Asian shipowners say the Best Management Practices version 4 (BMP4) for protection against piracy needs updated in light of the changes to the threat faced by shipping in the Red Sea and Horn of Africa region. The Asian Shipowners Association (ASA) Safe Navigation & Environment Committee (SNEC) noted that the piracy situation of East Africa and had stabilised with a mix of naval deployments, use of private armed security and widespread adoption of BMP4. “The situation in the region has grown increasingly complex…particularly in Yemen, and an increased risk from other threats such as terrorism," the group said.
Corruption charges against Cho Yang-ho, the chairman of South Korea’s Hanjin Group, have been dropped. Cho had been accused of misappropriating funds to help renovate his house in downtown Seoul four years ago. Prosecutors however have declined to grant police investigators an arrest warrant, saying they will have to substantiate evidence if any warrant is to be granted. Hanjin Group was the parent of now defunct Hanjin Shipping, which became the largest containerline bankruptcy in history last year.
Royal Navy divers have destroyed a test torpedo that was speared by the anchor of a product tanker off Portland, UK. The historic ordnance had been pierced by the fluke of the anchor as it landed on the seabed, and had then been dragged up from a depth of about 50 feet. Portsmouth-based Southern Diving Unit 2 were dispatched to the scene and they immediately evacuated the majority of the crew. Six mariners, including the master, stayed on board in readiness to fight any fires that could have broken out.
Air traffic control technology is to be applied to a commercial port group in the U.K. for the first time. Peel Ports Group, the U.K.’s second biggest port operator, is investing £2.7 million ($3.5 million) in the technology across its network of seven harbour authorities to streamline marine operations. The ports include: Clydeport, Dublin, Great Yarmouth, Heysham, Liverpool, London Medway and Manchester Ship Canal. All marine operations will transition over the coming months and will be managed centrally from a new command centre at the company’s headquarters in Liverpool.
A total of 121 incidents of piracy and armed robbery against ships were reported in the first nine months of 2017, according to the IMB’s latest quarterly report on maritime piracy. The flagship global report notes that, while piracy rates were down, there is continuing concern over attacks in the Gulf of Guinea and in South East Asia. The increase in attacks off the coast of Venezuela and other security incidents against vessels off Libya are concerns, and in total, 92 vessels were boarded, 13 were fired upon, there were 11 attempted attacks and five vessels were hijacked in the first nine months of 2017.
Following the close of its 2017 fiscal year (FY17), the Panama Canal announced that the waterway welcomed a record 403.8 million Panama Canal tons (PC/UMS) of cargo in FY17, the largest amount of annual tonnage ever transited in its 103-year history. The 22.2 percent increase from the previous year can be directly attributed to the added capacity provided by the Expanded Canal. According to figures, the Panama Canal transited a total of 13,548 vessels during its FY17, representing a 3.3 percent increase compared to totals the year before.
Two market leaders in their respective fields, Jumbo and BBC Chartering have agreed to an exclusive strategic co-operation; the “GLOBAL PROJECT ALLIANCE”, effective immediately. This unique co-operation between two family-owned companies brings together established and reputed heavy-lift expertise and massive fleet capacity. The alliance is a mutually-shared aspiration to provide comprehensive solutions to customers on a global scale.
In a historic first for the ship classification industry, DNV GL has commenced the roll out of IMO compliant electronic class and statutory certificates across its entire fleet. The widespread use of electronic certificates will result in significant efficiency gains for ship owners, charterers, regulators and crew, cutting down administrative burdens, processing time and document handling costs. For the past few years, DNV GL has been working on pilot projects with several owners and flag administrations, to test and gain acceptance for the use of electronic certificates.
After eight consecutive weeks of declining spot freight rates on the headhaul legs between China and the US, the remainder of this year’s peak season is set to be worse for carriers than the corresponding period in 2016. According to the Freightos International Freight Index, last year’s peak season was in three phases, beginning with a four-week rate rebound from the Hanjin bankruptcy. Rates subsequently dropped during the Chinese Golden Week holiday, when cargo volumes effectively disappear, then began to rise from mid-October. This year is beginning to look very different.
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