Seacurus Daily: Top Ten Maritime News Stories 26/06/2015
1. Rumours of 25k Box Ship
Rumours that China Ocean Shipping Company (COSCO) is making an order for several 20,000 TEU containerships have been confirmed by brokers, according to a a number of media reports. The reports indicate that COSCO have ordered nine of the mega-boxships accross three yards, with options for four more. Four of theships will be built by Shanghai Waigaoqiao Shipbuilding, three will be built by Nantong Cosco KHI Ship Engineering, and the remaining two will be built by Dalian Shipbuilding Industry Co (DSIC). COSCO has not yet commented publicly on the matter. It has been noted that the deal will elevate COSCO above 1 million slots for the first time.
2. Pirates Gave No Warning
The crew of Orkim Harmony had no warning of the pirate attack and could not respond as they had already boarded. “By the time we knew what was going on, eight of them had boarded the vessel and tied us up at gunpoint.” Captain Nor Fazly Sahat briefly related his experience on Seafarers Day. “They over-ran the bridge in minutes and the crew was herded into the ship’s galley. I pleaded with the pirates not to harm my boys.” “It was critical in the first couple days. The pirates were agitated and had shot the ship’s cook. It was just out of panic,” he said. He didn’t believe the pirates were murderers, and were only interested in the cargo.
3. Asian Piracy Making Headlines
Much of the petroleum that keeps Asia humming arrives by sea on tankers. But these vessels filled with crude oil aren’t just plying ordinary waters. They’re plying seas infamous for piracy. Forget Somalia. Southeast Asia’s seas — particularly around Indonesia — are now among the most preyed-upon waters on the planet. Pirates with skill and cunning can make millions by seizing just one boat and siphoning off its fuel. And they appear to be getting bolder. Piracy attacks in Southeast Asia aren’t exactly crippling maritime trade. One piracy analyst, Martin N. Murphy, says piracy losses "amount to little more than a rounding error" to the industry despite creating a "sense of disorder."
4. Helping Seafarers Understand Their Rights
Seafarers’ Rights International (SRI) and the ITF are marking the Day of the Seafarer by launching a series of short films to help seafarers understand their rights under the Maritime Labour Convention 2006 (MLC). Produced by SRI, the animated films were commissioned by the ITF and funded by the ITF Seafarers’ Trust. They are part of an initiative to help seafarers understand their rights under the MLC. The first three films are an overview of the MLC, Seafarer’s employment agreement and guidance on how to complain. Deirdre Fitzpatrick, SRI executive director, commented: “it is important that the MLC is seen to be of practical relevance to working seafarers.
5. Port State Restates Commitment
The 48th Committee meeting of the Paris Memorandum of Understanding on Port State Control (“Paris MoU”) was held from 18 until 22 May in the Netherlands. During its Committee meeting, the Paris MoU has agreed on the inspection campaign for the Maritime Labour Convention (“MLC”) in 2016. The Committee expressed concern that during the CIC on STCW hours of rest, carried out between 1 September and 30 November 2014, 912 deficiencies were recorded related specifically to STCW hours of rest and that 16 ships were detained as a result of the CIC. The mission of the Paris MoU is to eliminate the operation of substandard merchant ships in the region.
6. Carnival Profits Up Costs Down
Cruise giant Carnival Corp. & Plc reports that its second quarter 2015 earnings more than doubled year-on-year, as its bunker bill shrunk by almost 37 percent compared to the same period last year. Net income, which included unrealized gains of $34 million from its bunker hedging program, was $222 million compared to $98 million for the three months ended May 31 in 2014. Fuel consumption for the period rose slightly to 810,000 metric tonnes (mt), compared to 802,000 mt period last year. However the price paid for bunkers declined 37 percent to $411 per mt (pmt) for 2Q 2015 compared to $657 pmt last year, meaning overall spend saw a saving of $194 million.
7. HMS QE Powers Up
The onboard Diesel Generators for Britain’s new 65,000 tonne supercarrier, HMS Queen Elizabeth, were fired up for the first, marking a significant stage in the construction of Britain’s biggest warship. Firing up the Diesel Generators for the first time in Rosyth was Philip Dunne, Minister of State for Defence Procurement, who took part in a short ceremony and was accompanied by Rear Admiral Henry Parker representing the Ministry of Defence on the Aircraft Carrier Alliance (ACA), and Sir Peter Gershon, the Independent Chairman of the ACA. Mr Dunne said it was a pleasure to witness "the impressive progress that is being made on our new aircraft carriers".
8. Baltic Dry Index Recovering
The Baltic Dry Index (BDI), which had plunged to all time lows earlier this year, has recovered to an all year high reaching 829 points on 24 June 2015. The hike signals that the devastating dry bulk market may finally be on the rebound. “June has delivered what May was unable to – keeping the momentum going. Since the drop in January, we have seen the BDI average at 576 for the four months of February to May,” BIMCO added. According to data from Commodore Research, Chinese iron ore fixtures hit an all-year-high in mid-May. Most of it came from China’s main supplier Australia, but the demand was supported by an all-year-high level of shipments out of Brazil too.
9. Indonesian Pirates Sentenced
A court in Malaysia sentenced nine Indonesian nationals to ten years in prison and one stroke with a rotan cane for the hijacking and the armed robbery of the Malaysia-flagged chemical tanker MT Sun Birdie off Pengerang in January 2015, local media reports. The Kota Tinggi Sessions court charged the men, aged between 26 and 48, under section 397 of Malaysia’s Penal Code for gang robbery. At the time of the hijacking, Sun Birdie was laden with 700 metric tons of Marine Fuel Oil (MFO) and had a total of 11 crew on board (eight Myanmar nationals and three Indonesians), according to ReCAAP ISC.
10. Another Sinking off India
Another vessel has run into trouble near Mumbai off the Daman coast, and again India’s Navy helicopter rescue team have saved the crew members, this time with help from Indian Coast Guard helicopters. General cargo vessel "Coastal Pride" (2,047 dwt, built 1994) sent a distress call around 6am when the ship listed due to gusting winds and bad weather. When the Indian Navy arrived to the scene, the vessel was mostly submerged and crew were floating in the water. The vessel, which was carrying cement, had sunk by 8.45 am. All 14 crew members were saved, six by the navy helicopter and eight by coast guard helicopters.
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