Seacurus Daily: Top Ten Maritime News Stories 28/08/2018

Seacurus Daily: Top Ten Maritime News Stories 28/08/2018

1. VLCCs In Deep Trouble
Despite the occasional blip, the VLCC market remains in deep trouble for the weeks to come, with oversupply evident in key routes and regions. Brokers have talked about “observed strengthening rates through much of the week
as part of a delayed reaction to last week’s strong activity and narrowed Middle East availability surplus This trend kept with the trend of delayed reflection of fundamentals changes in sentiment. Indeed, demand this week declined 22% w/w to 32 fixtures while
a long list of previously “hidden” positions suddenly appeared as available through the first decade of the September Middle East program.

2. Cocoa Trapped in Port
At least 30,000 metric tons of cocoa are trapped on their way to ports in Nigeria’s main city of Lagos as roads in a state of disrepair delay access to ships, the cocoa exporters body said. Travel
to the Apapa and Tin Can Island ports that previously took hours, now takes as much as four weeks as trucks struggle through cratered and water-logged roads to get there, Pius Ayodele, president of the Cocoa Exporters Association of Nigeria, said. The affected
cargoes are either in traffic jams or stored in transit warehouses in Lagos.
3.  Barrier Reef Ban
The state government in Queensland, Australia is readying the ban of transhipping along the Great Barrier Reef. “The reef contributes more than A$6bn ($4.4bn) to the Australian economy
and supports more than 60,000 jobs,” Queensland’s minister for environment Leeanne Enoch said. “Our transhipping policy recognises the multiple pressures the reef already faces and is a vital part of our government’s package of measures to protect it.” 
policy will not count for any transhipments of less than 100 tons.
4. Blockchain Here to Stay
Blockchain is here to stay – that is the key takeaway after IBM has announced their TradeLens platform for logistics. By doing this, they have validated blockchain as a good business technology, and also gave wings to smaller, more agile developers of
solutions of the industry. Some of them focus on verticals, while others specialise in specific processes, such as cargo tracking, or documentation handling and ownership transfer (bills of lading, for example).
5. US Identifies Threats
The Pentagon released its annual report to Congress on military and security developments involving the People’s Republic of China (PRC). The single most important revelation alone justifies the 145-page report’s $108,000 cost many times over. The U.S.
government has shone a spotlight to expose the shadowy People’s Armed Forces Maritime Militia (PAFMM). The Department of Defense has been urged to address this issue, as the PAFMM is involved in progressing China’s dubious claims over sovereign territories
and expansion in the South China Sea.
6. Pariahs Coming Together
Iran and Qatar both face damaging trade embargoes, and they are increasing their commercial ties with each other to offset the damage.  Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Bahrain and the UAE have had sanctions in place against Qatar since
May 2017, motivated in large part by the Qatari government’s relations with Iran. Qatar has developed alternate shipping routes to bypass its historic transshipment points in the UAE, and it has managed to shake off the worst of the effects of the embargo.
Its status as the world’s largest LNG exporter has continued unchanged, helping to insulate it from the regional restrictions.
7. Stricken Vessel Emergency Tow
The U.S. Coast Guard helped arrange a tow for the disabled freighter GDF Suez North Sea, which suffered a loss of propulsion about 100 nm off the Port of New York and New Jersey (PNYNJ).  At about 2100 hours on Tuesday, Coast
Guard Sector New York learned that the North Sea had suffered a loss of propulsion and was adrift off the Eastern seaboard. She had 21 crewmembers and a cargo of cement on board.
8. German Yard Slips Under
German shipyard Nordseewerke has filed for bankruptcy. Based in the northern German city of Emden, the ailing yard has been close to shutting its doors for many years. Its most recent work has been providing segments for cruiseships being built by Meyer-Werft.
This is actually the third time the yard has filed for bankruptcy this decade with the local Lower Saxony government forking out millions of euros to try and keep it solvent.
9.  Safely into Port
A tanker with 19 crew members on board has docked at a port in Togo after going missing for over a week in a suspected hijacking off the West African coast, the crew’s agency said on Friday. The Ialkani agency and the ship’s
managers lost communication with the Panama-registered Pantelena on Aug. 14, when it was about 17 miles (27 km) from the port of Libreville, in Gabon. 
Two Russian nationals and 17 Georgians were aboard the vessel, a dual
purpose oil or chemicals tanker managed by Athens-based Lotus Shipping. The company gave no further details on the cargo or crew.
10. Seafarers Under Stress 
Seafarers, who are often exposed to adverse working conditions with multiple stressors, are at acute risk of panic attacks. The UK Club recently received a report o fa seafarer repatriated and diagnosed with panic disorder,
insomnia (allegedly due to his work schedule) and depression. 
He was treated accordingly, prescribed medication for his condition, and after a successful course of treatment, was found fit to return to work. Seafarers
can experience high levels of stress in their job. Seafaring entails dangers that are not present in many other occupations, and seafarers often work under threat of injury, piracy and disease.

Daily news feed from Seacurus Ltd – providers of MLC crew insurance solutions
S. Jones
Seacurus Ltd
Seacurus Ltd.,
Barbican Group,  
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London EC3V 0BT,
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