Top Ten Maritime News Stories 18/10/2018
1. US Tops Competitiveness Charts
The changing nature of economic competitiveness in a world that is becoming increasingly transformed by new, digital technologies is creating a new set of challenges for governments and businesses, according to the World Economic Forum’s Global Competitiveness Report. According to the report, many of the factors that will have the greatest impact in driving competitiveness in the future have never been the focus of major policy decisions in the past. These include idea generation, entrepreneurial culture, openness and agility. The report maps the competitiveness of 140 economies through 98 indicators.
2. Maritime Trade and Drug Routes
Sub-Saharan Africa will experience the largest rise in illicit drug users globally in the next three decades. Findings from an ENACT transnational organized crime project forecast that East Africa will be hit the hardest, with the proportion of people using illicit drugs increasing faster than other regions. This spike is due largely to changes in drug flows, urbanization and the large youth population. ENACT is funded by the E.U. and run by Interpol and the Institute for Security Studies (ISS) in Africa.
3. Free Help for Mental Health
KVH Videotel introduced a new training package, Seafarers Mental Health and Wellbeing, during the 5th Annual International Shipowning & Shipmanagement Summit in London, and announced that the package will be available free of charge throughout the industry due to the critical importance of the topic. The programme was produced in association with the International Seafarers Welfare and Assistance Network (ISWAN) and comprises a short video, facilitator notes, and information booklets from ISWAN on mental health issues at sea. Seafarer mental health and well-being is available
4. Tools for Bunker Costs
With shippers increasingly concerned about bunker surcharges ahead of the global sulphur cap consultancy Drewry has introduced a new BAF formula and fuel cost benchmarking service. Drewry has developed an IMO low-sulphur rule Cost Impact Calculator based on market data, benchmarked BAF charges and fuel cost differentials between loops and carriers. With the compliance window to the IMO’s low-sulphur rule change in January 2020 rapidly closing, our analysis of the topic has highlighted widespread unease and uncertainty among shippers, said Philip Damas, head of Drewry Supply Chain Advisors.
5. V Group Swoops Again
Shipmanagement giant V.Group continues its growth by acquisition strategy, signing a deal with Germany’s Norddeutsche Vermögen Group to acquire Norddeutsche Reederei H. Schuldt. V.Group hailed the transaction as a major step forward in delivering consolidation of commercial and technical management in the container segment in Germany. Based in Hamburg, Norddeutsche Reederei manages a fleet of 46 container vessels and will continue to do so from its existing offices, with the addition of V.Group’s existing Hamburg-based technical management team.
6. Turn Around for Tanker U-Turns
One of the more lucrative opportunities in global commodities markets is about to get a little bit trickier. What might best be described as detour trades – ships switching destinations to profit from higher cargo prices – will become more challenging to execute in 15 months’ time because of changes to the kinds of fuel vessels must burn, according to several industry analysts and a former engineer for A.P. Moller-Maersk A/S. The deviations – often delivering outsize profits to traders – will become tougher for two reasons, the cost of bunker fuel and fuels may be incompatible from one supplier to the next.
7. Charity Helps with Wages
The U.K.-based charity Human Rights at Sea (HRAS) has intervened to facilitate the successful repatriation of an Ethiopian Chief Officer who was abandoned on Kish Island in Iran. The officer’s wages have also been paid after negotiations led by HRAS Iranian intern, Sayedeh Hajar Hejazi. The charity was contacted by the seafarer on October 12. He had completed a six month contract which had been extended by four further months without pay before the owner had deducted two months and 20 days’ salary without permission.
8. IMO Helps with JIT
Reducing the amount of time ships spend waiting outside port and at anchor could significantly reduce ship emissions, according to studies carried out by members of the IMO GloMEEP Global Industry Alliance (GIA). A new GIA video explaining the Just-In-Time concept was shown at IMO Headquarters, during a presentation to delegates on the sidelines of the IMO Intersessional Working Group on Reduction of GHG Emissions from Ships this week. Implementing “just-in-time” ship operations means ships receive information in advance so they can time their arrival at the berth.
9. Talking Seafarer Welfare
When it comes to the welfare of your crew do you pay now – with good conditions, facilities and support for seafarers – or pay later – through medical bills, lost working time and mistakes? That’s a key question that delegates at this year’s Crew Connect Global in Manila will consider. The conference will scrutinise the requirements of today’s seafarers and consider whether the conversation needs to change from seafarer welfare to an encompassing ‘wellness strategy’ in order to improve quality both for seafarers and for the operation of the vessel, maximising financial returns.
10. More Cargo Problems
A second round of cargo smouldering was reported aboard the Hong Kong-flagged bulk carrier MV Liangchow during the discharge of coal in the Port of Auckland, New Zealand, the China Navigation Company (CNCo), the owner of the vessel, has confirmed. As a result, the ship’s crew issued another call for assistance to New Zealand’s firefighters in the early hours of October 17, 2018. There were no injuries to any crew members and no damage to the vessel. The vessel’s emergency response was activated immediately upon discovery of smoke and the crew sprayed the cargo with water, the company reported.
Daily news feed from Seacurus Ltd – providers of MLC crew insurance solutions www.seacurus.com