Seacurus Daily: Top Ten Maritime News Stories 12/10/2018
1. There Will Always be Bad Owners
While seafarer happiness might be better than two years ago at the nadir of the markets, there will always be bad shipowners out there, according to the secretary general of charity Mission to Seafarers. Andrew Wright says his organisation is seeing very significant improvements in how seafarers are treated after years of tales of crew neglect. This is not just because of improving markets, but better enforcement of the Maritime Labour Convention (MLC), more responsible companies operating, and much lower tolerance from ports to bad behaviour. He says there will always be “bad owners”.
2. Efficiency is Failing
As the celebrations surrounding IMO’s 70th anniversary fade into memory, it is one of the industry’s worst kept secrets that the UN agency’s Energy Efficiency Design Index (EEDI) requirements have failed to keep pace with improvements in vessel design and operation. Owners can be swift in adopting efficiency measures when cash is on the line but, for some, environmental regulations prompt only a sigh of resignation that something will need to be done when the rules change. However, when IMO adopted EEDI in 2011 and outlined its scheduled phase-in, the ambition was vessels having improved efficiency.
3. Super hot in Supramax Market
It’s boiling hot in the supramax segment in the second week of October and a handful of prominent Greek owners have been bidding for ships. One interesting ship that several owners have showed interest in, for this week, is the 55,900 dwt Ivy Unicorn (built 2011). This ship is owned by Ivy Shipping, a vehicle created by Paris Kassidokostas-Latsis and two investors last year. The ship was put up for sale some months back. Sources tell Splash that the bulker has just been committed for $15.75 m.
4. Cooperation for Seafarer Welfare
Katie Higginbottom, head of the ITF Seafarers Trust, claims that seafarers don’t necessarily feel the uptick in the markets. She says, “The only way to improve the situation is to get these bad owners out of business, and getting authorities around the world to enforce rules better.” During her tenure at the helm of the crewing charity Higginbottom is keen to foster greater co-ordination and collaboration among shipping’s stakeholders. She is looking to develop greater relationships, for instance, with port operators on seafarer welfare and occupational health and safety as well as helping out with data collection.
5. Drones Used for Bulk Shipments
Mining and energy giant BHP Billiton is trialling the use of drones to speed up its port operations. The firm intends to deploy small unmanned aerial vehicles to take draft readings and inspect holds on giant bulkers as they wait to load rather than dispatching human inspectors for the purpose. BHP VP of marketing freight, Rashpal Bhatti, is a prominent technological evangelist in shipping, and he believes that information collected by drones will one day feed into the BHP-supplied tablets that bulker captains use at BHP terminals. “All of our chartered ships receive a tablet when they berth.
6. Assessing Change for Ports
A round-table organized by the International Transport Forum examined options for the future development of Buenos Aires specifically and ports located in cities more generally, as Buenos Aires and its neighboring ports exemplify the issues faced by many city ports. A report produced as a result of the 2017 round-table has now been released. It notes that Argentina should strategically assess its long-term location options for container ports. Argentina currently has an opportunity to redesign its containerized freight transport system, as concessions in the port of Buenos Aires (Puerto Nuevo) will expire in 2020.
7. Maersk to Store Fuel
Maersk continues to get its 2020 global fuel supplies into shape. Having agreed to take a slice of Rotterdam port to supply sulphur cap compliant fuel, Maersk Oil Trading has now leased oil storage space at the world’s top bunkering hub, Singapore. Maersk has taken space at the Tankstore oil terminal in the south of Singapore. Maersk has been one of the stronger advocates for pursuing a compliant fuel strategy come the 2020 0.5% sulphur cap, however in recent months it has admitted it will trial scrubbers on around 20 of its ships.
8. Remote Tug on Show
At Rotterdam’s Innovation Expo 2018, Dutch tug operator Kotug demonstrated a new, remote-controlled firefighting tug for Dutch infrastructure minister Cora Van Nieuwenhuizen. An experienced Kotug captain based on shore took control of the tug via a remote, secure internet connection and video camera feeds, then extinguished a “fire” on a nearby jetty. The demonstration vessel, the half-size tugboat RT Borkum, is a joint project between, and the partners built the tug as a commercial project without external subsidies.
9. Trump Directing Traffic
U.S. President Donald Trump is redirecting global oil flows. West African and Latin American producers are sending ever-growing volumes of crude to China. America’s exports to the Asian country have slumped in favor of its neighbors. There’s an urgent global need to find replacement barrels for Iran’s, whose exports might just collapse next month. The thing that connects the shifting flows is Trump’s foreign policy. China’s slumping purchases of American crude – and its extra buying from elsewhere – have coincided with a trade war between the U.S. and the Asian country.
10. Great Year for Panama
The Panama Canal closed its 2018 fiscal year (FY 2018) with a record tonnage of 442.1m Panama Canal tonnes (PC/UMS), a 9.5% increase from the previous year. With this tonnage, the Panama Canal surpasses the cargo projections of 429.4m PC/UMS tonnes for FY 2018, as well as the 403.8 PC/UMS tonnes registered in FY 2017, Canal authorities said. “The Panama Canal continues to exceed our expectations, reinforcing every day the importance of the waterway’s expansion and its impact on global maritime trade,” said Panama Canal administrator Jorge Quijano.
Daily news feed from Seacurus Ltd – providers of MLC crew insurance solutions www.seacurus.com