Top Ten Maritime News Stories 13/06/2017

Seacurus Daily: Top Ten Maritime News Stories 13/06/2017

1. Lifeline for Qatar
Qatar and container lines have launched new shipping services via Oman in an effort to sidestep a port ban in neighbouring countries and secure a food lifeline after other Gulf states severed ties with Doha last week. Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and some other Arab countries cut diplomatic, travel and trade ties with Qatar last week, accusing it of supporting Iran and funding Islamist groups, accusations Doha denies. The severing of air, sea and land transport links has closed crucial import routes for Qatar and its population of around 2.7 million people who are dependent on imports for most of their food needs.
2. Tanker Rates Rising
The costs to ship fuel and crude oil from Qatar are expected to rise after the United Arab Emirates banned vessels that previously called at Qatar from docking at UAE ports. This is disrupting the typical logistics of the oil industry where buyers take very large crude carriers (VLCC) capable of carrying 2 million barrels of oil and load up to four different 500,000-barrel cargoes to save on costs. Buyers are now splitting cargoes on smaller Suezmax ships that carry 1 million barrels to load separately in Qatar and the UAE, the sources said.
3. Cosco on Port Spree
Cosco Shipping bolstered its ports footprint yesterday, moving to take a 15% stake in Shanghai International Port Group (SIPG) as well as buying out Noatum, a Spanish port operator. Cosco is paying Shanghai Tongsheng Investment $2.78bn for its SIPG buy-in, making it the third largest shareholder in the giant port group. Meanwhile, it has agreed to pay $228m to take a 51% stake in Noatum Port Holdings, which operates box terminals in Valencia and Bilbao. Cosco may come in for the remaining 49% stake at a later date. Cosco is building up a notable southern European port network, and has a majority stake in Piraeus port.
4. Class Issues E-Certificates
Japan’s ClassNK will commence operation of the world’s first comprehensive electronic certificate service for classification and statutory certificates from this Thursday. The service, ClassNK e-Certificate, will first be made available to Liberian-flagged vessels on the ClassNK register exclusively. “ClassNK e-Certificate is the result of an innovative project aimed at reducing the workload on board and at shore by minimizing potential clerical errors and time-loss associated with paper burden,” the class society said.
5. How to Steal a Ship Part 2
A recent article in The Maritime Executive described how a malicious actor could, with minimal effort, influence a ship’s course and speed over the period of several days. In the example given, the ship was sailed to a sparsely populated Indonesian island 220 nautical miles from its intended waypoint, the entrance to the Malacca Strait. The vessel would also have made landfall ten hours earlier than expected adding to crew confusion and the advantage of the bad actors seeking to take control. In this second part of the article the worrying cyber theft continues.

6. Carriers Juggling Capacity
Ocean carriers have this year shown themselves to be “well-skilled” in the art of capacity management, according to a Drewry report. It attributes their success in lifting rates to their ability to juggle supply-demand peaks and troughs. Drewry’s Global Freight Rate Index was 37% higher in the first five months of this year than in the same period of 2016, despite container shipping’s well-known oversupply fundamentals. The research consultant has identified what it terms the carriers’ “five-part trick”, which they have deployed to combat the impact of too much tonnage across global container trades.
7. Port Set Zero Emission Target
The Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach are setting the stage to make a transition to zero emissions in their Clean Air Action Plan (CAAP). By signing a joint declaration on June 12, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti and Long Beach Mayor Robert Garcia set ambitious goals unveiling zero emissions plans for the twin ports of the San Pedro Bay. Additionally, the parties affirmed that the CAAP will include new investments in clean technology, expanding at-berth emission reductions, and launching a zero emissions drayage truck pilot program in the next few years.
8. Transparency Needed for Seafarers
During a panel debate hosted by The Mission to Seafarers at Nor-Shipping event, leaders in seafarer welfare concluded that higher level of transparency is needed to improve human rights in the shipping industry. An expert panel, made up of representatives from the RAFTO Foundation, the Institute for Human Rights and Business, Norwegian OECD NCP, and Human Rights at Sea, came together to discuss the challenges associated with tackling the very real risk of modern slavery in the shipping industry, and strategies for its elimination.

9. Mental Health Timebomb
According to the latest statistics, over 25 percent of people will experience a mental health problem at some point in their lives and for those working offshore, this figure is significantly and potentially dangerously higher. What’s more, the problem’s growing. So, what’s causing the rise of mental health problems within our industry and why are seafarers more likely to suffer from these issues than those working on land? Most importantly, what can be done to solve the problem and establish a happier, healthier and safer workforce on the 51,000+ merchant ships that sail our seas?

10. Tanker Runs Aground
The chemical tanker "Chemroad Journey" ran aground in South China Sea on 28 nautical miles south off Phu Quy island in Vietnam. The vessel was en route from Saudi Arabia to China, carrying 30,000 tonnes of industrial chemicals, including Butyraldehyde, Ethylene Glycol, Ethyl hexanol, Ethanol Amine, as well as 170 tons of fuel oil and 113 tonnes of diesel oil, but stuck into the a shallow near the Vietnamese coast and hardly stuck. Following grounding the ship suffered breaches and some compartments started flooding. The vessel tilted by 15 degrees to port board and the bad weather causes immediate danger for the seafarers.

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


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