Seacurus Daily: Top Ten Maritime News Stories 03/10/2018
1. Smoke Without Fire
The ropax ferry Regina Seaways suffered an incident resulting in loss of power in the Baltic Sea on Tuesday, delaying a voyage for nearly 300 passengers. Reports from operator DFDS and from Lithuanian authorities concur that the casualty involved smoke, but they differ on whether a fire occurred. DFDS reported that there was no heat development (indicative of a fire) observed in the engine room. “To clarify, there was no explosion. Simply put, there are vibrations in the engine compartment and smoke appeared,” a DFDS spokesperson told media.
2. Shipping is Not Ready
Senior stakeholders believe that the global maritime industry is not prepared to deal with major issues that are likely to impact it over the next ten years. This is according to the Global Maritime Issues Monitor 2018, published today by the Global Maritime Forum and the International Union of Marine Insurance (IUMI). The report examines the impact and likelihood of 17 major issues based on research among senior maritime stakeholders across over 50 countries globally. According to the research, the maritime industry does not appear to be prepared for any of these issues.
3. Iran Pleads with China
Ahead of sanctions due next month, Iran’s top line IRISL has set up a Chinese joint venture line. Newcomer Reach Shipping Lines will operate the four new 14,508 teu ships, delivered in August to IRISL, on a new Far East – Colombo service that calls at Qingdao, Xingang, Dalian, Busan, Lianyungang, Shanghai, Singapore, Port Kelang, Colombo, Singapore, Qingdao. According to Alphaliner, Reach Shipping Lines was set up in July 2018 by the Shanghai-based Reach Group, which is closely linked to IRISL.
4. US Aids Venezuelan Crisis
The U.S. Navy hospital ship USNS Comfort will depart Norfolk, Virginia for a four-month medical assistance mission in Ecuador, Peru, Columbia and Honduras. In particular, she will help neighbouring nations to deal with the flood of Venezuelan refugees fleeing the collapse of their nation’s economic system. “It is an absolutely a humanitarian mission. We’re not sending soldiers; we’re sending doctors. And it’s an effort to deal with the human cost of [Venezuelan President Nicolás] Maduro, and his increasingly isolated regime,” said Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis, speaking during a visit to Colombia in August.
5. Broken Off Bermuda
The 250-foot Tanzanian-flagged general cargo ship, Alta, has broken down with 10 people onboard while transiting from Greece to Haiti. The Alta is approximately 1,380 miles southeast of Bermuda. The crew reported that they had enough food for two days and water for 15 days. The U.S. Coast Guard has responded, and an aircrew aboard an HC-130 Hercules airplane from Air Station Elizabeth City, North Carolina, was able to airdrop enough food for a week to the crew on Tuesday afternoon. The shipowner has contracted a commercial tug to tow the vessel to Saint Maarten.
6. Good News for Containers
September brought some stability and, all being well, contributed to better financial results as the carriers near year-end. The majority of carriers achieved their box rate increases at the start of September before slowly dropping off in the last decade. The main reason for the decline has been to ensure the vessels sail full before the first week of October Chinese Golden Week holiday. The uncertainty for Q4 rates continues to be a headache for shippers, carriers and freight forwarders alike as opinion is divided especially for the US head haul routes.
7. Big Trouble Off Little China
Media outlets have obtained photos showing a confrontation involving the U.S. Navy destroyer USS Decatur and a Chinese Navy warship in the disputed South China Sea over the weekend. The U.S. Navy confirmed the incident on Tuesday, accusing China’s navy of conducting an “unsafe and unprofessional maneuver” that nearly led to a collision as the U.S. destroyer was underway “in the vicinity” of Gaven Reef in the Spratly Islands. According to a Navy spokesman, during the incident, the Chinese warship “approached within 45 yards of Decatur’s bow, after which Decatur maneuvered to prevent a collision.”
8. No Threat from Disruptors
APL chief Nicolas Sartini does not believe that container shipping faces a major threat from a digital disruptor such as Uber. Speaking at the Singapore International Bunkering Conference (Sibcon) Sartini commented on what was keeping shipping senior executives awake at night. “Is there a digital disruption in the industry? Well not really, our industry is different from the worlds of Air BnB and Uber,” he said.
9. Singapore Bunker Investment
Singapore’s port authority has so far invested S$26 million ($19 million) into developing cleaner-burning liquefied natural gas (LNG) as a marine fuel at the city-state, the world’s largest marine refueling hub, an executive at the port authority said. “We’ve been working to develop LNG-bunkering in Singapore since about late-2015,” said Alan Lim, deputy director at the Maritime and Port Authority (MPA) of Singapore, told Reuters at the sidelines of the Singapore International Bunkering Conference and Exhibition on Tuesday.
10. Fine for Antarctic Incident
French cruise company Compagnie du Ponant and the master of cruise ship L’Austral have been fined a total of NZD 100,000 (USD 65,800) for endangering human life and entering a prohibited zone following an incident in the remote New Zealand Subantarctic islands. The company received a fine of NZD 70,000, while Captain Regis Daumesnil, a French citizen, was fined NZD 30,000 in the Wellington District Court. They had pleaded guilty to charges following the January 9, 2017 grounding of the cruise ship L’Austral on an uncharted rock at the Snares Islands.
Daily news feed from Seacurus Ltd – providers of MLC crew insurance solutions www.seacurus.com