Maritime Global Trade Roundup – February 23, 2024

In the Spotlight

What’s inside?

    The quick highlights and analysis you need from the week in maritime global trade, powered by Maritime AI™ insights.

    The Houthis Badly Damaged a British Ship 

    The Houthis rushed to claim they had sunk a Belize-flagged, British-registered cargo vessel off Yemen on Monday. The strikes on the Rubymar are the most damaging attacks by the Houthi rebels since they started their disruptions in mid-November.  

    The group also claimed that it attacked two U.S.-owned cargo vessels, the Sea Champion and Navis Fortuna. 

    Not so fast…photos from Wednesday show the Rubymar still afloat, albeit badly damaged.  

    Western vessel trade is down 67% and this recent incident will cause even more stakeholders to reconsider traversing the Red Sea for trade.

    The Wall Street Journal spoke to Windward’s Co-Founder and CEO, Ami Daniel, about the incident and its potential impact, and featured our Maritime AI™ insights. 

    Check out the article

    Are You Ready for the Price Cap Update? 

    The G7 price cap coalition published an update on the price cap rules and they went into effect this week on February 19 for cargos loaded on or after February 20

    If cargo is transferred via ship-to-ship (STS) transfer, it is a requirement that a per-voyage attestation is provided within 30 days of the STS meeting occurring. But organizations that cannot detect relevant STS engagements will have no way of knowing that they need a new attestation! This has become a necessity…

    Windward’s risk evaluation is enhanced through data it pulls from our ship-to-ship model, because STS engagements are often important indicators for various deceptive shipping practices (DSPs), such as oil smuggling. 

    Windward offers the only solution in the industry that provides a dynamic, AI-driven STS model, with a 96% accuracy rate of flagging illicit STS. The model goes beyond proximity to determine that cargo was transferred, Additionally, our suspicious cargo module can help determine the origins and metrics for suspicious cargo. 

    The ability to differentiate between cargo and servicing/bunkering operations will help organizations clearly define when attestations are required in a more detailed way, saving time and money

    Additionally, the EU approved a 13th package of sanctions against Russia on Wednesday, banning nearly 200 entities and individuals accused of helping Moscow procure weapons, or for being involved in kidnapping Ukrainian children. 

    A New Indicator of DSPs Connected to Iran? 

    There was a 240% increase in the number of MMSI changes by cargo vessels in the Arabian Gulf in January 2024, followed by a port call in Iran. This suggests these vessels are affiliated with Iran. Fifteen out of the 17 vessels changed to the Comoros flag immediately after the port call.

    Fifteen of these vessels were associated with Iranian ownership and risk, based on open source information. In addition, all vessels that conducted this pattern are classified as high compliance risks. 

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    Different types of identity obfuscation are constantly emerging. Also, flags used by illicit vessels seem to shift – previously it was Gabon, now Comoros appears to be a popular choice. 

    The above insights were generated using Windward’s new Sequence Search capability, which empowers users to conduct advanced analysis of vessels’ behavioral typologies and trade movements by searching for sequences of activities. Understanding sequences provides the context necessary to understand vessel behavior and conduct business with confidence in a challenging trade environment. 

    Interested in sanctions and risk? Join our upcoming webinar

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    Windward Partners with Interpol

    INTERPOL has chosen Windward to enhance global efforts against illegal activities at sea.

    Our Maritime AI™ platform will provide crucial intelligence to identify, track, and prevent criminal activities, ensuring a more secure maritime environment.

    AI-Powered Insights on the Panama Canal

    The number of visits by container vessels owned by the six major carriers and bulk carriers to the Panama Canal decreased significantly when comparing December 2023 to January 2024 (30% and 51% respectively), while oil products tankers increased (39%), with January marking the lowest number in the last two years.

    There was a 5% increase in the number of area visits by the six major carriers’ container vessels in Argentina and Chile, and a respective 3% increase in bulk trade in these areas, during the same time period. Container vessels and bulk carriers may prefer to circumnavigate around South America to avoid the delays caused by the drought.

    There was a 40% decrease in port calls in the U.S.’ Central Coast and East Coast’s ports by container vessels previously crossing the Panama Canal, between January and February 2024!  Additionally, there has been a 39% decrease in port calls in China by container vessels previously crossing the Panama Canal

    Our Maritime AI Predictive ETA to the Houston port shows delays of over 40 days, which might suggest that the decrease could continue until the drought ends.

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