Top Ten Maritime News Stories 03/11/2016

Seacurus Daily: Top Ten Maritime News Stories 03/11/2016

1. Ocean Alliance Plans
The members of the Ocean Alliance which launches next April have outlined their global network plans. Cosco Shipping, CMA CGM, Evergreen and Orient Overseas Container Line (OOCL) today signed a document entitled the Day One Product, which sets out the proposed alliance network, including port rotation for each service loop. The Day One network intends to deploy around 350 container vessels with an estimated total carrying capacity of 3.5m teu. The grouping will offer 20 transpacific services, six Asia-Europe sailings, five Asia-Mediterranean offerings, three transatlantic routes, five Asia-Middle East links and two Asia-Red Sea.
2. Hyundai to Take Over Ships
Hyundai Merchant Marine Co. (HMM) will take over 11 ships returned by Hanjin Shipping Co. to the Korea Development Bank (KDB). According to shipping industry sources on November 1, Haeyoung Maritime Services Co., a subsidiary of HMM which provides ship management and maintenance services, has managed one container and three bulk carriers returned by Hanjin Shipping to the KDB at the end of last month. These are Hanjin Shipping’s vessels on bareboat charter hire purchase (BBCHP). The financially ailing company returned them to the KDB as it can no longer afford to make the remaining loan repayments to the bank.
3. Maersk Questions Answered
Soren Skou, Chief Executive of A.P. Moeller-Maersk A/S, has been answering industry questions after the Danish shipping and oil giant reported its third quarter profit plunged 43%. He was asked with the industry recovery dependent on freight rates, and freight rates have been at record lows. When will freight rates recover? Skou admitted not being able to predict freight rates, nobody can do that. He did state a belief that freight rates bottomed out at the end of first quarter. Spot rates out of China reached their lowest levels in March, and now they have almost doubled.
4. Maersk Ship Hit by Fire
The 2,890 teu containership Maersk Patras was hit by a fire in its engine room yesterday while sailing off the Canary Islands en route from Algeciras to Conakry, Guinea. The fire onboard the 1998-built vessel was quickly controlled by the crew, however due to the location of the fire the vessel had to be diverted to Las Palmas. The vessel is being towed this morning by Posh tug Salvangaurd. A Maersk Line spokesperson confirmed the incident to Splash today, and said the company is working on a contingency plan for the cargo on board the vessel.
5. Silent Seafarer Epidemic
Dr. A.H. Balaji of Balaji Medical Center, a medical service provider for the shipping industry which is part of the UK P&I PEME program, comments on the dangers of hepatitis B, the silent epidemic. Hepatitis B is easily preventable by vaccination and safe health practice, yet it still kills more people worldwide than HIV/AIDS. It is also the number one reason for crew failing their pre-employment medical examinations (PEME) and 9.6 percent of all unfit crew were found to have the disease. The disease is caused by a virus that infects the liver and is 50-100 times more infectious that HIV.

6. Breaker Yard Fire Rages
Pakistani firefighters were battling on Wednesday to douse a fire still raging more than a day after a series of explosions on a decommissioned oil tanker, with the death toll rising to 17, and more than 20 workers missing, officials said. Tuesday’s initial blast occurred as workers were welding near a fuel tank in a shipbreaking yard in Gaddani, 45 km (28 miles) northwest of the southern port city of Karachi, said Zulfiqar Bokhari, a local administration official. “The fire is still burning,” said Bokhari, adding firefighters were struggling to put out the flames.
7. IMO Reaches Milestone
An important milestone on the road to controlling greenhouse gas emissions from international shipping has been achieved with the adoption of new mandatory requirements by the industry’s regulatory authority, the International Maritime Organization (IMO). Under the new requirements, ships of 5,000 gross tonnage and above will have to collect consumption data for each type of fuel oil they use, as well as other, additional, specified data including proxies for transport work. These ships account for approximately 85% of CO2 emissions from international shipping.
8. LNG Trade Could Suffer
If Asian buyers continue to divert their contracted supply from the US towards Europe and Latin America, it will reduce demand for LNG vessels in the long term by cutting down on long-haul trade, according to the latest edition of the LNG Forecaster report published by global shipping consultancy Drewry. Drewry has been maintaining a bullish long-term outlook for LNG shipping for quite some time and expects rates to improve substantially from 2018 onwards. One of the major reasons for this outlook is the expansion in US LNG supply.
9. Shipbuilding Intervention Questioned
South Korean president Park Geun-Hye has recently suffered a bizarre and damaging scandal, and in response she has decided to shake up her cabinet leadership – just as her government was poised to begin a sweeping intervention in the nation’s troubled shipbuilding sector. The scandal started last week, when news broke of the president’s alleged ties to a cult-like religous group. While government advisers have been accused of improper handling of classified material, and prosecutors have begun searching the presidential complex, confiscating aides’ documents and computers. President Park denies wrong doing.
10. Tanker Company Profits Drop
Malaysia International Shipping Corporation Berhad (MISC Berhad), a shipping arm of Petronas, has seen its profit for the third quarter of 2016 drop by some 71 percent compared to the same period a year earlier, amid the prevailing weak market situation. The company’s profit stood at MYR 143.3 million (USD 34.3 million), representing a drop from the MYR 504.1 million (USD 120.6 million) reported in the third quarter of 2015. MISC Berhad said that its revenue for the quarter was at MYR 2.29 billion, down from MYR 2.5 billion in the corresponding period a year earlier.

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