Top Ten Maritime News Stories 09/08/2017

Seacurus Daily: Top Ten Maritime News Stories 09/08/2017

1. Hanjin Creditors Dissatisfied
South Korea’s Hanjin Shipping has only raised about two percent of the $10.5 billion its creditors are seeking. The Wall Street Journal reports the company has raised $220 million after its bankruptcy last year which left more than half a million cargo containers stranded around the world. At least 180 creditors were present at a court hearing on June 1, 2017 where Hanjin was unable to say when they would start getting paid.

2. Bibby Buy-in Rumours
Boskalis is remaining tight lipped over reports it is eyeing buying into Bibby Offshore. According to one expert, multiple credible people report that Boskalis is negotiating directly with the Bibby Offshore bondholders to purchase certain assets of the company that would in effect be the refinancing of the company. The deal being negotiated valued Bibby Offshore at around £52m. For that they would get the [dive support vessels] Sapphire, Polaris, and all intellectual property etc and simply collapse the North Sea business into their current operations. The rest will be left for the creditors who will make a minimal recovery.
3. Trading House Return
2017 is likely to be viewed in hindsight as the year major trading houses returned to shipowning. A report from brokers Alibra Shipping looks at how traders have taken advantage of rising commodity prices in recent months to snap up bargain hulls. Alibra listed Vitol’s recent order for up to eight 84,000 cu m gas carriers, Mercuria Energy’s VLCC acquisition from DHT in February, Trafigura tying up with China’s Bank of Communications in June to kick off a 32-strong tanker fleet and Gunvor’s decision to order two product tankers in partnership with TopShips all as examples of trading houses getting back into shipowning.
4. Daniela Back in Service
Eleven weeks after it limped into dock at a repair yard in Shanghai the fire ravaged 13,800 teu MSC Daniela boxship finally left today to resume normal service. The vessel suffered a fire on April 4 this year in its aft section off Sri Lanka. The ship continued to smoulder for weeks after the blaze was extinguished. MSC suspects shippers misdeclaring hazardous cargoes was the most likely reason for the blaze. The ship was eventually able to make its own way to Shanghai, arriving on May 22, for what officials at the time said would be up to three weeks of repair work.
5. New Panama Toll Structure
Panama’s government has approved a proposal to modify the Panama Canal tolls structure which could see container ships paying less and LNG and LPG carriers paying more. The new structure, scheduled to go into effect on October 1, 2017, at the beginning of the Canal’s fiscal year, comes following a recommendation from the Panama Canal Authority (ACP) Board of Directors who are aiming to safeguard the competitiveness of the waterway. 

6. Perfect Recruitment Storm
A perfect storm of retiring baby-boomers and the ongoing global economic downturn, are causing the number of skilled seafarers in the global industry to shrink dramatically, but apparently automation and advances in connectivity could solve the looming skills crisis. Captain Lloyd of the Nautical Institute commented: "The increasing sophistication of technology is opening the door to serious discussions about the remote control of ships, perhaps one day leading to completely autonomous vessels." Something the Nautical Institute members will be watching with increased horror no doubt, as jobs are threatened.
7. Libya Fires on Migrant Rescuers
On Monday, Catalan maritime rescue NGO Proactiva Open Arms said that a Libyan patrol boat fired warning shots and threatened to shoot at the migrant rescue vessel Open Arms if it did not depart. A video of the interaction posted on social media (below) includes audible gunfire.  "Do not come back or we will shoot you," the Libyan vessel reportedly warned. "Next time you will be [the target], without any other notice." Proactiva Open Arms asserted that the vessel was a patrol boat of the EU-financed and trained Libyan Coast Guard; it further claimed that the incident occurred in international waters.
8. Coal Exports Lead Bulk Recovery
US seaborne coal exports have turned years of negative growth around and seem to be climbing for a third quarter in a row, according to BIMCO. The increase is driven by a growing demand from European importers. East Asian buyers have also ramped up their import of US coal, which is beneficial for the dry bulk  industry as it generates a substantial amount of tonne-miles, relative to other destinations. After reaching the lowest levels for exported coal in the third quarter of 2016 since 2007, US coal exports now look to return to recognisable heights and become a dominant player in global seaborne coal transport once again.

9. Bulker Carriers Collide
Bulk carriers "LONG CHEER" and "INCE KASTAMONU" collided at around 0230 UTC Aug 5 in Marmara sea some 15 nm south of Bosphorus entrance. Turkish bulk carrier was en route from Sudan to Romania, Black sea, Chinese bulk carrier was en route from Rouen France to Eregli – Istanbul. No leak reported, but extent of damages is unknown. Both vessels were brought to anchor after collision. As of 1500 UTC Aug 8, LONG CHEER was still at anchor, INCE KASTAMONU left anchorage in the afternoon Aug 8, destination Yalova Turkey, probably in need of repairs.

10. Maersk Leads Scrubber Backlash
Maersk has confirmed that they would “secure compliance”, not by scrubbers, but by using “alternative fuels”. The news has come as a great shock to those of us who were used to seeing Maersk as an industry leader in extracting the maximum value from residual based supply; leading the shipping community in both using high viscosity and high density fuels and in developing their own physical supply systems. If anyone would embrace the clear cost advantages of scrubbers, then surely it would be them, but now this notion was rejected.

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


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