Top Ten Maritime News Stories 29/03/2017

Seacurus Daily: Top Ten Maritime News Stories 29/03/2017

1. Maersk New Chairman
A.P. Møller – Mærsk elected Jim Hagemann Snabe as chairman of the board on Tuesday. Snabe, former CEO of German software house SAP, is committed to automation technology, reports Reuters. The more than 100-year-old conglomerate’s digital push will mean that in theory, it should be as easy to book a container as booking an airline ticket, he said shortly after he was elected. Maersk is working with IBM to create a digital tracking system called blockchain technology. Hagemann Snabe will oversee a restructuring plan established by Chief Executive Soren Skou last year.
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2. Biggest Box Ship Launched
Mitsui O.S.K. Lines (MOL) has taken delivery of the world’s largest container ship, MOL Triumph, from Samsung Heavy Industries. The vessel has a capacity of 20,170 TEUs and will be deployed in THE Alliance’s Asia to Europe trade via the FE2 service. MOL Triumph will set off on her maiden voyage from Xingang in April 2017 and will sail to Dalian, Qingdao, Shanghai, Ningbo, Hong Kong, Yantian and Singapore. She will then transit through the Suez Canal and continue on to Tangier, Southampton, Hamburg, Rotterdam and Le Havre. She will then call at Tangier and Jebel Ali on the way back to Asia.
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3. Sewol Investigation Reopens
304 people died when the Sewol went down, the majority of them high school students, and the sinking remains a sensitive subject in Korean politics and public life. The wreck has been brought to the surface in one piece due to political pressure from the families of the lost, who want the authorities to examine the hull for new evidence and search the interior for the bodies of nine missing passengers. In response to public demand, Korea’s National Assembly has appointed an eight-member special committee to reopen an investigation of the Sewol’s sinking. The panel has a 10-month mandate to examine the case.
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4. NYK and MOL Merger Beckons
The Competition Commission of Singapore has cleared the proposed joint venture between Nippon Yusen Kabushiki Kaisha (NYK), Mitsui O.S.K. Lines (MOL) and Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha (K-Line). The companies plan to merge their container liner shipping business and their container terminal services businesses outside Japan. The only overlapping service that would affect Singapore is the provision of container liner shipping services. The Japanese “3J” joint venture, to be owned 38 percent by NYK and 31 percent each by MOL and K-Line, is expected to begin operations in April 2018.
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5. Baltic on the Rise
The Baltic Exchange’s main sea freight index, which tracks rates for ships carrying dry bulk commodities, continued its gaining streak on Tuesday with a fresh more-than-two-year high, driven by strong demand for large iron ore vessels. The overall index, which factors in rates for capesize, panamax, supramax and handysize shipping vessels, was up 51 points, or 4 percent, at 1,333 points, its highest level since November 11, 2014. The capesize index climbed 145 points, or 5.5 percent, to 2,765 points, its best since November 25, 2014.
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6. Hapag-Lloyd and UASC Stalls
A merger of Hapag-Lloyd and United Arab Shipping Company (UASC) has hit a snag, with the German shipping line and some banks seeking assurances that UASC’s top shareholder Qatar remain committed to the deal for the long term, sources say. Hapag Lloyd Chief Executive Rolf Habben Jansen told a news conference this week he had underestimated the complexity of the 7 billion to 8 billion euro ($7.6-$8.7 bln) deal, which will create one of the world’s largest shipping lines. Two finance sources, said one of the main concerns is that Qatar could in future lower its stake in the combined group.
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7. Seeking Proper Piracy Solutions
Africa, led by the African Union (AU) and regional economic communities, has been seeking to enhance its common responses to maritime insecurity and threats by implementing integrated maritime strategies. These include the 2050 Africa’s Integrated Maritime Strategy (2050 AIMS), adopted by the AU in 2014, and are designed to overcome common problems given both the transnational nature of most maritime crimes and the combined lack of African maritime capacity. The AU, in particular, must revive its 2050 AIMS implementation, coordinate a common African position; and provide guidance for member states.
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8. ITF Maersk Thumbs-up
A four-strong team of representatives from ITF (International Transport Workers’ Federation) unions today committed to continued dialogue with AP Møller-Mærsk at the company’s AGM in Copenhagen. The union members were at the event to deliver a progress report on the continuing dialogue between the company and unions established by the ITF’s Maersk Network, which was set up to best represent the thousands of transport workers employed across the company.
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9. Coffee Raising Seafarer Funds
The Sailors’ Society is opening its first coffee lounge in Portswood Road, Southampton. The BySea Coffee Lounge opens its doors tomorrow. The shop will serve BySea coffee, the ethically sourced, socially responsible brand launched by Sailors’ Society last year, with blends coming from some of the 27 countries where the charity operates. The charity’s director of development, Adam Stacey, said: “On our opening weekend, we will be selling every regular cup of coffee at 90p – a significant number because more than 90 per cent of everything we own, from cars to coffee, comes by sea.
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10. Cruising for Chinese Market
The first Norwegian Cruise Line ship built for the Chinese market has emerged from a shipyard in Germany. The 3,850-passenger Norwegian Joy departed the Meyer Werft shipyard in Papenburg, Germany on Sunday on its way to sea trials in the North Sea in advance of its debut later this year in China.
At 168,800 tons, Joy is one of the 10 largest cruise ships ever built. Joy is scheduled to sail year-round out of Shanghai and Tianjin, China starting this summer. It’ll be christened in Shanghai on June 27. After sea trials, Joy will undergo finishing work before being officially delivered to Norwegian on April 27.
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Daily news feed from Seacurus Ltd – providers of MLC crew insurance solutions  www.seacurus.com

 

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