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16 Important Maritime & Shipbuilding News Roundup that happened in 2018

Happy new year!

As we march into a new year 2019, let’s take a look back at some of the most interesting news in the industry this past year:


WORLD TRADE: Port of Halifax’s massive year-to-year growth

First big news in 2018 is that Port of Halifax reported that the port set a new annual record in both containerised and cruise volumes in 2017. This is a very significant increase by over 16% (559,242 TEUs vs 480,722 TEUs in 2016). Cruise industry in Halifax also has a 23% increase in overall passenger counts. All in all, this is a significant growth and is looking to trend in the positive direction for the foreseeable future.


ANNOUNCEMENT: Singapore launches new plan ITM to strengthen nation as Global Maritime Hub

Singapore’s MPA introduced a new plan called the Sea Transport Industry Transformation Map (ITM) in Jan 2018,which made it into our Top 6 SHOCKING news of innovation in 2018 that will shape the future of maritime article. The goal is to grow the sector’s value-add by SGD 4.5 Billion and create more than 5,000 jobs by year 2025.


SHOCKING NEWS: Disappearance of Union Maritime Tanker in Gulf of Guinea

On a shocking news reported 14th Jan, MT Barrett, a product tanker which was at anchor off Benin, West Africa, is said to be missing. The tanker has not been heard from since late on Tuesday 9th January. On 18th Jan, it has been reported that the tanker was hijacked and has been released then. The authorities in Benin, Togo, Nigeria and India has been involved in this piracy incident. Fortunately, all crew are safe.



SHIPBUILDING: New Hurtigruten Hybrid-Powered Cruise Ship Launched

Built for Hurtigruten (Norwegian cruise line), the MS Roald Amundsen was launched at Kleven Yards on the 17th February 2018. MS Roald Amundsen is:

  • 140m in length
  • 23.6m in width
  • able to accomodate 530 passengers
  • able to lower fuel consumption & Carbon dioxide emissions by more than 20%, made possible using hybrid tech combined with advanced hull design and efficient electricity consumption.


SHOCKING NEWS: Djibouti Terminates DP World’s Contract for Doraleh

After much drama with the London Court of International Arbitration clearing DP World of misconduct charges in previous February, the Republic of Djibouti has, in Feb 2018, decided to proceed with the unilateral termination with immediate effect of the contract with DP World for its Doraleh Container Terminal.

Doraleh Container Terminal will now be directly under authority of “Doraleh Container Terminal Management Company”, 100% owned by government.



SHIPPING NEWS: Heung-A Shipping and Sinokor Merchant Marine Integrate Container Businesses

In March 2018, Pulse News have reported that South Korean shipowners Heung-A and Sinokor are in talks to merge their shipping (container) operations. This is part of the entire long-term strategy aimed to restore confidence in South Korean shipping companies since the collapse of Hanjin. Sinokor and Heung-A together account for aobut 34% of Asia’s total fleet capacity excluding HMM & SM Line.

On a side note, Korea Shipping Partnership (KSP) is an alliance of 14 liner operations, launched in August 2017 under state sponsorship.


SHOCKING NEWS: Fire accident on Maersk Honam burned for more than a month

A serious fire broke out in the cargo hold of the Danish-flagged Maersk Honam on March 6th (Tuesday), at 15:20 GMT, when it was en route from Singapore towards Suez. The fire continued to burn for more than a month until April when it was finally put off.

Salvage operation is led by Smit Salvage & Ardent. You can read more about the Maersk Honam fire incident at various news outlets here and here



INNOVATION: ABB Electric Taxi “Seabubbles” Demo in Lake Geneva

“Seabubbles” is a water taxi concept that promises zero waves, zero noise, and zero pollution. Read more about it in Top 6 SHOCKING news of innovation in 2018 that will shape the future of maritime.



SHIPBUILDING: Hyundai Heavy Industries Posts massive Q1 Loss in 2018

A decrease in work volume across segments has caused this reported loss in Q1. Net loss for (Jan-Mar) of 2018 came at KRW (est.USD$ 123 million) against last year’s profit of KRW 114 billion. This largely contributed by impairment losses from the shutdown of Gunsan dockyard, Green Energy business as well as costs from canceled vessel projects that hit KRW 9.7 billion. The foreign exchange loss adjustment also amounted to KRW 55.6 billion.

Reports state that at the end of March 2018, Hyundai Heavy Industries’ order book stood at USD$ 2.7 billion, significantly down from the initial USD$ 13.2 billion target. Moving forward, the Group plans to focus its R&D activities at meeting the strict environmental regulations such as the Ballast Water Management Convention and 2020 Sulphur Cap. Read more HERE.


TANKERS: Weak Tanker Market Hurts Sovcomflot’s Earnings, Posting Loss in Q1

Hyundai is not the only one suffering in performance. Though in a different industry segment, the Russian state-owned shipping company PAO Sovcomflot (SCF Group) also ended the first quarter of this year in loss.

The company posted a net loss of USD$ 16.1 million in Q1 2018, compared to profit of USD$ 39.9 million in the same period in 2017. Nikolay Kolesnikov, CFO of the company claimed that the tonnage supply and demand in the crude oil & petroleum products shipping segments are under downward pressure on freight rates so it remains extremely challenging for the company. News reported on WorldMaritimeNews outlet.



GLOBAL NEWS: Japan Protests China Gas Drilling Vessel in East China Sea

Japan has protested to China for allowing a gas drilling vessel to operate in disputed waters in the region. It is good to note that back in 2008, Japan and China actually had talks to jointly develop gas fields in this particular region but talks have since stopped. Because the maritime boundary between Japan & China has not been fixed in the East China Sea, this region is a sensitive region to unilaterally explore.


SHOCKING NEWS: Odfjell Tanker Spills Oil in Rotterdam Port after Collission

Reports state that the incident occurred on 23rd June about 1:40pm local time. During berthing, the bow Jubail accidentally made contact with the jetty. The hull was ruptured, hence some 217 tonnes of heavy fuel oil (HFO) were spilled at the port. Emergency response team was able to limit the spill and cleaning operations were performed. Fortunately, most of the oil was safely recovered, claimed by the authorities.



SHIPBUILDING: This is the Largest U.S.-Built Containership 


‘Daniel K. Inouye’, built at Philly shipyard, is the largest containership ever built in the United States of America. Named in honor of Hawaii’s late senior U.S. Senator.

  • Built with LNG-compatible engines. Proudly dubbed the next generation of vessel and sets a new standard for cargo transportation in Hawaii.
  • The vessel weighs over 51,400 metric tons, is about 260m long and has a capacity of about 3,600 TEUs.
  • Top speed of nearly 24 knots.
  • Various innovative systems are built into the vessel to be more fuel efficient.


SHOCKING NEWS: Eight Boxes Fell Off APL Antwerp in Norfolk

On 28th July while the ship was conducting offload operations at a terminal in Norfolk, Virginia, eight container boxes fell off the cargo ship. Reports claim that three of the boxes are lost in the sea as they have sunk too deep.


SHOCKING NEWS: Surge in July Armed Robbery Incidents in Asia

Reports by Asian piracy watchdog ReCAAP ISC in August concluded that in the month of July in 2018, we witnessed a big surge in Asian armed robbery maritime incidents. Total seven incidents were reported in Asia. To put things into perspective, there was only one incident in June 2018.

ReCAAP added that “two occurred on board ships while underway and five on board ships at anchor/berth. One was a CAT 2 incident and six were CAT 4 incidents.“.


INNOVATION: Ship Recycling Transparency Initiative Launched

Industry leaders and non-profit the Sustainable Shipping Initiative announced the launch of the Ship Recycling Transparency Initiative’s (SRTI) online platform – a tool for sharing information on ship recycling to drive responsible practice.


Blockchain tech in Maritime & Supply Chain: Is it just a fad?

At MAX, we always promote forward thinking in our organisation. From time to time, we feature interesting thought articles from our staff in our company blog. Opinions expressed in this post are those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect the official view of MAX Groups Marine. This article is written by Ang, to provide a simple blockchain explanation to our industry friends, and discuss the potential of the tech.

bitcoin rise

With Ether & Bitcoins soaring to all-time highs (despite the most recent market correction), blockchain and cryptocurrency are all the buzz in today’s technology world.For those who are not familiar with the terminology, “blockchain technology” is the underlying technology for a cryptocurrency like “Bitcoin”.

Blockchain enthusiasts have been raving about the great benefits of blockchain technology and how it will revolutionise industries like insurance, finance, healthcare, energy, government & law, as well as the maritime industry.

With news like Maersk and IBM teaming together to explore blockchain solution for the shipping industry, it is understandable that many are excited when even the largest container shipping line is starting to take this tech seriously.

However, setting the hype aside, we have to think: is this a technology that has real value, and that it is really going to disrupt the maritime industry? Or is it just a fad that has no concrete value?

I mean, there was a time not too long ago where everybody seemed to want to build their own mobile app, but realised that adaptive websites may be a better option for most uses?

ibm maersk reuters news

IBM & Maersk teaming up in exploring blockchain tech. By Reuters.

[Update 19/1/2018]

The system is expected to be made available to the ocean shipping industry around mid-2018.


About two years ago, in a casual meeting in Indonesia, I was impressed when even leaders in the shipbuilding industry were aware of the Bitcoin buzz back then. It is truly amazing how much blockchain-based technologies have grown since. Many are claiming this technology as one of the most important inventions of our time. Wow. What is it that they see in it? How is it different from the solutions we are currently using today? What are the successful use-cases?

To be clear, I am no computer science expert but I have been following the developments of this technology for the past 2-3 years now and I hope to share these interesting findings with my colleagues.

To truly explore the real-life applications of a blockchain, one has to understand the core features & benefits. Most people I spoke to (both within and out of our organisation) in the industry struggle to grasp the concept of blockchain technology. But that’s totally okay. Let’s face it, how many of us really understood how the internet actually works? So here is my attempt to explain what a blockchain is in a VERY general way so that even your mum and dad can understand the core concept (hopefully).

If you want more details, just google up blockchain.

blockchain maritime

What is a Blockchain?

Google blockchain and you will find many definitions in the lines of:

Blockchain is a distributed ledger.

Yes it is the simplest definition out of thousands there. Yet, it might still a little complicated for your dad & mum. Let’s take a minute to translate those complicated jargons to more relatable terms, shall we?

Distributed —> Shared by many, not present in one central location

Ledger —> Record book

That essentially means:

Blockchain is a shared record book.

It is a network of shared record books. There are thousands of copies of the exact same record book stored in many computers all around the world (both home computers and business servers). This record book can be used to record all sorts of info, including but not limited to, money.

*In most articles out there, the blockchain definition given is specifically referring to the Bitcoin’s blockchain. But the idea of this article is to discuss the use of blockchain-based technologies, as there are plenty other blockchains out there.


Simple example: A sending B $10:

When A wants to send money to B, a new line item is created detailing that transaction.


This line item then gets sent off to thousands of other computers who have a copy of the record. Those computers confirm that this transaction is authorised, and ultimately they agree (or disagree) that everything about the transaction is legitimate before giving that line item a tick of approval. It has to match up perfectly on every copy of the record.

It is as if A and B had a few thousand witnesses witnessing the transfer of money from A to B and all agree to it being a valid transaction. They are also responsible to check whether the amount stated is correct, among all other details.

Why is this system of shared record books such a big deal?

  1. Participants can confirm transactions without the need for a central certifying authority.
  2. The record is also much more secure as it is not stored in a central location. Because the record is distributed in many copies around the network, the only way to tamper with the record is to change the MAJORITY copies at all the records all around the world, AT THE SAME TIME, since the network will drop falsified records which don’t follow the rules. As long as the scale of usage is large enough, compromising a blockchain transaction is practically impossible.
  3. Yes, it is technically a public record. But coupled with cryptographic technology, we can ensure that only intended participants can see what they are allowed to see.

In short, blockchain is a technology that establishes trust, accountability and transparency. So you do not really need to trust the other party in order to enter into a transaction with him/her, and you can trust that the contract set in place cannot be amended.

Many are excited of how it can be used to streamline business processes.

trade finance

Current problem in maritime / shipping / supply chain transactions

In maritime and global trade, transactions involve a ton of paperwork. That includes multiple bills of lading, bank letters of credit, sale invoices & contracts, charter agreements etc. These paper documents exist simply because we can not trust each other (too much) in business. Each party in the supply chain wanted assurance of payment for its performance, and protection against the unauthorised delivery of goods. As a result, lots of manpower is involved in the process and some transactions even require third parties like Banks to provide Letter of Credit as protection.

These add to transaction expenses and long processing hours. Despite having all these third parties, there are still many quality control issues, document fraud cases and expensive dispute arbitration.


Re-imagining a new process with smart contracts & blockchain

The rise of a protocol like Ethereum (one of the many types of blockchain-based technology) allows people to program smart contracts on its blockchain. Here are the most discussed potential use-cases, relevant to the shipping and supply chain industry. What do you think?

  1. Improving bill of lading & custom process.

One of the companies working on this is Israeli startup Wave, who is currently working with Barclays to explore the use of blockchain to facilitate the move to ‘paperless trade’.

  1. Contracts to Smart Contracts

Smart contracts are applications that run exactly as programmed without any possibility of downtime, censorship, fraud or third party interference. There are many companies currently working on these smart contract services.

  1. Bank’s letter of credit

News of a new prototype developed by Bank of America Merrill Lynch, HSBC, and the Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA) bringing the letter of credit (LC) transactions onto the blockchain proved big banks’ interest in real world application of the technology.

This statement from Ather Williams (head of global transaction services at BofAML) highlights the potential in this space “Blockchain has reshaped our thinking on how to make transaction processes more efficient and transparent for all parties. The success of this proof of concept is a significant development towards digitising trade transactions, potentially resulting in considerable benefits to the supply chain process,”

  1. Goods inspection report

Oftentimes, goods inspection by a third party is required to ensure quality assurance before shipment. However, these inspection reports can be amended and the process to verify and perform a validity check is extremely slow & inefficient. This is similar to the education certificate case use. As reported by CNBC, some schools have already started implementing this technology to minimise education certificate fraud. I see a similar use purpose in goods inspection report.

  1. Goods Tracking

It is reported by Fortune that Maersk has completed the first test of a system that would manage the company’s cargos using blockchain. Various companies are working on all sorts of tracking systems with blockchain as a base while adding the use of electronic tracking systems. Walmart’s exploration of the tech has yield significant results as they claim to have “reduced the time it takes to track food from days to minutes” in their supply chain. And that they are even convinced to try applying the tech in other areas in the company.


Of course, there are still currently many limitations – block size, speed as this tech is still in its infancy stage. And different blockchains have different fundamental technologies. But the idea of a distributed ledger is really interesting especially for a multi trillion dollar industry like trade finance. And we do not know yet all the potential things we can do with it. When internet was first introduced, I am sure we wouldn’t have imagined how it could become such an integral part of our lives. Will blockchain become a fundamental platform for the next wave of innovation in our industry? Only time can tell.

Feel free to let me know your thoughts.


Top Maritime News in 2017

[Updated Nov 2017]

Top News that happened in Oct 2017:

  • Maersk Line recognised as the ‘Container Operator of 2017’ in Lloyd’s List Asia Awards. Oct 27th. With many improvements to its core services and products throughout 2017, Maersk Line’s leadership in the industry is recognised. [More at news portal]
  • FSO unit Randgrid started its charter contract with Statoil. Oct 6th. The vessel is converted from Teekay’s Offshore Partners shuttle tanker and will be in operation in Gina Krog oil and gas field October onwards. [More info at WorldMaritimeNews]
  • Liquefied natural gas (LNG) vessels through the Expanded Panama Canal. Oct 10th. Since welcoming its first LNG carrier back in July 2016, the LNG segment has been surpassing original expectations of 1 transit per week, and on average, 5.2 LNG vessels have transited the canal per week. [View on youtube]
  • Xavier storm disrupted ports in North Germany. Oct 6th. During the storm, a 5,415 CEU pure car & truck carrier (PCTC) Cygnus Leader broke loose from its moorings in Bremerhaven. Many other ports in the region suffered from damages as well. [Detailed report at news]


Top News that happened in Sep 2017:

  • Fuel Oil Spill Incident from Maltese-flagged Bulk Carrier (New Orleans): Sept 5th. 4/9/2017, bulk carrier M/V Vitahorizon has been involved in a 10-20 barrels high sulfur fuel oil spill during bunkering operations while anchored at New Orleans area, Louisiana. [More at WorldMaritimeNews]
  • Cancels Cruise Ship Itineraries Cancelled and Ports Closed due to Hurricane Irma:  Sept 6th. Due to the unpredictability of the storm, many cruise ship itineraries & ports in USA have been affected by the hurricane. [Read more]
  • The Worst is Over for LNG Shipping Sector?: Sept 20th. “So, the oversupply of tonnage with which we struggled over the past few years looks to be diminishing, and this will likely lead to stronger rates.”, Jon Skule Storheill, CEO of Awilco LNG said.  [Read article]
  • Puerto Rico & US Virgin Islands closed to vessels (again) because of Hurricane Maria: Sept 20th. Effective 8 am local time 19/9/2017, the Coast Guard Captain of the Port San Juan, Capt. Eric set port condition ZULU… [Learn More]
  • Suez Canal Authority Granting Toll Discounts for Certain LNG Carriers: Sept 27th. 30% discount offered to LNG carriers sailing in the Arabian Gulf and west of India up to Kochi port. 40% off the canal dues for tankers transiting East of the Port of Kochi west of India up to the Port of Singapore, while a fee reduction of 50% for Singapore. [More info at News]

Top News that happened in Aug 2017:

  • Hapag-Lloyd (German shipping company) posted a net loss of EUR -46.1 mill in the first half of 2017: Aug 29th. Net loss reduced from last year’s equivalent of EUR 142.1 mill due to improved profitability, increased savings. [Read more]
  • 2004-built 52,454 dwt bulk carrier – Patriot has been detained in Singapore waters: Aug 11th. The vessel was arrested in the morning hours of August 10, 2017 under unknown reasons (Supreme Court of Singapore did not disclose further details). [News at WorldMaritimeNews]
  • Norway-based bulker owner Songa Bulk purchased another 81,918 dwt vessel Kamsarmax: Aug 25th. The vessel was built at Tsuneishi shipyard in Japan in 2014 and will be delivered in September. [Learn more]
  • Drunken captain of the 30,700 dwt containership Shansi fined by New Zealand: August 8th. The seafarer exceeded the alcohol limit and was fined New Zealand Dollars 3,000 (about USD 2,200) when attempting to dock the vessel. [More about the news] 


July 2017:

  • Singapore-based BergeBulk Received New Ore Carrier: July 21st. China Long Xue shipyard finished construction of a 327m long, 57m wide ore carrier vessel and delivered it to Berge Bulk. According to reports, the vessel will serve routes between China and Australia. [More about this report here]
  • NSRI Medevacs Bulker Filipino Crewman off Port Elizabeth: July 7th. A Filipino crewman was medevacked from the bulk carrier Cape Orchid off Port Elizabeth on June 30, South Africa’s National Sea Rescue Institute (NSRI) informed. [Read more]
  • APM Terminals Port Elizabeth Still Affected by Cyber Attack: July 11th. APM Terminals Port Elizabeth (APMT ELZ) is still combating the cyber attack, two weeks after Danish transport and logistics major Maersk was hit by Petya. [Click to learn more]
  • Liverpool2 Expansion starts: 17th July. The UK-based Peel Ports Group has launched the second phase of its expansion programme at Liverpool2, dubbed one of the world’s most modern shipping terminals. [Read more]

maritime news june 2017

June 2017:

  • China COSCO Shipping Group Spends USD 1.7 Billion on 14 Ultra Large Containership Vessels : June 23rd. In consideration of new target routes from Asia to Europe prompted by new free trade deals, COSCO reportedly bought six 21,000 TEU boxships, eight 13,500 TEU newbuilds. [More detailed reporting at WorldMaritimeNews]
  • German shipping group Rickmers officially filed for insolvency, another largest shipping casualty since Hanjin : June 2nd. Total chartered and owned fleet amounts up to 114 vessels. Rickmers is forced to file for insolvency due to HSH Nordbank failing to approve its restructuring plan. [Read more at Splash247]
  • WorldMaritimeNews reported that Crisis to Hurt Qatar’s Crude, Refined Product Exports : June 7th. Ocean Freight Exchange (OFE) reported that the Qatar diplomatic crisis has affected shipping. The most notable are tightened port restrictions, resulting in logistical issues. [Read more]
  • United Kingdom Helps Rescue Crew of Sunken Tanker off Coast of Yemen : June 26th. In the early morning hours on June 26th, the UK Coastguard acted to rescue 14 crew on board a Panamanian flag crude oil tanker which sank 240 miles off the coast of Yemen. [Click to read news]
  • DHT Holdings: Frontline’s Marshall Islands Lawsuit Dismissed : June 19th. Legal action filed by John Fredriksen-controlled Frontline in the High Court of the Republic of the Marshall Islands, which challenged DHT’s transaction with BW Group and DHT’s Rights Plan, has been dismissed, with prejudice. [Read more]


May 2017:

  • Sea Shepherd Seeks EU Action Against Denmark’s Whale Killing : May 11th. Marine conservation organization Sea Shepherd Netherlands has submitted a request to the European Commission (EC) to launch infringement proceedings against Denmark for facilitating the slaughter of pilot whales in the Faroe Islands. [Read more at WorldMaritimeNews]
  • OBP: Nearly 2,000 Seafarers Affected by Piracy in West Africa in 2016 : May 2nd. With regard to Asia, OBP calculated that 2,283 seafarers were affected by piracy & armed robbery in 2016, down from 3,674 in 2015.. [Click to read more.]
  • Five Die in RoPax Ferry Fire off Indonesia : May 22nd. The incident happened on Friday, May 19 while the Indonesian-flagged ship was underway in Masalembo waters of East Java. [More details at news article]
  • GSI Delivers Final Newbuilding to Navig8 Product Tankers : May 19th. Petroleum products shipping company Navig8 Product Tankers has received a 113,000 DWT LR2 tanker from China’s Guangzhou Shipyard International Company Limited… [Read more]
  • Svitzer Starts Building Moroccan Fleet : May 23rd. Svitzer has ordered four ASD tugs from Sanmar Shipyards to service the recently awarded TMSA, Tanger Med 2 Port contract in the Kingdom of Morocco. [Learn more]
  • Bulker Crewman Dies in Berthing Accident in Quebec : May 24th. The Transportation Safety Board of Canada (TSB) has deployed a team of investigators to the Port of Trois-Rivières, Québec, following an accident involving the bulk carrier Nord Quebec in which one person died. [Read more]
  • Norway is listed among the top 10 shipowning nations in the world, led by top Frederiksen Group, BW Group, Knutsen, Stolt Nielsen and SinOceanic Shipping. As this infographic has shown, most of their orders are placed in China. Credits to VesselsValue for this infographic:infographic-Norway-vessel-2017


April 2017:

  • Seven Missing after Ship Sinks in Black Sea : April 19th incident. A 2,850 dwt ship split and sank, and 7 crew members gone missing in the process. [Read more at WorldMaritimeNews]


  • Five New Terminals for Veracruz Port, Mexico : Terminals capacity will be increased to 100 mill tons of cargo annually. Luxembourg’s Jan De Nul Group announced winning a EUR 60m contract to deepen the port to allow such developments. [Read more at WorldMaritimeNews]


  • Armed Pirates Chase & Fire Upon Tanker off Somalia : April 22nd incident. IMB Piracy Reporting Centre reported six armed pirates firing at a tanker off coast of Somalia. [Read more at WorldMaritimeNews]


  • Two Dead in Explosion aboard Bulker : Explosion incident aboard the Marshall Islands-flagged bulk carrier Tamar on April 24th. [Read more at news site]


  • Hyundai Samho Receives VLCC Order, Attracts New Investment : Neda Maritime, a Greece-based shipping company ordered a 319,000 dwt VLCC from Hyundai Samho Heavy Industries Korea, with an option for one more. [More details at article]


  • EIB, ABN Amro to Bolster Green Shipping in Europe : On April 21st, European Investment Bank (EIB) and Dutch bank ABN Amro plan to sign an agreement to support “greening the fleet” investments. [Read more at WorldMaritimeNews]


  • [JUST IN] Five Killed, Dozens Injured in Crane Collapse at Samsung Heavy Industries : May 1st incident. At least four more seriously injured in the incident. [Details at news site]



Mooring Bollard : Design & Types

Mooring bollard is a vital component of any mooring system. It is the anchor point for mooring lines to be fixed in order to secure the vessel. It is usually a short post on a quay / jetty.

Since the beginning of maritime history, people has been using wooden posts or iron structures for this purpose. With newer advanced manufacturing technology, reputable manufacturers of today study the strength and durability of materials while having a safety factor as a safety cushion. Designing and choosing the right components is a big part. Ductile iron, cast steel and stainless steel are some of the main materials used to make marine bollards.


Generally, design of a bollard should have a thicker diameter at the top (head / tip of the structure) to make it harder for the mooring lines to escape accidentally. It is important to provide a solid anchor point for mooring ropes. Certain designs have double bollards for ropes to be cross-fastened. Such an arrangement would provide a tighter connection. Single and double designs are both available in the market today.

Besides size & design, bollards are also categorised by their grade and load ratings. Moreover, durability is a factor when choosing a suitable bollard design as maintenance is something that end user should have in mind.


Constant inspection to spot possible deterioration
The mechanical performance of bollards may also deteriorate after some time. Durability testing has to be done. Constant inspection from time to time should be performed to confirm the bollards are working well without need of repair.


photo from Wikipedia.

Strong forces that are very difficult to control, are often present during mooring. A strong gust of wind might cause the mooring arrangement to fail and the ship out of control. Therefore, the safety factors of bollards should not be underestimated. A 25T rated bollard should be able to withstand forces many times over.


Types of Bollards

Some of the most commonly used bollard designs today are the Single Bitt, Double Bitt, T-head, Horn (or some known as Staghorn), Kidney-shaped and some variable double head bollard designs.

Single Bitt Bollard
Also known as “US Style Pillar Bollards”, it is perfect for large tidal range berths.

single bitt bollard US style pillar


Double Bitt Bollard
Some call it the “Twin Horn” or “Twin”. Small base area is space-saving for small areas.

twin horn double bitt bollard


T-head Bollard
Tee Bollard”, “T-bollard”, this design has a top shaped like a “T”. Hence, the name. Very prominent in many parts of the world due to its simplicity and it gets the job done well up to 300 tonnes.



Horn Bollard
Some refer it to as the “Staghorn design” as well. It can accommodate very steep mooring angles.



Kidney-shaped Bollard
A simple design that is suitable when low to medium tidal range is expected.


There are of course other designs available but these are the main types present all around the world in marine use.

kidney design

Installation & Maintenance

Installation of marine bollards are generally simple. It should not be too hard for a company to install the purchased product. However, you should deal with a supportive supplier who will assist you in all dimensional requirements and discussion should you have any questions. Just like any other port structures and equipments, high engineering precision is required in order to keep mooring processes safe.

Maintenance wise, bollard is generally a low maintenance structure. A periodic inspection should suffice.

Drop us an email should you require any assistance in mooring bollard needs.

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Greener Future of Maritime & Shipping Industry: Green Ship

Green Ship

International Maritime Organisation (IMO) has been intensifying their efforts in environmental rule-making in recent years. This no doubt drives the entire industry in an inevitable direction – to greener, cleaner solutions. As a result, ships and ports are demanded to be more ‘green’ these days.


Green ships consist of elements from cleaner fuels to various green ship technologies to minimise energy wastage, carbon output and seek to decrease negative impact on marine biology.


Green ship is about marine biology, cleaner fuels, and energy wastage minimisation. Tweet this!

MAX rubber fender image

Cleaner fuels

Ships used to run on unrefined crude full with sulphur and environmentally-harmful impurities. This is because this type of fuel is the leftover of the oil refining process and extremely cheap when compared to other options. In 2005, the IMO started to control the sulphur content of maritime fuel especially in Western countries like the U.S. and Europe. This results in ships needing to burn higher quality (hence, more expensive) fuel with components similar to diesel.


Technologies of greener ships are in demand right now due to more and more regulations and public awareness of the environment.

Some of the most talked about green ship technology is the No Ballast System that aims to minimise ship ballast’s negative environmental impact on aqua organisms.

No Ballast System decreases negative impact on aqua biology.

More efficient systems like higher propulsion efficiency and better cooling water systems that drastically decreases environmental effects are also in the making. Solar cell integration is also one big area that shipbuilders are focusing on.

Efficient solar cell integration in greener ships can save fuel up to 20%.

An infographic that shows some of the popular application of green technologies in ship building as below:

green ship Tech MAX-Infographic from MarineInsight.com

Some stats you should tweet:

  • An optimised cooling system can save up to 25 percent of electricity and 1.5 percent fuel. Tweet this!
  • Greener engines are able to minimise NOx output up to 35 percent and achieve zero SOx output. Tweet this!
  • Solar-Sail hybrid system can minimise to 20 percent fuel consumption. Tweet this!
  • Kite-Sail System can reduce fuel consumption by 20 to 40 percent annually. Tweet this!
  • Rig-Sail System is a hybrid system that can help ships save fuel up to 30 percent. Tweet this!
  • Implementation of exhaust scrubber can reduce SOx emissions up to 98 percent! Tweet this!
  • Latest advanced propellers can save 4 percent fuel compared to old designs. Tweet this!
  • Speed nozzle that increases efficiency at high speeds help save up to 5 percent fuel. Tweet this!
  • New hull paints are improved to reduce friction and reduce fuel consumption up to 8 percent. Tweet this!


green port

Green Port

Besides green ships, port development projects are also more eco-friendly these days. Ports are focusing on reducing carbon footprints, minimising pollution, conserving natural resources and strive for zero energy wastage. Some even placed great emphasis in decreasing noise pollution!

Green Port tech focus on reducing carbon footprint, increasing energy efficiency and waste management. Tweet this!

Waste management

Most ports go green by first identifying recycling possibilities (or re-use even) and put a solid waste segregation plan in action.

Carbon zero

The ‘green’ vision of ports has prompted the implementation of carbon reduction programs that includes monitoring of gas, electricity and water usage in ports. Energy saving systems like smart lighting systems are also practised in certain port projects.

Long-term Future of Green Ports & Green Ships

Going ‘green’ is not exactly achievable overnight. It takes lots of effort from all authorities and parties involved. Until now, implementation of more environmental friendly and ‘green’ systems are hindered by the costs involved. However, the energy consumption in the long-term may be a great investment. ‘Green’ is not going anywhere soon, so it is highly advisable that even the smallest companies in this industry will be prepared for the ‘Green Era’. No matter how small the contribution is, steps taken to reduce carbon footprints and implementation of more eco-friendly programs will help build a more sustainable future for the industry.

That is why MAX Groups Marine focuses a lot on reducing our carbon footprint from our sales office to manufacturing plants. Because we care. For us, going green is a priority.

View all our other products at our main products page HERE.

Read about “5 Ways a Fender System can Fail You. No.4 is the Most Overlooked Mistake.” HERE.

*UPDATE SEPTEMBER 2014: This article has been featured on Australian Shipowners Association‘s Anchor Industry Magazine.

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Maritime Stats: Cargo Theft & Piracy is More Real Than You Think

green port

Piracy and cargo theft results in billions in losses. Despite measures taken by the authorities to tackle the issue…[Read More]

Here’s All You Need to Know About Shell Prelude FLNG Facility

Prelude FLNG MAX blog

Royal Dutch Shell’s Prelude FLNG is the world’s 1st floating liquefied natural gas platform & largest offshore facility…[Read More]

prelude shell LNG

Here’s All You Need to Know about Shell Prelude FLNG

Royal Dutch Shell’s Prelude FLNG is the first floating liquefied natural gas platform in the world. Besides, it is well known for being the largest offshore facility ever built up to date and is a marine engineering masterpiece. Construction of the Prelude is performed by Samsung Heavy Industries South Korea.

Shell Prelude FLNG is the first floating liquefied natural gas platform & largest offshore facility in the world. Tweet this!

Prelude FLNG

Here are some facts that you really should know about this stunning architecture.

Dimensions wise, this facility is so massive that it is almost 88 metres longer than the world’s biggest ship – Maersk Mc-Kinny Moller. Its width of 74m is even bigger than a Boeing 747’s wingspan whereas its height (its relatively less impressive metric) is still taller than the iconic Big Ben in London and the Statue of Liberty in U.S.

Shell Prelude FLNG is 488m long, and its deck is longer than 4 football fields laid end to end. Tweet this!

More than 6700 Horsepower thrusters are used to position the facility. An impressive amount of 50 million litres of water is used every hour for cooling the LNG. Its Liquefied Natural Gas production capacity is expected to be at 3.6 million metric tons per annum.

The Prelude FLNG has a storage that equals 175 Olympic sized swimming pools. Tweet this!

BBC News reported that analysts told Reuters that the cost of building the Prelude FLNG is estimated to be between $10.8 billion and $12.6 billion.

Shell Prelude FLNG is estimated to cost around $10.8bn to $12.6bn, according to analysts. Tweet this!

Natural gas will be extracted from wells and liquified by cooling it down to about -162 degrees celsius. The entire industry is excited of its innovation that removes the need for pipelining systems to land-based processing plants to produce LNG. The ability to produce liquified natural gas in sea is an incredible innovation. Liquified Natural Gas will then be offloaded to LNG Carriers. This has never been done before due to the sophistication and complexion of processing equipments, and fitting all of them into a single facility seemed impossible for many years. Shell claimed that research has been carried out for more than 10 years to make this project a reality.


After about 14 months of construction, the 200,000 tonne facility floats out to the sea for second phase of construction in December 2013. Check this video out to see the launching of this incredible project:

Drilling is expected to begin in 2017 where this floating facility will be deployed at 200km off the coasts of Australia in the Prelude and Concerto gas fields. It is said that it has a planned life expectancy of 25 years.

We are awaiting its completion where history will be made again.

Infographic credits to Shell & MaritimeInsight.com. Special thanks to GasTechNews.com for extensive features to help us understand the prelude project.

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Maritime Piracy: Cargo Theft & Piracy is More Real Than You Think

Piracy and cargo theft results in billions in losses. These incidents are more real than most people think. Measures are taken by the authorities worldwide (navies & security guards) to tackle this issue and protect the supply chain more than ever. As a result in 2013, global piracy fell to a 6-year low. In whole, piracy events are more frequent in South East Asia than western countries. However, land vehicle hijackings are equally common, in even the most developed countries.

The 2013 global outlook of cargo hijackings, theft and piracy is provided by the International Chamber of Commerce’s International Maritime Bureau. This informative infographic by the Journal of Commerce is based on reported cases and realistic estimation of cargo value. Here’s what’s happening around the world:

Stats you should tweet:

  • In 2013, ICoC’s International Maritime Bureau recorded 264 piracy attacks. Tweet this!
  • BSI reported $22.4 billion in losses globally due to cargo theft in 2013. Tweet this!
  • 8.8% of piracy attacks in 2013 targeted container ships. Tweet this!
  • There are an estimated 106 piracy attacks in Indonesia in 2013, most worldwide. Tweet this!
  • Europe is the highest-loss region worldwide due to cargo theft at $7.2 billion. Tweet this!
  • The median value of cargo theft in France $173,300 is highest in Europe. Tweet this!
  • 65% of U.S. cargo theft events occurred in TX, CA, FL, IL and GA. Tweet this!
  • 41% of U.S. cargo theft involved a parked truck at a parking or drop lot. Tweet this!
  • Electronics, esp cell phones, are most frequently targeted commodities. Tweet this!
  • More incidents happen in Brazil than in any other country in the region. Tweet this!
  • Egypt saw an average of 1 hijacking attempt per week. Tweet this!
  • Hijacking increased 14.9% in South Africa, first increase in 4 yrs. Tweet this!
  • Hijacking accounted for 25% of all cargo thefts targeting trucks in Russia. Tweet this!

MAX cargo theft stats & piracy maritime

Credits to JOC for a wonderful infographic!

Read “The Ultimate Guide to Ship Launching, Marine Salvage & Ship Repair using MAX Rubber Airbags” article HERE.

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Top 20 Maritime Quotes

Being in the shipbuilding & marine equipment industry, MAX staff are always highly passionate of our job. Sometimes, it may be hard for people out of the industry to understand the pride we have in our work. We truly believe that people working in marine related industries are some of the most extraordinary people. They are all courageous explorers, dreamers, and pioneers.

Some quotes of the sea and marine-related sayings really inspire us to do more. Here are some of our favourite maritime quotes that we find interesting & inspiring:

  1. “A smooth sea never made a skilful sailor.” Tweet this!sailing maritime quote
  2. “At sea, I learned how little a person needs, not how much.” -Robin Lee Graham Tweet this!


3. “Life’s roughest storms prove the strength of our anchors.” Tweet this!


4. “I must be a mermaid, Rango. I have no fear of depths and a great fear of shallow living.” ― Anais Nin Tweet this!


5. “Sail away from the safe harbor, catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” Tweet this!


6. “A ship in port is safe. But that’s what not ships are built for.” Tweet this!ship in port quote

7. “We cannot control the wind, but we can direct the sail.” Tweet this!


8. “You can’t cross the sea merely by standing and staring at the water.” Tweet this!


9. “Work like a captain, play like a pirate.” Tweet this!


10. “You can never cross the ocean unless you have the courage to lose sight of the shore.” Tweet this!


11. “Home is where the anchor drops.” Tweet this!quote of marine anchor

12. “The voice of the sea speaks to the soul.” Tweet this!


13. “Keep calm and sail away.” Tweet this!


14. “A sailor is an artist whose medium is the wind.” Tweet this!


15. “Life is like the ocean. Waves will try to knock you down and push you back to where you started but once you fight through them, the entire ocean is yours.” Tweet this! life ocean inspiring quote

16. “A lot of people attack the sea, I make love to it.” – Jacques Yves Cousteau Tweet this!


17. “The sea does not reward those who are too anxious, too greedy or too impatient. One should lie empty, open, choiceless as a beach – waiting for a gift from the sea.” – Anne Morrow Lindbergh Tweet this!


18. “We must free ourselves of the hope that the sea will ever rest. We must learn to sail in high winds.” – Aristotle Onassis Tweet this!


19. “If you want to build a ship, don’t drum up people to collect wood and don’t assign them tasks and work, but rather teach them to long for the endless immensity of the sea.” – Antoine de Saint-Exupery Tweet this!


20. “Anyone can hold the helm when the sea is calm.” Tweet this! calm seas motivational quote

These are some of our favourite quotes of the sea/maritime-related. So, which one’s your favourite?

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Standard Container Dimensions Guide

These are some of the popularly used standard container dimensions. Besides just dimensions, when determining what kind of container to use, you should take the cargo material & weight into consideration as well. MAX Groups Marine deals mostly with dry cargos and these are the types of containers we use the most. Note that the actual size of the container may differ by a small margin. These dimensions should be used as a reference only.

20 dry container dimension

20’ Dry Cargo Container Dimensions

The 20’ Dry Cargo Container has a capacity of approximately 33 cbm (Cubic Metres) or 1,116 cubic feet.

Interior Dimensions:
Length: 5.919m / 19’5’’
Width: 2.340m / 7’8’’
Height 2.380m / 7’9.5’’

Door Opening:
Width: 2.286m / 7’6’’
Height: 2.278m / 7’5.5’’

20 open top container

20’ Open Top Container Dimensions

The 20’ Open Top Container basically has the same interior dimensions except for minor changes in terms of height. This is to accommodate the open top structure of the container. This type of container has a cubic capacity of around 31.6 cbm.

Interior Dimensions:
Length: 5.919m / 19’5’’
Width: 2.340m / 7’8’’
Height 2.286m / 7’6’’

Door Opening:
Width: 2.286m / 7’6’’
Height: 2.251m / 7’4.5’’

Top Opening:
Length: 5.425m / 17’9.5’’
Width: 2.222m / 7’3.5”

20 flat rack dimensions

20’ Flat Rack Container Dimensions

The 20’ Flat Rack Container has slight changes in dimensions all around as compared to the other 20’ containers.

Interior Dimensions:
Length: 5.702m/ 18’8.5’’
Width: 2.438m / 8′
Height 2.327m / 7’7.5’’

40 dry container dimension

40’ Dry Cargo Container Dimensions

The 40’ Dry Cargo Container has a volume capacity of approximately 67.3 cubic metres. The main difference is its length when compared to the 20’ Dry Container. The door opening dimensions with the 20’ counterpart should see no changes too.

Interior Dimensions:
Length: 12.051m / 39’6.5’’
Width: 2.340m / 7’8’’
Height 2.380m / 7’9.5’’

Door Opening:
Width: 2.286m / 7’6’’
Height: 2.278m / 7’5.5’’


40’ High Cube Container Dimensions

40’ High Cube Container has a slightly higher dimension in terms of height (other dimensions in length & width mostly the same with normal 40’ containers). So if the extra height is what you need, 40’ High Cube Container may be a suitable option.

Interior Dimensions:
Length: 12.056m / 39’6.5’’
Width: 2.347m / 7’8.25’’
Height 2.684m / 8’5.5″

Door Opening:
Width: 2.286m / 7’6’’
Height: 2.278m / 7’5.5’’

40 open top container

40’ Open Top Container Dimensions

The 40’ Open Top Container has approximately 64 cbm in terms of capacity. These containers are used when the cargo cannot be loaded through the door of s standard container or has a height that exceeds of normal 40′ container dimensions.

Interior Dimensions:
Length: 12.403m / 39’6’’
Width: 2.338m / 7’8’’
Height 2.272m / 7’5.25’’

Door Opening:
Width: 2.279m / 7’5.5’’
Height: 2.272m / 7’5.25’’

Top Opening:
Length: 11.585m / 38’’
Width: 2.162m / 7’1’’

40 flat rack cargo container

40’ Flat Rack Container Dimensions

40’ Flat Rack is used when height or width of cargo exceeds of the normal cargo container’s dimensions or/and when it cannot fit through the door opening of a standard 40’ dry container.

Interior Dimensions:
Length: 11.820m/ 38’9.25’’
Width: 2.184m / 7.5′
Height 2.095m / 6’10.5’’


It does not matter whether it is ship launching rubber airbag, pneumatic fenders, solid rubber fenders , winches or others. MAX staff will get the safest and most cost effective container for your products.

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piracy 2015

International Maritime Bureau talks about Piracy in 2015

Despite the best efforts from authorities, piracy remains a serious issue worldwide. In 2015, we witnessed the drop in cases in the so-called “key piracy areas” but the overall outlook for armed robbery remains worrying.

total incidents

Overall Levels of Hijacking/Piracy in 2014 and 2015 are Similar

According to International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), the overall levels of armed robbery and piracy are similar to the number of cases in 2014. Vessel ship hijacking and capture is slightly less in the year 2015. International Maritime Bureau (IMB)’s Piracy Reporting Centre reported 246 incidents in 2015, as compared to 245 in 2014. Death count due to pirate attacks is one and the injury count reports at least 14. One worrying data is that there were 19 persons kidnapped and held for ransom. That is a steep increase from 9 persons in 2014. This is mainly due to the five attack cases off Nigeria.

The no. of crew taken hostage dropped from 442 (2014) to 271 (2015) Tweet this!

The number of ships boarded rose about 11% to 203 and 27 attacks were thwarted. Where 21 vessels were hijacked in 2014, the number in 2015 was 15 vessels. This is a positive sign of certain precautionary measures taken by the related authorities. Another key thing to note is there was zero officially reported hijacking cases in the last Quarter (October, November, December) of 2015.

Main reduction trend worth noting

This global reduction is contributed by the reduction in attacks against small fuel tankers around South East Asia’s coasts. IMB has reasons to believe this is a sustainable trend due to the measures taken by Indonesian & Malaysian authorities. The successful actions by Indonesia and Malaysia in the arrest and prosecution of two gangs who hijacked tankers in the region will act as a great reminder to pirates that authorities do not tolerate such incidents in their watch. Besides, the subsequent investigation and arrest of the alleged masterminds behind the scenes would help, as well.

Only 14 incidents (9 vessels) were reported boarded. With the history of being a region for violent armed robbery and piracy, IMB has reasons to believe that many of cases in Nigeria are not officially recorded. In this pursuit, the authorities will continue to monitor the area closely.

Reduction in Gun Attacks in 2015: 33 reports compared to 62 (2014) Tweet this!

South East Asia is still the region where most of these incidents happen. Almost 55% of the region’s attacks were against vessels underway compared to 37% in 2015, as noted in ICC. Most are low-level theft. However, it is important that things are trending in the right direction with subsequent efforts putting into fighting world piracy. IMB PRC is continuing to work closely with the Indonesian authorities and Marine Police to monitor high-risk areas.

In 2015, there was no officially reported Somali based attacks. IMB has warned vessels transiting the Gulf of Aden and Indian Ocean to stay particularly vigilant as this is the defined ‘HIGH RISK AREA‘. Many other precautions were taken and it is obvious that IMB views this state as a very important step towards fighting global piracy. “Any misstep would undo all that has been done and rekindle this criminal activity,” said Mr. Mukundan, Director of the International Maritime Bureau.

China witnessed three thefts of bunker diesel oil from large bulk carriers off Tianjin and Bangladesh’s low-level incidents dropped to 11 in the year of 2015.

Vietnam’s rise in theft cases is not particularly alarming. The incident count increased to 27 in 2015, from 7 the previous year. These are mainly low level theft against vessels anchored in Vietnam, mainly port of Vung Tau. This is a solvable issue as the port authorities tighten up security and work on several precautionary measures to ensure safety of the vessels anchored. Much has been done to tackle this issue since.

Most info are from http://www.iccwbo.org/News/Articles/2016/IMB-Maritime-piracy-hotspots-persist-worldwide-despite-reductions-in-key-areas

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