New Shield Reduces Container Ship Resistance

By MarEx 2015-09-03 20:10:12

Mitsui O.S.K. Lines has started demonstration tests of a new windshield for container ships that has the potential to reduce wind resistance, save fuel and reduce CO2 emissions.

MOL jointly developed the device with MOL Techno-Trade, Ouchi Ocean Consultant, Akishima Laboratory (Mitsui Zosen) and the University of Tokyo.

The project was backed by the Joint R&D for Industry Program, in which ClassNK promotes wide-ranging R&D activities in cooperation with industry, government and academia.

The new windshield was installed on the bow of the MOL-operated container ship MOL Marvel, and a demonstration test of its effectiveness in reducing CO2 emissions is under way.

With today’s larger container ships, the height of the containers loaded on their decks has increased, subjecting the vessels to greater wind resistance. MOL recognized the need to address this issue in a cost-effective way.

Development of the new device began with an examination of the bow’s aerodynamic form through wind tunnel testing. This led to the adoption of a horseshoe-shaped design, which encloses the front line of the stacked containers to maximize the wind resistance-reducing effect while minimizing the weight of the main unit.

The new windshield has enough design strength to meet the ClassNK rules concerning wave impact pressure. In addition, by obliquely setting the containers placed along the sides of the vessel behind the windshield, the sides of the vessel will be more streamlined, further reducing wind resistance.

With those measures, MOL expects an annual average reduction of 2 percent in CO2 emissions, assuming the device is mounted on a 6,700 TEU containership plying the North Pacific Ocean route at speed of 17 knots. The new windshield is also expected to protect ships from green water on the bow deck when sailing in bad weather.


Container Ship Sinks, Two Missing

By MarEx 2015-09-03 19:58:26

Two crew members are missing after the Indonesian-flagged container ship M/V Meratus Banjar 2 sank in the Java Sea on September 2. Indonesian naval officials report that the vessel sank due to a leak in the engine room.

The container ship was transporting cargo to Makassar, South Sulawesi from Surabaya.

The Meratus Banjar 2, built in 1997, is a 7,761 dwt vessel owned by Indonesia’s Meratus Line.

According to media reports, the Meratus Line has sent the M/V Meratus Spirit 1 to search for the missing mariners.


U.S. Navy Commemorates End of WWII

By MarEx 2015-09-03 19:50:46

More than 400 service members, veterans, government employees, foreign leaders and civilians attended the commemoration of the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II on September 2.

The ceremony was held on board the Battleship Missouri Memorial on historic Ford Island, in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.

The surrender took place on the wooden decks of the battleship USS Missouri on September 2, 1945. Fleet Admiral Chester Nimitz, General Douglas MacArthur, Japanese Foreign Minister Mamoru Shigemitsu and other world leaders signed the Japanese Instrument of Surrender marking the end of the war.

Admiral Scott H. Swift, commander of U.S. Pacific Fleet, served as a distinguished guest speaker during the ceremony and offered remarks to those in attendance.

“Spin the calendar ahead 70 years and we gather here only a ship’s length away from the USS Arizona, perhaps the most famous icon representing the beginning of the War in the Pacific for so many Americans,” said Swift. “Many Arizona sailors remain entombed within the ship they served, a reminder to all of us who serve our nation do so without regard for reward or destiny.”

Noting the transition from war to peace, Swift stressed the importance of commitment to U.S. allies, partners and friends and the importance of cooperation between all nations and strengthening these relationships.

Swift also expressed his gratitude to the veterans for their sacrifices, their strength and for the future they secured for the new generations.

“We remain indebted to these veterans whose service demonstrated the selfless actions of the “greatest generation”,” said Swift. “May those who lost their lives to bring us peace be honored here today and the future.”

During the keynote address, Senator Brian Schatz of Hawaii commended the collaboration between the United States and Japan in their efforts to rebuild the world around them and improve mutual understanding and respect after the war.

More than 2,000 sailors and Marines attended the original surrender ceremony. Among them was Radioman Second Seaman Donald Fosburg. A former crew member of the Missouri, Fosburg celebrated his 89th birthday and was honored with the national ensign during the ceremony. He recalled what he felt returning to the ship more than seven decades later.

“It was a day you would never forget, we squeezed in every nook and cranny,” Fosburg said. “I stood here on the deck of this great ship and witnessed the signing of the formal surrender of the Japanese empire to the allied forces. What a great day that was.”

The ceremony concluded with a U.S. Navy ceremonial gun salute, Amazing Grace performed by Celtic Pipes and Drummers of Hawaii and echo taps played by the U.S. Pacific Fleet Band.

Adm. Scott Swift, commander of U.S. Pacific Fleet, greets Donald Fosburg, a former Navy Radioman, during a ceremony marking the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II aboard the Battleship Missouri Memorial. Fosburg, who celebrated his 89th birthday and was presented an ensign, witnessed Japan officially surrendered as the Japanese Instrument of Surrender was signed aboard the USS Missouri by Fleet Adm. Chester Nimitz, Gen. Douglas MacArthur, Japanese Foreign Minister Mamoru Shigemitsu and other world leaders on Sept, 2, 1945. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Brian Wilbur/Released)


Chinese Shipping Conglomerates to Merge

By MarEx 2015-09-03 19:33:32

China Merchants Energy Shipping (CMES) and Sinotrans & CSC Group are set to merge as part of the Chinese government’s ongoing plan to consolidate its state-run shipping sector.

According to media reports, the merger was ordered by the Chinese government on September 2.

CMES is the shipping division of the China Merchants Group and Sinotrans was formed as a result of a 2009 merger between the China National Foreign Trade Commission and the Changjiang Shipping Co.

The two shipping companies began integrating their operations in August 2014 when they formed a $1.1 billion joint venture named China VLCC. CMES owns 51 percent of the venture and Sinotrans holds the remaining 49.

The CMES-Sinotran merger comes on the heels of a potential merger between shipping companies, China Ocean Shipping Company (COSCO) and China Shipping Group (CSG) announced last month.

COSCO and CSG rank as the world’s sixth and seventh largest carriers respectively by fleet size and would form the world’s fourth-largest container line. Both companies have suspended trading of their listed subsidiaries since August 10 pending a major announcement.

China hopes to curb losses due to overcapacity in the market by consolidating its state-owned assets.


Australian Cabotage Laws Ready for Dismantling

By MarEx 2015-09-03 19:08:49

Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott plans to relax the nation’s cabotage laws, and local seafarers may be out of work because of it.

As part of the Shipping Legislation Amendment Bill, Australia hopes to open its coastline to more foreign-crewed and foreign flagged vessels. Abbott states that relaxing Australia’s cabotage laws will provide a boost to the nation’s economy that could come at the expense of mariners.

According to a report by the Australia Institute (AI), the number of Australian seafarers could drop from about 1,177 to less than 100 if the new laws were approved. The proposed amendments would allow foreign-flagged ships and crews to be paid international wages on domestic shipping routes for up to half a year.

According to AI, the Bass Strait non-bulk freight route between Tasmania and Victoria is currently serviced by 100 percent Australian crews. But if the cabotage laws were to be implemented, AI projects that the percentage would shift to about 65 percent foreign and 35 percent Australian. AI attributes the retention of 35 percent of the Australian workers to the Spirit of Tasmania, a pair of Tasmanian Government-owned ferries.

Additionally, the proposed legislation allows ships to anchor nearly anywhere along the coastline. Locations in which vessels would be permitted to dock include estuaries, navigable rivers, creeks, channels, docks and piers.

According to reports, Australia’s North Star Cruises was advised by government officials to re-register its vessels overseas and hire foreign crews if they want to remain competitive if the new laws take effect.

Meanwhile, SeaRoad, a local freight company, has stated that it would reconsider its $100 million investment in two new cargo vessels if the government amends laws forcing foreign vessels to pay Australian wages while in its waters.

Australia’s Regional Development Minister and Deputy Prime Minister Warren Truss defends the proposed laws as a means of saving local businesses from fewer shipping options and higher costs. Australia expects shipping to grow nationally by 80 percent by 2030 but contends that coastal shipping will only grow by 15 percent without relaxed cabotage laws.

In a statement, the Maritime Union of Australia said: “The changes would dismantle the level playing field created by the former Labor Government, which allowed foreign vessels to work domestic routes but required them to pay Australian level wages while engaged in domestic trade. It is in Australia’s economic, environmental and security interests to maintain a viable local shipping industry.”


Oil Spill Shuts Down Mississippi River

By MarEx 2015-09-03 16:53:54

The U.S. Coast Guard has shut down a section of the Mississippi River south of Paducah, Kentucky after two tow boats collided, causing 250,000 gallons of oil to spill.

The maximum potential spill has been reduced because the two remaining partitions aboard the affected barge were reportedly secured. A Coast Guard HC-144 Ocean Sentry fixed wing aircraft conducted an over flight earlier today, which revealed a five-mile discoloration beginning at the impact site.

A safety zone is in place on the Mississippi River, and currently closed to all traffic except response vessels between mile markers 939-922. A queue is in place, six up bound and nine down bound.

Coast Guard Sector Ohio Valley watchstanders received a call about a collision between two towboats at mile marker 937 at 8:22 p.m. Wednesday.

The Coast Guard is working with the barge owner and SWS, an oil spill response organization, to determine the amount of slurry oil that has been discharged.

The cause of the collision is currently under investigation.