Seacurus Daily: Top Ten Maritime News Stories 31/01/2019
1. Kidnapped Crew Released
Six crew members, including the captain, kidnapped from 2,668 teu MSC Mandy off Benin, have been released. The Panama-flagged vessel was attacked and boarded around 55 nautical miles off Cotonou on January 2, and negotiations to have the seafarers released have been ongoing since. Russian authorities had been leading negotiations as the vessel’s crew was almost entirely Russian. Benin has become a piracy hotspot over the last year, with a series of incidents occurring since January when a Union Maritime oil products tanker was taken along with 22 crew members while anchored off Cotonou.
2. MOL Acts on Safety
Mitsui OSK Lines (MOL), which has been hit by more than its fair share of accidents over the past decade has appointed a chief safety officer. The new position will supervise the planning of strategies and conduct measures to ensure the safety and quality of operations of MOL and its entire fleet, and give necessary advice to executive officers responsible for business divisions. Also announced today amongst a raft of group changes at the Japanese shipping giant MOL will integrate the supervising functions at its shipmanagement arm for tankers, dry bulkers, car carriers, and containerships.
3. Beaching Still An Issue
According to new data from the NGO Shipbreaking Platform, 744 large ocean-going commercial vessels were sold to the scrap yards in 2018. Of these vessels, 518 were broken down on tidal mudflats in Bangladesh, India and Pakistan, amounting to a record-breaking 90,4% of the gross tonnage dismantled globally. “The figures of 2018 are shocking. No ship owner can claim to be unaware of the dire conditions at the beaching yards, still they massively continue to sell their vessels to the worst yards to get the highest price for their ships”, she adds.
4. A Year of Uncertainty Ahead
Online freight forwarder iContainers says a year of uncertainty awaits the shipping industry, with many issues surrounding the US-China trade war, Brexit, and IMO 2020 far from being resolved. According to the Barcelona-based digital forwarder, the shipping industry will continue to face the same incertitudes in 2019 as those that dominated the shipping industry in the latter half of 2018. Of those, the US-China trade war and Brexit, both of which developments remain uncertain as of now, will likely continue to be recurring themes over the course of this year.
5. Seafarer Fall Investigated
Officials in Bruges, Belgium are investigating the death of a Dutch seafarer aboard the specialized fallpipe vessel Simon Stevin. On Monday night, the Stevin was at the port of Zeebrugge, and the crew was moving steel pipes. The victim was operating a crane using a remote control unit, and he fell 12 meters into a hold after stepping backwards. He was evacuated to a hospital, but did not survive. The victim appears to have been in an unauthorized location at the time of the accident. The Ghent Labor Auditor, West Flanders Department has started a criminal investigation into the causes of the accident.
6. No Deal Means Losers
Following debate in parliament and the mandate given to the UK Prime Minister to re-discuss Brexit arrangements with the EU, European shipowners call upon all parties to seize this opportunity to avoid a no-deal Brexit scenario. Without a deal the repercussions on the fluidity of trade between the EU and UK will be huge, to the detriment of shipowners, logistics partners, passengers and consumers. “We call upon EU and UK authorities to be constructive and do their utmost to ensure the Withdrawal Agreement can be agreed to by all sides. If not, there will only be losers at all sides”, ECSA said.
7. Terrible Toll of Migrant Deaths
Six people died each day attempting to cross Mediterranean in 2018, the latest ‘Desperate Journeys’ report, released by the UN Refugee Agency said. According to the report by United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), an estimated 2,275 died or went missing crossing the Mediterranean in 2018, despite a major drop in the number of arrivals reaching European shores. In total, 139,300 refugees and migrants arrived in Europe, the lowest number in five years, it said.
8. New Design of Electric Tanker
Japan’s Asahi Tanker Co and Exeno-Yamamizu Corporation Tokyo have jointly developed an electric zero emissions bunker tanker set for commercial launch in the last quarter of 2020. The model development of this 500-dwt electric bunker tanker of “e5” design is underway for all bunker tankers operating in Tokyo Bay, Japan’s main bunkering port. The project is also working on creating “e5” coastal bunker tankers that can sail over longer distances. ClassNK has been appointed to make give technical advice on the ship design and electric propulsion.
9. Zero Emissions Study
A new study on how vessels can achieve zero emissions has been released by Lloyd’s Register (LR) and University Maritime Advisory Services (UMAS), showing what is needed for shipping as it heads toward the IMO 2050 greenhouse gas (GHG) emission reduction strategy. The new ‘Zero-Emission Vessels Transition Pathways’ study aims to show what is needed to enable the transition, both at the ship and supply infrastructure level, to deliver zero-emission vessels (ZEVs) to ahead of 2050, and demonstrate to all stakeholders what action needs to be taken today.
10. Record Result for Cruise Line
Miami-based cruise major Royal Caribbean Cruises wrapped up 2018 with record financial results despite the unfavorable impact from fuel and currency. US GAAP net income for the year was USD 1.8 billion or USD 8.56 per share and adjusted net income was USD 1.9 billion or USD 8.86 per share versus US GAAP and adjusted net income of USD 1.6 billion or USD 7.53 per share in 2017. This result equates to a 17.5% year-over-year growth in adjusted earnings per share. This was achieved despite the impact of currency and fuel which negatively affected earnings by around USD 123 million.
Daily news feed from Seacurus Ltd – providers of MLC crew insurance solutions www.seacurus.com