Top Ten Maritime News Stories 31/08/2017

Seacurus Daily: Top Ten Maritime News Stories 31/08/2017

1. Maersk Credit Rating Review
The Baa2 issuer rating and senior unsecured rating of Danish shipping and oil major Maersk have been placed on review for downgrade, according to Moody’s ratings agency. Additionally, the company’s senior unsecured medium-term note (MTN) programme’s (P)Baa2 rating was placed on review for downgrade as well.
The rating action follows Maersk’s announcement that it agreed to dispose of its Maersk Oil division to Total S.A. for USD 7.45 billion. The company is to receive USD 2.5 billion in cash, which will be used to repay debt, and USD 4.95 billion in shares (97.5 million shares representing 3.76% of Total S.A. share capital).
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2. Hanjin Questions Remain
Today marks the one-year anniversary since South Korea’s flagship carrier Hanjin Shipping sought court protection, sparking global supply chain chaos and ultimately the largest container shipping casualty to date. A year on the question remains whether liner shipping has learnt its lesson from such a high profile bankruptcy? Approximately $14.5bn of goods were left stranded on Hanjin ships around the world, and hundreds of seafarers were marooned in international waters as the Seoul-headquartered firm sought in vain to try and keep its fleet in tact.
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3. Spike of Supply Chain Threats
The British Standard Institute (BSI) reports a spike in terrorist incidents in the global supply chain last year. According to the study, there was a total of 346 attacks in 2016, a rise of 16% on the previous year. Over the last decade, the BSI calculates that there has been an average of 161 attacks per year, last year reflects a trend for increasing violence in the supply chain. Reports describe cargo theft, extortion, hijacking, kidnapping and smuggling and as well as more violent attacks. These incidents have affected 58 countries. Those experiencing the highest number are Colombia, India and Turkey. 
goo.gl/6vVSXG
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4. Modern Slavery Ship Detained
A ship has been detained in port near Bristol after ‘modern day slavery’ conditions were found on board. Crew members were reportedly living off sea water and out-of-date food on freighter docked at Severnside port of Sharpness. Described as having conditions close to ‘modern day slavery’, the Panama-registered Tahsin has been prevented from sailing from Sharpness by the Maritime and Coastguard Agency. Maritime officials found failings with navigation equipment, invalid employment contracts, non-payment of wages, damage to cargo and expired licenses.
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5. Dryships Faces Subpoena
George Economou’s Dryships has revealed in its second quarter results that it has received a subpoena from the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) requesting documents and information related to offerings made by the company between June 2016 and July 2017. The controversial offerings saw DryShips issue around $700m worth of discounted new shares to Kalani Investments, who then resold them on the open market. The dilution saw DryShips shares continuously slide, only halted temporarily by a series of reverse stock splits.
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6. Blame Game for Government
One in 3 South Korean maritime experts blame the government for the bankruptcy of Hanjin Shipping Co., once the nation’s leading shipping company, a poll has revealed. Hanjin Shipping, previously the world’s seventh-largest shipper, was put under court protection in September last year as its creditors refused to save the failing company before being declared bankrupt in February. According to the survey of 36 corporate executives, scholars, government officials and journalists, 37 percent of the respondents said Hanjin Shipping’s failure was caused by the government’s lack of awareness of the shipping industry’s importance.
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7. Uncertain Future for Liners
New alliances, structural change and positive economic trends have transformed the container shipping market over the past year, driving growth and pushing business performance figures from deep red into black. However, despite long-term rates that are, in some cases, up 120 percent year on year, the future remains uncertain due to a looming shadow on the horizon, according to market intelligence company Xeneta. Strong consumer demand, and alliances have help push up utilization and rates, Berglund says, but there remains uncertainty. The industry may be unwittingly planning to sabotage its own success.
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8. Fender Failure Causes Sinking
The Danish Maritime Accident Investigation Board has released its report into the sinking of the decommissioned PSVs Maersk Searcher and Maersk Shipper in December 2016. The DMAIB concluded that the fenders between the two ships failed during a side-by-side tow through the English Channel, and that the ships collided repeatedly until damage and flooding caused them to founder.  The two aging Maersk Supply ships were prepared for scrapping in 2016. The Chancellor lacked the winch arrangements for a standard double tow, but the plan for a side-by-side tow on one wire was seemingly flawed.
goo.gl/fjrngz
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9. Blockchain Pilot Delivers
The container logistics industry will see improved connectivity, efficiency and security thanks to blockchain. That’s the conclusion of a successful pilot program, delivered by logistics technology company Marine Transport International (MTI), and summarised in a whitepaper written and verified by the University of Copenhagen and Blockchain Labs for Open Collaboration (BLOC). The project, which has connected supplier, shipper, load point, customs and terminal on a shared blockchain ledger, has far reaching consequences for the logistics industry as it seeks new ways to improve security and profitability. 
goo.gl/csb6SC
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10. Toxic Cocktail for Shipping
Hungry shipyards and shipping companies eager to be top dog is a toxic cocktail which, combined with market optimism amid higher freight rates, is likely to distort the low ordering activity in the container shipping sector, according to BIMCO. Container shipping majors such as CMA CGM, and most recently Meditteranean Shipping Company (MSC), have been tied to 22,000 TEU boxship orders, the world’s largest containerships based on TEU capacity on the market so far. French liner major has reportedly signed a letter of intent (LoI) with two Chinese yards on the construction of up to nine 22,000 TEU megaships.
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Daily news feed from Seacurus Ltd – providers of MLC crew insurance solutions  www.seacurus.com

 

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