Seacurus Daily: Top Ten Maritime News Stories 05/11/2018
1. Three Vessels Collide
Two tankers and one containership were involved in a collision incident at Kaohsiung Port on Saturday. According to local reports, the incident happened when the 6,500 dwt chemical tanker Der Yun was moving from one berth to another and the ship collided with a small oil tanker Kin Shing, which was leaving the port. After the collision, Kin Shing tried to move itself away from Der Yun, but accidentally hit containership Setsu Maru, which was berthed at the port. No injuries and oil leakage were reported from the incident.
2. US Issues Iran Waivers
The United States said on Friday it will temporarily allow eight importers to keep buying Iranian oil when it reimposes sanctions on Monday to try to force Iran to curb its nuclear, missile and regional activities. U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who announced the decision, did not name the eight, which he referred to as “jurisdictions,” a term that might include importers such as Taiwan which the United States does not regard as a country.
3. Logjam in Vessel Deliveries
VesselsValue says, with just two months left of the year nearly half of new ships slated to come from yards in 2018 have yet to deliver. There are 1,966 vessels with deliveries dates scheduled for 2018. However, only 1,100 have hit the water so far this year, meaning 44% of the 2018 orderbook is outstanding. Out of the 3 top shipbuilding countries, China still has 50% 2018 orders to deliver within the last two months of the year. Compared to Japan and South Korea, where 25% and 28% of their respective orderbooks is currently outstanding, Chinese yards could potentially slip 446 vessels into next year’s delivery schedule.
4. Call for Liner Action
The International Transport Forum (ITF), administrated by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), has called upon the European Commission to ensure the EU Consortia Block Exemption Regulation for liner shipping is not extended beyond its current timeframe extending to April 2020. In a 127-page report entitled The Impact of Alliances in Container Shipping, the ITF report warns about the growing fears shippers, port operators, tug operators and freight forwarders have about the monopolistic tendencies among liner carriers and suggests the European Commission should take action.
5. Zodiac Swoops for Bulker
Eyal Ofer’s Zodiac Maritime is linked by brokers to the purchase of the 180,300 dwt capesize bulker Frontier Ambition (built 2010) from Japanese Excel Marine. A price tag of $29m is attached to the deal, significantly lower than the $31.3m fair market value placed on the ship by MSI. The London-based shipping mammoth has made headlines almost monthly this year, adding tankers in various sizes taking advantage of the historical low prices. This latest purchase is diverting from this pattern, and if confirmed will be the second bulker added by the company this year.
6. Massive Fraud Uncovered
Up to $300m of cash and assets of Aegean Marine Petroleum Network were believed to have been misappropriated through fraudulent activities involving over a dozen company employees, a latest audit committee investigation has found. The investigation showed that the principal beneficiary of the misappropriation is Fujairah-based OilTank Engineering & Consulting, which entered into a contract with an Aegean subsidiary to oversee the construction of Fujairah Oil Terminal Facility.
7. Operating Costs to Rise
More stringent fuel regulations regarding sulphur content could significantly increase global shipping companies’ operating costs and capex needs, says Fitch Ratings in a new report. “This may negatively affect their credit quality unless they manage to pass these costs to customers. Many shipping companies have started implementing fuel surcharges to recover costs associated with the new sulphur cap regulation, but their ability to sustain these will depend on market fundamentals, which remain challenging,” said Flitch.
8. Five Star Sale Announced
Ningbo Marine Court is going to hold an auction to sell the 2010-built capesize bulker Five Stars Beijing through online platform Taobao on December 6. The 179,800 dwt bulker is the last ship belonging to the now defunct Five Stars Fujian Shipping. In August, Beihai Maritime Court sold the company’s capesize bulker Five Stars Fujian for around $24.8m. Greek owner Safe Bulkers acquired the vessel and renamed it Mount Troodos. Five Stars Fujian has been suffering a financial crisis since 2016 and all assets of the company had been seized by creditor banks.
9. IMO Audit Roll Out
Auditing IMO Member States to assess how effectively they administer key IMO treaties is an important part of the Organization’s work to ensure its regulatory framework is universally adopted and implemented. A regional training course for auditors under the IMO’s Member State Audit Scheme (IMSAS) took place in Busan, Republic of Korea (29 October – 2 November).
10. Multi Million Pollution Fine
German shipping company, MST Mineralien Schiffahrt Spedition und Transport GmbH (MST), was sentenced and ordered to pay a USD 3.2 million criminal fine due to hiding oil pollution. According to the US Department of Justice, the company pleaded guilty and was sentenced in Portland, Maine, for obstruction of justice and maintaining false official records to conceal deliberate pollution from its ship the M/V Marguerita. Namely, the company used falsified log books to hide intentional discharges of oily bilge waste occurring over a nine-month period during which the ship regularly made port calls in Portland, Maine.
Daily news feed from Seacurus Ltd – providers of MLC crew insurance solutions www.seacurus.com