Top Ten Maritime News Stories 26/01/2017

Seacurus Daily: Top Ten Maritime News Stories 26/01/2017

1. Amazon Gets into Shipping
Amazon has started its long held plan to ship goods from Chinese merchants to the US, bypassing freight forwarders, according to the Wall Street Journal. Amazon has been booking space on containerlines and has managed to ship around 150 boxes since October the newspaper reported. Last January Amazon’s China affiliate registered with the US Federal Maritime Commission to become a licenced ocean freight forwarder allowing it to buy and sell space on vessels. The company is buying up logistics firms, trucks and air freight infrastructure in Europe and the US at the moment with a view to cutting its own logistics costs.
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2. Box Lines Profit Cut
The container shipping lines received an average rate 7% (42 USD) lower in 2016 than in 2015, if they operated in the spot market on all Shanghai Containerized Freight Index (SCFI) trade routes. This has primarily been due to the devastating low rates received in the first half of 2016, as the average rate received in H2 2016 was 22% higher than the rate received in H2 2015. The freight rates managed to gain momentum through second half of 2016, due to measures taken from the shipping lines in terms of network optimisation, scrapping and more careful deployment around the peak season.
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3. COSCO Record Losses
Cosco Shipping Holdings, the Shanghai and Hong Kong-listed unit of China Cosco Shipping Corporation Limited (Cosco Shipping), is expecting to record a net loss for the financial year ended 31 December 2016. The loss attributable to equity holders of the company for 2016 is expected at approximately RMB9.9bn ($1.4bn), reversing from the profit of RMB283.4m in 2015. The container shipping terminal services unit of Cosco Shipping said that during the financial year, the international shipping market continued to lack solid improvement in addressing the imbalance in supply and demand.
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4. South Korean Woes
The South Korean government has said it will continue with corporate restructuring efforts in 2017, with plans focusing on shipping and shipbuilding companies struggling with shrinking global demand. “If last year we put together the rules and framework for corporate restructuring despite hardships, this year we will engage in restructuring in earnest and make sure the efforts are carried out smoothly,” Finance Minister Yoo Il-ho said in opening remarks at a joint meeting with other government ministers.
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5. Union Has Wage Success
Maritime trade union Nautilus International has welcomed an agreement to ensure that foreign seafarers on freight ferries running to Orkney and Shetland will be paid at least the UK minimum wage. Nautilus launched its Charter for Jobs at the UK branch conference in October 2016, a 10-point charter which calls on the government and industry to secure the future of the UK maritime sector, delivering decent work and training opportunities for the UK’s seafarers. In the first win for the charter, Nautilus has welcomed an arrangement to cover the wages of the crews working on the Seatruck ferries "Hellier" and "Hildasay".
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6. LR Looks At Growth
The LR Group Review 2016 outlines the Classification Society’s strategy for sustainable growth and our work to support clients through a continued period of global challenges. Society and LR’s clients are facing unprecedented global challenges. Population growth, urbanisation and prosperity are putting pressure on our finite natural resources and the environment. Fossil fuel consumption resulting in emission of greenhouse gases are contributing to global warming and climate change. At the same time, rapid developments in technology and the digital economy, the backbone of the fourth industrial revolution.
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7. Queen Victoria Up the Amazon
Queen Victoria on Wednesday made its maiden voyage through the ‘Meeting of Waters,’ becoming the largest passenger ship, according to Cunard, to sail the Amazon between the dark Rio Negro and the pale Amazon. Queen Victoria traveled to Manaus, Brazil, the sixth of 32 ports on a 120-night world voyage that will span 41,000 nautical miles.
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8. More Italian Shipping Problems
More shipowners in Italy, particularly those involved in dry bulk, will follow Giuseppe Bottiglieri seeking court protection from creditors in order to restructure debts, a banking source has revealed. The source explained that “the main issue in Italy refers to rules introduced by the Italian accounting laws which make it mandatory for shipping companies to apply impairment tests on their assets. Due to the fall experienced by dry bulk carriers in the last couple of years, almost all the shipping companies will have to handle asset depreciations and consequently balance sheets in red and negative equity”.
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9. Scrapping Outpacing Deliveries
Alphaliner, in its latest weekly report, says 2017 could see container ship deliveries outpace scrapping two to one. Last week, Alphaliner said 2017 could be a record year for container ship scrapping, with as much as 750,000 TEU on track for demolition – now latest projections show that deliveries could be double this figure. "Even accounting for a potential slippage of about 250,000 TEU, with some deliveries likely to be deferred by ship owners, the projected capacity additions would still reach 1.44 Mteu, with net fleet growth after slippage and scrapping forecast to reach 3.4 percent this year," said Alphaliner.
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10. Fresh Swedish Strike Action
The prolonged dispute at the APM Terminals Gothenburg has seen another industrial action as the Swedish Dockworkers’ Union (SDU) held an eight-hour strike on January 24. The action included a total work stoppage at the terminal between 12:00 and 20:00 local time, Port of Gothenburg said, adding that other terminals are not affected by the dispute. Namely, Swedish Dockworkers’ Union informed that the so called “80/20 Agreement” has been terminated by APM Terminals and will cease to be valid by mid-April this year.
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Daily news feed from Seacurus Ltd – providers of MLC crew insurance solutions  www.seacurus.com

 

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