Seacurus Daily: Top Ten Maritime News Stories 18/01/2019
1. Maersk Starts Own Checks
In a bid to stamp out misdeclared cargoes, Maersk has started carrying out random container checks in North America. This is the latest measure by the Danish carrier as it attempts to find solutions to the spate of fires that have broken out on boxships in recent years, including its own 15,000 teu Maersk Honam last year, which resulted in the loss of five lives. Maersk’s physical container inspection pilot is currently performing inspections for import and export cargo into the ports of Newark Berth 88, Houston Bayport, Miami Pomtoc and New Orleans Ceres terminals.
2. Warning Over Phishing Emails
Maersk Line is being targeted by phishing hacks. The carrier revealed on January 8 that its Malaysian operations were hit by a phishing scam where a third party contacted its customers pretending to be working for the carrier. The con artists requested clients to change their bank accounts for payment. Maersk quickly contacted the email accounts and was able to identify who may have been recipients of this email. “The e-mail has been contained and all measures have been taken to secure the Maersk network. Maersk IT is now investigating the incident,” the company stated in a release.
3. CMA CGM Keeps Ocean Alliance
The CMA CGM Group has announced that Rodolphe Saadé, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the CMA CGM Group, signed today the extension of the Ocean Alliance cooperation until 2027. The signing ceremony took place in Hainan, China, with the executives of COSO SHIPPING, Evergreen and OOCL. Launched in 2017 for an initial period of five years with an option for a five-year renewal, Ocean Alliance is the world’s largest operational agreement between shipping companies.
4. Ships to be Auctioned
China’s Ningbo Maritime Court has announced that it will hold an auction to sell the 2001-built panamax bulker Primrose at the request of the ship’s crews. According to the court file, the court detained the vessel last year in a Zhoushan yard after nine crew from the vessel filed a court case against the owner, who hasn’t paid their salary since 2016. The 74,700 dwt vessel is owned by Italian company UniCredit Leasing and was managed by Italian owner D’Amato di Navigazione. It has been laid up in the yard since D’Amato was declared bankrupt and cleared out its fleet in January last year.
5. Record Year for St Lawrence
The St. Lawrence Seaway, the marine highway connecting the Atlantic Ocean to the Great Lakes, has posted its best year for cargo shipments since 2007. With total cargo shipments of 41 million tonnes during the 2018 navigation season, traffic rose seven percent year-over-year. Total vessel transits were up nearly six percent. “Total tonnage on the St. Lawrence Seaway exceeded the 5-, 10-, and 15-year averages, making 2018 an exceptionally strong shipping season, the best in over a decade,” said Craig H. Middlebrook, deputy administrator of the U.S. Saint Lawrence Seaway Development Corporation.
6. South Korean, Northern Ports
South Korea’s Ocean Minister has announced his intention to seek out business opportunities at North Korean ports in preparation for when sanctions against Pyongyang are lifted. News Agency Yonhap reports the Minister, Kim Young-choon, saying that it is economical to build joint industrial complexes near North Korean port cities such as Nampo, Haeju and Wonsan. He is optimistic about planned talks between North Korea and the U.S. planned for March or April this year.
7. USCG Finds Three Stowaways
The U.S. Coast Guard and Customs and Border Protection responded to a report of three stowaways found hiding on an Antigua and Barbuda-flagged containership approximately three miles offshore of Port of Miami on Wednesday. Watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector Miami received a report from the Diana J crew at approximately 6:34 a.m., stating they had located two Guatemalan adult male stowaways and one Honduran adult male stowaway during a pre-arrival stowaway search approximately 23 miles northwest of La Palma, Cuba on Tuesday.
8. LA Tops the Box Charts
Container throughput at the Port of Los Angeles rose to a record 9.45 million TEU in 2018, solidifying Los Angeles’ spot as the Western Hemisphere’s top port for containerized cargo. In total, the Port tallied 9,458,749 Twenty-Foot Equivalent Units (TEUs) during 2018, up 1.2 percent more than 2017’s record-breaking year. The year marked the third consecutive year of record volumes, setting a new record for the most cargo moved annually by a Western Hemisphere port.
9. World’s LNG Powered Fleet
Currently, the liquefied natural gas (LNG)-powered fleet has grown globally from 118 LNG-powered vessels in operation in 2017, to 143 LNG-powered vessels in operation – with a further 135 on order and 135 LNG-ready ships either in operation or on order. According to the LNG bunkering coalition SEALNG, Orders for LNG-powered vessels span a variety of vessel types including tankers, cruise ships, container ships, car carriers, and Very Large Ore Carriers (VLOC)s.
10. Warning of Canoe Attacks
Two perpetrators in a canoe approached and boarded the tanker FSL Singapore off Nigeria, West Africa. At the time of the incident, which occurred on January 4, the 47,470 dwt vessel was conducting ship-to-ship (STS) operation with the tanker Kensington in the Lagos Security Anchorage. The security patrol personnel at the forward part of the cargo deck sighted the perpetrators. The 2nd officer on watch raised the general alarm and the perpetrators jumped into the sea. There were no reports of injuries to the crew, and no items were stolen.
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