Top Ten Maritime News Stories 03/01/2017

Seacurus Daily: Top Ten Maritime News Stories 03/01/2017

1. Trade Openness Slowing Down
It’s been a turbulent year for world trade growth during 2016, as bumps and shakes were in the daily agenda over the course of the year. In a recent note, shipbroker Allied Shipbroking noted that “growing populist and nationalist movements in the Western world start to take hold. Trade openness has been on a slowing down path for several years now, with trade deals finding it difficult to take root and progress given the growing economic issues being faced. It does not look like its in any mood of easing just yet and as things stand now, we are likely to see further upsets during the coming 12 months.
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2. Insurers Tackling Cargo Crime
Cargo crime is a global issue which must be tackled across all continents and takes different shapes and forms in different parts of the world. The issue has heightened in recent years due to criminals becoming more organised and international in their reach, with new and more sophisticated methods. Accordingly “cargo theft” is now permanently high on IUMI’s agenda, and a position paper on the topic was published last year highlighting members concerns and recommending measures to combat such crimes.
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3. Hyundai Forges New Alliance
Hyundai Merchant Marine (HMM) has agreed to form an alliance with competitors Sinokor Merchant Marine and Heung-A Shipping. The company said the HMM + K2 consortium will allow the companies to share ships as well as share and exchange slots. Plans also include joint investment in port infrastructure.
The deal is expected to be signed next month, ready to begin operation in March. Sinokor Merchant Marine specializes in shipments between South Korea and China, and Heung-A Shipping focuses on shipments to and from Japan.
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4. Looking Back at Ocean Shield
Last month, operation ‘Ocean Shield’ terminated, ending NATO’s six year mission to protect the sea lanes of Western Indian Ocean. Will the world miss the operation? Most likely not. Ocean Shield was one of the so-called “big three” missions fighting piracy off the coast of Somalia. Working hand in hand with the U.S.-led Combined Maritime Forces and the European Union’s EUNAVFOR Atalanta, the operation was a vital part of the fight against Somali piracy, with more than successful results. Since 2012 no ships or hostages were taken by the Somali pirates and no major incident has been reported.
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5. Growing Problem of Obesity
Shipowners Club has partnered with the International Seafarers’ Welfare and Assistance Network (ISWAN) to raise awareness of crew-related illness and to assist members in mitigating against related incidents. A more sedentary lifestyle is reflected onboard ships and can lead to overweight crewmembers. Eating healthily and keeping fit are two vital principles that help individuals maintain a healthy body weight and in turn reduce the likeliness of getting ill, improving lifestyle onboard. Claims related to illness are frequently notified and the number of claims reported remaining steady in number over the last five policy years.
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6. CHIRP Makes Some Noise
The Charitable Trust CHIRP (Confidential Hazardous Incident Reporting Programme) has enjoyed an extraordinary year; its quarterly publication Maritime FEEDBACK now has an estimated 200,000 readers from 45 countries.  Most important, the number of reports received has quadrupled from those received just four years ago. In the final quarter of the year, CHIRP completed a major improvement to the website www.chirpmaritime.org allowing searching to examine the causal factors identified in each report by using the ‘Deadly Dozen’ Human Factors and the James Reason Latent Failures as their tools for analysis.
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7. Chilling Filming By Chilean Sailors
Chilean authorities are investigating allegations that female sailors were secretly videotaped in their quarters on a naval vessel and that those images were then shared via social media by other crew members. The Navy detained the sailors accused of secretly recording their female counterparts. It said “it roundly rejects these types of actions that insult our personnel and we reiterate our respect for the privacy of those that form part of the institution.” Chile’s Defense Minister Jose Antonio Gomez said that sanction for these actions would “set an example.”
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8. Titanic New Theory
A new documentary aims to sink a popular theory that the R.M.S. Titanic’s collision with an iceberg was the key factor in its historic demise. In “Titanic: The New Evidence", author and Titanic expert Senan Molony claims newly uncovered photographs prove a fire in the ship’s hull played a much larger role in its sinking than previously believed. Molony said black marks on the vessel’s side, which can be seen in pictures taken before the doomed voyage, indicate that the Titanic’s infrastructure had been weakened by flames in the weeks leading up to the iceberg crash.
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9. Which P&I Club to Choose
An important decision that shipowners should take on annual basis is the P&I Club that they will enter their ships. There are shipping companies which enter their fleet in one or more P&I clubs and remain members of these clubs for years, while others evaluate the various parameters on annual basis and may switch to the club which covers their needs in the best possible way each time. A new guide focusses on the parameters that may influence shipowner’s decision of which P&I club to choose and will provide interesting recent information about the Club’s costs, size and financial performance.
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10. New Year, New Navy
UK Defense Secretary Michael Fallon has announced a New Years’ resolution for his ministry: the expenditure of an additional $1.2 billion on equipment, including new patrol ships and early warning systems. "We are investing billions in growing the Royal Navy for the first time in a generation with new aircraft carriers, submarines, frigates, patrol vessels and aircraft all on their way," Fallon said. Fallon predicted that 2017 will be a year of positive milestones for the Royal Navy. The carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth will debut later in the year with sea trials based out of Portsmouth.
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Daily news feed from Seacurus Ltd – providers of MLC crew insurance solutions  www.seacurus.com

 

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S Jones
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