Seacurus Daily: Top Ten Maritime News Stories 17/12/2018
1. Worst Year for Safety
2018 will be the worst year on record for personal injury accidents and fatalities on ships carrying solid bulk cargoes, with at least 24 reported fatalities. There were also a number of serious injuries, including possible brain injury. An estimated 23 people died due to asphyxiation or carbon monoxide poisoning in cargo holds, and one seafarer died in an explosion. Of the 24 fatalities, 18 were shore workers and six were crew members. Apart from the explosion accident there were also six cargo fires reported – one at sea and five in port.
2. Time to Act on Cyber
Shipowners and operators who have not already done so, should undertake risk assessments and incorporate measures to deal with cyber risks in their ship’s safety management systems (SMS) and crew awareness training. While the IMO has given shipowners and managers until 1 January 2021 to incorporate cyber risk into ships’ safety management systems, tanker owners and operators that are subject to vetting under OCIMF’s SIRE Programme have been addressing cyber security risks in their policies and procedures since 1 January 2018.
3. Maersk on a March
Maersk Broker is rapidly consolidating on the dry side of its business. Earlier this week Splash reported that Maersk Broker Bulk Chartering had taken over Wonsild Dry. Yesterday Maersk Broker Bulk Chartering announced it is buying into American broker, NAODAN Chartering. As of January 1, Maersk Broker Bulk Chartering will become a major shareholder of NAODAN Chartering, a big name on the west coast of the US led by Dan Valente. “We are confident that this new venture will increase our joint presence within the Pacific market and indeed globally,” Maersk Broker noted in a statement.
4. Sanctions Busting Bankruptcy
Vladivostok-based Gudzon Shipping is on the verge of bankruptcy after six of its ships were blacklisted by the US for allegedly engaging in ship-to-ship cargo transfers with a North Korean entity. The company has denied it committed any sanctions-busting act. Some of the company’s ships have been stranded in South Korea for more than one month while another one is stuck in Nantong, China, unable to pay repair bills to a local yard. Gudzon officials have sought help from the Russian government to solve the impasse but there is no sign of its fleet being able to trade internationally again soon.
5. IMO Safety Message
A new IMO safety video was launched at the 100th meeting of the Maritime Safety Committee (MSC) earlier this month. The video highlights the wide spectrum of work the Committee has done over six decades to enhance safety and security at sea, including navigation, cargoes, ship construction, seafarer training, search and rescue and communications. The meeting saw progress in the regulatory scoping exercise on maritime autonomous surface ships; approval of revised guidelines on fatigue and further updates on work on goal-based standards, polar shipping and safety issues relating to low-sulfur fuel.
6. Livestock Trade to End
The professional veterinarian group Vets Against Live Export has claimed that Australia’s live sheep export trade is “effectively over” after a report from the independent Heat Stress Risk Assessment Technical Reference Panel last week. “Using animal welfare rather than mortality as a goal (after 40 years of suffering), it is evident that sheep can’t go to the Middle East during the northern summer (plus a fair few other months),” says the group in a blog. “In addition, the report recommends that its not only the shipping phase but the destination ports that need to be considered……at last some common sense.”
7. Fragile State of Bunkering
The bunker industry is in a fragile state as it enters its last year before tougher sulfur restrictions come into force, with several key players in retreat. The International Maritime Organization’s lower 0.5% sulfur limit for bunkers comes into effect at the start of 2020, forcing a shift in shipping from fuel oil to cleaner, more expensive alternatives. The supply questions around fuel availability and compatibility for this change are starting to be answered, but a big question for the industry next year will be whether credit availability will be sufficient.
8. Beware of Company Fakers
Nippon Yusen Kaisha (NYK) has warned of an imposter pretending to be a subsidiary of the Japanese shipping major. An outfit called Yusen Shipping is, according to NYK, claiming to be a 100% subsidiary of Yusen Logistics, and posts information on its homepage as if it is a real part of the group, and has approached NYK customers with false claims of its links to the shipping giant. “As we have no relation with this company, please use great caution if you come upon the name of Yusen Shipping,” NYK stated in a release. Fake companies claiming to be major shipping lines is a common scam these days. http://bit.ly/2BljiII
9. Canal in Rude Health
The Panama Canal Authority’s (ACP) A2 long-term rating has been reaffirmed with a stable outlook, according to ratings agency Moody’s. The ACP’s strong financial performance has resulted in better than anticipated financial metrics, driven by the successful operations of the Expanded Panama Canal, the agency explained. Moody’s also noted the canal’s strong operating track record and robust growth after the expansion. The Canal company says, the credit rating agency confirms the great operational and financial strength of the canal and recognizes that the robust institutional structure and governance.
10. Stricken Ship Rescue
A cargo ship lost power and drifted during rough weather off the East Yorkshire coast, sparking a rescue mission. The Thea II vessel got into difficulty three nautical miles east of Spurn Point at 15:00 GMT on Saturday after a power outage, the coastguard said. The rescue team tried to use a tow line to help move the stricken ship but both Thea II and a tug boat ran aground. At 01:30 the ship was refloated and moved to deeper waters. The Thea II had 11 crew on board. South-easterly winds of 52 knots (60mph) were recorded on Saturday night in the area.
Daily news feed from Seacurus Ltd – providers of MLC crew insurance solutions www.seacurus.com