Seacurus Daily: Top Ten Maritime News Stories 08/06/2015
1. Thousands of Migrants Rescued
An international rescue fleet plucked almost 5,900 migrants from rickety boats making the perilous sea crossing for North Africa to Europe on Saturday and Sunday, Italy’s coastguard said. The British warship Bulwark assisted in picking up more than 1,000 refugees, including 10 pregnant women, the Ministry of Defence said.
The Italian coastguard, which coordinates rescue efforts from Rome, said British, Swedish, Spanish and Italian ships and a merchant vessel had all been called upon to go to the aid of 15 different boats on Sunday, rescuing 2,400 people in all. On Saturday, 3,500 migrants were rescued about 45 miles from the Libyan coast.
2. High Seas Statehood
The high seas should be given a seat at the United Nations to help to deal with issues such as piracy, overfishing and oil exploration outside national waters, according to a former Commander-in-Chief Fleet of the Royal Navy. Admiral Sir James Burnell-Nugent, now a senior fellow at US-based project Oceans Beyond Piracy which this week will launch its annual report on the global state of piracy, said that many problems in international waters continue to go unchecked. Admiral Burnell-Nugent, who was also Second Sea Lord, said events such as pirate attacks which happen “over the horizon” appeared to induce “sea blindness” in politicians. http://goo.gl/KJ21Eu
3. Pirates Strike Twice
Armed men have hijacked two vessels in the South China Sea in the past week. Malaysian-flagged product tanker Orkim Victory was boarded in the South China Sea off Pulau Aur, Malaysia, on 4 June and had its oil cargo siphoned off. IMB said the pirates, "took hostage all crew members, altered course and sailed the vessel until it rendezvoused with another vessel into which part of the oil cargo was transferred and stolen". Before leaving, the pirates stole items belonging to the ship and its crew. They also damaged its radios. The report added that the crew was safe and the ship sailed to a safe port. The pirates fled to Indonesia.
4. Official Escapes Lying Rap
The highest-ranking BP Plc executive charged in the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill was found not guilty of lying to investigators in a blow to prosecutors as the company awaits word on billions of dollars in potential fines for the disaster. Other BP employees still face prosecution. Two former well- site managers charged with manslaughter are scheduled for trial starting in February. An engineer accused of destroying evidence had his conviction reversed, with a judge ordering a new trial for him. The New Orleans jury on Friday sided with David Rainey, whose lawyer called the case one of “prosecutors’ overreach.”
5. Ships Risk Attack by Dropping Guard
A perceived decline in the global piracy threat is leading some vessels to reduce risk mitigation measures, leaving them vulnerable to attack, according to a new report. The problem is particularly seen in the West Indian Ocean region, where the use of armed guards and stringent employment of Best Management Practices had seen a reduction in the number of successful boardings. The findings come from the latest research by US not-for-profit Oceans Beyond Piracy and expose a worrying trend for vessels to drop their guard and run a heightened risk of attack.
6. Big Owners Set to Dominate
The world’s biggest container-shipping companies are set to dominate seaborne trade over the next few years, leaving little space for small and midsize operators to compete, A.P. Møller-Mærsk A/S Chief Executive Nils Andersen has said. Maersk has also confirmed a $1.8 billion order for 11 new megaships that will be able to carry 19,630 containers each and will be deployed in the Asia-to-Europe trade loop. "Small and midsize carriers-controlling a 3% to 5% market share–with very few exceptions–have been unprofitable for the last seven years," Mr. Andersen told The Wall Street Journal.
7. Big Data Buzz
One of the buzz themes at Norshipping has been big data. What is clear is that big data will revolutionise shipping, and perhaps make commercial decisions less of a gut feel. It’s more a question of how long it will take the industry to handle this step change – and whether all companies will be able to. Hans Ottosen, ceo of Danish voyage data recorder firm Danelec Marine, reckons shipping is behind on collecting data as to date it has been difficult to collect data and it is perceived to be difficult to transfer the data, that is one of the big bottlenecks for shipping, The next battle is to persuade stakeholders to share data for mutual benefit.
8. Canal Widening Won’t Help Tankers
The tanker market doesn’t need much more boost in terms of demand to hold its ground. However, the looming change of the world’s most important transit locations, the Panama Canal and the Suez Canal, could alter things. After all, over the course of the coming months, the latest canal expansion projects are about to be completed. According to shipbroker Gibson, the first project to be up and running will be the new Suez Canal waterway which, according to recent reports, will be finalised by July this year, a month ahead of schedule. The developments will provide little support to the tanker market directly, however.
9. Thome Looks to the Future
Olav Eek Thorstensen has assumed the mantle of Thome Group Executive Chairman, and has been looking ahead to new challenges. The need for shipowners to cut costs is a never-ending theme of the market and with only 20 percent of owners using third party managers, there are plenty of opportunities to build on the scope of work and services on offer. In some cases, owners are earning freight revenues up to 20 percent below opex – a factor which creates its own efficiency issues. This is where a quality ship manager can help. The shipping industry has its work cut out pushing forward the boundaries of vessel operational efficiency.
10. Older Vessels In Vogue
The S&P market has seen a number of older vessels changing hands, particularly in the dry cargo sector, where rates are still low and slow. Greek shipowners have mainly doing the selling. Over in the tanker sector, the S&P market has been a bit quiet this week as owners prefer to pick up new tonnage and resale contracts. The 18-year-old suezmax tanker Pride (149,700 dwt, built 1993) is reported sold by Ukraine’s Vista Shipping for $12m to an undisclosed buyer. Rotterdam-based ACE Tankers is reported to have sold its chemical tanker Chem Orion (10,300 dwt, built 1998) to an unnamed buyer for $6.5m.
Daily news feed from Seacurus Ltd – providers of MLC crew insurance solutions www.seacurus.com
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