Top Ten Maritime News Stories 05/10/2017

Seacurus Daily: Top Ten Maritime News Stories 05/10/2017

1. Lack of Big Beasts
THE Alliance could find itself on the wrong side of a $500 per teu cost differential on the key Asia-North Europe trade due to its members’ failure to order more ultra-large container vessels (ULCVs). Recently confirmed orders for nine 22,000 teu ULCVs by CMA CGM (Ocean Alliance) and 11 similar units by MSC (2M) have heaped pressure on THE Alliance, whose members are “falling further behind in the megamax vessel stakes”, according to Alphaliner. Last week saw delivery of the final 15,000 teu unit of 17 ULCVs ordered by UASC, before it was merged into Hapag-Lloyd, and the German carrier said its fleet was “now complete”.
2. Clipper Closing Offices
Clipper says it is simplifying its operational and administrative setup in the bulk sector by closing Clipper Bulk offices in Stamford, Sao Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, Singapore and Beijing. The company will concentrate its bulk business in Copenhagen, Houston and Hong Kong. “Fewer but larger hubs will allow us to service our customers and to operate our fleet more efficiently,” Clipper said in a statement. Clipper Bulk offices in Barranquilla, Tokyo and Nassau will remain unchanged. Peter Norborg, group CEO of Clipper, commented: “We want to make communication more effective and our response time to market changes shorter.”
3. Bond Market Hotting Up
High-yield bonds are very much in vogue among shipowners circling the Oslo financial markets. In the first nine months of the year shipping companies have raised around NOK16bn, according to data from DNB Markets estimated, which is roughly four times as much as in all of 2016. Wallenius Wilhelmsen Logistics (WWL) has been among the most recent firms to take advantage of strong high-yield investor interest, raising NOK1bn in unsecured debt on September 28. Arne Blystad’s Songa Bulk has also raised significant funds for fleet growth via the Oslo bond market in recent weeks.

4. Christmas Is Coming
Peak season is fast approaching for container carriers and market intelligence company Xeneta predicts it could well be a tale of two Christmases. Xeneta, which crowd-sources real-time global shipping data covering more than 160,000 port-to-port pairings, predicts significant recovery for the container segment in 2017. U.S. ports, it says, have never been busier, and in September China to Northern Europe main port long-term freight rates for 40-foot containers jumped by 65 percent year-on-year.
5. Grounding Report Released
The Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) has released its investigation report into the grounding of the tanker Bow Singapore in Port Phillip Bay, Victoria, in August 2016, highlighting both procedural and maintenance issues as contributing to the accident. On August 19, 2016, a Port Phillip Sea Pilot boarded the vessel. The pilot was to conduct the ship through The Rip and the South Channel to an anchorage in the northern part of Port Phillip. As the ship neared the eastern end of the South Channel, the rudder ceased responding to helm inputs and remained at 5° to port. 
6. A Comedy of Errors
To order, or not to order – that is the question. This may be a poor misquote of Shakespeare, but the wrong decision by shipping managements may result in “the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune”. Having seen 10 years of disaster in the dry bulk segment of shipping, isn’t caution in order? With several false recoveries during that time isn’t the real question: what has changed? Has there really been a change that warrants opening up the orderbook? Or should we be reminded by Alexander Pope, “Fools rush in where angels fear to tread”? Angels here being the wise, the cautious.
7. British Captain Honoured
A British sailor has been honoured for helping rescue more than 900 refugees in the Mediterranean Sea. Jamie Wilson is the captain of a commercial ship that was checking a pipeline off the coast of Libya when it was drafted to rescue nine overcrowded migrant dinghies over a gruelling five days. Neither he nor his ship’s crew had any previous experience of search and rescue work but Captain Wilson said he was compelled to respond to the “unprecedented” crisis. The British-flagged ship, "Deep Vision", was sailing off the coast of Libya on 28 January when it received a call about a boat in distress and started the rescue.
8. Dredger Explosion Injuries
Two people have been injured earlier in an explosion that occurred on board a dredging vessel some two nautical miles South of Dodman Point, Cornwall. “Just before 1pm today, UK Coastguard received a call from a dredging vessel reporting that they’d had an explosion on board.  It is believed that a compressed aircylinder exploded and two of the three people on board have been injured in the blast,” UK Coast Guard informed. As informed, the Newquay Coastguard helicopter and the Falmouth RNLI Lifeboat are currently on scene evacuating the casualties to Derriford Hospital.
9. Port Suffers Massive Losses
The recent sinking of a fishing vessel in the navigational channel of Cochin Port Trust has caused a number of losses to the port. The direct loss incurred for salvaging the sunken vessel was INR 2.95 million (around USD 45,150), the port said in a statement, adding that the indirect loss due to cancellation/diversion of ships during the salvage period “is huge”. The fishing vessel sank in the morning hours of September 19 while it was being towed to Thoppumpady harbour. It earlier developed a leakage and its engine stopped working while it was some 5 nautical miles off the coast. 

10. Perfect Newbuild Storm
With a “perfect storm” in the newbuilding market global shipbuilding capacity is set to decline by 20 – 30% by the end of the decade according to Clarksons Platou. Shipyards are facing declining global order coverage. “What we’re dealing with the newbuilding market at the moment is this perfect storm. We’ve got the freight market being weak, we’ve had this over ordering in 2013 driven by the involvement of private equity and this move towards eco-tonnage, and then at the end of 2015 we have NOx Tier III obligations and financing conditions.” analysts said.

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


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