Top Ten Maritime News Stories 20/06/2017

Seacurus Daily: Top Ten Maritime News Stories 20/06/2017

1. Smaller Players to Consolidate
There is a “high likelihood” of a new wave of M&A activity involving medium-size ocean carriers, as the gap widens between them and the largest container lines, according to shipping consultant Drewry. The merger of the container businesses of K Line, MOL and NYK will propel the new Ocean Network Express (ONE) into fifth place in the global rankings, with around 1.7m teu of capacity (after taking into account their orderbooks), it said. Hapag-Lloyd is sixth, with approximately 1.6m teu, and with its orderbook included, Drewry said, Evergreen becomes the seventh-ranked carrier with some 1.3m teu.
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2. Pushing IMO on Ballast
The global shipping industry is urging the International Maritime Organization (IMO) to back a proposal to push back the implementation dates for installing new ballast water treatment systems on ships by two years to 2024, the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS), whose member shipping companies operate over 80% of the world’s merchant tonnage, said on Monday. “If this pragmatic proposal is agreed, this would allow shipping companies to identify and invest in far more robust technology to the benefit of the marine environment,” said ICS Secretary General, Peter Hinchliffe.
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3. DryShips Stock Split
George Economou’s DryShips has announced a 1-for-5 reverse stock split of the company’s shares effective June 22, its fourth reverse split this year. The news sent DryShips shares plunging to new lows down 32% to $1.19. Last month, several US national securities law firms commenced investigations looking into potential securities fraud at the company, focusing on whether DryShips and its executives violated federal securities laws by failing to disclose material non-public information.
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4. Confusion Over Crystal Collision
The Japanese coast guard announced Monday that the crew of the container ship ACX Crystal waited for nearly an hour to report their collision with the USS Fitzgerald, throwing the incident’s timeline into doubt. The charterer of the Crystal, NYK Line, claimed Monday that the time of the accident was 0130, not 0220, as previously believed. The Crystal’s crew waited to report the collision until 0225, leading authorities to conclude (falsely) that the accident happened at about the time of the report. To add to the confusion, the U.S. Navy still maintains that the initially reported time of impact is accurate.
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5. UK Shipping on Brexit
As negotiations begin on the UK’s departure from the European Union, David Dingle CBE, Chairman of Maritime UK said: “These are the most critical set of negotiations in a lifetime. We want to see a Brexit deal that ensures the UK’s attractiveness as a place to do business, as a place to research, develop and innovate the cutting-edge maritime products and services of tomorrow, and a deal that capitalises upon new freedoms to back British industry. “Above all, we need free trade with Europe as well as the rest of the world, enabling our sector to perform its unique and fundamental role in facilitating UK global trade", he said.
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6. Seafarers Day Edges Closer
As we get close to the Day of the Seafarer, on 25 June, shipowners, operators and managers should be focused on improving the welfare of their mariners. IMO’s theme for this day is Seafarers Matter, and it wants to encourage shipping companies to invest in better crew welfare. IMO secretary general Kitack Lim wants ports and seafarer centres to demonstrate how much seafarers matter to them by showcasing best practices in seafarer support and welfare, including free WiFi in port.
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7. Saudis Intercept Iranian Sailors
Saudi Arabia’s information ministry confirmed Monday that the Saudi navy intercepted three boats belonging to the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) in waters near the Marjan oilfield. Saudi forces captured three of five crewmembers from one of the vessels; the remaining two escaped. "The three captured members of the [IRGC] are now being questioned by Saudi authorities," the ministry said. Saudi officials contend that the boat was laden with explosives. "It is clear this was intended to be a terrorist act in Saudi territorial waters designed to cause severe damage to people and property," the ministry said.
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8. Cyber Safety on Insurers Menu
Cyber safety is very high on IUMI’s agenda. Consequently, cyber risks will become more transparent and understandable to insurers, making these risks insurable. International shipowner associations such as BIMCO, the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS), Intertanko, Intercargo and Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) launched a first edition of the “Shipowners Guidelines on Cyber Security Onboard Ships” in 2016. These guidelines have received a lot of attention, not least being mentioned in the IMO “Interim Guidelines on Maritime Cyber Security Management” (MSC.1/Circ. 1526, 1 June 2016) as a reference.
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9. Seeing Through Digital Fog
Where digitisation appears then cybersecurity is never far behind. Early on, banks and retailers discovered that their websites, systems and databases made tempting targets for criminals to steal personal data or even money. Later digital adopters in the utilities and energy sector found that cyberattacks can even have physical consequences like water pollution or the widespread power disruption suffered by the Ukraine in 2015. Now the wave is reaching the maritime industry. Ships, ports and maritime support activities continue to adopt digital systems to handle commercial, cargo and personal information, and even control.
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10. Seablindness is a Myth
According to a poll by ComRes on behalf of the UK Chamber of Shipping, 84% of the UK public correctly identified shipping as the principal mode of transport for the country’s imports and exports. Does this show that ‘sea blindness’ is a myth? There’s consensus that the UK’s maritime industry has, over the last few decades, struggled to captivate the public imagination. Whether it be through word of mouth, media attention, or the jobs on offer, other sectors, such as automotive, aerospace and aviation, have climbed the ladder of awareness to such an extent that the term ‘sea blindness’ has now entered the maritime lexicon.
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Daily news feed from Seacurus Ltd – providers of MLC crew insurance solutions  www.seacurus.com

 

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