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Articles from 2016 In January

Greece general strike disrupts shipping traffic

Greece general strike disrupts shipping traffic

The Seamen’s Union, which began a 48-hour strike at 0600 local time on 29 January, was joined by the Towage and Salvage Crew Union of Piraeus, which staged a 4-hour stoppage from 0600 to 1000 and is due to repeat this tomorrow, 30 January.

During the stoppage period, vessels will not be able to berth, shift or sail from the affected ports.

Borders are no barrier for maritime rescue, says Rescue Federation

Borders are no barrier for maritime rescue, says Rescue Federation

IMRF cites recent reports of would-be rescuers deterred from helping people in distress by concerns about territorial waters. Ceo Bruce Reid said: “Great work is being done by professional rescue crews from all over Europe, coordinated by our friends in the Italian and Hellenic Coast Guards, with the assistance too of Search and Rescue (SAR) colleagues in Malta and Turkey.

“But we are concerned by reports of less well-prepared responses at sea, by people whose good intentions are undoubted but who may not fully understand the procedures internationally agreed for maritime SAR – procedures which make a well-tried system work efficiently, to save more lives.”

The imperative to rescue people in distress at sea – where there is "a reasonable certainty that [they are] threatened by grave and imminent danger", according to the SAR Convention – applies whether in territorial or international waters and regardless of the legal status of the people in distress or the circumstances in which they are found, says Reid. All vessels at sea except warships are obliged to rescue people in distress.

“It’s important to emphasise that we are talking about people who will die if not rescued,” said Reid. “This is different to highly important but less immediately urgent humanitarian responses, where lives are not imminently at risk.

“And it’s different to border control issues, too. SAR takes place within that broader context, of course – and the IMRF understands that the overall situation is complex.

“But SAR is simple in principle and its procedures are established in international law,” Reid added. “If people are in distress at sea they must be rescued if possible, and ‘rescue’ includes being brought to a place of safety. The IMRF urges all concerned to find solutions to the wider issues, and to enable the maritime SAR services to do their lifesaving work.”

Floating renewable thermal energy platform gets BV approval

Floating renewable thermal energy platform gets BV approval

Unlike wind and solar, the Ocean Thermal Energy Converter (OTEC), developed by the Korea Research Institute of Ships and Ocean Engineering (KRISO), is able to generate power 24/7, using the temperature differential between cold water below and warm water at the surface.

The OTEC, a four-deck 6,700 tonne floating platform, features a closed-loop of working fluid which is vaporised, driving a turbo-alternator to produce energy, before being condensed and cycled through the system.

The first system will be built for installation off the coast of South Tarawa, Republic of Kiribati in the South Pacific Ocean, 6 km offshore in a water depth of 1,300 m. If successful, the system could be scaled up to produce a 100MW commercial system.

“OTEC technology offers the potential for round-the-clock clean renewable energy from the ocean,” said Matthieu de Tugny, senior vp and head of offshore, BV. “We are excited to deploy our expertise in offshore energy, met-ocean studies and structures to help bring this project which will deliver clean electricity to remote areas to fruition.”

It could also provide a new line of work for shipyards involved in the building of offshore rigs and structures.

WEC adds new service to Port of Liverpool

WEC adds new service to Port of Liverpool

Due to commence on 10 February, the new service is set to meet increasing demand for cargo services to and from the north of England, circumventing ports in the south and potentially saving shippers up to £400 ($574)per container, Liverpool Port operator Peel Ports claims.

WEC’s new service will also connect Liverpool with Lisbon, Setubal, Leixoes and Sines and vice versa, with other calls in Ireland, Scotland, Morocco, Spain and the Canary Islands. The group is mulling further opportunities in reefer and consumer goods on the route.

“This is a major new development for us, offering a dedicated, faster and direct container service for our customers in the Iberian Peninsula, North Africa and the Canaries,” said WEC Lines said. “We’re seeing growing demand to ship via Liverpool to provide better access to the heart of the UK.

“The additional supply chain benefits that Peel Ports are able to offer, from quayside services to trimodal transport options, have also been important in our decision. So, our hope is that this will just be a first step towards increasing trade to important UK markets via the North-west.”

Peel Ports sales director Ross Thomson said: “The shape of UK logistics is changing, with the North-west providing shippers the chance to reduce costs, congestion and carbon emissions by getting closer to the end market.”

ITF slams Prestige Master Mangouras jail sentence

ITF slams Prestige Master Mangouras jail sentence

Earlier this week the Spanish Supreme Court sentenced Captain Mangouras, aged 81, to two years in jail for recklessness resulting in catastrophic environmental damage, overturning a previous sentence which cleared him of criminal responsibility.

ITF seafarers’ section chair Dave Heindel said: “This decision represents the dying gasps of a 14 year old attempt to deflect blame onto the shoulders of an octogenarian man, who has been cleared in the court of world opinion and by his peers.

“Thankfully it is likely to be as unenforceable as it is illogical. This innocent man cannot again be made to sit needlessly in jail.”

He added, “The Mangouras case was one of the worse examples of the kneejerk criminalisation of seafarers.”

New Indonesian policy package addresses some shipping issues

New Indonesian policy package addresses some shipping issues

The policy package will also integrate the National Single Window system, which processes export and import documents electronically with the "Inaportnet" system which handles permits for ships and cargos, permits for containers entry into the port, manifest data for domestic and overseas ships and electronic payment for shipping and cargo activities.

It is hoped that the integration will help with the tracking of flow and movement of goods at the port as well as reducing dwelling time.The government also plans to revise a ministerial regulation that will make it mandatory for any transportation activities in the country to use the rupiah for any payments. Previously, this was not regulated, causing some activities at the port to use dollars instead of rupiah.

In response, Indonesia National Shipowners Association chairman Carmelita Hartoto expects the latest package to help develop the nation’s logistics industry.

“We hope there will be no more problems like dwelling time. If ministries and the related stakeholders have united, there will be no more delays [in cargo processing], like the one caused by documentations, which could take days [to resolve],” she said.

On the port systems integration plan, Carmelita remarked that it was nothing new but the problem lay in implementation, with no government regulations enforcing it to date.

Meanwhile on rupiah use for transportation activities, she said the government must be careful in the implementation phase, as not all transportation activities, especially those involving exports and imports or activities at ports, can use the rupiah.

Indonesia's scrapped Cilimaya port project may see new tender soon

Indonesia's scrapped Cilimaya port project may see new tender soon

“Based on our schedule, the tender should be held in January or February, but we’ll wait for him [Transportation Minister Ignasius Jonan],” he was quoted as saying.

The government had previously signaled that it would consider accepting bids from private investors, running the risk of souring relations with Japan, who had originally been set to develop the project.

The port project was set to have a capacity of 3.75m teu and help alleviate congestion at Indonesia’s main port of Tanjung Priok in North Jakarta but the Cilamaya project was scrapped due to the project’s impact on the expansion of state oil and gas firm Pertamina’s nearby offshore operations.

NYK posts $277m extraordinary loss on dry bulk fleet revaluation

NYK posts $277m extraordinary loss on dry bulk fleet revaluation

NYK said that the extraordinary loss came after it re-assessed the recoverable value of its dry bulk vessels, and that of the JPY33.5bn loss, some JPY20.9bn came from a single consolidated subsidiary.

The extraordinary loss is not reflected in its net profit figures and NYK posted a net profit of JPY22.82bn for the first nine months of the year, down 19.8% a JPY29.45bn net profit a year earlier. Revenues saw a slight decline of 0.9% to JPY1.77trn in the first nine months of the year compared to JPY1.78trn in the previous year.

NYK also nearly halved its full year profit forecast JPY25bn compared to JPY47bn previously.

“NYK Line revised its forecast of consolidated financial results because conditions in the maritime shipping market have been more sluggish than originally foreseen, and the performance of its container shipping and dry bulk transport businesses is expected to be lower than previously forecast,” the company said.

K Line nine month profits fall, lowers full year forecast

K Line nine month profits fall, lowers full year forecast

K Line reported a net profit of JPY9.27bn ($76.9m) for the three quarters ended 31 December 2015, compared to a JPY33bn in the same period a year earlier. Revenues were slightly down at JPY977.8bn for the first nine months JPY1.02trn a year earlier.

In a sign that K Line is expecting a loss making fourth quarter the company revised down its full year profit forecast to JPY7bn, less that it made in the first three quarters of the year, and down from JPY12bn forecast previously.

K Line said that the reduction in its profit forecast reflected the poor performance of the dry bulk and container shipping markets.

The company said the reason for the revision was due to, “A large number of newbuildings’ delivery, while cargo movements’ growth remained low, expanded the imbalance between supply and demand in shipping capacity in containership business; and in addition, a decrease of demand following Chinese economic deceleration in dry bulk business brought sluggish market.

“Despite the efforts to improve profitability by conducting efficient fleet assignments and cutting operating costs, based on the prospect of the continuous sluggish market mainly in containership business and dry bulk business, we revised downward financial results for the full year as aforementioned.”

MOL forecasts massive full year loss as it restructures dry bulk and box shipping

MOL forecasts massive full year loss as it restructures dry bulk and box shipping

MOL reported a profit for the nine months ended 31 December 2015 of JPY13.29bn ($110.22m) down from JPY24.88bn in the same period a year earlier. Revenues were down slightly JPY1.32trn for the period compared to JPY1.34trn in the previous year.

However, given the woes of both the dry bulk and container shipping markets MOL is forecasting a full loss of JPY175bn ($1.45bn) for the year ended 31 March 2016 as it undertakes structural reform of its business in these two sectors. The company had previously forecast a profit of JYP17bn for the year.

MOL commented: “In the dry bulker business, the market is deteriorating to a new record low due to the imbalance of fleet supply and demand, along with stagnant cargo trade resulting from the slowdown in China’s economy since last fall.

“Regarding the containership business, cargo volume, mainly for Europe and emerging countries, hovered at low levels while a succession of newbuilding vessels came into service, keeping freight rates at historic lows.”

In the dry bulk sector the company said it would be further reducing the number of capesize vessels it has trading in the spot market, and withdraw from offering excess tonnage in the panamax sector and other smaller sizes of bulkers. “Instead, the company will focus on meeting the major transportation demands of our customers,” it said.

In its containership business the MOL said it would focus on trying capture more profitable cargoes, rationalization of services mainly on the north –south trades, and reductions in the fleet focused on mid-sized vessels.

As a result of the restructuring MOL expects to report a JPY180bn extraordinary loss in the fourth quarter of the year.