Sandwiched between the Persian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman, the Strait of Hormuz is the only sea passage connecting the Persian Gulf to the open ocean. In other words, it is the lifeline of the Arab world, the most notable among them being Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Qatar, and the United Arab Emirates.
Although the narrowest point in the strait is just 33km wide, the shipping lanes in both directions are only 3km wide.
If you’ve been following maritime incidents, you’d know that this Strait is in the frontline when it comes to the battle between Iran and the United States. So much so that the United States Fifth Fleet, based in Manama, Bahrain, is responsible for protecting maritime shipping lanes in this region.
Cruise ships became the first hot-spots of the deadly Coronavirus, with luxury yachts and mega cruises turning into large quarantine centers. FleetMon reported on the developments since the beginning of the pandemic. Governments all around the world resorted to imposing a strict ‘No Cruise’ ban.
With COVID-19 impacting all sectors of the economy, the cruise industry has been particularly brought to its knees.
With the figures we’re going to show you now, it becomes apparent that the sheer scale of this global shutdown is unlike something the industry has ever witnessed, easily dwarfing global events like 9/11 or stock market crashes.
A void sailing or a blank sailing is when a ship does not sail. More specifically, it is a scheduled sailing which has been either cancelled by the shipping company or the company decided to skip a certain string owing to some shortcomings.
A string is a set of ports served weekly by a carrier. For example, one string might be: Shanghai – Ningbo – Los Angeles – Oakland – Shanghai. The string moves in a circular direction but always along with the same schedule of ports with a fixed departure day of the week set for each port.
Whilst travelling, many of us might have noticed that all vessels, with the exception of cruise ships, have circular windows. These windows are commonly known as portholes; shortened form of the word port-hole window. And these portholes are not just limited to vessels, but can also be found on submarines and spacecraft.
Happy 10th Anniversary, many would say. But this particular anniversary, which recalls the start of a visionary project, is somewhat different. In January 2010, a treaty was signed between the Kingdom of Denmark and the Federal Republic of Germany for the construction of a fixed link under the Fehmarnbelt, the 18 km Baltic strait running between the Danish island of Lolland and the German island of Fehmarn. Yet not everybody in Denmark or Germany feels like celebrating.
South Korea is an absolute powerhouse when it comes to the shipbuilding industry. Samsung, Daewoo, and Hyundai are names that every shipping company knows, partially because every notable shipping company has at least one ship built from any of these shipyards. There’s a new company rising on the horizon, and that too has its roots deeply embedded in the South Korean lifestyle: Hyundai Merchant Marine (HMM).
There’s a popular saying in the Maritime sector: Whatever happens in China, affects global shipping. Remember the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic when ports all across China were closed off? According to Alphaliner, more tonnage of container ships remained idled around the world than during the global financial crisis during this period. Daily charter rates for tankers and bulk freighters plummeted more than 70% from normal levels as China bought less oil, iron ore, and coal.
With the global pandemic and another global recession looming on the horizon, luxury is the first thing to go. The luxury cruise industry is struggling. The situation is the worst that tourism has faced since the 9/11 attacks. The idea of being confined to a tiny room in a ship infested with coronavirus is an especially unappealing image. The demands for cruise liners have sharply plummeted, many workers have been laid off and divisions shut down. Quite obviously the ships are sold as is evident from the case of Pullmantur Cruises which operated from Spain and had a substantial fleet of cruise ships. After around 150 crew members of one of the ships, the MS Horizon, tested positive for the coronavirus, the company was forced to halt operations. Its ships, the MS Sovereign and MS Monarch were stripped of valuables and sold for scrap. But what happened to the glamorous ship after it outlived its usefulness?
Maersk Drilling eyes for investment in new carbon-negative energy. After it’s successful deployment in the Aerospace Industry, the shipping and offshore sector will soon see the deployment of carbon-neutral energy.