Seacurus Daily: Top Ten Maritime News Stories 07/05/2015
1. Shipping Rates to Continue Slide
The collapse in global rates for shipping commodities from the world’s mines to mills and utilities will persist until at least 2020 on a glut of vessels and stalling cargo growth, according to Goldman Sachs Group Inc. The extended slump is set to intensify competition in the iron ore and coal markets, benefiting the biggest, low-cost suppliers, analysts wrote in a report. Higher-cost producers may suffer, they said. The Baltic Dry Index sank to a record in February amid the fleet surplus and slowing demand for cargoes to China. The utilization rate of the dry-bulk fleet will drop to 70 percent from this year to 2019.
2. ILO Guidelines to Safety
The ILO published Guidelines for implementing the occupational safety and health provisions of the Maritime Labour Convention have been formally endorsed and should bring about a more comprehensive approach to risk management than that current under ISM. The risk-based approach to safety in the MLC contrasts with the prescriptive approach adopted in much of SOLAS. How the inevitable contradictions and conflicts will be resolved is unclear. The hope must be for a comprehensive risk-based approach supported by prescription where useful, going beyond SOLAS where appropriate.
3. Iran Set to Free Tigris
The official Iranian state media Press TV has announced that the Islamic regime is threatening to sell the Maersk Tigris cargo ship it fired at and seized in an international shipping lane, unless a massive fine is paid by the ship’s owners. Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Marzieh Afkham was quoted by Associated Press on Wednesday confirming the ship is being required to pay a fine, and is likely to be released in two days. She repeated the Iranian claim that the seizure was due to a legal complaint by a private Iranian company. "Based on the information we have acquired, it is likely that the dispute will be settled within next two days".
4. Liberia Undisputed Number 1 for Greeks
The Liberian Registry is the second largest –and fastest growing – ship registry in the world, behind only Panama. Michalis Pantazopoulos, Senior Vice-President and General Manager of the Liberian International Ship & Corporate Registry (Hellas) SA in Piraeus, "Statistics recently released by the Greek Shipping Co-operation Committee (GSCC) and by Marine Information Services show that Liberia has further strengthened its position as the undisputed leading open registry of choice for Greek shipowners and operators". The GSCC figures show a total of 739 Greek-controlled ships, aggregating 54.03m dwt, registered with Liberia.
5. Terrorists Swarm into Somalia
Terrorists belonging to the group al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula are fleeing war-torn Yemen and moving into ungoverned areas of northern Somalia, U.S. officials said Tuesday. Secretary of State John Kerry, meanwhile, made a surprise visit to Mogadishu, the Somali capital, on Tuesday where Somali officials informed him of the new al Qaeda threat, said officials familiar with the meeting and reports from the region. Kerry offered to provide additional U.S. support to the Somalis for increased counterterrorism operations against the new flow of terrorists to the region but offered no specifics of the aid, the officials said.
6. Latest Piracy and Security Risks
PGI has released its latest report on various global risks facing shipping. This time round they focus on the seizure of the Maersk Tigris, and also the claims by the Iranian navy that pirates are active currently – Tehran claimed that a group of pirates approached two Iranian tankers, but fled the area after a shootout that lasted several hours. In Southeast Asia a Singapore-flagged product tanker en route from Singapore to Myanmar was boarded by eight pirates armed with guns whilst underway in the Malacca Strait. A number of late reports have been received this week in South Asia and Southeast Asia.
7. Spain Takes the ATALANTA Helm
Spain officially took command on Wednesday over Operation Atalanta, a European Union initiative against piracy in the Indian Ocean, during a ceremony in Djibouti attended by Spanish Defense Minister Pedro Morenes. Starting Wednesday, Adm. Alfonso Gomez Fernandez de Cordoba will take command of the European naval forces deployed at the Galicia flagship off the coast of Somalia and the Gulf of Aden, until Oct. 6. A total of 29 ships from the Spanish navy have participated in the operation since it was launched in 2009, while Spain has also contributed with a naval surveillance aircraft and 50 personnel.
8. Iran Claims US on the Run
An Iranian naval fleet chased a U.S. warship and military planes through the waters off the southern coast of Yemen late Monday in yet another provocative encounter between the two nations, according to Iranian state media reports. A U.S. warship and several planes reportedly “changed their direction” on Monday after encountering an Iranian naval fleet during a patrol in the Gulf of Aden near Yemen, Iranian state media revealed. The U.S. military assets fled “after they came close to an Iranian naval fleet and were warned to move away,” Iran’s state-controlled Fars News Agency reported. The US dismisses the claims.
9. Fire Ravaged Ferry Heads for Repairs
The fire-scorched ferry is finally headed for Segunto, Spain more than a week after the ship burst into flames while crossing the Mediterranean Sea. The fire broke out in the lower decks of the ferry Sorrento, operated by Trasmediterranea-Acciona, about an hour after departing from the island of Mallorca to the Spanish port of Valencia on April 28th. All 156 passengers and crew were able to escape the burning ship. According to Spain’s Salvamento Maritimo, the Sorrento was under tow early Wednesday to Segunto, Spain by Gianemilio C tugboat with the emergency vessel Clara Campoamor providing escort.
10. New Offshore Industry Security Guidance
The threat to maritime security from piracy, terrorism, criminal acts, and hostage and kidnapping threats continues to pose challenges to ships’ owners, masters and crew members, and has resulted in the International Marine Contractors Association (IMCA) publishing ‘Security Measures and Emergency Response Guidance’.
“Safety is of paramount importance, and our document aims to provide guidance to masters, company and ship security officers and other crew members and staff, on security measures and emergencies onboard vessels when underway, at anchor or alongside…and also for staff in shore side offices,”
Daily news feed from Seacurus Ltd – providers of MLC crew insurance solutions www.seacurus.com
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