Seacurus Daily: Top Ten Maritime News Stories 15/05/2018

Seacurus Daily: Top Ten Maritime News Stories 15/05/2018

1. Pollution Inspection Announcement
The Paris MoU Committee has approved a concentrated inspection campaign (CIC) on MARPOL Annex VI to be carried out jointly with the Tokyo MoU. The CIC will check compliance with requirements for the prevention of air pollution
from ships. It will be carried out from September to November 2018, and the questionnaire will be published in August. 
Anticipating the new maximum limits for sulfur in ships fuel oil entering into force on January 1,
2020, the Paris MoU has also embarked on an information campaign which will begin with the issuing a “Letter of Warning” starting January 1, 2019 to encourage timely compliance.

2. Newbuilding Growth Boom
Better earnings will power a recovery in newbuilding activity, while rising yards costs and the ongoing squeeze on capacity are driving price increases. Near term contracting for newbuildings tends to be driven by the freight
rate environment and our view of improving earnings in a number of key sectors over the next four years with a step up in aggregate newbuilding activity over that period. Driving the improvement in earnings is a mixture of rising cargo demand (from increasing
trade) and low rates of fleet growth. 
All sectors will see positive trade growth over the period with near-term strength in dry bulk and LNG.
3. Lines Pull Back
The US decision to reinstate sanctions on Iran will not take effect for several months, but it is already having an effect on European shipping businesses.  The top two container carriers,
2M partners MSC and Maersk Line, have reviewed plans in Iran due to the changing situation. Maersk Tankers – a subsidiary of A.P. Møller Holding, not Maersk Group – says that it is no longer making new agreements for loadings in Iran. The firm will wind up
its existing contracts before the U.S. Treasury Department’s November 4 deadline. Danish product tanker operator Torm has also suspended all loadings from Iran, effective immediately.

4.  IMO on Autonomous Ships
On May 16, the International Maritime OrganizationÂ’s (IMO) efforts on the regulation of autonomous ships will begin with the 99th session of the Maritime Safety Committee (MSC 99). The MSC will begin looking at how the safe,
secure and environmentally sound operation of maritime autonomous surface ships (MASS) may be introduced in IMO instruments. 
It is anticipated that a working group will be established to develop a plan of work and terms
of reference for an intersessional correspondence or working group, according to IMO.
5. Tug Captain Grievance
An agency of the Panamanian government charged with probing ethics violations and corruption is looking into the treatment of tugboat captains by the Panama Canal Authority (ACP). The Autoridad Nacional de Transparencia Internacional
(ANTAI) is looking into the ACPÂ’s use of disciplinary action against the captains last month. 
As the captains see it they were being punished for protest actions they took to draw attention to understaffing, forced overtime
and general safety concerns about working conditions, especially for those working on the new expanded locks.
6. Israeli Port Strikes
Stevedores at the ports of Ashdod and Haifa returned to work after a court ordered them to end a four-day strike. However, shipping interests report that operations remain slow, and the local union leaders have threatened to resume their walkout. Operations
at Israel’s two busiest seaports came to a halt last week as unionized workers walked out in protest of new, privately operated terminal concessions that will soon be built nearby. Israel’s National Labor Court ruled Wednesday that these employees would have
to return to work, and it ordered the police to deliver local union leaders to court to discuss the labor action.
7. Bank Faith in Blockchain
HSBC Holdings Plc completed a transaction using blockchain which it said shows the technology is commercially viable for trade finance. Together with ING Bank NV, the London-based bank handled a letter of credit for Cargill
Inc. which relied on the blockchain technology developed by the R3 consortium, according to an emailed statement on Monday. The letter of credit backed a shipment of soybeans transported last week from Argentina to Malaysia, the statement added.

8. Flag Record Growth
The Isle of Man Ship Registry (IOMSR) achieved record success last year, growing at twice the rate of the world fleet and recording 16.7 million gross registered tons at the end of 2017, its highest amount since inception. The
IOMSR ended the year with 6.4% growth in merchant fleet tonnage compared to an overall world fleet growth of just 3.3% 
The previous tonnage highpoint of 16.56 million was recorded in June 2014, while tonnage hit 15.7 million
at the same time last year 
At the end of the financial year, the IOMSR was the 13th largest in the world in terms of gross registered tonnage.
9. Record Cruise Transit
On May 14, Norwegian Cruise LineÂ’s new 168,028-gross ton Norwegian Bliss became the largest passenger ship to ever transit the Panama Canal. The successful transit coincides with another milestone in the Canal’s expansion – the addition of another Neopanamax
reservation slot. The Norwegian Bliss entered the Atlantic side of the Canal as part of her current cruise from Miami, to Los Angeles. Ultimately, the new ship is headed to Seattle to begin a series of seven-day cruises to Alaska.
She is scheduled to make a return transit of the Panama Canal on November 13, 2018 positioning for a winter 2018-2019.

10. Women on the Board
Gender diversity is the durian of low hanging fruit in the shipping industry, argues KD Adamson from Futurenautics. What if I told you that there was something you could do, which required no increase in capex or opex, and
which could enable your company to outperform its competitors by up to 26% over the next six years. Interested? Good. Well here it is. Put me on your board. 
Actually it doesnÂ’t have to be me, although IÂ’d like to think
I’d be an excellent choice. It just has to be someone with two X chromosomes, or—as they are more commonly referred to—women.
Daily news feed from Seacurus Ltd – providers of MLC crew insurance solutions
S. Jones
Seacurus Ltd
Seacurus Ltd.,
Barbican Group,  
33 Gracechurch Street,
London EC3V 0BT,
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