Top Ten Maritime News Stories 29/04/2015

Seacurus Daily: Top Ten Maritime News Stories 29/04/2015

1. Iran Seizes Maersk Vessel

Iranian forces have seized a cargo ship, flagged to the Pacific island nation of the Marshall Islands, off the coast of Iran, senior American defense officials told NBC News on Tuesday.  The Iranian Revolutionary Guard fired across the bow of the ship, then boarded it, the officials said.  The ship, the Maersk Tigris, was in Iranian waters, preparing to enter the Strait of Hormuz, which connects the Persian Gulf to the Arabian Sea, the officials said.  A U.S. Navy destroyer, the Farragut, is headed to the area, and Navy planes are in the air watching, the officials said.  Maersk Tigris is currently run by Rickmers Ship Management.




2. Draft EU CO2 Monitoring Rules

Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) have supported draft EU rules requiring ship-owners using EU ports to monitor and report CO2 emissions each year. The text establishes an EU-wide system for monitoring, reporting and verification (MRV) of greenhouse gas emissions from shipping, in order to improve the information about ship efficiency and emissions and to encourage reducing emissions and fuel consumption. Owners and ship operators have been crying out for efficiency data, as the more cargo a ship can carry using the same amount of fuel, the more efficient, cleaner and cheaper the service.



3. Differences Between German and Greek Shipping

The margin of difference between the health of Greek shipping and Greece generally and Germany and Greece and Greek shipping and German shipping has been underlined again in recent days. With Greece’s political leadership battling with the Eurogroup, with Germany to the fore, to secure a new economic life jacket, the relative wellbeing of Greece’s shipping community as opposed to Germany’s was illustrated by the deal for the sale of 14 oceangoing vessels by German bank HSH Nordbank AG debtor companies to the Piraeus-based Navios Group. German banks cleaning-up their bad shipping loans, are turning to Greek interests for help.




4. Iran Fighting Piracy

When not seizing innocent vessels the Iranian naval forces boast of having saved two of the country’s oil tankers from pirates in the Gulf of Aden over the past 48 hours. In two separate operations, the Iranian Navy’s 34th fleet of warships repelled pirate attacks on two Iranian oil tankers after several hours of confrontation. The 34th fleet, comprising Bushehr logistic warship and Alborz combat warship is on a mission in the Gulf of Aden to ensure security for the traffic of Iranian shipping lines and protect the Islamic Republic’s interests in the high seas.




5. Dynamics of Tanker Market

Many investors are asking questions about the dynamics of the tanker market and asked us to confirm their views on vessel utilisation across the tanker market. This answer is very much linked to how supply and demand balance one another in a bulk tramping market. Whilst there is no precise correlation between earnings and supply, it is critically important to understand that small changes can have major impact on the market as a whole. The speed of the vessel is one of those changes that can have an impact on the market. But what is it that ship owners want to gain by speeding up their vessels? This article explores the pitfalls.




6. New Box Contract Launched

BIMCO and the Global Shippers’ Forum have now launched a new standard contract – named “SERVICECON” – which simplifies and harmonises terms and conditions for container volume contracts between shippers and carriers, the association said in a media release. The new agreement is designed to meet the contractual needs of small to medium sized shippers, which, despite the large number and global value of the shipments they transport, often lack the legal resources to develop their own agreements with carriers. The Contract has been developed to provide a basis for container volume agreements.



7. Crowdfunding Appeal for Maritime Safety

Maritime Accident Casebook, the online safety resource for seafarers, has launched its second crowdfunding initiative to produce its next video casestudy, ‘The Case of the Incurious Navigators’. Based on the grounding of the ‘Ovit’ on the Varne bank, and looks at ECDIS issues, a common element in such incidents. When completed, the video will be available free of charge and can be copied and distributed at no cost. Currently Maritime Accident Casebook offers a video case study on lifeboat safety, ‘The Case of the Fall From Grace’, and some 40 audio podcasts with transcripts on its website.




8. Making Sense to Use Japanese Yards

Japanese yards are competitive once again, offering deals that put them very close to their East Asian rivals for the first time in more than a decade. The weak yen and extremely generous financing terms offered in Japan have made many ships on offer there less than 5% more expensive than Chinese equivalents, the first time ever such a small price divide has been available. Combined with the better sale and purchase possibilities for Japanese tonnage, and all of a sudden shipowners are seriously looking at building in Japan again after a generation of decline. “Cheap financing now is available only from Japan,” it was claimed.




9. Fredriksen’s Latest Market Move

When Knightsbridge Shipping Limited formally merged with the "old" Golden Ocean Group Limited, the surviving entity becoming the "new" Golden Ocean Group Limited. Only a few months ago, Knightsbridge had agreed to merge with Frontline 2012 Ltd. The two transactions bring the investment holdings of John Fredriksen in dry bulk carriers together. Following the merger, Hemen Holdings Limited, a trust controlled by John Fredriksen, will retain the majority of shares (approximately 53%) of the combined entity. Golden Ocean has announced the sale and leaseback of eight modern cape size bulk carriers within the relationship.




10. Ferry Fire Breaks Out Off Spain

Emergency services rescued 156 people on Tuesday from a burning ferry crossing the Mediterranean from the island of Mallorca to the Spanish port of Valencia, the ferry operator and government officials said. The Sorrento ferry, belonging to the Italian company Atlantica di Navigazione although operated by Trasmediterranea-Acciona, sent out distress signals, Spain’s Ministry of Public Works said in a statement. “The Sorrento carried 156 people on board between passengers and crew. All have been rescued,” operator Acciona said in a statement, adding it did not know the cause of the fire or the state of the boat.




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


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S Jones
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