Top Ten Maritime News Stories 01/09/2017

Seacurus Daily: Top Ten Maritime News Stories 01/09/2017

1. Texas Port Reopen
The US Coast Guard (USCG) has approved the reopening of some ports in Texas following their closure because of Tropical Storm Harvey, according to Reuters and the Houston Chronicle. But restrictions still apply. Houston, the major hub for oil and petrochemicals, is one of those ports. Galveston, Texas City and Freeport are the others. USCG’s restrictions mean that the upper part of the Houston Ship Channel is still out of bounds, and that area includes five oil refineries. And another restriction, particular to Texas City, limits the size of vessel allowed there to only the smallest draft tankers.
2. Cosco Says Price is Right
The $6.3bn Cosco Shipping has bid to take over Orient Overseas Container Line (OOCL) and the assets of its parent are not over the top. Cosco vice chairman Huang Xiaowen, said the acquisition of Hong Kong–listed OOCL – potentially the most expensive container shipping acquisition in history – was not overpriced, providing state-run Cosco with huge new operational efficiency and brilliant brand value. Unlike previous acquisitions Cosco will keep the OOCL brand separate. By taking on the 678,000 slot-strong fleet of OOCL, China’s Cosco will challenge Marseille-based CMA CGM for third spot in the global liner rankings.
3. Hyundai Spending Spree
South Korean shipping company Hyundai Merchant Marine (HMM) is moving forward with its plans to modernize fleet and has set sights on adding seven ships with options for five more. Specifically, HMM will acquire two large container vessels at a 10% lower price than the current market price as it eyes to bolster its fleet competitiveness. Hanjin Heavy Industries and Construction based in the Philippines has been hired for the job of building the ships. The price tag for the boxship pair totals USD 162 million.
4. Chinese Port Eye Recovery
A recovering economy helped China Merchants Port Holdings to a 9% rise in first half throughput to 50.2m teu, from 46.1m teu previously, which in turn led to a 9% rise in pre-tax profit contribution from the core ports segment of HKD5.9bn ($754m) and accounting for 79% of total profits. Meanwhile bulk cargo volume at the group’s ports also grew 15% to 249m tonnes from 217m tonnes, previously. Overall first half net profit rose 86% to HKD3.1bn. the company said in a stock market announcement.
5. Emas White Knight Rides In
Emas Offshore, part of Singapore’s Ezra Holdings, has filed an application to the High Court of Singapore to pave the way for a restructuring after a white knight was found to inject cash into the struggling company. Emas Offshore entered into a term sheet with unrelated third-party investors on Tuesday regarding a cash investment. The deal will see the company undertake a restructuring it said will substantially deleverage its balance sheet and strengthen its working capital position to enable it to continue as a going concern. The court application will block legal proceedings and ensure protection against winding up.
6. Risk Must Evolve
Effective management of risk within the industry has improved slightly over the past 12 months, according to the third annual Shipping Risk Survey from international accountant and shipping adviser Moore Stephens. But shipping still needs to up its game in terms of managing its exposure to risk, which is increasing and changing in nature, not least in terms of the threat posed by cyber security, Moore Stephens says. Survey respondents rated the extent to which enterprise and business risk management is contributing to the success of their organization at an average 6.8 out of a possible score of 10, compared to 6.6 last time.
7. Roosevelt Heads South
The "CMA CGM Theodore Roosevelt" will be deployed on the South Atlantic Express (SAX) line, linking Asia East Cost to North America Cost through the Panama Canal, says a statement from the company. With transit times among the fastest in the market between Asia and North, Central America and with an optimal coverage, the SAX line offers a high-quality service to the Group’s customers. This line is also operating through the OCEAN Alliance powered by CMA CGM. In recent years, CMA CGM in the United States has grown to become an industry leader, consistently outgrowing the market.
8. Global Live Container Prices, a global marketplace for freight forwarders to book containerised spot market space, has claimed a world first with the launch of live pricing. The launch includes instant rates from some of the largest global shipping lines, which represent more than 25 percent of total global container shipping capacity. This makes it a significant advance on current processes of procuring and booking space. Dr Alan Taylor, Chairman and co-founder, says the system brings efficiencies to both freight forwarders and shipping lines, with an intuitive platform that saves significant time and effort.  

9. Training on Harassment
The Ship Operations Cooperative Program (SOCP) has released a new computer based training on prevention and response to sexual assault, sexual harassment, retaliation, bullying and other prohibited behaviors in the U.S. maritime industry.  The training is designed to help mariners and shore based personnel better identify and prevent such behaviors as well as assist industry efforts to aggressively promote a culture of zero tolerance for such behavior. It can run on Windows or Apple computers without requiring an internet connection and is designed for easy integration into any organization’s learning management system.

10. Bermuda Berth Allision
Car carrier "Viking Sea" contacted a berth in Hamilton Port, Bermuda, in the afternoon Aug 30, when leaving port with assistance of two tugs, report local media. Towline of one of the tugs broke, vessel went out of control and contacted berth, reportedly by stern. Vessel was detained for survey, resumed voyage in the morning Aug 31, bound for Panama. Understood she didn’t suffer serious damages, if any. The vessel was built in 2012, and flies the flag of Singapore, and is managed by OSM Ship Management Pte. Ltd.

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