Seacurus Daily: Top Ten Maritime News Stories 26/10/2018
1. Bunker Boss Most Wanted
A Singapore businessman, involved in the local bunkering scene, has been charged by US authorities with laundering money for North Korea. Tan Wee Beng, 41, stands accused of violating sanctions for the past seven years. Two of the companies he used to run have now been hit with sanctions, commodities firm Wee Tiong and bunkering firm WT Marine. Tan conducted illicit transactions totalling millions of dollars in support of North Korean entities in blatant violation of a host of economic sanctions the United States has established against North Korea and North Korean entities.
2. Box Rate Plunge
The cost of hiring container ships has plunged 24 percent from a multi-year peak while raw material vessel rates have slumped 10 percent from a five-year high, adding to signs of slowing global trade with dangerous implications for the economy. While much of world is focussed on the stock market losses this week, the drop in shipping rates as trade declines because of the trade dispute between the United States and China, emerging market currency weakness and tighter credit conditions is an omen of slowing global economic growth.
3. Port Officials Detained
Four senior officials at Tianjin Port in China have been detained by the local supervisory authorities for corruption investigations. The four officials include Tianjin Port Group’s vice president Zhao Mingkui, chief party secretary Zhang Youming, and two general managers of two affiliate companies of the port. The detention comes after central anti-corruption authorities completed an inspection at the port group.
4. Banks Want Clean Up
Leading shipping finance banks have joined industry players in support of faster action to cut carbon emissions by the sector. In April, the United Nations shipping agency reached an agreement to reduce CO2 emissions by at least 50 percent by 2050 compared with 2008 levels, which fell short of more ambitious targets. We believe it is important for banks to support the IMO’s vision in making shipping a cleaner and more environmentally sustainable industry, said Michael Parker, global head of shipping with Citi.
5. Vessel Costs to Rise
International accountant and shipping consultant Moore Stephens says total vessel operating costs in the shipping industry are expected to rise by 2.7% in 2018 and by 3.1% in 2019, according to our latest survey. Responses to the firm’s latest annual Future Operating Costs Survey revealed that drydocking is the cost category likely to increase most significantly in both 2018 and 2019, accompanied in the latter case by repairs and maintenance. The cost of drydocking is expected to increase by 2.1% in 2018 and by 2.3% in 2019, while expenditure on repairs and maintenance is predicted to rise by 2.3% in 2019.
6. Holed Ship Heads to Yard
The 5,000 teu CSL Virginia is now en route to a ship repair yard in Constanta, Romania to fix a huge gash in its side from a collision off Corisica on October 7 with the ropax Ulysse. The accident caused a leak of some 600 cu m of fuel, with local reports in southern France suggesting oil is still washing ashore in the Var region despite a massive clean-up operation this month. The CSL Virginia is expected to dock in Romania on November 2.
7. So Much to Deal With
The challenge for shipping today is to deal with environmental and tech issues based on facts and science, and not have solutions driven by lobbyists and the ever-expanding universe of industry groups alone, argues Greg Atkinson, the founder of Eco Marine Power. Some years ago at shipping events there was barely a mention of green ship technologies and although there were plenty of digital systems around, they were not promoted with the same zeal as they are today. At times one could get the impression that at some point during the last few years there’s been a major technological shift in the shipping sector.
8. Britain on Another Planet
Seafarers’ union Nautilus International has called into question the UK government’s plans to charter in ships to carry vital supplies in the event of a ‘no-deal’ Brexit. The plan is being considered as a contingency measure, but the transport authorities remain optimistic a sensible trade agreement with the EU, UK’s largest source of food imports, would be made. Ministers must be living on another planet if they seriously believe they can find a fleet of suitable ships to keep the country supplied, Nautilus General Secretary Mark Dickinson said, stressing the plans were unrealistic.
9. Getting Ready for 2020
The shipping industry has all eyes firmly fixed on the topic, but what exactly do the “IMO 2020” global sulphur cap regulations say? This guide looks at five highly relevant topics, how to comply and how the regulation will be enforced. The key factors are: The right fuel, The carriage ban, The scrubbers and enforcement. Owners should keep in mind having a minimum quantity of 0.5% fuel on board by the end of December 2019, fuel management on board the ship – co-mingling, compatibility and separation, availability of compliant fuel, tank cleaning, de-bunkering, emissions and Charter party issues
10. Flying Boxes in Ports
If you could have individual drones that are capable of lifting fully loaded containers, then you would be able to eliminate the need to invest in ever larger gantry cranes. You would also eliminate the need for trucks or straddle carriers and, potentially, RTG’s in the yard. Vessel size would no longer make a difference because the drones could load and discharge a vessel from both the onshore and offshore sides simultaneously. There would no longer be time lost because of gantry cranes waiting for the next truck to arrive under the quay and, since the whole operation would be automated.
Daily news feed from Seacurus Ltd – providers of MLC crew insurance solutions www.seacurus.com