InterManager Daily News 06.04.2020.

1. Seamen fled the ship in attempt to return home. New trend?

Police intercepted two seamen attempting to flee their ship at Keelung Port, Taiwan, on Apr 4. They’ve been returned to the ship, donned in masks and plastic bags or coats. Both runaways of Myanmar nationality wanted to return home, to Myanmar. Seems like a naïve act, but what do we know? Undoubtedly, a lot of dramas and even tragedies, are currently taken place on board of thousands of merchant ships around the world, because of insane virus fight policies.

2. Master of K-LINE car carrier found dead in his cabin

Car carrier en route to Hai Phong Vietnam from Laem Chabang Thailand, on Apr 4 reported via Vietnam agent, that 55-year old Master was found dead in his bedroom. The ship with some 2,000 cars on board is to arrive at Hai Phong early in the morning Apr 6, she’s to be anchored in quarantine zone at around 0600 LT, for a thorough medical check of all crew. Of course all everybody can think of, is coronavirus. Everything is coronavirus these days. Master was said to be healthy prior to his death.

3. Ports refuse to handle cargo ships, ships refuse to be handled. How to cheat virus, guaranteed.

New twists in “fighting coronavirus” idiocy – Master of Marshall Islands flagged bulk carrier refused to commence offloading on Chittagong Anchorage, fearing local dockers will infect his crew. He demanded a floating crane to handle his ship, but there’s no floating crane available for cargo operations in Chittagong. Master, understood of Indian nationality, already complained to Indian authorities, to Flag State Administration, to some human rights watch organizations in London and of course, to Indian seamen union.

4. Japanese tanker alleged hit and run, Gulf of Siam

Product tanker SUN FLORA allegedly collided with Thai 83-ton coastal fishing boat (Reg. No. 3109-02396) south of Sattahip, Gulf of Siam, while en route to Bangkok, at around 0500 LT (UTC +7) Apr 3. Boat broke in two and sank, 8 fishermen on board were rescued by a nearby fishing boat. Tanker reportedly, didn’t stop and continued sailing. Accident took place when it was still dark, tanker watch probably didn’t spot wooden boat, and didn’t feel the jolt when tanker struck the boat. Tanker

5. Ferry feared sunk by cyclone, 60 people missing, Solomon islands

Ferry TAIMAREHO with some 60 people on board feared sank in Solomon islands waters, while en route from capital Honiara to West Are Are in Malaita Province, at night Apr 2, being caught in rough weather, brought by cyclone Harold. Solomon MRCC got distress message in the morning Apr 3, saying that the ferry encountered very rough seas and strong winds between 2am and 3am Apr 3, a number of passengers were washed overboard. SAR hampered by stormy conditions.

6. Disabled tanker towed through ice by nuclear icebreakers, Russian Arctic

Product tanker VARZUGA was disabled in ice in Gulf of Ob, Russian Western Arctic, on Mar 29, after azipod breakdown. Tanker was towed through ice to free water by nuclear icebreakers VAYGACH and 50 LET POBEDY, reaching ice barrier on Apr 3. Tanker in ballast was taken on tow by offshore supply tug UMKA (IMO 9171620), to be towed to Murmansk. Photos including curious polar bears closely watching ice towage, provided by RosAtomAflot, owner of nuclear icebreakers.

7. Bunkers: Where are we and do we know where are we going?

We have seen a near 70% collapse in crude prices since the start of the year.

There is a little more clarity in oil market pricing, but still huge uncertainty on where things are going. It was just a few weeks ago when news of the coronavirus started to hit and OPEC put forward a proposal to cut production by around 1.5 million b/d, but only if there was the support of the OPEC+ group (principally Russia). The agreement didn’t happen, Saudi opened the taps and oil prices collapsed.

8. Covid-19: Issues Under Shipping Contracts

Shipping has also been greatly affected. Bulk carrier rates are depressed, though they may be helped by increased demand from China as it exits its lockdown. The outlook is uncertain for container ships, and it is dire for cruise shipping. Ship scrapping activity is low as scrapyards have closed following the lockdowns in India and Pakistan and the quarantine in Bangladesh.

9. Ocean shipping services continue to deteriorate

It’s getting even uglier out there in the ocean trades Not only are “blank” (canceled) container-ship sailings surging — spiking from 45 to 120 in the past three days — but schedule reliability for non-canceled sailings is poised to deteriorate.

Demand from cargo buyers in the U.S. and Europe is collapsing at an alarming pace. Hopes for a second-half V-shaped rebound are dwindling. Containers already delivered to import terminals are piling up, prompting at least one major carrier to launch a stopgap storage plan.

10. Farce majeure… or simple frustration?

Force majeure clauses are fairly common in commercial contracts but there is no standalone concept of ‘force majeure’ under the laws of England & Wales. Accordingly, such clauses are creatures of the contracts in which they appear, and their scope and effect will depend on the wording in question.


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