Top Ten Maritime News Stories 26/08/2016

Seacurus Daily: Top Ten Maritime News Stories 26/08/2016

1. Box Losses Frightening Levels
Lars Jensen, ceo of SeaIntelligence Consulting, has warned the accelerating losses seen in the container sector in the second quarter could lead to mega losses for the world’s containerlines. Jensen noted that with 13 of the top 20 containerlines having issued their interim results, net losses stood at $2.5bn, a figure he anticipated would stand at $4bn once all containerlines have reported their figures for the first six months. Results have markedly worsened from Q1 to Q2 2016, hence if the market conditions do not change materially, the industry might be facing combined losses of as much as $8bn to $20bn for full year 2016.
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2. Security Success at a Price
The piracy-prone Gulf of Aden has seen attacks decrease sharply, but the positive development has come at a massive cost, according to data cited by Intertanko. Tim Wilkins, regional manager Asia-Pacific & Environment Director at Intertanko, observed that the success of curbing piracy at the Gulf of Aden has led to an economic cost of $2.2-2.3bn in 2014 alone. Among the total, around $1.2bn went to hiring armed guards from PMSC (private military security companies), $805m on government and civil society costs such as naval patrols, payment of ransoms, counter-piracy operations, and $175m on insurance and labour.
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3. COSCO Hit by Losses
China Cosco Holdings has been hit by a first half loss of $1.08bn arising mainly from a hit on the disposal of subsidiaries, as well as the overall weak container shipping market. The loss in the six-month period ended 30 June 2016 compared to the profit of RMB1.97bn in the previous corresponding period. “The loss… was mainly due to loss on disposal of Cosco Bulk and FCHL of RMB2.4bn,” China Cosco said. FCHL is in the container leasing, management and sales business. The company added it did not receive government subsidy on vessel demolition during the reporting period.
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4. Instilling Trust in Shipping
Most shipping companies try to tightly control all communications and to restrict all social media use, but if you’re interested in protecting your company’s reputation then this might be exactly the wrong thing to do. Since 2001 Edelman has been compiling an annual Trust Barometer to track the level of reported trust in official information sources. Most people don’t trust official sources of information, and people do trust – employees. When it comes to issues of crisis handling, environmental practices, safety standards and even financial earnings, people trust employees more than senior executives  – so perhaps they need to be heard.
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5. ITF Rails Against Secrecy
The International Transport Workers Federation (ITF) has released a new report that pours scorn on “secretive” corporate structures used by North Sea oil and gas firms, and calls for the UK government to end the exploitation of tax loopholes. The ITF’s Offshore Oil, Offshore Tax report, which can be accessed here, comes in the wake of the recent news that Nexen, which is controlled by China National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC), is to benefit from a UK tax break of over £2bn. The discount is a result of tax cuts introduced by the UK government in 2015, designed to ease pressure on North Sea oil producers.
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6. Greeks Not Looking to Sea
Much has been made of Greek shipping’s potential to be a magic sponge for some of the country’s youth unemployment pain. Unemployment is still rampant at 25% and the rate of unemployment among young people more than double that. But EY, in its valuable new survey, finds that shipping and youth are not sufficiently on the same wavelength. Of 1,000 respondents aged 16-30, only a tiny fraction had shipping on their radar as a possible career; only 19% seemed to think it was worth considering because of the jobs crisis; less than one quarter believed that shipping was open as a potential employer to people like them.
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7. Sea Marshals Placed on Ferry
Brittany Ferries has confirmed that armed ‘sea marshals’ were flown on to a crossing from Plymouth last night. Brittany Ferries then confirmed armed sea marshals would being to patrol cross-Channel passenger ferries operating from Plymouth. Bosses say the first sea marshal helicopter landing took place yesterday, as the "Armorique" sailed from Plymouth to Roscoff, leaving the city at 3pm. A second helicopter exercise involved the DFDS Seaways ferry from Newhaven in Sussex to Dieppe,
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8. US Navy Provoked
A US Navy vessel, the "USS Squall", a coastal-patrol ship, in the northern Arabian Gulf. Cmdr has been involved in a run in with Iranian vessels. Bill Urban of the US Navy’s Fifth Fleet said that several incidents occurred where Iranian navy ships showed wanton disregard for safety and internationally recognized maritime law.  The USS Tempest and USS Squall were "operating in international waters of the northern Arabian Gulf when three IRGCN [Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps Navy] vessels approached at high speed." The vessels veered within 600 yards of the US Navy ships despite auditory and visual warnings from their crews.
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9. Owner Fined for Pollution
India’s National Green Tribunal has fined Delta Shipping Marine Services SA (Delta Shipping) $14.9 million and Adani Enterprises Ltd. (Adani) $745,000 for environmental pollution caused when the MV RAK sank about 20 nautical miles of the coast of Mumbai in 2011. The vessel, which was underway from Indonesia to Dahej, Gujarat, is said to have been carrying 290 tonnes of fuel oil and 50 tonnes of diesel at the time it sunk, as well as a cargo of over 60,054 metric tonnes (mt) of coal for Adani. A bunker spill stemming from the sunken vessel is said to have spread from Mumbai to Raigad, affecting both human and marine life.
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10. Enclosed Space Entry Campaign
The Caribbean MOU (member countries: Antigua & Barbuda, Barbados, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica, the Netherlands Antilles, Suriname and Trinidad & Tobago) has announced (here) it will be launching a CIC on crew familiarisation for enclosed space entry, to run from 1st September to 30th November 2016.
If a deficiency is found, actions by the port state may vary from recording a deficiency and instructing the master to rectify it within a certain period to detention of the ship until the deficiency has been rectified. Any detention will be published in the monthly detention lists of the Caribbean MOU.
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Daily news feed from Seacurus Ltd – providers of MLC crew insurance solutions  www.seacurus.com

 

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