Seacurus Daily: Top Ten Maritime News Stories 27/11/2015
1. Terrible Toll for Offshore
Over 250,000 employees in different sectors of offshore oil industry were sacked during last 12 months, on the background of low oil pricing and overcapacity in the industry. Operations on over 1000 oil platforms were suspended and hundreds of people lost their jobs, while many companies started procedures for bankruptcy. The whole offshore sector report loses of 100 billion USD, due to the low oil prices. The expectations are that crude oil price will not increase during the next year, which is expected to increase the number of redundant employees with another 50,000 people. The negative forecasts for the offshore industry have seen cost reduction programs.
2. Box Ship Layups
Owners are rapidly laying up containerships as the market slows. The size of the idle fleet will get bigger while rates and profits slide, says Drewry Shipping Consultants Limited. The number of idle container vessels has gained momentum in November and hasjumped 52 percent from October, Drewry said in its Container Insight Weekly. Idled ships are defined by Drewry as those which have been inactive for at least 14 days. The crisis weighs heavily on the global container freight market, which continues to be dominated by massive overcapacity, low demand and historically low freight rates. The world’s idle containership fleet swelled to 238 vessels and topped 900,000 TEU.
3. ICS on US Ballast Mess
The ICS says that this week’s announcement that the International Maritime Organization’s (IMO’s) Ballast Water Management (BWM) Convention is set to be put into force next year will do nothing to solve "extreme difficulties" that remain in the U.S. around water treatment equipment. "There is still great uncertainty with respect to the more stringent United States approval regime for treatment equipment, which started to be enforced in January 2014," states ICS. ICS explains that the U.S. requires all vessels discharging ballast in U.S. waters use a U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) approved treatment system, but notes that no systems have been approved yet.
4. Singapore Grants Liner Exemption
Singapore’s Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI) has extended Competition Block Exemption for Liner Shipping Agreements Order (BEO) for another five years until 31 December 2020. The BEO exempts liner shipping agreements (LSAs) from the prohibition against anti-competitive agreements under section 34 of the Competition Act, provided certain conditions and obligations are fulfilled. These include non-mandatory adherence to tariffs, and allowing member liner operators to enter into individual confidential contracts and offer their own service arrangements. The BEO, which was issued in 2006 and extended in 2010, is due to expire on 31 December 2015.
5. RNLI Releases Daring Rescue Footage
Stromness RNLI have issued a video of the rescue of the cargo ship "Skog" which broke down and was taking on water north of Orkney earlier this week. The ship was safely brought alongside Hatston Pier early Wednesday morning. The video footage highlights the bravery, skill and daring of those who put their lives on the line to rescue seafarers and vessels when they run into difficulties. Battling high winds and seas, the RNLI managed yet again to show just how valuable they are to shipping.
6. Greek Owners Too Big to Tax
On the day he took office as Greece’s shipping minister in June 2012, Kostis Moussouroulis received a visit from a 90-year-old shipowner. He still remembers the older man’s words: "Don’t forget, the best minister of shipping and maritime affairs is the minister who is doing nothing for the shipping industry. He is the one who is leaving us alone." That’s the way Greek shipowners like it. The magnates who run one of the biggest merchant marine fleets in the world have long argued that if Greece tried to tax them, they would leave – and that their departure would devastate the economy. Greek shipowners have long argued that their industry is too special to tax.
7. EU Monitoring Draws Closer
Following agreement on the regulation setting out new rules for the monitoring, reporting and verification of carbon dioxide emissions from vessels, the new regulation will apply to shipping activities carried out from January 1 2018 in relation to vessels above 5,000 gross tonnes that call at EU ports. It will oblige the shipowners or operators of such vessels – whatever the flag of the vessel and wherever their registered office is based – to monitor and report carbon dioxide emissions for each vessel on a per-voyage and annual basis. The annual reports will be verified by an independent entity, which will issue a document of compliance to be kept on board.
8. China Looks to Africa
China says it is holding discussions with Djibouti on setting up a naval logistics center in the Horn of Africa nation to service Chinese anti-piracy patrols in the Gulf of Aden and other regional missions. China has no military bases overseas and has consistently said in the past it would not seek them. Wen asked Thursday whether the plans amounted to a military base like those maintained by the U.S., Britain and others, Chinese Defense Ministry spokesman Wu Qian declined to say. He referred to the logistics center as "facilities." Wu said China hopes the center could ease difficulties in refueling and replenishing Chinese navy ships and provide recreation for officers and sailors.
9. Investors Bullish On Maersk
The top-ranked analyst covering A.P. Moeller-Maersk has turned bullish on the stock. Investors who listened to Frans Høyer over the past year have made 32 percent on their Maersk bets, the best performance of the 29 analysts tracked by Bloomberg and double the return rate delivered by the second-best forecaster. Høyer, who works for Jyske Bank, has changed his recommendation on Maersk shares to buy from sell and raised his 12-month price target to 12,000 kroner, which is about 18 percent above the current price. He says Maersk shares have fallen too much this year and predicts the Danish conglomerate will benefit from a “calmer” shipping market in 2016.
10. Box Ship Loses Cargo Over Side
The container ship "Wehr Singapore", carrying 4000 TEU on board, lost propulsion power after engine failure in North Pacific on 310 nautical miles off Kuril Archipelago. The ship went adrift in bad weather and high waves. During the drifting the vessel Wehr Singapore was hit by the strong winds and swell, which caused lost of at least 10 containers. After several hours in trouble, the ship engineers succeeded to restart the engine and returned the power. The ship reported to local authorities about lost containers and resumed the voyage. During the accident there were no damages of the hull and no injured seamen. The ship was en route from Balboa, Panama to Busan.
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