Qatar and container lines have launched new shipping services via Oman in an effort to sidestep a port ban in neighbouring countries and secure a food lifeline after other Gulf states severed ties with Doha last week. Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and some other Arab countries cut diplomatic, travel and trade ties with Qatar last week, accusing it of supporting Iran and funding Islamist groups, accusations Doha denies. The severing of air, sea and land transport links has closed crucial import routes for Qatar and its population of around 2.7 million people who are dependent on imports for most of their food needs.
The costs to ship fuel and crude oil from Qatar are expected to rise after the United Arab Emirates banned vessels that previously called at Qatar from docking at UAE ports. This is disrupting the typical logistics of the oil industry where buyers take very large crude carriers (VLCC) capable of carrying 2 million barrels of oil and load up to four different 500,000-barrel cargoes to save on costs. Buyers are now splitting cargoes on smaller Suezmax ships that carry 1 million barrels to load separately in Qatar and the UAE, the sources said.
The Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach are setting the stage to make a transition to zero emissions in their Clean Air Action Plan (CAAP). By signing a joint declaration on June 12, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti and Long Beach Mayor Robert Garcia set ambitious goals unveiling zero emissions plans for the twin ports of the San Pedro Bay. Additionally, the parties affirmed that the CAAP will include new investments in clean technology, expanding at-berth emission reductions, and launching a zero emissions drayage truck pilot program in the next few years.
During a panel debate hosted by The Mission to Seafarers at Nor-Shipping event, leaders in seafarer welfare concluded that higher level of transparency is needed to improve human rights in the shipping industry. An expert panel, made up of representatives from the RAFTO Foundation, the Institute for Human Rights and Business, Norwegian OECD NCP, and Human Rights at Sea, came together to discuss the challenges associated with tackling the very real risk of modern slavery in the shipping industry, and strategies for its elimination.
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