Seatrade Maritime News takes a look back at the year and top stories in the world of shipping and maritime, MANA correspondent reported.
2016 was not to start with much good cheer. The first week of the year saw oil prices drop to an 11 year low and what was to become a wave of restructurings in the offshore and marine industry were already underway.
Moving into February the dry bulk shipping market was in freefall dropping to unprecedented levels, falling below 300 points after Chinese New Year, thankfully things did start to recover in the second half of the year.
In what was set to be a year of consolidation China Cosco Shipping was officially launched on 18 February bringing together Chinese state-owned giants Cosco and China Shipping.
With lifting of sanctions against Iran there now some serious investment opportunities starting to develop with the country expected to spend $25bn on oil and gas projects over the coming decade.
The first of two major re-alignments of major container shipping alliances – the Ocean Alliance comprising Cosco, CMA CGM, Evergreen and OOCL was unveiled on 20 April.
Following the announcement of the Ocean Alliance the second major realignment of container shipping alliances was unveiled comprising the Japanese big three NYK, Mitsui OSK Lines and K Line, Hapag-Lloyd (including UASC) and Yang Ming.
The 26 June saw the historic inauguration of the expanded Panama Canal with the transit by the containership Cosco Shipping China.
Meanwhile another major waterway the Suez Canal, which had already undergone expansion, was offering $70,000 discounts for VLCC transits.
And as container shipping consolidation continued Hapag-Lloyd and United Arab Shipping Co (UASC) announced they had reached merger terms.
The largest Greek shipowner Angelicoussis gives struggling Korean shipbuilder Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering a welcome boost with a $1bn order.
Singapore-listed offshore marine provider Swiber Holdings stunned the market when it announced its senior management had quit and it was winding-up. Then confusing the market further with 48 hours reversed the decision to wind-up and opted for judicial management instead.
Consolidation was also be seen in the chemical tanker sector with Stolt-Nielsen announcing it was buying Jo Tankers chemical tanker operations for $575m.
Meanwhile with environment and emissions high on the agenda a new cross industry group was formed to promote LNG as fuel.
In the seismic event of the year for shipping – if not the decade – at the end of the August Hanjin Shipping announced it was filing for receivership. The bankruptcy of the world’s seventh largest container line was reverberate across the shipping and industry and the supply causing chaos for months to come – the full extent of which is revealed on the Seatrade Maritime News timeline.
If there was any complacency over piracy it was proved to be misplaced after merchant shipping was place on alert following a Red Sea attack.
After years of waiting the IMO’s Ballast Water Management Convention was finally ratified with the date of 7 September 2017 set for implementation
Anyone struggling to understand why much of shipping is suffering from overcapacity could find an easy answer when Clarksons revealed the global fleet had grown 50% since the 2008 economic crisis.
In our most read single story of the year Japan’s big three NYK, K Line and Mistui OSK Lines announce they are to merge their container shipping businesses into a joint venture, continuing the sector’s year of consolidation.
You’ve been Trumped – protectionist billionaire Donald Trump surprises many by winning the US presidential election and starts naming shipping related people to his team.
A new player announced its arrival in the container trades – Korea Line – buying out the Asia – US business of bankrupt Hanjin Shipping for $31.4m.
And container shipping’s year of consolidation just kept on going with Maersk Line announcing it was going to buy Hamburg Sud with the deal expected to complete by the end of 2017.