Seacurus Daily: Top Ten Maritime News Stories 15/01/2019
1. Shanghai Retains Crown
Shanghai has retained its crown as the world’s largest boxport for a ninth consecutive year. The Chinese financial metropolis saw throughput grow 4% year-on-year in 2018 to hit a world record 42.01m. Singapore, which was the world’s top port from 2005 to 2009, retained second place with a strong year of growth. Box volumes grew 8.7% in the Southeast Asian republic to hit 36.6m teu.
2. Maersk Honam Cut and Shut
The 15,262 teu Maersk Honam is expected to be back in service in the second half of this year following one of the most ambitious ship repair procedures seen in commercial shipping this century. The giant ship suffered a massive fire in March last year in the Arabian Sea, which killed five crewmembers. The blaze was one of the most high profile casualties in 2018. Maersk officials have now revealed how they intend to get the ship back trading again.
3. Huge Box Ship Drug Haul
South African authorities have confiscated 706 kilos of cocaine hidden at the bottom of a 30-story containership in the Port of Ngqura, Coega Harbour. Estimated street value of the contraband, concealed below more than 3,669 containers, is R 720 million (USD 51 million). The name of the vessel in question was not disclosed. The drugs, stored in 60 containers, were seized on Monday, January 7. The ship, however, was allowed to resume its voyage, as it has been determined that neither the crew nor the shipowner were involved in the drug trafficking. There have been no arrests made in relation with the case.
4. More tugs Head to Ship
Two more ocean-going tugs have been dispatched to meet the containership Yantian Express at a position about 900 nm southeast of Halifax. The Express has been drifting or moving ahead at a slow bell in the North Atlantic since January 3, when a cargo fire forced her crew to evacuate. The new additions to the salvage team are the DonJon-owned Atlantic Enterprise and the Boskalis AHTS Sovereign, according to the U.S. Coast Guard. The AHTS vessels Smit Nicobar and Maersk Mobiliser are already present and assisting.
5. Campaign for Abandoned Crew
A campaign has been launched on change.org to put pressure on Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the ruler of Dubai, to intervene in a horrific case of crew abandonment involving crews on five ships belonging to a local shipping company. Justice Upheld, a UK charity, has launched the online campaign with the backing of the 40 seafarers, a mix of Indians, Sudanese, Tanzanians, Eritreans, Filipinos and Ethiopians, stuck onboard various ships owned by Elite Way Marine Services, which the charity says has deliberately abandoned them at sea, some for more than 27 months without pay.
6. Strong Year for Containers
Container imports on both the US East Coast (USEC) and West Coast (USWC) had a strong year in 2018, growing 3.7% and 8% respectively in the first 11 months of the year compared to the same period in 2017. Record high levels of inbound laden containers were experienced on both coasts in October with the USWC at 1.09 million TEU and the USEC at 0.91 million TEU according to BIMCO’s own data. The first two months of 2018 saw the USWC coast’s laden imports increase 11.7% from the start of 2017, with the accumulated growth rate then stabilising to around 4% for the rest of the year.
7. Shedding Army Water Wings
U.S. Army Maritime capabilities will be radically reduced this year as the service deactivates and divests itself of numerous vessels, watercraft equipment, watercraft systems, Soldiers, and Units. At least eighteen (18) of its 35 Landing Craft Utility (LCU) will be sold off or transferred to the Defense Reutilization and Marketing Office (DRMO). Landing Craft Utility (LCU), a versatile 174- foot landing craft capable of carrying 500 tons of cargo, personnel and containers, is the workhorse of the Army Watercraft field.
8. Pay out for Sewol Survivors
20 survivors of the Sewol ferry sinking are to receive a payout of approximately $71,000. The vessel’s operator Cheonghaejin Marine is to make the payment as a result of a ruling this week in South Korea’s Suwon District Court. Around 80 relatives are to receive lesser sums. On April 16, 2014, the 6,825-ton Sewol capsized off the coast of South Korea. Over 300 people, mostly high school students, died after they obeyed orders to stay in their cabins.
9. Crowdsourced Nav Safety Data
When crossing our oceans, ships depend on accurate navigational information to reach their destination safely. To support this, we work with a wide range of data suppliers to make sure our charts contain the latest safety information. Part of our data supply includes crowdsourced information from the mariners themselves, who report navigational hazards and other sightings to us through the submission of a paper Hydrographic Note, or more recently, sending details through our H-Note App.
10. Zim Embraces Blockchain
Container carrier Zim has announced the next phase of its blockchain initiative by extending the technology to all of its customers in selected trades, following the completion of dozens of shipments with multiple freight forwarders and beneficial cargo owner (BCO). In the first quarter of 2019, Zim plans to focus on the Asia-South Africa and North America-Mediterranean trades. Zim said these trades were chosen due to their diverse activities and involved players.
Daily news feed from Seacurus Ltd – providers of MLC crew insurance solutions www.seacurus.com