Seacurus Daily: Top Ten Maritime News Stories 01/04/2016
1. Owner Slammed Over Grounding
TS Line has made an announcement stating that the company has been actively coordinating with all relevant agencies to deal with the salvage of its vessel "TS Taipei" since it ran aground on March 10, in response to local media reports accusing the company of not handling the incident in a timely fashion. TS Line said it contacted nearby ports including Taipei Port and Keelung Port for assistance within three hours after the ship lost power on March 10, however, the ports couldn’t send tugboats immediately due to rough sea conditions. The company claimed that it held an emergency meeting with authorities and acted appropriately.
2. Half of New Builds Pushed Back
Exactly half of the newbuild capesize bulkers due for delivery in the first quarter of 2016 have been pushed back as owners react to the poor state of the global dry bulk market, according to the maritime data experts at VesselsValue. Senior Data Editor for VesselsValue, Craig Jallal, has been searching through their database and has found that orders where deliveries have been pushed back, known as orderbook slippage, is increasing. “Capesize owners are feeling the pain of the dire freight market, and have reacted accordingly,” Vessels said in an emailed statement to gCaptain.
3. Madonna Hijack Crew Released
Four seamen, including a Filipino, who were abducted by pirates from the Greek-owned, Panama-flagged tanker “Madonna 1” have been released unharmed in Nigerian territory, the shipping company announced March 30. The three Greek and one Filipino crewmen were seized in early March while the Madonna I was sailing without cargo near the coast of Nigeria, according to the Greek World Reporter. It wasn’t clear how they were released from their abductors. The Greek ship’s captain, first engineer and an agent of the shipping company have already returned to Greece and are in good health, the company said.
4. Explosion Kills Crew
An explosion on an inland product tanker in the port of Duisberg Thursday killed two and injured three, with one worker remaining missing. The explosion occurred at about 0840 hours on the vessel Julius Rutgers, which was in shipyard for repairs. Two yard workers were thrown from the ship by the blast and killed; a search team of emergency responders, including divers, are searching for one worker who remains missing. Media report that the shock wave cracked windows nearby and threw ship components weighing hundreds of pounds up to half a kilometer away from the vessel.
5. Offshore Lay Ups Continue
The Norwegian Shipowners’ Association claims 101 offshore vessels belonging to its members were in lay-up. "If the shipowners’ prognosis is realised, this number will grow by 10 by the end of June 2016," said the association. "A significant increase is expected in the number of stacked rigs. As of February 2016 the total was 16, and offshore contractors expect this number to rise to 23 by the end of June 2016." The association said its members also anticipate more staff reductions in 2016. In all, between 4,000 and 4,500 employees are expected to be laid off or terminated over the course of the year, compared to 7,300 in 2015.
6. Great Expectations Dashed
Cargo interests claiming on their insurance for substantial sums – arising sometimes from common incidents such as theft from shipping containers, and piracy – can have their most confident expectations dashed, experts warned at the spring 2016 seminar of the Association of Average Adjusters. Equally, the detail in standard policy clauses can deliver big shocks to the ledgers of cargo underwriters dealing with even minor damage to goods carried by sea, speakers said during the City event, which was organised in conjunction with the International Underwriting Association.
7. Slow Steaming Debate
Following Korean carrier Hanjin offering express container shipping services on two major tradelanes, industry analyst Alphaliner has questioned the viability of abandoning slow-steaming. It says that, in theory, with bunker prices below $200 per tonne since last November, the cost of operating fewer ships at higher speeds should be lower than the alternative of deploying additional vessels under slow-steaming conditions. It calculated that by increasing the average speed of a transpacific loop by 2-5 knots a carrier could shave a week off the rotation, saving the cost of one ship on the route, and there would also be a saving in the “dead time”.
8. Finding Common Language
Ship owners, managers, operators, flag states and training academies have partaken in extensive discussions on how to create a single, shared data environment for ship, shore, traffic control and training schools, during the closed forum organised by Transas at the CMA Shipping. The THESIS concept will manifest as an industry-wide, unified data system for information sharing across all sectors, enabling users to make better decisions, improve operations and deliver next generation training. It will facilitate ship operations as a coordinated enterprise, with ship and shore based operations centers working together, on shared information.
9. Baltic Continues to Rise
The Baltic Dry Index continues to gather steam, with the index adding 15 points on Thursday to touch 429 points. The shipping index has now rebounded significantly since hitting a record low of 290 points earlier in the year. The recent rally can largely be attributed to the index being oversold in the first place. Of course there have been some fundamentals driving the index higher; still the index remains well below its record high of 11,973 points it reached in May 2008. Driving the rebound over the past few months has been an uptick in activity thanks to seasonal demand for ships to transport agriculture commodities.
10. Seafarer Blood Pressure
Hypertension is currently the second most frequent reason for PEME failure amongst seafarers, and the illness alone represents 8% of all unfit decisions. Hypertension is a constant cause of crew illness incidents and can lead to heart disease, stroke, vascular dementia and chronic kidney disease. In 2014 it was estimated that Hypertension cost the NHS in the UK over £2 Billion in health care services and medications. Hypertension is one of the most common conditions diagnosed during PEME examinations. Other commonly diagnosed conditions worthy of mention are obesity and diabetes.
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