Top Ten Maritime News Stories 21/11/2016

Seacurus Daily: Top Ten Maritime News Stories 21/11/2016

1. Maersk Vessel Attacked
A Maersk Line container vessel came under attack from Nigerian pirates on Saturday according to a report by a security broker. The Singapore-flagged, 61,614 dwt boxship "Maersk Cotonou" was attacked Rivers State Nigeria close to Bonny Island according to a report security brokers Asket. Asket said that the containership had been attacked by eight armed men in a speedboat and the Maersk Cotonou successfully applied counter piracy measures. The vessel then continued to its destination. Asket said the attack was carried out by the same group that attempted an attack on a convoy of supply vessels earlier in the month.
2. CMA CGM Post Large Loss
CMA CGM has posted a larger loss for the third quarter ended 30 September after completing the acquisition of Singapore’s Neptune Orient Lines (NOL). The third quarter loss was reported at $268m, wider than the loss of $202m excluding NOL’s contribution since its consolidation on 14 June 2016. The process of integrating NOL into CMA CGM continued during the quarter and delivered its first commercial and operating results, with more than 20 new shipping alliances set up between NOL’s boxship operating arm APL and CMA CGM, and the deployment of a synergy and rationalisation programme.

3. Somali Pirates Attack Again
As the chemical tanker "CPO Korea" passed the coast of Somalia late last month, security personnel aboard the ship noticed a blue-hulled skiff rapidly moving towards them. Warning shots were fired by guards as the approaching vessel closed-in, only for gunfire to be swiftly returned. The CPO Korea immediately increased its speed and altered course before eventually breaking away without sustaining casualties, according to a report from the Office of Naval Intelligence. The head of the EU Naval Force (EU Navfor) in Somalia, to demand that the international community stay "vigilant."
4. Emissions Road Map Unclear
IMO’s MEPC 70 may have developed a “roadmap” for the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions but it is becoming evident the roadmap’s directions are far from clear. Indeed, the road ahead for shipping is very challenging as was evidenced after an eight-hour debate on greener shipping in Athens 15 November.
“We have heard a lot about changes that are going to cost and shipping should not be held responsible for covering this cost, governments need to help,” said Haris Giantzikis, technical manager of Greece’s Arcadia Shipmanagement, as the day was winding up.
5. Hanjin Gets Extension
The deadline for Hanjin Shipping to submit a rehabilitation plan to the Korean bankruptcy court has been extended until February 2017. Law firm Clyde & Co said in an update that the deadline of submission of a draft rehabilitation plan by Hanjin to the Seoul Central District Court had been extended from 23 December to 3 February 2017. Hanjin filed for receivership on 31 August in the largest container shipping bankruptcy in the history of the sector.

6. Storm Batters Shipping
A 200m-long cargo ship hit a barge full of rocks in the English Channel, as Storm Angus battered the south coast of England with high winds and heavy rain. Eleven of the 23 crew members were evacuated by helicopter after the ship got into difficulty off Samphire Hoe near Dover. The other 12 members remained on board and are working on getting the vessel to a safe port. The Saga Sky was dragged into the rock barge by severe winds after losing all of its engine power. The coastguard declared the situation "a major incident", with two helicopters involved in evacuating crew members and a French tug sent to assist.

7. Hyundai Quells Concerns
Hyundai Merchant Marine (HMM) sought to quell customer and investor concern over the weekend, denying reports in the Journal of Commerce (JOC) that claimed it had been barred access to the 2M alliance. 2M, made up of the world’s two largest container lines, Maersk and MSC, had signed a surprise MoU with HMM earlier this year on joining the alliance, after the Korean line had been spurned from joining THE Alliance, a new container grouping made up of lines from Japan, Taiwan and Germany. Nevertheless, senior officials at both MSC and Maersk had in past months stressed that HMM’s entrance into 2M was not a given.
8. The Case for Box Shipping
Lars Jensen from SeaIntelligence Consulting makes the case for being optimistic about the box trades. Of course one has to be careful in concluding that the container carriers can see light at the end of the tunnel – the cheap shot would be to say it is the light of an oncoming train. However, we see record low capacity growth – despite the low global demand growth, no longer adding to the overcapacity of the global markets. Global demand growth this year has been 3.5% whereas the fleet has grown 3.1%. The ordering of new large vessels has come to a complete standstill, and scrappings are picking up.
9. Yards Look to Retrofits
A series of new regulations, most notably the entering into force of the Ballast Water Management Convention, by September of 2017, as well as the recent cap on the use of sulphur fuels, is bound to lead to increased retrofits, as ship owners will gradually look to keep their vessels compliant. As such, the market for ship repairs could soon witness a huge boost. Shipbroker Intermodal noted that “going through a relatively interesting second half of the year so far in the ship repair sector, we are experiencing a volatile climate of different speculations on how the repair market will react to the upcoming regulations.
10. Shifting Empties Costs Money
Repositioning empty containers costs the shipping industry $15-$20bn a year – up to 8% of a shipping line’s operating costs – according to Boston Consulting Group (BCG). At this week’s Intermodal Europe event in Rotterdam, Johannes Schlingmeier, a consultant at BCG, said the huge number of empty container movements across the globe accounted for 15% of all box movements in the US, 14% in Latin America, 29% in Europe, 16% in the Middle East and 25% in China. The problem arose from a mixture of structural trade imbalances and liner and network inefficiency.

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