Scandlines’ ferry operations between Sweden, Denmark and Germany were briefly interrupted Wednesday after a telephoned bomb threat forced police to search multiple vessels. The threat was reportedly not specific about which vessel or route might be affected, and as a precaution, Scandlines temporarily suspended voyages between Denmark and Germany and evacuated vessels in the Danish port town of Roedby. "All ferry operations have been suspended, and the ferries will be emptied as soon as the police allows them to go to port," the firm said in a statement early Wednesday.
Taiwan’s Evergreen and Hong Kong’s OOCL said on Wednesday they had suspended shipping services to Qatar after Arab countries severed diplomatic ties with the Gulf state and imposed port restrictions this week. Saudi Arabia, Egypt and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) are among those to have cut ties with Qatar over its alleged support for terrorism, an accusation Qatar vehemently denies. Qatar is dependent on imports for its basic needs, which are transported by land and sea. Container ships carry vital consumer supplies, including food. Fewer container services will also hurt Qatar’s ability to trade.
A string of fresh piracy attacks off the coast of Somalia spells uncertainty for commodity dealers and consumers in East Africa. The shock hijacking of a commercial oil tanker, the MT Aris 13, in March ended a five-year lull in piracy on the key Indian Ocean route around the Gulf of Aden. In early April, it is suspected Somali pirates seized an Indian dhow, Al–Kausar, on its way to the port of Bosaso in northern Somalia’s semi-autonomous Puntland region, while another bulk carrier, OS 35, was hijacked a few days later. It has sparked fears of a return of the menace the caused global concern at its peak between 2011 and 2013.
The International Group of P&I Clubs has published its Annual Review which provides an overview of the Group, key activities and areas of engagement. One of the key objectives and strengths of the mutual and Group system is the development and delivery of solutions for shipowners’ liability insurance needs. This objective was once again tested in 2016/17, and once again the Group clubs successfully stepped up to the plate to deliver a solution for shipowners. An increase in tonnage, a reduction in reported pool claims, and a fourth year of significant savings on reinsurance purchase were among the notable features.
Turkish security forces have seized more than a tonne of heroin hidden in a Democratic Republic of Congo-flagged cargo ship in a raid in international waters, the largest such seizure in recent Turkish history. The operation was launched after the narcotics squad received a tip-off that the ship, "Commander Tide", was heading towards Turkey with a major drugs consignment. Turkish naval forces, the coastguard and special forces from the eastern Mediterranean province of Mersin took part in the raid, seizing 40 sacks containing 1,071 kg (2,361 lb) of heroin hidden in secret compartments on the ship, police said.
North Korea has fired several anti-ship cruise missiles off its east coast, South Korea’s military says. Authorities said the weapons, launched on Thursday morning near the city of Wonsan, appeared to be short-range "surface-to-ship" missiles. They flew about 200km (125 miles) before landing in the water.
Repeated ballistic missile tests by the North this year – not all successful but all a breach of UN sanctions – have sparked international alarm. Experts fear the tests indicate progress towards Pyongyang’s ultimate goal of putting a nuclear warhead on a missile.
Anastasios Papagiannopoulos, CEO of the Greek shipping company Common Progress, has been elected President of BIMCO, the world’s largest international shipping association, with 2,100 members in more than 120 countries. Papagiannopoulos has set three clear themes for his two-year presidential term. The first is to promote digitization across the industry. BIMCO will be working on a range of projects using convergent technologies to pursue this objective, including applying new advances in software capability to develop a brand new contract editing tool.
Ten years ago Newcastle made international headlines when the coal ship Pasha Bulker ran aground on Nobbys Beach during a deadly east coast low. The storm killed nine people, including a family of five on the New South Wales Central Coast, and significantly damaged thousands of homes across the region.
Daily news feed from Seacurus Ltd – providers of MLC crew insurance solutions www.seacurus.com
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