Seacurus Daily: Top Ten Maritime News Stories 08/10/2018
1. Oceans Dying From Plastics
The International Energy Agency has a sobering warning about the health of the world’s oceans. The total amount of oceanic plastic waste is likely to more than double by 2030, and then keep getting worse, if action isn’t taken now, according to projections in a report published Friday. Arresting images of strangled turtles and tropical waves clogged with garbage have helped raise awareness about the threat to oceans from plastic waste. But the IEA’s projections suggest that efforts to curb that pollution may prove futile unless there’s a global revolution in recycling and waste management.
2. Korea Boosting Industry
Korea Ocean Business Corporation (KOBC), South Korea’s government-backed ship financing entity, has allocated $5.4bn funding for HMM’s business expansion. According to local reports, KRW3.15trn of the amount will be used to fund HMM’s recent order of 20 giant boxships at three domestic yards and the remainder will support HMM to acquire container terminal assets. HMM, South Korea’s flagship carrier, posted the worst results of all the major carriers around the world in the second quarter of this year. Its operating margin for container shipping business declined further to -16.4% during the period.
3. Complaints About Korean Spending
SEA Europe and European Community Shipowners’ Associations (ECSA), the trade associations representing respectively European shipbuilding and maritime equipment and European shipowners, have hit out again at state aid being dished out to Asian yards and lines, arguing that it is making an unlevel playing field for European maritime firms. The pair have focused their ire this time on South Korea where state funding is helping restructure and save many struggling yards and lines.
4. Ro-Ro Box Collision
A ro-ro ferry and a container ship collided in the Mediterranean Sea near Corsica on Sunday. No injuries have been reported, but responders from Italy, France and Monaco are assisting with cleanup of what is believed to be a fuel oil spill nearly two and a half miles long. The 162-meter (530-foot) Tunisian ferry Ulysse operated by Cotunav reportedly collided with the at-anchor CSL Virginia 30 kilometers (18 miles) from the island at around 7:30am, causing a breach in the hull of the container ship several meters long. The CSL Virginia was not carrying any cargo at the time. The incident occurred in fair weather.
5. Bulker Rates Rallying
Panamax grains cargo freight rates from the East Coast of South America have reached near four-year highs and are set to go even higher in mid-October as bunker fuel prices continue to soar, market sources said. IFO 380 CST was assessed up $10 to $532/mt in Santos on Thursday, up 22% since September 5. The Santos to Qingdao, 60,000 mt grains route was assessed at $39.25/mt on Thursday and Friday, the highest since S&P Global Platts began assessing the route in December 2014. “Owners may soon be asking well into the $18,000s/day on time charter for Panamax vessels from the ECSA,” a ship broker said.
6. US Delays Environment Rules
The US Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) has further delayed the release its new Vessel General Permit (VGP 3.0). The proposed VGP 3.0 was originally scheduled to be issued for comment in late 2017 but is now expected to be made available in March 2019 – with at least a 30-day comment period.
ABS states that, during the period until the final VGP 3.0 enters into force, the EPA has decided to administratively continue the current VGP 2.0 and that the following information will be contained in a policy letter to be published and distributed by the EPA in the near future:
7. Arison Digs Deep for Philippines
The Micky and Madeleine Arison Family Foundation has pledged $5 million to support relief efforts in communities affected by Hurricane Florence in North and South Carolina, Super Typhoon Mangkhut in the Philippines and the recent Indonesia earthquake and resulting tsunami. The Foundation will make an immediate donation to Save the Children and Direct Relief to support the most timely and urgent relief needs as well as the long-term recovery strategy across the globe in the wake of recent natural disasters. Additional grants are under way from Carnival Foundation.
8. Death of a Crewmember
A crew member on board MS Stena Europe, a ferry owned by Stena Line, and operated on their Fishguard-Rosslare service, died last week. “Stena Line can confirm that unfortunately an onboard employee died during one of its sailings between Fishguard – Rosslare on Wednesday 26th September 2018,” a company spokesperson told the press. “The family of the deceased have been informed and Stena Line has offered its condolences and support at this difficult time. A post mortem examination will be carried out to establish the cause of death.”
9. Rotterdam Embracing AI
The Port of Rotterdam Authority has signed a partnership agreement with an artificial intelligence software startup to help develop autonomous navigation within the port. The Port of Rotterdam Authority says it has is not a question of if, but when autonomous navigation will be introduced. So in order to prepare for this shift, it has converted a patrol vessel into a floating lab designed to collect data, including about the vessel’s operation and power, which will then be made available to businesses and the research community.
10. Huge Claim for Barge Loss
The owners of an oil barge that exploded off the coast of Texas in 2017 might make $12 million more on their insurance claim for the damaged vessel than they have to pay the families of two seamen killed in the disaster, according to court filings. It’s a common scenario under an archaic U.S. law that protects the shipping industry from full financial responsibility at the expense of victims, according to two maritime experts. It happens in “almost every total loss marine casualty,” Lawrence Brennan, professor of maritime law at Fordham University, said.
Daily news feed from Seacurus Ltd – providers of MLC crew insurance solutions www.seacurus.com