Seacurus Top Ten Daily News Stories 08/08/2014
1. Port Acts on Congestion
The Port of Rotterdam is taking measures to eliminate congestion at the ECT Delta Terminal and the Euromax Terminal. Inland waterway vessels and feeder vessels have been experiencing delays at these terminals for some time. Improvements implemented at these terminals have not had the desired effect up until now. The inconvenience experienced by the port’s customers and users is of such magnitude that the Port of Rotterdam Authority has taken the initiative of developing solutions to this problem. It became clear that all parties involved wanted to cooperate in order to improve the situation.
2. Fake Companies Scam Alert
The shipping industry is being warned to watch out for scammers setting up fake shipping company web sites in their name. According to sources down under, scammers have targeted Australian and New Zealanders, advertising second hand goods sourced overseas. The websites seek payment for goods including large commercial machinery in trading websites and local newspapers. "In this case it was the unsuspecting public, using the fake shipping website as a front," he said. " Our members were not directly impacted but may have suffered reputation damage." Mediterranean Shipping Company Australia, was one such company.
3. Piracy Laws Need Overhaul
An international law used for 400 years to combat piracy on the high seas and, later, to convict Nazi and Japanese war criminals, is seriously flawed, according to new research. Dr Matt Garrod, a legal scholar specialising in international law at the University of Portsmouth’s School of Law, has found evidence that law-makers, including the United Nations, have unwittingly been blind-sided by a law built on little more than a myth. His research,argues that the laws of universal jurisdiction, which kings, countries and courts have relied upon for hundreds of years, are built on the hearsay of second-hand sources without close examination.
4. Port Customs Man Killed After Fraud
Chinese police are investigating the death from unnatural causes of the deputy commissioner of customs at Qingdao port which is under investigation for alleged commodity financing fraud. According to reports, Qingdao Customs Deputy Commissioner Bian Peiquan died on Aug. 5. The major fraud investigation at Qingdao port has prompted global banks and trading houses to fire off a series of lawsuits over their estimated $900 million exposure. Global banks including HSBC and Standard Chartered have launched legal action after allegations, Decheng Mining, used fake warehouse receipts to obtain multiple loans at Qingdao port.
5. Cyber Weaknesses Highlighted
Shipping is being forced to assess its cyber security vulnerabilities – and as ever the aviation industry is leading the way in showing what is good and bad. According to "ethical hacker" Ruben Santamarta of IOActive communications devices from a range of companies are all highly vulnerable to attack and can be hacked in a way that could affect devices that interact with critical systems possibly resulting in “catastrophic failure.” In conversation with reporters, Santamarta was careful to point out that none of the vulnerabilities could directly cause a plane to crash but the security gaps could make it much harder to fly.
6. Fruits of Charity Labour Delivered
After an incredible response to its Typhoon Haiyan Emergency Appeal last year, Sailors’ Society has partnered with the Homer Foundation to provide fishing boats for struggling seafarers’ families. Donations received from the global shipping industry are funding the project to reinvigorate local industry in Filipino seafaring communities and relieve pressure on seafarers. A huge proportion of the world’s seafarers hail from small villages in the Visayas region of the Philippines, which was ravaged by the super typhoon in November. Thousands of small fishing vessels were destroyed when Haiyan hit, and this aid will help the recovery.
7. Company Must do More to Stem Losses
The head of NOL said there’s “more to do” today when describing the group’s financial position. NOL posted a second quarter net loss of $54m. “The group put in an improved performance despite the persistent, difficult trading conditions. We have more to do, but both business units have continued to make gains in improving our costs and efficiencies,” said NOL group president and ceo Ng Yat Chung. NOL’s containerline APL, which recorded a net loss of $29m for the quarter, said it was returning more of its less efficient and expensive chartered tonnage.
8. We Slow for Whales
A program being launched off the California coast will tackle two environmental problems posed by thousands of cargo ships that ferry goods to and from the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach each year: Not only are the hulking vessels major sources of air pollution, their shipping lanes overlap with a prime feeding area for migrating blue whales off Santa Barbara. The voluntary initiative, developed by federal wildlife officials, environmentalists and air quality regulators, will pay shipping companies $2500 to slow down ocean vessels as they travel through the Santa Barbara Channel to reduce emissions and avoid colliding with blue whales.
9. Connecting Lonely Retired Seafarers
A service which aims to provide support and companionship for retired seafarers has been receiving praise and support. "Seafarers Link" is funded by Seafarers UK, is free to all retired seafarers and their dependents (Merchant Navy, Royal Navy, Marines and fishermen) who may be having difficulty adapting to life on shore, or who are unable to get out to meet friends. It provides the opportunity to make new friends with those who have had similar experiences during time spent at sea. Members are able to link up every fortnight from their own telephone line, connecting between four to eight people together on the same call. http://goo.gl/A1PBRt
10. River Piracy Causing Chaos
River pirates are running rampant on moored boats in Mandalay but ship owners and workers are too afraid to report cases to police or the media, sources in the area say. “There are many ships docking at this time of year so robbers are particularly active,” said a ship owner, who asked not to be named for fear of retribution. Another ship owner said robberies occur frequently in Mayanchan, Bawka Bala and Daewon ports in Mandalay and near Shan Lay Kyun in Amapura township. Earlier this year 19 members of a gang accused of stopping and robbing vessels on the Ayeyarwady River were arrested south of Mandalay.
Daily news feed from Seacurus Ltd – providers of MLC crew insurance solutions www.seacurus.com
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