Top Ten Maritime News Stories 30/06/2017

Seacurus Daily: Top Ten Maritime News Stories 30/06/2017

1. Maersk Should Have Avoided Attack
Maersk Group should have avoided being affected by the latest cyber attack by applying Microsoft security updates and patching software, according to a cyber security expert However, John Boles, a former assistant director of US Federal Bureau of Investigation’s international operations, said the attacks could have been avoided by applying Microsoft security updates. He said, “This infection could have been avoided by applying the Microsoft security update that addressed the SMB vulnerability. With WannaCry, the patch was issued before the outbreak began. Companies who patched and updated were protected.”
2. OOCL Shares Soar
Shares in the parent of Hong Kong containerline OOCL touched highs not seen for more than five years today as renewed speculation about a possible takeover by Cosco Shipping sparked a rally on the local stock exchange. With just under two hours of trading to go, shares in Orient Overseas International Ltd (OOIL) had climbed 5.74% to hit HK$57.10, the highest level seen since April 2012. OOCL has repeatedly denied take over talk this year. However, with Chinese president Xi Jinping in Hong Kong celebrating the 20th anniversary of the territory’s reunification with China, many analysts feel the time is now.
3. Affected Terminals Still Closed
Data provided by shipping software provider CargoSmart shows that nearly one in seven of APM Terminals port faculties around the world remain closed in the wake of Tuesday’s ransomware attack. Eleven out of 76 port facilities APM Terminals controls have had no vessel arrivals in the past 48 hours. APM Terminals said in its most recent update most of its terminals were back up operating, albeit not all of them at normal speeds. CargoSmart has also pulled together a vessel monitoring dashboard to monitor vessels during this time of recovery from the cyber attack.

4. Coming Together on Carbon
Leading shipowners and operators, classification societies, engine and technology builders and suppliers, big data providers and oil companies have signed up to a new Global Industry Alliance (GIA) to support transitioning shipping and its related industries towards a low carbon future.  The IMO reports that 13 companies have signed up to launch the GIA, under the auspices of the GloMEEP Project aimed at supporting developing countries in  the implementation of energy efficiency measures for shipping.
5. Sea Shepherd in Collision
A Sea Shepherd vessel suffered minor damage on Wednesday when it was struck by a fishing boat in the Coiba marine reserve, off the Pacific coast of Panama. The environmental organization was monitoring and documenting fishing boats engaged in long-line fishing inside the reserve, when its cutter, the M/V John Paul DeJoria, was surrounded by five fishing boats at around 3pm. According to the crew, the fishermen threatened the group by throwing items at the vessel and gesturing and shouting aggressively. The 110-foot Island class patrol boat was then rammed by one of the five boats.
6. Supply Chain in the Balance
Maersk’s 2M alliance partner MSC has said it has so far been unaffected by recent cyber attacks, and has offered “its full support to Maersk”. The attack has the potential to throw global container supply chains into chaos. According to calculations, Maersk’s shipping lines – Maersk Line itself, Safmarine, Seago, MCC Transport and Sealand – have all been affected and book 3,300 teu every hour, representing some $2.7m in revenue per hour. That equates to at least some 82,500 teu and revenues of $67.5m having been affected – a combination of shipments caught up in ports and on vessels, and likely lost bookings.
7. Grounded Vessel off Norfolk
The U.S. Coast Guard and state and local agencies are monitoring a 586-foot Thai-flagged cargo vessel that ran aground off Sewells Point in Norfolk, Virginia. The Coast Guard said watchstanders at the Sector Hampton Roads Command Center in Portsmouth received a call at 12:50 p.m. reporting that the bulk cargo ship "Mallika Naree" had lost propulsion in the Elizabeth River, struck a buoy and ran soft aground outside the shipping channel. Commercial tugboats arrived on scene and moved the cargo vessel to a nearby anchorage in the Elizabeth River, where it is now safely anchored. "Mallika Naree" is carrying cement and steel.

8. Stranded Crew on Way Home
Fifteen crewmembers of the tanker Qaaswa, which was stranded off the coast of Tunisia since early May, have been sent home with most of their owed wages, according to International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF). Paul Falzon, ITF contact in Malta, has been helping the crew, which consisted of 13 Indian and two Pakistani seafarers, since May 13 after hearing from Malta that there was a ship outside its national waters whose crew felt threatened by the company. ITF said that, at that time, the company Alco Shipping Services, had not paid the crew’s wages for more than four months and had failed to carry out repairs.
9. Aussies Act on Abandonment
The Australian Government has been urged to intervene to identify the owner of supply ship "MV Yarabah" that has spent almost two months languishing at Port Welshpool, Victoria. The International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF) said the crew of the ship, who are Indian, have allegedly been paid a flat rate of just AUD 120 per week while working in the port since the beginning of April. The union is demanding action to identify whether the vessel has been abandoned. The Government would also identify the owner and operator of the ship, the crew’s legal status, and how they have been paid such a low wages.  

10. Understanding Pirates
Research into Somali pirates has revealed that little has changed behind the drivers to commit maritime crime. A new report claims that to prevent piracy, a more nuanced approach to understanding the behaviour might be key to a solution, as the motivators to attack and seize a vessel remain unchanged. There are a series of ‘push’ factors: a lack of opportunity on-shore, lack of faith in Government and Security Forces to protect the Somali fishing industry and ‘pull’ factors, such as unparalleled economic possibilities, Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated (IUU) fishing and an active role in defending Somali territorial waters.

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


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S Jones
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