Seacurus Daily: Top Ten Maritime News Stories 04/01/2019
1. Search Sadly Suspended
The US Coast Guard has suspended the search for missing crew members from the car carrier Sincerity Ace, which caught fire in the middle of the Pacific on Monday. Following the incident, 16 of the 21 crew were rescued from four nearby merchant ships. Four crew were located in the water, but were unresponsive, while another one remains missing. “Following the conclusion of morning and afternoon searches by our aircraft and commercial vessels we suspended the active search. This is always a difficult decision and takes many factors into account. We extend our condolences to the families” USCG said.
2. Armed Militants Board Ship
“Armed militants” boarded crude oil tanker Badr (IMO 9356426) recently while she was anchored off Burgas, on Bulgaria’s Black Sea coast. where she had been since late November. The militants identified themselves as law enforcement officers, hit the captain, threatened the crew with arms and took control of the tanker. They said that the crew would be repatriated to Libya, while the tanker would be handed over to the Bulgargeomin Company. The owner of tanker, the Libyan General National Maritime Transport Company (LGNMTC), lodged a protest. An official protest from the Libyan Government was awaited.
3. Old School Ship Disposal
The hulking remains of a cargo ship rise up through the water, listing to one side with a rusting hull exposed, just one of dozens of abandoned cargo and passenger ships that lie semi-submerged or completely sunken near Greece’s major port of Piraeus. Now Greek authorities have begun to remove the ships, some of which have been there for decades, saying they are both an environmental hazard and a danger to modern shipping. “We are speaking about 27 shipwrecks and potentially … 12 harmful and dangerous ships,” said Charalampos Gargaretas, the chief executive officer of Elefsina Port Authority. http://bit.ly/2LPCDXF
4. Industry Massification Beckons
The liner sector faces an “interesting” year ahead and ought to scrap more ships before a stronger case for a positive market outlook can be made, according to the first report in 2019 from the well-respected analysts at Alphaliner. Like last year, the spectre of the sulphur cap will have a significant impact on the container markets in 2019, Alphaliner is suggesting. “IMO 2020 will be a game changer, as it will bring the fuel costs to the forefront. It should lead to a massification of volumes on all trades that will benefit the larger ships at the expense of smaller ones,” Alphaliner commented.
5. Through the Fog of Noise
Frank Coles, the new CEO of Wallem Group, has lashed maritime vendors across the world for failing to properly make the case for going green, digital or automated. Coles, who joined shipmanagement giant Wallem two months ago from simulator provider Transas, took to LinkedIn to vent his anger at how technology developments are being stymied in shipping as vendors fail to sell their products properly. “The fog of noise from the vendors make (sic) it impossible for most users in maritime to appreciate the truth, the facts or the value of what is being promoted,” Coles wrote.
6. Extra Ferries With That?
New questions are being asked about the readiness of Seaborne Freight to handle the £13.8m contract after it turned out that terms and conditions on its website appeared to be intended for a food delivery firm. “It is the responsibility of the customer to thoroughly check the supplied goods before agreeing to pay for any meal/order,” read part of the text on the company’s website.
7. Baltic Shaping Up Nicely
In the first 11 months of 2018, all Baltic ports together received and shipped 144.78 million tons of cargo, which was 5.6 percent or 7.665 million tons more than in the respective period last year, according to the data released by the Lithuanian Statistical Bureau. Of all cargos handled by the Baltic ports in January-November this year, 41.8 percent were reloaded in Latvia, 35.3 percent in Lithuania and 22.9 percent in Estonia. Compared to the first 11 months of last year, cargo turnover rose in ports of all three Baltic states.
8. Ship Sinks off China
A Taiwanese cargo ship that sank off the coast of China’s Zhejiang province has left one dead and 10 missing, reports said. Chinese media Xinhua reported that the cargo ship was carrying 15 people and sank at around 4:30 am local time on Wednesday. Four people were rescued and one has been found dead at the time of reporting. The vessel, named London, departed the Taiwanese port of Kaohsiung with 15 crew onboard. Taiwan’s national rescue centre said that the authorities have dispatched coastguard vessels and aircraft for search and rescue operations.
9. Concerns Over Freight Rail
The reported decision to upgrade the 76-mile Trans-Pennine route between Leeds and Manchester at a cost of £3b without any provision for freight traffic is both unwelcome and deeply troubling for the economy and businesses in the North of England. After more than two years of assurances from the Department for Transport that rail freight was to be an integral part of the scheme, this decision represents a concerning last-minute reversal that would serve to negatively impact the growth prospects of the region.
10. NYK Secures Green Loan
Japanese shipping giant Nippon Yusen Kabushiki Kaisha (NYK) has secured a green loan of JPY 2 billion (USD 18.04 million) to finance the construction of its first methanol-fueled chemical tanker set for delivery in 2019. “A green loan is a loan whose proceeds are used solely for the purpose of funding environment-friendly projects. NYK will continue to take steps for the development and use of technology linked to environmental performance by proactively promoting green finance, said a press release from the company.
Daily news feed from Seacurus Ltd – providers of MLC crew insurance solutions www.seacurus.com