Seacurus Daily: Top Ten Maritime News Stories 07/09/2015
1. Largest Box Ship Emerges
French shipping company CMA CGM has put into service the 400-meter-long CMA CGM Bourgainville, the world’s largest containership sailing under the French flag. The containership, delivered by Samsung Heavy Industries on August 26th, is the fourth vessel in CMA CGM Group’s 18,000 TEU series of containerships named after famous explorers. The vessel has now entered into service in the Group’s Asia French line, serving European, Middle East and Asian markets and calling at Le Havre every 77 days. The vessel will arrive at Le Havre for its maiden call there on October 5th.
2. Heading to London
The great and the good of the maritime world are heading for the UK capital where some 80 different events are taking place next week as part of London International Shipping Week (LISW), running 7 – 11 September. “I am confident that this will be the maritime event of 2015 and an excellent opportunity for industry and Government to showcase the UK’s thriving maritime and marine industries and how we are, together, planning for the future,” UK Minister for Shipping and Ports Robert Goodwill said. A definite trend of this year’s LISW will be its international dimension.
3. Piracy on their Minds
Interviews with individual Somalis appear to confirm that shipowners are not the only ones with piracy on their minds – there is a slow building of pressure and a temptation to return to hunting ships. “It’s just now coming from the other [Somali] side, which is giving it a bit more momentum,” says Cyrus Mody of the IMB. Morten Glamsø, senior adviser at the Danish Shipowners’ Association (DSA), is measured in his responses. “From the very beginning we have said that a holistic approach needs to be taken,” he explains. “Ships need to be prepared and protected, but we also need to address the root causes.
4. Maritime Welfare Debated
London International Shipping Week will feature an afternoon of discussion examining the latest issues concerning seafarers’ rights and welfare. Clay Maitland of International Registers will give the keynote speech: Will the shipping sector’s profitability and future sustainability be closely aligned to an increasingly strong system of maritime welfare, or are we just kidding ourselves? A session on the physical and psychological health of seafarers at sea will feature Grahaeme Henderson, vice-president, shipping and maritime at Shell – while a look at corporate responsibility will ask "Fair treatment for seafarers – an aspiration or a reality?"
5. Ballast Water Reftrofits
Under one of the largest ballast water management system (BWMS) retrofit contracts issued thus far, eleven containerships owned by Bernhard Schulte GmbH & Co. KG will be fitted with Wärtsilä Aquarius BWMS. "This significant order is a clear indication that the major shipowners are actively securing procurement for quality BWMS in anticipation of ratification of the IMO’s ballast water treaty," says Dr Joe Thomas, Director, Wärtsilä Marine Solutions. "Wärtsilä has both experience and deep know-how in this field, and can offer reliability and long term support to ensure that customers have the optimal solution for their specific needs.
6. Charity Develops New App
Sailors’ Society, one of the largest seafarer support charities operating internationally, has developed ‘Chapplaincy’, a smartphone app with the support of Augustea Group. Chapplaincy enables real-time activity reporting and maintains a history of ship visits and support provided to seafarers. Data can then be accessed by chaplains in other ports and subject to confidentiality and data protection policies, can be used to provide ongoing care and assistance as ship and crew continue their voyage. The app has access to global ship tracking data from MarineTraffic, which helps chaplains see which vessels are in port and those due to arrive. http://goo.gl/HazFMZ
7. Satellite Comms to Deliver Unmanned Ships
A prototype drone ship controlled by a captain hundreds of miles from the vessel could be plying the sealanes in 10 years’ time after satellite communications group Inmarsat joined a research project developing systems to support autonomous vessels. Shipping could be revolutionised by automatic cargo ships navigating the world’s oceans, only checking in with shore-based operators in emergencies. Removing humans from long voyages would cut the cost of operating ships – crew can represent a third of a ship’s running costs – and allow them to carry more cargo in the space normally taken up by people. Apparently.
8. Bank Withdrawal Causes Concern
The Royal Bank of Scotland’s (RBS) decision to pull out of ship finance has hit London, and the shipping industry hard. The association of RBS with shipping goes back to the 18th century. The cluster has lost a lost a key part of its attraction. The fact is that London is completely disappearing from traditional ship finance. Basic financing over the past seven years has been in export finance on newbuildings, with far less need to offer S&P finance. Lloyds Bank is also exiting the scene, joining a long list including RBS, Bank of Scotland, HSBC and its predecessor Midland. There are now very few indigenous traditional lenders left in the city.
9. Super Cape Sized Orders
Japan’s largest steel producer Nippon Steel & Sumitomo Metal Corp (NSSMC) reportedly plans to replace its fleet of chartered-in capesize vessels with nine super-cape vessels of 230-250,000 dwt. The very large ore carriers (VLOCs) will be chartered on periods of eight to 15 years from four Japanese shipowners, said US shipbroker Compass Maritime in a report today. Three VLOCs will be chartered from Mitsui OSK Lines, and two each from NS United, K Line and NYK, the broker said. The four shipowning groups plan to order the ships from Japan’s Namura Shipbuilding and Imabari Shipbuilding yards for delivery in 2018 and 2019.
10. Idle Capacity in the Spotlight
Idle capacity has been a feature of the containership sector since the economic downturn in 2008-09. Prior to that, box freight rates tended to vary according to fairly macro factors, and liner companies appeared less inclined to resort to micro supply management to address imbalances. But in recent years, there have been clear phases of containership ‘idling’, each highly reflective of conditions in the sector. Global box trade dropped by 9% in 2009, and liner companies were left with little option but to idle significant levels of capacity to resurrect freight levels from rock bottom levels.
Daily news feed from Seacurus Ltd – providers of MLC crew insurance solutions www.seacurus.com
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