Seacurus Daily: Top Ten Maritime News Stories 16/12/2015
1. IMO Welcomes Chance for Change
The International Maritime Organization (IMO) has welcomed last weekend’s climate deal that was reached at the 21st Conference of Parties (COP21) talks in Paris, saying it is "full speed ahead with climate-change measures." "The absence of any specific mention of shipping in the final text will in no way diminish the strong commitment of IMO as the regulator of the shipping industry to continue work to address GHG emissions from ships engaged in international trade," said Koji Sekimizu, IMO Secretary-General. IMO noted that during the COP21 talks, the organization provided updates on its work to address emissions from bunker fuels and shipping.
2. Baltic Rate Tumbles Again
The shipping industry’s most-watched measure of rates for hauling commodities plunged to a fresh record amid a persisting glut of ships and speculation weakening Chinese steel output could translate into declining imports of iron ore to make the alloy. The Baltic Dry Index fell 4.7 percent to 484 points, the lowest in Baltic Exchange data starting in January 1985. Rates for three of the four ship types tracked by the exchange retreated. China, which makes about half the world’s steel, is on track for the biggest drop in output for more than two decades, according to data compiled by Bloomberg Intelligence.
3. Transpacific Routes Evolving
Transpacific trades are set for a huge change with news CMA CGM will deploy its newest megaship on a call to the US West Coast. The Chinese-built 18,000 teu CMA CGM Benjamin Franklin will call at Los Angeles and Oakland towards the end of December, becoming the largest boxship ever to call at any US port. Jacques Saade, group chairman and ceo of the French line, said the move reflected CMA CGM’s faith in the long-term growth potential of the US economy, and its commitment to increasing its U.S. market share, something that is expected to grow exponentially with the just announced takeover of Neptune Orient Lines.
4. Class Recognises Recycling Compliance
Leading classification society ClassNK has issued Statements of Compliance (SoC) to two ship recycling facilities in Gujarat, India, Shree Ram Vessel Scrap Pvt. Ltd and Leela Ship Recycling Pvt. Ltd, verifying that the facilities are in line with the Hong Kong International Convention for the Safe and Environmentally Sound Recycling of Ships, 2009 (HKC). Although the HKC has yet to enter into force, Shree Ram and Leela have both carried out substantial improvements to their facilities in a bid toward safer and greener ship recycling as well as developed the Ship Recycling Facility Plans (SRFPs) required for a competent authority’s certification according to the HKC.
5. Tanker Arrested in Singapore
The 13,700 dwt tanker M/T Nautilus Pioneer has been arrested in Singapore, according to the latest records from the Supreme Court of Singapore. The Vietnam-flagged vessel was arrested at 7:30 am on Monday December 14, 2015 following action by Singapore-based AsiaLegal LLC. The circumstances leading to the arrest are currently unknown, but such action is typical in instances of payment dispute. VesselsValue.com value the 2008-built tanker at $8.88 million, which is understood to be owned by Vietnam-based Prime Shipping. Last week Singapore saw the arrest of 41,500 dwt bulk carrier Alianca Sky.
6. On the Crest of Rogue Wave
Large, rogue waves can appear out of nowhere in the open ocean, say researchers. The new study shows that these huge waves are followed by a group of smaller waves. The researchers, from the University of Oxford, aimed to show that old fishermen tales of giant ‘walls of water’ appearing out of nowhere may not actually be a myth. The study, published in Proceedings of the Royal Society A, used mathematical modelling to compare differences in linear and non-linear wave dynamics. "The waves we’re dealing with here occur in deep water in the open ocean – very different from the waves you’ll see if you go to the beach, which is what most people are familiar with." https://goo.gl/hrcht6
7. El Faro Claims Ramp Up
Families of two seafarers lost on the El Faro that sank during a hurricane are challenging the vessel owner’s attempts to limit its financial responsibility. A legal challenge filed by the families of 34-year-old Danielle Randolph and 23-year-old Dylan Meklin of Maine. Both were on the El Faro cargo ship Oct. 1 that sank after losing engine power and getting caught in the Category 4 hurricane. After multiple lawsuits filed by other crewmember families, ship owner Tote Marine has asked a judge to limit its liability. Plaintiffs’ attorney Benjamin Gideon says Tote’s liability should not be limited because it is responsible the ship navigateing too closely to the storm.
8. Bravery Awards Announced
Mitsui O.S.K. Lines has announced the company held a commendation ceremony for “MOL Presidential Award to the Officers and Engineers 2015”. The awards are intended to recognize the ongoing safety-related contributions of the MOL Group crewmembers while inspiring the next generation of leaders. The recipients share a commitment to education and training of junior fellows, an exemplary attitude, and years of success ensuring the safety of the MOL Group fleet. The ceremony has been held every year since 2008, and 60 dedicated mariners to date have received the awards. This year’s ceremony honored a total of seven officers and engineers.
9. Seeing Shipping Accidents Evolve
He is no fortune-teller, but Mr Mohamad Arif can foresee accidents before they actually happen. Sometimes, there is little he can do but wait. That is because Mr Mohd Arif is a watcher of the seas – he is a vessel traffic officer (VTO) at the Maritime and Port Authority’s (MPA) port operations control centre. “I can issue warnings to the ship over radio, but I cannot be there to personally steer the vessel away from danger.” He is one of around 100 officers, which he describes as an “elite club”, who manage maritime traffic in one of the busiest straits in the world. With talk of unmanned ships, perhaps the VTOs will become actual operators in the future.
10. Drug Firms Embrace Ocean Traffic
AstraZeneca has said it will be using ocean freight for 70% of its international shipments within the next 12-18 months. Julian Wann, global category manager, freight and logistics for the drug manufacturer, told the Air Cargo News Life Sciences & Pharmaceuticals Conference in London there was “still a huge number of excursions” where products go outside the required parameters during transportation. In the first 10 months of this year, AZ moved 21m kg of product, equivalent to its full-year total for 2014. Air freight is still the company’s major mode, accounting for 52% of traffic by volume.
Daily news feed from Seacurus Ltd – providers of MLC crew insurance solutions www.seacurus.com
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