Top Ten Maritime News Stories 27/09/2016

Seacurus Daily: Top Ten Maritime News Stories 27/09/2016

1. Bankruptcy No Shock
The Hanjin bankruptcy came as no surprise given the firm’s inability to restructure its finances, and it highlights the weakness of a system in which owners charter ships to companies that don’t own or control the cargoes. Hanjin is the tip of the iceberg for shipping in the container and dry-bulk sectors: together, they service both ends of the manufacturing chain in a slowing global economy. The financial state of shipping continues to decline. The industry’s problems were created by the shipowners themselves, both public and private, by grossly over-ordering new ships in the belief that the global economy would continue to grow.

2. In Face of Failure, Confidence Grows
Despite so many warning signs and amidst much negativity, shipping confidence, notably on the part of charterers and managers, has improved for the second successive quarter in the three months to end-August 2016. In August 2016, the average confidence level expressed by respondents was 5.4 on a scale of 1 (low) to 10 (high). This is an improvement on the 5.1 recorded in May 2016, and the highest rating for the past nine months of the survey, which was launched in May 2008 with a confidence rating of 6.8. Although confidence on the part of owners was down charterers, managers and brokers are more confident.
3. Government Demands Action
The South Korean government expects that Hanjin Shipping would address the latest logistics crisis when it adds funds of US$144.99 million secured so far and cash held by Hanjin Shipping. It also reconfirmed that the largest shareholder of Hanjin Shipping should pay for additional expenses when it incurs. The government forecasted that 90 percent of Hanjin’s container ships should have completed offlading by the end of October. Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Yoo Il-ho visited Hanjin Shipping’s terminal at Busan New Port in Gangseo District in Busan and held a conference with industry officials.
4. Maersk to Gobble Up Koreans
Experts believe Maersk Line will buy South Korea’s two largest shipping firms, Hanjin Shipping Co. (Hanjin) and Hyundai Merchant Marine Co. (HMM), Bloomberg reports. Shares in HMM, which is currently undergoing creditor-led debt-restructuring, jumped 6 percent Monday following reports it was being offered vessels from collapsed rival Hanjin. "Maersk, as the market leader, will definitely participate in the consolidation [of the container markets] – they will have to," said brokers, who also noted that the options for Maersk "are fairly limited." "The most likely scenario is that Maersk would take over the assets of Hyundai and Hanjin".
5. Drunken Skipper in the Dock
A ship’s captain has appeared in court accused of being drunk while in charge of a container vessel in Belfast. Eugenijus Tulauskas, 43, from Lithuania, was arrested by Harbour Police on Sunday. The captain faces a charge of having excess alcohol while on duty as a professional master of a ship. No further details of the alleged offence were disclosed at Belfast Magistrates’ Court. He is to be granted bail when accommodation can be found. Mr Tulauskas must surrender all travel documents and report daily to police as part of the bail conditions. An exclusion zone has also been drawn up to stop him boarding the ship again.
6. Tough Time Choosing P&I
Choosing a P&I Club can be a critical choice, let alone making a right decision, in terms of cost-effectiveness. Of course, it’s imperative that the owner himself has a proper track record, with quality ships under management and few – if any – detentions, in order to achieve better value, but in any case, trends are difficult to discern in today’s insurance market. A good risk selection and disciplined underwriting are both significant contributors to strong P&I results. Although, even with reinsurance protection and the ongoing efforts to minimize inflated claims, there is still one factor less manageable; and that is human error.
7. CLIA on Importance of Seafarers
Leading up to the Day of the Seafarer on June 25, Cruise Lines International Association expressed its appreciation for the seafarers who provide 24.2m passengers with exceptional vacations. At any one time, approximately 200,000 seafarers are sailing on CLIA member lines’ ships around the world. CLIA president and ceo Cindy D’Aoust called seafarers ‘indispensable.’ ‘They represent all workers on board, from the captain to medical personnel to the stewards who make up passenger staterooms. Our cruise line members employ a truly global workforce, and are proud to have seafarers with high job satisfaction".
8. Lucky Escape as Crane Collapses
A stevedore in Brazil has had a lucky escape after the quayside crane he was operating during the discharge of coal from the dry bulker Nord Trust burst into flames, Wilhelmsen Ships Service reports. Fellow stevedores rushed to the aid of the operator who was rescued unharmed following the incident around 0630 on Sunday (Brazil time) at the Port of Itaqui in São Luís in the northern state of Maranhão. Tugs were used to bring the fire under control at “Shed 101”. Maranhão Port Authority (EMPA) reported only “material damage” and while there were five other vessels alongside at the time, it interrupted only one.
9. Pushing London’s Pre-eminence
UK trade promotion body Maritime London has published an online booklet highlighting London’s pre-eminence as a centre of excellence for the resolution of international commercial and maritime disputes. Launched at its AGM last week, The London Arbitration booklet has been produced by Maritime London and sponsored by the Admiralty Solicitors Group, with significant expert contributions from the London Maritime Arbitrators Association (LMAA) as well as law firms Holman Fenwick Willan LLP and Waltons & Morse LLP.
10. General Cargo Ship Sinks
Turkish general cargo ship "Mustafa Kan" sank over the weekend in the Mediterranean Sea around 25 nautical miles southeast off Sicily. The vessel, owned and operated by Kanlar Denizcilik, was en route from Dakar (Senegal) to Sibenik (Croatia) loaded with fertilizer ammonium phosphate, but started talking on water near the Italian coast. The crew sent an SOS distress signal to local authorities and all 16 abandoned the vessel into a life boat. A few hours later all the seafarers were rescued by Italian Coast Guard. There were no injuries and no oil spilled.

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


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S Jones
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