Seacurus Daily: Top Ten Maritime News Stories 05/04/2016
1. Panama Papers and Shipping
Shipping – long viewed as a shady conduit for money transactions – is to the fore in the revelations from the Panama Papers – the leaks from a law firm that have exposed the questionable financial offshore movements of many of the world’s elite. The sensational leak of 11.5m documents from Panamanian law firm Mossack Fonseca over the weekend has exposed many famous names as tax dodgers, with much of the media scrutiny focusing on Russian president Vladimir Putin’s billions of dollars that he has stashed around the world. With hundreds of names listed in the papers, shipping’s exposure is set to be high.
2. Newbuild Prices Plummet
France’s BRS Group has published its annual review, a must read of what the markets are up to. Among key findings, BRS predicts newbuild prices at yards in South Korea and China will plummet a further 10% this year over 2015. “As a consequence of less demand, increased competition between builders and larger price gaps with second hand opportunities, newbuilding prices in 2016 will be under extreme pressure,” the group noted. BRS maintained shipbuilders will have also to improve their payment terms and help shipowners in arranging equity and post-delivery finance.
3. Lack of Weighing Readiness
There has been no guidance issued on the practical application of the measures regarding the implementation of the amendments to SOLAS VI.2 on container weighing in eighteen countries, a survey from FONASBA, an organisation representing the global ship agency and ship broking professions shows. This is the second round of FONASBA’s survey on the status of implementation covering over 50 countries, tackling a wide range of topics from the nomination of the “designated authority” to treatment of transhipment containers.
4. Maritime Security Merger
Two global maritime security risk management providers Port2Port Maritime Security and Neptune Maritime Security announced they have agreed to merge. The combined group will provide significant scale and service advantages to the shipping and offshore industries, as well as improving the global reach of both companies. The merger follows an extensive strategic evaluation process between both companies, where key areas such as operational capability, logistics and quality of service were carefully examined to ensure consistent and enhanced service for existing and new clients.
5. Big Ship Dream Ends
Drewry Maritime Advisors say that the trend of “big ship obsession” may soon come to an end. The three largest carriers in the world – Maersk Line, MSC and CMA CGM – extended their dominance by taking on the most capacity, while the five leading carriers between them accepted two-thirds of all the new capacity. The desire for mega-ships is logical for individual carriers “but the impact on the industry at large has been disastrous with rock-bottom freight rates that we’re seeing now the end result,” says the London-based consultancy.
6. Controversial Loan Lawsuit
A controversial $50m loan from one Navios company to another has sparked a lawsuit in the US. Bulker owner Navios Holdings took the revolving credit facility from tanker firm Navios Acquisition in February in a move that swiftly brought recriminations from stock watchers in New York where the Angeliki Frangou firms are listed. Now a lawsuit has been brought about by two shareholders that claims the loan was carried out “on terms that no rational person, much less a corporate director or controlling stockholder showing respect to their fiduciaries, would ever permit”.
7. Climate Measures Not Sufficient
Shipping’s only legally binding climate measure is not stimulating the uptake of new technologies or driving efficiency improvements, according to a new study. Since 2013 newly-built ships subject to the International Maritime Organisation’s (IMO) design fuel efficiency standard – known as the EEDI – have performed much the same as those not covered, the report for NGOs Seas At Risk (SAR) and Transport & Environment (T&E) finds. At least two-thirds of containerships, half of general cargo ships and a quarter of tankers launched in 2015 already overshoot the requirement for 2020 without using innovative new technologies.
8. Baltic On the Rise
Buoyed by higher Capesize rates, the Baltic Dry Index (BDI) rose a further 21 points Monday to reach 471, the joint highest single day gain of the year following a similar 21 point jump last Friday to make it a gain of 57 points (13.8 percent) over the last three sessions. Average TC spot rates in the Capesize segment grew by $499 to reach average daily earnings of $3,512 per day. Both Panamax and Supramax segments were also up Monday, reaching earnings of $4,497 per day (+$22) and $5,004 per day (+$23), respectively. The market has been warned not to be fooled by the surge, warning against placing too much optimism on recovery.
9. Fire Ship Crew Praised
The Danish Maritime Accident Investigation Board (DMAIB) has released its report into the August 2015 container fire on board "Caroline Maersk" off the coast of Vietnam citing crew resourcefulness and the limitations of procedures. The fire broke out as a result of charcoal self-igniting in a cargo container below deck. The cargo carried in the burned container was of a nature that was not expected to be stowed in that particular position in the hold below deck. The container had not been correctly declared in accordance with the IMDG Code, which would have prompted a different stowing position or a ban due to its hazardous nature.
10. Cruise Ship Go Kart Track
If cruising isn’t your speed, maybe you need a little Joy. That’s the name of what Norwegian Cruise Line bills as its “most innovative and luxurious ship ever.” Along with room for 3,900 passengers, a park, water slide, and all of the familiar amenities, the kilometer-long ship will feature several attractions that should appeal to automotive enthusiasts when it launches next year. On deck is the world’s first seaborne go-kart track. It’s a twisty, two-level, open-air affair that will offer head-to-head racing. For those who like things a little more rough and tumble, there are also bumper cars down below.
Daily news feed from Seacurus Ltd – providers of MLC crew insurance solutions www.seacurus.com
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