© Richard Van Der Pluijm Indeed, the European Shippers’ Council (ESC) complained to the European Commission, saying: “The application of any emergency surcharge should be reserved for events that cannot be foreseen (such as a crisis influencing the availability of oil). In those situations, it would be unreasonable to have the carrier bear alone the impact on the price of bunker fuel.”In practice however, many shippers had contracts that were inclusive of bunker surcharges and were therefore unaffected, while for spot business the EBS was gradually rolled up into the freight rate.It is surprising therefore after the failure of carriers to make their EBS notices stick to see that CMA CGM is persisting with its surcharge.CMA CGM justifies its EBS hike based on the historical average price of Brent crude in October. However, from its high of $86 a barrel last month its price has fallen to a six-month low of $72, due to supply and trade war concerns.Meanwhile, most of CMA CGM’s peers are focusing on preparing shippers for a surcharge to compensate for the higher cost of low-sulphur fuel after the IMO’s new 0.5% sulphur cap regulations commence on 1 January 2020.Equally controversial, given the opaque nature of the carriers’ various low-sulphur fuel surcharge formulae, many shipping lines are proposing to roll out their new bunker surcharge recovery mechanisms from 1 January next year – some 12 months before the IMO regulations come into force.Currently, heavy fuel oil (HFO), which ships consume in the main legs of their voyages, is at around $450 per tonne,, whereas low-sulphur marine gas oil (LSMGO) is $200 -$250 per tonne more expensive.Some analysts predict the ‘spread’ could double come January 2020, but equally there are a few experts that suggest that the gap could eventually be much narrower, given that in terms of supply and demand, the majority of ships will need to consume low-sulphur fuel, with perhaps only 5% fitted with exhaust gas cleaning scrubbers still requiring HFO.They also put forward an argument that the higher demand for low-sulphur fuel will induce more refiners to produce more, leading to long-term decline in prices. By Mike Wackett 06/11/2018 CMA CGM Group, which includes ocean carrier APL, has raised its emergency bunker surcharge (EBS) to $100 per teu for all deepsea cargo movements from 1 December.Introduced by the French carrier and a number of its peers on 1 June, in response to higher fuel prices, the controversial EBS was initially set by CMA CGM at $55 per teu.The charge varied between carriers, for instance Maersk Line’s EBS was $60 per teu, while MSC did not publish its EBS and referred to it as a “temporary measure”.Shippers expressed anger about the attempt by carriers to impose similar surcharges, which they suggested could be construed as price signalling, and also questioned the validity of the word “emergency”, alleging the container lines were attempting to claw back compensation for the gradual rise in bunker costs over the past quarters.
To access this article REGISTER NOWWould you like print copies, app and digital replica access too? SUBSCRIBE for as little as £5 per week. Would you like to read more?Register for free to finish this article.Sign up now for the following benefits:Four FREE articles of your choice per monthBreaking news, comment and analysis from industry experts as it happensChoose from our portfolio of email newsletters
‘Ocean Exploration 2020: A National Forum,’ will bring together more than 100 ocean explorers and representatives from federal agencies, state governments, non-governmental organizations, universities, ocean institutions and leading industries to shape a U.S. national ocean exploration program.The Forum, to be held at the Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach, July 19-21, will gather experts with the aim of developing a national program that will be fully implemented by 2020.“The expertise and imagination that will come together at the Forum is exciting,” said Robert Detrick, Ph.D., assistant administrator for NOAA Research, and a Forum speaker. “Partnerships will be the key to developing and following-through on a national ocean exploration program that truly makes a difference. Partnerships leverage the funding, equipment, and expertise required to significantly advance the nation’s ocean-related scientific, economic, environmental and educational goals.”Forum participants include ocean explorers and ocean resource managers as well as educators, project managers, technologists, information managers and entrepreneurs who will share their ideas for taking the nation’s ocean exploration program where it should be in 2020.“It is an honor that we are co-hosting the Forum that will define the future of ocean exploration and lead to the nation’s national ocean exploration program,” said Jerry Schubel, Ph.D., president and CEO of the Aquarium of the Pacific.The first two days of the Forum are by invitation and will involve presentations, panel discussions and breakout sessions covering themes such as exploration priorities, technology, platforms, data and information management and sharing, citizen science and exploration, ocean exploration, and public engagement.The final day, Sunday, July 21, is Explorers Day and is open to the public. A number of explorers from the Forum will remain to meet with the public to explain their ocean exploration work and to answer questions about ocean exploration robots and other equipment on display. This event is part of the Aquarium of the Pacific’s ongoing Ocean Exploration program and Wonders of the Deep exhibit, which launched May 24, 2013.Explorers Day will also feature demonstrations, workshops, and live interactive engagements with explorers at sea on ‘America’s ship for ocean exploration,’ NOAA Ship Okeanos Explorer; with explorers on the Schmidt Ocean Institute’s Research Vessel Falkor; and with Dr. Robert Ballard’s team on the Ocean Exploration Trust’s Exploration Vessel Nautilus.Forum partners include NOAA, the Aquarium of the Pacific, the Global Foundation for Ocean Exploration, the Schmidt Ocean Institute, Google, Inc., the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Esri, NASA, the National Geographic Society, the National Research Foundation, the Ocean Exploration Trust, The Roddenberry Foundation, the U.S. Geological Survey, and the U.S. Department of State. Others from governmental and non-governmental organizations will participate and during the first two days, and members of the public will participate as ‘citizen explorers’ online, adding their voices in shaping the nation’s ocean exploration program.Five breakout sessions are planned-four in-person and one online-each with the same assignment: to outline a 10-to-15-step plan to create a distinctive, distinguished, and inclusive National Ocean Exploration Program in 2020 that considers all ocean exploration stakeholders. Forum participants will then work to reduce and combine elements of the five plans into an ocean exploration vision and plan for a national program, including a strategy for meeting plan goals.NOAA, July 19, 2013; Image: NOAA
You know how it is, you join an Overwatch map wanting to play your favourite role only to find out everyone has had the same idea. All of a sudden you’ve got six tanks on one team and no hope of winning and no one is willing to change roles. If this sounds familiar then the new role queue is here to make your life a little less frustrating.This new feature allows players to choose what class (support, tank or damage) they want to play before they start looking for a match. Blizzard say this is designed to “create an environment that fosters teamwork and encourages players to bring their very best to every match.”Credit: Blizzard EntertainmentBreaking it down, this means there will effectively be three separate queues waiting to get into a game, one for each class type. This is likely to have an effect on waiting times as the system also works by putting together balanced teams that include two of each class. This could mean that if there is a shortage of any particular type of class queuing it could mean a longer wait. On the plus side, it could encourage people to play different classes in order to shorten the queue times.The role queue is live now on the Overwatch Test Realm on PC.