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Yang Ming to add ‘YM Throne’ – a new 11,000 TEU container vessel

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Yang Ming to add 'YM Throne' - a new 11,000 TEU container vessel. Image: Unsplash
Yang Ming to add 'YM Throne' - a new 11,000 TEU container vessel. Image: Unsplash
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Yang Ming Marine Transport Corp. will add one more new 11,000 TEU container vessel, ‘YM Throne’. The vessel is chartered from Shoei Kisen Kaisha, Ltd. and built by Imabari Shipbuilding Co., Ltd. The naming ceremony of YM Throne took place at Imabari Hiroshima Shipyard. Yang Ming’s attendees joined the ceremony remotely at their Taipei office.

To further strengthen Yang Ming’s mid- to long-term operational efficiency, the company ordered a total of fourteen 11,000 TEU newbuildings through long-term charter agreements with ship owners. YM Throne is the thirteenth in the series and will be delivered in late August. This type of vessels has a nominal capacity of 11,860 TEU and is equipped with 1,000 plugs for reefer containers. With a length of 333.9 meters, a width of 48.4 meters, a draft of 16 meters, these vessels are designed to cruise at a speed up to 23 knots. The containerships incorporate various environmental features including scrubbers, Water Ballast Treatment Plant and Alternative Marine Power system.

This type of vessels adopts the twin-island design to increase loading capacity and navigational visibility to ensure more efficiency and safety. The ship hull form optimization will further increase energy saving, reduce overall emissions and increase fleet diversity. In addition, the ships are designed with shorter length and beam, which makes them easier to maneuver during berthing or departure. The new dimensions enable these ships to call at major ports worldwide and pass through the new Panama Canal with no restriction, and facilitate greater flexibility in vessel deployment.

Yang Ming started taking delivery of these new vessels from 2020. These additions can lower the average age of Yang Ming’s global fleet, reduce unit cost and achieve energy efficiency. In addition, these newbuildings will help the company to proactively cope with the challenges faced by the fast-changing shipping industry. YM Throne will be deployed on Yang Ming’s Trans-Pacific service PN3 after delivery. The new vessel will not only meet customer needs but also maximize capacity utilization. The joining of YM Throne will significantly enhance the competitiveness of Yang Ming’s global fleet and service network.

The port rotation for the 1st voyage of YM Throne in PN3 is Hong Kong – Yantian – Shanghai – Pusan – Vancouver – Tokyo – Kobe – Pusan – Kaohsiung – Hong Kong.

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Container Shipping Lines

Container volume continues to break records at Port Houston

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Container volume continues to break records at Port Houston. Image: Port Houston
Container volume continues to break records at Port Houston. Image: Port Houston
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Container volume continues to break records at Port Houston. Total container volume in August was 382,842 TEUs, which is 20% more than the same month last year and an increase of 47,476 TEUs over May 2022, previously the biggest month for containers at Port Houston. Loaded container imports reached 180,132, a 13% increase this year compared to last. In total, Port Houston has handled 2,608,405 TEUs year-to-date, a 17% increase over last year’s record numbers.

The growth seen at Port Houston outpaces that of other major U.S. container ports. The National Retail Federation’s Global Port Tracker recently reported that through July import volume is up 21% at Port Houston and only 4% overall in the U.S.

“Port Houston is committed to meeting the challenge of historic cargo demand and providing a cost efficient and vital gateway for America’s maritime cargo,” said Roger Guenther, Executive Director at Port Houston. “We are investing in people and infrastructure to meet our customers’ needs. We are expediting the development of container yard space and wharves, and are adding equipment like ship to-shore cranes and rubber-tired gantry cranes to maintain efficiency as we expand terminal capacity.”

With more import containers than ever before, dwell is a challenge at Port Houston’s Bayport and Barbours Cutterminals. On average import dwell has doubled and is now six days, compared to two or three in the past. The recent addition of Saturday gates offers an option for importers to retrieve their containers from 0800 – 1700 every Saturday. In addition, Port officials are exploring an Excessive Dwell Fee leveraged on containers that stay at the terminal longer than the free time outlined in the tariff.

“We are asking our customers to take advantage of these additional Saturday hours of service, pull your containers quickly, and consider adapting procedures to work with us toward the common end goal of efficiency throughout the supply chain,” said Guenther.

Total tonnage at Port Houston’s facilities is up 24% for the year through August. Steel imports have been particularly strong this year and are up 83% year to date through August. Auto import tonnage was up 50% for the month of August but remain down 9% for the year compared to last year.

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DNV signs MoU to collaborate on autonomous ship technology

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DNV signs MoU to collaborate on autonomous ship technology. Image: Pixabay
DNV signs MoU to collaborate on autonomous ship technology. Image: Pixabay
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At Gastech 2022, DNV signed a memorandum of understanding- MoU with maritime industry technology leaders HHI, AVIKUS and Liberian International Ship & Corporate Registry to collaborate on autonomous ship technology developments.

The Hyundai intelligent Navigation Assistant System is an AI-based navigation solution that covers all steps for voyage from detection to situation analysis, planning and control. The system assists in safe navigation by displaying AR images of detected ships and navigation information. Furthermore, it controls heading and speed for collision avoidance and route tracking. Developed by AVIKUS, a subsidiary of Hyundai Heavy Industries, the system creates and controls optimal routes for collision avoidance in the ocean, aiming to reduce crew fatigue and increase fuel efficiency.

The multilateral MOU includes a joint study to deploy autonomous navigation systems on board ships to increase technology uptake by the industry and flag states. During the project, AVIKUS, HHI and LISCR will actively contribute to developing autonomous maritime solutions that comply with DNV Rules on autonomous operations, where AVIKUS aims to obtain an Approval in Principle from DNV as well as the Liberian Flag Administration.

“Through this cooperation, we believe that we will gain momentum to move forward to the next stage of autonomous ship technology. We will try to maintain the leading position in this technology and to increase competitiveness in the future ship market,” said Won Ho Joo, CTO of HHI.

“This joint development is meaningful in that it includes shipyards, autonomous solution companies, classification, and flag states to commercialize autonomous navigation solutions. Based on the results of this project, we will successfully commercialize HiNAS 2.0 and contribute to the improvement of navigation safety and fuel savings,” said Dohyeong Lim, CEO of AVIKUS.

“As a result of the 4th Industrial Revolution, the fast-paced technology development will pave the way for autonomous shipping. This ground-breaking MOU with collaboration between forward-thinking and safety-focused stakeholders will set an example of how artificial intelligence can support and enhance the safety of navigation and reduce GHG emissions,” said Thomas Klenum, Executive Vice President, Innovation and Regulatory Affairs at LISCR.

“Rightly applied, a higher degree of digitalization can contribute to safety and efficiency enhancements in shipping. Therefore, we are pleased to collaborate with industry technology leaders and help to advance the development of autonomous ships,” said Vidar Dolonen, Regional Manager DNV Maritime Korea & Japan.

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Hapag-Lloyd launches comprehensive Fleet Upgrade Program

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Hapag-Lloyd launches comprehensive Fleet Upgrade Program. Image: Hapag-Lloyd
Hapag-Lloyd launches comprehensive Fleet Upgrade Program. Image: Hapag-Lloyd
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With the loading of the first retrofit propeller in the Port of Hamburg, Hapag-Lloyd is launching its comprehensive Fleet Upgrade Program. The goal is to technically modernise the existing fleet. The propeller, which has been optimised for energy efficiency by the German manufacturer MMG, will be installed on Hapag-Lloyd’s 7,500 TEU “Ningbo Express” in Dubai in September.

As a result, the ship saves between 10 and 13 per cent fuel and CO² emissions, depending on the sailing condition. In total, there are plans to equip at least 86 ships with the new and more efficient propellers. At the same time, 36 vessels will receive a new, flow-optimised bulbous bow. During the scheduled dry dock stays, a resistance-reducing coat of anti-fouling paint will also to be applied to all vessels on the part of the exterior hull beneath the waterline. Most of the measures will be carried out by 2025 and make a significant contribution to helping the company to achieve its climate targets.

“We aim to be climate-neutral by 2045. To reach this goal, we have set ourselves the interim target of reducing the CO2 intensity of our own ships by 30 per cent already by 2030. To do so, we are investing in new future-proof ships while simultaneously focusing on making our existing fleet fit for the future. The Fleet Upgrade Program will boost the energy efficiency of the entire fleet,” says Dr. Maximilian Rothkopf, COO of Hapag-Lloyd AG.

The investment volume of the Fleet Upgrade Program will be in the three-digit million range. Together with the €2 billion order for 12 LNG ships placed two years ago, this large-scale measure demonstrates that Hapag-Lloyd is rigorously investing in sustainable, competitive ship operations for the long term.

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