Highlights of the 2019 Maritime Industry

What we always hear is that digitalization is improving and that many innovative advancements were made this last year. But, what exactly happened in 2019? What are the most talked-about topics this year?

Join us as we go through the 6 most exciting things that happened during 2019. 

1. New Record for the World’s Largest Container Ship

The world record for the largest container ship was once again broken.The vessel, MSC Gülsün, has a capacity of a whopping 23,756 TEUs and is 399,9 meters long and 61,5 meters wide – making it bigger than the Eiffel Tower. The ship was launched in July 2019. It is a new class of container ship, which is optimized for efficient propulsion and reduced fuel consumption which means there will be lower CO2 emissions.

2. IMO 2020 Emissions Standards

The current global sulfur cap which bunkers can have in their fuels is 3,5%. The IMO – International Maritime Organization – has set new standards that will further drop the maximum level of allowed sulfur to 0,5%, meaning that from January 2020, all vessels worldwide will only be permitted to utilize bunker fuel containing sulfur levels much lower than the current year’s levels.

3. New Record for Port of Rotterdam

Europe’s largest port located in Rotterdam set a new record for the total throughput volume in 2018.

The number of TEUs processed at the port has increased 5,7% from the previous year, and the new record stood at an annual total of 14.5 million TEUs.

The port authority expects this number to increase further by the end of 2019, however not as much as it did in 2018.

 4. Unmanned Surface Vessels

An autonomous Unmanned Surface Vessel (USV) made history by going across the world’s busiest shipping lane existing between the United Kingdom and Belgium. USV’s have been a hot topic for the industry in recent years as the number of stakeholders assuming an active role in the development of these autonomous vessels keeps increasing.

5. The Trade War between the United States and China

The world’s largest exporter and importer, China and the United States have been respectively clashing for most of the year.

So far, the U.S has imposed tariffs on more than $360 billion worth of Chinese goods, while China has imposed tariffs on more than $110 billion of U.S products. The United States has gone through four separate rounds of tariff impositions and has planned to further impose more towards the end of this year, making almost all Chinese goods going to the U.S subject to tariffs. China, on the other hand, has also planned for similar action by the end of the year.

Negotiations, in pursuit of a truce, are currently ongoing although the progress is expected to be slow.

6. Russia’s New Ship Route

In September 2019 for the first time, a civilian nuclear-powered ship sailed with cargo on a new route – from the coast of Scandinavia to St. Petersburg.

The ship was reported to have delivered close to 204 containers carrying frozen fish, scheduled to go on sale in the European territory of Russia.This ground-breaking achievement has created the possibility to include a new maritime route for ships that could sail through the Arctic regions for their voyages.

Sources:

https://worldmaritimenews.com/archives/271392/rotterdam-port-sets-new-record-in-container-volumes/https://www.bbc.com/news/business-45899310

https://www.nautilusint.org/en/news-insight/news/first-unmanned-cargo-vessel-negotiates-the-english-channel/

https://thebarentsobserver.com/en/industry-and-energy/2019/10/second-voyage-fish-cargo-arctic-sea-route-cancelled

https://thebarentsobserver.com/en/industry-and-energy/2019/09/here-comes-nuclear-powered-cargo-loaded-seafood

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