Top Ten Maritime News Stories 11/10/2016

Seacurus Daily: Top Ten Maritime News Stories 11/10/2016

1. Abandonment Growing Problem
Crewmen who have not received supplies in weeks, some of them sick and living among garbage and insects is now common as crewmen are being abandoned by their employers. With freight prices plunging ships are being seized due to unpaid debts and they are having supply accounts blocked. The problem is becoming something of an epidemic in Brazil, and there has been a spate of high profile abandonments – with even giant companies such as Petrobras implicated. Seafarers are being left in terrible conditions with no means of buying food or water.
2. Lenders Losing Patience
Lenders are losing patience with ship owners unable to settle their debts. According to reports online, this has recently been brought into sharp focus by banks moving to allegedly arrest and enforce the sale of all vessels in the fleets of three long-established Piraeus based shipping companies, Efploia Shipping Co. S.A.. Marine Managers Limited and Pyrsos Shipping Co. Ltd. The prolonged severely depressed market for bulk carriers has meant that many ships are now worth far less than the loans secured on them. Banks has been patient, but now the attitude is hardening and foreclosures are beginning.
3. Missile Attacks Spreading
Missile attacks from Yemen on Western military craft risk spilling over into nearby busy sea lanes which could disrupt oil supplies and also other vital goods passing through the tense area, shipping and insurance sources say. While shipping companies have yet to divert ships, there are growing worries that any further escalation could hinder oil supplies and potentially lead to higher insurance costs for shipments. The route is among the world’s busiest, insurance sources claim some ships coming into Yemeni ports were already switching off their tracking systems, due to the violence in the country.
4. UK Looks at MLC Tweaks
Shipowner pressure on the UK government has led to a consultation on sick pay benefits for seafarers. The UK has issued a proposal to update existing legislation to take an opportunity to "make a number of relatively small corrections and amendments" to the existing implementing UK legislation for the MLC. These are in Part 3 and cover Shipowner liability for wages in case of sickness and one significant amendment which could substantially reduce the liabilities of shipowners for wages in cases of seafarers’ sick leave, particularly in parts of the industry with a high proportion of short-term employees.
5. P&I Clubs on Financial Security
P&I Clubs have issued statements in reference to amendments to the Maritime Labour Convention 2006 which will enter into force on 18 January 2017. After this date, ships that are subject to the MLC will be required to display certificates issued by an insurer or other financial security provider confirming that insurance or other financial security is in place for liabilities in respect of outstanding wages and repatriation of seafarers together with incidental costs and expenses. The Boards of all Clubs in the International Group have decided that Clubs should provide the necessary certification.
6. Shifting from Ship to Shore
The MNTB has been looking at how the industry is helping, and the future work required, for British Merchant Navy officers to make a successful transition from ship to shore. Seafarers often get asked whether they still consider themselves to be seafarers once they swallow the anchor and move ashore. The answer to this, for many, is a simple ‘yes’ as they have been, and always will be, a seafarer. For some though the answer becomes a tangled web of confusion and emotion as they try to work out if they are still ‘seafarers’ all the while attempting to navigate through a new world of office politics and a new career.
7. Saudi VLCC Giant
The National Shipping Company of Saudi Arabia (Bahri) is to be the largest VLCC operator in the world after it acquires ten more super tankers in the coming years, a senior executive of the company has stated. “We placed orders for ten more VLCCs to be delivered in the next two years with an investment of $1 billion. We will be the largest VLCC operator once we have them,” said Matthew Luckhurst, line manager at Bahri general cargo. The company has signed a contract with Hyundai Samho Heavy Industries last year to build the giant ships that are capable of carrying huge amount of crude oil in a single trip.

8. Heavy Decline in Coal Shipments
The main exporters of thermal coal for coal- fired power plants to the UK have experienced a heavy decline in cargo volumes in 2016. This comes as a result of the UK starting a trend for the dry bulk shipping industry, by close to doubling its Carbon Price Floor (CPF). Russia, Colombia and the United States (US) have been the top coal exporters to the UK for the previous three years. The long hauls from the US and Colombia have historically been strong routes, as they have provided a lot of tonnage miles. Declining trend in coal consumption in the UK is affecting the dry bulk industry negatively”.
9. Royal Ship Christening
The first Royal christening of a ship on the Mersey since 1960 will take place at the Pier Head next week in the city’s latest maritime spectacular. The Princess Royal will christen the new Atlantic Container Line (ACL) vessel Atlantic Sea at the city’s cruise liner terminal on October 20. And later that day the ship – which proudly boasts the name Liverpool on its stern – will sail out to sea to a massive fireworks display on the waterfront. It’s rare to see a container ship at the Pier Head and this ship will dominate the waterfront as much as any cruise liner. Atlantic Sea is one of five new container vessels that will double ACL’s capacity.

10. Titanic Fear Beckons
When the Crystal Serenity made its voyage across the Arctic’s Northwest Passage this year, the mega-priced cruise was hailed as the beginning of a new era in Arctic tourism. But a surge in Arctic tourism will bring even bigger cruise ships into the formerly inaccessible region. Because of global warming, the once ice-bound region is now clear of ice during the summer months, prompting visions of mega-bucks in the eyes of cruise companies. But this first voyage by a cruise ship is only the beginning of what is being described as "a surge in Arctic tourism," according to Reuters, with concerns of safety and pollution.

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


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S Jones
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