Top Ten Maritime News Stories 26/06/2017

Seacurus Daily: Top Ten Maritime News Stories 26/06/2017

1. IMO Fighting Abandonments
The secretary-general of the IMO Kitack Lam has vowed to crack down on owners who abandon crews. At a seminar held at the IMO’s headquarters in London last week, Lim emphasised that continued cooperation between IMO, organizations such as the International Labour Organization (ILO), flag states, port states and shipowner groups was essential. “We have a human duty to protect seafarers, and we must not hide from it,” Lim said. The vexing issue of crew abandonment, cases of which have soared as the downturn has lengthened, has seen a number of charities call for more punitive measures.
2. A Day to Forget
The IMO has declared June 25, as the Day of the Seafarer. Whoop-de-do! That has as much importance in the lives of the world’s seafarers as the fact that it is also Goats Cheese Day, National Catfish Day, Strawberry Parfait Day, Color TV Day, Global Beatles Day, Log Cabin Day, and Please Take My Children to Work Day.  Just what, exactly, are we supposed to do with the Day of the Seafarer, other than to “appreciate” the worlds seafarers. Seafarers spend half their lives (or more) to supply us with all the things we take for granted every other day of the year. Yet it is only for 24 hours we remember them…they deserve better.
3. Ports Still Struggling
Traffic growth in the ports sector is likely to remain well below historical levels for the foreseeable future, due to fundamental structural changes in the industry and global trade, Fitch Ratings says. A move towards protectionism would represent a significant additional risk, with the potential to reverse sector growth.
Global port traffic growth has slowed in recent years due to a mix of mostly structural factors, including a maturing container shipping industry, the growth of China’s internal market and shifting global supply chains. Competition is more intensive in ports than in other areas of infrastructure, and this impacts heavily.
4. Top Brass Hang On
Top management at Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha (K Line) can breathe easier tonight having fought off a shareholder rebellion. A number of K Line shareholders led by Effissimo Capital Management had been pushing to get the chairman and president removed at Japan’s third largest shipping line at today’s annual shareholder meeting, claiming that the company was failing to make decent profits. However, the board got its way at today’s vote, although investors reacted with some disappointment, K Line’s share price falling 4.5% in trading in Tokyo today.

5. Queen Elizabeth Ahoy
The ship weighs a staggering 65,000 tonnes and cost GBP 3.1bln to build. The ship is 920 ft in length and has nine decks covering 16,000 m2 (170,000 sq ft). She is named after Elizabeth the first and is the second ship to carry the name – the first was a World War One battleship. There are more than 700 crew are onboard, from seamen to aircraft engineers, dentists to force protection. The oldest crew member is 58 and the youngest 17 although the average age is in the early twenties. The huge warship’s construction along with its sister ship HMS Prince Of Wales is the most expensive in navy history costing GBP 6.2bln.

6. Seafarers for the Future
No one knows quite how the job of seafarer is going to evolve as vessels become increasingly sophisticated and more automated. The appearance of remote-controlled, autonomous or even unmanned ships will transform the role of the seafarers immeasurably. But these developments should not be feared. The skill sets needed may be different, but such ships will still require support from competent and ingenious teams of engineers. As such they will give birth to exciting new roles and opportunities.
7. Big Ships for Big Pharma
The transportation of pharmaceutical products in reefer equipment is subject to the particularly strict guidelines of the Good Distribution Practice (GDP) scheme.  Hamburg Süd will be meeting the requirements with regard to calibration processes as of July and therefore be able to respond flexibly to corresponding customer wishes. The guidelines for GDP are specified by the World Health Organization as well as the European Commission. They stipulate that the temperature-regulating sensors of the reefer machinery not only monitor each other automatically, but also that calibration has to take place, and be documented.
8. Fuel to Tax Row Fire
Two studies have added fuel to the fire which has been smouldering between the Greek government and the country’s shipping community and the European Commission and German Finance minister Wolfgang Schauble. Indeed, the studies appear to reveal the underlying causes of a growing rift between Europe’s maritime powerhouses, Greece and Germany, on the Greek institutional framework for oceangoing shipping. The Greek argument remains that the country’s booming shipping sector is not paying less taxes than its competitive counterparts, but that it is paying more.
9. No Show Fine Nightmare
Online booking platform iContainers warns that new “no show” charges by box lines are a “potential nightmare” for freight forwarders. Shippers cancelled container bookings at the last minute are a longstanding problem for shipping lines and recently the likes of CMA CGM, Maersk Line and Hapag-Lloyd have started to introduce “no show” penalty fees for the late cancellation of bookings on some trades. iContainers noted that while this was the right move for container lines for it could be an “accounting nightmare” for ocean transport intermediaries (OTIs) and NVOCCs acting as the middle man between shippers and lines.

10. Huge Cocaine Seizure
More than 370 kg of suspected cocaine were seized in Canada’s Port of Montreal, according to the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA). The illicit cargo was found in a marine container on June 20, 2017, carried to Montreal aboard a vessel arriving from Mexico. CBSA officers assigned to the examination of goods in the port located the drugs concealed inside steel and aluminium cylindrical rolls. The container had been targeted by the CBSA for inspection based on a risk and intelligence analysis. The seized cocaine is estimated to be worth over CAD 18 million, making it one of the biggest interceptions in recent years.

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


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