Seacurus Daily: Top Ten Maritime News Stories 27/07/2018

Seacurus Daily: Top Ten Maritime News Stories 27/07/2018

1. Saudi Stops Threatened Traffic
Saudi Arabia’s state oil company announced that it would suspend all shipments through the Strait of Bab el-Mandeb after an attack on its tankers off the coast of Yemen. The halt will affect the flow of crude from the world’s
top oil exporter to markets in Europe and the United States.  
"In the interest of the safety of ships and their crews and to avoid the risk of oil spill, Saudi Aramco has temporarily halted all oil shipments through Bab
El-Mandeb with immediate effect. The company is carefully assessing the situation and will take further action as prudence demands," Aramco said in a statement.
2. Big Buy Out Completed
Orient Overseas International (OOIL), the parent of Hong Kong shipping major OOCL, has announced that Cosco Shipping and SIPG has completed the acquisition of the Hong Kong company. Cosco announced the plan to take over OOIL
in June last year and has been working to get approvals from various authorities around the world in the past year. 
Earlier this month, Cosco received approval from the Anti-Monoply Bureau of China for the takeover of
OOIL, fulfilling all the preconditions of the $6.3bn deal. It also secured security clearance from the US government by divesting the Long Beach container terminal business.
3.  Cyber Fears Continue
Cyber security experts have been commenting on the COSCO cyber-attack, and have said it is “very worrying indeed". While COSCO shut down its connections
as a precautionary measure, we have to emphasise that ships are not islands, they are not self-contained units. This is a mistaken belief. Shore- and ship-operations are cyber-connected. 
If shore-based and ship-based IT
systems are linked, it could open a gateway to the COSCO ships, leaving them highly susceptible to an attack. Vessels do not need to be attacked directly but an attack can arrive via the company’s shore-based IT systems.
4. Task Based Competencies
KVH Videotel has announced a new feature of its innovative Videotel Performance Manager service that provides the ability to structure task-based competency assessments for seafarers on any given subject and monitor progress as they develop their skills.
Evaluating and documenting the competency of seafarers and enabling them to perform at the peak of their abilities are of critical importance to ship operators. Based around the established maritime concept of taskbooks, this
new feature allows seafarers to prepare for, and be evaluated against, any competency that should be demonstrated during their time onboard ship.

5. More Damage Found
The Swedish Coast Guard has found more damage on the grounded K Line car carrier  Makassar Highway following an inspection of the ship, increasing the complexity of salvaging the ship. In addition to the damage found on the
ship’s bow and propeller room earlier this week, the Swedish Coast Guard has found more damage including a hole in the bow thruster, water ingress in a couple of tanks and heavy metal damage to the bulbous bow. Additionally, the coast guard said there might
be damage to the bottom of the ship’s hull which cannot be inspected for now. 
The coast guard is now in talks with all relevant parties.
6. Success for Scrubbers
The number of ships with exhaust gas cleaning systems installed or on order is approaching 1,000 ships worldwide, according to a survey by the Exhaust Gas Cleaning Systems Association. As of 31 May 2018, the number of ships
with “scrubbers” installed or planned totaled 983. 
The survey noted that the number adoption of scrubbers seams to be rapidly accelerating ahead of the IMO’s 2020 low sulphur fuel rules’ entry into force. The
impending regulation  will require ships to burn fuel with a sulphur content no greater than .5%, compared to the 3.5% currently, or install “scrubbers” that remove sulfur as the fuel is burned.
7. Boosting Greek Insurance Role
With a hard Brexit looming, the London Insurance and International Brokers Association (LIIBA) said Athens and Piraeus are among cities London insurance brokers could consider for European Union subsidiaries. “At this advanced
stage of the game, it would be foolish to ignore the very real possibility of no deal for the UK,” said Christopher Croft, LIIBA ceo. 
In a statement accompanying the trade group’s mid-year report, Croft said: “That’s why
we’re encouraging our members to address this scenario now". LIIBA will be pursuing a more in-depth exploration of whether Athens or Piraeus could prove a viable alternative location."

8. Shipping Community Rallies
The Greek shipping community was quick to react as outer regions of Athens was ravished by wildfires this week. Indeed, as the death toll climbed to over 80 it could have been much higher if the country’s ferry sector had not rushed to rescue hundreds
of people driven into rough seas by the massive forest fires raging behind them. As rescue teams mid-week continued to search the seaside areas northeast of Athens to locate further victims Greek ferry crews were being hailed
as heroes after seafarers dived from their vessels into the water to help drag people onboard, who had been swept out to sea by tides and currents.

9.  Rotterdam Post Lower Figures
The port of Rotterdam achieved throughput of 232.8 million tonnes in the first six months of 2018. That is 2.2% less than in the first six months of 2017. Container throughput, one of the strategic priorities of the Port
Authority, rose by 5.9% (in tonnes, 6.2% in TEU) by comparison with the first six months of 2017, including a new throughput record in May. 
The market share of Rotterdam by comparison with the other ports in the Hamburg-Le
Havre range increased from 30.9% (Q1 2017) to 31.2% (Q1 2018)¹
10. US Approves Safety Legislation
The US House of Representatives has approved legislation to address maritime transportation safety issues raised by the El Faro sinking. The bill, passed by the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure of the United
States in late June, would promote the Coast Guard’s awareness of technologies that could help improve service mission performance, and reduce marine debris. 
As approved in the House by voice vote on July 25, the Save
Our Seas Act (S. 756) combines several pieces of bipartisan legislation recently approved by the Committee.

Daily news feed from Seacurus Ltd – providers of MLC crew insurance solutions
S. Jones
Seacurus Ltd
Seacurus Ltd.,
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