Top Ten Maritime News Stories 07/07/2016

Seacurus Daily: Top Ten Maritime News Stories 07/07/2016

1. Maersk Ship Suez Grounding
A Maersk Line containership ran aground in the Suez Canal Tuesday afternoon causing several hours of traffic delays before being refloated. The shipping agency GAC reports that the vessel was number 13 in a southbound convoy of 33 vessels when it rang aground Tuesday (July 5) at kilometer 133 in the Suez Canal at approximately 15:30 local time. The grounding caused some of the vessels in the convoy to be detained until the container ship was refloated. The containership has been identified as the 10,000 teu Maersk Shams, a 117,176 dwt container ship built in 2015. As of Wednesday the vessel was at anchor in Suez.
2. New Association for Bulk
A new trade association has been established to provide the world’s bulk terminals with a united front at governmental level in order to ensure the sector can better face the environmental and commercial challenges ahead. The Association of Bulk Terminal Operators (ABTO) seeks to provide a voice for bulk terminal operators at a national and international level, providing a forum for its members to discuss the issues impacting seaborne trade and the global transportation of bulk commodities. Chief executive Ian Adams said: “The Association of Bulk Terminal Operators was born out of an under representation".
3. Holland America Seafarer Triumph
At the 2016 Lloyd’s List North American Maritime Awards, the captain and crew of Holland America Line’s "Veendam" were named “Seafarer of the Year” for the rescue of a pilot who ejected from his aircraft in the Pacific Ocean. The “Seafarer of the Year” award recognizes the skills, bravery and professionalism that seafarers demonstrate daily. On January 25, 2015, Veendam rescued a pilot 225 miles off the coast of Maui, who had to ditch his single-engine aircraft after running out of fuel. The plane had a parachute system and the pilot was able to safely escape into a life raft, where he was retrieved by Veendam.
4. New Canal Panamax Killer
As would be expected with its newly expanded and widened dimensions, the new Panama Canal could mean that the ever popular Panamax size segment is faced with the threat of extinction. In its latest report, Allied Shipbroking noted on the new Panama Canal that “being one of the most vital passage ways in shipping, it is set to create a real shake up in several shipping sectors, while current trade patterns might also be set to change”. Allied’s George Lazaridis, Head of Market Research & Asset Valuations noted that “the Panama Canal…restrictions had meant that certain size groups enjoyed an artificially supplied demand".
5. Nigerians Embracing Domesticity
The growth of indigenous shipping lines will help raise Gross Domestic Product (GDP), absorb unemployed seafarers, stem piracy and stir up national pride, the Director General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Dr Dakuku Peterside has said. With the promulgation of the Coastal and Inland Shipping Cabotage, Act 2003, a provision was made for the establishment ofCabotage Vessel Financing Fund (CVFF) derived from two per cent deductions from every contract awarded, to help indigenous ship owners grow their fleet. However, 13 years after the fund was established it is yet to make an impact.
6. Getting Rid of Ship Loans
Deutsche Bank (DBKGn.DE) is looking to sell at least $1 billion of shipping loans to reduce its exposure to a sector whose lenders face closer scrutiny from the European Central Bank, sources told Reuters. While the oil tanker trade has picked up, the container and dry bulk shipping industries are struggling with their worst downturn due to a glut of ships, a faltering global economy and weaker consumer demand. Banking and finance sources familiar with the matter said Germany’s biggest lender was initially looking to offload at least $1 billion.
7. New Approach to Recycling
Ships regardless of their flag should not be allowed to call at any E.U. port without a ship recycling license to incentivize sustainable ship recycling. The report looks into the possibility of introducing a financial incentive to enhance safe and environmentally sound ship recycling. Ship recycling license fees would be earmarked to cover the cost-gap between substandard and sustainable end-of-life ship management. The capital accumulated during the vessel’s operational life would be set aside for the ship and only paid back to the last owner as a premium if the ship is recycled in a sustainable facility approved by the E.U.
8. Shipping Cycles Still Exist
Shipping cycles are here to stay, even with the adoption of ever more analytical technology, a survey carried on this site has overwhelmingly shown. A MarPoll survey currently shows 89% of respondents so far disagree with the viewpoint that the shift in technology will bring an end to shipping cycles. The topic has raised the heckles of a number of respondents. “Greed invariably conquers logic,” one respondent commented. “This might only come about when humans are completely removed from the system. As long as humans make decisions, the industry will be subject to emotions and therefore cycles” it was claimed.
9. German Line Pleads Guilty
A German shipping company has plead guilty and will pay $1 million for covering up illegal dumping of oily waste water from one of its vessels into the Great Lakes. Shipping company MST, operator of the "MV Cornelia", has pleaded guilty to violating the Act to Prevent Pollution from Ships (APPS) for failing to maintain an accurate ship record about the disposal of oil-contaminated waste. According to the guilty plea, from February 2015 through October 2015 the MV Cornelia had experienced significant leakages of oily waste-water and as a result was accumulating a substantial volume of machinery space bilge water.
10. Massive Boost for Piraeus Port
China COSCO Shipping will invest up to 500 million euros ($553.10 million) in its newly-acquired Piraeus port to focus on the cruise market and the shipping container business, Greek state media reported on Wednesday. COSCO planned to plough some 200 million euros into upgrading and expanding Piraeus so it could accept bigger cruise ships, and upgrade infrastructure for handling container handling, Athens News Agency quoted China COSCO Shipping chairman Xu Lirong as saying. It would also extend shipyard facilities, he said. Xu was speaking in Shanghai after a meeting with Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras.

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