Top Ten Maritime News Stories 07/12/2016

Seacurus Daily: Top Ten Maritime News Stories 07/12/2016

1. Bad News on Ship Costs
The cost of operating cargo ships has fallen for two successive years, but is forecast to rise in 2017 and beyond, according to Drewry. The latest Ship Operating Costs Annual Review and Forecast 2016/17 report states, "Weak freight rates, declining asset values, eroded profitability and denuded cash balances have forced shipowners to reduce costs wherever possible, and vessel operating expenses have been no exception," the London-based firm said. Looking ahead, Drewry said it expects "modest increases in manning costs as a result of international wage rate agreements and shortages in certain officer ranks.
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2. Cargo Owners Held to Ransom
Three months after the collapse of Hanjin Shipping, hundreds of shippers have still not received their cargo, even though the bankrupt carrier’s containerships have now all been discharged. When Hanjin entered court receivership, some 500,000 teu, worth an estimated $12bn, was on over 100 ships around the world – many were refused entry into ports until debts had been settled and several were arrested by creditors. Evidence of the continued fallout was revealed at the Taiwan government’s transportation committee, it was claimed that, “50,000 containers…were either stranded at sea or seized by port authorities”.
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3. The Industry Which Ate Itself
In a blistering attack on over capacity in shipping, one expert pours scorn on the management decisions which mean too many ships and too little demand. Writing in Splash 247, Andrew Craig Bennett asks, "What do you call a multi-billion-dollar global business in which the boards of directors of almost every large company in the trade, finding that they are losing money because they are making more of their product than they can sell at a profit, decide to make much, much, more of it?" Answer: liner shipping. He suggests either the directors have the brainpower of jellyfish, or they thought they had a cunning plan.
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4. Armed Guard Case Rolls On
Earlier this year, the crew of the anti-piracy vessel Seaman Guard Ohio filed an appeal contesting sentences for alleged arms possession and illegal entry into Indian waters. However, after three years spent under arrest, they will still have to wait for resolution. The 35 crewmembers and security guards aboard the Ohio were sentenced in January to five years of "rigorous imprisonment." Since sentencing, the men have been confined to a prison in Chennai. Their appeals trial was delayed until June, and on December 1, a high court in Madras decided not to decide the outcome of the appeal by "reserving its order" on the case.
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5. 60 Missing at Sea
Nearly 60 people are missing after a ship sank off Yemen’s Socotra island, its fisheries minister said on Wednesday, with state media reporting that only two people had been rescued. The boat went missing five days ago while heading from Yemen’s southeastern port city of Mukalla towards Socotra with some 60 people on board, among them women and children, Fahd Kavieen said. Socotra lies in the Indian Ocean closer to the coast of Somalia than the Yemeni mainland. The government’s sabanew.net reported that two ships, one Austrian, one Australian, had rescued two of those on board.
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6. CMA CGM Yacht Rescue
The CMA CGM vessel "Marion Dufresne" has rescued the French yachtsman Kito de Pavant from his sailboat, which had suffered damage and was taking on water. De Pavant was competing in the Vendee Globe solo race, a famously challenging competition in which several dozen yachtsmen make a non-stop circumnavigation of the world, without outside assistance. De Pavant was about 100 nm off the Crozet Islands when his yacht, the "Bastide Otio", struck an unknown object and began to flood. Vendee Globe said that the Otio was making about 16 knots in heavy weather at the time of impact.
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7. Firm Withdraws Port Bid
SM Group, the South Korean owner of Korea Line, has withdrawn its bid to buy a stake in Hanjin Shipping’s Long Beach terminal after struggling to raise funds for the bid according to industry sources cited by news agency Yonhap. The two remaining bidders are consortiums, one involving Hyundai Merchant Marine and the other container shipping company MSC. The companies have reportedly submitted a bid for a 54 percent stake in the terminal, an acquisition estimated at $342 million. The Long Beach Container Terminal (Pier-T) has the capacity to process more than three million TEUs on and off vessels annually.
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8. Toxic Controls Alert
Gard has issued an alert to remind members and clients of the coming implementation of the updated to the Airborne Toxic Control Measure for Auxiliary Diesel Engines Operated on Ocean Going Vessels At-Berth in a California Port (At Berth Regulation). From January 1, vessels will be required to use shore power and reduce emissions by 70 percent while at berth at a California port – an increase from the current required reduction of 50 percent. Plans, which identify the method of compliance while at-berth at a California port must be submitted to the California Air Resources Board (ARB) well in advance of any planned port calls.
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9. Greek Strike Extended
Greek ports ground to halt with scores of vessels tied up in port or at anchor as Greek seafarers extended a 48-hour strike on all types of vessels for a third 48 hours to 9 December in protest of the pending abolition of their long standing special tax status and other planned changes to labour and insurance rights, pensions and retirement ages. When initially calling the strike, the Panhellenic Seamens Federation (PNO) warned there was a chance the action would be extended by its 13-member unions. The PNO had already announced seafarers will participate in the nationwide private sector’s 24-hour strike, on 8 December.
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10. IMO Polar Code Amends
The International Maritime Organization’s Maritime Safety Committee (MSC) has adopted amends to the Polar Code. The additional requirements in the Polar Code stem from the hazards of vessel operations in the “Polar Waters” of the Arctic (generally, waters north of 60°N, with a cut-out for Iceland and Norway) and Antarctic (waters south of 60°S) are not adequately addressed by the existing international standards in the SOLAS, MARPOL and STCW conventions. There is particular concern about how vessels are to be manned by adequately qualified, trained and experienced personnel.
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Daily news feed from Seacurus Ltd – providers of MLC crew insurance solutions  www.seacurus.com

 

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