Seacurus Bulletin 18/06/2014
MARITIME LABOUR CONVENTION AND SEAFARER NEWS
Plans for the P3 alliance of MSC, CMA CGM and Maersk have been abandoned after the Chinese Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM) blocked the deal under China’s company merger rules. Preparatory work for the alliance began after it was announced in June last year and operations were scheduled to begin towards the end of the year. After the European Commission and US Federal Maritime Commission approved the deal, it was expected that the Chinese would endorse the proposed network. However that was not the case as it transpires they believed the alliance would have too much power to dictate market terms.
Sigh of Relief
The European Shippers Council signaled its broad support for China’s rejection of an application by Maersk Line, Mediterranean Shipping Co. and CMA CGM to join forces in the P3 Network. The ESC said it “understands” the decision of Chinese Ministry of Commerce as it “has already expressed its concern about the risk of a dominant situation created by an alliance that could represent a 44 percent market share for trades between China and Europe.” The carriers “apparently could not convince authorities that the … P3 alliance could prove beneficial to the market,” the Brussels-based body said.
Kongsberg Norcontrol IT will lead a three-year project called SESAME Straits (Secure, Efficient and Safe maritime traffic Management in the Straits of Malacca and Singapore), which aims to create solutions to significantly improve the safety and efficiency of ship navigation across the world. An important test-bed for IMO’s e-Navigation implementation strategy, the objective of the SESAME Straits Project is to develop and validate a concept for a next generation Ship Traffic Management System (STMS) in the Straits of Malacca and Singapore (SOMS).
Concerns about port states’ implementation of new regulations on sulfur emissions and ballast water management (BWM) dominated discussions at the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) Annual General Meeting. Representatives of national shipowners’ associations discussed the apparent unreadiness of many national governments to implement new emissions rules for Emission Control Areas (ECAs) in a uniform way and agreed that port states must resolve questions about the use of alternative compliance mechanisms. "The shipping industry is investing billions of dollars in order to ensure compliance," said the ICS Chairman.
The United Seamen’s Service (USS) informs that 2014 Admiral of the Ocean Sea Awards (AOTOS) will be presented to Stephen Cotton, General Secretary of the International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF); Joseph J. Cox, President/CEO, Chamber of Shipping of America; and Frederick J. Harris, President of American shipbuilder General Dynamics NASSCO. The awards will be presented at a gala industry dinner and dance to be held at the Sheraton New York Times Square Hotel, New York City, on November 7, 2014. Recognition will also be given to American Seafarers for specific acts of bravery and heroism while at sea.
BIMCO’s sub-committee of purchasers and suppliers tasked with revising BIMCO’s standard bunker contract met again recently to review comments on proposed changes. A number of amendments were made to the draft bunker contract. The minimum number of fuel samples was increased from four to five. One sample is to be retained on board the vessel for MARPOL purposes, two will be for the sellers and the remaining two for the vessel. As to the sampling point, some flexibility has been provided, bearing in mind varying practices around the world. BIMCO adds that work will continue over the summer with the aim of completing for November. http://goo.gl/mBDxkB
Statoil publishes its annual Energy Perspectives report outlining the analysis of macroeconomic and energy market developments towards 2040. “Global economic development will continue to drive energy demand. At the same energy efficiency improvements, fuel mix changes and a changing economic structure give a decline in the OECD countries’ energy demand between now and 2040”, says Statoil’s Chief economist Eirik Wærness. Energy Perspectives 2014 analyses three different scenarios for the development from 2011 to 2040, to illustrate the major uncertainties in modelling long-term developments.
PIRACY AND MARITIME SECURITY NEWS
Following a recent spate of hijackings in the region, we have today received word of another missing tanker. According to the Information Fusion Centre in Singapore, owners have lost contact with the "MT Arsenal", a product tanker. The tanker is carrying a cargo of MOGAS and her last known position was around 12nm off the Malaysian coast. The ship was being accompanied by the tug “Pawai” and there is concern for both vessels’ well being. On Saturday, pirates hijacked the MT Ai Maru and stole 620mt of cargo (worth around $600,000) before naval forces reached her. The pirates escaped and are currently being hunted.
A spate of daring high-seas attacks off Southeast Asia is stoking fears that its vital shipping lanes could once again become a hotspot for piracy unless regional powers act fast. For centuries, pirates were the scourge of the Malacca Strait — the strategic channel between Indonesia, Malaysia, and Singapore through which a third of global trade now passes. They were largely put out of business about five years ago by stepped-up patrols. But several tankers or cargo ships have been attacked in Southeast Asian waters since April, with pirates hijacking the vessels before siphoning off hundreds of tonnes of valuable fuel or oil.
The IMB is warning small tankers to maintain strict anti-piracy measures in the South China Sea following a spate of tanker hijackings in the region. The latest hijackings seem to follow a specific modus operandi, where armed pirates seize a small tanker and siphon off its cargo to large bunker barges or other small tankers in a ship-to-ship operation, the IMB noted. In some cases navigational equipment are destroyed but the crew are left unhurt. They then release the hijacked vessels. “These types of incidents are not common in this region which makes the situation even more alarming”, said the IMB.
Dryad Maritime is branching out. What started out as a dedicated maritime intelligence company is now offering a far wider range of services. The tagline of the firm reflects this change, now describing the UK outfit as a maritime operations company. Dryad is positioning itself as a voyage management service provider, helping charterers, shipowners, managers and Masters to plan, monitor and optimise vessel and fleet performance. For the past year Dryad has been conducting live trials of its new Voyage Efficiency Service (VES), designed to trim costs in voyage planning and help clients to comply with the key IMO global regulation changes.
Academics believe Africa is unable to tackle piracy owing to the unstable political regimes of many of the African littoral countries in the Indian Ocean Region. These weaknesses compound the problems of managing their maritime domains. The inability of these states to combat the threats regularly posed by maritime non-state actors has resulted in the enormous naval militarization of the African waters by foreign naval forces. How far and how long the states of the region should depend on foreign countries for ensuring the safety of their coastal zones will also determine whether these states will retain their maritime wealth and control.
Daily news feed from Seacurus Ltd – providers of MLC crew insurance solutions www.seacurus.com
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