The stricken Francis Scott Key Bridge. Photo: US Coast Guard

The owner and manager of the ship that hit a Baltimore bridge, destroying the structure and leaving up to six dead, have filed papers in court to limit their liability — a move that will trigger the legal battle over the casualty. Grace Ocean and Synergy Marine lodged a petition in a federal court in Baltimore to cap legal exposure at nearly $43.7m, although the figure is a provisional estimate that the companies’ lawyers plan to update.


The top two bosses at UK shipbroker Clarksons have taken home more cash after a record 2023 for the business. Boss Andi Case earned £11.9m in total, which includes an unchanged basic salary of £550,000, a bonus of £10.4m, plus pension payments and other benefits. Finance director and operating chief Jeff Woyda earned £350,000, plus a bonus of £2.7m, which is also up on the previous year’s figure.

Wallenius Wilhelmsen admitted this week that it could take a hit of up to $10m from the Francis Scott Key Bridge collapse. The world’s largest car carrier operator said its Ebitda would be dragged down by between $5m and $10m, assuming the disruptions last only a month, as the fallen bridge cut off access to its terminal in the Port of Baltimore and trapped one of its vessels.

Greek police detained an Italian citizen after Venezuela sought his extradition for allegedly defrauding the country’s regime out of oil revenue worth billions of dollars. Authorities did not identify the man, but the description of the case matches Venezuelan reports naming Erik Roveta, an Italian oil tanker broker said to be facing money laundering charges in the South American country.

A modern but laid-up aframax was sold off at auction in Gibraltar after its ownership structure made it subject to US sanctions against Russia. Court authorities in the British overseas territory confirmed to TradeWinds that the 112,800-dwt Aurviken (built 2019) went under the hammer.

HMC Hamburg Maritime Chartering has been one of the busiest German small tanker brokers for the past 15 years. The company handled about 500 fixtures last year alone, down from a record 700 fixtures in 2021. However, the drop in volumes has been compensated for by rising charter rates.


In the wake of the $3bn Baltimore bridge disaster, now could be the time to rewrite a historic US shipping law on liability, writes Eric Priante Martin.

As far as the liability protections go for the owner and manager of the container ship Dali, who have filed court papers in Baltimore to cap their legal exposure and deny blame for the incident, the law is what the law is today — and that limits liability at the post-casualty value of the container ship and pending freight under certain circumstances.

That fact alone should raise questions over whether the cap is still fit for purpose, and if not, what might take its place. If that questioning leads to a safety-driven rethinking of those limits, that could be a good thing.


Robert Naess, portfolio manager at Nordea. Photo: Nordea

Highly risky shipping stocks do not attract Norway’s top stockpicker.

“It is too volatile. I try to find the low-risk stocks,” Robert Naess, chief investment officer at Nordea Investment Management, said in an interview with TradeWinds’ Jonas Walsgard.