Top Ten Maritime News Stories 05/07/2017

Seacurus Daily: Top Ten Maritime News Stories 05/07/2017

1. Big Boss Caught in Lawsuit
DryShips and its chairman and chief executive officer George Economou have been named as defendants in a lawsuit filed in the High Court of the Marshall Islands which alleges breaches of fiduciary duty, unjust enrichment, and conflict of interest. The plaintiff is seeking compensatory and punitive damages as well as a temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction to suspend any further issuances of new common shares by DryShips below a price specified by the plaintiff. DryShips said that it has reviewed the complaint and motion, believes them to be without merit and will contest them vigorously.
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2. Chinese 1000 Ship Fleet
Chinese leasors are now thought to control a fleet in excess of 1,000 ships, making them one of the most powerful new forces in shipping. According to a recent report from the Korea Maritime Institute (KMI), China’s ship lease industry owned 989 ships, worth RMB113.9bn ($16.7bn), up 58% year-on-year, as of the first quarter of 2017. This figure is thought to have surpassed 1,000 ships in the past three months. There were 23 of Chinese ship leasors as of the end of March this year, led by state run banks, but also increasingly leasing arms of major shipyard groups.
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3. Global Chokepoints Trade Threat
The risk of disruption to trade routes is growing, which could affect global food supply and cause price spikes, according to new research. Analysts at the Chatham House thinktank have identified 14 “chokepoints” (listed below) including the Suez Canal, Black Sea ports and Brazil’s road network, almost all of which are already hit by frequent disruptions. Little is being done to ease these disruptions, which leads analysts believe will worsen in years to come. Over half of the world’s staple crop exports – wheat, maize, rice and soybeans – have to travel via inland routes to key ports in the US, Brazil and the Black Sea.
goo.gl/EX8pnj
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4. Bulker Singapore Arrest
The Post-Panamx bulk carrier Americana has been arrested in Singapore, according to the latest records from the Supreme Court of Singapore. Information from VesselsValue.com indicates that the 2010-built vessel is owned by Greece-based Merchant Marine Management S.A. The 91,900 DWT Americana was detailed following action taken by local law firm Dentons Rodyk & Davidson LLP, with the arrest taking place on June 30, 2017 at 6:50 p.m. local time. The circumstances leading to the arrest are currently unknown, but such action is common in instances of payment dispute.
goo.gl/ZYcv4v
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5. Norwegian Crew Salary Scheme
The Norwegian government’s new salary scheme for seafarers, which came into effect over the weekend, means companies employing Norwegian seafarers on NIS vessels will be reimbursed all added salary taxes, a move welcomed by many local owners including Odfjell. “The maritime industry is an important driving force in the Norwegian economy. This is an industry where Norway has leading competence. It is important to provide competitive conditions in order to ensure that Norwegian seafarers retain this competence in the future”, Norwegian minister of trade and industry, Monica Mæland, commented.
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6. Tanker Crew Abandoned and in Danger
The crew of the tanker Ocean Pride are currently stranded on the increasingly dangerous vessel. Despite repeated requests for help, their correspondence has been ignored and their salaries not paid for 25 months. Human Rights at Sea has published an investigatory report into their plight as they wait, without passports, on board the Panamanian flagged vessel which is moored offshore the coast of the UAE. The vessel is owned by Alco Shipping Services of the UAE. Human Rights at Sea has gathered testimony from the crew which indicate that there is insufficient personal protective equipment on board.
goo.gl/1WuGRh
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7. New Effective Crew Project Launched
New research, The Effective Crew Project, has been launched to examine the benefits and challenges associated with the implementation of either a stable or a fluid crewing strategy on board merchant vessels. The three year project started in April 2017 and will be completed by March 2020. The research aims to develop findings from a pilot study and will draw upon best practice from stakeholders within the maritime industry. The aim is to see how certain practices may be implemented into the maritime industry to improve three core areas, safety, costs and efficiency.
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8. Need for Better Weather Reports
New recommendations coming out of the investigation into the 2015 sinking of U.S. cargo ship El Faro call for efforts to improve the weather information available to mariners. All 33 crew on board died when the 790-foot El Faro sank close to the eye of Hurricane Joaquin near the Bahamas on October 1, 2015, two days after leaving Jacksonville, Fla. en route to Puerto Rico. Now, as part of its ongoing investigation into the incident, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), has issued 10 safety recommendations aimed at improving tropical cyclone forecasting.
goo.gl/gs8KyK
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9. IMO on Low Carbon
IMO Secretary-General has spoken on Launch of the GloMEEP Global Industry Alliance to Support Low-Carbon Shipping. He saw this as shipping moving towards a low-carbon future, and that shipping is witnessing the formal start of a tried and tested partnership concept which has the potential to boost still further our efforts to kick-start the change that society demands and create a firm, tangible basis to transform the shipping sector for the better. IMO is providing the mechanism for reporting through this new Global Maritime Energy Efficiency Partnerships Project.
goo.gl/7J8Z9W
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10. High Tech, Low Cost Box Seal
A new low-cost, digital seal has been developed for the CORE (Consistently Optimised REsilient Secure Global Supply-Chains) European Research Project by Dutch software company Itude Mobile. Babbler requires no installation in the fabric of a truck or container and enables the integrity of the shipment to be monitored online via a smartphone app. The seal is broken if Babbler’s sensors detect light. Both the seal status and the temperature of the cargo can be inspected wirelessly or a long-range radio option, LoRa. While customs authorities can access the Babbler log some hours before a vessel berths.
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Daily news feed from Seacurus Ltd – providers of MLC crew insurance solutions  www.seacurus.com

 

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S Jones
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