Top Ten Maritime News Stories 05/05/2017

Seacurus Daily: Top Ten Maritime News Stories 05/05/2017

1. Hit and Run Arrest
Shanghai Maritime Court has detained containership Van Manila over its involvement in a hit-and-run accident. On April 5, Kiribati-flagged general cargo ship Xiang Zhou sank near Nantong waters while it was sailing from Nantong to Busan. Two of fourteen crews were rescued while the other 12 crews remain missing. The local authority started investigations into the incident and alleges that Van Manila had collided with Xiang Zhou, and then proceeded to turn off its AIS tracking and sail away from the site. At the request of relatives of Xiang Zhou crew members, Shanghai Maritime Court has detained the vessel at Shanghai Port and ordered the owner and charterer of the vessel to take relevant legal responsibilities. The 1,708 teu Van Manila is owned by Hong Kong’s Van Yu Trading and managed by Northstar Ship Management.
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2. New IMB Piracy Report
Pirates and armed robbers attacked 43 ships and captured 58 seafarers in the first quarter of 2017, slightly more than the same period last year, according to the latest ICC International Maritime Bureau (IMB) piracy report. The global report highlights persisting violence in piracy hotspots off Nigeria and around the Southern Philippines – where two crew members were killed in February. Indonesia also reported frequent incidents, mostly low-level thefts from anchored vessels. In total, 33 vessels were boarded and four fired upon in the first three months of 2017. Armed pirates hijacked two vessels, both off the coast of Somalia, where no merchant ship had been hijacked since May 2012. Four attempted incidents were also received.
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3. Maersk Shakes It Up
Maersk Line is wasting no time in putting its blue stamp on the executive board of soon-to-be acquired Hamburg Süd, but says it “intends to maintain the business model” of the north-south niche carrier. After the completion of the transaction – still subject to some regulatory approvals but anticipated for Q4 – Maersk said not only did it intend to maintain Hamburg Süd’s business model, but also its “commercial structure in the regions”. Hamburg Süd’s headquarters in Hamburg will also be maintained and Maersk has agreed to lease the office for an initial period of five years. In a recent analysis of the deal, Alphaliner said the conditions of regulatory clearance “could result in the most severe curbs in a liner merger”.
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4. CMA CGM New Booking Service
CMA CGM has signed an agreement with Hong Kong-based freight booking platform AgreeFreight, under which, it has chosen the firm to take freight bookings on its Asia-Europe services. Established in July 2016, AgreeFreight claims to be the first online portal to offer container freight rates live directly linked to a vessel’s sailing. Currently, AgreeFreight only offers port-to-port rates, but the company plans to roll-out gate-to-gate rates. Its ultimate target is to offer a global door-to-door option that would include different modes of transportation. It will also seek to develop on other trade routes such as the Transpacific market. “With the collaboration with AgreeFreight, CMA CGM now offers its customers another option to book shipments online,” said Ludovic Rozan, CMA CGM’s global accounts senior manager for the Asian office.
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5. Samsung Heavy Police Raid
On Thursday, police raided the offices of shipbuilder Samsung Heavy Industries to seize documents related to safety trainings and regulatory compliance. The action was part of an ongoing investigation into a crane collapse that killed six workers earlier this week at Samsung’s main yard at Geoje, South Korea. SHI officials said that it was the first police raid the company has ever experienced, and that they intend to fully cooperate with the authorities. Yonhap reports that 30 police officials raided five offices at the yard. "We will analyze the material we gathered through the raid and strictly investigate the possibility of negligence on the part of Samsung Heavy and other officials," a police spokesperson told the paper.
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6. US Laser Ship Attacks
The US Coast Guard announced Thursday that it is seeing an uptick in laser strikes on merchant shipping in the Chesapeake Bay, including four incidents on Wednesday. The malicious high-power laser incidents included strikes on the merchant vessels Salome, Bulk Spain and AM Annaba, plus a strike on a pilot boat. In addition, three other vessels reported laser strikes over the past month: the car carrier Hoegh Osaka, at 0200 hours on Monday; the cruise ship Carnival Pride, at 0400 hours on Sunday; and the boxship Maersk Kolkata, at 0100 on April 7. The incidents occurred in the vicinity of Cove Point and Drum Point, near the Patuxent River entrance. The area is on the approaches to the Port of Baltimore, a busy route for merchant shipping and a popular area for leisure boating.
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7. Three Reasons for Confidence
A reduced orderbook for new tankers, an increasing tonne/mile ratio and sea transport demand from refined products constantly soaring: these are the three reasons why Paolo d’Amico, executive chairman of d’Amico International Shipping, is confident about an upcoming upturn in the liquid bulk shipping market. The Luxemburg-based company has just launched a €35m ($37.5m) recapitalisation plan needed in consequence of a huge investment plan (worth $750m) made for 22 new ships which is coming to an end. Six 75,000 dwt LR1 tankers are still to be delivered in 2017 and 2018. “The increase of the company’s share capital is something we consider useful and correct at this moment” emphasises the seasoned Italian shipowner.
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8. Ship Caught in Dispute
A handysize bulker with a load of phosphate has gotten caught up in an obscure, decades-old dispute over the sovereignty of Western Sahara, a sparsely-populated region within the borders of Morocco. Western Sahara – just southeast of the Canary Islands, adjacent to Mauritania – is claimed by Morocco and by the Polisario Front, the governing party of the semi-sovereign Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic. The two sides went to war over the region’s control in the 1970s, and Morocco built a 1,600 mile wall down the middle of Western Sahara to keep Polisario raiders out of the western (and economically productive) part of the area. The Polisario Front maintains control of areas east of the so-called Moroccan Wall, and it still claims the entirety of Western Sahara. Its statehood is recognized by 84 nations and by the African Union.
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9. Panama Canal Record
The container ship COSCO Development has set a record as the largest vessel to date to enter the expanded Panama Canal. The 13,092 TEU Neopanamax vessel is the largest in both dimension and capacity to transit the Expanded Canal since it was inaugurated in June 2016. She began her voyage in Asia and will soon become the largest ship to arrive on the U.S. East Coast when she calls at several ports there next week. COSCO Development measures 366 meters in length and 48.2 meters in beam. To put that into perspective, she length is equivalent to the length of one Eiffel Tower or eight Statues of Liberty. The vessel is deployed on the new OCEAN Alliance’s weekly South Atlantic Express (SAX) service, connecting Asia-US East Coast ports via the Panama Canal.
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10. Singapore Wants Own Club
Singapore is aiming to have a P&I Club, in the medium term and is also working to have its own clause, a senior industry executive said at the recent Singapore Maritime Week. “Our next initiative will take a little bit longer, may be a couple of years, but we are moving towards having a Singapore Clause,” said Gina Lee-Wan, chairman of the legal and insurance committee under the Singapore Shipping Association.
A clause comprises the terms of the insurance cover or the wordings on which the cover is underwritten on. The first Singapore-based national mutual war risks insurance, the SWRM, was launched in 2015 by P&I underwriter,
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Daily news feed from Seacurus Ltd – providers of MLC crew insurance solutions  www.seacurus.com

 

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