Seacurus Daily: Top Ten Maritime News Stories 12/11/2015
1. Dangers of Seafarer Shortage Talk
Captain Kuba Szymanski is the secretary general of InterManager, the association for shipmanagers. “There is a serious oversupply of seafarers, especially in the offshore sector, but also in the container trade. This means no pressure on salaries and conditions of employment coming from seafarers,” Szymanski says.
The often talked about shortage of sea staff, the InterManager boss says is a “very dangerous myth”. Szymanski is confident shipmanagement as a business is one set to grow, “Owners who have decided to relinquish access to sea staff are now heavily dependent on crew and shipmanagers. I can see this trend deepening".
2. UN Courts Excitement
In all the excitement of talk of navy ships, the fact the UN Security Council has passed a resolution authorising regional states to establish jurisdiction in trying pirates caught off the Somali coast has seemingly gone unnoticed. However, it is causing much excitement in the region itself. The authorisation means Kenya, Seychelles and other Somalia’s neighbours should find ways of prosecuting Somali pirates on their soils or through collaboration, even if suspects are arrested in Somali waters. The unanimous 15-0 vote, passed on Tuesday, means the UN is trying to address a challenge of dealing with pirates once caught.
3. Killer Fire on Gas Ship
One worker is reported to have died and several injured, after a fire broke out during the construction of an LNG vessel at Daweoo’s shipyard in Korea. The fire will be the second almost identical incident in less than three months at the Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering yard (DSME). The first fire back in August, broke out during the build of an LNG tanker, killing two workers and injuring seven. The cause of the incident was put down to a welding spark in one of the vessels tanks. According to witnesses, the latest incident, Tuesday (10th), also occurred during the welding of a tank on a new build LNG vessel.
4. Small Vessels With a Premium
New analysis from VesselsValue.com indicates that small dry bulk vessels featuring fuel-saving eco engines command a valuation premium of 13 percent. The organization notes that the sector is relatively old and experiences a much lower rate of fleet renewal than other sectors. "On VesselsValue the average age of a small dry vessel is 18.3 years compared to that of bulkers (8.6 years), tankers (12.3 years) or containers (10.8 years)," it noted in the emailed report. Calling eco engines "the latest fashion/fad of shipping," VesselsValue.com says it values approximately 8,500 small dry vessels, approximately 30 of which feature an eco engine.
5. Generating a Profit Once More
Gener8 Maritime, Inc. (Gener8) reported a turnaround in the third quarter of 2015 on the back of low bunker prices and high rates, posting a net income of $36.5 million compared to the $13.3 million loss reported this time last year. The results were said to have been mainly driven by a rise in net voyage revenues "resulting from an increase in rates and a decrease in fuel costs compared to the prior year period," which jumped to $78.8 million from $31.2 million a year ago. "We continue to take advantage of what we believe to be a tightly balanced tanker market resulting in strong spot rates," said CFO Leo Vrondissis.
6. High Level Crime Spree
A lecturer in the Department of Sociology at Nigeria’s University of Port Harcourt says that high-level executive Nigerians are responsible for illegal bunkering activities within the Niger Delta region. "Oil bunkering has become an industry of its own in Nigeria. There is executive oil theft going on in the Niger Delta region," asserted Dr. Sofiri Joab Peterside. "Those who are involved in this illegal act are mostly those who are in it just to ensure that they remain among the highly placed in the country." Those who are involved in this illegal act are mostly those who are in it just to ensure that they remain among the highly placed in the country.
7. Saving the QE2 Again
A new scheme for the QE2 ocean liner is being developed and the vessel will not be scrapped, the owners say. The former Cunard ship has been moored in Dubai since 2008 and proposals to turn it in to a hotel in the Far East have not come to fruition. DP World, which owns the vessel, said it would not be scrapped and a new plan was being developed. The liner was launched from the River Clyde in 1967 and its home port was Southampton for 40 years. Plans had been floated to sail the ship from Dubai to China so it could be refurbished in to a 400-room hotel in 2013, but the ship remains in Dubai.
8. China State Buys VLCC
Brokers report that the Hong Kong shipowning and leasing arm of China State Shipbuilding Co (CSSC) has snapped up the 18-year-old Cosmic Jewel VLCC from Eastern Pacific for $30m. CSSC has been in the market for a number of older VLCCs of later for oil storage purposes off Singapore. The sale of Cosmic Jewel leaves Eastern Pacific with just one VLCC left, the 15-year-old Maritime Jewel. China has been buying up oil in vast quantities this year while it remains cheap to boost its national reserves.
9. Narrowly Squeaking a Profit
Hapag Lloyd booked profits of just EUR3.2m ($3.4m) in Q3, as freight rates drop and the boost from its December merger with CSAV’s container arm CCS begins to normalise. Despite reversing its fortunes after losses of EUR50.7m in Q3 2014, the lean third-quarter profit is a major slowdown from the EUR157.2m booked in the first half of 2015. Shoring up the result, Hapag Lloyd’s IPO generated less than expected, amounting to a total of $300m despite the initial target of $500m. However, Hapag Lloyd reports that its transport expenses per container have decreased by $240 to $1,111 per teu in the first nine months of 2015.
10. British Pirate Journalists Freed
British journalists Neil Bonner and Becky Prosser finally returned home to England early Wednesday morning after serving 72 days in prison before and after being found guilty of violating the Immigration Law.They were sentenced last week to two months and 15 days in prison and a Rp 25 million fine each for making a documentary on piracy in the Malacca Strait while on tourist visas, instead of journalist visas.Prosser’s face was beaming with joy as she got out of the car that drove her and Bonner to Hang Nadim International Airport in Batam on Tuesday evening. Their plane to Heathrow Airport departed early morning on Wednesday.
Daily news feed from Seacurus Ltd – providers of MLC crew insurance solutions www.seacurus.com
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