Top Ten Maritime News Stories 08/11/2016

Seacurus Daily: Top Ten Maritime News Stories 08/11/2016

1. Box Demolition High
Containership demolition is at an all time high —creating what BIMCO calls "a positive surprise for the struggling container shipping industry". "The demolition activity in the last three months’ surprised BIMCO positively and it exceeded our initial expectation based on the appalling 2015 demolition activity," says BIMCO’s Chief shipping analyst Peter Sand. "The advance is a push in the right direction, as demolition activity is one of the essential measures needed to be taken to rebalance the container shipping industry. "It is important that the demolition of excess capacity comes sooner rather than later", they added.
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2. Hanjin Begins to Vanish
Hanjin Shipping, the seventh largest containerline in the world when it filed for bankruptcy at the end of August, will likely slide out of the top 20 liner list compiled by Alphaliner as early as this week. Ships are being sold and handed back to tonnage providers and Alphaliner now reports Hanjin’s operated fleet stands at just 104,180 slots, a far cry from the 609,500 teu fleet it could boast on August 31 this year. Meanwhile, South Korea’s Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries said yesterday 94 out of the 97 Hanjin containerships had completed unloading. It seems the line, whose history dates back to the 1930s, will be liquidated.
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3. Sea Trade Slows
Seaborne shipments passed 10 billion tons for the first time ever in 2015, up 2.1 per cent from 9.8 billion tons the year before, the UNCTAD Review of Maritime Transport 2016 says, noting that this is the slowest pace of growth in the industry since 2009 and that future growth looks uncertain. Shipping carried more than 80 per cent of the world’s goods by volume in 2015, and its slow growth reflects sluggish global trade. Shipping of oil recorded its best performance since 2008, thanks to low oil prices, ample supply and stable demand. But shipping’s overall growth was dragged down by the limited growth elsewhere.
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4. Vessel Grounds in Singapore Strait
The 74,997 DWT product tanker "Spottail" ran aground in the Singapore Strait about a half of a mile off of Indonesia’s Pulau Takong Besar. While no injuries or pollution have been reported, the vessel was reported to be being prepared for towing following an assessment of damages. The vessel is said to have been en route to Sri Lanka from Singapore when a steering gear failure led to the ship’s portside grounding in a shallow rocky area. Unable to refloat the ship themselves, the crew is reported to have requested assistance from local authorities, at which time a tug and rescue boat were dispatched to the scene to assist.
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5. Cargo Owners Getting Stressed
Cargo owners are becoming more concerned about risks and are shifting their business to shipping lines deemed more financially stable after the collapse of South Korea’s Hanjin Shipping Co Ltd., top shipping executives said. Robbert van Trooijen, Asia Pacific chief executive of AP Moeller-Maersk’s container shipping arm, said the company was seeing a “flight to safe havens” after the August collapse of Hanjin left $14 billion of cargo stranded at sea. “It reminded the customer of the financial situation of many of the carriers in the trade,” he said, adding most firms’ financial stability was “not great.”
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6. Somalis Jailed for Piracy
A pair of Somali pirates were sentenced to life in prison for the 2010 attack on the "USS Ashland" in the Gulf of Aden, while a third was given only 33 years because he cooperated with federal prosecutors in another piracy case. U.S. District Judge begrudgingly issued the life sentences after the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled last year that he erred by originally giving the five men convicted in the case sentences that ranged from 30 to 42½ years. Piracy carries a mandatory life sentence under federal law, but as nobody boarded the ship and no U.S. sailors were injured in the attack this was felt unduly harsh.
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7. Manila Cadet Flunkey System
In Manila crewing CEOs are using maritime cadets as flunkeys, and it is getting people mad. Maritime cadets are made to work as unpaid office help or flunkeys, and people see nothing wrong with it. Yet, one has to be callous and ignorant not to see that the serve-for-sail practice demeans cadets and is a violation of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Servitude. How else would you call it when cadets are obliged to serve lunch to crewing managers in their gleaming white cadet uniforms? Or when they are ordered to go out to buy pizza for the staff? Commentators are calling for an end to this "exploitative practice".
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8. Zim Line Looks to Sell
The Wall Street Journal is reporting Israel’s largest shipping line Zim Integrated Shipping Services is looking at selling its global container network and switch to become a regional Mediterranean player. Zim spokespeople have denied the sales rumours. Zim is the world’s 16th largest containerline according to Alphaliner with 326,615 slots. With consolidation sweeping the liner sector, analysts have long suspected Zim, which does not belong to any global alliance, would likely come on the chopping block sooner or later. “Citi are taking the prospectus to the big boys,” a source confirmed.
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9. IMO attends Climate Conference
Delegates from nearly 200 nations are arriving in Marrakech for the COP22 climate conference, the follow-up to the landmark meeting in Paris last year. Negotiators will be working to hammer out the details of last year’s groundbreaking climate deal – how exactly, and how fast, the countries will move to implement the promised changes. Shipping emits a bit more CO2 than Germany each year, according to the Union of Concerned Scientists, and the OECD Environment Directorate notes that the industry is poised to move up the ranks in coming years. IMO will be present at COP22 to continue its vital role.
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10. Masters Under Attack
The threat of going to jail while doing his job, remain a major pressure for masters of merchant ships – and the situation is getting worse. "Masters Under Attack – Authority and Responsibility in an Age of Instant Access" was the topic discussed by an expert panel at the Cadwallader Debate, organized by the London Shipping Law Centre (LSLC) late last month. With the rise of modern technology onboard, Chalos pointed out that “every crew member becomes an agent for the U.S. Government,” given the considerable incentive offered to whistle blowers. Cell phones were deemed to be change agents for shipping.
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Daily news feed from Seacurus Ltd – providers of MLC crew insurance solutions  www.seacurus.com

 

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