Seacurus Daily: Top Ten Maritime News Stories 09/08/2018

Seacurus Daily: Top Ten Maritime News Stories 09/08/2018

1. Russia Opens Registry
Russian President Vladimir Putin has signed a law to amend the Merchant Shipping Code to allow the establishment of a Russian Open Register of Ships. The law grants the right to sail
under the Russian flag to ships entered into the Russian Open Register of Ships which are owned by foreign citizens or foreign legal entities. The move excludes fishing vessels but includes pleasure craft and small craft used for commercial purposes. 
also signed a package of laws establishing special tax havens for foreign companies on Russky Island in the Far East and Oktyabrsky Island in the Kaliningrad Region.
2. Idle Fleet Set to Grow
Box watchers at Alphaliner are predicting the idle container fleet will more than double between now and the end of the year. Alphaliner suggests the idle fleet could grow from the current 341,000 teu to hit 750,000 teu by
the end of 2018. The analysts said the leap in idled tonnage was down to the reduction of the active fleet as the slack season approaches, coupled with the delivery of new-built tonnage and the low number of vessels scrapped. 
idle containership fleet has risen to 341,000 teu or 1.6% of the total fleet as at the end of July 2018 from a low of just 0.9% in June.
3. Rise in Armed Attacks
ReCAAP ISC reports seven incidents of armed robbery against ships in July. Of the seven incidents reported in July 2018, two incidents occurred on board ships while underway and five
were on board ships at anchor or berth. Most involved petty theft. 
During January to July this year, 47 incidents, 36 actual incidents and 11 attempted incidents, have been verified and reported to the ReCAAP ISC. Compared
to January-July 2017, this is a four percent decrease in the total number of incidents. The overall severity of incidents this year has been the lowest in 10 years, with over two thirds involving petty theft.
4. Sat Comms Boom
Maritime satellite (VSAT) revenues are set to grow by more than 13.7% to 2021. Analysts forecast the global market will grow at a compounded annual growth rate of 13.74% during that period. They highlighted that VSAT market
growth was driven by multiple industry trends including an increasing need for VSAT on fishing vessels and ships involved in maritime surveillance. I
mproving maritime domain awareness, anti-piracy and commodity tracking
as key drivers for installing more maritime VSAT services. Crew welfare requirements and ship monitoring are also drivers.
5. China Exempts US Crude
China will impose a 25pc tax on most energy commodity exports from the US beginning on 23 August — but it is exempting crude oil from its retaliatory measures to US tariffs that go into effect the same day. China’s Ministry
of Commerce today published the list of US exports it has slated for tariffs in response to the second tranche of US duties announced yesterday. Beijing originally publicized its intent to target burgeoning US crude exports with a punitive tax, but the commodity
is not on the list published today. 
The Chinese government did not provide an explanation.
6. US Flags Rising Costs
The U.S. Government Accountability Office has released a new report on the challenges facing the U.S.-flag deep sea fleet, including rising operating costs and a declining number of qualified American mariners. GAO urged the Department of Transportation
to formalize a national maritime strategy to respond to these challenges, as requested by Congress in 2014. Costs are rising for U.S.-flag operators, according to DOT’s Maritime Administration. MARAD officials told GAO that the
difference in opex between a U.S.-flag ship and a foreign-flag ship has risen from $4.5 million per year in 2009 to as much as $6.5 million per year.

7. Offshore Business Goes Under
India’s GOL Offshore has finally been put out of its misery, and has been shut down after lenders failed to find an investor for the oilfield services company. GOL Offshore has been in financial trouble for a number of years
and has been one of the more high profile repeat offenders when it comes to failing to pay crew.
European shipping database Equasis lists the GOL Offshore fleet today as numbering a total of 15 vessels.
8. Yacht in Ship Collision
Two yachtsmen had to be rescued early Wednesday morning after their vessel collided with a cargo ship in the English Channel off Dungeness, Kent. The HM Coastguard reports that it received a MAYDAY call from the yacht following
the collision which happened just after 4:10 a.m. on Wednesday. 
Dungeness RNLI lifeboat rescued the two from the yacht and both are are reported safe and well.
9.  Felixstowe Draws Freight Ire
The British International Freight Association (BIFA) has lashed out at the Port of Felixstowe over continuing issues with container operations. Responding to news that its recently introduced new terminal operating system
(TOS) is now “stable”, BIFA said: “Our members still face significant problems at the port with shipping lines cancelling calls; or operating a cut-and-run policy, where the ship leaves before all containers that are booked are loaded, or discharged. Those
members are also experiencing knock-on effects at other UK ports where vessels are being diverted, causing additional cost and disruption.”

10. Cyber Threat Gets Commercial
There are many alarmist scenarios for cyber threats against shipping such as remotely taking control of vessels, but North P&I believes the main threat at present is commercially from the likes of ransomware attacks. The
P&I Club gives free advice to members on what it terms cyber-resilience, as no-one can be totally secure, and offers a hefty discount on the Hudson Analytix Cyber risk assessment tool. NORTH said, 
“risk of cyber-threat
at the moment is more commercial, manipulating cargo documents, and ransomware is the obvious threat…the threat of taking over vessels, although it does exist, is a lot further down the line".
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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