09.04.2021

OP-ED: How Covid-19 created floating prisons | Dhaka Tribune
Many seafarers are trapped on vessels, unable to go home -- a situation that threatens to turn into a humanitarian crisis

Merchant sailors recognised as frontline workers will aid mental health | The National News
Shipping industry must reduce stigma of psychological problems in workers at sea, conference hears

Tug crew strike set to go ahead at Plymouth's Devonport Naval Base | Business Live
Crews due to begin 24-hour walkout in long-running dispute over shift patterns 

Second Fire Gives Ammunition to Union Set Against Foreign Flagged Vessels | Handy Shipping Guide
National Interest Project Should Employ Resident Citizens Says MUA

High Court: Employer’s appeal against union “front man” dismissed | Lexology
The High Court has dismissed an employer’s appeal against a full Federal Court decision not to summarily dismiss an employee’s application to quash the relevant enterprise agreement where it was argued that the employee was merely a “front man” to conceal the CFMMEU’s role as the true moving party.

RMT slams Irish Ferries plans to run Dover to Calais ferry service from June 2021 | Kent Online
A leading union has hit out at plans for Irish Ferries to run a Dover to Calais service later this year - accusing it of having "an appalling safety record" and crewing its vessels "almost entirely with eastern European seafarers".
https://www.kentonline.co.uk/kent-business/county-news/safety-and-staff-pay-fears-over-ferry-plan-245219/ 

Seafarers and Frontline Maritime Personnel Thanked for Keeping Port of Singapore Open during COVID-19 Pandemic | Sea News
Ong Kim Pong, Regional CEO Southeast Asia, PSA International, said, “2020 was an exceptional year which saw organisations worldwide respond proactively and collectively to challenges unprecedented in modern times. With the unwavering support of our unions and management, our staff have demonstrated adaptability, resilience and agility by working alongside our customers and partners to keep global supply chains open and trade flows moving. My heartfelt thanks to each and every one at PSA Singapore for setting an extraordinary example of commitment and solidarity in this challenging time.”

Crude Greeks decide it’s time to go very large | Lloyd’s List
Freights may have been woeful but a surge of countercyclical Greek VLCC ordering in recent months suggests that many of those with a penchant for big tankers have done similar calculations
Central Group, Latsco Shipping, Maran Tankers, Athenian Sea Carriers, Capital Maritime, Navios and Samos Steamship are among the Greek owners that have arranged to get their hands on new VLCCs as prices seem headed higher and building slots dry up

Optimistic Jefferies banks on tanker second-half rally | Lloyd’s List
The bank forecast very large crude carrier spot rates would average $30,000 daily this year and finish the final quarter at $47,000
Forecasts assume tanker scrapping to double levels seen in past four consecutive quarters and oil demand growth to rally in 2021’s second half

Container tracking gains traction with adoption of standard | Lloyd’s List
Five of the DCSA’s nine carrier members have committed to adopting the group’s track and trace standard for supply chain visibility
Container tracking services are nothing new. But the granular nature of the container supply chain has made it difficult for them to be interoperable before now, limiting their usefulness

Ever Given operator launches claim against registered owner | Lloyd’s List
Move from Taiwanese boxship outfit appears to counter ‘writ in rem’ legal action from Japan’s Shoei Kisen
Both parties seeking security for claims against them, legal experts suggest

Red flag: Predatory European ships help push Indian Ocean tuna to the brink | Mongabay
The Indian Ocean yellowfin tuna stock is teetering on the verge of collapse and some experts say the EU, which has profited the most from the fishery over decades, should do more to save it.
 

08.04.2021

AMOSUP orders 20,000 doses of Covid vaccine | The Manila Times
WHILE the government has yet to give a clear response to the appeal of manning agencies’ to prioritize seafarers in the vaccination program, the Associated Marine Officers and Seamen’s Union of the Philippines (AMOSUP) placed orders for 20,000 doses of vaccines against the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-9) for its members.

Union set to ballot Stena Line staff on possible strike action | Western Telegraph
The National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers (RMT) is planning to ballot its seafarer and port members, including those working in Fishguard, on possible strike action over its claims that the company has ‘downgraded’ its sick leave policy.

Crew changes in Chile continue in spite border closure extension | Seatrade Maritime News
Even though the Chilean Government has decreed an extension of the border closure until 30 April, with tighter restrictions, crew change will be allowed to continue.
https://www.seatrade-maritime.com/regulation/crew-changes-chile-continue-spite-border-closure-extension 

Tanker rates rebound as Middle East Gulf export slump ends | Lloyd’s List
Negative freight earnings remain for larger tankers but rises in rates for smaller ships and OPEC supply boost help sector to build on March gains
Middle East Gulf clean and dirty exports shrunk 9% year-on-year, Lloyd’s List Intelligence data show, the lowest since 2010

China’s Cosco Shipping Expects Profit Surge as Industry Flourishes | Wall Street Journal
Freight rates have increased, with shipping groups reaping the benefits of earlier capacity cuts combined with stronger-than-expected demand

Eemslift Hendrika salvage mission postponed but grounding risk ‘small’ | Lloyd’s List
The plan to tow the listing cargoship into sheltered waters to avert an oil spill has been postponed to Thursday, according to the Norwegian Coastal Administration
UPDATE: Salvors are preparing to tow the listing Dutch yacht carrier Eemslift Hendrika away from Norway’s coast after the dramatic helicopter rescue of its crew on Monday. The NCA said the danger of it running aground was small, despite earlier warnings it could hit the coast tonight
 

07.04.2021

The Ever Given showed the importance of tug and towage workers, but their industry continues to cut dangerous corners | ITF Seafarers
The six-day blockage of the Suez Canal and its welcomed refloating has shed new light on the critical job done by tug and towage workers. But unless industry arrests the current ‘race to the bottom’ and workers’ safety concerns are addressed, the world could be in store for another Even Given-type crisis sooner than we think.

‘Did the ship shrink?’ – Red flags raised over Goundar ship registered in Fiji 14 metres shorter than in Canada | ITF Seafarers
Fijian authorities are being called to urgently investigate Goundar’s MV Lomaiviti Princess III amid allegations of falsified safety documentation and concerns over passenger and maritime worker safety. 

Concerns Ever Given seafarers likely to face legal action | Seatrade Maritime News
While the containership Ever Given heads for the Great Bitter Lake for inspection following six days blocking the Suez Canal, there is a major concern about how its crew comprising 25 Indian nationals will be treated by the Suez Canal Authority.

The Ever Given's crew is safe, still onboard, and is getting paid while the ship's being investigated | Markets Insider
The 25-person Indian crew of the Ever Given is stressed and tense, but is doing well as the massive container ship faces investigations after blocking the Suez Canal.

'Rush to judgment'?: Costly Suez Canal calamity fuels support for Indian crew of Ever Given | USA Today
Investigators in and under the massive container ship Ever Given intensified efforts Wednesday to determine what caused the vessel to run aground amid concerns the Indian crew could be blamed for the costly incident.

Inside the Ever Given's Suez Canal rescue: How tides, tugboats helped free the big ship | NBC News
While the world marvelled at the skyscraper-size vessel, it was local workers and tugboat captains who toiled through sleepless nights to free the ship.

Bulkers detained in Australia for ‘serious’ breaches | Lloyd’s List
Two bulkers technically managed by a Turkish company and ultimately linked to a Qatari owner have been detained by Australian authorities for a number of deficiencies and "appalling" crew working conditions.
Bulkers detained at Port Kembla in New South Wales and Weipa in Queensland since February will not be released until deficiencies are addressed, says the Australian Maritime Safety Authority

Logjam deepens at the world's ports as pandemic strikes shipping | France 24
Towering cranes work overtime swinging containers from cargo vessels in the eastern Chinese port of Lianyungang, racing to keep ahead of a perfect storm unleashed by the pandemic that has created gridlock in global shipping.

Mozambique's Growing Insurgency May Pose Threat to Shipping | Maritime Executive
The insurgency in Northern Mozambique is steadily morphing into a serious maritime security threat in the Western Indian Ocean. On March 24, militants linked to the Islamic State (IS) group conducted a bloody ambush in Palma - a coastal town near Total’s Mozambique LNG offshore gas project - leaving tens of people dead and others injured. This attack lends credence to speculation that the jihadist militants are growing in sophistication and capability.

Dry bulk worst hit by ‘vaccination lottery’, says Intercargo | Lloyd’s List
Owners in the sector say it is especially exposed to national vaccination politics and facing unworkable demands from some port states
‘Bulk carriers on tramp trading call at many more ports than other shipping sectors and are at the mercy of the nationalised vaccination policy, applying at the port of call,’ said Intercargo president Dimitris Fafalios

Shipping Industry Calls For Common, Global Vaccination Framework For Seafarers | Hellenic Shipping News
A working group focusing on vaccinations within the shipping industry supports seafarers being vaccinated using WHO EUL approved vaccines provided by appropriate agencies in Member States.

Coronavirus and seafarer mental health – the good news | Splash 247
As so many have said, we live in unprecedented times. First, we have been confronted with a physical health crisis, followed by a hard-hitting economic crunch. So it’s no surprise that we now face the stark reality of a possible mental health crisis.

As Suez crisis fades, we must not forget pandemic's hidden heroes — seafarers | The Hill
Shipping operates out of sight and out of mind for most. 1.7 million seafarers navigate arduous voyages to keep global trade moving. Yet making the link between the food on the shelves of your local supermarket, or the gas at your local filling station, is not always easy.

What Suez Canal crisis should tell the world about seafarers | South China Morning Post
Global shipping crisis threw a spotlight on the rarely told story of the hardships and poor conditions endured by seafarers, at least a quarter of them from the Philippines

Stranded at sea: California seafarer recounts months of isolation during pandemic | The Denver Channel
As the pandemic upended our lives, an invisible workforce helped keep some normalcy intact. Traveling the world on oil tankers and cargo ships, seafarers deliver everything from food to fuel, medicine, and personal protective equipment (PPE).

‘We are not sure when we will get home’: the stranded seafarers who kept world trade afloat during Covid | iNews
Hundreds of thousands of hidden keyworkers are still enduring what has been described as a humanitarian crisis as they continue to move essential supplies across the globe

Ferries delayed again amid recruitment struggles | BBC
The delivery of two overdue and over-budget CalMac ferries has been delayed again as the shipyard building them struggles to recruit extra staff.

Give seafarers the VSAT they deserve | Riviera
Coronavirus has amplified the need to provide sufficient fast connectivity to seafarers, many of whom have been stranded at sea for more than a year

Private 5G network for port of Southampton | Lloyd’s List
5G network trials have also been announced at Felixstowe and Belfast Harbour in recent months
Associated British Ports has signed a deal with Verizon Business to build a private 5G network at the port of Southampton. It said the faster network could help lead to asset tracking, autonomous vehicles, predictive maintenance and safety monitoring

Pandemic Strands 100,000 Merchant Mariners at Sea | Voice of America
LONDON - An estimated 100,000 merchant seafarers are stranded across the world because of the coronavirus pandemic in what campaigners call a “humanitarian crisis” that threatens global supply chains and are calling on all countries to recognize the 1.6 million people who work on board merchant vessels as key workers, including allowing them to travel across borders and offering priority coronavirus vaccines. It’s estimated that 80% of all internationally traded goods are transported by sea.  

The Suez Canal ship is free, but the shipping industry’s ‘humanitarian crisis’ isn’t over | The Seattle Times
For nearly a week, the world was fixated on the spectacle of a mammoth cargo carrier blocking the Suez Canal, causing billions of dollars of damage to the global economy with every passing day. 

The shipping industry is worse than aviation | Observer
The sole justification for this most extreme manifestation of globalization is that the wage rates are lower on one side of the world than on the other. But it’s murder on the crews, mostly poor people from poor countries who aren’t even allowed ashore when the ships stop briefly in ports. And it’s hell on the environment, because almost all these ships are burning bunker oil.

Maersk unveils new Asia service via Panama to US east coast | Lloyd’s List
Maersk North America has announced the start of a new service linking ports in Vietnam and China with US east coast ports via the Panama Canal, starting in May 2021
‘Importers are looking for more US east coast gateways in their Asia-North America supply chains, while exporters are looking for more equipment — especially in the southeast US region,’ said Maersk North America managing director Narin Phol

Anger as Maersk suspends contract bookings, sparking scramble for capacity | Load Star
Maersk’s decision to “temporarily suspend” spot and short-term contract bookings from Asia following the Suez Canal blockage has left forwarders and NVOCCs scrambling for alternatives.

Farmers call for federal action on shipping bottlenecks | The Bakersfield Californian
Kern County farmers are calling for federal intervention in an international shipping bottleneck that has dramatically increased their export costs during the pandemic and jeopardized sales contracts with buyers overseas.

Report highlights modern slave labour in Pacific fishing industry | WSWS
A new report has found that fishing companies operating in the Pacific are doing little to stop slavery on their boats. The tuna industry in particular is rife with allegations of modern slavery in its supply chains, with few protections for workers against forced labour.

United States and Ghana Partner to Strengthen Ghana’s Fisheries Sector | US Embassy in Ghana
In his remarks, Deputy Chief of Mission Lamora commended the SFMP’s work to strengthen fisheries sector management, noting that “We should all celebrate our collective achievements while recognizing that more work is needed to rescue Ghana’s small pelagic fisheries, which are in a dire state.”  He also reiterated the willingness of the United States government to work with stakeholders to rebuild fish stocks that have been increasingly at risk due to illegal, unreported, and unregulated fishing and to help ensure a locally sourced, nutritious, and sustainable supply of protein.  

Maldives announces plans to lift ban on shark fishing after 11 years | Oceanographic
Minister of Fisheries, Marine Resources and Agriculture, Zaha Waheed, spoke at the People’s Majlis (the Maldivian Parliament) Committee on Economic Affairs, saying that lifting the ban ‘presents a profitable revenue-generation strategy for the state.’

How shipping giant MSC reacted to billion-dollar cocaine bust | Freight Waves
Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC) — which recently surpassed Maersk to become the world’s largest ocean carrier — confirmed it “suffered significant financial and reputational damage” from the record-breaking drug bust aboard its ship, the MSC Gayane, in 2019.

Sometimes, no publicity really is bad publicity | Lloyd’s List
Shipping executives had an opportunity to be front and centre in the international news cycle and deliver an important message about how trade works. Instead, they chose to hide in the shadows. Complaints about sea blindness will not be taken seriously next time they matter
A week-long shut down of the Suez Canal courtesy of a container giant exposed the fragility of global supply chains and the world’s reliance on shipping. It was not the attention the industry wanted, but it was a unique opportunity to explain shipping’s key role as the economic backbone of world trade. So why did the industry hide behind its crisis management flak?

Why the World’s Container Ships Grew So Big | New York Times
As global trade has grown, shipping companies have steadily increased ship sizes — but the Suez Canal blockage showed that bigger is not always better.

‘It Often Comes Down to Ego—My Ship Is Bigger Than Your Ship’ | Bloomberg
A shipping industry consultant who went to sea at age 18 says container ships will grow until they simply can’t anymore.  

25.03.2021

Shipping industry launches vaccine guide for seafarers | ITF Seafarers
The ITF has worked with the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) to produce a simple, easy-to-understand guide for seafarers on Covid-19 vaccinations. The independent guide explains the evidence-based risks associated with the major vaccine brands currently in the market.

Half of blacklisted Aswan fleet in hot water as Australia detains two ships | ITF Seafarers
Australian maritime authorities have detained two vessels owned by controversial a Qatari shipping company for serious labour rights breaches just weeks after the crew on another of Aswan Trading and Contracting’s ships were driven to hunger strike off the coast of Kuwait.

Maersk VICT calls spoil ITF pandemic praise | Seatrade Maritime News
The International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF) praised Maersk’s crew change efforts during the pandemic, but questioned its continued calls at ICSTI’s Victoria International Container Terminal (VICT).

Praise for Largest Global Container Shipping Line for Behaviour During Pandemic | Handy Shipping Guide
Doubtless Maersk executives were pleased today when they received their equivalent of a school report from global union representatives, despite a qualified 'could do better'.

Suez Canal remains blocked despite efforts to refloat grounded Ever Given | Lloyd’s List
Update 1655 hrs GMT: Reports that the Ever Given has been partially refloated are inaccurate according to technical manager BSM. Suez Canal remains blocked and traffic is increasing at both ends of the canal
It is not clear what caused the grounding. Initial reports suggested that Ever Given had experienced engine trouble, but a spokesman for BSM, the vessel’s technical managers, confirmed that an initial investigation has ruled out any suggestion of mechanical or technical failure

Shipping industry emissions keep on climbing, new IMO data reveals | Business Green
New figures show that significant improvements in carbon intensity have been made since 2012, although these have slowed in recent years

Ports are facing a digital sea-change | ITS International 
Next-generation cellular will revolutionise the ports and maritime sector. Its arrival is just in time, as the industry faces a variety of challenges which require new technological solutions

US Coast Guard loses pilotage exam case | Lloyd’s List
The US Coast Guard violated federal law in denying a master the right to sit for an examination that would allow him to register as a vessel pilot
The USCG acted on derogatory reports about Capt Matthew Hight presented by the for-profit St Lawrence Seaway Pilots Association, including the use of profanity while piloting a ship
 

--

19.03.2021

We need a grown-up conversation about shipping's hidden heroes | Lloyd’s List
Seafarer mental health issues have risen to the top of the agenda during the pandemic. The industry must now ensure it doesn’t sleepwalk into the next crisis with mental health problems unresolved
Shipping’s can-do attitude has kept the world turning over the past year, but seafarers have suffered. Recruitment could suffer as a result

Calling for a Fair Future for Seafarers | Hellenic Shipping News
Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, seafarers have faced difficult working conditions including uncertainties about port access, re-supply, crew changeovers and repatriation. Seafarers’ rights to be treated fairly remain at the forefront of IMO’s work.
https://www.hellenicshippingnews.com/calling-for-a-fair-future-for-seafarers/ 

Testing seafarers can be part of pandemic fightback, says consultant | Lloyd’s List
Selective use of tests for seafarers can reduce risk of coronavirus being brought on board by embarking crews or visitors, and help manage potential onboard outbreaks
Operators should choose testing kits that meet World Health Organisation standards and apply the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention antigen test algorithm, according to an International Group affiliate

De Poli Shipmanagement says kidnapped crew ‘doing well’ | Lloyd’s List
Contact has been made with the 15 seafarers seized from a chemical tanker near Benin, West Africa in the past week, De Poli Shipmanagement has confirmed. The crew consists of Ukrainian, Romanian and Filipino nationals
The Dutch company said that while there is a dialogue proceeding with those holding the 15 crew members, no further information will be provided in order not to jeopardise the safety of those involved

German maritime industry facing major challenges: report | Hellenic Shipping News
Germany’s maritime industry was facing major challenges such as reducing CO2 emissions, international competition and the COVID-19 pandemic, according to the 7th annual maritime report by the German government published on Wednesday.

ICTSI deploys AI-powered yard management system at Manila container terminal | Ship Technology
Philippines-based port operator International Container Terminal Services (ICTSI has deployed an AI-driven operational optimisation tool at its flagship Manila International Container Terminal (MICT).

‘They stuffed up’: Union slams Indonesian ferries headed for Sydney | 2GB
The union has hit back at the Transport Minister’s defence of a controversial new fleet of ferries.
The River Class ferries, built in Indonesia, will not fit under the Camellia Railway Bridge and the Gasworks Bridge near Parramatta with people sitting on the top deck. Now, concerns have emerged that the boats could stall under emergency conditions.
Maritime Union of Australia Sydney Assistant Branch Secretary Paul Garrett told Ben Fordham he’s been on board the trialled ferries.

Coast Guard issues bulletin on Covid-19 crew change issues | Work Boat
The Covid-19 pandemic has significant impacts on the U.S. Marine Transportation System, the global shipping industry and on seafarers. Travel restrictions imposed by governments around the world have created significant hurdles to crew changes and repatriation of seafarers. 

What next for Irish Sea trade? | Lloyd’s List
Three months after the UK left the European Union, changes are already being seen in shortsea trades. The extension of temporary easements on trade to Northern Ireland has helped boost trade. But it remains hard to sift out the impact of the pandemic from that of the politics

DP World profit drops 29% in ‘year like no other’ | Lloyd’s List
DP World chief executive Sultan Ahmed Bin Sulayem says the group is remaining cautious in its short-term outlook yet is encouraged by the start to trading in 2021
Port operator posts 30% drop in profits for 2020, in ‘a year like no other,’ but revenues rise on new business contributions