Seacurus Top Ten Daily News Stories 18/08/2014

Seacurus Top Ten Daily News Stories 18/08/2014

1. Israeli Ship Blocked In LA

Dockworkers at the Port of Oakland have honoured a picket line marking the second day in a row that an Israeli-owned commercial vessel was unable to unload cargo at the port, event organizers said. Protesters gathered at the Port of Oakland to stop a Zim Integrated Shipping Services vessel from docking and unloading in an act of protest against recent Israeli military action in Gaza. The ship, "Piraeus" was moored at the Port of Oakland as a large crowd of protesters marched to block its arrival. The ship spent a day off the coast of California before eventually mooring at the port. Zim is the largest Israeli cargo shipping company.




2. Horror of People Smuggling Revealed

A man has died after 35 people, including several children, were found inside a shipping container being unloaded at a dock in eastern England on Saturday morning. Two of the group, believed to be from the Indian sub-continent, were taken to hospital in serious but not life-threatening condition, while others were treated for dehydration and hypothermia. The container was being unloaded at Tilbury docks in Essex from a ferry that had arrived from Zeebrugge, Belgium. "As a result of the ferry docking, staff at the port became aware of screaming and banging coming from the container," a police spokesperson told reporters.




3. Tanker Ablaze and Adrift

US Coast Guard air and cutter forces continue to assist the 22-person crew of a 485-foot, Bahamian-flagged chemical tanker after a fire in the main engineroom disabled the vessel, leaving it without propulsion, about 700 miles west of Cape Blanco, Oregon last week. The fire was extinguished using installed firefighting systems, however, the ship sustained damage to its generators, leaving the crew with minimal battery power. One crewmember aboard the tanker reportedly died as a result of the marine casualty.




4. Tanker Rates Set to Improve

The tanker market could be "slipping and sliding" into better times but owners are warned to watch the rocks and grit, according to research and analysis from Poten & Partners in their latest ‘Tanker Opinions’. However, any small gains could be wiped if there is any rapid influx of tanker tonnage. A look at the current orderbook across all segments provides some insight as to what is still coming down the road, but more curiously what has slipped or has fallen off the radar all together. Since ordering momentum continues, due in large part to a feeling that the market is coming off of cycle lows, the threat of vessel oversupply looms.



5. Innovation to Tackle Piracy

Building innovative Public-Private Partnerships to strengthen Somalia’s economic and social development and combat maritime piracy is the theme of DP World’s latest thought leadership initiative to be held this month. The port operator is bringing together senior government, non-government and industry leaders with knowledge partner the Institute for Near East and Gulf Military Analysis (INEGMA) in a series of three panel discussions to promote foreign investment, encourage economic stability and independence, while creating jobs for Somali youth. This is part of DP World’s on-going land-based counter piracy efforts.




6. No Place for Old PMSCs

Western private maritime security companies (PMSCs) should not look to Asia as a potential new market, as local legislation makes placing armed teams on board tankers virtually impossible, the Singapore-based Regional Cooperation Agreement on Combating Piracy (ReCaap) has stated.   The claim comes despite growing concerns over oil cargo theft in the region, following at least nine reported attacks on tankers so far in 2014, with some evidence that the current spate of attacks is the work of a couple gangs.




7. Happy 100th Birthday Panama Canal

August 15 was the 100th anniversary of the official opening of the Panama Canal. "SS Ancon" was the first ship to pass through the canal on that day. However, the First World War meant there was almost no commercial traffic on the canal for its first six years. Today, jokes The Economist, canals are worse than buses: wait 100 years and three come along at once. On the eve of the Panama Canal anniversary, the Egyptian government announced a plan to upgrade the Suez Canal for the first time in its 145-year history, and Nicaragua has recently endorsed a 278km (173-mile) route for a $40-billion canal linking the Atlantic to the Pacific.




8. Special Surveys Could Bite Owners

Some time ago, BIMCO expected the first signs of a solid recovery in the oil tanker industry to appear in the product tanker market. However, a strong second-hand market is being seen as a precursor to movement. There is much reported S&P activity at the moment, but while there are few similarities between current transactions, one element sticks out. Half of the sold vessels are heading for the third special survey (SS) soon, one that could prove expensive. Ten of the 18 vessels have their next SS scheduled for 2015, whereas the remaining eight are already bound for a special survey later this year.




9. Abandoned Seafarers Finally Paid

Wages have finally been paid to the crew of a merchant vessel left stranded in Shoreham Harbour, UK for 16 months. The outstanding money, amounting to £61,282 in total, has now been handed over, bringing to an end the saga of the MV Independent. Seafarers’ charity Apostleship of the Sea (AoS), which assisted the captain, Mikhail Polyakov, and his crew while they were in Shoreham, has welcomed the ‘satisfactory end’ to their plight. The charity provided food and aid to both the MV Independent and the MV Torrent in Rye after both ships were arrested in January last year.




10. European Bank Targets Shipping

The European Central Bank is taking a hard line on the controversial issue of how shipping loans should be valued in a wide-ranging review into the health of the euro zone’s banks, several sources familiar with the matter said. The ECB is making sure the euro zone’s most important banks have properly valued their assets and have enough capital to withstand future crises so it can begin with a clean sheet when it takes over as their supervisor from Nov 4. In the past, critics said national supervisors overlooked or even tolerated warning signs of potential shortfalls at banks for fear of causing upsets.




Daily news feed from Seacurus Ltd – providers of MLC crew insurance solutions


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S Jones
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