Seacurus Daily: Top Ten Maritime News Stories 18/12/2015
1. Shipping Confidence Falls
Overall confidence levels in the shipping industry fell in the three months to November 2015, according to the latest Shipping Confidence Survey from international accountant and shipping adviser Moore Stephens. The average confidence level expressed by respondents in the markets in which they operate was 5.6 on a scale of 1 (low) to 10 (high). This compares to the 5.9 recorded in August 2015. The survey was launched in May 2008 with a confidence rating of 6.8. All main categories of respondent recorded a fall in confidence this time, most notably charterers (down from 6.5 to 5.5). The confidence of managers was down from 6.4 to 5.8, that of brokers from 5.2 to 4.6.
2. Lloyd’s List Releases Top 100 People
Lloyd’s List’s annual Top 100 ranking of power and influence explains why 2014 has been a year of big dreams and chutzpah for shipping Are containerships getting too big? Try 20,000 teu monsters. Has peak oil ensured that the price of crude will stay high for ages? Enter the shale gas “revolution”. And what about all those shipping giants that last year were saying offshore was the place to be? It might then be a good time to buy up the available slots in South Korea and reliable shipyards in China. Oh, but Scorpio’s already done that. Mix and stir and you have the recipe for a very interesting year since we last published our Lloyd’s List Top 100.
3. Drones for Ship Checks
DNV GL has announced testing of drones for use by the classification society during hull surveys. Its team in Gdansk, Poland recently used the specially equipped drones to perform preliminary examination of interior compartments on two vessels. DNV says that the procedure has the potential to reduce risk for its teams and save cost and time for its customers by cutting down on the use of scaffolding. “We have been looking at ways we could help our customers by accelerating the survey process,” says Cezary Galinski, team manager in Gdansk. Cyberhawk said that this inspection technique could be applied to all large internal tanks on vessels.
4. Teekay Big Sell
Brokers report that Teekay has sold two aframaxes to Greece’s Estoril Navigation. Estoril Navigation has reportedly declined to comment when contacted by the media. The Korean built, 111,000 dwt American Spirit and the 106,000 dwt, Japanese built Fuji Spirit fetched $28m each, reports say. The ships are believed to have been taken back on three-year time charters at an undisclosed rate. Online portal VesselsValue.com values the 2003-built tankers at around $24m each. Estoril Navigation was established in January 1993 by Alex Karidopoulos and it constitutes a continuation of Empire Marine Transport which was founded 10 years earlier.
5. Brazilian Bribery Scandal
Brazilian prosecutors on Thursday charged 12 people with a bribery scheme involving Dutch firm SBM Offshore NV, the world’s top leaser of oil production ships, and state oil firm Petroleo Brasileiro SA. Police said they had four arrest orders as part of the scheme, dubbed “Operation Black Blood,” though two of them involved suspects already in jail in the southern city of Curitiba, the epicenter of a broader investigation into price fixing and bribery on Petrobras contracts with engineering firms. Former Petrobras executives Pedro Barusco, Jorge Zelada and Renato Duque were charged with corruption along with former SBM sales agents.
6. When to Say No to Cargo
P&I Clubs have been reminding of the master’s authority to clause bills of lading issued by or on his behalf. This can sometimes become the cause of disagreement between shippers, charterers and carriers. Under Article III Rule 3 of the Hague/Hague Visby Rules after receiving the cargo, and on the demand of the shipper, the master is obliged to issue a bill of lading evidencing the quantity and apparent order and condition of goods to be carried. However, and practically speaking, he will often be under extreme commercial pressure to issue clean bills in exchange for a letter of indemnity (LOI) from his charterer.
7. Hamburg Sud Wins Award
Logistics enterprise DHL Global Forwarding presented container shipping company Hamburg Süd with the ‘Carrier of the Year 2015’ award, underscoring the working relationship between the two companies. The award was received by Peter Frederiksen, Member of the Executive Board of Hamburg Süd, at the annual DHL Carrier Meeting on December 9 in Bonn, Germany. DHL wields immense power within the supply chain, so such an award is quite an accolade.
8. Taking a Closer Look at Fuels
In just under a year after the implementation of the stricter 0.1% m/m maximum sulphur limit in the Emission Control Areas (ECAs), statistics confirm the expected shift towards distillate fuels. In 2013 and 2014, the global residual to distillate sample ratio was approximately 75/25 whereas this year the ratio has shifted to approximately 60/40. This global trend is primarily influenced by the shift in the ECAs, where on average the relative share of distillates went from 30% in 2014 to 53% in 2015. This trend hardly has any influence on the global fuel quality of residual products delivered this year.
9. West of England Looking Good
A.M. Best has affirmed the financial strength rating of A- (Excellent) and the issuer credit rating of “a-” of The West of England Ship Owners Mutual Insurance Association (WoE or the Club) (Luxembourg). The outlook for both ratings remains stable. The ratings reflect WoE’s strong risk-adjusted capitalisation and the continued improvement in technical performance. Additionally, the Club has a good niche business profile, which benefits from its membership of the International Group of Protection and Indemnity Clubs (International Group). WoE’s risk-adjusted capitalisation is expected to remain at a strong level throughout 2016.
10. Glimpse of the Future?
There is much talk of seafarers being removed from ships – but could they be replaced by robots? The popular Japanese robot Pepper will be shipping out on Costa Cruises’ Costa Diadema and AIDAprima starting in 2016. Pepper is just something of a plaything today, the child-sized robot designed to interact with humans, and while it will be the first instance of a robot working a cruise ship, it will not be a new idea for the hospitality industry. But is this a glimpse of the future with robot seafarers? A Costa Cruises spokesperson told media that Pepper is expected to join crews across the company’s entire fleet by next summer…let’s hope he gets some shoreleave.
Daily news feed from Seacurus Ltd – providers of MLC crew insurance solutions www.seacurus.com
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