Top Ten Maritime News Stories 06/03/2017

Seacurus Daily: Top Ten Maritime News Stories 06/03/2017

1. Joining Blockchain Party
Maersk and IBM have announced a new collaboration to use blockchain technology to help transform the global supply chain. The technology will be made available to the shipping and logistics industry to help manage the paper trail of tens of millions of shipping containers across the world by digitizing the supply chain process from end-to-end. It is expected to enhance transparency and facilitate secure sharing of information among trading partners. It is designed to help reduce fraud and errors, reduce the time products spend in the transit and shipping process, improve inventory management and ultimately reduce waste and cost.
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2. Penny Stocks and Shares
South Korea’s Hanjin Shipping is about to be delisted in Seoul. The company was declared bankrupt last month and all its assets are now being sold off. With an hour left of trading on its last day, Hanjin’s stock price stood at just KRW12 ($0.01), down 68%. It listed in 2009 and in January 2011, its stock price peaked at KRW41,700. That same year marked the start of significant losses and its share price has been hammered ever since culminating in its bankruptcy. Meanwhile, the 5,600 teu "Hanjin Vienna", stranded off the western coast of Canada since early September, has finally set off for what will be its final voyage.
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3. Tanker Seized by Libyans
A Turkish product tanker has been seized by an armed group in Libya, with 11 crew members onboard held captive. According to the Deniz Haber Ajansi news agency, the armed group detained the ship when it was sailing off the coast of Zuwarah city in northwestern Libya. The militants claim the owner of the vessel owes them $430,000 from an oil purchase. The tanker Haci Telli left the Turkish port of Tuzla for Malta on February 11 and on February 24 arrived at Zuwarah port where it was seized.
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4. US Coastguard Slashed
President Donald Trump’s proposed budget guidance is asking for $1.3 billion in funding cuts to the U.S. Coast Guard at a time when the service is doing more than ever, and is already severely under-resourced. Trump’s budget would cancel a $500 million ship that is already in production, and would likely hit other areas of the Guard, which specializes in interdicting drugs, human trafficking, and keeping a close eye on what Russia is doing in the Arctic. The service boasts of its law enforcement role, especially in countering narcotic routes – but is already stretched.
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5. Port Strikes Looming
Shipping lines are having to make contingency plans as a wave of port strikes loom across Spain. Over the past weeks, labour disputes have escalated in Spanish ports as a consequence of announced government plans to reform the Spanish Ports Act and change the existing labour system in ports in accordance with European Union regulations. This has caused discontent with the stevedores’ unions, who opted for several industrial actions against the proposed law, which was presented to the parliament on February 24. The unions have announced a strike during odd hours every second day between March 6 and 25.
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6. Autonomous Talk is Misleading
All the talk about autonomous ships is misleading and the industry is not addressing the real human element behind the technological changes sweeping the sector, Maersk Line’s point man for future solutions told the 200-odd delegates attending yesterday’s Digital Ship iShipping conference held in Copenhagen. In an entertaining, contrarian address, Niels Bruus, who heads up Maersk Line’s Future Solutions department, said that connected ships are a team game. Not all crew or superintendents will survive the transition, he said.
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7. Company Rehires its Staff
Norway’s Island Offshore has made an announcement that has rarely been seen in the OSV sector for the past couple of years. The Norwegian owner is rehiring 300 staff on the back of securing a number of new contracts that will see some of its fleet come out of layup. Island Offshore – like many Norwegian OSV owners – had been cutting back staff dramatically in 2016. In October, for instance, Island Offshore laid off 330 people. It currently operates a fleet of 28 vessels including PSVs, AHTSs, subsea construction vessels as well as light well intervention vessels. It also has two ships under construction.
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8. North Korea Missile Tests
North Korea fired four ballistic missiles early on Monday, three of which landed in Japan’s exclusive economic zone, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said. The missiles were launched from the Tongchang-ri region near the North’s border with China and flew about 1,000 kilometers (620 miles), South Korean military officials said. No reports of damage to shipping or aircraft had been received. North Korea test fired a new type of missile, known as the Pukguksong-2, into the sea early last month, and has said it will continue to launch new strategic weapons. The missile did not reach Japanese territorial waters.
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9. Trump’s Military Promise
U.S. President Donald J. Trump delivered his weekly address from the soon-to-be commissioned U.S.S. Gerald R. Ford aircraft carrier this week. Trump outlined his desire for the U.S. military to be made ready to meet “any and all global challenges.” “Our carriers are the centerpiece of American military might, projecting power and our unparalleled strength at sea,” he said. “This beautiful new warship represents the future of naval aviation, and she will serve as a cornerstone of our national defense for decades to come. He sees the spend as a means of renewing the American spirit in order to "rebuild our country.”
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10. Indian Frigate Repairs
US-based salvage company RESOLVE Marine Group has completed the salvage of the INS Betwa, the Indian Navy frigate that capsized inside a dock at a naval shipyard in Mumbai late last year. The 3,800-tonne missile frigate rolled over on her port side during undocking at the Naval Dockyard (Mumbai) shipyard on December 5, 2016, killing two and injuring 14 others. RESOLVE was contracted to conduct an immediate dive survey and then to stabilize, block and support the vessel to allow the drydock to be fully dewatered.
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Daily news feed from Seacurus Ltd – providers of MLC crew insurance solutions  www.seacurus.com

 

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