Seacurus Daily: Top Ten Maritime News Stories 17/05/2016
1. Nigerian Tanker Queue Grows
The growing fleet of tankers stuck off Nigeria unable to unload their cargoes of diesel and petrol is an even-present reminder for President Muhammadu Buhari that another fuel crisis is looming on the horizon. At least 75 ships with two and a half million tonnes of fuel are waiting for importers in Africa’s biggest economy to find the dollars they need to pay for the cargoes, according to ship tracking data and fuel traders. Some of the vessels arrived a month ago and their frustrated owners have almost given up hope and started to offer their fuel to buyers outside Nigeria, several traders told Reuters.
2. Manchester Ship Canal Collapse
A bridge under construction collapsed into a river in Manchester this morning. The collapse happened near the M60’s Barton Bridge over the Manchester Ship Canal and emergency services were called to the scene. Nobody is believed to have been injured in the incident which witnesses have described as sounding like an earthquake. Reports suggest the collapse happened on a lifting bridge that is currently under construction. The part that appears to have collapsed is between four pillars at the site. According to the Manchester Evening News the bridge is part of a £50million traffic improvement scheme near the M60.
3. Outrunning the Storm
U.S. Coast Guard investigators have resumed a probe of the sinking of the "El Faro" off the Bahamas, beginning two weeks of hearings to examine the cargo ship’s operations, weather forecasts and regulatory oversight. Captain Eric Bryson, who helped launch the El Faro on its final voyage, told the Cpanel that the ship’s doomed captain had said he planned to "go out and shoot under," meaning avoid, a storm brewing in the Caribbean. He was among some two dozen experts set to testify during a second round of hearings on the worst cargo shipping disaster involving a U.S.-flagged vessel in more than three decades.
4. Manager Unaware of Cargo Issues
Elektrans Shipping, the manager of oil tanker "Distya Ameya", blacklisted by the UN for carrying illicit crude oil from Libya, has claimed it was not aware of any cargo issues. The tanker is owned by Mumbai-based Arya Shipping Charterers, while Elektrans Shipping (Mumbai) is its crewing and technical manager. “We wish to reiterate that neither vessel owners/managers – ‘Arya Ship Charterers/ Elektrans’, were aware that there was any issue with the cargo loaded on the vessel. Pertinently, at the relevant time, the vessel was under charter and was operating in accordance with charterer’s instructions,” the company said in a statement.
5. Marshall Islands Growth Continues
International Registries, Inc. and its affiliates (IRI) provide administrative and technical support to the Republic of the Marshall Islands (RMI) Maritime and Corporate Registries. The RMI Maritime Registry has surpassed another significant fleet milestone, exceeding 131 million gross tons (GT) in March 2016. In early 2014, the RMI Registry celebrated the milestone of 100 million GT, marking the tremendous growth of the Registry in recent years. The Registry had a 12.5% increase in GT in 2015, the largest percentage growth of any of the top ten registries and has the youngest overall fleet age of 7.9 years.
6. Warning for Box Alliances
“Alliances are only as stable as their member carriers,” was maritime consultant Drewry’s first comment on plans to create a third mega-grouping. On Friday, Hanjin Shipping, Hapag-Lloyd, K Line, MOL, NYK and Yang Ming announced an initial five-year “binding agreement” to form THE Alliance on east-west trades in April 2017. The six lines were described by Drewry as the “orphans” of the recently announced Ocean Alliance grouping of CMA CGM, Cosco, Evergreen and OOCL. Currently members of the G6 and CKYHE alliances, they will operate a combined fleet of approximately 3.5m teu, an 18% share of global container capacity.
7. Won’t Get Fooled Again
Enrico Bogazzi, a well known name in bulk shipping despite being a very low profile man, can see no way out for bulk carriers’ crisis and has decided to progressively offload all his fleet. The Italian shipowner based in Marina di Carrara today still controls several companies such as Navalmar UK and BSLE, but in the past his name was linked also to Bnavi, Vittorio Bogazzi & Figli, Nordana, Brointermed, MC Shipping and Dannebrog Rederi with a fleet of some 50 general cargo, tankers, gas carriers and roro ships. “I decided to exit the tanker market in 2012 but looking back at the rates of the recent past I took the wrong decision,” he admits.
8. Feeding Container Growth
Whilst the world’s container shipping lines have been obsessing of late over ever larger vessels, Danish naval architect company Knud E Hansen has recently been developing a number of pioneering container feeder vessel ideas. The three new ship designs were conceived with the idea of solving problems at specific locations, the first being a 2,000 TEU box vessel to call at small, narrow, up-river ports, for example the Port of Bangkok, Thailand. Navigating such harbours requires a vessel to have a shallow draught, in the case of Bangkok, not more than 8.2 metres and to fulfil this, the vessel requires a relatively small diameter propeller. http://goo.gl/bjQ5s1
9. US and India on Security
US and Indian officials on Monday discussed the maritime challenges and naval cooperation in the Asia-Pacific region, the US Embassy said. "The dialogue agreed upon during Defence Secretary Ashton Carter’s recent visit to India is a further sign of the growing bilateral relations," said US Ambassador to India Richard Verma, who also participated in the meeting. An embassy statement issued here said that naval cooperation between the two countries and multilateral engagement with other stakeholders in the Indian Ocean region topped the agenda for discussion.
10. Tropical Bottom Cleaning
Many time charters contain clauses dealing with bottom fouling/cleaning required when the vessel has been in port for more than a specified period. Many such clauses refer to the length of the vessel’s stay in “tropical waters”. A London Arbitration Tribunal was recently asked to consider the meaning of “tropical waters” in such a clause. They decided that waters which were technically outside the Tropics of Cancer and Capricorn could still be considered tropical waters for the purposes of a hull fouling clause. It held that “tropical waters” was consistent with warm waters where marine bottom fouling would be prevalent.
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