Seacurus Daily Top Ten Maritime News Stories 20/10/2014
1. Ebola Scare Ship Heads Home
The Carnival Magic cruise ship has returned to Texas in the United States after a nurse who might have handled specimens of the first Ebola patient diagnosed in the United States was isolated in her cabin. The woman is considered to be low risk, however the cruise company has handed out leaflets on Ebola to all the passengers on board. The Dallas health care worker, who is said to have no symptoms and according to standards from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is at the end of the 21-day maximum incubation window for Ebola, had voluntarily gone into isolation along with a companion aboard the ship.
2. Thames Record Breaker Calls In
The largest ship ever to enter the Thames arrived at DP World London Gateway in the early hours of Sunday morning. The 397-metre-long, 56-metre-wide "Edith Maersk" has a draught of 16 metres and can carry up to 15,500 standard containers. The ship is powered by a 14-cylinder Wärtsilä RT-flex diesel engine with a power of 80,000 kW. It has a waste heat recovery system which increases the power to 90,000 kW. The Triple-E vessel is twice the length of Titanic, and London Gateway is one of just three British docks able to handle it.
3. Lords Set to Discuss West African Piracy
Ahead of a discussion in the House of Lords this week, Lord Naseby has been speaking on the feeling in his bones that as a trading Nation with a strong nautical history Britain needs to tackle piracy. Lord Naseby intends to focus on what action the UK and other Governments are taking to stop this hugely lucrative trade. H He will also be seeking to find out whether we have learned the lessons of Somalia by increasing ship defences, the availability of fast response by International Navies and finding a way to disrupt the on shore infrastructure.
4. Pirates to be Sent Home
Kenya and Somalia are in discussions to have Somali pirates held in Kenyan prisons transferred to serve their time in Somalia. Somalia’s Ambassador to Kenya Mohammed Ali Nur said Somalia now has the capacity to accommodate and dispense justice for the convicted pirates. "There are 122 of them being held in Kenya," he told Sabahi. "It will be good if the convicted serve their remaining time back home. This will enable them to easily return to the community and integrate thereafter." "Most of the pirates were brought to Kenya because my government was stabilising, but the systems are now running". The transfer will happen soon.
5. Manuals and Procedures are the Problem
When the UK charitable trust CHIRP, reported on the lack improvement in the standard of Marine Operating and Maintenance Manuals after 10 years, there were some answers as to why problems abound. There are a number of contributing factors towards a seafarer’s reliance upon procedures in operating and maintenance manuals: failure of training and certification to keep pace with the rate of change of technology; rapid movement of Officers through ranks; reduced staffing levels; and the large breadth of technologies that seafarers (particularly engineers) are now expected to be fairly expert in, is another growing problem.
6. Signs of Change for Single Ship Owning
Over the past decade, Germany became one of the largest shipowning nations in the world. One of the reasons why this happened was the influx of capital into newbuildings, driven forward by the funding model that became popular beginning around 2004. Single ship companies (Kommanditgesellschaften, or limited partnerships) coupled with the tonnage tax, which allowed flat-rate assessment of a ship’s profitability on the basis of its carriage capacity, rather than on the basis of its actual generated revenue, made ship investments highly desirable. That is all changing now, and now the investments are far more risky.
7. New View on Shipping Emissions
The commercial shipping sector is responsible for a billion tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions a year, a little more than Germany, and its contribution is set to skyrocket, according to a new pressure group report. Bill Hemmings, of pressure group Transport Environment, says that emissions by commercial shipping globally will increase 250% between now and 2015 unless the United Nations’ major maritime and environmental bodies, the IMO and UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) find common ground. Transport Environment is calling for greater regulation of the industry.
8. Box Rates Set to Rocket
Container shipping company Maersk Line, a unit of Danish conglomerate A.P. Moller-Maersk, plans to raise freight rates sharply on main routes from ports in Asia to ports in northern Europe, with effect from Nov 1. Rates for twenty foot equivalent unit containers (TEU) will rise by $900, Maersk Line spokesman said after the company sent a letter to clients. According to the Shanghai Containerized Freight Index, twenty foot rates from Asia to Europe stood at $705 this week and it is widely seen as a loss-making level. French CMA CGM, announced its intention to increase freight rates on routes from Asia to North European ports by $850 per TEU.
9. European Shipping Weeks Boosts Industry
European Transport Commissioner and Vice President of the European Commission Siim Kallas has voiced his strong support for the launch of European Shipping Week, claiming it will help to raise the profile of shipping in Brussels “and allow for a good interaction between its multiple players and decision makers”.
In a letter to Patrick Verhoeven, Secretary General of the European Community Shipowners’ Associations (ECSA), Commissioner Kallas said there was no doubt that Europe needs a high quality shipping sector “that can compete around the world.” Maritime transport is a cornerstone of European industry, he said.
10. Civil Liability to be Imposed on Owners
A bill imposing civil liabilities on shipowners who cause oil spills and damage the marine ecology was passed by the National Legislative Assembly (NLA) last week. The bill also requires both Thai and international ships with a freight capacity of more than 2,000 tonnes, that travel in Thai territorial waters to prove they have a sufficient financial guarantee or insurance to cover possible damage they might cause in the event of an oil spill. Between 1973 and 2011, there were some 215 oil leaks in Thai waters.
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