Seacurus Daily: Top Ten Maritime News Stories 25/02/2019
1. Dry Cargo Index Plunge
The decline in the Baltic Dry Index (BDI) this year is the worst on record, with the exception of the calamitous drop in the wake of the collapse of Lehman Brothers 11 years ago. Analysing the severity of the drop via percentage changes in the BDI over five- and 10-day periods as well as looking at volatility within the index experts have seen the volatility experienced at the end of January is the highest ever recorded, recently going higher than 60%.
2. Shipmanagement Shake Up
Frank Coles has wasted little time in stamping his authority at Hong Kong’s Wallem Group. Coles, formerly with Transas, took over from Simon Doughty at the famous name in shipmanagement at the end of October last year. Since then he has hired people from his previous job and today decided to wield the axe on two well known names in the organisation. Former V.Ships executive David Price, the managing director of Wallem Ship Management since 2015, has been given his marching orders as has Nigel Moore, the group’s director of sales and marketing.
3. Aid Ship Threatened
A Venezuelan Navy vessel threatened to open fire on a ship from Puerto Rico carrying humanitarian aid on Saturday. The vessel had six U.S. citizens on board, and Puerto Rican Governor Ricardo Rosselló said he has informed the U.S. government of the issue. The Vanuatu-flagged ship, carrying around 200 tons of food and medicine in nine shipping containers, was threatened after entering Venezuelan territorial waters and subsequently retreated to Curaçao.
4. Bulker in Collision
Panamax bulker Dong Fang Sheng collided with a fishing vessel near Xiangshan, Zhejiang on Saturday. The incident happened when the vessel was on its way from Tangshan to Ningbo and led to the sinking of the finishing vessel. All seven crew from the fishing vessel fell into the water. The local maritime rescue centre sent patrol boats and coordinated nearby vessel to join the search and rescue operations and managed to save two of the crew, while the other five crews remain missing.
5. MT Tanker Worries
Supertankers hauling seawater across the Atlantic? That’s just one of the odder results of the U.S. shale boom. Crude oil has always flowed backwards and forwards across the world’s oceans. A typical voyage by one of the global fleet of around 750 of the giant ships currently in service might see it haul Middle Eastern exports across the Atlantic to a refinery on the U.S. Gulf coast, then pick up a cargo from Venezuela for delivery to China or India, before returning to the Persian Gulf. Vessels earn when they’re full, so being able to haul cargoes in both directions across the seas makes a great deal of sense.
6. Amazon Looking Like Shipping Company
There was a notable change in Amazon.com’s (NASDAQ:AMZN) annual report this year. Under the competition section of its 10-K, Amazon listed “companies that provide fulfillment and logistics services.” Previously, Amazon had always considered FedEx (NYSE:FDX) and UPS (NYSE:UPS) partners. But the company is moving more and more of its shipping needs in-house. On the fourth-quarter earnings call, CFO Brian Olsavsky said the online retailer can ship many packages itself for less than it’d have to pay a third party. Amazon has been making investments in potential solutions for last-mile delivery.
7. The Future of Seafarers
Maritime transportation is not immune from automation trends. On the terminal quays, gangs of 25 workers have been downsized, on ships technology is reducing human activities from the engine room all the way up to the bridge. Ignore the hype of fully autonomous vessels cutting the need for human crews to zero. That’s a fantasy. However, the reality of the staffed ships of today tells a sufficiently worrying story for the future of human employment. Thus, it is surprising to find a report taking a contrarian position as researchers at the World Maritime University have produced.
8. UK Club Good Renewal
The UK P&I Club (“The UK Club”), one of the leading shipping protection and indemnity mutual insurers, announces its renewal results for 2019. The Club had a good renewal achieving growth by attracting quality tonnage. The Club’s mutual owned tonnage now stands at over 144 million gross tons, a net increase of 5.4 million gross tons of mutual business over the year. Mutual tonnage at the start of the new policy year is 144.3 million gt A further 3.3 million gt committed to the Club, at agreed rates, as part of renewal negotiations, while 99% of the existing entered ships renewed.
9. El Faro Sister Concerns
Shortly after mooring in Oakland, the hull of the 1,727 TEU Matson containership S/S Matsonia cracked spilling heavy fuel oil into San Francisco Bay. The vessel was built in 1973 by Sun Shipbuilding, one year before the doomed El Faro at the same shipyard using the same basic hull design. On Thursday the Matsonia’s crew, noticed a sheen surrounding the vessel around 8 a.m., initiated the vessel response plan and deployed an oil boom around the ship. Divers soon discovered a fracture in the hull of the ship approximately 15-feet below the waterline adjacent to the starboard fuel tank.
10. Stellar Daisy Bone Find
The search teams deployed at the Stellar Daisy wreckage site have found bones believed to be from at least one of the missing crew members, according to Korea’s Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries. The apparent human remains were found on February 20 (local time) on the seabed upon the inspection of the ore carrier, which sank in the South Atlantic two years ago. The Ministry added that an orange-colored objects, which appear to be working clothes, were also discovered on the seabed around a fragment of the hull. Further details related to possible retrieval of the remains were not revealed.
Daily news feed from Seacurus Ltd – providers of MLC crew insurance solutions www.seacurus.com