Seacurus Daily: Top Ten Maritime News Stories 30/10/2017
1. RN Fires Drug Crew
Britain’s navy has fired nine sailors serving on a nuclear-armed submarine after they tested positive for using cocaine, the country’s defence ministry said on Saturday. The crew were from HMS Vigilant, one of four Royal Navy submarines which operate the Trident nuclear missile system. We do not tolerate drugs misuse by service personnel. Those found to have fallen short of our high standards face being discharged from service,” a Royal Navy spokesman said. The sailors had failed drugs tests while the submarine was docked in the United States, and the sailors had been accommodated in hotels on shore.
2. Overconfidence Creeps In
The U.K. Marine Accident Investigation Branch (MAIB) has released its report on the grounding of the ultra-large container vessel CMA CGM Vasco de Gama, citing that onboard navigation standards did not meet the expectations of the port involved. “It was apparent that complacency and a degree of overconfidence on the part of the master and port pilots contributed to this accident,” states the report. “However, it was also apparent from recent similar incidents and the findings of previous MAIB reports that many of the practices evident in this case were not specific to this single pilotage act or to CMA CGM Vasco de Gama.”
3. Striking Crew Agreement
Canadian owner Algoma Central Corporation has announced that it has reached a tentative agreement with the navigation and engineering officers in the company’s product tanker fleet, ending a strike that has lasted ten days. A total of 54 employees of Algoma Tankers, represented by The Canadian Merchant Services Guild (CMSG), went on strike after contract negotiations broke down. Algoma said vessels tied up as a result of the strike will commence operations as soon as arrangements are made to return crews to their ships.
4. Supply Not Meeting Demand
Seaborne trade grew by 2.6 percent in 2016, to reach 10.3 billion tons, but the pace remained below the historical three percent average, and demand for maritime shipping continued to lag behind supply, a new United Nations report says. Forecasts for 2017 point to a slightly higher growth rate of 2.8 percent. Projections for the medium term point to a compound annual growth rate of 3.2 percent between 2017 and 2022. The UNCTAD Review of Maritime Transport 2017 says the persistent imbalance between supply and demand is keeping freight rates and earnings low in most segments.
5. Owners Want Armed Guards
In order to combat the long-standing piracy threat in the Gulf of Guinea, the European Community Shipowners Association (ECSA) has called for agreements that would permit EU-flagged vessels to carry armed contractors in the region. "As the use of armed guards in the territorial waters of the Gulf of Guinea littoral states is not permitted due to national legal restrictions, initiatives should be undertaken to explore possibilities for the conclusion of an agreement between the E.U. and its member states with the Gulf of Guinea littoral states aiming at the permission of the use of private security guards by E.U.-flagged vessels".
6. Industry Broadly Satisfied
The International Chamber of Shipping (ICS), BIMCO, INTERCARGO and INTERTANKO represented the global shipping industry during intensive discussions at the IMO, which continued the development of a comprehensive CO2 reduction strategy for shipping. The international shipping industry associations say they are ‘broadly satisfied’ with the progress made at this week’s critical IMO meeting. They are encouraged that the ambitious proposals from the shipping industry regarding CO2 reduction objectives for the sector as a whole remain on the table, along with similar proposals from several IMO Member States.
7. Mega Wave Heights Recorded
A hurricane-force low-pressure system in the northwestern Pacific Ocean is living up to the hype, generating massive heights measured at over 57 feet! Following up on forecasts calling for 55 ft. (17 m) wave heights, the National Weather Service’s Ocean Predication Center reported Wednesday that satellite altimeter readings have shown actual significant wave heights of greater than 45 feet over an enormous 400 nm swath of ocean, with the highest wave height recorded at 57.87 feet (that’s 17.6 meters!).
8. Simulations Beyond Reality
Maritime simulation has undergone a transformation over the last three years, largely as a result of computer processing speeds and the ability to create real simulation in real time. This, according to Joe Mills, the Chief Executive of the Offshore Simulation Centre (OSC) in Aalesund on Norway’s west coast, is a transformational technology that enables “virtual prototyping”, leading to huge safety benefits, and time and cost savings of up to 20%. The exponential increase in computer processing speeds mean simulation techniques are now high-level virtual prototyping, applicable across a range of industrial sectors.
9. Revolution in Trading Patterns
The rise of digitalization, the Internet, cloud computing and E-commerce is starting to revolutionize the trading patterns, emerging as the true engine of the future growth of world trade. Despite technical advances and construction of ever bigger and more complex ships that have been used to improve the efficiency of the industry and cutting costs, the fundamental way the industry works has not changed over the last 40 years, since the introduction of the container in the 1970s, according to Tim Smith, Maersk’s North Asia Chairman.
10. Maersk Crowned Operator of the Year
Danish shipping company Maersk Line has been named ‘Container Operator of the Year’ at the annual Lloyd’s List Asia awards in Singapore. Maersk Line received the award for continuous network advancements, market leading digital solutions and trade finance, which allows customers to expand their business and reach new markets. “I am very honoured to accept this award on behalf of the Maersk Line. It is the recognition of the continued support we have seen from our customers and peers during a challenging time for Maersk Line,” Rupesh Jain, Maersk Line’s South East Asia Managing Director, said.
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