Top Ten Maritime News Stories 06/06/2016

Seacurus Daily: Top Ten Maritime News Stories 06/06/2016

1. VLCC Freight Rise
Freight rates for very large crude carriers (VLCCs) could rise next week as charterers complete their June loading program, although activity may be muted due to a key shipping event in Greece, ship brokers said. "There is potential for charter rates to firm further. There are plenty of ships but there are enough charters for owners to hold the line," said a Singapore-based supertanker broker on Friday. Charters for 30-40 VLCC Middle East cargoes have still to be fixed for loading in the last 10 days of June, the broker said.
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2. Spike in Nigerian Piracy
Piracy incidents off the Nigerian coast were 21% higher in the first four months of this year than the previous peak levels recorded in 2008, according to a security report. Control Risks’ maritime risk analysis division said that piracy and armed robbery at sea from January to April, 2016 was one of the biggest threats to maritime operators in the region. The frequency of incidents was 119% higher, compared with the same period in 2015. Control Risks data also revealed that offshore Bayelsa state was the top area for piracy incidents in Nigeria with 56% of the total reported being recorded in this location during the period.
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3. Cruise Ship Smashes Pier
The cruise ship Celebrity Infinity allided with a pier in Ketchikan, Alaska, on Friday. The city’s ports and harbors director estimates $2 million to $3 million in damage was caused to Berth 3. The cruise ship was damaged above the waterline and subsequently moved to Berth 2. Investigators from U.S. Coast Guard have been called to the scene, but no injuries or pollution have been reported.  “The Coast Guard is grateful no one was injured as a result of this accident,” said Lt. Dianna Robinson, command duty officer at Juneau. Weather on scene was reported to be gusting at 45-miles per hour.
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4. Best Management Practice Slides
Maritime security experts have been expressing concern that there is evidence of reduced application of Best Management Practice (BMP) measures by vessels and shipping companies, adding that there are worries within the security sector that some incidents are not being reported, and those that are lack detail and therefore make a limited contribution to ongoing efforts to tackle piracy. Rigorous application of BMPs was one of the major factors in cutting levels of piracy off the Somali coast and beyond so drastically.
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5. Owners Tackle Pilotage Fees
Six Canadian and European shipowners – Brochart, Spliethoff, Wagenborg, Polsteam, Fednav and Canfornav – have joined in a suit against the U.S. Coast Guard over pilotage fees on the St. Lawrence Seaway / Great Lakes, alleging that the USCG has not taken commercial needs properly into account in its latest review. They contend that the agency has set the 2016 season rates so high that "pilotage is now one of the largest single cost items for foreign-flag vessels that enter" the area, and they have asked a federal court to reverse the Coast Guard’s decision. As of June 3 the Coast Guard had not filed a response with the court.
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6. Vets Slam Live Exports
Each year, Australia exports millions of animals by sea on voyages lasting a few days to six weeks. There is no legal requirement for a veterinarian (vet) on board; they are employed by the exporter. In consultation with working vets, the animal welfare group Vets Against Live Export has detailed numerous ship design and operation issues that can impact on animal welfare: Most vessels cannot be washed down until the fodder and provisions (stored forward) decrease, as most ships only have drains to the aft of pen space. This problem is most prevalent on long and extra-long haul voyages.
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7. Greek Owners Make Report
For six years the Greek economy has two sources of good news, shipping and tourism. On June 2nd the Greek Union of Ship-owners released their annual report for the sector. 2015 was not a good year for shipping, because it was not a very good year for global trade. When there is a decline in global consumption, industries discover “surplus production,” which in shipping translates to “overcapacity.” And that was the sea on which everyone floated; but, in 2015 the Greek vessel were dealing with additional challenges. Greek shipping is associated with 7% of the Greek GDP, provides employment to 200,000 people.
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8. K Line Tackles Emissions
Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha, Ltd.( “K” Line)achieved 13.6% reduction in CO2 emissions*1 in 2015 against 2011 level, as a result of deployment of larger vessels, proactive initiatives for introducing advanced energy-saving technologies including electronically controlled engines, as well as slow steaming being continuously pursed through close cooperation at sea and on land with ship owners, vessels and ship management companies. In light of this achievement, “K” Line set a new CO2 Emission reduction by 25% for 2030 against 2011 level in the process of CO2 emission by half for 2050 under the Vision.
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9. Bank Steps in for HMM
Korea Development Bank (KDB) is taking over troubled local line Hyundai Merchant Marine (HMM). HMM said it decided today to implement a capital reduction without refund for the stakes held by the company’s affiliate major shareholders by 7 to 1. This is the latest process in HMM’s restructuring plan which started in earnest in February as the line fights $5bn in debts. According to the plan, the 7 to 1 capital reduction without refund will be executed for 6,066,273 shares held by Hyundai Elevator (17.51%), 613,563 shares of Hyundai Global (1.77%) and Hyundai Group chairman Hyun Jeong-eun’s 571,428 shares (1.65%).
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10. New Panama Locks Working
The Panama Canal Authority (ACP) says it has been informed by its contractor Grupo Unidos por el Canal, S.A. (GUPC) that the Third Set of Locks for the expanded Panama Canal have passed all performance tests, meaning they should be ready to go come inauguration day later this month. The ACP said that by passing all performance tests the new locks should now be functionally complete to allow the safe, efficient and reliable operation of the new locks in accordance with the provisions of the contract with GUPC.
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Daily news feed from Seacurus Ltd – providers of MLC crew insurance solutions  www.seacurus.com

 

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