Top Ten Maritime News Stories 28/02/2019
1. Greek Owner Payments
Greek shipowners will pay at least 75 million euros ($85.37 million) annually to the state budget, the prime minister’s office said on Wednesday, under a deal that replaces a previous voluntary arrangement. The sum is equivalent to a 10 percent levy on dividends, according to a statement by Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras’s office.
2. The Glass Deckhead
The Maritime HR Association’s most recent survey, reporting data for more than 25,000 shore-based maritime industry professionals in 94 countries, shows that more than 76% of females working shoreside in shipping have administrative, junior or professional level roles. Very few reach managerial level or above. Just over 10% of those on executive leadership teams are women, with female executives most likely to operate as chief financial officers according to the survey results carried by recruitment firm, Spinnaker Global. This compares poorly with the 29% figure of listed FTSE 100 companies in the UK.
3. Hong Kong Wooing Insurers
The budget from the government in Hong Kong today renewed the city’s bid to be a marine insurance powerhouse. While the Chinese city has lost out to many regional competitors for all sorts of maritime services in the past decade, authorities have highlighted marine insurance as a sector it can develop, offering many incentives in recent years. Contained in today’s budget is news of a 50% profits tax concession to eligible insurance businesses including the marine insurance industry.
4. Struggle for Classic Panamaxes
The sudden large volume of classic panamaxes struggling to find employment again could make owners think about a renewed batch of tonnage to scrap. The sector saw huge numbers of ships sent for recycling three years ago and had climbed out of trouble by early 2018. However, Alphaliner is now reporting there are 41 ships in the 4,000 to 5,299 teu range in spot position, up from 32 at Alphaliner’s previous count. “The supply environment has been constantly worsening in this segment since September, as demand remains insufficient to absorb the available capacities,” Alphaliner reports.
5. Belships New Leader
Norwegian dry bulk owner Belships has appointed Lars Christian Skarsgård as its new CEO, effective March 15. Skarsgård replaces Ulrich Müller, who announced his resignation as CEO in December after eight years in the role. Skarsgård is currently a director at Fearnleys, and their global head of S&P. His experience includes a two-year stint as head of shipowning at Stove Shipping, another Tidemand company.
6. Manila Port Congestion Crunch
As Manila faces up to its worst port congestion crisis since the crippling box crunch of 2014, stakeholders including terminal operators and the Bureau of Customs have proposed to put up shared depots for empty containers outside the capital. The concerned parties have asked the Philippine Economic Zone Authority to allot space ideally situated near industrial zones. Other empty containers could be moved to other ports on Luzon, the island where Manila is located, including in Batangas and Subic Bay. Customs are also looking to crack down on anyone leaving empty containers at the port for more than 90 days.
7. Panama Connects the World
For more than 100 years, the Panama Canal has improved global commerce, transportation and connectivity, enabling growing opportunities for countries around the world. The waterway currently serves 140 routes, connecting 1,700 ports and 160 countries. The main user of the Panama Canal is the U.S., which represents about 67 percent of the total cargo moving through the waterway. China is the second most frequent user of the Panama Canal, representing about 16 percent of the total cargo that transits the Panama Canal, followed by Mexico, Chile and Japan, among others.
8. FPSO Boom Expected
As the offshore market starts to turn the corner some 33 FPSO projects are expected to be sanctioned over the next three years according to analysts Rystad Energy. Rystad said that of the 33 FPSOs it expects to be sanctioned between 2019 and 2021 45% or 15 units will require a production capacity in excess of 80,000 barrels per day (bpd), with five vessels with a capacity of 200,000 bpd or higher. “This high capacity demand comes mainly from the developments in Guyana and Brazil whereas operators such as ExxonMobil, Equinor and Petrobras is stepping up their deepwater production,” Rystad.
9. Imbalance of US Imports
The imbalance of US container imports over exports has worsened despite the implementation of protectionist trade policies by the US administration, according to Alphaliner. Alphaliner’s survey of the 10 largest container ports in the US showed that the total laden imports grew by 6.2% last year to reach 20.66 million TEU while total laden exports grew by only 2.1% to 11.06 million TEU. The total number of empty containers handled at the 10 ports surveyed increased to a record of 10.89 million TEU, growing by 5.6% in 2018 with the incidence of empty container handling reaching an all-time high of 25.6%.
10. Knotty Autonomous Issues
P&I Club Gard has shared some thoughts on the issues surrounding autonomous vessels. According to a new briefing note there are a range of “knotty issues”. International conventions concerned with liability are the more pressing issue. What, then, happens when there is a collision between two autonomous vessels – can artificial intelligence (AI) be ‘at fault’ and therefore to blame? What would be the position if there were a collision between a manned and an autonomous vessel? Should a regime of strict liability be introduced?
Daily news feed from Seacurus Ltd – providers of MLC crew insurance solutions www.seacurus.com