Seacurus Daily: Top Ten Maritime News Stories 10/12/2018
1. MSC Faces Emissions Fine
Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC) has been forced to pay $630,625 in penalties to the California Air Resources Board (CARB) for violating the Ocean-Going Vessel At-Berth regulation. The violations were discovered during a routine audit of the company’s 2014 visits to the Port of Oakland and the twin ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach. The investigation by CARB revealed more than 2,500 violations for both the Oakland and LA/LB fleets for failing to reduce auxiliary engine power generation by at least 50% and for exceeding limits for auxiliary engine run time as required by the at-berth regulation.
2. Exports Set to Rise
Global merchandise exports could grow by 10.4 percent this year, hitting almost $19.6 trillion, according to data published in the 2018 UNCTAD Handbook of Statistics. The figures are the result of “nowcasts” based on merchandise and services trade trends. In 2017, global merchandise trade increased by 10 percent, after two years of decline, and trade in services grew by 9.5 percent. The Handbook underlines that factors contributing to the surge in the value of world trade in 2017 and 2018 are linked to an upswing of global GDP growth (3.1 percent), combined with increasing commodity prices (+17.7 percent).
3. Non-European Yard Approved
The European Commission has added the first non-European shipbreaking yards to the list of approved facilities licensed under the new European Ship Recycling Regulation (SRR). The additions do not include South Asian yards, but they do add new geographic options. The newly approved recyclers include two sites owned by Turkish firm Leyal, both in Aliaga, and International Shipbreaking Limited’s yard in Brownsville, Texas. The larger of the two Aliaga sites can handle ships drawing up to 50 feet; the Brownsville site is limited to vessels drawing 30 feet or less, according to the list.
4. Maritime Prize Winner
The prestigious International Maritime Prize for 2017 has been presented to Birgit Sølling Olsen, former Deputy Director-General of the Danish Maritime Authority. IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim presented the prize on December 6 at the annual IMO Awards ceremony, “Mrs. Olsen has had a distinguished career in the maritime field and made an outstanding contribution to the objectives of IMO. Her comprehensive knowledge of maritime law is combined with a deep understanding of the business aspects and growth potential of the maritime industry,” Lim said.
5. Bravery At Sea Recognised
A rescue diver from China who made a series of underwater dives to rescue three people from a sunken cargo ship, received the 2018 IMO Award for Exceptional Bravery at Sea during the this year’s IMO Awards ceremony held on December 6. Zhong Haifeng, senior diver and deputy of the Engineering Team of Guangzhou Salvage, was recognized for his tireless efforts under highly dangerous circumstances, repeatedly diving into the dark and submerged cargo hold of a ship to bring out survivors.
6. Yachtswomen Ship Rescue
British solo round-the-world yachtswoman Susie Goodall was rescued by a cargo ship on Friday after her boat capsized and lost its mast during a violent storm in the southern Pacific Ocean. The 29-year-old, the youngest entrant in the Golden Globe race, had waited two days for the Hong Kong-registered Tian Fu to arrive after sending a distress signal from 2,000 nautical miles west of Cape Horn. The signal was picked up by Falmouth Coastguard in southwest England, with the alert passed on to race control and the Chilean maritime search and rescue authorities.
7. US Strategic Dilemma
The U.S. Department of Transportation is yet to finalise national maritime strategies that were called were called for in two separate mandates by Congress in 2014, delaying providing decision-makers the information they needed to address challenges facing the U.S. flag fleet, the GAO said in a report. The strategy, which was originally due to be completed in 2015, is intended to address how to make U.S.-flag vessels more competitive in the international market, as well as how to ensure the long-term viability of U.S.-flag vessels and U.S.-citizen mariners.
8. COSCO Looks to London
China’s largest shipping group, COSCO Shipping, is considering raising capital for the first time on the London Stock Exchange through a new initiative with Shanghai’s bourse, two finance sources familiar with the matter said. The Shanghai-London Stock Connect will enable Chinese companies to raise fresh money on the LSE through issuing global depository receipts (GDR), which could boost momentum amid concerns that Brexit could dent the City of London’s leading position in financial markets. The LSE is hoping to get a boost from China as the world’s fastest growing capital market.
9. Shake-Up on Oil Exports
America turned into a net oil exporter last week, breaking 75 years of continued dependence on foreign oil and marking a pivotal – even if likely brief – moment toward what U.S. President Donald Trump has branded as “energy independence.” The shift to net exports is the dramatic result of an unprecedented boom in American oil production, with thousands of wells pumping from the Permian region of Texas and New Mexico to the Bakken in North Dakota to the Marcellus in Pennsylvania. U.S. crude shipments reached a record 3.2 million barrels last week, government data show.
10. Port Monitors Drone Usage
The port of Amsterdam will be launching trials monitoring system to explore Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) usage in its airspace as part of the port’s innovation strategy. Marine Anti Drone Systems (M.A.D.S), the drone detective system, will conduct a four-week trial at Amsterdam port. The port has identified the potential of drones for numerous use applications across its, and its customers’ operations. This trial will monitor their use. The port noted that many port customers are preparing to use drones for infrastructure inspection and measurement of environmental parameters.
Daily news feed from Seacurus Ltd – providers of MLC crew insurance solutions www.seacurus.com