Seacurus Daily Top Ten News Stories 25/09/2014: Happy World Maritime Day
1. Tanker Boarded off Myanmar
A tanker "Ocean Osprey", was boarded by six armed pirates en route to Yangon, Mynamar, on Monday in the Strait of Malacca, reported ICC Commercial Crime Services (CCS). The attack took place approximately 34nm southwest of Phuket Island, Thailand, in the early morning of 22 September, according to the report. The pirates tied up the second officer and the able seaman on the bridge, said ICC CCS, and then mustered the rest of the crew in the mess room. The second officer managed to activate the SSAS alert without being noticed by the pirates, who later escaped after stealing the crew’s personal effects and money.
2. Celebrating World Maritime Day in Numbers
As the maritime industry celebrates World Maritime Day this year, a wonderful new infographic is doing the rounds on many media pages. The graphic that explores the innovations regarding safety at sea. A single container ship travels the equivalent of three-quarters of the way to the moon and back – in one year! This infographic explores the modern shipping industry, the revolution in safety measures and how you can apply maritime safety principles at home. It does, however, neglect some of the more troubling aspects of shipping, perhaps its time the ugly side of shipping made it into such pretty pictures?
3. IMO Pats Itself on Back
As the IMO celebrates World Maritime Day 2014 secretary-general Koji Sekimizu said it had made gains around its theme this year of effective implementation of conventions. As with the Day of the Seafarer earlier this year IMO is taking to social media to spread the word about the day asking people to hashtag posts any special events #worldmaritimeday. In his World Maritime Day message Sekimizu said that in choosing the theme IMO had been able to put the spotlight on conventions that had not yet come into force, namely Ballast Water, Hong Kong Convention on ship recycling, fishing vessel safety and wreck removal.
4. IUMI Elects New President
Dieter Berg of Munich Re is elected new president of IUMI and warns of softening premium rates, By James Brewer in Hong Kong Six hundred and thirty-two participants in the 2014 conference of the International Union of Marine Insurance are leaving Hong Kong with messages from the outgoing and new IUMI presidents calling for underwriting discipline and new efforts to raise the profile of the marine insurance sector. Ole Wikborg of the Norwegian Hull Club was accorded a standing ovation as he handed over the presidency after four years to Dieter Berg of Munich Re.
5. Dangerous Goods Risks Not Boxed Off
With an average of 2.5% of typical Far East to Europe boxes comprising dangerous goods, this amounts to 450 boxes per 18,000 teu ship and commiserately as many chances for one of those to explode or catch fire and possibly lead to disaster, according to The American Club HK office director of technical services Asia John Wilson. Making the point that as more dangerous goods are shipped, more lobbying is required of national authorities and the IMO by the insurance industry, Wilson said: “The legislation, and the government resources to reinforce it, is lagging behind the growth of the container ship industry.”
6. Human Cost of Piracy Remembered
The human cost of piracy and maritime crime must remain in all our thoughts. This applies especially to the Gulf of Guinea in West Africa where piracy is escalating. The trauma suffered by seafarers affected by violence is having a devastating impact on them and their families. Experts on maritime safety and the welfare of seafarers gathered in London this week to explore ways to tackle piracy-related violence off the coast of West Africa. The panel emphasized the importance of consistent reporting of crimes in understanding the degree to which seafarers off the coast of West Africa undergo violence or distress.
7. Chamber Lauds Rules and Regs
To mark the occasion of IMO World Maritime Day on 25 September, and its theme this year of ‘IMO Conventions: Effective Implementation’, the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) has produced a special brochure, which is being circulated throughout the industry by its member national shipowners’ associations. The ICS brochure highlights the vital importance of global rules for a global industry, and the need for governments to ratify and implement IMO Conventions and regulations, which have contributed so much to the significant improvement of the shipping’s safety record and environmental performance.
8. Investors Shunning Shipping
Several private equity investors have exited from their shipping investments as asset values have increased by 30% year-on-year. Gulf Capital exited its stake in Gulf Marine via a $112M listing on the London Stock Exchange. Greenbrier Equity also executed a $140M listing of Ardmore Shipping in New York. Euroseas CEO Aristides Pittas said, "Private equity has a longer horizon than hedge funds. Private equity investors normally wait five to seven years or longer to exit. Figures from accounting firm Moore Stephens showed that private equity invested $32Bn in shipping in the first eight months of this year, up from $12Bn in 2010.
9. Shippers Concerned About Vessel Sharing
The European Shippers Council (ESC) has pulled the alarm bell about the excesses that could be caused by the Vessel Sharing Agreement (VSA) between Maersk and MSC. In a letter sent to the US Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) last week, ESC said that the “operators might set up an extremely damaging situation to world trade.” FMC has 45 days to review the proposal and the decision is expected on October 11. Chief Executive of AP Moller-Maersk Nils Andersen told Reuters that the approval of 2M by FMC should be a formality as they had already approved P3.
10. Holding Out for a Hero
The shipping industry is ready for the introduction of new technology, all we need is a new generation of tech-savvy middle and senior managers, says Dr. Martin Stopford, author of textbook Maritime Economics. “The introduction of new technology is hindered by the industry’s current wide-spread lack of technical knowledge,” Dr. Stopford said in the latest issue of ABB-s Generations 2014. “I don’t know who in the maritime business has the capability, the budget and the resources to put that sort of thing together". He feels shipping needs a Steve Jobs to understand the market, adapting technology and “sticking with an idea.”
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