Seacurus Daily: Top Ten Maritime News Stories 01/04/2015
1. Confidence Hits Low Ebb
Overall confidence levels in the shipping industry fell to their lowest level for two-and-a-half years in February 2015, according to the latest Shipping Confidence Survey from international accountant and shipping adviser Moore Stephens. Respondents to the survey identified overtonnaging as the biggest factor behind the fall in confidence, but investment was also an issue.
2. Concordia Mafia Drug Haul
The doomed Costa Concordia was carrying a huge shipment of Mafia-owned cocaine when it set off on its final voyage, AP reports quoting investigators who have collected evidence. Authorities have collected phone and tape recordings that show the ‘Ndrangheta Calabrian criminal organization was behind the smuggling. ‘Ndrangheta had its drugs hidden aboard the doomed cruise ship.
3. EU Beach Ban
European, Turkish and Chinese recyclers are set to benefit from strict new EU rules on breaking up old ships, but the practice of dismantling them on beaches in South Asia — at great human and environmental cost — will still be hard to stop. Of 1,026 ocean-going ships recycled in 2014, 641 were taken apart on beaches in India, Bangladesh and Pakistan, according to Shipbreaking Platform.
4. Selling Up Suezmaxes
Owner and operator of ships DryShips Inc. has entered into firm sales agreements with entities controlled by the company’s Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, George Economou, to sell its four Suezmax tankers. The tanker fleet, comprised of Vilamoura, Lipari, Petalidi and Bordeira, is to be sold for an en-bloc sales price of USD 245 million.
5. Ferry Innovates with New Fuel
Stena Line has chosen to focus on the alternative fuel, methanol, and now the world’s first methanol powered ferry, the Stena Germanica, has been launched, which operates on the route Kiel–Gothenburg. Stena Germanica re-entered service recently and the company said, “We are very enthusiastic about methanol’s possibilities and it has the potential to be the maritime fuel of the future”.
6. New President at MOL
Japanese shipping giant Mitsui O.S.K. Lines, Ltd. (MOL) has announced the appointment of a new chairman and president. The current President and Representative Director Koichi Muto will assume the position of Representative Director and Chairman, and current Director and Senior Managing Executive Officer Junichiro Ikeda will become president, MOL said.
7. Losses Stack up At Box Giant
Israeli container carrier ZIM ended 2014 with a USD 127 million net loss, a result described as a ”sharp improvement” when compared to USD 216 million net loss the company recorded in 2013. The company carried 2.36 million TEUs in 2014, a 6% decrease compared with 2013. Most of the decrease was as a result of terminating the service from Asia to Northern Europe.
8. Haunting Concordia Footage
Some new video has surfaced online filmed from inside the Costa Concordia. The video appears to be filmed by man sneaking onboard the vessel at night in Genoa, where the vessel is being demolished. The uploader, identified only as Adhoc, shares few details but tagged it with #Urbex, or “urban exploration”. The video is super creepy, but offers a new look at the wreckage.
9. Indian Warships Warding Off Pirates
Two Indian warships sent to strife-torn Yemen to evacuate Indians will also provide anti-piracy escort services to the two passenger ships sent to Djibouti Port to bring back stranded nationals, vice chief of the Navy P Murugesan said. Giving details of the evacuation plan, vice admiral Murugesan, said the evacuation is being worked out through the sea and air routes.
10. Looking to Establish Maritime Centres
Seychelles is on track to establish a European Union-funded Operation Coordination Centre to promote maritime security, after the Indian Ocean archipelago of 115 islands received regional backing for the proposal from the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA). The centres are to be financed under the Maritime Security Programme (MASE), an EU initiative.
Daily news feed from Seacurus Ltd – providers of MLC crew insurance solutions www.seacurus.com
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