Seacurus Daily: Top Ten Maritime News Stories 03/01/2019
1. MSC Mandy Hit by Pirates
The 2,668 teu MSC Mandy has been targeted by pirates off Benin with Ambrey Intelligence reporting six crew have been kidnapped. The attack took place 55 nautical miles off Cotonou. The Panama-flagged was attacked and boarded. The container vessel was outbound from Togo at 12 knots when the attack took place. The ship is now anchored off Lagos according to vessel tracking services from MarineTraffic.
2. Boxes Land on Beach
Santa came twice this festive season to residents of the Dutch islands of Terschelling and Vlieland. Social media is abuzz with images of locals making off with all manner of goods, from flat screen TVs to Ikea furniture after some 270 boxes fell off one of the world’s largest containerships yesterday. The 19,224 teu MSC Zoe suffered a substantial spill of containers in the North Sea yesterday on a voyage to Bremerhaven. The material contained in the boxes which floated onto the Dutch islands is considered flotsam and residents of the islands have a centuries-old tradition of collecting it.
3. Sulphur Surcharges Arrive
This week sees the world’s top containerlines start new bunker surcharges with the 2020 global sulphur cap in mind. Box platform Freightos is predicting this will result in price rises of between 5 to 10%, depending on tradelane “These increases, beginning January 1, will filter through next week with price rises in the 5%-10% range, depending upon trade lane,” commented Philip von Mecklenburg-Blumenthal, Freightos’ vice president, in a year-end review. Tomorrow’s data published on the Shanghai Containerized Freight Index will be keenly watched by shippers to assess the likely impact of the sulphur cap.
4. Not Talking About Mental Health
Mental health issues at sea are not discussed in health and safety committee meetings. New academic research raises questions, and from seafarers’ accounts, health and safety committee meetings are dominated by safety matters as directed by the safety management system (SMS). Research has shown however, that the bureaucratisation of the ISM and poor handling of the development and implementation of SMSs, have led to a disconnect between the spirit in which the ISM was developed and the practices on board. In short, the ISM in many respects, failed to achieve the envisaged purpose.
5. Ince UK Sold
Gordon Dadds has acquired control of the assets of Ince UK, a respected London-headquartered international law firm. The legal practice of Ince UK is being merged with Gordon Dadds LLP to trade as Ince Gordon Dadds. The assets coming under Gordon Dadds control generated fees of £30.5m in the year ended 30 April 2018. Total consideration is estimated at £27.3m payable in cash over four years and a grant of options over up to 3m new shares. The international offices of Ince International are not being acquired but have agreed to enter into new network arrangements and will continue to trade as Ince & Co.
6. Dry Bulk Recovery
The dry bulk market for large ships, i.e. Capesizes, is gearing up for further recovery in 2019, as demand is at healthy levels and net fleet growth remains subdued, despite a slower demolition rate in 2018. Brokers said that “according to our calculations, the current trading fleet (including units in lay-up and under repair) of bulkers over 120,000 dwt consists of 1,592 units equivalent to about 318.6 million dwt, as of October 2018. In the first 9 months of 2018, we recorded deliveries of 41 units of vessels over 120,000 dwt for a total of 11.3 mln dwt, down 17.8% year-on-year in terms of deadweight”.
7. Grounded on the Marshall Islands
The 308-foot Chinese-flagged commercial fishing carrier Ou Ya Leng No. 6 has grounded in the Marshall Islands. A U.S. Coast Guard HC-130 Hercules crew arrived on Wednesday and made contact with the crew of 24 who remain on board the vessel and are awaiting rescue. Initial reports from MRCC China stated the crew had abandoned ship and were on the atoll, but upon arrival, the Hercules crew confirmed they are on board the vessel and using emergency generator power. Two fishing vessels are en route and expected to arrive on Thursday. Marshall Islands has also dispatched a patrol vessel to respond.
8. No Apologies for No Ships
The transport secretary has defended awarding a 14 million-pound contract for shipping goods after Brexit to a new ferry company that owns no ships. The government last week awarded three contracts to charter extra ferries to ease congestion if the United Kingdom fails to secure a trade deal before leaving the European Union in March. The smallest contract was won by Seaborne Freight, a British business that has never previously operated a ferry route, raising concern about whether the new service would be ready. “I make no apologies for supporting a new British business,” Grayling told BBC radio.
9. Images of Remote Rescue
AIS data showing the car carrier Sincerity Ace and the commercial response that followed after the vessel suffered a major fire during a voyage across the Pacific Ocean on New Year’s Eve. The satellite data is provided by exactEarth with the animation by Genscape Vesseltracker. The fire broke out onboard the Panamanian-flagged MV Sincerity Ace on New Year’s Eve as it was approximately half way between Japan and Hawaii. Due to the remoteness of the location, about 2,000 miles northwest of Hawaii, crews of commercial vessels participating in AMVER responded to the scene and helped rescue 16 crew members.
10. COSCO Buying Ports
COSCO SHIPPING Ports Limited, a leading ports operator in the world, announced that it has subscribed for 70,943,455 shares of Beibu Gulf Port Co., Ltd. (“Beibu Gulf Port”) for a total consideration of approximately RMB 470 million, through China Shipping Terminal Development Co., Limited, a subsidiary of the Company. The shares accounts for approximately 4.34% of Beibu Gulf Port’s total issued shares. By subscribing the shares, COSCO SHIPPING Ports aim to further strengthen the cooperation with Beibu Gulf Port, and lay a foundation for the Company to participate in the integration of Guangxi ports.
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