Seacurus Top Ten Daily News Stories 03/09/2014
1. New Tanker Venture Set to Shake Up Market
Mitsui OSK Lines (MOL) and Viken Shipping have formed a joint venture in the shuttle tanker sector with long-term charters to Transpetro in Brazil. The 50 – 50 joint venture MOL Viken between the Japanese and Norwegian shipowners will take over five crude oil shuttle tankers owned by Viken Shipping and on long-term charter to Transpetro in Brazil. MOL said the two companies were aiming for long-term cooperation making joint investments in high quality vessels. “Although the initial investment is in crude oil shuttle tankers, the joint venture is not intended to be restricted to this marked segment only,” it added.
2. Rice Cargoes Hit by Ebola
The Ebola outbreak in Africa is beginning to have an impact on agriculture and shipping as far away as Asia, with Thailand’s rice industry among the first to experience a serious impact. Africa is a major market for Thailand’s rice, but the industry is finding it difficult to meet demand. Exporters in Bangkok say Africa consumes nine million tons of rice annually and two-thirds of it is imported. But they are currently unable to ship much of their crop to West African ports. Operators of dry bulk vessels cannot find crews to man their ships because of fears of possibly contracting the deadly Ebola virus, according to the Thai Rice Exporters Association.
3. IUMI Tackling Key Issues
The International Union of Marine Insurance (IUMI) has released details of the agenda for its September Annual Conference in Hong Kong. The Conference has the theme "Building Expertise for a Changing World". Discussions and speakers will focus on topic specific to the Asian market and the region’s fastest growing maritime sector. Issues on the agenda will include cyber risk, arctic shipping, revision of the York-Antwerp rules and the increasing trend of criminalisation of seafarers. Over 500 people are expected from over 50 Associations.
4. Cruise Deal For High End Market
Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd (NCLH.O) said it would buy Prestige Cruises International Inc from its owner Apollo Global Management LLC (APO.N) in a $3 billion deal to expand its high-end luxury cruise offerings. Shares of Norwegian Cruise, the world’s third-largest cruise operator, were up 13 percent at $37.57 in early trading. Prestige, which in January registered with U.S. regulators for an initial public offering, owns upper-premium cruise operator Oceania Cruises and luxury cruise operator Regent Seven Seas Cruises. The company operates eight ships, with about 6,500 berths.
5. Cruise Ship Hits The North
Hapag-Lloyd Cruises say that their expedition ship ‘Hanseatic’ has set a new record for passenger ships in the Northeast Passage, when the 122.8-metre-long ship reached the northernmost point at 85°, 40.7’N and 135°, 39.6′ E. Captain Thilo Natke comments: “Unusual ice conditions made this record possible. North of the New Siberian Islands in the Russian Arctic, there was a large ice-free zone stretching north through the Arctic Ocean, which we used for this spontaneous detour.” In temperatures of around zero degrees the event was then celebrated in style with a party on deck.
6. Understanding the Real Pirate Violence
“In the last five years, pirates have killed at least 411 fishermen and wounded at least 1,000 more, suggested Mujibur Rahman, Chairman of Cox’s Bazar District Fishing Trawler Owners Association (DFTOA). Whatever the actual numbers of Bangladeshi fishermen killed, it is a good example of a specific local situation with unique drivers that are often overlooked by analyses on pirate violence which focus on numbers and trends only in the context of international shipping. The local context provides explanations as to when and where – and against whom – violence can be expected and also the true potential for violence.
7. Jobs and Care Keys to Tackling Somalia
Creating jobs and caring for orphans are areas where the UAE could help prevent another generation of young men in Somalia from taking up arms as pirates. That is the view of Omer Jama Farah, the director and founder of the Taakulo Somali Community, who was in the UAE to attend a public-private partnership panel organised by terminal operator DP World. Mr Farah, who met social welfare organisations in Dubai and Abu Dhabi to outline proposals for cooperation, said: “The risk of piracy continues and if we create new opportunities…they will not engage with illegal groups to make ends meet and will not join pirates.”
8. Bridge Team Under Scrutiny
The Confidential Hazardous Incident Reporting Programme (CHIRP) has received three reports of hazardous occurrences each of these would have been avoided if the bridge team had completed their own onboard checklists in a vigilant manner and not adopted a ‘tick box’ mentality to their own inspection routines. One involved a missing ships bell, another found the navigation shape for a ‘vessel not under command’ was incorrectly made. While in the third the off course alarm used when steering with the automatic pilot had been switched off for nine months. Small issues which could have led to big problems.
9. Looking to the Basics of Seamanship
It has been repeatedly observed that nowadays, seamanship onboard commercial cargo ships tend to be extinct. If it is indeed so, one cannot help but wonder in what degree this has taken place, which factors contributed and how severe are the related consequences for the shipping industry. But how important is the term seamanship? Seamanship shouldn’t be interpreted only within the literal sense of the word, which involves the practical art of operating a ship. It should be attributed a wider meaning which is a combination of experience, knowledge, professionalism, safety culture and performance ability onboard a vessel.
10. Panama Canal to be Valued
Leading provider of independent valuations, Valuation Research Corporation (VRC) says it has been engaged by the Panama Canal Authority to value the locks, dams, power plants and other structures of the canal for insurance purposes. This is VRC’s second valuation engagement with the authority. In 2004, VRC was engaged to provide a comprehensive valuation in connection with financing the Canal’s expansion. Richard Nordberg, VRC Managing Director said, “Our past valuation of the underlying assets and canal business enterprise has put us in a good position to provide a current value for the physical assets of the canal.”
Daily news feed from Seacurus Ltd – providers of MLC crew insurance solutions www.seacurus.com
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