Top Ten Maritime News Stories 31/03/2015

Seacurus Daily: Top Ten Maritime News Stories 31/03/2015


1. Size Race Hots Up

The world’s third largest container line CMA CGM posted a 43.2% jump in net profit in 2014 to $584m, as it finalises orders for the largest containerships yet ordered. In continued proof that scale is beneficial in mainline container shipping profit growth of 43.2%, last year far outstripped volume growth of 8.1% as the line handled 12.2m teu last year. Revenues in 2014 were up 5.3% at $16.7bn. Breaking the recent record 20,000 teu capacity containership orders by Mitsui OSK Lines and Evergreen Group, the French line said it was finalising orders for a trio of 20,600 teu newbuildings to be delivered in 2017. The yard was not disclosed.




2. Dramatic Tall Ship Rescue

The USCG rescued all nine crewmembers from the Canadian tall ship "Liana’s Ransom" 58 miles east of Massachusetts on Monday. As of Monday night the vessel was abandoned but being tracked by the Coast Guard. According to the USCG, watchstanders at the Sector Boston Command Center received notification at 12:35 a.m. Monday that the vessel’s engines were disabled and its sails were wrapped around the mast. With seas reaching nearly 10 feet, the coast guard launched two 47-foot motor lifeboat crews from Station Gloucester to tow the vessel back to Gloucester. Once on scene, the boat crews connected the tow, but it broke.



3. Owners Living Hand to Mouth

Indian bulk shippers are living "hand to mouth" despite almost full utilisation and low bunker prices, Indian media reports. Bunker prices currently sit at around 50 percent of their price nine months ago and Indian shippers such as Shipping Corporation of India, Mercator, and Essar Shipping are seeing close to 100 percent vessel utilisation. However, a senior official with Essar Shipping said dry bulk rates have fallen further than bunker prices, "so the input cost coming down will not help." A senior official at Shipping Corporation of India said sseparately "the freight rates in the bulk segment are so low…we have no margins in this segment".




4. China Stops Piracy Patrols

China said Tuesday that it had evacuated more than 500 of its citizens from Yemen amid the growing violence in the Middle Eastern country. The Foreign Ministry said in a statement that 449 Chinese nationals left Yemen Monday evening aboard Chinese naval ships. They were headed for Djibouti on the heels of an additional 122 who arrived in the Horn of Africa nation Sunday. The three Chinese navy ships had been carrying out escort missions in the Gulf of Aden and Somali waters and were diverted to the port of Aden to carry out the evacuations. China has temporarily halted its participation in multinational patrols in the Gulf of Aden.



5. Australia In Pirate Path

There has been a rapid increase in piracy throughout Indonesian waters, with attacks skyrocketing by almost 700% in the past five years. The increasing risks for Australian businesses involved in the international shipping trade have been highlighted in an industry report which warns that, although most of these piracy incidents remain low-level, opportunistic thefts, there is the potential that attacks may escalate into a more organized model of piracy if they are not controlled. The shift of the piracy focus from the Gulf of Aden to a new hotspot in Indonesia should be of concern to all businesses in the Pacific region, the report states.




6. New Weapon In Pirate War

Ghost looks more like a spacecraft than a seaborne combat vessel. Like a stealth fighter–looming over the dark water this new breed of vessel could be deployed against pirates – and may turn the tide against maritime crime. The roof holds a mount for a machine gun and rocket launcher. With tremendous speed, and triple the range of any comparably sized vessel, Ghost is a natural interceptor. And because it rides above the water on robotically stabilized pontoons, it remains steady in all but the roughest of seas. While attackers would struggle to aim weapons from a bucking, heaving boat, Ghost can engage with relative ease.



7. Thailand Looks to MLC

The Thai Government has been embroiled in numerous constitutional complications of late, but in a sign of progress the Cabinet is expected to consider adopting the Maritime Labour Convention 2006. The ministry claimed that the agreement will provide offshore workers with access to medical treatment, as well as compel marine operators to provide the minimum working and living standards of the Convention.




8. Look to Human Element in Management

The best third party ship managers employ technology, good business practices, economies of scale and a customized approach for each client. None of that will succeed without first addressing the human element of the equation. Ship managers Crowley Maritime, Thome and Bibby Ship management have a common belief that the human element of ship management is a critical piece of the equation. As it turns out, it may actually be the most important. When it comes to best practices without addressing the human element first, the rest is certain to fail.



9. Carefully Harnessing Data

ClassNK has been speaking about its plans to harness the power of data. The Japanese class society wants to get shipowners to voluntarily submit their vessel performance data automatically to allow Class to advise on maintenance and other operational improvements. Owners already do this with other companies. Wärtsilä has been offering something similar for its products, so does Rolls-Royce, MAN Diesel, ABB to a point and, of course, the other class societies. After-sales service is as lucrative for the engineering firms as the sale. But today there’s little incentive for them to share the data, and shipowners may not like it if they do.




10. Middle Eastern Class Society Has a Plan

Classification Society Tasneef plans to offer its ship classification services to more than 50% of ship owners in the Arabian Gulf and the Arab region and will in future restrict its advisory board to include more members from Arab states.  The announcements were made during the second Advisory Board Members Meeting of the Middle East’s first and only ship classification society.  The meeting was chaired by major general Ibrahim Salem Al Musharrakh, commander of the UAE. Naval Forces, he said “We in this region have what it takes to become driving forces in the global maritime industry".





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


Best regards,

S Jones
Seacurus Ltd


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