Top Ten Maritime News Stories 08/03/2017

Seacurus Daily: Top Ten Maritime News Stories 08/03/2017

1. Shipping Consolidation Not Enough
The outlook for global container carriers remains rocky at the outset of 2017, according to a new study by AlixPartners. The report touched on Hanjin’s bankruptcy, Brexit and the new US president and questioned whether a growing protectionist mood around much of the world could reverse policies that have supported the growth of containerisation since the 1950s. “The industry remains in the midst of major upheaval it’s experienced since the 2008 financial crisis. Carriers need to remain focused on eliminating costs from their core shipping business,” said Esben Christensen, managing director at AlixPartners.
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2. USCG Cruelest of Cuts
The Trump administration’s draft budget for 2018 includes a $54 billion increase in defence spending, paid for by reducing other federal government expenditures. Among other sources of savings, it would reduce the Coast Guard’s budget by $1.3 billion. Former officials are not so sure that the draft would be the best allocation of resources. “It is ignorant of what constitutes national security," said Adm. James Loy (ret’d), a former head of the Coast Guard who also served as deputy homeland security secretary said. "They simply don’t understand the equation . . . Should [the proposal] stand it would be devastating."
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3. HMM Lease Back Agreement
Hyundai Merchant Marine announced that it has reached an agreement to transfer ten ships to the Korean government in a sale-leaseback transaction, an arrangement that gives Hyundai new funding worth five times the market value of the vessels. "The contract will improve the financial structure and liquidity by reducing the debt ratio as well as streamlining the container ship cost structure," the firm said in a statement to Korean media. On HMM’s books, the ten ships are valued at approximately $740 million, but their current market value is only about $130 million.
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4. Banned For A Dirty Bottom
New Zealand has ordered a cargo ship to leave its waters and be "thoroughly cleaned" because of concerns about the marine life clinging to its hull. Divers found dense clusters of barnacles and tube worms on the DL Marigold, which arrived in Tauranga from Indonesia at the weekend, the Bay of Plenty Times reports. The Ministry of Primary Industries (MPI) then gave the ship 24 hours to depart. It is the first vessel to be told to leave New Zealand because of biofouling – the accumulation of aquatic organisms on ships’ hulls. New Zealand has strict biosecurity laws in order to protect agriculture and its unique flora and fauna.
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5. UK Detentions Announced
The Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) has announced it detained eight foreign-flagged ships in UK ports last month after they failed to pass Port State Control (PSC) inspection. Two new foreign-flagged vessels were detained last month, while six others were under detention from previous months. A total of four vessels still remained under detention at the end of February. MCA is a partner in the Sea Vision UK campaign, and publishes details of the vessels detained in UK ports every month. This is in response to one of the recommendations of Lord Donaldson’s inquiry into the prevention of pollution from merchant shipping.
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6. Increased Piracy Warning
The Vietnam Maritime Administration (Vinamarine) has ordered port authorities across the country to warn ship owners and maritime transport companies of the increasing pirate attacks in Southeast Asian waters, particularly around East Sabah and the Southern Philippines. According to Vinamarine, between November 2016 and February 2017, pirates raided two Vietnamese ships, seizing their crew members. Vietnam Register Quality and Safety Certification Centre (VRQC) said that pirates have tended to arrest crew members for ransom rather than stealing cargo.
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7. Shipping Face Quantum Leap
Shipping should expect a quantum leap in technology adoption over the next 10 years as ships are built with more automation and IT systems. Anglo Eastern Group’s Capt Pradeep Chawla said shipowners should be training seafarers to use the technology now. He is managing director for quality, health, safety, training and the environment at the shipmanagement group. Capt Chawla said greater adoption of IT technology in shipping will help the shipping sector to attract a new generation of high-tech seafarers.
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8. Baltic Rallying Hard
The Baltic Exchange’s main sea freight index, tracking rates for ships carrying dry bulk commodities, closed at a 12-week high on Tuesday on stronger rates across all vessel segments, especially capesizes. The overall index, which also factors in rates for panamax, supramax and handysize shipping vessels, ended up 54 points, or 5.52 percent, at 1,033 points. The capesize index surged 211 points, or 15.69 percent, to end at a six-week high of 1,556 points. Average daily earnings for capesizes, which typically transport 150,000-tonne cargoes such as iron ore and coal, were up $1,427 to $11,866.
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9. Life at Sea Through Lens
After careful consideration, a  judging panel of industry experts has chosen the winner of the ISWAN Photo Competition 2017, along with five runners-up. ISWASN is delighted to announce that Zay Yar Lin from Myanmar is this year’s winner with his eye-catching photograph (pictured) offering a unique perspective of a seafarer painting a ship’s handrail, taken from the bridge wing above. ISWAN would like to congratulate our finalists, whose photos will feature in future ISWAN publications. A GoPro HERO5 Session will be awarded to the winner, and the runners-up will receive a selection of goodies from ISWAN.
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10. Both Captains to Blame
You may have seen the footage online of a small motor yacht seemingly playing chicken with a large ferry. You may also have wondered why the ferry ploughed on regardless. So did a Washington State Ferries investigation. The investigators found both captains at fault. The Chetzemoka was operating on its normal routewhen the collision occurred. The cause is listed as a combination of the fact the Nap Tyme captain was not in the wheelhouse looking out and controlling the boat and the captain of the Chetzemoka did not take “sufficient and timely action to avoid collision.”
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Daily news feed from Seacurus Ltd – providers of MLC crew insurance solutions  www.seacurus.com

 

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