Top Ten Maritime News Stories 24/05/2016

Seacurus Daily: Top Ten Maritime News Stories 24/05/2016

1. Owners Annual Review Released
The International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) has published its 2016 Annual Review, in advance of the ICS Annual General Meeting, to be held in Tokyo from 1-3 June. The ICS Annual Review is intended as a comprehensive overview of all the major issues faced by the global shipping industry, and in which ICS is engaged on behalf of its member national shipowners’ associations. Key issues  include: CO2 emissions reductions; low sulphur fuel and ballast water management; the impact of the rescue at sea crisis in the Mediterranean, and the serious economic crisis currently confronting many shipping sectors and trades.
2. IMO Loses Nerve on Box Weights
The IMO is trying to quiet industry alarm over impending rules that exporters fear will trigger widespread backups at ports – the body is recommending a three-month grace period for enforcing the rule. During the IMO Maritime Safety Committee meeting it was stated that government agencies should postpone enforcement of the requirement that shippers verify the weight of containers before they can be loaded to give operators more time to put together the systems needed to meet the mandate. The weighing issue has triggered confusion as shipping lines and their customers have argued over fundamental details.
3. Police onto Piracy Fraud
City of London police are investigating 10 huge frauds with losses totalling half a billion pounds including an alleged scam involving the hijacking of a ship. The police are revving up to tackle fraud in ever more sophisticated ways, and insurance cons are high on their list. The cases are among 708 major live inquiries being conducted by detectives after an explosion of online fraud across the UK. City police Commissioner Ian Dyson said Action Fraud, the national fraud reporting body, was now receiving about 40,000 reports of scams every month. The Home Office-funded Joint Fraud Task Force is also set to make a difference.
4. Record Years Beckon for Cruise Industry
The 2019 cruise ship orderbook was already at record berth introduction levels earlier this year before Genting Hong Kong added a 5,000-passenger ship for Star Cruises, Hurtigruten ordered a new 600-passenger expedition vessel, and Fincantieri confirmed a small cruise ship delivery for an unnamed client in Q1 to be built at VARD. This takes a 45,000-berth year and raises capacity introduced further, pushing new berth introductions for 2019 to just over 50,000 berths, according to the cruise ship orderbook. By comparison, the industry introduced just over 33,500 berths in 2010, and in 2001 added about 30,000 berths.
5. IMO Seafarer Day Toolkit
The International Maritime Organization has launched its annual Day of the Seafarer 2016 toolkit, providing instructions and key details of how you can get involved with the campaign. This year’s campaign hopes to raise awareness that seafarers are indispensable to all. The hashtag #AtSeaForAll has been created for seafarers, shore staff and the general public to use to signal their awareness of the importance of seafarers. Seafarers and members of the maritime industry are encouraged to use that hashtag across social media and to include links to the IMO photo wall and promotional video.
6. Hyundai Nears End
Court receivership for embattled Hyundai Merchant Marine (HMM) is likely to be announced this week as charter negotations with tonnage providers have failed to achieve the results its creditors had sought. HMM was told in February that it had two months to get costs down on its chartered in fleet by 30% – a crucial first hurdle set up by creditors, led by Korea Development Bank (KDB) to see if HMM was worth saving. The tonnage providers – including Danaos, Navios and Eastern Pacific – have failed to acquiesce. HMM will meet with its bondholders at the end of the month in a bid to extend repayments.
7. Hamburg Sud Embraces Sustainability
Hamburg Süd, in a new sustainability report covering the 2014/2015 period, says that its new Fleet Operations Center, which was opened in 2015, has enabled some of the ships in its fleet to achieve a 7 percent fuel savings in 2015, compared to the previous year. "By 2016, the Fleet Operations Center will support 23 out of 39 liner services. The first results are promising: Comparative figures for the period from February to December 2015 show fuel economies of 3 percent compared to the previous year," explained Hamburg Süd. Hamburg Süd says slow steaming is another bunker-saving measure that it uses.
8. Time for Emissions Action
Attendees of the International Transport Forum (ITF) Summit 2016, which was held in Leipzig, Germany from May 18 to 20, expressed concern that if the International Maritime Organization (IMO) does not take action to regulate emissions from international shipping soon, then shipping companies are at risk of becoming the subject of negative public opinion, German media reports. A number of industry players and experts attending ITF’s summit stressed that pressure is currently on shipping industry regulators to develop policies to address the sector’s carbon footprint.
9. Ballast Water Fairytale
Like the story about the boy who cried wolf, the shipping industry has been told several times that the entry into force of the Ballast Water Convention is ‘imminent,’ says the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS). This included a false alarm during the IMO Assembly, in November 2015, when it was prematurely announced that the required 35 percent of world tonnage threshold had been reached following ratification by Indonesia. But with the ratification of Belgium in March 2016 it is currently assumed that the Convention will almost certainly cross the line during 2016 and enter into force during 2017.
10. Zero Emissions Cargo Future
The designs for a multi access zero emissions cargo ship is set to be unveiled at the 5th Natural Propulsion Seminar in the Netherlands. The Fair Winds Trading Company (FWTC) is currently in the research and design stage for this state-of-the-art zero-emissions, low impact sail cargo ship capable of transporting from remote low infrastructure points of production, i.e. micro ports, estuaries and beaches to points of purchase. Their designs are based on the ancient Prao; a multi hull cargo sailing ship of the South Pacific. They plan to initially transport goods between West Africa and Argyll, Scotland.

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