Seacurus Daily: Top Ten Maritime News Stories 06/11/2018
1. STCW No Longer Works
Esben Poulsson, the chairman of the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS), has called today for changes to be made to the International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers (STCW). Created by the IMO in 1978 the regulation has been updated a number of times since, most recently in 2010. Poulsson argues STCW today was no longer fit for purpose. âChange has commenced and further change is coming which should be managed cooperatively to ensure a bright future. We, as shipowners, not the technology and technology providers, should take the lead,â he said.
2. Alliances are the Problem
The International Transport Forum has released a report The Impact of Alliances in Container Shipping highlighting the link between alliances and overcapacity, declining schedule reliability and longer waiting times. Whereas early generations of global alliances that emerged in the mid-1990s provided a vehicle for cooperation between smaller carriers, alliances nowadays are tools for the largest container lines: the three global alliances (2M, Ocean and THE Alliance) represent around 80% of overall container trade and operate around 95 percent of the total ship capacity on East-West trade lanes.
3. Time to Change Training
Anglo-Easternâs Captain Pradeep Chawla has made the case for changing how training institutions operate. âDealing with the millennials and Gen Z will be a challenge for many salty seafarers of today,â he claims. Ships have changed dramatically over the last thirty years. Today we have 20,000 teu container vessels and 400,000 tonne bulk carriers. The hot and leaking engine rooms have been replaced with electronic engines controlled by computers. Sextants, paper charts and Decca have been replaced by GPS, Glonass and ECDIS. We have moved from Morse code and telex to VSAT and WhatsApp.
4. Groundbreaking Cell Research
Swiss manufacturer ABB and Norwegian research outfit SINTEF Ocean have provided an update on groundbreaking research to test the viability of fuel cells as an energy source for main ship propulsion. The new research project will use two 30kW fuel cells to model the operation and control of a complete marine power system in a megawatt-scale propulsion plant. ABBâs own software together with SINTEF Oceanâs vessel simulator capabilities will imitate and play back different load profiles and diesel/battery/fuel cell combinations, and tested in a scaled down laboratory environment.
5. New Helpline for Crew
North P&I Club has launched its new âMind Mattersâ campaign, including a confidential helpline for crew provided in partnership with the International Seafarerâs Welfare and Assistance Network (ISWAN). The new campaign aims to raise awareness of mental health and wellbeing at sea. It provides North P&I Clubâs members and their crew with a number of resources and support materials to support their emotional wellbeing at sea and to provide guidance on where to access additional help if needed. The resources include a new confidential helpline, Mind Call, provided in partnership with ISWAN.
6. COSCO Buying Big
According to a Wall Street Journal report, Chinese COSCO. is in discussion with shipyards in China to order about 25 large ships to ship bauxite from the West African country of Guinea to China for using in the alumina refineries. The development is an extension of a plan by state aluminium major Aluminum Corp. of China (Chalco) to invest US$700 million in Guineaâs Boffa bauxite project to secure supply of the raw material over the next decade. COSCO is working towards increasing its fleet on the back of a long-term contract it signed with Chalco to move bauxite to China from Guinea.
7. Grounded off Iceland
The cement carrier Fjordvik went aground on a breakwater at the entrance to a harbor at Keflavik, Iceland shortly after midnight on Friday. Her 14 crewmembers and her pilot were safely lifted off the vessel by helicopter at about 0200 hours Saturday morning. The Fjordvik remains on the rocks, and local media have reported a hull breach and a small oil spill. She had about 100 tons of oil on board at the time of the accident, and an initial attempt to pump the fuel off onto tank trucks was not successful. Salvors returned with more powerful pump equipment on Monday and removed the rest of her bunkers.
8. Training Crew Virtually
Recognizing the appeal of virtual reality (VR) for engaging seafarers who need training as they enter and advance through the maritime industry, KVH Videotel and OMS-VR has announced a letter of intent to enter into an exclusive agreement to produce and distribute VR maritime training. KVH Videotelâs maritime training programs include more than 950 titles related to STCW and other topics, in use on more than 12,000 vessels worldwide.
9. Void Sailings to End?
The decision of 2M carriers Maersk Line and MSC to suspend the ULCV-deployed AE2 Asia-North Europe service, one of the largest services on the trade, in September resulted in higher utilization of ships. However, voiding of sailings did not help push up rates, as figures for August on Asia-North Europe painted a gloomy picture. âThis hasnât fed into higher rates, which have been on fairly steep decline the past two months, with the Shanghai to Rotterdam benchmark of Drewryâs World Container Index losing approximately USD 400 per 40ft container since the end of August,â Drewry commented.
10. Nigerians Tackling Pollution
The Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) is to enforce strict compliance with IMO regulations prohibiting ships from burning marine fuels with sulphur content higher than 0.5 pct by 2020. Dakuku Peterside, Director General of NIMASA, announced this during UAE Maritime Week in Dubai held from October 28 to November 1, 2018. Part of the requirements adopted at the 73rd meeting of the IMO Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC) was to reduce the sulphur content permitted in shipsâ fuel oil globally to 0.5 pct with effect from January 1, 2020.
Daily news feed from Seacurus Ltd â providers of MLC crew insurance solutions www.seacurus.com