Top Ten Maritime News Stories 30/05/2017

Seacurus Daily: Top Ten Maritime News Stories 30/05/2017

1. Owners Want Answers Not Automation
Despite all the talk of autonomous or semi-autonomous vessels classification society ABS says it is seeing no demand for such ships from owners, and is instead focusing on technological developments for the world’s existing fleet. “We have not seen any company that says we want to make our ships autonomous,” Jan O De Kat, technical director global marine for ABS told a media briefing. He said that what shipowners were looking for was to have sustain able and profitable businesses. “Ship operators will not push for this unless they see a clear advantage be that strategic or financial.” While crew costs were significant, they are not the largest cost of running a ship and while there were savings to be made from autonomous operations these could be offset by other costs relating to that operation.
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2. Nor-Shipping Upbeat Outlook
The director of Nor-Shipping Birgit Liodden is upbeat about this week’s mega show, which marks her first edition in charge of the famous Oslo event. Speaking to selected guests at the Norwegian Shipowners’ Association networking dinner last night, Liodden gave a brief introduction of highlights and hot topics in the week to come. Sustainability and digital technology are likely to be two of the key themes under the microscope this week, she said. Sturla Henriksen, the ceo of the shipowners body, said 2017 remained challenging for shipping, but especially so for those in the offshore segment.
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3. Windshield Slashes CO2
Japan’s Mitsui OSK Lines (MOL) has carried out tests on a windshield it has developed for containerships and claims the device cuts CO2 emissions by 2%. The shield has been installed on the bow of one of its boxships, MOL Marvel, and test results show the vessel had a 2% average CO2 reduction sailing at 17 knots per hour on a transpacific route, compared to operating an identical vessel at the same speed without the device installed. “MOL continues efforts to confirm the windshield’s seaworthiness and sailing data analysis, and looks forward to more advanced technological development based on this research project,” the company said in a release today.
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4. Seafarer Abandonment Tale
An Indian seafarer on the "Sharjah Moon" hasn’t seen his family for three years. He hasn’t been paid for 16 months, and his requests to return home to see his aging parents and younger brother go unheeded by his employer. The vessel has docked at Hamriyah Port in Sharjah in the UAE. The 24-year-old, Subith K. Sukumaran, told Gulf News that he took a one-year contract and worked for two. After that, he asked to sign off and has been trying to get home for the last eight months. He said that every week the company promises to pay his him and send him home. “Three months ago my mother fell ill. The company didn’t give me a penny to send home. I can’t even make calls to my parents,” he told Gulf News over the phone.
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5. Hijack Fear Unfounded
South Korea said on Saturday it has resumed contact with a distressed fishing vessel that feared it was being followed by a suspected pirate vessel off the waters of Somalia, and that the 3 Koreans and 18 Indonesians on board were safe. The South Korean military had dispatched its anti-piracy naval unit after communication with the Mongolian squid fishing vessel was cut when it requested help after midnight on Friday.
The vessel’s South Korean captain confirmed the safety of the three South Koreans, the foreign ministry said in the statement. A foreign ministry official told Reuters the vessel was “not hijacked” and that the Indonesians were also safe. The ministry had said earlier that South Korean authorities were working with their counterparts in countries, including the United States, Germany, India and Japan, to trace the vessel.
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6. Seafarer Missing from Tug
One person is missing and three others have been rescued after a Crosby Tugs tug boat sank in the Gulf of Mexico off Louisiana on Monday. The U.S. Coast Guard and good Samaritan vessels are searching for the missing person approximately 30 nautical miles south of Marsh Island. Coast Guard Sector New Orleans received a report at approximately 5 a.m. of the tug vessel Crosby Commander was taking on water with four people on board. Three were able to evacuate to a life raft before the vessel sank and were rescued by the good Samaritan vessel Andi Nicole. The 85-foot Crosby Commander was built in 1978 and is owned to Crosby Tugs in Louisiana. The cause of the incident is under investigation
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7. Tick Boxes Fail Safety
The recent tragic accident of the "Stellar Daisy", which sank in the South Atlantic at the end of March with the loss of 22 lives, has reignited the ship safety debate. Benedikte Wentworth, CEO of Propel, a Norway-based maritime management consulting firm specialising in safety, reckons the whole industry needs to change its focus when it comes to maritime safety. Wentworth believes human failure tops the agenda of large global cooperations, including the oil majors and the company believes this focus will trigger a much needed paradigm shift in shipping’s approach to safety potentially threatening the business models of the dominant providers of safety services, including class societies, flag state control, port state control and vetting schemes.
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8. Cover Affected by Emissions Rules
Shipping companies will have to upgrade their vessels well in time to adhere to the upcoming global sulfur emission norms to avoid losing their classification and insurance cover, underwriters and insurers said recently. The new global sulfur emission cap of 0.5%, stipulated by the International Maritime Organization, will be enforced from 2020 while the compliance in their respective jurisdictions will be the responsibility of the member countries. The current cap is 3.5%. Implementation of the revised stringent standards has ramifications for not only the global merchant fleet of over 85,000 ships in particular but for the maritime industry at large, including insurance, classification, finance and credit.
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9. Remote Monitoring Frustrates Crews
While many owners are turning to remote monitoring of vessels to improve the efficiency of their operations the move is not always popular with the crew. Both Marorka and DNV GL have enjoyed considerable success with their remote monitoring solutions with DNV GL signing up 1,400 vessels from 75 owners over two and a half years to its ECO Insight fleet performance management solution and Marorka with some 600 ships on its system. However, not everybody is happy about the idea of performance being remotely monitored and this issues was highlighted when the two companies were quizzed about “kick back” from the crew at the immediasea event on Monday.
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10. Huge Leap in Box Giants
Amid a rapid growth in the mega boxship fleet, and nearly a year on from the opening of the new expanded locks of the Panama Canal in June 2016, the fleet of giants surged by 29% y-o-y in TEU terms, Clarkson Research informs. The 15,000+ TEU mega boxship fleet has expanded rapidly in recent years and at the beginning of May it stood at 76 ships of 1.4 million TEU. Deployed solely on the Asia-Europe route, and representing 36% of capacity on the route at the start of May, up from 27% a year earlier, growth in the 15,000+ TEU fleet has caused cascading of smaller, but still relatively large, containerships off this trade. The rising capacity deployed on the Transpacific is owed in part to the displacement from the Far East-Europe route and new deployment opportunities on Asia-US East Coast routes via the new Panama Canal.
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Daily news feed from Seacurus Ltd – providers of MLC crew insurance solutions  www.seacurus.com

 

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