Top Ten Maritime News Stories 22/06/2016

Seacurus Daily: Top Ten Maritime News Stories 22/06/2016

1. Maersk Battles for Supremacy
Maersk Line is fighting to remain the world’s no.1 container shipping carrier as a wave of mergers and acquisitions, particularly in Asia, creates new challengers trying to grab a bigger share of a depressed market. Maersk itself hasn’t made a major acquisition for more than a decade but says it might be open to "the right opportunity", although doubters believe such deals risk accumulating ships without securing enough customers. However, it faces Chinese rivals with global ambitions as well as more traditional Western competitors which are buying up assets in Asia.
2. DNV Tackling Ro-Ro Fires
DNV GL has issued a report on fire incidents occurring in roll-on / roll-off (Ro-Ro) spaces in a bid to address increasing safety concerns in the sector, and provide guidance to ship owners. The Ro-Ro vessels are designed to carry wheeled cargo, including cars, trucks, semi-trailer trucks, trailers, and railroad cars, which are driven on and off the ship on their own wheels, or using a platform vehicle. The DNV GL report, entitled ‘Fires on Ro-Ro Decks’ has examined fires within Ro-Ro spaces on roll-on / roll-off passenger (Ro-Pax) vessels, vehicle carriers and general Ro-Ro cargo vessels.
3. India Demands Lane Discipline
The Indian coastguard (ICG) has criticised merchant vessels for "not adhering to safe and expeditious passage on laid down shipping traffic lanes". According to the coastguard such behaviour poses both safety and maritime security threats. All merchant vessels, their owners and agents are advised to follow laid down standard operating procedures and follow international shipping lanes, Suresh said after chairing a safety meeting at Maritime Rescue Sub Centre here. The ICG will deal with those not adhering to norms as per powers vested with the force, Suresh said.
4. Tackling Drug Trafficking
Interest in drug trafficking in Africa has typically focused on cocaine in West Africa. The region is home to what many have labelled Africa’s first narco-state, Guinea-Bissau. But since 2010, an increase in heroin trafficking in and around East Africa has demanded the attention of the international community, which has warned that the effects of large-scale heroin trafficking could be devastating for the region. The drugs are being trafficked along what is known as the “southern route” or “smack track”, a network of routes stretching from Afghanistan through Pakistan and Iran, across the Indian Ocean to East Africa.
5. Japan Commits to Piracy Battle
Japanese Defense Minister Gen Nakatani has announced that the Japanese government has extended Japan’s participation in a multinational counter-piracy mission in the Gulf of Yemen and off the coast of Somalia by another year. “A meeting of the National Security Council and a cabinet meeting…decided that the counter-piracy operations in the seas off Somalia in the Gulf of Aden will be extended for one year,” Nakatani said during a press conference. According to Nakatani, the JMSDF conducted 728 counter-piracy operations and escorted more than 3,800 commercial ships since 2009.
6. Cyber Incident Worryingly Common
Nearly half of all seafarers have worked on vessels that have been compromised by a cyber incident. However, around 90 per cent of crew have not been trained in any form of cyber security. These were two of the striking facts that delegates were told at Riviera Maritime Media’s Maritime Cyber Risk Management Summit being held in London in association with multinational law firm Norton Rose Fulbright. The problems include malware insertion, digital virus attack, or software updating issues. An alarming statistic is that 95 per cent of cyber breaches are human-related.
7. Counting the Cost of Loss
The Korea Shipowners’ Association has estimated that if Hanjin Shipping and Hyundai Merchant Marine were to go bankrupt, 5,400 jobs would be lost and the Korean economy would take a $19.13bn hit. South Korea’s top two lines are both going through painful creditor-led restructuring at the moment. Among entities likely to be hit hardest were the pair to fold is the port of Busan, the association said. South Korea’s largest port could lose around $1.12bn if both lines disappeared. Gerry Wang, the founder of Seaspan, which has a number of ships on charter to Hanjin Shipping, said the Korean government needs to act firmly and fast.
8. Experts Discuss Surveillance
Maritime security experts have met in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil to share expertise on how cooperation on maritime surveillance monitoring and communication systems in the South Atlantic can benefit countries in west and central Africa. Delegates from 11 African countries, the Brazilian Navy and various African regional organizations and other countries shared their experiences and challenges in enhancing maritime security, with a view to improving maritime security through better maritime governance, maritime situation awareness and cooperation across the South Atlantic.
9. P&I Merger Talks End
Britannia and UK P&I Clubs have ended discussions regarding a potential merger. In a statement, the clubs said: “While a number of potential synergies and benefits were recognised, no agreement could be reached on acceptable terms and the discussions have now been terminated.” Talks between the two over a potential merger began in February. The industry was mixed in its views on the merger, some fearing the power of such a large Club in the market, while others doubted the benefits it would actually deliver for the newly formed entity.
10. Time for New Emissions Approach
Shipping needs to come up with an IMO-led global solution to fight emissions, and must not go down the regionalisation route, a leading shipowner said yesterday. “We believe that shipping, together with all other industry sectors, must be part of the solution to limit the increase in global temperature, as we clearly are a global contributor to carbon emissions”, said the president of the European Community Shipowners’ Associations (ECSA), Niels Smedegaard, addressing a symposium on decarbonisation of shipping held in Antwerp yesterday.

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