Top Ten Maritime News Stories 19/07/2016

Seacurus Daily: Top Ten Maritime News Stories 19/07/2016

1. Air Pollution Killer
A boom in shipping is aggravating air pollution in China and other nations in East Asia, causing thousands of deaths a year in a region with eight of the world’s 10 biggest container ports, scientists said. Ship traffic has more than doubled off East Asia since 2005 and some pollution from the fuel oil of ships wafts inland, they said. The Chinese-led study estimated that sulfur dioxide, which generates acid rain, and other pollution from ships caused an estimated 24,000 premature deaths a year in East Asia, mainly from heart and lung diseases and cancer.
2. Freedom of Navigation Fears
Freedom of navigation patrols carried out by foreign navies in the South China Sea could end "in disaster", a senior Chinese admiral has said, a warning to the United States after last week’s ruling against Beijing’s claims in the area. China has refused to recognise the ruling by an arbitration court in The Hague that invalidated its vast territorial claims in the South China Sea, and did not take part in the proceedings brought by the Philippines. It has reacted angrily to calls by Western countries and Japan for adherence to the decision.
3. Gun Running Vessel Sinks
A vessel confiscated for gun-running seven years ago has partially sunk in Manila Bay, just off Roxas Boulevard. The "Captain Ufuk" has been lying at anchor in the bay for half a decade, and early on Sunday morning she took on water and went down. The cause is not yet known. No pollution was reported and Coast Guard authorities are working on salvage plans. "The ship has to be removed because it poses a hazard to navigation, and it might be pushed towards the baywalk during a typhoon," Commander Armand Balilo said. That problem already happened once, when Tropical Storm Mario dragged the Ufuk towards the seawall.
4. Nigerians Confident on Piracy
The Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) can one day eliminate piracy on the territorial waters, its Director-General, Dr. Dakuku Peterside, has said. Addressing multilateral and development agencies on the sidelines of the IMO and Maritime Organisation for West and Central Africa  (MOWCA) sponsored integrated sub-regional coast guard function network in Brussels, Belgium, he said Nigeria is determined to stem the cycle of criminalities on its territorial waters. “We have also increased surveillance and have deployed world class maritime domain awareness assets in conjunction with the Nigerian Navy".
5. Chemical Tanker Buying Spree
Oslo-listed Stolt-Nielsen Limited announced Monday an agreement to acquire the chemical tanker operations of Jo Tankers for approximately $575 million. The transaction includes 13 chemical tankers and a 50% share in a joint venture for eight additional chemical tanker newbuildings. Eight of the existing ships have all-stainless steel tanks and range in size from 19,000 dwt to 38,000 dwt. The five others have a combination of stainless steel and coated tanks, all of which are approximately 37,000 dwt. Six of the 13 ships have been on time charter to Stolt Tankers for the last five years.
6. Dirty Tankers for the Chop
New trading partners are always emerging in the shifting world of the tanker market these days. Yet another one seems to have emerged over the course of the past few months, as more and more owners of dirty LR1 product tankers, could be making the move to clean products, sooner rather than later. Shipbroker Charles R. Weber said that “until recently, LR1 tankers had counted on a positive future in the product tanker markets they were constructed to serve – even if the prevailing earnings differential between Panamax and LR1 markets had seen a significant share of the LR1 fleet trading dirty cargoes.

7. Widening Gap of Supply and Demand
The opening of the new Panama Canal, a widening gap between ocean transport supply and demand and the fear of continuing losses among charter owners are three compelling factors behind the current surge in boxship demolitions, according to the latest Container Insight Weekly Report from Drewry Maritime Research. More containership capacity is being demolished than ever before, including old-design ships made redundant by the new Panama Canal, with Drewry Maritime Research asking whether this will end the current capacity surplus.
8. Trailers Go Over the Side
On Monday, the ro/ro ferry between Picton and Wellington, New Zealand lost two reefer trailers of chilled pork over the side in 15-foot seas. The "Straitsman" was operating its normal route across Cook Strait when gale-force winds whipped up, and as seas rose and rolling increased, passengers said that many on board became seasick and a clatter of utensils falling could be heard in the galley. Passenger Jordan Matchitt said that he saw the B-train trailer unit swaying on the weather deck; without further warning, its lashings gave way and it slid through the deck rail and over the side. Matchitt captured the moment on video.

9. Unhappy Shippers Abandon Company
Disgruntled shippers are leaving in their droves from the company that used to be known as China Shipping Container Lines (CSCL) following its merger with Cosco earlier this year. CSCL joined forces with Cosco Container Lines to form China Cosco Shipping this March – a move pushed by Beijing which has been aiming to get loss making state-owned enterprises to merge to become more competitive. However, in the first few months of this merger Splash understands many former CSCL customers have decided to take their business elsewhere.
10. Big Box Merger Begins
Hapag-Lloyd and United Arab Shipping Company (UASC) have concluded a business combination agreement to merge creating a fleet of 237 ships with 1.6m teu. The merged entity, which should be able to ship 10m teu a year, will have an annual turnover of $12bn. CSAV, the Chilean line absorbed by Hapag-Lloyd 18 months ago, the city of Hamburg and Kühne Maritime will remain anchor shareholders of Hapag-Lloyd, while the Middle Eastern interests backing UASC will take a 14% stake in Hapag-Lloyd.

Daily news feed from Seacurus Ltd – providers of MLC crew insurance solutions


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