Two more years in the doldrums for project and heavy-lift shipping as competition grows

By Gavin van Marle

The heavylift, project cargo and multipurpose shipping sector is set for another two years in the doldrums, according to a new report from Drewry Maritime Research. Describing the past quarter as one of “the worst the multipurpose and project carrier sector has endured in living memory”, the analyst’s latest Multipurpose Shipping Market Review and Forecaster report predicts there will be no recovery in volumes until the end of 2017. And, it says, dedicated project cargo carriers will continue to experience cutthroat competition, with operators from other sectors seeing a way of mitigating their own overcapacity issues.

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National Research Council works with National Defence to develop autopilot for Canadian subs

By R. BRUCE Striegler

“The autopilots aboard Canada’s Victoria-class submarines are 1970’s vintage technology. They’re still fully functional, however, it’s a matter of maintainability.” David Milan, Group Leader, Electronics, Ocean, Coastal and River Engineering at Canada’s National Research Council says that the role the NRC has with the Navy’s sub auto-pilot project includes a complete vessel upgrade, system by system. “Our role is to aid the Navy evaluate the upgrades, to ensure the product we’re getting is good for service.”

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Is that a light at the end of the tunnel for weary container shipping lines?

By Mike Wackett

In better news for ocean carriers, there seems to be emerging evidence that mid- and longer-term contract rates are firming up, post-Hanjin. In the past weeks, the Shanghai-Europe legs of the Shanhai Containerized Freight Index (SCFI) gave back all of the 30-40 per cent gains that followed Hanjin Shipping’s collapse on 31 August, to drive spot rates back down to $699 per TEU for North Europe and $583 per TEU for Mediterranean ports.

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‘It’s not too late to save Hanjin’ claim, as shipping and smartphone crises rain on Korea’s parade

By Mike Wackett in Busan, South Korea

All the talk at the World Ocean Forum (WOF) last week in South Korea is of its two major companies that are both struggling. As the event starts in Busan, the country is striving to repair the damage from the collapse of its biggest shipping line (and the severe downturn in its shipbuilding business), while hi-tech manufacturer Samsung is also having a tough time. Samsung recently announced it would be “adjusting” the production schedule of its over-heating Galaxy Note 7 smartphone, after users of replacements reported they were catching fire too. The news will have ramifications both for the intra-Asian supply chain as well as the country’s transpacific trade.

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