Top Ten Maritime News Stories 30/08/2016

Seacurus Daily: Top Ten Maritime News Stories 30/08/2016

1. Britannia Waives the Rules
Malaviya Twenty has been moored in Great Yarmouth docks since December. To look at, it’s no rustbucket, kept in good shape by its Indian crew – but when I visited a week ago, they hadn’t been paid by the ship’s owners for all those months. This is a story about the fate of shipping in Britain – an often forgotten industry, though we depend on it for over 90% of our imports and exports, and for most of what is stacked on supermarket shelves. The shipping industry is a prime example of what an unfettered free market does to a workforce, of globalisation at its reddest in tooth and claw.

2. Shame of Owners
Not for the first time India’s Varun Shipping has been shamed by its failure to look after its crew. Reuters is reporting that crew on the Amba Bhakti tanker, stranded off Shanghai, have not been paid since February. The crew hail from India and Bangladesh and are now owed tens of thousands of dollars. The ship has been moored off Shanghai for the past three years and its engines are now in urgent need of repair. Struggling Varun has history when it comes to crew neglect. In 2014, for instance, the Indian owner left two ship’s crews to fend for themselves for many months off Dubai.
3. Spike in Nigeria Attacks
There has been a rise in attacks off the coast of Nigeria, with pirates increasingly looking to kidnap crew members and hold them to ransom. The most serious problems are now off the west coast of Africa, where Nigerian gangs have adopted “a new trend which is quite disturbing”, said Mr Mukundan. According to the IMB, Theses gangs now tend to board vessels such as bulk carriers up to 120 nautical miles offshore, kidnap some of the crew and take them ashore to be held for ransom. Nigerian pirates kidnapped 24 crew members in the first half of this year, up from just 10 in the first six months of 2015.

4. UK Register Chief Quits
Simon Barham has quit as director of the UK Ship Register after just a few months in the newly created role. His appointment had followed criticism of the way the register was being run and calls for a more commercial approach. An email sent to UK shipping industry leaders cites personal reasons for Mr Barham’s departure, which represents a setback for the country’s ambitions to expand the flag. He left several weeks ago, with the search now on for a replacement. The salary on offer is up to £90,000 ($118,822). Barham is understood to have been frustrated by civil service constraints at the MCA.
5. Nigeria Flags Fake Agencies
The Nigerian Navy has advised organizations to be aware of the activities of illegal maritime security agencies operating in Nigeria, warning against dealing with such groups. The Flag Officer Commanding urged organisations to be cautious of the unwholesome activities of agencies parading themselves as maritime security agencies without the required legal backing from the enabling laws, at all times. He said the navy will not hesitate to withdraw her support from any organisation found to be collaborating with illegal maritime security agencies, adding that such agencies will be sanctioned and their members arrested, if caught.
6. Cyber Shock in Shipping
Our reliance on information and communications technology (ICT) runs deep in our everyday lives, and the maritime and offshore industries are no different. It is increasingly clear that the security risks of ICT extend to the maritime industry too: whether it’s the internet (for business or pleasure), dynamic positioning, navigation, GPS or crew welfare terminals, all come with vulnerabilities that can be exploited by cyber criminals intent on causing operational disruption, financial loss or reputational damage. But a new study finds shipping companies are ineffective in securing their vessels.
7. New Slew of Inspections
Port state authorities have announced the following CICs, lasting three months from 1 September to 30 November 2016: Paris MoU is aimed at verifying compliance with relevant parts of the Maritime Labour Convention, 2006 (MLC). Tokyo, Black Sea, Indian Ocean and Viña del Mar MoUs are aimed at verifying compliance with the relevant parts of SOLAS. The Caribbean MoU focusses on crew familiarisation for entry into enclosed spaces, while Riyadh MoU focusses on pilot transfer arrangements.
8. Authorities Force Merger
The Korean shipping industry has officially suggested Hanjin Shipping merge with Hyundai Merchant Marine (HMM). This is the first time that the industry recommends the merger of the two companies. As placing Hanjin Shipping into court-led restructuring will co-destruct the nation’s shipping businesses, the company should stabilize the business and merge with HMM later, according to industry sources. The Korea Shipowners’ Association (KSA) insisted on August 28, “When Hanjin Shipping goes under court receivership, the company will definitely not revive but liquidate.”
9. Shared Input and Responsibility
Over 70% of ship owners, operators and managers believe that it would be helpful to have shared input/operational responsibility between on-board crew and shore-based personnel at all times. ECDIS, ship stability, voyage planning and weather forecast data as well as fuel consumption, engine performance and bridge alarm system data should all be made available in real time to the shore and ship. The majority feel the crew would be willing to accept operational decisions from shore and this just one of the options open to the maritime stakeholders if collaborating through one central operating system and repository of ‘mega data’.
10. Efficiency Needs to Pay
Researchers from UCL Energy Institute (UCL) and Carbon War Room (CWR) have confirmed that vessels with high design efficiency leave millions in the pockets of fuel payers. However, the market often fails to reward owners of efficient vessels by way of premiums or preferential hiring. This does not help the industry’s efforts to meet the challenges of a low-carbon future, and could challenge regulations designed to reduce total industry emissions. UCL investigated the role of energy efficiency in vessel competitiveness by bringing together data on market dynamics and data on vessel operational patterns derived from AIS.
Daily news feed from Seacurus Ltd – providers of MLC crew insurance solutions


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