Top Ten Maritime News Stories 19/01/2016

Seacurus Daily: Top Ten Maritime News Stories 19/01/2016

1. Shipping On the Rebound
The CEO of Maersk Group has given his unique insight into the rebound seen in global shipping prices in the last few months. Speaking at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Søren Skou, the chief executive officer of Maersk Group, said the global freight index for container shipping had more than doubled in the last nine months months. “It’s simply driven by the fact that the carriers have taken a lot of capacity out of the market,” he said.
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2. IMO Welcomes MLC Change
IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim has welcomed the entry into force of new obligations under the Maritime Labour Convention (MLC 2006) which require shipowners to have compulsory insurance to cover abandonment of seafarers, as well as claims for death or long-term disability of seafarers. The 2014 amendments to the MLC 2006, which comes under the auspices of the International Labour Organization (ILO), are based on guidelines which were developed by a joint IMO/ILO working group, which reported to both IMO’s Legal Committee and ILO’s governing bodies.
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3. Theme for World Maritime Day
The importance of coherent and connected development across all maritime sectors will feature strongly in the IMO’s work this year, as the Organization focuses on its World Maritime Day theme: “Connecting ships, ports and people.” The theme for 2017 was launched by IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim during a visit to Felixstowe, the busiest container port in the United Kingdom. “Throughout the year, we will highlight the importance of ‘joined-up’ maritime development across all sectors, both from a policy and a practical perspective. The theme will highlight existing cooperation between ports and ships.
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4. Perversity of the Market
One day after a Korean stock exchange official called the shares of Hanjin Shipping Co. “ trash,” investors piled in, sending them 15 percent higher. The company, on the verge of bankruptcy, is a darling of retail investors. Volatility is reaching a record, while the stock was the most-traded on the Kospi index in the past two days. “Retail investors are buying the stock so they can make double-digit profits — 10% or 20% a day,” said Kim Seung Churl, an analyst at Meritz Securities in Seoul. “The volatility for this kind of company is really high.”
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5. Port Sale Approved
In other Hanjin Shipping news, the company has won U.S. court approval for the $78 million sale of its stake in U.S. terminal operator Total Terminals International LLC, overcoming objections of container companies. “My decision is to approve the sale,” U.S. Bankruptcy Judge John Sherwood said, adding he would approve the transfer of the sale’s proceeds to South Korea. The container companies are creditors of Hanjin and were concerned whether the shipping line was getting top dollar for its 54 percent stake in Total Terminals, which operates container terminals at the ports of Seattle and Long Beach, California.
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6. Will Cargo Shift to Rail
2017 will be the year that China-Europe rail services shift supply chain patterns. As the first train from China rolled into London today, having left on new year’s day, the CEO of Kazakhstan’s dry inland port, Khorgos Gateway, told The Loadstar the services would eat into sea and air freight volumes. “We now have two trains per day, with about 80 teu and 41 containers per train,” explained Karl Gheysen. “It runs three times a week to Duisberg, but we have also have services to the Netherlands, Madrid, Iran and now the UK. “The capacity is 540,000 teu a year, but we could make it a million.”
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7. Decade Since MSC Napoli
Today marks ten years since the UK-flagged MSC Napoli ran into trouble in the English Channel, setting off what is probably the largest maritime salvage job in UK history after the ship was intentionally grounded and broken up off the Devon coast. On the morning of January 18, 2007, the 4,419 teu containership MSC Napoli encountered heavy seas during a passage of the English Channel, causing catastrophic hull failure. All 26 crewmembers abandoned ship into two lifeboats and were picked up by Royal Navy helicopters. “The scale of the response and resources required to the salvage the NAPOLI was immense".
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8. Bulkers on the Ice
Two bulk carriers and two icebreakers are stuck in the ice off the Russian coast near Pevek on the Chukchi Peninsula (Chukotka Peninsula). The Russian Emergencies Ministry has issued a statement saying: “According to the captain of the Kapitan Dranitsyn vessel, the situation is not critical. There is no tension among the crew. There are food and fuel reserves. After getting more information about ice conditions the convoy will proceed on the route.” The bulk carriers, "Johann Mahmastal" and "Sinegorsk", are operated by Rosmorport and being escorted by the icebreakers Kapitan Dranitsyn and Admiral Makarov.
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9. First Philippine VLCC Delivered
US-based crude oil shipping company Gener8 Maritime has taken delivery of the VLCC Gener8 Hector from Hanjin Heavy Industries and Construction’s Subic Shipyard in the Philippines. The vessel marks the first Very Large Crude Carrier ever constructed in the Philippines. The vessel was delivered to its owner January 6, 2017. “We are very pleased to welcome the New Year with the successful delivery of this state-of-the-art vessel to one of our valued clients overseas. This vessel gives us enormous pride as it is the very first Philippine-made VLCC; hence, another record-setting milestone for the Philippine shipbuilding industry".
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10. UK Shipping Can be Great
The UK Government’s purpose is for Britain’s maritime sector to be as great as it can be and to be “greater than we imagined possible over recent years,” according to the UK’s Shipping & Ports Minister. And he issued a challenge to the industry to identify the key trade and export opportunities and what it thought it needed from this government to make them happen. Addressing a reception of Government and maritime leaders at the Houses of Parliament, John Hayes, CBE, MP praised the work being undertaken by Maritime UK in implementing the recommendations of the UK’s Maritime Growth Strategy.
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Daily news feed from Seacurus Ltd – providers of MLC crew insurance solutions  www.seacurus.com

 

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