Seacurus Daily: Top Ten Maritime News Stories 24/09/2015: HAPPY WORLD MARITIME DAY!
1. Confusion Not Comfort for Tankers
Unease and confusion over the lifting of Nigeria’s ban on roughly 100 tankers has pushed up freight rates and slowed trading activity. West African Suezmax rates have reportedly risen by more than Worldscale 10 points since September 16, 2015, while the new requirement to sign a "letter of comfort" before loading at Nigerian oil terminals has hampered trading. The lifting of the two-month ban had been accompanied by a statement that Nigerian president Muhammadu Buhari had approved the consideration of all incoming vessels "subject to receipt of a Letter of Comfort" – deemed a completely nonsensical proposal.
2. Words on World Maritime Day
From around the world, and across the industry, commentators have spoken on World Maritime Day: Jim Watson, President and COO ABS Americas, called it a "opportunity to reflect on the many contributions the maritime industry has made to society". David Hammond, CEO and Founder of Human Rights at Sea
“It is a day to refocus interest and attention on the maritime environment and particularly the people who make the related industries tick". Dean Summers, ITF Australia “It’s a day when governments and industry should take time to promote the value of the world’s 1.3 million workers on whom all economies rely".
3. Latest Vessel Banned for MLC Failings
Australian maritime authorities have received complaints concerning basic goods’ deficiency and unpaid wages in two Greek-owned ships. The first incident took place last week on the bulk carrier ‘San Nicolas’ managed by Greece’s Athenian Shipping company. MUA Newcastle Branch Secretary Glen Williams reported concerns for the crew’s health with a lack of fresh fruit and limited potable water being available. The staff on board, which includes Ukranians and Indonesians, made claims over poor quality and insufficient essentials, low hygiene standards and unpaid salaries.
4. Floating Armoury Investigated
The Sri Lankan President has provided instructions to continue uninterrupted investigations into Avant Garde, the company which has been operating a floating armoury vessel off the coast of the island for some years. An official attached to the Sri Lanka Ports Authority noted that the "Mahanuwara" vessel with a floating armoury anchored at the Galle harbour was released from its custody and added that the vessel is being dealt with as an ordinary vessel that reaches the harbour. He also added that the operations of the vessel are continuing as before. The company had been governments sanctioned before a power change.
5. Fire Kills Crew
Police in southern Sweden are investigating after four people were found dead inside a burning ship in the port of Sölvesborg. Emergency services were called to the 29 metre long ship just before midnight on Wednesday following reports it was on fire. Firefighters found two people attempting to extinguish the flames with water from the deck and another person who had suffered head injuries. Four bodies were later discovered on board the vessel which was docked in Sölvesborg, an industrial port on Sweden’s southern coast. Emergency services said on Thursday morning that it remained unclear what had caused the fire.
6. Seafarers Hold the Key to Future
The viability of shipping can only be guaranteed by highly trained, skilled and knowledgeable seafarers and land-based maritime professionals to operate ships and ports of the world. This was stated by Chairman of the Maritime Authority of Jamaica (MAJ), Peter-John Gordon, as he spoke to mark the beginning of Maritime Awareness Week, which runs until September 26. Addressing the theme, ‘Maritime Education and Training’, Gordon said it demonstrates that shipping is a highly technical professional discipline, which demands high skill levels, knowledge and expertise which will not be acquired through work or on-the-job experience.
7. Looking Closer at LNG
When TOTE Inc., a shipper that operates between the U.S. and the Caribbean, launched its latest container ship last month, the 760-foot craft carried a certain distinction: It’s only the second of the massive vessels worldwide fueled by LNG. The first was launched four months earlier by the same company. TOTE is among a growing number of shipowners turning to natural gas at a time of record output, stringent emission rules and churning oil prices. About 70 vessels of all sizes worldwide of are now powered by LNG, up from 42 in just two years, according to DNV GL, which certifies ships for safety. By 2020, the number may pass 1,000.
8. Psychology of Shipping Markets
All sophisticated markets move in cycles, and the Baltic Dry index (BDI) is no exception. Physical and futures markets are derived from each other, and all have one major connection, Human psychology. The nature of markets is to move in waves, each of which represent the human behaviour of the market. The first stage of any market rally is that of accumulation, creating a market bottom and a subsequent move higher, this is followed by a rebalance in the form of a corrective move lower. The second move up (the third wave) is usually the strongest wave, it is generally accompanied with strong fundamentals and optimism.
9. Fuelling Shipping Shortfall
Just how much money would container shipping lines be losing if it weren’t for the relentlessly steep decline in bunker prices? A lot, according to the latest analysis from Drewry Maritime Research, which investigated the revenues and margins of 16 of the 20 largest carriers that publish their accounts. Drewry calculates that the group, which represented 65% of global slot capacity, saw revenue of around $60bn in the first half of the year, 5% less than in the first six months of 2014. Only Taiwanese carriers Wan Hai, a specialist on niche trades such as intra-Asia, and Yang Ming managed to increase sales year-on-year.
10. Weapons Stashed in UN Vehicles
Weapons found by Kenyan police on a ship last week had been stashed inside a shipment of United Nations vehicles, the Norwegian company that owns the vessel said on Wednesday. Kenyan police said security agents on Thursday discovered firearms and drugs on the Norwegian-flagged Hoegh Transporter, which is docked at the Indian Ocean port of Mombasa. Hoegh Autoliners confirmed weapons were found inside some of the vehicles on its vessel, which was carrying a consignment from Mumbai to the U.N. peacekeeping mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo, MONUSCO.
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