Top Ten Maritime News Stories 28/03/2017

Seacurus Daily: Top Ten Maritime News Stories 28/03/2017

1. Hapag-Lloyd Restores Profits
Hapag-Lloyd recorded a profit of $46m in the final three months of 2016– a recovery too little too late to prevent the carrier suffering a full-year net loss of $103m. At an analyst and investor conference call on Friday, chief executive Rolf Habben Jansen said 2017 had “got off to a good start”, but a sustained recovery was “not going to be a quick fix”. He said: “We expect some market improvement in 2017, but our success will largely depend on our ability to achieve more sustainable freight rates.” There was a more optimistic outlook due to “supply and demand starting to come closer together”, he suggested.

2. Shippers See No Joke
April 1 could turn out to be a proper fool’s day for the world’s leading containerlines. Saturday kicks off the new structure of alliances, whereby four groups become three. However, indications are that preparations are not going smoothly. European Shippers’ Council members report that many shippers who regularly export goods to Asia have been facing a large drop of available slots for containers on almost every shipping line. The main reason given by carriers of the two new alliances – the Ocean Alliance and THE Alliance – is the reshuffling of their organisation and the repositioning of their ships.
3. Chinese Eye Panama
Chinese state firms have expressed an interest to develop land around the Panama Canal, the chief executive of the vital trade thoroughfare said, underlining China’s outward push into infrastructure via railways and ports around the world. The Path Between the Seas: The Creation of the Panama Canal, 1870-1914
Related Book: The Path Between the Seas – The Creation of the Panama Canal, 1870-1914 by David McCullough The Panama Canal Authority will officially open a tender to develop about 1,200 hectares of land – roughly the size of 1,200 football fields – around the waterway by the end of this year into a logistics park.
4. Fears of Mothership Subside
Somali pirates have released a small dhow which authorities feared could be used to launch attacks on large commercial ships further offshore. A report Sunday from the UK Maritime Trade Operations (UKMTO) center said the hijacked dhow was released approximately 70 nautical miles from Qalansyia on Socotra Island. The dhow was released by the pirates after taking a skiff, food and diesel from the vessel. The whereabouts of the pirates are unknown, the report said. Pirates hijacked the dhow last Friday off the coast of Eyl, Somalia with the intent to use it as a ‘mothership’ to launch attacks on large commercial vessels.
5. European Coastguard Synergy
The European Border and Coast Guard Agency (Frontex), the European Fisheries Control Agency (EFCA) and the European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA) have signed an agreement for enhanced synergy. The agreement sets out the framework which will enable the agencies share maritime information, provide new surveillance and communication services, build capacity and conduct multi-purpose operations. To improve the capacity of the national coast guard authorities, the three agencies will develop guidelines and best practice on coastguard functions and organize specialized training events.

6. Irish Coastguard Body Recovered
An Irish Naval Service dive team has recovered the body of Capt. Mark Duffy, 51, who died in the crash of an Irish Coast Guard helicopter on March 14. Duffy’s colleagues in helicopter Rescue 115 provided an airborne escort as a patrol vessel carried his body to shore, and pilots and coast guard members marched alongside Duffy’s hearse as it drove away from the pier. Last Wednesday, an ROV found the wreckage of Rescue 116 just off of Blackrock Island, near the coast of County Mayo. The Naval Service divers have recovered the "black box" recorder from the helicopter.
7. Buoyant Mood for Boxs
The mood is buoyant in the container ship sector, but is the market ignoring the sleeping giant? Sentiment in the container ship markets is palpably shifting and on the back of the first quarter 2017 optimism, a roadmap to headier rates and earnings might take the following course. First, freight rate improvements have recently moved liner operators toward profitability, whilst charter owners are seeing the first meaningful uptick in earnings since mid-2015.  Second, the scars of disappointing trade growth in 2016 are seemingly healed. While scrapping will continue at the same rate as last year (even if charter rates pick up).
8. Holed Bulker Crew Cared For
A bulk carrier was left with a hole in its side after it scraped the quay wall while leaving Southampton port in Hampshire. The incident occurred when the 64,000 dead weight tonne, Malta-flagged Florentia was leaving its berth on Saturday morning, March 25. There were no injuries or reports of any oil pollution, and port operations are continuing unaffected. Peter Morgan, Southampton assistant port chaplain from seafarers’ charity Apostleship of the Sea (AoS), had visited the ship’s crew several times last week while the vessel was working in port. He went on board the ship again on Saturday to find out how the crew were.

9. Singapore Leaps to Bankruptcy
When it comes to matters legal or bureaucratic, Singapore is swift to act. Bankruptcy, sometimes, can be even faster. Ezra Holdings Ltd., a Singapore publicly traded oil services group, and two of its affiliates, Ezra Marine Services Pte and EMAS IT Solutions Pte, filed for Chapter 11 protection over the weekend in a U.S. bankruptcy court in White Plains, New York. On Monday, shares in Nam Cheong Ltd., a builder of offshore support vessels, tumbled as much as 33 percent to a record low after the company on Friday said its auditors raised some financial concerns.
10. Educators on Future
Dr. Cleopatra Doumbia-Henry, WMU President, delivered a keynote address at the 6th International Maritime Transport and Logistics Conference (MARLOG) that was held in Alexandria. On the topic of Global Integration in Ports – Future Opportunities, she stated, “Education means much more than seafarer training. It should involve a holistic approach that targets all sectors of the shipping industry in its broadest sense, from awareness raising to competency-based training, and which should address all the fields of learning, including the cognitive, affective and psychomotor.”

Daily news feed from Seacurus Ltd – providers of MLC crew insurance solutions


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S Jones
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