Seacurus Daily: Top Ten Maritime News Stories 07/01/2016
1. Shipping to Remain Volatile
Shipping is expected to remain volatile in 2016, says International accountant and shipping adviser Moore Stephens. Moore Stephens shipping partner Richard Greiner says, “The ultimate definition of an optimist has been characterized as an accordion player with an answerphone. Such extreme optimism might be difficult to find in shipping today, but the portents for 2016 are not all bad. “The Baltic Dry Index, a measure of shipping rates for everything from pins to elephants, dropped to an all-time low in December last year, and has fallen still further this month. Most people blamed this on China for not consuming as much of anything.
2. Massive Pirate Arrest Figures
Nigerian military officials arrested 1,610 pirates, militants and criminals in the Niger Delta region in 2015. Maritime security company, Protection Vessels International in an interview with World Maritime News, cited Operation Pulo Shield officials. The arrested people were suspected of piracy, illegal bunkering and kidnapping PVI added that such a move could see ex-militants return to piracy and organised crime in the region. The Niger Delta had a quiet five months until October 2015, when armed pirates attacked and boarded a refrigerated cargo ship and kidnapped four crew members.
3. Liverpool Fails to Meet Timeline
The owner of the Port of Liverpool has failed to hit its own target date for the opening of its new £300m in-river container terminal known as Liverpool2. Peel Ports has repeatedly said Liverpool2 would be open by the end of 2015. However, that date has not been met. A source close to Peel Ports has said the new 850 metre long quayside will be ready at some unspecified date in the first quarter of 2016. No reason for the delay has been given yet, but it could be related to civil engineering difficulties reported to have cost the port’s construction contractor £20m in lost profits.
4. New Tanker Piracy Guide
Regional Cooperation Agreement on Combating Piracy and Armed Robbery against Ships in Asia (ReCAAP) has published a useful guide against piracy and armed robbery involving oil cargo, for tankers operating in the region. The guide includes check-lists to assist ships to avoid, deter or delay such incidents. A copy of the guide can be accessed through the following link and is bound to make both interesting and useful reading.
5. Malaysia to Gain New Coastal Radar
Malaysia will receive new coastal radars later this year for installation in the troubled eastern Sabah region of the Southeast Asian nation. A contract with Airbus Defence & Space for five Spexer 2000 Coastal radars with an unspecified value has been signed. The new radars are funded by petrochemical firm Petronas rather than by the defence budget. The systems will contribute to Malaysia’s integrated maritime surveillance system (IMSS) along the eastern Sabah coast. IMSS consists of eight coastal surveillance stations, a joint regional command centre and a data interface to Malaysia’s national command-and-control (C2) system.
6. Lloyd’s List Top Stories
AS 2016 and gets under way, Lloyd’s List has looked back on 2015 to see which stories attracted the attention. First up was a story on "MSC Oscar" becoming the world’s largest boxship. Lloyd’s List’s Next Generation 2015 showcased future leaders within the maritime industry. While third in the list was the Top 100 most influential people in shipping. In June 2015 six candidates sought election to become secretary-general of the International Maritime Organization and readers were intrigued by the race. Another popular article saw Costa Concordia master Francesco Schettino bring attention to some of the events surrounding the sinking.
7. Tug Crews Set to Strike
Tug boat crews in eastern Australia plan strikes next Tuesday and Wednesday for 12 hours, halting all coal carriers, fuel carriers and bulk container vessels into the ports of Brisbane, Newcastle, Sydney, Botany, Melbourne and Geelong. The strike action will effectively shut down Australia’s eastern ports for 12 hours from next Tuesday, January 12, in the first of a series of planned strikes. The strike threat is likely to be taken to the Fair Work Commission this weekend by the company running the container tugs. Tug boat crews plan to strike in Brisbane and Melbourne ports on Wednesday, January 13.
8. Turkish Coastguard Drug Haul
The Turkish coastguard has seized 13 tons of marijuana in an unprecedented operation from a Bolivia-registered ship off the Libyan coast, AFP reported. After receiving a tip-off, Turkish coastguards pursued the ship with a plane, Turkish official media quoted the interior ministry as saying. This was the first anti-narcotics operation carried out by Turkey in international waters. The interior ministry said Turkey received authorization for the seizure from the Bolivian government. It is unclear whether there was any cooperation with authorities in Libya, which is in the midst of a civil conflict as rival governments vie for control of the country.
9. IMO Making Ballast Water Progress
IMO BWMC 2004 entering into force shortly. IMO G8 Guidelines under review to make approval standards for BWMS more robust. The environmental impact of active substances used in BWMS is being assessed for the purposes of IMO G9 procedures. The IMO is expected to announce shortly the date that the BWMC 2004 finally attained its requisite 35% world gross tonnage and the entry into force (EIF) date of the Convention twelve months thereafter. Supporters of the Convention who had in recent times begun to fear that the Convention would never see the light of day will no doubt celebrate, as will manufacturers of BWMS.
10. Atlantic Star of the Show
A huge brand-new container ship sailed into Halifax Harbour on Wednesday morning. ACL Atlantic Star "is an imposing sight," veteran harbour watcher Mac MacKay told CBC Radio’s Information Morning. "When you see it, it is very high out of the water," he said. "It’s pretty big." The ship, he said, is 296 metres long and 37.6 metres wide, "about as big as we get coming into Halifax these days in the container ship range." The ship, designed to sail between northern European ports and the east coast of Canada and the United States, has the ability to carry both container and roll-on, roll-off cargo, and is the largest of its kind.
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