Top Ten Maritime News Stories 11/01/2016

Seacurus Daily: Top Ten Maritime News Stories 11/01/2016

1. Maersk Boxship Grounding
9,000 teu containership Gustav Maersk grounded early this morning while transiting in the Strait of Messina, Southern Italy. According to the local coast guard reported, the ship owned by Maersk departed from Rijeka, Croatia and was en route to Gioia Tauro in Italy when it suffered a mechanical failure and grounded in front of the village Torre Cavallo. There was no oil spill or injuries to the crew reported, and the vessel was freed by three tugs from the ports of Milazzo and Messina.
2. Rise in Kidnappings
More crew were kidnapped at sea in 2016 than in any of the previous 10 years, despite global piracy reaching its lowest levels since 1998, the ICC International Maritime Bureau’s (IMB) annual piracy report revealed today. In its 2016 report, IMB recorded 191 incidents of piracy and armed robbery on the world’s seas.
“The continued fall in piracy is good news, but certain shipping routes remain dangerous, and the escalation of crew kidnapping is a worrying trend in some emerging areas,” said Pottengal Mukundan, Director of IMB whose Piracy Reporting Centre (PRC) has monitored world piracy since 1991.
3. Hyundai Staff Rescue
Hyundai Merchant Marine (HMM) has committed to take on 220 staff from bust compatriot Hanjin Shipping. The staff will come in waves, starting today and includes onshore and offshore staff. Hanjin, which declared bankruptcy at the end of last August, has laid off hundreds of staff in the intervening months. HMM has been trying – and failing – to snap up assets of Hanjin. HMM CEO, C.K. Yoo commented: “We acquire the best shipping workforce via 1:1 interviews. We will fully support Hanjin’s workforce to help them quickly adapt and adjust into HMM’s corporate culture and come into their own.”
4. Danger Windfarm UXB
An unexploded mine believed to be from WWII has been found floating near an offshore wind farm in the North Sea off Germany. Germany’s Central Command for Maritime Emergencies said the mine was found Tuesday morning by a security vessel at the edge of the Gode Wind 2 offshore wind farm in Germany. The mine has been taken under tow by the multi-purpose ship Mellum, the agency said. The mine will be towed to shore where it is expected to be detonated on a sandbank of the River Jade. The plan to detonate the mine at sea was cancelled due to weather conditions, the Command for Maritime Emergencies said.
5. Bad Loans Cause Distress
Bad loans in the ship industry, which has been in distress for years, are weighing on Germanys banks, according to analysis of the balance sheets of large financial institutions. Virtually all banks involved in the ship business set aside significantly higher provisions for bad loans last year. Maritime shipping has become one of the biggest problems for German banks and it does not only affect the usual suspects like HSH Nordbank and NordLB. Dekabank, for example, trimmed its business outlook for 2016 by a fifth because the bank set aside an unexpectedly large amount for bad ship loans in the first two quarters.
6. Grounded Bulker Monitored
The Canadian Coast Guard is continuing to monitor the environmental response and salvage of the grounded "Arca 1" bunkering tanker off Sydney Mines in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia. An update from the Coast Guard on Tuesday said the hull of the vessel remains intact and no pollution has been observed around the vessel. The update said a tow line has been attached to the vessel and deballasting was underway. Salvors were expected to use tugs to pull the vessel free, possibly as soon as the next high tide.
7. Houston Channel Fire
Firefighters have responded to a pipeline fire reported along the Houston Ship Channel overnight. Firefighters were spraying a tank near the Houston Fuel Oil Terminal Company in the 1200 block of Sheldon Road. Firefighters from Sheldon were called in to assist. Sources at the scene said workers were repairing a pipeline late Monday when a fire broke out just before midnight. One contractor was hurt but has already been released from the hospital. As of 4 a.m. the fire appeared to be contained. The U.S. Coast Guard said the spill was minimal and cleanup efforts were underway.
8. New Dangerous Goods Effect
1 January 2017 marks the start of transitional effect for Amendment 38-16 of the International Maritime Dangerous Goods (IMDG) Code. All amendments prior to Amendment 37-14 are no longer valid. Regulations controlling the transport of dangerous goods follow a two yearly revision cycle taking account, as stated in the source United Nations (UN) Recommendations on the Transport of Dangerous Goods – Model Regulations, of ‘technical progress, the advent of new substances and materials, the exigencies of modern transport systems and, above all, the requirement to ensure the safety of people, property and the environment’. =
9. Dry Bulk Rebounds
New York-based shipping analysts, as well as industry executives, suggest that dry bulk rates are bound to see moderate improvement this year, which may lead to more substantial gains in 2018, IHS Fairplay reports. As Ship & Bunker reported last week, while a number of dry bulk players have expressed optimism that the dry bulk market is now on the road to recovery from record lows, shipowners also caution that 2017’s outlook is unpredictable, requiring the shipping industry show commitment to tonnage demolition and refraining from placing newbuild orders.
10. New Agency Agreement
The Federation of National Associations of Ship Brokers & Agents (FONASBA), along with international shipping association BIMCO, has launched a new agency appointment agreement document to simplify port agency appointments. Designed on the basis of BIMCO’s tried and tested box layout, the new document provides an easy means of confirming the details of an agency agreement for an individual or short series of port calls. The newly launched form is also expected to replace the existing layout, which mainly relies on telephonic conversation or email exchanges.

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