Seacurus Daily: Top Ten Maritime News Stories 14/10/2015
1. Shipping is not a Nation
The International Chamber of Shipping (ICS), representing ship operators worldwide, has commented on the suggestion of a carbon charge for shipping made by the International Transport Forum, a think-tank affiliated to the OECD. ICS questions why international shipping should accept a carbon price of $US25 per tonne of CO2, as proposed by the ITF. This would be almost three times higher than the carbon price paid by shore based industries in developed nations. About 70% of the world merchant fleet is registered in UNFCCC ‘non-Annex I’ developing countries, and maritime trade is of vital benefit to rich and emerging economies alike.
2. Somali Pirate Court Chaos
Sessions of an Indian court saw high drama and chaos with the transportation and production of 119 Somali nationals, accused in three piracy cases. They were accompanied by 180 armed police personnel and escorted in 10 vans. Brought into the small courtroom in batches of 15 and 20, to mark their presence, many made loud and unruly demands to speak to the judge on issues ranging from their four-year, five-month incarceration, jail transfer, medical help and expediting trial. One of the accused claimed he was forced by the gang onto the ship to translate.
3. Underwriters Undecided on Piracy Risk
The decision to reverse expansion of vast swathe of sea in the Indian Ocean judged prone to pirate attacks may not translate into reduced insurance costs for fleet owners as widely expected because the area drawn up by ship underwriters to assess insurance risks to deal with such situations are always different. The new industry advice will take effect from 1 December. London-based Joint War Committee (JWC) was noncommittal on a reduction in insurance premium. “The Joint War Committee’s insurance notification area has always been different from the BMP/HRA and remains separate and unchanged for now", they said.
4. Militarization of Migrant Problems
A further militarization in the Mediterranean has been approved through a resolution within the United Nations Security Council passed on October 9. Millions of people have been dislocated throughout Africa, the Middle East and Asia which has created the worse refugee crisis since the conclusion of World War II. A vote by the Security Council of 14 to 1 empowers European Union (EU) Naval forces to purportedly halt and turn back vessels that are transporting migrants across the Mediterranean into Southern Europe. Only the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela abstained in the decision.
5. Port Closed for Military Operations
The port of Hodeidah has been officially announced as part of a military operations area and is closed to ships since 16.30 hours local time on Sunday 11 October 2015, until further notice. The port authority has ordered all ships at berth to leave port and stay at anchorage until further notice. For information about operations in Yemen, the local agents have urged shipowners and interested parties to contact GAC Yemen at [email protected] The closure comes in the face of heightening tension in the area, and the Yemen has been rocked by violence in past months.
6. Ultra Low Steaming Introduced
Moving goods from point A to point B as fast as you possibly can is the drill in today’s logistics. However, out at sea, a rather contradictory method has been in use for some years now. In slow steaming, you deliberately slow down the speed of a vessel in order to lower costs by reducing fuel consumption. Even in a weak freight market, this approach allows you to stay profitable, by absorbing excess tonnage and cutting down on fuel consumption and bunker bills as you slowly steam along. Wärtsilä says that recent trends in shipping point towards slower, larger and simpler operations.
7. Tokyo Port State Welcomes Additions
Representatives of the Port State Control Committee, the governing body under the Memorandum of Understanding on Port State Control in the Asia-Pacific Region (Tokyo MOU), met in Malaysia for its Twenty-Sixth meeting recently. Tokyo MOU, as one of the leading regional PSC regimes, had made great success and remarkable achievement on elimination of substandard ships in the region. Lastly, he reconfirmed the active participation in and continuous contribution to the Tokyo MOU by Malaysia. Furthermore, Panama, the newly accepted co-operating member Authority, also attended the meeting.
8. Indian Shipping Companies Hit
Indian state-owned firms may have to give half their freight business to local shippers to help rescue an industry battered by the global commodities downturn. India’s cabinet is considering making it mandatory for state-owned oil, steel, coal and fertiliser importers to route at least half of their cargoes through local shippers as part of a broader agenda. New Delhi is proposing importers sign 5-year contracts with local shipping firms in a move designed to shift freight worth billions of dollars to Indian flag carriers and help boost fleet companies like Shipping Corp of India, Mercator Ltd , Great Eastern Shipping Co and Essar Shipping.
9. Australian Shipping in for Rough Ride
An Australian Senate inquiry into Australia’s coastal shipping yesterday came out in support of opening the coast to international shipping. While the report was welcomed by Shipping Australia (SAL) representing international shipping interests and business, it was condemned by Maritime Industry Australia Limited, opposition parties, the unions, and environmentalists. The 43-page report recommended passing the Shipping Legislation Amendment Bill 2015 "to enable Australian producers to access cheaper, more flexible and more responsive options for transport".
10. Sea Shepherd Getting New Vessel
The keel has been laid for the new flagship of the controversial marine wildlife conservation organization, Sea Shepherd, at Damen Shipyards Antalya in Turkey. Sea Shepherd touts the vessel as their “dream ship”, capable of achieving speeds that “far exceed” any of the vessels in the organization’s fleet. Sea Shepherd ordered the new ship earlier this year after winning 8.3 million euros in the postcode lotteries in the Netherlands. The vessel appears to be a modified Damen Fast Crew Supplier, a line of purpose-built vessels from Damen Group featuring the innovative Sea Axe hull form and known for their seakeeping and fuel efficiency.
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