Seacurus Daily: Top Ten Maritime News Stories 07/02/2019
1. Box Loss Underestimated
The number of containers that fell overboard from the giant MSC Zoe boxship on January 2 has been revised upwards to at least 345, up from an earlier estimate of 291. The new estimate comes after containers were unloaded in both Germany and Poland, allowing officials to determine how many were actually missing. Dutch officials hope to get a final total next week. Many of the boxes have now been located with shipowner MSC vowing to find and pick up every single missing container. The search area in the North Sea has now been expanded to cover 2,700 sq km.
2. Insurers Call for New Tests
The International Union of Marine Insurance (IUMI) is trying to force refineries to conduct testing on low sulphur fuels ahead of the introduction of the global sulphur cap next year. The global association gave a winter update to journalists earlier this week in which it discussed the fuel issues as well as the spate of ship casualties seen in recent months. IUMI said in a statement prepared for the media that it is concerned that incidents of fuel contamination are increasing. Currently, fuel testing is undertaken by the end-user, but this ought to change, IUMI suggested.
3. Data The New Container
Container shipping is suffering severe inefficiencies thanks to its poor visibility and failure to make use of all the available data in everyday shipments, the group chairman and CEO of global terminal operator DP World has argued. In a new report entitled, “Data is the New Container”, Sultan Ahmed Bin Sulayem urged both state and private sectors to come together to improve container shipping’s use of big data. “[C]ontainers have transformed shipping for the better, but somewhere down the line we have lost sight of the goods housed within them,” the ports boss wrote.
4. Seized Vessel Freed
Eastern Pacific aframax tanker Barents Sea, seized in Cameroon waters, has been released. “Eastern Pacific Shipping confirms that … our managed Singapore flagged vessel M/T Barents Sea was released by the Cameroonian armed militia which unlawfully seized it last week. The ship has now completed discharge and departed the port of Limbe. Thankfully all 26 of our crew are safe and unharmed,” the company said. The Idan Ofer-controlled shipping line blamed local charterer DSC Marine for the armed takeover of the ship, leading to a war of words with DSC Marine accusing Eastern Pacific of spreading disinformation.
5. Hanjin Fearful of Saviours
Shipbuilder Hanjin Philippines – which recently declared bankruptcy after it defaulted on over $400 million in bank loans – is “very sensitive” to security concerns raised following reports saying Chinese firms have expressed interest in taking over the Philippines’ largest shipyard. That was according to Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority Chairperson Wilma Eisma, who said Hanjin is in talks with “several white knights” to save the financially-distressed company. “You are right, it should be Hanjin’s decision on whether or not who their white knight should be and they should be practical,” Eisma said in an interview.
6. Lifting Losses Mount
Despite continued industry awareness and guidance on manual handling, numerous musculoskeletal injuries are reported to the P&I Clubs every year. A manual handling task should never be attempted without referring to or carrying out a risk assessment. This means a formal risk assessment of all manual handling tasks, both routine and one off, performed by a person who is trained and competent to do so, using the company’s approved form and ensuring that records are maintained in line with procedures. The TILE acronym is a recommended: Task, Individual, Load and Environment.
7. Short Sea Carriers Suffer
Independent short sea carriers and common feeder operators in Northern Europe are being elbowed out of the sector by mainline operators in what appears to be an irreversible trend, Alphaliner reports in its latest weekly report, issued in the wake of Hamburg’s Team Lines announcing it will cease to operate come February 11. The mainline operators’ share of the Northern European short sea and feeder capacity has increased from 34% to 56% over the last decade, based on Alphaliner’s analysis of all tonnage deployed on the intra – North Europe routes in 2009 and 2019.
8. Rotterdam Readies for Future
Rotterdam, home to the largest port in Europe with over 140,000 ships processed every year, is getting ready for autonomous ships. IBM and the port’s authorities announced last week the delivery of a new Internet of Things platform, first revealed one year prior, that’s designed to give authorities access to a wealth of data and make smarter decisions. An IBM spokesperson confirmed to Inverse that the project paves the way for autonomous ships in the future. The company’s stated goal is to host these super-smart vessels in the port as early as 2025.
9. New Vision of Sea Bed
Dr. David Sandwell, a geophysicist at Scripps, has been awarded American Geophysical Union’s Charles A. Whitten Medal for creating the world’s first comprehensive, high-resolution map of the ocean floor. Sandwell combined satellite data with sonar measurements to develop a global depth chart of unprecedented detail. His work has charted thousands of previously unidentified mountains, trenches, and other features in the deepest and least explored parts of the ocean. The work is not only of academic interest: it provides crucial intelligence and scientific information for the Navy.
10. Fire Brought Under Control
The cargo fire onboard the containership APL Vancouver has been brought under control off the coast of Vietnam, APL said in an emailed update on Wednesday. The fire broke out in one of the cargo holds of 9,300 TEU APL Vancouver as the ship was underway in the South China Sea from Shekou, China to Singapore last Thursday, 31 January. An update from APL on Wednesday said the situation on board the vessel is “progressing favourably” and “under control”.
Daily news feed from Seacurus Ltd – providers of MLC crew insurance solutions www.seacurus.com