Top Ten Maritime News Stories 16/08/2017

Seacurus Daily: Top Ten Maritime News Stories 16/08/2017

1. Leaving London Behind
Italian insurance giant Generali insurance group quits UK after half a century as alarm bells ring at Lloyd’s. The Generali insurance group is ceasing to write marine hull insurance in London, in a powerful signal about the dire state of the market. The Italian insurance giant is one of world’s top underwriters but has found profitable business hard to come by in the heart of the global hull and machinery market. Generali is not commenting but multiple sources have confirmed to the media that the company has made a strategic decision to quit the UK hull market.
2. Sale of Vessel Agreed
Twelve Indian seafarers are closer to going home after a Scottish court has agreed to the sale of the "Malaviya Seven", an India-owned and -flagged platform support vessel that has been detained in Aberdeen since June 2016. The hearing is a step in the right direction for the vessel’s Indian crew, some of whom have been onboard the ship for 16 months. But the ordeal is not over yet. A total of 24 seafarers, including some who have already been repatriated, are owed over $867,000 from the vessel’s owner, India-based GOL Offshore. Over 100 family members in India depend on these seafarers.
3. Moving to Blockchain Era
IBM continues to coax shipping into the blockchain era. The tech giant has signed a memorandum of understanding with two of Singapore’s leading maritime firms, port operator PSA International and boxline Pacific International Lines (PIL), to explore and trial proof of concept (POC) blockchain-based supply chain business network innovations. The three parties will work together to explore POCs using technologies like blockchain to achieve better security, efficiency and transparency in regional supply chain business networks, as well as connect to trade finance solutions that can facilitate faster approval and fraud prevention.
4. Route to Recycling Responsibly
A 2016 E.U. study identified a the Ship Recycling Licence as a promising way to ensure that E.U.-flagged ships were recycled responsibly – avoiding the environmental and labor issues that have plagued the industry on the Indian sub-continent. The 2016 report was based on the study conducted by Ecorys, DNV-GL and the University of Rotterdam/Erasmus. The Licence would involve ships calling at E.U. ports obtaining a prior licence and pay a fee that would be accumulated to bridge the financial gap between dismantling in a substandard yard and dismantling in a yard included on the European List at the end of the ship’s lifetime.

5. Amazon Head in Hall of Fame
Jeffrey Preston Bezos, founder and CEO of, has been elected to the Logistics Hall of Fame as a revolutionizer of e-commerce and logistics. Bezos revolutionized logistics in the mail order sector. In the words of the jury, he was the first to realize that software and logistics are key to the shift from purchasing-driven trading to demand-driven online trading. Thanks to a combination of software, efficient delivery, automation and long-term strategy, the computer scientist transformed transport logistics and intralogistics from the ground up, making Amazon a benchmark for the sector as a whole.

6. Splitting Up the Business
Private Indian shipowner Mercator is looking at splitting its shipping and dredging businesses into separate entities. The company said the move “would facilitate value discovery, creation of focus entities with identified business objectives and opportunities to independently augment their growth plans”. Earlier this month, The Times of India had reported that Mercator was in talks with Canadian billionaire Prem Watsa’s Fairfax Group and Dutch dredging company Van Oord to bid for a controlling stake in Dredging Corporation of India.
7. DNV in Class Chair
DNV GL takes the chairmanship of the International Association of Classification Societies Knut Ørbeck-Nilssen, chief executive, maritime at DNV GL will assume the role of chairman for the usual one year period, taking over taking over from L Sun, head of China Classification Society. Sun Licheng, president China Classification Society, held the chair role from Jul 1 2016 to July 1 2017 IACS represents the twelve main class societies that are its members at the IMO and other international forums. Each of its members will assume the one year chairmanship in turn.
8. Choosing New Fuel Challenge
According to IMO estimates, the 0.50 per cent sulphur limit for marine fuels in 2020 will affect as many as 70,000 ships. Choosing the most economically feasible option for compliance is difficult. DNV GL provides decision support. The introduction of the new global sulphur cap in 2020 is causing nothing short of a paradigm shift in marine fuel. It is more than just another regulation — it is a complex challenge, and how you choose to comply may ultimately impact the future competitiveness of your assets. There is a great deal of uncertainty related to enforcement, fuel availability and technological solutions.
9. Survey Firm Bought
Royal Boskalis Westminster N.V. has acquired all shares of the U.K. based Gardline Group, a firm specializing in marine geophysical surveys, offshore geotechnical services and environmental surveys. The consideration paid including assumed debt amounts to approximately £40 million ($51.4 million). Gardline was established in 1969 and was a second-generation family-owned business. The company operates 15 survey related vessels in addition to 25 smaller vessels including crew transfer vessels and survey catamarans, and it presently employs approximately 750 employees including a pool of 100 surveyors.

10. Robot Container Project
A group of Norwegian graduates have spent their summer developing smart “robot containers” with cooling systems that can sail to ports without any human interaction. The seafood industry must comply with increasingly strict demands of consumers on sustainable seafood production, and the SEAtrue concept they developed offers a new supply chain solution. "We seek to seize the opportunities that these new technologies affords," says project manager Ole Johan Lønnum, a marine technology graduate at NTNU.

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