BDP Trendwatch: Joint War Committee lists the Black Sea waters of Ukraine and Russia; Canada bridge reopens after five-day protest; India-USEC connection readjusts port calls to maintain weekly rotation

Joint War Committee lists the Black Sea waters of Ukraine and Russia 

The Joint War Committee, the marine insurance advisory board that assesses and designates regions of heightened risk, has added sections of the northern Black Sea to its master list of areas with an elevated likelihood of war, piracy or terrorism. The move comes amidst heightened tensions caused by Russian naval drills in waters near Crimea.  

The designation requires the shipowner to notify their hull insurance underwriter in advance of a voyage to a covered area. The decision whether to insure the voyage or not, and the pricing of the coverage, remains a matter for the insurer to discuss with the owner.  

The designation puts the Russian and Ukrainian waters of the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov in the same notification category as the Gulf of Guinea, the Persian Gulf, Yemen, Syria and Iran. It is the only listed region in Europe. 

Maritime Executive 

Canada bridge reopens after five-day protest 

The Ambassador Bridge that links Canada with the U.S. has reopened, clearing the largest trade artery between the two countries after a five-day protest shut it down.  

“Normal border processing has resumed at the Ambassador Bridge,” the Canada Border Services Agency said on Twitter.  

The reopening came after local police and officers from the Province of Ontario and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police slowly and methodically pushed protesters from the foot of the bridge up Huron Church Road starting Saturday. With the road cleared, police worked to remove barriers positioned to prevent the protest from growing and to get Canada’s border agency staff to the bridge. 

Supply Chain Brain 

India-USEC connection readjusts port calls to maintain weekly rotation 

Indian shippers, already roiled by ocean capacity shortages and soaring freight rate levels, are bracing for a prolonged schedule disruption on their most-sought after US East Coast connection. 

Amid excessive congestion plaguing North American ports that inevitably end up in considerably longer round-trip times for vessel operators, the Indamex (India-America Express) Service is temporarily dropping calls to Savannah and Charleston from its declared/regular itinerary. 

A total of nine westbound sailings -- due to depart from Port Qasim (Karachi) in March and April – will be readjusted to cover the delays and maintain a weekly sailing frequency. The changed Indamex rotation will be Port Qasim, Nhava Sheva (JNPT), Mundra, Damietta, New York, Norfolk, Port Said, Jeddah and Port Qasim. 

Container News 

Hapag-Lloyd’s new service to directly connect South China with Germany 

The German ocean carrier Hapag-Lloyd has announced the launch of its new China Germany Express (CGX) service, which is expected to provide another gateway from and to Southern China and to directly connect Northern Europe on a weekly basis. 

The service, which will be offered as a two-port loop product, will commence on 1 April, linking Dachan Bay port with the port of Hamburg. 

Hapag-Lloyd believes that CGX service will allow customers to benefit from intermodal capabilities in Dachan Bay and Hamburg and to also gain access to Central and Eastern European markets. 

Container News 

NOAA predicts a foot of sea level rise along U.S. coastlines by 2050 

The U.S. government has released its latest forecast for sea level rise through 2150, updating a report last revised in 2017. The conclusions are concerning: by 2050, the sea level along America's coastlines will rise by an estimated 10-12 inches, which is as much as the rise measured over the span of the previous century.  

“This is a global wake-up call and gives Americans the information needed to act now to best position ourselves for the future," said NOAA Administrator Rick Spinrad in a statement Tuesday.  

The extent of sea level rise will vary by region due to the influences of variable ocean height and future changes in land elevation. The Gulf Coast will see the greatest increase with a rise of about 14-18 inches, and the West Coast and Alaska will be the least affected. The overall effects will be challenging for coastal residents in all localities: moderate flooding events will increase by a factor of ten, reaching an average of four events per year, and major flooding will occur five times as often as it does today. 

Maritime Executive 

Work underway to widen Suez Canal 

Egypt is working to improve the Suez Canal by making an additional 10 kilometers accessible to two-way traffic, while widening and deepening another 30 kilometers, the chairman of the authority managing the waterway said on Tuesday. 

Suez Canal Authority Chairman Osama Rabie, giving the first news conference on the expansion which began in June, said it would be too expensive to widen the entire length of the waterway linking the Red Sea and the Mediterranean. 

However, the two-way portion would be lengthened to 85 kilometers (53 miles) from 75 kilometers, he said. 

Global shipping traffic was disrupted last year when one of the world’s largest container ships got stuck in the southern section of the 190 kilometer canal for about a week. 

G captain (Reuters)