Top Ten Maritime News Stories 05/01/2016

Seacurus Daily: Top Ten Maritime News Stories 05/01/2016


1. BIMCO Launches Cyber Guidelines

BIMCO, together with other leading shipping organisations, has launched a set of guidelines to help the global shipping industry prevent major safety, environmental and commercial issues that could result from a cyber incident onboard a ship. The cyber guidelines launched are a first for the shipping industry. “The aim is to provide the shipping industry with clear and comprehensive information on cyber security risks to ships enabling shipowners to take measures to protect against attacks and to deal with the eventuality of cyber incidents." Cyber threats are changing all the time – and the cyber guidelines ensure shipping companies have the latest information available.




2. IS Attacks Oil Port

Islamic State (IS) fighters have clashed with guards as they tried to enter Libya’s oil port of Sidra. Two members of the Petrol Facilities Guard militia, which is defending Sidra, were reportedly killed. The militants are said to have been pushed back, but IS says it now controls Bin Jawad, 30km (19 miles) west of Sidra on the road from its stronghold in Sirte. IS, which has been operating in Libya for about a year, failed to take Sidra in an attack last October. AFP quotes a colonel from the Libyan army saying that the port entrance was then attacked by a convoy of 12 vehicles.



3. Insurers Talk of Unmanned Vision

A report from IUMI lays out many of the obstacles facing shipping’s quest for unmanned vessels. The report by Frédéric Denèfle, insurance director at CESAM & GAREX, and IUMI’s legal and liability committee chairman, admits: “Unmanned ships are no longer just a fantasy.” Nevertheless, this technological breakthrough will need huge changes in mindsets and rules from many different bodies, IUMI noted. “The most important pillar for a marine insurer regarding ship security is the quality of crew on board,” Denèfle wrote. The concept of an unmanned vessel does not fit with the traditional known approach of the shipowner’s legal commitment, they added.




4. Dark Clouds Gather

According to a new report by BIMCO, 2015 never really took off, even though the global economic activity looked stronger earlier in the year. The negative indicators seen at the end of 2014 were not overcome, and we saw a significantly lower level of growth for global GDP in 2015 than in the previous five years. This was primarily due to the struggling emerging markets and developing economies, led by changes in China’s economic focus. As BIMCO’s hope for a bounce-back in 2016 wanes, shipping should brace itself for yet another challenging year. Despite this, the International Monetary Fund has forecast higher GDP growth rates for 2016 across the board.



5. Record Breaking London Ship Arrival

UASC container ship Al Muraykh called at DP World’s London Gateway in a one-off call carrying a record breaking cargo of 18,601 teu. Leaving from Malaysia’s Port Klang  the Malta-flagged vessel unloaded 3,800 containers at DP World London Gateway terminal as its first port of call in Europe, instead of Felixstowe as originally scheduled, on UASC’s two-week AEC1 service. The vessel is now en route to Rotterdam.  Delivered in August 2015, the vessel is one of a recent breed of ‘A19’-class ultra-large container (ULCs) vessels, with a total capacity of 18,800 teu. The line has four ULCs in its fleet and a further two on order. There are 74 vessels of 18,000-teu-or-above on order.



6. Big Players Warn of Big Problems

Two of the most powerful men in shipping have warned the industry faces another tough year. The heads of Japanese lines Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha (K Line) and Mitsui OSK Lines (MOL) have given their annual new year’s address, both men telling employees of the current tricky market conditions. Eizo Murakami, president and ceo of K Line, warned of “stagnating resources demand in China and other regions as well as rising geopolitical risks”. Murakami said: “The business environment continues to be uncertain in the second half. We anticipate that some more time will be required before we see full-scale market recovery.” K Line’s financial year ends in April.



7. Water Mess for P&O

Embattled luxury cruise ship company P&O is under fire again after concerned passengers shared a video of the moment gallons of water leaked into the ship and gushed down an internal staircase. The video was taken last Wednesday on the Pacific Aria ship during a voyage between Cairns and Brisbane, reported 7 News.  According to the report, passengers were given no warning when water catapulted down a flight of stairs and spilled into the ship’s corridors. P&O said there was no immediate danger to passengers on board the cruise ship and cited a huge downpour from a tropical storm as the cause of the internal water leak.




8. Clyde and Co on Piracy

The surge of piracy in South-East Asia waters continues as ships passing the Straits of Malacca and Singapore are falling victim to acts of piracy. Whilst Singapore, Indonesia and Malaysia operate anti-piracy patrols in the area, it has limited resources. The sheltered coast and islands also makes it easier for robbers to operate. As piracy rampages on, Indonesia and Malaysia has taken efforts to jointly increase security. Shipping and security experts welcomed the latest move, but has urged for a more active approach for permanent security especially during the night. What is the solution to effectively address the surge in piracy within the region?




9. Ship Arrest for Crew Wages

Qingdao Maritime Court has announced that it will auction Zhenghe Shipping’s  bulk carrier Zheng He 12 at the request of twelve crew who have contract disputes with the company. It is the second Zhenghe Shipping vessel to be auctioned by the court within a month. In December, the court ruled to auction the company’s bulker Fu Shan Wan at the request of another six crew of Zhenghe Shipping. The auction for Zheng He 12 will start on February 26. Zhenghe Shipping is currently in the middle of a financial crisis, and was sued by a number of employees earlier this year over unpaid salaries.




10. More Thorco Cloud Bodies

The two bodies of the three found by local search and rescue teams near the sunken Thorco Cloud in the Singapore Strait have been confirmed as two of the initially six missing crew members. The six crew members of the Antigua and Barbuda-flagged freighter Thorco Cloud went missing after their ship sank in the Singapore Strait in the evening hours of December 16. MV Thorco Cloud had 12 crew members on board when it collided with Cayman Islands-registered chemical tanker Stolt Commitment and sank, out of which six were rescued. Following the first diving survey, which have resulted in 3D images, Thorco Cloud reportedly has broken into two pieces.



Daily news feed from Seacurus Ltd – providers of MLC crew insurance solutions


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