Top Ten Maritime News Stories 01/03/2016

Seacurus Daily: Top Ten Maritime News Stories 01/03/2016


1. Box Giant Arrives Stateside

The largest containership to ever dock in the United States made its inaugural visit to the port of Seattle on Monday, arriving at the Northwest Seaport Alliance’s Terminal 18. The 18,000 tue, 399 meter long CMA CGM Benjamin Franklin’s visit to Seattle is the last in a series of 4 trial-calls meant to test U.S. west coast port’s ability to accommodate larger vessels so that they can be ‘big ship-ready’ in the future. CMA CGM has so far not made a final decision on the permanent deployment of the CMA CGM Benjamin Franklin and as of now it is not clear when the vessel will return to the United States again.




2. Guard Appeal Quashed

The Madras High Court Bench here on Monday refused to suspend the five-year sentence imposed by a trial court on six British nationals, 14 Estonians, three Ukranians and 12 Indians who were onboard the U.S. anti-piracy vessel MV Seaman Guard Ohio detained by Coast Guard on October 12, 2013 for entering Indian territorial waters illegally with a huge cache of arms and ammunition. Justice V.S. Ravi dismissed the applications in view of the grave charges levelled against the convicts, vehement objections raised by ‘Q’ branch- Criminal Investigation Department (CID) and also because 23 of the convicts happened to be foreigners.




3. Argument for Capacity Cuts

Drewry has argued in its latest Container Insight Weekly that carriers need to intensify their capacity management tactics in 2016 if they are to reverse the trend of costly overcapacity in the industry. In 2015 carriers were close to full with ship utilisation on headhaul East-West services averaging 87% over the course of the year. This was down on 93% ship utilisation for 2014. Considering the seasonal peaks in volumes, carriers did a reasonable job of matching supply with demand on a monthly basis. The delicate balancing act was previously achieved through a combination of tactics designed to suppress supply-side inflation.



4. Iranian Call into EU

Iran’s first cargo of petrochemical products will reach Europe within the next few days, marking the first freighter berthing at a European port since the international sanctions against Tehran terminated under a nuclear deal with world powers, an official announced. Managing Director of the Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping Lines (IRISL) Mohammad Saeidi told Tasnim that the event marks the reopening of shipping routes between Iran and European ports after 7 years. The Iranian vessel contains petrochemical products, which European factories and firms are in dire need of, he added.



5. Alliances and Mergers

Several of the world’s top container lines are entering in different vessel-sharing alliances following the current wave of mergers and acquisitions among carriers, reports China Daily. There has been reports that had shocked the containership transport industry – the possible mega-alliance between French liner CMA CGM and China Cosco Shipping (COSCOCS), the recently merged China’s biggest shipping line. Formed by Maersk Line and Mediterranean Shipping Co SA, the 2M operates more than 2.1 million twenty-foot equivalent units (or TEUs, the industry measurements of capacity of container ships and terminals), and owns 193 vessels.




6. Let Wreck Rest

The owners of the MV Rena will be able to abandon what remains of the shipwreck on New Zealand’s Astrolabe Reef but will need to pay for ongoing costs under a strict court order. The ruling decided Diana Shipping, could abandon the remains of the wreck on the reef or if they should be cleaned up. The Commissioners granted consent to “dump” the remains of the Rena and “discharge” any harmful substances or contaminants from the remains provided the owners pay for the management of the wreck for the next 20 years through a NZ$6.35 million cash bond set up by the owners and NZ$5 million from insurer the Swedish Club.



7. Mummified Mariner Found

The body of a sailor, who appears to have been trying to make a desperate mayday call, has been found adrift at sea and identified as German adventurer Manfred Fritz Bajorat. He was found by two fishermen at the weekend in the seas off Surigao del Sur province, about 50 miles off Philippines. The grey corpse, which was preserved by dry ocean winds, hot temperatures and the salty air, was still sat at a desk near radio equipment on the 40ft yacht called Sayo, which was partially submerged. It is not year clear when he died, but no one has reported seeing him since 2009. Local officials remain puzzled by the death.




8. Ice Convoy Collision

Chemical tanker Ice Eagle collided with stern of general cargo vessel Ivan Ryabov in Kara Sea during ice convoy escort. The general cargo vessel stuck into the ice due to ice jam and chemical tanker was unable to reverse the engine fast enough and hit the stern of front ship with dead inertia, stucking in her stern. The both ships suffered damages, broken railings and dents, but remained seaworthy and resumed the voyages through ice field. The chemical tanker and general cargo vessel will be inspected after arriving at the ports of destinations, where will be made the major repairs for the damages equipment and hulls.


9. Seafarer Falls to Death

A Chinese seafarer fell overboard and died over the weekend at the Port of Tauranga in New Zealand. The man was working on the Pacific Basin-controlled Mount Hikurangi when the accident occurred at 09.15 hrs on Saturday morning. The body was eventually found in the harbour three hours later. The man fell overboard between the pier and the ship while helping to secure the vessel’s deck cargo of logs. In a statement Pacific Basin said: “We deeply regret this unfortunate incident and our thoughts are with his family. The company wishes to thank the local authorities for their immediate assistance and action…”




10. Response to Challenging Conditions

Nasdaq-listed Star Bulk has revealed its latest move to keep its large newbuilding programme in check as part of efforts to improve liquidity during challenging conditions for dry bulk. In its latest quarterly results, Star Bulk said that it has deferred the delivery of five newcastlemax vessels set for delivery by Shanghai Waigaoqiao Shipbuilding during 2016. Three vessels will now be delivered in the third quarter of 2017 and two in the first quarter of 2018, delaying some $188m of capital expenditure. Star Bulk has also terminated two shipbuilding contracts for a total of 4 vessels and negotiated down its obligations for the remaining vessels.




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


Best regards,

S Jones
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