Top Ten Maritime News Stories 18/11/2016

Seacurus Daily: Top Ten Maritime News Stories 18/11/2016

1. Taiwan Bailing out Shipping Companies
Taiwan has become the latest Asian shipping power to attempt to bail out its container shipping industry, as a glut of vessels and lacklustre trade growth continue to produce the worst-ever conditions in the industry’s 60-year history. The transportation ministry has offered Evergreen Marine and Yang Ming Marine Transport, the main shipping conglomerates, a $1.9bn relief package including a credit line with preferential interest rates. A glut of huge new ships from Chinese and Korean shipyards and a sharp slowdown in trade growth has left lines struggling to fill their vessels — and has sent rates so low lines cannot cover costs.
2. MSC Ship Aground
The container ship "MSC Barbara" ran aground at the approach to Sao Joaqium terminal in Salvador port, Brazil.  It was estimated that the container carrier MSC Barbara proceeded to the terminal with draft of 14.50 m, while the maximum depth at the shipping way was 12.00 m due to the low tide. The container ship remained stuck for seven hours, as the salvage was possible just after increase of water level. Later the vessel was refloated with assistance of tugs and proceeded to the Sao Joaqium terminal, where docked for cargo handling and special inspection.
3. Time to Tackle Fatigue
Captain Kuba Szymanski, InterManager’s secretary general, chaired a panel on the findings of Project MARTHA; a fatigue study co-ordinated between InterManager and other industry bodies. Project MARTHA’s aim was to put together a Fatigue Risk Management System (FRMS) and to provide fatigue awareness training, fatigue prediction models, fatigue reporting systems and advise on corrective actions to take to minimise/eradicate fatigue incidents. To take account of cultural differences in crew working patterns, Project MARTHA operated two projects simultaneously in both Europe and China.
4. Fighting New Somalia Label
Malaysian Defence Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein has stressed that the Sulu Sea should not become the “new Somalia.” He said he touched on the need to ramp up efforts to prevent the area from turning into the ‘new Somalia’ at the just concluded 10th ASEAN Defence Ministers Meeting (ADMM) in Laos. The Sulu Sea Trilateral Initiative which involves joint patrols by Malaysia, Indonesia and the Philippines was among the issues brought up at the retreat. The Sulu Sea is noted for piracy and kidnappings and hence the initiative to prevent a worsening situation  where merchant ships fear to use the area.

5. Anti Bribery Fight
TRACE International, an anti-bribery organisation, is partnering with vetting firm RightShip, to support anti-bribery compliance in the maritime industry through TRACEcertification of vessel owners. TRACEcertification is a due diligence review, analysis and approval process. “Completion of the certification process underscores a vessel owner’s commitment to commercial transparency, reducing risk to charterers,” the pair said in a release. RightShip’s new vetting platform, RightShip Qi, harnesses big data, predictive analysis and real-time risk assessments which allow charterers to make decisions about the vessels they choose.
6. Shipping Stocks Soaring
Shipping stocks soared again Thursday, as a rally that was triggered by bears fleeing and manic day-trading has morphed into a stampede of bulls. The top 5 biggest percentage gainers in premarket trade were all companies in the shipping business. Sino-Global Shipping America Ltd.’s stock topped the list, nearly doubling in active trade toward the highest open in 8 1/2 years, after already climbing nearly seven fold in the past week. Diana Containerships Inc. shares shot up 40% ahead of the open, after soaring more than five fold over the previous two sessions. In comparison, futures for the S&P 500 were little changed.

7. UK P&I on Environmental Liabilities
Dingjing Huang, Underwriting and Legal Analyst at UK P&I discuss Annex VI of the Environment Protocol and why shipowners trading in the Antarctic should be aware of their potential liabilities. “Annex VI of the Environment Protocol, which deals with liabilities arising from environmental emergencies, has not yet come into force, but shipowners trading in the Antarctic should be aware of their potential liabilities under this regulation. “One of the most significant aspects of the Protocol is its treatment of environmental emergencies. Parties are committed to providing ‘prompt and effective’ response actions to emergencies".

8. Hamburg Shows Slow Climb
Germany’s Port of Hamburg has recorded a 0.3 percent increase in its total seaborn cargo throughput for the first three quarters of 2016, handling 104.9 million tons of freight against 104.6 million in the same period last year. The port’s seaborn cargo exports, including general and bulk cargo segments, dropped by 4.1 percent to 44.4 million tons from 46.3 million tons handled in the first nine months of 2015. Imports for the period rose to 60.5 million tons from 58.3 million tons of cargo seen in 2015, representing an increase of 3.8 percent.
9. Stevedore Business Battle
Police firmly believe that a business rivalry between stevedoring companies at the port of Odisha was the reason behind the assassination of a prominent name in local shipping circles last month. Five men were arrested yesterday in connection with the murder of Mahendra Swain, the general manager of Seaways Shipping and Logistics (SSL). Swain, 45, was heading to work in his car when two motorcycle-borne assailants stopped him, shot him and threw crudely made bombs into his car. Police are now building a case against Mahimananda Mishra, the head of rival Odisha Stevedores Limited.
10. Ship Up in Flames
The general cargo ship "Casanova" (1,450 dwt, built 1975) has gone up in flames while laid up for maintenance work in Palermo on Colombia’s north coast. Palermo Port is on the outskirts of Barranquilla and on the Magdalena River. The vessel was laid up there in August and listed for sale but the extensive damage caused by the blaze changes that picture. Witnesses said they thought the fire began in the engine room after a short circuit in a diesel generator and spread through the deckhouse, essentially gutting the accommodation area, bridge and engine compartment. No spills or pollution were reported.

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