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Port Of Baltimore Paralyzed After Container Ship Strike Collapses Bridge

Port Of Baltimore Paralyzed After Container Ship Strike Collapses Bridge

Update (0645 ET):

A massive container ship chartered by Maersk and moving outbound from the Port of Baltimore struck the Francis Scott Key Bridge around 0130 ET. The bridge collapse has paralyzed a large swath of the largest inland port on the East Coast. The port is ranked 9th for total dollar value of cargo and 13th for cargo tonnage among US ports.

Governor Wes Moore released a statement on the collapse, declaring a State of Emergency in Maryland:

“My office is in close communication with US Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg, Baltimore Mayor Brandon Scott, Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski, and the Baltimore Fire Department as emergency personnel are on the scene following the collapse of the Francis Scott Key Bridge. I have declared a State of Emergency here in Maryland and we are working with an interagency team to quickly deploy federal resources from the Biden Administration. We are thankful for the brave men and women who are carrying out efforts to rescue those involved and pray for everyone’s safety. We will remain in close contact with federal, state, and local entities that are carrying out rescue efforts as we continue to assess and respond to this tragedy.” 

Chief Kevin Cartwright, the Baltimore City Fire Department’s director of communications, told Fox Baltimore that at least 20 people and several vehicles had fallen into the river.

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Shocking footage is coming from Baltimore City, home to one of the nation’s largest marine ports. It shows a container ship striking the 1.6-mile-long Francis Scott Key Bridge and collapsing it

Here’s another view of the container ship strike.

“This effectively shuts down the Port of Baltimore completely. I’m truly speechless,” one X user said. 

Fox Baltimore’s Olivia Dance describes the scene as “devastating.”

…click on the above link to read the rest…

Shipping faces lengthy disruptions as Middle East fallout worsens

Shipping faces lengthy disruptions as Middle East fallout worsens

Analysts see more upside for container shipping and tanker stocks

 The fire on the product tanker Marlin Luanda was extinguished on Saturday. (Photo: French Navy)

The Red Sea crisis — and the Middle East situation in general — is worsening. There’s growing conviction that shipping diversions around the Cape of Good Hope will increase in scope and last much longer than initially expected. That should be good news for shipping stocks over time, due to durably longer voyage distances.

The Houthis hit the JP Morgan-owned product tanker Marlin Luanda with a ballistic missile on Friday, setting a cargo tank on fire. The tanker was chartered by trading house Trafigura and loaded with Russian naphtha. The fire was extinguished on Saturday, with all crew safe.

On Sunday, a drone attack by an Iranian-backed militia killed three U.S. service members and injured at least 40 more at a U.S. military site in Jordan. The Biden administration has vowed to respond, raising the specter of a wider Middle East conflict.

“Red Sea diversions are on the rise as continued attacks on vessels in the region are prompting more shipping companies to avoid transiting the area,” said Jefferies shipping analyst Omar Nokta in a client note on Monday.

The vast majority of larger container ships already avoid the Red Sea, and detours are rapidly spreading to bulk commodity shipping.

Citing data from Clarksons, Nokta said that crude tanker transits of the region are now down 22% versus their 2023 average; at the beginning of this year, they were down 5% from last year’s average. Product tanker transits are down 51% versus 2023, after being down 29% versus last year’s average at the beginning of the year, with liquefied natural gas carrier transits down 87% (from 36%) and liquefied petroleum gas carrier transits down 62% (from 23%).

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Container Shipping Supply Chain Faces The Deepest Crisis Ever As Massive Disruptions Emerge

“Bunker,” the Fuel for the Giant Engines in Large Cargo Ships

“Bunker,” the Fuel for the Giant Engines in Large Cargo Ships

The world grapples with the emissions.

When pricing a container shipment, we are sometimes told rates have gone up because “bunker oil” has increased in price or that the delivery will take a few extra days because shipowners ordered their skippers to slow down to save “bunker oil.”

But what is this “bunker oil”?

The term “bunker oil” defines all types of fuel used by the shipping industry and generally speaking can be split in two categories: distillates and residuals.

Distillates are produced during fractional distillation of crude oil and generally are very close in density to diesel #2, the mainstay fuel in trucking and agriculture, but slighter denser.

Residuals are produced from the thick sludge left over at the bottom of the refinery’s fractionating column and are only a step or two removed from bitumen, the stuff used to pave roads: the most widespread types of residual bunker available have densities ranging from 500 to 700cSt at room temperature. For comparison, the densest types of diesel fuel have a density of under 35cSt at room temperature. This means that this type of bunker has to be pre-heated before it can be pumped into the fuel system.

There are also several blends of distillates and residuals, or of various residuals, whose density ranges from 300 to 400 cSt, which are sold to provide a cheap alternative to straight diesel fuel while at the same time helping to meet environmental legislation.

Pollution by maritime vessels is regulated worldwide by the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships (MARPOL), first ratified in 1973, and regularly amended over the years, the last time in 2013.

The MARPOL protocol legislates all aspects of ship-related pollution, from emission levels to how waste from the ship latrines should be processed and disposed of (not a joke when modern cruise ships are involved).

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