Seacurus Daily: Top Ten Maritime News Stories 30/01/2019
1. Tough Start to Year
It’s been an active beginning to 2019 in terms of maritime casualties. The phone at the Panama Marine Accident Investigation Department was likely ringing off the hook with three major incidents on Panama-flagged vessels in the first two days. The first three weeks of the year have produced a wide range of serious casualties…and they are likely just the tip of the iceberg in terms of incidents and near misses. These casualties started with the Sincerity Ace, a Panama-flagged car carrier which suffered a major fire in cargo spaces, then MSC Zoe, a Panama-flagged ultra large container vessel (ULCV) lost 290+ boxes.
2. Amsterdam Tackling Cyber Weakness
The Netherlands is one of the world’s top three countries affected by cyber attacks. Ports are particularly vulnerable, as they have a wide range of information systems and their data is used by many different parties. This is the reason why Port of Amsterdam has launched a Cybersecurity Programme to increase the port community’s digital resilience. Every company needs to have implemented basic cybersecurity controls such as an awareness programme, segregation of networks, timely installations of security updates and a multi-layered security approach.
3. Fighting for Seafarers Rights
Eight Indian seafarers have been abandoned on board the Halani 1 (flag State: St Vincent and Grenadines, IMO No: 7816379) between one and two years in Walvis Bay, Namibia. Some are suffering from fatigue and serious mental health problems. The U.K.-based charity Human Rights at Sea says Captain Amarjit Singh Bajwa first contacted the charity’s Iran-based researcher, Hajar Hejazi, to appeal for urgent help. “We ask for justice to prevail,” he said. The Halani 1 case has been registered on the IMO’s abandonment database since last year having been first informed via the ITF.
4. China Class Doing Well
China Classification Society (CCS) had a banner 2018 with more than 10m gt of ships joining the Beijing-headquartered company. Clarksons Research’s latest World Fleet Monitor with data taken from January 1 this year shows the huge growth saw CCS leapfrog France’s Bureau Veritas (BV) to become the world’s fifth largest ship classification society. In September last year CCS celebrated passing the 100m gt mark for the first time. It has recently promoted Mo Jianhui to replace the retiring Sun Licheng as president.
5. Expressing Exhaust Disappointment
Exhausts Gas Cleaning Systems Association (EGCSA), has expressed disappointment on the ban by the Port of Fujairah on open-loop scrubber wash water discharge. This is unfortunate at a time when the shipping industry is working hard to reduce sulphur emissions and may well lead to a setback in the progress already made in reducing emissions. They urge other ports and other authorities to research the matter in depth before making hasty decisions inspired by exaggerated claims that may have a very significant, negative impact on the shipping.
6. Owners Going Second Hand
Ship owners are not committing funds for the long-term so far in 2019, which means that, instead of newbuilding orders, they ‘re opting for second hand vessels. In its latest weekly report, shipbroker Allied Shipbroking noted that it was “a very disappointing week for the newbuilding market, which apparently went into a state of total clampdown for the time being. With just a single order being reported and this coming from the wet sector, there isn’t much to be remarked in respect to this past week’s activity.
7. What Will Venezuela Sanctions Do?
President Donald Trump has slapped oil sanctions on Venezuela, and they will hit hard. Although they haven’t been accompanied by threats to drive the country’s oil exports to zero, as the sanctions on Iran were, they could have a similar effect. There are two strands to the measures: curbs on purchases of crude, and a ban on imports from the U.S. of the diluents that must be blended with the extra-heavy oil from the nation’s Orinoco Belt so it can flow through pipelines. The first will hit Venezuela’s oil exports, unless it can find alternative buyers, while the second will worsen the blow to production levels.
8. Cleanup Boon for Builders
The world’s biggest shipbuilder sees China’s cleanup of its smoggy skies lifting prices of the vessels this year. As China prioritizes dealing with the smog that has famously blanketed Beijing and other big cities, the world’s second-biggest economy is increasingly turning to liquefied natural gas as a replacement for coal for heating and other purposes, boosting imports of the cleaner fuel. Hyundai Heavy Industries Co. expects orders for carriers of the gas to lead demand for new ships, Chief Executive Officer Sam H. Ka said.
9. Good and Bad Greek News
China’s Cosco-run port of Piraeus had no sooner announced its goal of handling 5m teu annually is on the horizon after a record-breaking performance in 2018 at the port’s three container piers, than it was dealing with allegations of fraud against its clients. The good news first. The 5m teu target of the Piraeus Port Authority (PPA) is likely to be topped with the Greek port’s Cosco-controlled container piers II and III, handling 4.41m containers. While Greek officials are yet to comment on an EU EUR200m ‘fine’ for failing to stop the alleged wide-scale tax fraud carried out by Chinese importers of ultra-cheap goods.
10. Survey Without Visiting Ship
Last week, classification society DNV GL and Klaveness Ship Management (KSM), part of Norway’s shipping company Torvald Klaveness, performed a digital survey – claimed to be the world’s first – on board the containership MV Badru. As informed, the digital survey saved surveyor Rolf Hancke a trip to Shanghai to visit the vessel and gave full insights into the maintenance data from the vessel through live dashboards from the company’s headquarters in Norway. Dashboards give insight to maintenance data on Klaveness containerships allowing him to survey the vessel without ever stepping foot onboard.
Daily news feed from Seacurus Ltd – providers of MLC crew insurance solutions www.seacurus.com