First Vessel Arrives at New Bayport RoRo Facility

Port Houston has negotiated a lease with Auto Warehousing Company (AWC) of Tacoma, Washington, for a new automotive terminal at Bayport, in the facility formerly used for cruise operations. The long-term lease of the RoRo terminal will allow AWC to discharge new vehicles and perform accessory work for an auto distribution business. The first ship, M/V Grande Sierra Leone, with the Grimaldi line and Euro-Mediterranean partnership, arrived Nov. 30.

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Maersk to buy German shipping line Hamburg Sud

A.P. Moller-Maersk has agreed to buy German rival container shipping line Hamburg Süd, sending shares in the Danish shipping company up nearly 5 percent. The deal highlights a push to toward consolidation the container shipping industry, which has been grappling with low freight rates and oversupply. It also follows Maersk’s announcement in September that it would focus on transport and logistics and spin off its energy operations.

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Hefty Price Tag could deter Hamburg Sud Potential Buyers

A hefty price tag of close to $5bn could put off potential buyers for German container line Hamburg Sud according to analyst Alphaliner. The Oetker family, which owns 100% of Hamburg Sud, is reportedly close to reaching a decision as to whether to sell the container line, having previously been unable to agree. Alphaliner said the asking price for Hamburg Sud was believed to be close to $5bn and this “remains the largest stumbling block on the way to any deal”.

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‘Sharp oil price correction’ if Opec talks fail

Analysts are “warning of a sharp [oil] price correction” if Opec fails to secure a deal to cut production tomorrow, says Reuters. A tentative agreement was announced last month, causing Brent crude, the international oil price benchmark, to rally from around $44 to $54 a barrel. However, prices then gyrated wildly as doubts emerged over whether the deal would be ratified at the cartel’s summit in Vienna tomorrow.

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A Thanksgiving for Shipping

The shipping industry, whether for dry bulk, tankers, containerships or offshore, has ridden a monumental wave in 2016, a wave as impressive as Kanagawa’s Great Wave – metaphorically speaking. The dry bulk market first experienced the worst ever freight market in recent memory but then tripled in a matter of months. Tankers have seen their rates halved, and limited interest for secondary market acquisitions and relatively weak prices. The containership market saw a government-blessed entity (Hanjin) go belly up, which pretty much by itself sums the state of the market; also, seven-year old panamax containerships these days are heading to the scrapyard. Finally, the offshore market has seen brand-new, top-tier drillships idling while another huge oil discovery in Texas has made offshore drilling an even more precarious proposition.

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