advance the project so that implementation of the dredging workt, when authorized, will not be delayed. The US Army Corps of Engineers then issued a Federal Permit in February 2015 to dredge the shipping channel up to 37 feet. The Port St. Joe Port Authority announced that the results of an economic impact study showed that the proposed port infrastructure improvements would generate nearly US$133 million in net state revenues, representing a total return on investment (ROI) of nearly US$4.66 to state taxpayers for each state dollar invested in the project. The Port Authority has more recently a signed Letter of Intent (LOI) from Holland M. Ware Charitable Foundation of Boise, Idaho, expressing an interest in transporting materials via the Port and using the panhandle’s own Apalachicola Northern Railway (AN

DAN VELÁZQUEZ Port of Port St. Joe’s business relations and marketing head Dan Velázquez summed up the revival:

Railway) – a company with an historic association with Port St Joe – provided that the port channel is dredged and improvements are completed to the railroad. As it is, AN Railway is receiving US$5 million to rehabilitate about 19 miles of rail and 17 structures including a trestle bridge over the Apalachicola River to accommodate freight trains to and from the port.

“The Port of Port St. Joe, one of only 14 stateauthorized deepwater ports in Florida, was a part of the St. Joe Company’s paper mill, which exported paper products nationally and internationally until 1999. Currently, the St. Joe Company is working with partners such as Gulf County, the City of Port St. Joe, and the PSJ Port Authority to bring new revitalized activity to the region. Companies like Eastern Shipbuilding are making investments at the Port of Port St. Joe that will lead to the continued revitalization of the port.”

LANDOWNER Real estate and asset management St. Joe Company and Florida's second biggest private landowner has also signed a LOI with Atlanta’s Enova Energy Group, a clean energy development company specializing in development and operations of contracted renewable-based materials. Enova has expressed an interest in transporting a minimum of one million metric tonnes per year of wood pellets using the

AN Railway to the Port of Port St. Joe for onshipment to overseas markets. Additionally, the St Joe Company has signed a LOI with biomass renewable energy firm Green Circle Bio Energy. Green Circle is interested in leasing a site in Port St. Joe along with AN Railways to develop a wood pellet production facility. Green Circle operates the world's second largest

wood pellet plant in Cottondale, Florida. The wood pellets produced at the new production facility can be transported via truck or AN Railway to the port for further shipment overseas. Both LOIs are contingent upon the Port of Port St. Joe receiving funding to complete maintenance dredging of the shipping channel. 31


Dry dock’s revival gets go-ahead



t’s been a long time coming, but the Puerto Rico Ports Authority (PRPA) has finally found an operator willing to fully restore San Juan’s derelict dry dock. The facility, the only one of its kind in Puerto Rico and the wider Eastern Caribbean, and located at Pier 15, was initially completed in 1941 and operated at that time by the US Navy. It was subsequently taken over by the PRPA, but has not been used for nearly 20 years during which time it has fallen into disrepair. The graving dock is 205 meters in length and 28 meters wide. As part of a public private partnership (PPP), the PRPA has chosen local investors Isla Borinquen LLC, headed by former baseball star Iván “Pudge” Rodríguez, to develop, finance, re-habilitate and then operate the graving dock. Isla Borinquen will put up US$12 million to rebuild the dry dock, install new dock gates and complete various other work. Isla Borinquen will then pay a monthly rental fee for the facility to the PRPA and the Authority will receive 5% of the yearly gross income from yard operations and will also charge a dockage fee to vessels

using the facility. The dry dock deal is part of the wider redevelopment by PRPA of the port section.

PROCESS The process in awarding the dry dock operation to Isla Borinquen dates back to August 2020 when PRPA executive director Joel Pizá-Batiz opened a ‘Request for Proposals’ process to find a private operator to establish a maintenance, repair and overhaul service center for various types of vessels, including commercial, yachts and mega yachts. The proposal was awarded to Isla Borinquen in January, and the company and the agency signed an MOU in April establishing the contract’s terms and conditions.



The PRPA is also seeking outside interest to develop, operate, manage, and improve Piers M, N & O, located in the Puerto Nuevo port area of San Juan. PRPA says this is needed to optimize the 18.7 acre area, which offers 365 meters of quay length, for stevedoring as well as the installation and utilization of cranes for the handling of cargoes, and potential temporary storage. This area of the port is currently used for the unloading of vehicles.

San Juan’s drydock played an important role in the repair and redeployment of battleships, aircraft carriers and other naval vessels during World War II, but by 1947 the US Navy had ceased operations at the yard. In 1950 it was re-opened and leased by the local foundry and engineering firm Sucesores de Abarca & Co. In 1979 operations were transferred to

32 Caribbean Maritime | October- January 2022

In a further development, the PRPA has submitted a grant application to the US Department of Transportation’s Maritime Administration, for US$ 10 million to cover around 80% of the cost associated with the wider rehabilitation of operations at Pier 15. The funding was requested under the Port Infrastructure Development Program. The PRPA wants to reconstruct, rehabilitate and enhance the structural capacity of the berth as well as Dock B. At the same time, the Authority is looking to design and construct a pier to handle regional ro/ ro traffic.

shipping agents Pérez y Cia, which continued to run the yard until 1999 when the Puerto Rico government purchased the graving dock from the US federal government and the Puerto Rico Ports Authority assumed management of the facility. After one or two false starts, it will have taken over 20 years to get the shipyard back in service.


The Caribbean Research Institute

A new part of the Caribbean Shipping Association Quality

Exchange Caribbean



Shipping Business Efficiency Maritime Science Connection Business Caribbean Science Logistics


Data Network

Knowledge Analysis

Data Knowledge

Information Development

Science World





he exchange of information and ideas is essential to development and in assisting members to improve efficiency, production and output. This is the primary function of the Caribbean Shipping Association (CSA). Through an appropriate knowledge base and analysis development, the Caribbean Research Institute (CRI) will now make a crucial contribution to the better accomplishment of the Association’s primary function, and to be the voice of the region's shipping industry and a major regional forum in which subject matters relevant to the growth and development of Caribbean shipping are discussed. The mission of the CRI/CSA is to be the leader of maritime, port and logistics research in the Caribbean with the purpose to help the industry to achieve the highest quality service. This will not just be for the benefit and development of CSA members but for all those doing business in the Caribbean and the region. The vision of the CRI is to become the main point of reference





Maritime Consultancy Exchange


Technical Caribbean Experience




Growth Data Information




Network Knowledge Exchange


of knowledge and research regarding the maritime, ports and logistics industries in the Caribbean for the rest of the world. The CRI will work to the highest research standards and will strive for excellency in everything it does. Rigor and objectivity will define its methods to create databases using data science tools and systems. As CSA president Juan-Carlos Croston acknowledges: “The information is out there, but it’s very difficult to find.” The CRI aims to address this situation.

OBJECTIVE There is an array of institutions across the globe aiming to develop objective technical knowledge for achieving a more optimal development of the logistics, ports and maritime industry. While the CRI’s benchmarks are highly recognized in other parts of the world, the CSA's Caribbean Research Institute is all about the Caribbean and its connection to the world. Its extensive knowledge and unequalled experience in the region allow it to provide best-in-class

research and consulting services for and about this unique region. Juan-Carlos expects the CRI to be self-funding. The CRI/CSA will work in leveraging participation in regional institutions for exposure and promotion; strengthening links with industry and academic institutions in Asia, Europe, North America and Latin America; be actively involved in an international network of knowledge generation centers; and to create a collaborative environment for existing research/analytical efforts. The main strengths of the CRI/ CSA are: its belonging and commitment to the Caribbean paired with an extensive expertise; its participation in the main institution for logistics and maritime issues in the region and its extensive implementation of scientific data and procedures from the analysis. The type of products developed by the CRI/CSA will comprise bi-annual reports, consultancy services (addressed to CSA and non-CSA members) and some free regular publications (only for members). 33


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News from around the Caribbean


Yet more new ports and offshore bases for Guyana are in the pipeline as Grand Canal Industrial Estates (GCIE) commences construction of the estimated US$70 million Berbice Deep Water Port (BDWP) on 30 acres of land on the eastern bank of the Berbice River, adjacent to Crab Island. Work on a 220-meter length wharf platform and access trestle got underway in September and should be operational as an offshore oil and gas support shore base by mid-2022 and for containerized cargo, agricultural cargo and specialized cargo terminal by the end of 2023. The port will have a seven-meter low-tide access draft alongside and its access channel. GCIE already owns and operates a laydown yard in Berbice. This facility, located along the main Corentyne



BDWP is forecast to handle over 835,000 tons of cargo – two thirds of which will be rice exports. The BDWP report predicts revenue generation from the cargo handling operations of the port to reach approximately US$28 million by 2025, reaching around US$37 million by 2030.

Offshore oil

Port Manatee is completing a US$8.3 million project to double the size of its container yard to 18 acres. Work is due to be completed in early November. Also at Port Manatee, the Caribbean shipping sector has said a fond goodbye to chief commercial officer Matty Appice – a regular attender at CSA AGMs – after 45 years in the business. Matty retired in June and has been replaced by Charles D Tillotson. Charles most recently served as senior vice-president of business development for Altamont, New York-based Carver Companies, which counts Port Manatee among its marine terminal operations.

Work on the first phase of the estimated US$600 million project is expected to get underway in November and is being undertaken by the local NRG Group – a consortium comprising National Hardware, Hadi’s Wall and ZRN Investments. Belgium’s Jan De Nul has the contract to build the base, which will include a drydock and fabrication yard, on a site of around 400 hectares.


FLORIDA Previously he was chief commercial officer of Jacksonvilleheadquartered Diversified Port Holdings; director of business development for Metro Ports; vice president of military business development for Ports America; and vice president of military sales and business development for Marine Terminals Corp.


The new offshore support bases in Guyana just keep coming. Two are currently under construction and a third has now got the green light. The latest such venture is earmarked for a site close to Vreeden-Hoop on the opposite bank to Georgetown at the entrance to the Demerara River.

Highway, is fully permitted and operational as a logistics base and will also service BDWP, which is located 3.2 km from the yard.

Janis DroneFlyer /




In what’s described as “a real global innovation for the maritime sector, the 18-meter Capo Rosso V is the Caribbean’s first-ever fast cargo ship. The Capo Rosso V is operated by Transports Express Caraïbes and provides fast freight connections between Martinique and Rodney Bay Marina in St Lucia. Built under contract in China and designed by France’s ODC Marine, the Capo Rosso V carries up to 10 tonnes of open-deck cargo and 12 inside passengers. It’s even fitted with a small Industrias Guerra-made crane.

Charles D Tillotson

Journey times between Martinique and St Lucia are 1 hour 30 minutes. 35




Global shipping and logistics firm GAC has opened a second office in Trinidad & Tobago. Previously based only in San Fernando, GAC now has a presence in Chaguaramas. The new office will focus on growing demand for mobilization from the Chaguaramas base, which serves offshore support vessels working in Trinidad & Tobago, Guyana and Suriname with GAC moving crew, cargo, bunker sand spares while also offering procurement, shipping agency and logistics services.



Carnival Cruise Line is finally going ahead with plans to build its own destination in The Bahamas. The much delayed US$170 million cruise port development on Grand Bahama has a working name of Grand Port, but will have a full brand when completed in three years’ time. ‘Grand Port’ will be the largest purpose-built cruise port constructed in The Bahamas and one of the largest in the world, will create many meaningful employment and business opportunities for Grand Bahama. Carnival says Grand Port would result in additional calls at Freeport and deliver some 0.5 million cruise passengers annually. In 2019, Carnival ships brought a similar number of passengers to Grand Bahama Island. The proposed Grand Port project envisions a two-berth port facility capable of accommodating up to two 6,000 passenger Super-Post Panamax ships at a time.

36 Caribbean Maritime | October- January 2022



An agreement between the Port of Big Creek in Belize and Puerto Cortés in Honduras is expected to bring benefits to both ports. In the case of Belize, through a cabotage barge service owned by the Big Creek Group, the three berth Big Creek will be able link to the global connectivity that Puerto Cortés currently has thanks to its 23 weekly service) and will also have the advantage of having a free zone in the yards of Operadora Portuaria Centroamericana (OPC) for its transit cargo (both import and export), which will increase Belize's foreign trade with the world. OPC, operated by the Philippines’ International Container Terminal Services Inc (ICTSI), meanwhile, expects to see an increase in the flow of cargo through the terminal.



Disney Corporation has confirmed that it still plans to go ahead with plans to construction a second private destination at Lighthouse Point in The Bahamas in line with the addition of more cruiseships to the operator’s fleet. Lighthouse Point is located at the extreme southern tip of 180km long Eleuthera – 8th largest by size of the islands that make up The Bahamas. Disney currently operates the 4 sq km Castaway Cay (formerly Gorda Cay) island in the Abaco chain. The project has been under consideration since 2019. Progress slowed a little during the pandemic, but Disney is said to be working with the local Department of Environmental Planning & Protection to ensure that the scheme complies with Bahamian environmental rules.



Royal Caribbean is expected to add Grand Turk for the first time to its list of destinations. Up until now Grand Turk has only been served by Carnival Corp, which has an exclusive call arrangement in place at the only cruise pier in the Turks & Caicos. Having both operators call at the under-utilized Grand Turk cruise pier will be a welcome boost for the island economy which has not seen the level of tourism development witnessed on Providenciales. As it is, Carnival is spending up to US$18 million to upgrade and expand the Grand Turk pier area to accommodate larger ships.

Lighthouse Point



Guyana Shore Base Inc (GYBSI) has taken delivery of a new Manitowoc crane, enabling the first-ever heavy lift water-front lifting capability in Guyana. This crane operates from a new, unique proprietary design quay, which will permit the Manitowoc crane to lift to its full potential.

News from around the Caribbean


Cruiseship operators Carnival Corp and Royal Caribbean have jointly agreed to invest a further US$350 million in the Grand Bahama Shipyard in Freeport. It will be one of the biggest investments ever in Grand Bahama. The money is to be spent replacing the yard’s two damaged floating docks (from both the impact of Hurricane Dorian and an internal accident) with larger units big enough to handle the latest and largest generation of cruiseships and making it the largest specialist facility of its kind worldwide. The new floating docks (to be built in the Far East and delivered in late 2022) will obviate the need for such vessels to be maintained and overhauled in Europe. Expansion work was expected to get underway in October.



PortMiami reports that the Cruise Division of MSC Group is to build a US$414 million, three-berth mega terminal. The new terminal will be built in conjunction with Italian shipbuilder Fincantieri and will be able to handle up to 36,000 passengers a day.



The construction of a second Cruise Terminal at Berth 2 in the Montego Freeport Terminal is being done in order to meet increased demand for cruise berthing and homeporting services at this cruise/shipping hub.

The new crane haa a maximum radius of 61 meters, the crane can handle super-post-Panamax class container vessels. Smart crane features combined with a maximum lifting capacity of 125 tons make it flexible enough to handle both general and heavy project cargo.

Expansion works to extend Berth 2 to accommodate the current trend of larger sized vessels, and construction of a new Berth 1 to handle cargo (with an emphasis on LNG) has already been completed by Thai contractor TAGU Offshore. But it still has two final installation steps which should see it being fully operational in 2022.

The US$5.2 million crane is part of an overall investment of around US$40 million by KWL in infrastructural development projects and equipment procurement. The investment is geared at positioning the company to further capitalize on global opportunities in the shipping and logistics business. The majority of the money will go towards the US$30 million redevelopment of Berth 7 as part of its move to optimise its terminal capacity. A further US$900,000 is going towards terminal pavement rehabilitation.


The Port Authority of Jamaica has undertaken the paving of Berths 5 & 6 at the Montego Bay Cruise Ship Terminal. The work is one of a number of projects to improve Jamaica’s major cruise terminals.

Kingston Wharves (KWL) expects delivery in December of a new Konecranes Gottwald Model 8 Mobile Harbor Crane. The unit is expected to increase KWL’s capacity and efficiency in container handling.

Montego Bay



Charles Baker, formerly numero uno at Terminal Contenadores de Mariel in Cuba, has moved to intercompany pastures new; taking on a key position in Gdańsk, Poland with the same parent operator PSA.

In line with PortMiami’s plans to enable shore power connectivity (see CM issue 43), MSC’s cruiseships will plug into the local power grid at berth. Fincantieri will construct two new docks measuring 750 meters in length while Miami-Dade County will build the third berth and all three are due to be completed by December 2023.


Debbie Ann Powell /

11 THE

Konecranes Gottwald Model 8

He is replaced in Mariel by Argentine national Martin Spini, formerly head of operations for Panama-based PSA International. Spini is no stranger to Mariel as he previously worked at the terminal for three years between 2014 and 2017, also as head of operations. 37



Dole Food Company has chosen Port Tampa Bay for a new containerized express service between Central America and the US Gulf which launched late July.

The Public Entities of Saba and St Eustatius have jointly issued a tender document inviting licensed ferry operators to submit proposals to provide regular service between Saba, St Eustatius and St Maarten and also between St Eustatius and St Kitts.

The US Gulf Express will include a weekly direct call at Port Tampa Bay from both Puerto Cortés and Puerto Castilla in Honduras, and Puerto Barrios, in Guatemala.

The Ministry of Infrastructure & Water Management has granted a subsidy of EUR 2 million for the first two years of operation to realize a sustainable Public Service Obligation (PSO) agreement. The start of the ferry operation is scheduled before the end of 2021.

In addition to Dole Fresh Fruit discharging bananas and pineapples at Port Tampa Bay, fixed weekly FCL service will be offered through

Darryl Brooks /

It’s understood that various ferry operators have already expressed an interest in the tender, which is open for all ferry firms meeting the necessary requirements. The selection criteria of the tender include vessel suitability, the proposed schedule, a profit and loss statement in relation to the proposed schedule, a tariff proposal and a vision regarding the long-term collaboration with the Public Entities Statia and Saba.


Port Logistics Refrigerated Services will provide terminal and stevedoring for the service at Port Tampa Bay.

Port Tampa Bay




The UK-headquartered St Kitts & Nevis International Ship Registry (SKANReg) has been elevated to the Paris Memorandum on Port State Control (Paris MOU) Gray List.

The Western Australia-based Austral has recently delivered two 58-meter length Cape-class patrol boats to the local Coast Guard and also built two new fast ferries for the Port of Spain-Scarborough service. There are close commercial ties between Australia and Trinidad & Tobago.

Confirming the news, Liam Ryan, International Registrar and CEO of SKANREG, says: “This is a major development for SKANReg and vindicates our declared policy of bringing the Registry into the main stream.”

The plan envisages the use of former facilities at CL Marine/Caribbean Dockyard & Engineering Services which prior to its demise in 2017 had been in business for over 100 years and operated a 23,000-tonne capacity floating dock.

38 Caribbean Maritime | October- January 2022

Norton Lilly International will continue to represent Dole Ocean Cargo Express for the new service. The service will be operated by the newly built 28,750 dwt Bahamianregistered reefer containerships Dole Maya and Dole Aztec.

Dole is the world's largest producer of bananas and pineapples and an industry leader in packaged salads, fresh vegetables and diversified fruits.

The Trinidad & Tobago government is in advanced discussions with Australian shipbuilder Austral over a planned partnership to set up a ship maintenance industry in Chaguaramas.


Dole's commercial cargo division, Dole Ocean Cargo Express to/from Puerto Cortés, and to/from Puerto Barrios with inland service to El Salvador. The new service will also call at Gulfport and Freeport (Texas).

CL Marine was acquired from liquidators Grand Thornton by the local Ministry of Finance in September 2020 which then formed the National Marine & Maintenance Services Co Ltd to administer the yard. At the time, the Ministry said a partnership with a strategic private sector company, such as an experienced shipbuilder, will be explored in due course. This private sector company is set to be Austral.

TTS Scarborough

Image © Austral



News from around the Caribbean



New York-based McAllister Towing has won a contract to manage Polaris New Energy’s new Jacksonville-located LNG bunkering barge operation. McAllister Towing LNG Services, a new unit of McAllister, will operate the articulated tug and barge unit named Clean Canaveral from the end of this year.




CEVA Logistics has signed an agreement that will expand its global end-to-end logistics capabilities through the acquisition of 100% of the shares of international freight forwarder CARGEX and its customs clearance affiliate, Aduanamos in Colombia. Cargex is specialized in the handling and transportation of flowers and perishables exports, and upon closing, the acquisition will immediately make CEVA Logistics a leading player in the air freight perishables market in #Colombia and more than triple its revenue in that market. This transaction will strengthen its position in Latin America, aligned with its strategy of growing in the perishables market segment.

Miami’s Caribtrans has appointed Universal X-Press as its agent in Sint Eustatius. Universal X-Press NV, a leader in cargo logistics, has been providing services to residents and non-residents for over 20 years.

The 5,400 cbm barge is being built by Wisconsin’s Fincantieri Bay Shipbuilding and once delivered will operate from Jacksonville and serve ports of the US east coast. Polaris New Energy is the bunkering subsidiary of newly formed Seaside LNG, which in turn is part of Oaktree Capital Managementbacked Northstar Holdco Energy.

Sint Eustatius

“With the addition of Cargex, CEVA Logistics continues our aggressive push to capitalize on growing global and regional market segments. This acquisition is the perfect follow-on to our M&A activity in Africa over the past 12 months” says CEVA CEO, Mathieu Friedberg.


Kingston Wharves Ltd (KWL) is planning to invest US$55 million between 2021 and 2025. This follows the US$35 million spent by the terminal operator over the last five years on upgrading and improving existing facilities and expanding into new sectors. Top of the investments is development of a 12-acre property where KWL is spending US$20 million to provide a logistics platform for global brands including 3,000 square feet of warehouse and cold storage space. The balance of the capital infrastructural development projects, the company said, will be used to reconstruct a berthing facility (Berth 7) estimated at a cost of US$39 million while the remaining US$5.2 million will be expended to acquire a super-Panamax crane. This new equipment will not only help the

company to service larger vessels but to also better compete with other well-equipped global ports. Following its achievement of special economic zone (SEZ) status since June last year, Williams said the designation has helped to further place KWL at the forefront of global logistics. He said that the slew of infrastructural developments being undertaken was also to ensure that its facilities meet global standards coupled with quality service delivery.


Image: Kingston Wharves Ltd




The public body Openbaar Lichaam Bonaire (OLB) has agreed to use tugboats from Kompania di Tou Kòrsou (KTK) and concluded a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Curaçao-based operator. To support this move, and despite a drop in local traffic, KTK has set up a new subsidiary Kompania di Tou Bonaire (KTB). But hopes are high in Bonaire that shipping traffic will recover and the tug put to good use. 39




In July Liebherr delivered a LHM 500 mobile harbour crane to Colombia’s new Mardique Terminal during the first commercial vessel call at the port. The terminal is now fully operational and ready to receive vessels and is situated close to Pasacaballos, south of Cartagena and at the entrance to the improving 114 km Canal del Dique, which connects Cartagena Bay with the River Magdalena (see page 14). Mardique is the first multipurpose terminal in Colombia to have a berth for both deepsea vessels and river barges, offering the option to move heavy-lift cargoes to the center of the country via Canal del Dique.



Following similar such schemes in neighboring Guyana, a joint venture of DP World Paramaribo/INTEGRA Port Services and the local FIRM Engineering and H.J. de Vries PD, aims to have an Offshore Support Base (OSB) up and running in Suriname by the end of 2022. This US$100 million plus development was announced in August. The projected 50 ha facility at Suzannasdaal is being constructed on the site of a former plantation on the east bank of the Suriname

Commewijne Port Facility


River and close to the Atlantic Ocean. The base will have 1,000 meters of waterfront. Natural deep water will allow safe offshore support vessel operations of up to 7 meters draft. The OSB will be just in time to claim an active role in facilitating the quickly developing activities in Suriname offshore oil and gas sector. A separate OSB is planned by Commewijne Port Facility NV (ComPort) (see CM issue 42) and located at the estuary of the Commewijne and Suriname Rivers and is due for completion by end 2022. The joint venture expects that the OSB "shall significantly attract business to Suriname, enabling growth and creation of a wide range of sustainable employment opportunities; positively contributing to the industry’s local content and to the welfare of the Suriname population."


The American Caribbean Maritime Foundation (ACMF) has announced that Mike Maura, Jr. CEO of Nassau Cruise Port, will serve as the Chairman of the 2021 Anchor Awards Gala. This annual affair is the premier fundraising event for the ACMF, at which it recognizes and honors top regional performers in the maritime industry. This year, the distinguished honorees are Alyse Lisk, Senior Vice President of Technology & Operational Excellence at Tote LLC and the late Harriat “Harry” Pershad Maragh, former Chairman and CEO of the Lannaman & Morris Group of Companies. Mike expressed his enthusiasm about participating in this year’s gala. “These honorees are incredibly inspirational. Harry paved the way for locals, like me with dreams of

40 Caribbean Maritime | October- January 2022

impacting the sector in the region; and Alyse is a role model for the highest level of professionalism in the industry.” The grand affair will be held on November 12 at the Fort Lauderdale Yacht Club. The fundraising goal of the gala is to bring in US$250,000 to support the education of the next generation of Caribbean maritime professionals. The Foundation provides full-tuition scholarships and grants to Caribbean nationals who plan to work in the industry and qualify to attend any one of these three academic partners - the Caribbean Maritime University in Jamaica, University of Trinidad & Tobago, and the LJM Maritime Academy in The Bahamas. “We have received great support for this event from our strategic

partners over the years including Michael Bayley and the team at Royal Caribbean International, Tropical Shipping, the Caribbean Shipping Association, and many other organizations and private donors and for this we are exceedingly grateful,” she noted. “Every year, however, the need increases. There are many ways to get involved, and every dollar counts,” says Geneive Brown-Metzger, ACMF president and executive director.

Fort Lauderdale Yacht Club

News from around the Caribbean



JAX LNG, a small-scale LNG facility located along the St Johns River in Jacksonville, has completed the first fueling of a marine vessel in the US with a blend of liquefied natural gas (LNG) and renewable liquefied natural gas (RLNG). JAX LNG loaded the RLNG/LNG blend into the Clean Jacksonville bunker barge (see CM issue 43) to fuel TOTE Maritime’s Isla Bella - the world’s first LNG-powered container ship. Element Markets supplied the renewable natural gas (RNG) used to produce the RLNG via renewable thermal certificates (RTCs). Using RLNG to fuel marine vessels is a readily available pathway to net-zero emissions by 2050. RLNG’s emissions profile as a maritime fuel is superior even to that of LNG, which already reduces greenhouse gas


29 emissions by more than 25% over ultra-low sulfur diesel. Decarbonization of the transport sector has greatly accelerated through the use of regulatory incentives such as the alternative fuel tax credit, which encourages companies to adjust operations and make investments in assets that reduce carbon intensity. Produced from the decomposition of organic waste, RNG is compatible with existing natural gas infrastructure, providing a practical and replicable source of energy that mitigates and repurposes carbon emissions. For this bunkering event, RTCs were matched to the physical LNG loaded into the Clean Jacksonville to create the RLNG/LNG blended product.


The Curaçao Maritime Association (CMAR) and Holland House Colombia (HHC) have joined forces to offer a platform for international companies to connect between the maritime sector of Curaçao and the 300-plus strong Dutch-Colombian business network in Colombia. The two parties signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) in July to invigorate these goals and objectives. The MOU will enable members of each organization to attend to public events, conferences, exhibitions, workshops at members’ rates. Members can be introduced to each party’s board, who will guide and direct them through the network of the partner, as per their specific needs.


Puerto Cortés is the largest seaport in Honduras. In 2019, the local AVANZA Honduras commenced construction of a new inorganic bulk cargo terminal. The facility comprises a T-shaped pier, with a 118-meter long front face and a berthing dolphin allowing vessels up to 245 meters LOA, 32 meters wide and capacity of 75,500 DWT to berth. The terminal also has 14 meter draft – the deepest on the Atlantic coast of Central America.

supported by the local government through a public-private partnerships (PPP) in Puerto Cortés. This means that 100 percent of the investment for the new berth was generated locally. The terminal

is used for cargoes such as stone aggregates, iron oxide, coal and oil petroleum coke, and strengthens Puerto Cortés position as the port with the highest capacity for inorganic bulk products.

Germany’s ShibataFenderTeam delivered six sets of SPC 1100 Cone Fender Systems with a closed steel panel design measuring 2150 x 2150 mm and one SPC Double Cone Fender System consisting of two single systems to the terminal. The project had a total value of around US$25 million and was

Inorganic bulk terminal 41

ROUND UP News from around the Caribbean



The first of Damen Shipyard’s new Utility Vessel (UV) 3911 class has been delivered to the Port Authority of Jamaica (PortJam). The Damen Utility Vessel offers versatile, state-of-the-art solutions capable of undertaking a wide range of duties both in and offshore thanks to its extensive, unobstructed deck space and extensive accommodation catering for both crew and work teams. The 39-metre UV 3911 has been equipped with a package that optimises the vessel to undertake maintenance support operations in the diverse ports managed by the Authority. One of its principal roles will be the laying and maintenance of buoys, and so it has been designed for and equipped with a dynamic positioning system and a deck crane. Other equipment installed onboard includes a 5-tonne A-frame, which will

also be used to lift the buoys, and a towing winch operated from the bridge with pulling force of 10 tonnes at 10m/ min. This, in combination with the 18 tonnes of bollard pull which the vessel generates with its propulsion system, gives it the capability to tow small objects. Up to 20 personnel can be accommodated in comfort and safety. The hull was built at Safe Shipyards in Gdańsk before being towed to Damen Maaskant Shipyards Stellendam in the Netherlands for outfitting. The current Damen standard UV portfolio is made up of five vessels ranging from 27 to 65 meters in length. The 3911 adds a new, mid-sized, option that will be attractive to a wide spread of maritime services operators. Additional roles for which it is ideal include aquaculture, offshore energy support, diving support, research, pile driving and other civil engineering

support, and lighthouse maintenance. Another is environmental response operations including oil recovery. For the latter, floating tanks and a loose skimmer can be quickly connected when required and then stored ashore on standby when the vessel is undertaking other duties. Damen has been working with PortJam since the 1990s. Over that time the Authority had taken delivery of two Stan Tugs 2909 and two Pilot Vessels 1605, before returning for the new Utility Vessel 3911.

Utility Vessel (UV) 3911 class


The official journal of the caribbean shipping association Caribbean Maritime is published three times a year and is mailed throughout the region and beyond to subscribers in both hard and soft copy, has its own dedicated website, can be downloaded from the CSA website and is available to all of our subscribers across social media. Book your advertisement now to reach Caribbean Maritime’s unique and highly influential readership - contact us.


42 Caribbean Maritime | October- January 2022


Yingna Cai /


CONTAINER MARKET The direct and indirect effects of the Covid-19 pandemic are still driving the global container market. A number of ships are always affected by quarantine measures as infected crew members have to be isolated or exchanged. Many ports around the world are battling with a general lack of shore-side labor due to work restrictions or quarantined stevedores which reduces productivity and increases vessels’ port stays. In extreme cases whole terminals or ports had to be closed as seen in China’s Yantian and Ningbo. Indirectly carriers have to cope with broken-down supply chains which, in


turn, cause cargo volumes to fluctuate. All those developments caused large amounts of container capacity to just sit around and wait for a berth. The most prominent congestion situation at the US West coast has been ongoing for months now with at times up to 40 ships waiting to enter the port. But ports in Europe and Asia were also plagued by congestion issues. Many operators stated that a considerable share of their fleet just spends time waiting, some giving numbers of up to 25%. As a result of the scarce capacity and the carrier’s inability to charter in additional tonnage container freight rates

have exploded. Between the beginning of May and the end of August the FBX Global Container Index doubled once more from what had previously already been record high container freight rates. The main drivers were the trades from Asia to the Americas and Europe and from Europe to the Americas. Depending on which index one looked at a 40ft container from Asia to the US, at the end of August, cost between US$10,000 and US$20,000. The exact price depending on the port combination and date of shipment. This situation caused a shift in the industry’s structure as freight forwarders and cargo owners started bypassing the 43


established carriers by chartering their own vessels. The forwarders often could calculate the offered freight rates against the direct charter, bunker and port costs and additionally have guaranteed space available by chartering their own vessel. Many vessels down to 1,100 TEU, readily available in Asia, were thus faced with the choice of securing a long-term charter with an established player or to fix a short period, between one Asia-Europe or US round voyage up to 12 months, at extreme premiums. The overall lack of container vessels in all sizes has led charter rates to go beyond anything seen before. The Contex, for example, had, by the end of August, reached three times its previous high from February 2008. Different coping strategies for the liner companies have emerged from this situation, varying depending on whether keeping rates down or securing additional capacity was the main focus. One operator for example offered comparatively long periods for small vessels in order to increase his fleet. Especially in the feeder segments below 1,700 TEU this proved effective to secure ships as cargo contracts often do not last longer than 12 months and consequently leaves the operator exposed to charter rates for the second or third year. A risk many smaller feeder operators were not willing to take. Others reverted to buying rather than chartering ships as cumulative charter expenses for long periods oftentimes equaled purchase prices. Another approach seen in the market was just to refuse fixing ships beyond a certain rate level or for a longer period but so far no operator has been successful using this tactic as the vessels were just picked up by the competition. Although the overall market share is still low, plenty of container lots of a few hundred TEUs are regularly being carried on MPP vessels or in some cases even bulk carriers (see separate story). Usually, this cargo originated from Asia and moved to the US or Europe and was controlled by the forwarders. The continued dearth of true container vessels has led at least one

44 Caribbean Maritime | October- January 2022

global operator to charter smaller MPP vessels for period, especially for niche trades such as Caribs or Australia. The segment of 2,500 TEU vessels naturally was the first to consistently fix threeyear periods. In May a few charterers were still able to fix ships for two or 2.5 years but since early June those vessels would only go for three years unless the owner decided otherwise for special reasons such as an upcoming sale or dry dock. Charter rates at that time were in the US$ high 20 thousand range. As of end June the first newcomer charterer appeared and took 2,500 TEU ships out of prompt Asian positions at US$70 to 80 thousand for periods between 6 and 12 months to capitalize on the ultra-high freight rates. At the end of August one ship even got US$140,000 per day for a 6 months duration. By August, three-year periods cost about US$35,000 and the position of the

vessel did not matter much. One geared 2,700 TEU newbuilding, for example, was fixed with delivery ex-yard China for Europe – Caribbean trade. With the shrinking availability of tonnage more and more ships were also extended for forward positions, sometimes up to 6 months in advance at discounts of only 10% compared to a prompt-ish extension. Owners trying to push for more than three years have so far been unsuccessful unless for the modern and very fuel economic SDARI types where a couple of ships locked in for five years. Older 2,500 TEU high reefer ships continue to be in good demand for those transatlantic trades where reefer containers make up all or the majority of the cargo. About 25 of those ships still trade between North Europe or the Mediterranean and the Caribbean. Services in this trade lane dominated by

Many ports around the world are battling with a general lack of shore-side labor due to work restrictions or quarantined stevedores which reduces productivity and increases vessels’ port stays

standard containers are nowadays covered by vessels with capacities between 4,000 and 10,000 TEU. One carrier will cut the number of 2,500 TEU ships deployed in its Caribbean-US Gulf-NCSA service from six to three and thereby go from weekly to bi-weekly sailings due to fact that “the global logistic industry is facing an unprecedented strain.” The reason for this downgrade is probably that the ships can be deployed more productively elsewhere and there are just no free vessels to charter available. The 1,700 TEU ships followed a similar path as the larger ships. In May, two years at US$ low 20 thousand were the norm. In June the first three-year fixtures appeared and rates had gone up to US$ mid/high 20 thousand. 1,700 TEU vessels were also fixed for forwarder business achieving US$ 80,000 for half a year. By the end of August at least ten ships in the 1,700 TEU range had fixed round trips or short periods, some reaching over US$100,000. The standard fixture had become three years at US$ low 30 thousand for older ships and US$ mid 30 thousand for modern Bangkok-max vessels. The number of Caribbean trading 1,700 TEU ships available for charter has been reduced quite a bit in recent months as six such ships were sold to end users. Until the end of next year there are about a dozen ships coming open in the Caribbean, any tonnage in addition will have to be sourced from Europe or Asia. The 1,300 TEU segment illustrates the Asian market strength quite nicely. In 2020 the high reefer 1,300 TEU ships trading in the Americas earned similar levels or even up to US$1,000 more than the Peene-Werft 1,400 TEU design, a ship type of which most are trading in Asia. By 2021 the trend had reversed and the 1,400 TEU ships fixed several thousand US$ more in Asia than the high reefer specialists in the Caribbean. Charter rates for two-year periods rose from US$ 18,000 to US$30,000 between May and August, but owners oftentimes struggled to force charterers into three-year durations. One ship, for example, failed twice



12 MONTHS, 1100

12 MONTHS, 1700

12 MONTHS, 2500

May-21 1375




Jun-21 1561




Jul-21 2182




Aug-21 2814




on subs before finally settling on a fresh two-year charter. In contrast to the 1,700 TEU category the number of vessels in the 1,100 TEU size range increased during the last couple of months. A lot of ships were fixed freshly out of dry dock in the Mediterranean for Caribbean trade and the area ended up with a net plus of three vessels. During May, a couple of standard 1,100 TEU ships fixed two-ear periods at US$ mid 10 thousand levels. A month later an eco-1,100 TEU ship was able to fix a relatively rare three-year period with a major liner company at close to US$20,000. Shortly after four 1,100 TEU ships fixed one year periods at spectacular US$ low/mid 30 thousand levels. One of those, coming from the Mediterranean, is scheduled to replace a 900 TEU ship in the Caribbean which, in turn, has to take the place of a sold 700 TEU vessel. Two more are for intra-Mediterranean trade and one even is for Far East-Mediterranean trade, a trade lane which has not seen such a ships size for ages. By the end of August at least one charterer did pay US$ low 20 thousand for three years Americas trade. Even the smallest feeder vessels of below 1,000 TEU were able to secure twoyear charters during the summer. 900 TEU ships fixed rates very close to the slightly larger 1,100 TEU vessels and 600/700 TEU geared ships could get US$ mid 10 thousand. Even 400/500 TEU ships got five-digit rates, or close to it, for 24 months. The overall trend of the last couple of years of less small ships in the area but a higher share of gearless ships also continued during this boom market as one carrier positioned an own, gearless 900 TEU ship from the Mediterranean. The

share of gearless ships of the Americas fleet between 500 and 1,000 TEU has reached almost one third. The scarcity of those small vessels in general made it difficult for liners to fill all their requirements during the last few months. One operator even had to charter in a 250 TEU MPP vessel to fill a gap for some weeks. Another new Canadian operator has bought one ship and is trying to buy more in the 900 TEU size range as most owners nowadays are reluctant to fix previously unknown accounts for long term business. Some owners have also become picky when it comes to the trading area and prefer European or Asian trade to Americas’ trade as operating expenses are higher in the Caribbean.

MACROECONOMICS Never has the economic background been less important to container trade than at the moment. The before mentioned inefficiencies in all aspects of the logistics supply chain just creates so much artificial demand for container tonnage that an actual increase in cargo volumes would make no difference. The fleet is fully employed and there are just no more ships to charter in. In the medium-term demand for container transportation to the Caribbean is even likely to improve, but in the long term the underlying factors of the container trade do not look that great.

SALE & PURCHASE OF CONTAINER TONNAGE IN THE CARIBBEAN Parallel to the extreme charter market, the sale and purchase market did also rise sharply. Between May and August close to 200 container ships were sold. One of the 45


largest operators has now bought over 100 ships in the last 12 months. After prices followed the simple formula of: profit during initial charter plus scrap value for most of 2021, prices regularly broke that barrier in August. A 15-year-old standard CV 1,100 vessel last year sold for about US$1.5 million only at the bottom of the market where a sister of the same age got US$15 million in August 2021. A high reefer 1,800 TEU vessel at 13 years of age achieved a strong price of over US$30 million for its sale to a US carrier. Of the about 20 Americas trading vessels that were sold during the last four months over 80% went to end users. The transactions were fairly evenly spread with about the same numbers of 1,100, 1,700 and 2,500 TEU having been sold. After the last 700 TEU geared vessels were all sold to European based buyers, one recently went to an US operator during the summer. A Turkey-based cargo owner who used to charter vessels up to 3,000 TEU for trips from Turkey to Venezuela with food aid cargo also bought a 700 TEU ship as most owners at the moment do not feel like fixing such “difficult” employment. Generally, interest in newbuildings has been very high. About 80 ships between 1,000 and 3,500 TEU were ordered in 2021 so far. Two thirds of those vessels are however for the accounts of Asian operators, one quarter for tramp owners and the rest for global operators. But even the 20 ships that will be for charter, if not already backed by a long-term charter, are not really suitable for Caribbean trade as most lack reefer plugs, speed and gear. Of course, prices for new vessels have also moved strongly upwards with yards quoting up to US$40 million for high specification 1,800 TEU ships. Despite this increase, newbuildings still appear cheap as the red-hot charter market has caused second-hand prices of 10 to 15 year old, readily available ships to exceed order prices for similar-sized tonnage. Delivery dates are now clearly into 2024 and for some yards even 2025. A few last spots for 2023 can only be had for standard, repeat designs with Tier II engines.

46 Caribbean Maritime | October- January 2022


Ingrid 698 TEU / 437@14 / 18on30 / 120rp

1 year US$ 11100 p/d gearless

Jun 21

Contship Max 966 TEU / 604@14 / 18on35 / 252rp

2 years US$ 15000 p/d

Jul 21

Vega Hercules 957 TEU / 604@14 / 18on43 / 252rp

5 months US$ 21000 p/d

Jul 21

Delphinus 603 TEU / 327@14 / 16on23 / 150rp

2 years

US$ 14000 p/d

1,100 TEU - GEARED, CELLED May 21

Vega Sachsen 1118 TEU / 712@14 / 20on42 / 220rp

2 years US$ 15000 p/d

Jul 21

Tampa Trader 1102 TEU / 705@14 / 18on22 / 220rp

3 years US$ 19000 p/d modern eco ship

Jul 21

New York Trader 1 year US$ 35000 p/d 1083 TEU / 650@14 / 20on43 / 200rp

Aug 21

Contship Leo 1118 TEU / 712@14 / 20on42 / 220rp

3 years US$ 21500 p/d

1,300 TEU - GEARED, CELLED Jun 21

AS Filippa 3 years US$ 18250 p/d 1338 TEU / 918@14 / 19on52 / 449rp

Jul 21

Contship Ice 3 years US$ 25000 p/d 1345 TEU / 925@14 / 20on52 / 449rp

Aug 21

Varamo 1296 TEU / 957@14 / 20on47 / 390rp

2 years

US$ 30250 p/d

1,700 TEU - GEARED, CELLED May 21

Hansa Horneburg 1732 TEU / 1275@14 / 20on58 / 379rp

3 years US$ 16400 p/d

May 21

San Adriano 1841 TEU / 1293@14 / 21 / 462rp

2 years US$ 19500 p/d high reefer trade

2,500 TEU - GEARED, CELLED May 21

Max Schulte 2345 TEU / 1780@14 / 12on13 / 500rp

3 years US$ 25000 p/d med - Canada trade

Jun 21

Haris 2194 TEU / 1546@14 / 19on47 / 490rp

2 years US$ 29000 p/d modern eco ship

Jun 21

Mandalay 2345 TEU / 1780@14 / 19on48 / 500rp

5 years US$ 25000 p/d modern eco ship

Jul 21

HSL Sheffield 2556 TEU / 1864@14 / 21on80 / 600rp

3 years US$ 27150 p/d forward fixture as of early 2022

Jul 21

Caucedo Express 2592 TEU / 1834@14 / 22on82 / 600rp

3 years US$ 36000 p/d cont - Caribs trade


ICT AND CHANGE MANAGEMENT in the shipping industry


nformation and communication technology (ICT) has played a significant role in keeping businesses operational during the pandemic, especially the shipping and logistics industries. Global technology strategist and consultant, Glaister Leslie shares why the need to adapt new ICT, the major challenges businesses face during implementation and how they can manage the ICT change process.

WHY THE NEED TO ADAPT NEW ICT? According to Leslie there are at least three main reasons that come to mind: RESILIENCE. This global pandemic has shown us that companies that were able to keep operating, despite staff being forced to stay home, came out as winners. But that resilience was in large part because they had the technology that enabled their staff to remain productive, even while not in the office. For example, even before the pandemic, the ADVANTUM team had already

invested in online productivity platforms like Microsoft Teams, and Azure DevOps, a tool which can be integrated with Microsoft Teams which is used to manage the software development cycle. Therefore, when the pandemic hit, the operational impact was minimal because everyone was already working in the cloud. AGILITY. One of the biggest challenges that companies faced over the past 18 months has been “How can we plan?”. Whether planning their supply chains, annual budgets, or sales forecasts, companies often took weeks and required full teams to complete this exercise. But in the past 18 months, the operational environment changed so rapidly that plans became outdated quickly. However, companies that invested in technology that allowed them to rapidly adjust their forecasts (sometimes in a matter of hours) across their entire enterprise, were able to course-correct in nearreal-time and make business decisions that helped them survive. The right technology can help companies stay agile when agility is

the difference between survival and closure. COMPETITION. The reality continues to be that automation is happening at a relentless pace. The good news is that utilizing automation applications such as the ADVANTUM software suite often leads to lower costs, and increased productivity. But the bad news is that if your competitors are automating and you are not, then you risk being squeezed out of your market. Clients often want products and services as cheaply as possible, and as quickly as possible. Automation helps companies do that, and if your competitor is able to do what you do, but faster and cheaper, you’ll struggle to survive.

CHALLENGES WHEN IMPLEMENTING NEW ICT One of the biggest mistakes that companies make when implementing new technology, says Leslie, is forgetting that they aren’t just implementing a technology project, but a change management project. New technologies often change how business processes are executed, they change the 47


roles and responsibility that staff have, as well as the perceived value that staff feel they add in their role. With that comes tremendous insecurity on the part of staff. “Will I be able to learn this new technology? Is my role necessary anymore now that this new technology is doing 50% of it? Do they need me, or will I be let go?” Introducing new software is never just about introducing new technology, it’s also about introducing change. And managing change involves managing people. The other mistake companies make is that they assume that investing in technology should come at the expense of investing in their people. “We’ve got this software now, so whether or not our people keep improving, or remain high-caliber, is less important.”Companies often forget that your technology is only as good as the people who use it. I’ve been on enough projects across the years and across countries that failed in large part because of this. They underestimate how important the people still are, even after the technology has been fully implemented. Investing in technology can’t be divorced from investing in people. The most successful companies are the ones that see technology to help make their people become more, and not just their operational costs become less. You’d be surprised how many people don’t want to do mundane work each day - they want to be challenged; they want to do work that helps them grow and develop. Companies that communicate to their staff “We’re investing in this technology to help YOU do your job better” have far more traction with their staff when implementing projects, than companies that don’t.

MANAGING THE ICT CHANGE PROCESS Constant and open communication is often overlooked but is critical to the success of technology implementation projects. Leslie emphasizes that every person and team that is going to be impacted by the new technology needs to be updated frequently. Communication needs to answer questions like “How will this new technology impact

48 Caribbean Maritime | October- January 2022

me? When will I start to see this impact? How will I better off for this technology? Does my company still care about me as an employee?” Making sure that all parties involved feel heard is also important. The more engaged staff/teams/departments feel in the new technology project, is the more ownership they’ll take of the outcomes of the project. And the more ownership they take is the less likely they’ll want to see the project fail. And the less likely they want to see the project fail is the more likely they are to support you and remove obstacles from your way. Another more overarching step companies can make is to realize that technology will not magically solve their problems. Companies sometimes decide to implement new technology without first understanding what the specific problem is that they are trying to solve. Defining the problem properly helps companies understand the root causes – and sometimes those root causes are also people-related, not just technology/ process related. Only then can you create a comprehensive solution, (e.g., staff training,

restructuring, goal setting, etc.) besides just purchasing software.

ADVANTUM ICT SOLUTIONS FOR SHIPPING INDUSTRY The ADVANTUM Software allows seamless connections with all areas of business operations, so all departments can share and process information simultaneously. Our software modules can be used separately, or together to give you full management control. For example, shipping line agents can interface the ADVANTUM Logistics, ADVANTUM Payroll and ADVANTUM Financials solutions to fully manage and automate their cargo, vessels, accounting and financial operations on one platform. ADVANTUM also offers ICT services including requirements management/need assessment; implementation coordination/ support and software change management to guide you through the implementation process. You can request a free consultation or demo today by visiting the ADVANTUM website at or email:

The ADVANTUM Software allows seamless connections with all areas of business operations, so all departments can share and process information simultaneously

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