The environment, regulation and technology, and the links between all three, topped discussions at Sea Asia 2019 this week in Singapore.

In a sign of the times the Connecticut Maritime Association’s annual conference this week the fuel-related sessions were not relegated a rabbit warren of meeting rooms at the back but instead took centre stage in the Grand Ballroom.

“I’m crossing my fingers here,” DNV GL’s director, environment Eirik Nyhus admitted recently.

A major containership fire occurs every 60 days it has been estimated as insurer TT Club says the campaign for greater container safety must first focus on dangerous goods.

To the melancholy list of lives and ships lost and damaged by burning and exploding containers we can now add the 56,642 gross tonnes of Grimaldi’s Grande America, now settling into the mud of the deepest part of the Bay of Biscay.

Despite assurances from fuel suppliers over the availability of compliant fuel to meet IMO 2020 from 1 January next year, industry executives warn that logistics will be a mess and the majority of smaller bunkering ports will not have low sulphur fuel.

With just a small percentage of ships fitting scrubbers owners are warned they will need secure availability of high sulphur fuel oil (HFO) in 2020 as the supply chain will be geared to delivering compliant low sulphur fuel oil (LFSO).

Against a backdrop of a gloomy outlook for container trades Bimco analyst Peter Sand warns a failure by lines to pass increased fuel costs from the IMO 2020 sulphur cap could result in bankruptcies.

Wilhelmsen Ship Management (WSM) is re-entering the crude tanker segment a decade after it exited with the sale of ITM Ship Management.

In 2018 the value of the Greek fleet increased by over $5bn to break the $100bn milestone, ensuring Greek shipowners continue to run not only the world largest fleet but also the most valuable.

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