Top Ten Maritime News Stories 22/06/2017

Seacurus Daily: Top Ten Maritime News Stories 22/06/2017

1. Confidence At Three Year High
Shipping confidence reached its equal highest rating in the past three years during March to May this year, according to the latest Shipping Confidence Survey from shipping adviser Moore Stephens. The average confidence level expressed by respondents to the survey was up to 6.1 out of 10.0 from the 5.6 recorded in the previous survey in February 2017. Increased confidence was recorded by all main categories of respondent to the survey with an overall confidence rating of 6.8. Concern persisted, however, over political uncertainty, overtonnaging in certain trades, depressed oil prices and a potential dearth of quality seafarers.

2. ICS Urges Ballast Pragmatism
The International Chamber of Shipping (ICS)  has urged the International Maritime Organization (IMO) to back the proposal from a broad coalition of governments that would result in postponing the implementation dates for installing new ballast water treatment systems.  “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. ICS says that this IMO decision on dates will be critical, having significant implications for around 40,000 existing ships.
3. Quiet About Consolidation
Orient Overseas Container Line (OOCL) and Cosco Shipping have both kept quiet today on the latest container consolidation news. Shares in OOCL’s parent, OOIL, leapt yesterday on the back of another Wall Street Journal (WSJ) report claiming state-backed Cosco was close to buying out the Hong Kong liner for a deal thought to be worth more than $4bn. This is not the first time that OOCL has been linked with a buyout from Cosco by the WSJ. When the newspaper carried a report in January that Cosco was in talks to take over OOCL, Andy Tung, the CEO of the Hong Kong liner described takeover talk as “untrue”.
Both OOCL and Cosco are in the same new container grouping, the Ocean Alliance, which launched on April 1 with partners CMA CGM and Evergreen.
4. Firms Caught Polluting
Two international shipping companies have pleaded guilty in U.S. federal court in Beaumont, Texas to violating the Act to Prevent Pollution from Ships (APPS) and obstruction of justice related to the covering up the illegal dumping of oil-contaminated bilge water and garbage from one of their ships visiting U.S. ports.
The two companies, Egyptian Tanker Company and Thome Ship Management, owner and operator of the 57,920 gross ton crude oil tanker MT ETC MENA, will pay a $1.9 million penalty as part of the plea agreement, which includes marine and coastal restoration efforts.
5. Port States on Performance
At its 50th meeting last month, the Paris MoU Committee approved the 2016 inspection results and adopted new performance lists for flags and Recognized Organizations. These lists will take effect from 1 July 2017. The “White, Grey and Black (WGB) List” presents the full spectrum, from quality flags to flags with a poor performance that are considered high or very high risk. It is based on the total number of inspections and detentions over a 3-year rolling period for flags with at least 30 inspections in the period.
6. Evergreen Embraces Alibaba
Evergreen Line has teamed up with Chinese online retail giant Alibaba, offering sea freight services online with guaranteed space and prices. The Taiwanese carrier follows the likes of Maersk, CMA CGM and Cosco in tying up with the retail site. Evergreen Line has also appointed Evergreen Logistics Corporation as a designated provider of customized, comprehensive logistics solutions for members opting for its sea freight services. Evergreen Line is collaborating with to allow shippers to search for freight rates and reserve cargo space on the platform directly.
7. Giant Offshore Merger
The world’s largest high-end offshore service vessel company was created Wednesday with the completion of the mergers involving former Norwegian offshore shipping companies Farstad Shipping, Deep Sea Supply and Solstad Offshore, with the latter being the surviving entity. The new company, named Solstad Farstad ASA, will operate out of Skudeneshavn, Norway with a fleet of 152 OSVs, comprising 33 CSVs, 64 PSVs and 55 AHTS. The mega-merger was first announced in February amid the prolonged downturn in the offshore oil and gas industry.
8. Carriers Improve Punctuality
Carriers’ overall on-time schedule reliability improved 4.7%, increasing from 58.6% in April 2017 to 63.3% in May 2017, according to the latest data provided by intelligence provider CargoSmart. Regarding schedule reliability by trade, 10 of the 12 trades improved from April 2017 to May 2017. The trans-Atlantic trade experienced the largest improvement in reliability, rising by 21%, from 47.2% in April 2017 to 68.2% in May 2017. NYK, OOCL, and Hapag-Lloyd showed the most improvement in schedule reliability with 12.4%, 12.3%, and 10.2% increases from April 2017 to May 2017.
9. Cyber Security into ISM Code
IMO has given shipowners and managers until 2021 to incorporate cyber risk management into ship safety, giving the industry another issue to deal with. Owners risk having ships detained if they have not included cyber security in the ISM Code safety management on ships by 1 January 2021. Danish Maritime Authority special adviser Erik Tvedt said the decision IMO made on Friday 16 June should drive shipowners and managers to incorporate cyber risk management and security into their safety management systems. "Owners need to do this by 1 January 2021 or ships can be detained," Mr Tvedt said.
10. Three Months to Address ECDIS
Shipowners have less than three months to install ECDIS updates to ensure vessels are not detained by port state control. They must make sure all ECDIS equipment and electronic navigational charts (ENCs) are updated and crew trained to meet the requirements. New requirements come into force on 1 September following the International Hydrographic Organization’s new standards for ECDIS and ENCs. This complies with IMO circular MSC.1/Circ.1503. Software updates will be required on all existing ECDIS and, in some cases, upgrades to hardware.

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


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