Seacurus Daily: Top Ten Maritime News Stories 03/01/2018

Seacurus Daily: Top Ten Maritime News Stories 03/01/2018

1. Denying Sanction Busting

Trafigura Group denied it was involved in the illicit transfer of fuel to North Korea after the South Korean government said the world’s third-biggest independent oil trader originally owned a cargo that was shipped in breach of United Nations sanctions in
October. The controversy nonetheless could spook international traders working in the region worried their oil and refined products could find their way to North Korea. In turn, that could increase the pressure on Pyongyang, making it more difficult and expensive
for the rogue regime to buy fuel in the face of international sanctions.
2. Delicate Equilibrium
Container shipping’s delicate supply/demand equilibrium is set to come under renewed pressure this year as a raft of new orders are set to rain in from Asian owners. Alphaliner is predicting orders to increase year-on-year in 2018 with a number of carriers,
including Hyundai Merchant Marine and Yang Ming, readying contracts with Asian yards while several non-operating owners remain keen to take on newbuilding projects at the current attractive price levels. This year, Alphaliner anticipates vessel deliveries
to increase to 1.49m teu, while deletions, mainly from scrapping, are expected to fall to 350,000 teu.
3. Ice Slows Fuel
Shivering New Yorkers may have to pay more to get warm as ice in the Hudson River delayed fuel-barge deliveries and the U.S. government warned of a home heating-fuel shortage from the East Coast to Texas. The Coast Guard has deployed four of its five Hudson
River ice-cutting vessels to carve out a path for tankers hauling motor and heating fuels to supply terminals around the city. River ice thickened to 6 inches north of Poughkeepsie, New York, over the weekend, according to Steve Strohmeyer, a U.S. Coast Guard
spokesman. The agency later warned of ice conditions forming around Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries.

4. The Year of Gas
The Society for Gas as a Marine Fuel predicts that 2018 will be the "tipping year" for the adoption of LNG bunkering.  "We have witnessed such significant increase in the number of projects and infrastructure recently and this is undoubtedly something
we can all further look forward to as the greater maritime industry begins to . . . realise the tremendous benefits of gas-fuelled shipping," said SGMF general manager Mark Bell in a statement. "I have been asked many times recently: ‘when will be the tipping
point for gas-fuelled shipping?’ and I believe that . . . ‘tipping year’ is surely going to be 2018."
5. Looking to Iran
CMA CGM has restarted its third direct service between Iran and Asia. The French container line resumed the CIMEX 9 service on 16 December from Kaohsiung, Taiwan. The CIMEX 9 service calls a rotation of Kaohsiung – Shanghai – Ningbo – Xiamen – Shenzhen – Bandar
Abbas and Jebel Ali. It offers a 19-day transit time between Shanghai and Bandar Abbas. It is CMA CGM’s third direct Iran – Asia services joining CIMEX 6 and CIMEX 8.
6. Ethics of Bunkering
For the first time, a bunker conference dedicated a whole session to the subject of ethics, and the message was clear: there is much room for improvement and the industry could benefit from a global code of ethics. Justin Murphy, IBIA’s Chief Executive
Officer, opened the final session at IBIA’s Annual Convention in Singapore in November, entitled “Embracing the Ethical Challenge”. He outlined, among other things, the effort underway in a working group to develop the “IBIA Guide to Best Ethical Practice”.
Murphy said there is compelling evidence that ethical businesses are more profitable than others.

7. Sour on Sweden
ACL is to quit calling the Swedish Port of Gothenburg citing increasing costs and lower productivity. ACL said that the “big change” to its 2018 schedule was the change of serving Gothenburg by feeder rather than by direct call. Following the change ACL’s 2018
European port rotation will be Liverpool-Hamburg-Antwerp-Liverpool while the North American rotation will remain as North American port rotation of Halifax-New York-Baltimore-Norfolk-New York-Halifax.
8. Decade of Oil Slides
As the calendar changes, the price of West Texas Intermediate oil (WTI) is hovering around $60 per barrel. WTI is the U.S. benchmark oil and the underlying commodity used by the New York Mercantile Exchange in oil futures contracts. It is based on a type of
light, sweet oil that was produced primarily in Texas in the first part of the 20th century. After WTI fell at the end of 2014 and ultimately hit prices below $30 less than two years ago, most oil traders and oil producers are thankful for what is seen as
a rebound. About a decade ago, though, WTI was trading at $145 per barrel (in July 2008).
9. Investigation Code Needed
There are calls for better international cooperation and a marine investigation code to speed and simplify the process of managing a marine casualty. Too often local jurisdictions are unprepared, lacking in understanding and unwilling to cooperate, and as a
result the process takes too long, with a negative outcome for the environment, the vessel’s crew or the damaged ship. Problems arise when a local authority does not know the limit of its jurisdiction and assumes authority of a casualty when they have no right
to do so. A marine investigation code could establish transparent, consistent procedures across national borders.
10. Tech Shipping Shake Up
Technologies that could shake the maritime industry can come from all angles. But the biggest hitters this year will be those that change the face of IT and digitalisation in the industry. Shipowners will already be well aware of the changing face of ship emissions
and smarter fleet management, but are they aware that developments in robotics, digital currencies and deep learning computers are also set to impact on their operations? The changes are set to be in Deep learning, Artificial intelligence, Industrial IoT,
Autonomous surface vessels, Blockchain, Augmented reality, Virtual reality, Drones, Robotics, and cyborg seafarers.

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


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