Top Ten Maritime News Stories 24/01/2016

Seacurus Daily: Top Ten Maritime News Stories 24/01/2016

1. USA Pulls Out of Pacific Deal
President Donald Trump formally ended the United States’ participation in the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). TPP would have lowered barriers to trade between the U.S. and 11 other nations around the Pacific Rim, and it would have been the largest regional trade agreement in history. Proponents also billed it as a counterweight to ever-expanding Chinese influence in the Western Pacific. The agreement would have lowered tariffs on a range of products, and it contained standards for intellectual property protections, labor rights and environmental protection.
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2. Nordbank Up for Sale
HSH Beteiligungs Management has launched the sale process for HSH Nordbank, inviting bidders for the German bank. HSH Beteiligungs Management, which is owned by the Federal States of Hamburg and Schleswig-Holstein, has to privatise the bank by the end of February 2018 in accordance with a European Commission decision in May 2016. In a statement issued by Citibank, who have been mandated by HSH to organise the sale, the bank said it has been significantly de-risked and restructured over the last few years which has seen profitability continuously improved.
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3. Yard Boss on Trial
Hubei Huangshi Intermediate People’s Court has sentenced Lin Ran, former chairman of bankrupt Hubei Jiangyan Shipbuilding, to 17 years jail for fraud. Lin Zhihua, a former director of the shipyard and son of Lin Ran, also received a sentence of four and a half years in prison for conspiring to fraud. Lin Ran and Lin Zhihua were charged for a series of fraudulent activities in a shipbuilding deal with Wuhan Changjiang Shipping, a subsidiary of Sinotrans & CSC. The shipyard won an order from Wuhan Changjiang Shipping for the construction of eight 6,700 dwt bulk carriers using fake financial documents in the bidding.
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4. Bomb Disposed on Thames
The Royal Navy has disposed of a Second World War bomb found near the Houses of Parliament in the River Thames. Bomb disposal experts from the Portsmouth-based Southern Diving Unit 2 were called at 1915 hours on Thursday by the Metropolitan Police to London’s Westminster Bridge.The bomb had been found by a dredger operating in the Thames near Victoria Embankment. It was eventually towed along the Thames and out towards Tilbury, where it was safely detonated at around 0600 on Friday morning.
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5. Talk of Demise Exaggerated
Yang Ming has sought to reassure customers and suppliers on its solvency as a global container carrier. The world’s ninth-largest carrier said: “Yang Ming is not in default of any obligations and suggestions otherwise are patently false. “As we head into the new year, Yang Ming assures its customers that it will remain absolutely committed to stay competitive in the industry.” The announcement followed a research paper published by Drewry last week, suggesting Yang Ming had taken “the slot left vacant by Hanjin Shipping, as the company with the most leveraged balance sheet in the industry”.
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6. New Box Ship Named
German shipping company Hapag-Lloyd named its second new 10,500 TEU containership "Cartagena Express" at the Hyundai Samho Heavy Industries shipyard in Samho, South Korea, on January 23, 2017. Scheduled to be deployed in the company’s SW service, Cartagena Express is the third ship of the Post-Panamax series to be delivered to Hapag-Lloyd, after the Valparaíso Express, which gave its name to the new class, and the Callao Express. All three newbuildings will be deployed in the SW service, which offers weekly connections between North Europe, the Caribbean and West Coast South America.
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7. MLC Tackling Harassment
At the 2016 International Labour Conference – the 105th annual meeting of the International Labour Organisation (ILO) – government, employer and worker delegates overwhelmingly voted in favour of approving amendments to the Maritime Labour Convention, 2006, in order to better protect seafarers against harassment on board. The amendments were discussed in detail and, unless there is significant disagreement when they are circulated to governments that have ratified the MLC, 2006, these new requirements will enter into force by December 2018.
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8. Hong Kong Box Traffic Slides
The container turnover at Port of Hong Kong decreased by 2.5% yoy in 2016, amounting to 19.58 million TEU. The negative result is far below from the estimates of the port authorities, which falling below the 20 million TEU barrier for the first time in more than a decade. The throughput in December was record high to 1.8 million TEU, which represent an increase of 14.3% yoy, but was not enough to compensate the bad start of the year.
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9. Bunker Sample Bottle Enquiry
The Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) launched an investigation after two bunker sample bottles were discovered during a beach clean up at Australia’s in the Leeuwin Naturaliste National Park in October, Maritime Executive reports. A further two bottles are reported to have been found in the same region the following week. The four bottles are noted to have been intact, full of fuel oil, and labelled with the vessel name, date and names of crew members. AMSA was able to track the vessel, Panama-flagged bulk carrier "Gloria Island" to Thevenard, South Australia, where the authority boarded the vessel.
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10. Vessel Grounds in Lisbon
The general cargo ship "Levant Horizon" ran aground on Tagus River in Lisbon, Portugal. The vessel was leaving the port, but left the shipping way after navigation error and mistake of the navigation officer. The vessel stuck hardly at the mud shallow near Oieras municipality and was not able to refloat by own power. The accident was reported to the local authorities and at the scene were sent two tugs, which towed the general cargo ship Levant Horizon to safe depth. There was no reported damages to the hull of the vessel and no water ingress, but ship was ordered to return Lisbon for special survey and safety inspection.
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Daily news feed from Seacurus Ltd – providers of MLC crew insurance solutions  www.seacurus.com

 

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