Seacurus Top Ten Daily News Stories 13/08/2014
1. Sense of Balance Could Return
Present global container traffic trends offer some hope that the industry could achieve a sense of balance two years out, dependent on further lull in vessel ordering. The first half was spotty, thereby consistent with economic trends, but delivered growth of 4.9% overall, according to Container Statistics. June was clocked at a relatively upbeat rate of 7.3%. Because of the slack in the system, the growth did little for rate levels, which continued to drag, achieving 85% of the January 2013 index. North America, which struggled through an extended winter, showed an increase in exports of 4.3% in June, while imports were up 3.8%.
2. Calls for Safer Ports
Regional trade body Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) aims to improve port and shipping safety, especially where container transportation is concerned. APEC said this during its Secure Trade in APEC Region Conference in Beijing, China. "Huge traffic volume, sophisticated concealment methods and diverse routing make container transportation increasingly vulnerable," Dmitry Feoktistov, deputy director of the new challenges and threats department at Russia’s Foreign Affairs Ministry, said. There have been calls by the US and other countries to inspect containers that pose terrorism risks in their ports of origin, before they are loaded.
3. Tanker Attacked by Somali Pirates
The Port of Fujairah has issued an alert stating that the Indian tanker, "MT Bon Atlantico" (IMO number 9248203) had sent a distress signal to say that it had come under attack by unknown persons off Oman. The incident occurred in position 25:09N-057:03E, which places the ship off Fujairah, Oman. AIS indicates the ship is currently underway and in proximity to other merchant vessels, which would suggest that any attack (if one indeed occurred) was short-lived. It may well simply be a case of SSAS being activated by mistake. Given the current SW monsoon, it’s not unusual to see suspected pirates lurking around more sheltered waters. http://goo.gl/s5NLMs
4. New Enclosed Space Safety Requirements
New SOLAS requirements for enclosed space entry and rescue drills, and draft requirements for portable atmosphere testing are set to enter into force. The rules are necessary owing to the serious threat posed to people working in enclosed spaces on board ships. The new requirements to SOLAS Chapter III, regulation 19, which enter into force on 1 January, 2015. From this date, crew members will be required to participate in an enclosed space entry and rescue drill on board the ship at least once every two months. The IMO is also finalising mandatory requirements for portable atmosphere testing instruments to be carried on board ships. http://goo.gl/0YKhKr
5. Seafarers Rallying to Help Victims
An Indian Master, Capt Sukhvinder Bhamra, was sailing onboard the "MSC Vanessa" when he received an email from the National Union of Seafarers of India (NUSI) on the hardships faced by Mr Aman Sharma, recently released from captivity as part of the MV Albedo crew. The Master and his crew started to collect money amongst the crew members of the ship. MPHRP would like to sincerely thank Captain Bhamra and his crew for their heartfelt and generous donations, and it is a clear illustration that seafarers are willing to look after their own fellows of the sea who have suffered so much in captivity, and are undergoing severe hardships.
6. Nigeria Ups Stakes on Security
The Governor of Bayelsa in Nigeria has inaugurated an 11-man task force to police the creeks and waterways across the state safeguard lives and property. The task force is aimed at stemming the tide of kidnapping, sea piracy, illegal bunkering and oil pipeline vandalism. "The task force is expected to liaise with Bayelsa’s special security outfit – the Operation Doo Akpor-Marine. According to the statement, the Governor expressed deep concern over the rising cases of insecurity in the waterways and called on community leaders and the general public to be vigilant and cooperate with the task force and security agencies to flush out hoodlums.
7. Changing Filipino Maritime Training
The Maritime Industry Authority (Marina) is making sure the Philippines will be able to meet the foreseen growth in demand for Filipino seafarers globally, by upgrading the Philippines’s maritime educational system. Mejia said the current global trade scenario is approximating the pre-2008 setting when there was a gap between the demand for Filipino seafarers and what the Philippines can actually supply. “My gut feel, based on the current growth trend [in world trade], the demand for Filipino seafarers will grow by 1 percent annually up to 2016. The Filipinos will remain as the seafarers of choice,” Mejia said.
8. Owner Forced to Pay After Allision
China Shipping Container Lines (CSCL), the owners of the 5,551-TEU Xin Xia Men, has been ordered by the British court to pay EUR1.5 million (US$2.1 million) to the Terminal Contenitori Porto Di Genoa for damage to its crane. In June 2011, the Xin Xia Men was berthed in Genoa, discharging containers in high winds, during a three minute period, winds rose from seven kilometres an hour to Force 9 winds in excess of 75 kph, according to Clyde & Co. As a result of the sudden squall, the vessel was blown off the quay at the container terminal and impacted with the terminal’s 70-metre quay crane resulting in severe damage.
9. Company May Abandon Box Trade
State-run Shipping Corp. of India Ltd (SCI) may exit its loss-making container shipping business as the Mumbai-based company comes under pressure to do something drastic to reverse three continuous years of losses. The move comes at a time when the government has initiated a review on the relevance of SCI as a state-run firm, according to a document reviewed by Mint. “The shipping ministry is examining the relevance of SCI in today’s scenario when the private sector is coming in (a) big way to invest in shipping sector,” said a comprehensive action plan for the maritime sector prepared by the shipping ministry.
10. Forget Technology, Remember to Look and Listen
The watchkeeper who acts as the eyes and ears on the bridge is the shipowner’s most critical piece of safety equipment, and his most valuable investment – says IHS Maritime’s chief analyst. After almost 40 years of technological innovation it seems the very basics of safe watchkeeping are under threat. Dozens of research projects over the past decade have focused on collision avoidance systems. Many of these have come up against a dilemma: data-driven quantitative systems do not fit easily into a qualitative system driven by human perception; with no guarantee whatsoever that an automated system will not fail at a critical moment.
Daily news feed from Seacurus Ltd – providers of MLC crew insurance solutions www.seacurus.com
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