Seacurus Daily: Top Ten Maritime News Stories 04/03/2019
1. CMA CGM Cost Cutting
Despite announcing record $23.5bn revenues for last year, France’s CMA CGM on Friday revealed it is initiating a $1.2bn cost saving scheme. CMA CGM’s 2018 results show the liner, the world’s third largest containerline, carried more than 20m teu last year for the first time. The company said its recurring EBIT margin was “considerably above” the industry average but in a bid to improve profitability a $1.2bn cost saving scheme is being launched which will centre around the optimisation of lines and brands, and by further streamlining the liner’s processes.
2. Maersk and Zim Collision
Containerships Safmarine Nokwanda and Tianjin collided at South Korea’s Busan Container Terminal on Saturday, leading to damage on both ships. The incident happened when the 4,500 teu Safmarine Nokwanda was berthing at the port and it struck into the stern of 10,000 teu Tianjin. Tianjin suffered major damage and a number of containers from the ship were crushed and fell off the ship following the collision. Safmarine Nokwanda suffered damage to the bow. No injuries were reported from the incident.
3. Bergeron Leaves Liberia
The Liberian International Ship and Corporate Registry has confirmed the departure of Scott Bergeron from the role of CEO. Bergeron joined Liberian Registry in 2000, originally as chief operating officer, and was promoted to the CEO role in 2011. While no replacement plans for Bergeron was announced, the registry did announce the promotion of Alfonso Castillero to the role of chief operating officer. Castillero joined the Liberian Registry in 2014 after 16 years with the Panama Registry.
4. More Oil Still to Leak
More than 80 tons of heavy bunker fuel has now spilled from the hull of the grounded Solomon Trader bulker with Australian authorities warning yesterday that all 660 tons of the fuel onboard could leak soon unless urgent action is taken. The 1994-built Hong Kong-flagged Solomon Trader, insured by Korea P&I, ran aground on February 5 while loading bauxite in bad weather off Rennell Island. Its anchor dragged and the ship became lodged on a reef near the world’s largest raised coral atoll, a UNESCO site.
5. Vale CEO Resigns
Brazilian mining giant Vale has announced that the company has accepted the temporary resignation of its CEO Fábio Schvartsman and three other executives as investigations over the tragic dam collapse in January get underway. More than 300 people are thought to have died from the deadly dam accident.
Prosecutors have advised Vale to dismiss a number of Vale staff at various corporate levels of the huge mining conglomerate. Vale has appointed Eduardo de Salles Bartolomeo, currently executive director of base metals, as interim CEO.
6. Tackling Abandonment of Seafarers
The inaugural national-level seminar on “Human Rights at Sea” was held by the Forum for Integrated National Security (FINS) think-tank in Mumbai. It was the first time that a flag state has recognized and been engaged in the emerging “Human Rights at Sea” concept and surrounding debate established by the charity of the same name. The biggest and the most common violation of human rights now is non-payment of wages and abandonment of seafarers, and Indian seafarers have been the largest group to suffer on these counts.
7. Pre-loved Tanker Boom
The new sulfur emission norms for marine fuels have pushed up the sale prices of secondhand tankers, particularly the Long Range II, which are in strong demand. Sale prices of five-year-old LR2s have risen by up to 28% in the last six months alone, they said. Under the regulations of International Maritime Organization, it will be mandatory globally to cut sulfur emissions from marine fuels to 0.5% from next year compared with the current 3.5%. This will push up the demand for marine gasoil, or MGO, which is moved in clean tankers and their freight rates are also expected to get a boost, making them attractive. http://bit.ly/2TodTfj
8. Tankers Left in Sanctions Limbo
Tankers are being left in limbo off the Venezuelan coast due to US sanctions on the nation’s oil exports. Some, laden with as many as two million barrels of oil apiece, are waiting just offshore. Others have been forced out to sea after being rejected from their intended destination in the US. While Venezuela maintains that its oil exports remain high, they seem to be counting the total tanker loadings, and not actual departures or off-loadings. “What you get is a large parking lot of floating storage,” analysts said. “Actual exports are now sub-one million barrels per day.”
9. Ice Stops Grain Shipments
Flooding and ice buildup on key rivers in the U.S. Midwest has stalled the movement of barges that supply export terminals at the Gulf of Mexico with grain and soy, barge and grain traders said. One lock on the Ohio River became impassable last week, halting vessels moving to and from the Mississippi River until as late as March 9, they said. “It’s a logistical nightmare, with this lock being closed … and the high water at the Gulf, and high water at Cairo, (Illinois). It’s just going to be that way for the next couple of weeks,” one cash grain trader said.
10. Dealing with Grounded Vessel
Crews have started removing fuel from the Turkish cargo ship Efe Murat which washed ashore along a breakwater in Bari, Italy during a storm last week. Authorities in Italy have reported no pollution so far from the 5,786 dwt Efe Murat, but reports indicate that the ship has been holed in several places and is taking on water. The Turkish-flagged ship ran aground February 23rd as winds along the Adriatic coast topped more than 60 knots.
Daily news feed from Seacurus Ltd – providers of MLC crew insurance solutions www.seacurus.com