Top Ten Maritime News Stories 18/11/2015

Seacurus Daily: Top Ten Maritime News Stories 18/11/2015


1. Piracy Pace a Concern

The latest monthly report from Asian anti-piracy organization ReCAAP shows that while incidents were down in the month of October, the total for 2015 is on pace to exceed last year’s 187 attacks. There have already been 174 attacks so far this year. The report builds on ReCAAP’s quarterly numbers showing attacks up 25 percent in the first three months of 2015. A majority of the reported incidents in October occurred in the Straits of Malacca and Singapore (SOMS). The most noteworthy hijacking attempt reported to ReCAAP last month was on the Aframax tanker Almi Spirit, in which six pirates with knives got on board.



2. No Premium Reduction Likely

In October a number of trade bodies released a joint press release to formally announce a reduction of the High Risk Area (HRA). Insurance companies have said the reduction may not result in reduced insurance costs due to the assessment of insurance risk being dependent on such a wide and varying range of factors. “The Joint War Committee’s (JWC) insurance notification area has always been different from the BMP/HRA and remains separate and unchanged for now. The JWC is scheduled to meet in December and will be mindful of the roundtable actions.” said Neil Roberts from Lloyds Market association.



3. Ship Costs to Rise

The cost of operating cargo ships is forecast to rise over the next two years after falling slightly in 2015, according to the latest Ship Operating Costs Annual Review and Forecast 2015/16 report published by global shipping consultancy Drewry. The average decline in ship operating costs across the sectors covered in the report in 2015 was 1.0%, but for ships that are big consumers of lube oils, the decline in overall costs was closer to 2%, the report shows. Drewry says that weak freight markets have forced ship owners to trim costs, while they have also been able to take advantage of falling commodity prices and lower insurance costs.




4. Singapore Cargo Stalls

cargo turnover at Port of Singapore for period January-October 2015 amounted to 484.19 million tons, which represent just 0.2% decrease on year-on-year basis. The throughput of liquid cargo amounted to 180.38 million tones (increase of 8.5% yoy), including crude oil turnover of 164.93 million tonnes (+ 7.3% yoy) and other liquid bulk goods of 15.45 million tons (+ 22.7% yoy). general cargo turnover also increased with 4.7% to 303.81 million tons. However, the container handled by the Port of Singapore for period January-October 2015 reported serious decrease of 7.5% yoy to 26 million TEU.



5. Bulker Held for Environmental Violations

An oceangoing bulk freighter anchored for nearly two weeks in Lake Superior is being held outside Duluth, Minnesota, while the U.S. Coast Guard investigates potential environmental law violations. The Cornelia, a 16,800-ton German "saltie" home-ported in Monrovia, has been held there since Nov. 5 after loading a cargo of grain in Superior, Wis. "The Coast Guard is investigating the vessel for alleged violations of U.S. environmental regulations," Jorgensen said. "Because the investigation is ongoing, there are really no other details I can provide at this point." The Cornelia is owned by Mineralien Schiffahrt (MST).



6. Maersk Grabs Cheap Money

A.P. Møller-Mærsk made the most of cheap financing yesterday issuing its first Eurobonds in three years. The Danish shipping giant issued Eurobonds worth EUR600m due in November 2022 with a coupon of 1.5%. The transaction is A.P. Møller-Mærsk’s first Eurobond offering since 2012 and is expected to be rated BBB+ by S&P and Baa1 by Moody’s. The net proceeds will be used for general corporate purposes, the company said in a release. The bonds will be listed on the Luxembourg Stock Exchange. Underwriters were Barclays, Commerzbank, Danske Bank, HSBC, and Société Générale.




7. Drug Haul Found on Box Ship

Some 78.4kg of cocaine and heroin have been seized by the Colombian Navy from the containership  Hansa Augsburg, which was berthed at Puerto Bolivar, Colombia. The drugs were found inside two cylinders welded to the underside of the vessel’s hull. Reports say that the Navy knew what they were looking for and where, which suggests they were acting on intelligence. The ship and its crew were not under suspicion and were permitted to leave the port on schedule for Haina, Dominican Republic, where the vessel arrived on Monday. The handysize boxship is owned by Germany’s Leonhardt and Blumberg.



8. Green Commercial Incentives

While there are still more questions than answers when discussing the eco-ship, the commercial incentive of significant fuel savings, workable finance solutions and increased regulation means it is inevitable shipowners will have to adopt a more sustainable approach. Though the industry still puzzles over whether to invest in new eco-ships, retrofit, or do nothing, a two-tier system is on the horizon with non-fuel efficient vessels being discounted heavily against fuel efficient ships. This was a clear message to come out of the Greener Shipping Summit 2015, organised by Newsfront / Naftiliaki and held in Athens, last week.



9. Ice Damages Cruise Ship

The expeditions cruise ship Ocean Endeavour suffered hull damages from the ice of Antarctica. The accident happened near the South Shetland Islands with 167 passengers on board. The ship succeeded to reach Ushuaia in Argentina, where the damages will be repaired and the vessel will pass special survey inspection for seaworthiness. During the accident there were no injured passengers or crew members, but company operator of the cruise vessel Ocean Endeavour was forced to cancel the next voyage. Preliminary information states the damage was caused by thick ice block and noticed on time by the duty officer.




10. Bulk Operator Prize Win

Fednav Limited was presented last night with the coveted IBJ award for Bulk Ship Operator of the Year, at a gala dinner organized by the International Bulk Journal and held at the Hilton Antwerp Old Town Hotel. It was the third time Fednav received this distinction since the inaugural IBJ Awards in 2009. The award spotlights Fednav’s excellence in maritime trade, along with its leadership in the implementation of the highest industry operating standards such as safety, efficiency, and environmental protection.




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