Seacurus Daily: Top Ten Maritime News Stories 05/03/2019
1. Bank Insider Trading Allegations
German bank Berenberg and a managing partner have been investigated over an alleged insider-trading scandal of Hapag-Lloyd’s shares, reports said. Berenberg’s Hendrik Riehmer is now under investigation as police has searched his home, as well as the bank’s headquarters and the offices of a property company in Hamburg, reports cited a spokesperson for the Hamburg prosecutor’s office. “The suspects are believed to have used insider information to gain profit in the sale of shares in a shipping company,” the spokesperson said.
2. Crew Kidnapped by Pirates
Three Romanian crewmembers of the product tanker Histria Ivory have been kidnapped by pirates off Togo. At about 1930 hours on Sunday, pirates attacked the Ivory at a position about 20 miles off the port of Lome, Togo. The majority of the crew took shelter in the ship’s citadel, but three Romanian nationals were abducted. The pirates fled the scene after the kidnapping, and local authorities escorted the Ivory to a safe anchorage. The vessel was reportedly damaged during the attack, but none of the crewmembers were injured.
3. VLCC Arrested
The very large crude carrier (VLCC) Brightoil GEM had been arrested by China’s Haikou Maritime Court at the request of the vessel owner’s creditor bank. BNP Paribas filed for detention the tanker Brightoil GEM in January as the company was unable to payback its loans of $40m. Haikou Maritime Court approved the bank’s application and seized the ship. The 300,000 dwt VLCC Brightoil GEM, built in 2013 and registered in Hong Kong, is 319 metres in length and 60 metres in depth. The estimated value of the ship is around $60m. It is the largest and most valued ship that Haikou Maritime Court had detained.
4. Distinct Lack of Wisdom
Wisdom Marine, a Taiwanese owner, was forced to stump up cash to pay crew on its bulker, Daiwan Justice, after the ship was impounded in New Zealand. The ship was detained by Maritime New Zealand when it arrived at the port of Christchurch earlier this month after it was revealed that the crew onboard had not been paid for nearly four months. The ship was able to leave with its cargo once salary arrears had been paid. This was not the first time the Taiwanese company has been in trouble in New Zealand, with another of its vessels, Daiwan Fortune, held for the same reasons last year.
5. Indonesia Detains Vessels
London P&I Club’s correspondents report a significant number of vessel detentions in the eastern parts of the Singapore Strait, mainly in the waters around Bintan Island. “These waters are a popular place to anchor whilst ‘waiting for orders’, and often misconstrued by ships proceeding to Singapore as being the Outer Port Limit (OPL) of Singapore,” the London P&I stated in a circular to clients earlier this month. The Club says, “Under Indonesian law, any vessel not engaged in an innocent passage (ie. proceeding without stopping) within the territorial waters of Indonesia is required to obtain clearance “.
6. Owners Left in Tight Spot
High capacity and low demand will leave ocean carriers on Asia-North Europe routes in a tight spot, with analysts suggesting even mild growth would seem a major victory. Drewry said that, with demand remaining low, carriers were likely set to face the same challenges as last year, in absorbing new big ships into the trade. “The average size of containership deployed increased by approximately 6% from the start to end of 2018, to reach 15,000 teu,” it said. “That average will rise again this year, as there is around 460,000 teu of ULCVs scheduled for delivery.”
7. X-BOW Massive Success
Norwegian ship designer Ulstein Design & Solutions announced that it has received totally six firm ship contracts, and options for further six vessels. “With 12 contracts including options on expedition cruise vessels in three years, we have now consolidated a strong position as expedition cruise designers,” said Tore Ulstein, COO Design & Solutions in Ulstein. The X-BOW hull line design is a feature that makes Ulstein vessels stand out from the crowd, said a press release from the shipyard. The X-BOW splits the waves and removes the slamming and associated vibrations, increasing comfort for passengers and crew. http://bit.ly/2ITXbjL
8. Argentina Fires on Chinese Vessels
Once again, Argentine forces have opened fire to chase off a Chinese vessel caught fishing within Argentina’s exclusive economic zone. On Sunday morning, the Argentine Naval Prefecture (PNA) vessel Mantilla spotted the Chinese fishing vessel Hua Xiang 801 at a position about one nautical mile inside of the EEZ boundary. She had her fishing gear deployed, and when Mantilla approached she fled the scene. The Mantilla gave pursuit, and according to the PNA, the Hua Xiang attempted to collide with her, putting “the crew’s life at risk.”
9. Snapshot of Jones Act Success
The Transportation Institute has published details of a PwC report that demonstrates a 30 percent increase in domestic maritime job creation enabled by the Jones Act. The industry now employs nearly 650,0000 Americans across 50 states and contributes $154 billion to the nation’s economic growth annually. The study finds that the domestic maritime industry creates $41 billion in labor income and adds $72 billion annually to the value of U.S. economic output, and sustains nearly 650,000 American jobs, with one shipyard job creating four jobs elsewhere in the economy.
10. Fire Finally Burns Out
A month and a half after two LPG tankers caught fire near the Kerch Strait, the blaze has finally burnt out, according to Russia’s Federal Agency for Maritime and River Transport (Rosmorrechflot). The Turkish-operated LPG carriers Maestro and Candy caught fire during a ship-to-ship transfer operation on January 21. The Candy burned out by the end of February, but the fire on the Maestro continued until Sunday evening. The vessel’s propane gas cargo was the source of the fire, and Rosmorrechflot said that the danger of an explosion made it impossible for salvors to extinguish. The last hot spot has finally burned out.
Daily news feed from Seacurus Ltd – providers of MLC crew insurance solutions www.seacurus.com