Top Ten Maritime News Stories 29/12/2016

Seacurus Daily: Top Ten Maritime News Stories 29/12/2016

1. Fires are Major Concern
Major fires on container vessels count among the worst hazards in global shipping. In 2016 alone, there have been three major fires; Maersk Karachi (May 2016), NNCI Arauco (September 2016) and most recently Wan Hai 307 (September 2016). All three ships required external help to extinguish the fires, despite two being in the harbour and the third anchored just off Hong Kong, fuelling IUMI’s concerns over the challenges involved with managing these incidents at sea. IUMI is well aware of the SOLAS regulations but is calling for further improvements to firefighting capabilities onboard containerships.
2. Oil Thefts Dip
The latest report from the ReCAAP, which covers incidents of piracy and armed robbery in Asian waters during January to November, reports no incidents involving hijacking of tankers for theft of oil cargo during the month of November, and a total of three since January 2016. Overall, incidences of piracy and armed robbery against ships in Asia saw a 60 percent decrease in November 2016 compared to the same month of 2015, says ReCAAP. "Notably continued improvement was observed in the Straits of Malacca and Singapore (SOMS) with no incident reported in the SOMS since April 2016," the organisation added.
3. Hanjin Tremors Felt
Hanjin Shipping’s fall into rehabilitation has sent tremors through the cargo insurance market because of the serious delays and disruption it has caused to the supply chain, particularly to cargoes on the Asia-US route intended for Thanksgiving and Christmas. Fortunately, the vast majority of Hanjin vessels have now discharged and cargoes. Claims lodged with insurers so far principally relate to forwarding charges incurred rather than claims for physical loss or damage to cargo, with cargo interests frequently being “held to ransom” by port authorities and container terminals. Interesting legal issues have arisen too.
4. Increasing Rate of Scrappings
Container ships and dry bulk carriers have been sold for scrap with increased rate over the course of the last weeks of 2016. In its latest weekly report, the world’s leading cash buyer of ships, GMS, noted that “a busy last few weeks of the year (in terms of container and dry bulk sales) leads the industry into a comparatively quieter Christmas/New Year period. As we head into 2017, the recent ongoing rally on rates has given much cause for optimism and there is certainly hope that this can sustain/stabilize for a majority of the next year, rather than be the rollercoaster that the highly unstable 2016 has proven itself to be”.
5. Teekay Flagged for Safety Failings
The Norwegian Petroleum Safety Authority has flagged the Teekay-owned Petrojarl Knarr FPSO with several “non-conformities” that must be addressed in order for the facility to continue operations. The issues were found during a recent PSA audit of the unit, which is moored at the Shell-operated Knarr field in the North Sea approximately 500 kilometers from Snorre, Norway. The facility is used to process oil and gas from the field for loading directly onto ships or piped to shore, respectively. The audit was meant to test how well Shell is managing the integrity of flexible risers, transfer lines and associated safety equipment.
6. Idle Box Fleet Growth
The idle fleet is arguably the fastest-growing part of the global containership fleet. What’s behind the doubling of the idle fleet in the past year? According to a report from Drewry Maritime Research, the number of idle ships—ships not used for commercial operations—has increased from 238 vessels (with a capacity of 900,000 TEU) in November of last year to 435 ships (1.7 million TEU) in early November of this year. Parked in various harbors around the world and awaiting operations, these ships currently account for about nine percent of the global containership fleet.
7. Drop in Migrant Rescues
Danish commercial vessels, such as Maersk Line containerships, have played an important role in rescue operations in the Mediterranean in recent years, but their assistance has become less needed this year. New figures from the Danish Shipowners Association have revealed that while in 2014 and 2015, Danish merchant ships rescued 3,253 and 2,660 people respectively, this year they only participated in four separate operations and saved 525 people from drowning on the sea. One of the latest incidents saw a Danish commercial ship rescue 339 refugees on the sea, while another 52 either died or went missing.

8. 2017 The Year of Change
2017 will see the foundations of what the shipping industry will become being laid down; the ecosystems, platforms and relationships begin to align, and the players who will shape the future emerge. The likelihood is that they will be quite different to those currently featuring on industry influence lists. For some people all this will appear to come out of the blue, but in reality the tectonic plates have been shifting for several years now and what you’ll see is the product of investment, big strategic thinking, and sheer hard work. Shipping is becoming information-enabled and shifting onto an exponential growth curve.
9. Tanker First Polar Certified
A Russian arctic shuttle tanker has become the first ship to be certified in compliance with the International Maritime Organization’s upcoming Polar Code regulations for the improved safety of ships operating in the polar regions. The Shturman Albanov received a Polar Ship Certificate issued by the Russian Maritime Register of Shipping on December 22, 2016 . The certificate confirms the vessel is in compliance with the requirements of the International Code for Ships Operating in Polar Waters, more commonly referred to as the Polar Code.
10. New Venture in Management
Thorco Shipping Holland has reached an agreement with Navigia and Feederlines to join forces in a new technical ship management venture, which will represent four brands: Thorco Projects, Navigia, Feederlines and Peak. "This change will bring a lot of challenges for everyone involved, but we are confident that together we will be able to meet current demands we encounter in a far better way," said managing director of Thorco Shipping Holland, Otto Torenbosch. "We believe that with this new joint venture we have created the right setup to attack the current and coming challenges in the market for the upcoming period."

Daily news feed from Seacurus Ltd – providers of MLC crew insurance solutions


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S Jones
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