Seacurus Daily Top Ten News Stories 07/10/2014
1. Tanker Missing Off Vietnam
A Vietnamese oil tanker with 18 crewmembers on board went missing while sailing to central Vietnam from Singapore, according to various media reports. The Sunrise 689, owned by Haiphong Fisheries Shipbuilding Joint Stock Co., went missing less than an hour after leaving a Singapore port on Thursday, October 2, confirmed an official with the Vietnam Maritime Administration. The vessel was carrying 5,226 metric tons of oil products and was scheduled to arrive at its destination on Sunday. Vietnamese search and rescue authorities are looking for the tanker, piracy has not been ruled out.
2. Massive Investment Needed for Shipping
Financing of the shipping industry is again on the agenda as new investments are needed to keep up with the upcoming fleet renovation drive and market growth. According to Clarksons data, the cost of financing the shipping industry over the decade from 2014 to 2023 could be around USD 1.4 trillion, a massive step up from the 90s. “But the business has changed dramatically since the early 1990s when it was mostly about tankers, bulkcarriers and containerships. In the coming decade only half the investment (about USD 760 billion) is to finance the replacement and expansion of these core fleets,” said Martin Stopford.
3. Watching TV is Not Resting
MLC 2006 addresses many issues related to the crew. It treats the seafarer very well, protects them when they are abandoned, but at the same time leaves major issues that can’t assist them in their everyday life on board. Each ship type is unique in regards to how a seafarer will feel while on board, therefore designers and shipyards make a general plan according to the regulations that exist at the time. The regulators have finally tackled the rest hours of seafarer, but has the regulator considered that sitting in the TV room to unwind a bit is not a real rest – sleeping – time?
4. Neighbours in Naval Squabble
A South Korean naval ship fired warning shots on Tuesday after a North Korean patrol boat crossed a disputed sea border off the peninsula’s west coast and fired shots back before retreating, a South Korean defence official said. There were no casualties on the South Korean side and none of the shots by either side was aimed at the other’s vessel, he told Reuters. It was the latest in a series of similar altercations near Yeonpyeong island, which was bombed by the North in 2010 killing four people, including two civilians.
5. Japanese Owners Love Filipinos
Filipino seafarers got another thumbs up, this time from Japanese shipowners and mariners’ management associations satisfied with their performance on Japanese merchant ships. Officials of the Japanese Shipowners’ Association and the International Mariners Management Association of Japan aired this sentiment after they were introduced to new Philippine Labor Attache Ma. Luz Talento. They said they will continue to provide the Filipino seafarers with training support through their recognized maritime education and training institutions in the Philippines to ensure compliance with international shipping standards.
6. Investments in Quality Tonnage Will Pay
Ship owners who have invested in high quality and younger tonnage will fare better in a dry bulk market with “normal” freight levels, noted Mr. George D. Goudromichalis, CEO of Blue Wall Shipping. In an interview Gourdomichalis said that his company has placed an order for 4 Handymax vessels (43,000-dwt each), while he estimated that the market won’t experience much volatility in the coming months. On the surge of private equity investors in shipping, he noted that “The danger is not the investors’ behavior in a market slowdown, but rather the lack of a clear and agreed strategy and proper structure having been put in place at the outset".
7. Understanding Slow Steaming Effects
Slow steaming is no longer a new concept to shipping. The practice of deliberately slowing down the speed of a ship is a common operating feature of today’s market as a way to lower costs by reducing fuel consumption. And with shipping lines trying to stay profitable in the present weak freight market, slow steaming has proven a good way to trim operating expenditures so as to boost the bottomline. But as the shipping market is cyclical, people are starting to question whether slow steaming, which makes economic sense in a bearish market, is here to stay for good, or will ships return to normal speed or even faster when the boom returns.
8. Danish Flag Waving and Growing
There has never been so many ships under the Danish flag as now. Pr. 1 October there were 644 Danish-flagged merchant ships with a total capacity of 15.85 million dwt, which is a record high. This is shown by the latest figures from the Danish Shipowners Association. “I see the positive trend as a clear indicator of the high quality, the Danish registry has, and the sensible and stable maritime framework we have in Denmark,” says Anne H. Steffensen, CEO of the Danish Shipowners Association. Since January 1 the Danish merchant fleet has grown 9% and the total Danish-controlled fleet stands at around 1,800 ships.
9. Sulphur Limits High on Agenda
Issues around effective enforcement of 0.1% sulphur limits in the Baltic and North Seas remain high on the agenda in Denmark as the clock ticks down to the regulation coming into force on 1 January 2015. Shipowning giant AP Moller – Maersk reiterated its concern over enforcement and ensuring that there is a level playing field, at a conference in Copenhagen. “At the end of the day it’s all about ensuring a level playing field,” Niels Bjorn Mortensen, director of Regulatory Affairs for AP Moller – Maersk, said. He also stated that there were some potentially large financial advantages in risking non-compliance.
10. Ship Touches Bottom Off Durban
Eastern Pacific Shipping reported that an incident involving the vessel m.t. Pacific Quartz took place off Durban, South Africa on October 3, 2014. While proceeding into the port, with a port pilot on board, the vessel touched bottom in way of No. 6 starboard water ballast tank. The vessel proceeded to safely berth at the Port of Durban, and was cleared to discharge its cargo of 34,821 metric tonnes of High Speed Diesel. The Pacific Quartz is a double hull, 47,941 dwt oil tanker built at Iwagi Zosen Shipyard, Japan, and delivered in April 2011. The vessel has been under EPS management since delivery. No oil spills or injuries were reported.
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