Top Ten Maritime News Stories 04/11/2016

Seacurus Daily: Top Ten Maritime News Stories 04/11/2016

1. Maersk Losses Logged
Maersk Line reported a third quarter (Q3) 2016 result that is USD 380 million lower than Q3 2015. The overriding reason for the loss is decline in freight rates compared to Q3 2015. Revenue in Q3 was USD 5,359 million, which is 11% lower than Q3 2015 (USD 6,018 million), the company said in its press release.
Volumes were 11% higher as Maersk Line was able to win market share. Amongst others due to increased volumes following, Hanjin’s court receivership filing, increasing customer focus on financially solid carriers and increased volumes on back haul services.
2. Bunker Offices Closed
Global bunker player Bomin Group is set to close three of its trading offices, with further closures potentially to come, industry sources have reported. The company’s offices in Athens and London have closed, with an office in Brazil among other trading offices potentially in-line for closures. Rumours of the move have been swirling around the industry, and commentators have praised the firm for taking decisive action. Bomin has been commended for doing what everyone else should be doing, and doing it first, ahead of everyone else.
3. Rise of the Machines
More and more autonomous boats are taking to the water, with the Royal Navy’s surveillance craft tested in the Thames, Roboats roaming Amsterdam’s canals, and the Solar Voyager’s (unfortunately unsuccessful) attempt at crossing the Atlantic. Now the UK’s Automated Ships Ltd and Norway’s Kongsberg Maritime have announced plans to construct what they claim will be the world’s first autonomous ship for offshore operations. Dubbed "Hrönn", the vessel will be a light-duty utility ship designed for surveying, delivering cargo to offshore installations, and launching and recovering smaller ROVs.
4. Philippines Looks to Patrols
Philippine President Duterte will discuss possible joint military and police patrols and other anti-criminal and piracy operations with Malaysia when he visits the country next week. Topping the agenda of his meeting with Malaysian officials led by Prime Minister Najib Razak is the prevention and stopping of criminal activities, like kidnapping and piracy, along the countries’ common maritime borders. Duterte said the incidents have paralyzed trade and commerce in the area. The President said attacks and kidnappings perpetrated by the Abu Sayyaf Group is an "embarrassment" to the country.
5. Training is Failing
In a hard hitting address, chief operating officer of Oman Shipping Company, Captain David Stockley has criticised training institutions for turning out officers who are “not fit-for-purpose” and “ship staff that are unable to operate and maintain their vessels,” reports Edwin Lampert from Dubai. Captain Stockley singled out “educationalists” for promoting “type specific vocations” and “diplomas and degrees that seem to have made the Master’s Certificate redundant and outdated”. Training institutions, he said, are fixated on the seafarer obtaining a certificate of competency.
6. Overcapacity Plaguing Industry
The shipping industry, long plagued by overcapacity, will benefit from the consolidation and government-led financing solutions currently afoot in Asia. But the reprieve will be temporary at best. Japan’s three biggest shippers—Nippon Yusen KK, Mitsui OSK Lines and Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha—announced a merger of their container shipping businesses on Monday in an attempt to stay competitive amid the industry’s sharp downturn. The new entity would be the world’s sixth-largest player, yielding $1.05 billion in annual cost benefits and $19.1 billion in combined revenues, according to an official statement.
7. Credit Agency Arrest
A Deloitte Anjin executive was detained Wednesday on charges of deliberately ignoring a multibillion dollar accounting fraud involving embattled shipyard Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering (DSME). The Seoul Central District Court issued an arrest warrant for the executive surnamed Bae, the first employee of the accounting firm to be arrested with regard to the DSME scandal. Deloitte Anjin has come under criticism over its alleged incompetent audit of DSME ―the shipbuilder has been blamed for cooking the books to make huge losses it incurred over the past few years look smaller and even claimed to have made profits.
8. Vessel Arrest Progress
At the recent annual Maritime Law Conference (MLA) in South Africa, speakers discussed vessel arrests. There was agreement and praise for the proactive role that South Africa often takes when vessel arrests occur. The nation is considered a favourable jurisdiction when it comes to arrests. Speakers from the government, industry and insurers spoke of enhanced engagement and the ways in which arrests were facilitated by local interests.
9. Mandatory Fuel Data Collection
The International Maritime Organization (IMO) has adopted a mandatory fuel consumption data collection system for international shipping, requiring ships above 5,000 gross tonnage to start collecting and reporting data to an IMO database from the start of 2019. It was adopted by the IMO’s Marine Environment Protection Committee on October 28 as amendments to chapter 4 of annex VI of MARPOL, adding a new Regulation 22A on Collection and reporting of ship fuel oil consumption data and new appendices covering Information to be submitted to the IMO Ship Fuel Oil Consumption Database.

10. Cost of Compliance Rises
Compliance with waves of new regulations is forcing ship-owners into a series of unforeseen capital expenditure, Ahmad Al Falahi, CEO of Dubai-based Gulf Energy Maritime (GEM), said. Speaking at the Seatrade Maritime Middle East, at Dubai World Trade Centre, Al Falahi said the state of the market was bad, but not very bad. That stood in some contrast to his comments on the panel looking into the crude oil market and product tanker trading, where he had warned: “There are two things not to become nowadays — a shipyard and a shipowner.” The problem with new regulations was the frequency of capital outlay, he said.

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