Top Ten Maritime News Stories 16/03/2017

Seacurus Daily: Top Ten Maritime News Stories 16/03/2017

1. Pirates Claim to Be Victims
In a case of history repeating, the pirates that hijacked the tanker "Aris 13" off Somalia have claimed that they are fishermen whose equipment was destroyed by illegal fishing vessels. Eight crewmen from the tanker are currently being held captive at an anchorage off the north coast of Puntland, Somalia, close to Alula.
The ship was en route from Djibouti to Mogadishu, when it sent a distress signal, saying it was being approached by high-speed boats. The Sri Lankan Foreign Ministry has confirmed that eight of its nationals were on board. The vessel was carrying oil and was owned by the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
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2. HMM Steps In
Hyundai Merchant Marine (HMM) officially signed up to a strategic cooperation deal with the members of 2M, MSC and Maersk Line. The strategic cooperation between 2M and HMM will include a series of slot exchanges and slot purchases on East-West routes and comes after HMM failed to gain full entry to any box shipping alliance. The length of the cooperation is three years with an option to extend and covers key East-West trades. The strategic cooperation is seen as being a win-win for all parties. Maersk Line’s customers will have greater options, and HMM’s customers will be able to leverage Maersk Line’s products.
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3. 2017 Tough Tanker Times
Paddy Rodgers, ceo of tanker giant Euronav, has admitted 2017 will be a tricky year. In announcing the company’s financial results, Rodgers said: “2017 will, in our view, present a number of challenges: OPEC production cuts, concentrated delivery schedule of the order book and anemic owner confidence, which when combined, are all likely to produce a difficult rate environment for the next few quarters.” Rodgers said Euronav had substantial liquidity and a robust balance sheet to remain “strategically opportunistic” and to navigate what he described as “potential short-term headwinds” during periods of increased vessel supply.
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4. Biggest Ever Box Ship
The world got a glimpse of the world’s largest containership yesterday at the naming ceremony of the 20,150 teu MOL Triumph. The giant 400 m long blue-hulled ship was built by Samsung Heavy Industries in South Korea and is the first of four Mitsui OSK Lines (MOL) of Japan has ordered at the yard. The 58.8m wide vessel will be delivered to its owner on March 27. Its reign as the world’s largest boxship will be brief however. Hong Kong’s Orient Overseas Container Line (OOCL) has six massive ships nearing 21,000 teu in capacity due to deliver from the same yard starting later this year.
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5. Teenage Deckhand Tragedy
A teenager has died after reportedly falling from the mast of a luxury yacht in Jamaica. Bethany Smith was working as a junior deckhand on Germania Nova – a 197ft-long (60 metre) schooner – when the accident happened on Tuesday. The 18-year-old is thought to have died in hospital from multiple injuries after falling when the yacht was berthed in Portland. Ms Smith, originally from Glyn-Dyfrdwy, Denbighshire, left the UK a decade ago to sail around the world with her family, travelling from their home in north Wales to the Mediterranean, Africa and the Caribbean.
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6. Sea Honest Crew Repatriated
The International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF) reported that the 17 crewmembers of the bulker Sea Honest, who were abandoned without pay or provisions in Algeria last summer, have finally returned home. In January, ITF inspector Mohamed Arrachedi warned the vessel’s operator that the conditions on board the Sea Honest were dire and morale was desperately low. "The crew are on the brink," he wrote. "I believe there’s a real risk of suicide – that’s how desperate they are. The company has washed its hands of them, yet it continues to operate other vessels."
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7. Digitising Nav Warnings
The E.U. project EfficienSea2 is testing a newly proposed standard for digitalizing navigational warnings that is expected to make it easier for seafarers access information and navigate safely. The system is based on the International Hydrographic Organization’s (IHO) S-124 draft standard for Navigational Warnings.
The Danish Maritime Authority (DMA) is leading project which will be applied to Navigational Warnings and Notices to Mariners, and the new standard could be a global reality within a year. Project Manager Mads Bentzen Billesø says the implementation of a common standard will make navigation safer.
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8. New Panama Booking System
The Panama Canal Authority has announced that it will launch a new vessel scheduling and maritime resource management system in response to increased traffic through the waterway. The system is expected to shorten vessel waiting times, increasing the number of potentially available vessel slots each day and improving the overall reliability of the route. For the first time, the Canal will be able to execute a completely integrated operating plan for all its critical resources, including tugboats, pilots and line handlers.
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9. Sustained Dry Bulk Recovery
With the Baltic Dry Index (BDI) rebounding firmly and expectations abound that this is only the start of a new sustained recovery phase for the dry bulk market, ship owners are stocking up on new bulker acquisitions, in order to capitalize. Shipbroker Intermodal noted that “over the past two weeks, the Dry Baltic Index has been on an upward trend, breaking the 1000 point mark and creating a positive sentiment for the upcoming weeks. Generally, healthier freight rates have given a boost in sales, and from the beginning of the year 36 SnP deals are being fixed on average per week, with the majority of those being Bulk Carriers.
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10. Trump Bounce Falls Flat
Shortly after President Donald Trump was elected on Nov. 8, the stock prices of a slew of shipping companies soared by more than 1000 percent on hopes that commodity prices would rise and U.S. manufacturing would rebound, spurring a surge in shipments of everything from iron ore to computer parts. However, analysts say that the hopes are fading, which is apparent in the subsequent decline in share prices. There was the initial gush that Trump was going to cure all the world’s economic problems, now reality is setting in that America first-type protectionism is not good for global growth.
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Daily news feed from Seacurus Ltd – providers of MLC crew insurance solutions  www.seacurus.com

 

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