Seacurus Daily: Top Ten Maritime News Stories 26/11/2018
1. Lim Sec Gen Win
Kitack Lim has won re-election at the IMO Council to head the UN body for another four years when his first term expires at the end of next year. The South Korean national will now be at the head of shipping’s legislative body for some key maritime moments such as the start of the global sulphur cap and the ongoing efforts to decarbonise shipping. Lim, 62, is the is eighth elected IMO secretary-general. He headed up Busan Port Authority prior to winning the race for the IMO post.
2. More Korean Yard Pressure
The EU may well join Japan’s campaign against state aid being dished out by Seoul to Korean shipbuilders. Japan filed a complaint at the World Trade Organization (WTO) after months of complaining about how its neighbour is propping up struggling shipbuilders with hundreds of millions of dollars of government cash. “The EU notes that the request for consultations relates to a number of alleged export and local content subsidies provided by Korea directly, or through public or private institutions, to Korean shipbuilders or their customers,” the EU said in a statement delivered to the WTO over the weekend.
3. Modest Cost Rises
Average vessel operating costs rose modestly for the second year in succession following two years of marked declines, but cost inflation is set to accelerate on higher insurance premiums, according to the latest Ship Operating Costs Annual Review and Forecast 2018/19 report published by shipping consultancy Drewry. Typical ship operating costs accelerated moderately in 2018 as the uncertain recovery in freight markets across most cargo sectors gained momentum. Drewry estimates that average daily operating cost across the 46 different ship types and sizes covered in the report rose 1.1% in 2018.
4. Tensions Ramp in Azov Sea
Russia stopped three Ukrainian navy vessels from entering the Sea of Azov via the Kerch Strait on Sunday by placing a huge cargo ship beneath a Russian-controlled bridge, with officials from both countries accusing the other of provocative behaviour. A bilateral treaty gives both countries the right to use the sea, which lies between them and is linked by the narrow Kerch Strait to the Black Sea. But tensions around the sea have escalated since Russia annexed Ukraine’s nearby Crimea in 2014. Moscow is able to control access between the Sea of Azov and the Black Sea after it built a bridge that straddles the Kerch Strait.
5. Box Giant Performs Well
French container shipping group CMA CGM said its third-quarter volumes had outperformed the industry, supported by brisk trans-Pacific activity that suggested no negative impact so far from U.S.-Chinese trade tensions. CMA CGM’s quarterly volumes reached 5.26 million twenty-foot equivalent (TEU) containers, up 5.5 percent from the same period last year and compared with overall sector growth of 2.5-3 percent, the company said in a statement on Friday. That contributed to a 6.3 percent rise in third-quarter sales to $6.06 billion.
6. Taiwan Early Fuel Enforcement
Taiwan’s seaports will enforce the use of 0.5% sulphur content fuel from 1 January 2019, ahead of IMO’s Marpol Annex VI global regulation from 2020, the Club Correspondents Pro-Marine Law Office in Taipei has advised. The global 0.5% fuel sulphur content cap regulation under IMO will be implemented from 2020. The sulphur cap guidance, issued by Taiwan’s ministry of transportation and communications, has advised all ships entering Taiwan’s international commercial port areas to use either fuel with a maximum sulphur content of 0.5% or equivalent methods of emission reduction in accordance with Marpol.
7. Ferry Cannot Reflag
The Norwegian Government has ruled against the reflagging of Color Line vessels under the Norwegian International Ship Register (NIS) flag, thereby securing jobs for 700 Norwegian seafarers. The Norwegian Seafarers Union (NSU), an affiliate of the International Transport Workers’ Federation, won the fight to keep the vessels under the Norwegian Ordinary Ship Register (NOR), securing the jobs and maintaining the wages and conditions of the country’s seafarers. “This result means that Color Line – a profitable shipping company – cannot replace national seafarers with cheaper foreign labour,” the NSU said.
8. Fuel Contamination Continues
One of the biggest issues this year has been contaminated fuel problems that started in the US Gulf and spread across continents with law firm Campbell Johnston Clark (CJC) now reporting that they are involved in a case in China. The contaminated bunker cases that started in the Houston area in March, and spread to Panama, Caribbean and then ports in Malaysia and Singapore, affecting hundreds of vessels, are still continuing. The contamination was in the form of 4-cumyl-phenol which does not show up in standard ISO8217 tests and the original source remains unknown.
9. Gamers to Change Port Operations
Is there something here that we might learn from and utilise in the container terminal industry? Is there anything stopping us from at least trying out some of these ideas, other than a general feeling that this is something that it would be “just a game” and not part of the “real” work we do? But as we’ve seen, things from the simulated world sometimes turn out to be quite real, with serious practical applications. Formula 1 teams are already using a third simulation driver to help optimise their cars. And just ask what the professional racing drivers think of the gamer kids beating them on the track.
10. San Francisco Allision
A ferry crashed into a pier in front of San Francisco’s iconic Ferry Building on Friday afternoon, causing minor injuries to two passengers. The Coast Guard said it was notified of the allision by a crew member aboard the ferry San Francisco at about 2:40 p.m. There were reports of two minor injuries that did not require treatment beyond first aid and no reports of pollution. Media reports said the ferry had 53 passengers onboard at the time. The Coast Guard is investigating the cause of the accident and will make its findings available to the public once finalized.
Daily news feed from Seacurus Ltd – providers of MLC crew insurance solutions www.seacurus.com