The Russian invasion of Ukraine on February 24 has prompted many of us to think back to our school history lessons and the significance of the Dardanelles to the Allied powers in World War 1, not overlooking the ill-fated battle of Gallipoli.
Top brass representing maritime states, the world’s major shipping companies, and industry associations have been in Glasgow earlier this month to attend a single-day joint shipping industry association organized decarbonization conference during the United Nation Framework Convention on Climate Change Conference (COP26).
The issue of livestock shipments is never far from the news in Australia where the government has come under enormous pressure to legislate improved carriage conditions, if not to ban the livestock trade entirely. The debate came to a head in 2017 when a shipment of 63,800 sheep from Freemantle to the UAE, Qatar and Kuwait incurred the loss of 2,400 sheep with the sub-standard conditions on the vessel being filmed by a whistleblower. This followed a similar incident in 2016, many of the deaths being attributed to the high temperatures and humidity in the Gulf during summer months. Government investigators pointed to inadequate manning and the complete absence of a heat stress management plan.
The spread of Covid-19 across the world has shed a spotlight on the ability of the International Maritime Organization’s ability to have a number of basic maritime conventions respected, in particular as they relate to Ports of Refuge, SOLAS and MLC (2006).
Following a cruise from Sydney to Auckland in February this year, my wife and I made a road trip through the North and South Islands of New Zealand including the picturesque city of Queenstown located on picturesque Lake Wakatipu. Since 1912, the freshwater lake has been the home of the magnificently preserved and operational TSS Earnslaw, reportedly the only commercial coal-fired passenger steamship in the southern hemisphere.
When delivered to her owners in July 2015, Höegh Target was the first in class of six “New Horizon Class” post-panamax auto carriers that are still the largest such vessels in the world. The vessel has 14 decks and a cargo opening to enable handling of units up to 6.5m high and 12m wide with a strengthened stern ramp allowing for handling of loads of up to 375 tonnes
The recently released annual report of the International Maritime Bureau highlights the continuing scourge of maritime piracy in the shipping industry and the complicit inaction of regional governments, particularly in the Gulf of Guinea. While piracy is trending downwards worldwide, it is accelerating in the Gulf of Guinea with the brazen armed robbery and the kidnap of seafarers for ransom, a recent incident of which has resulted in a seafarer’s death.
When it comes to discussions of the Arctic here in Canada, there is an emphasis on the importance of maintaining sovereignty and preservation of the unique environment but with far less consideration to the economic opportunities that the Arctic represents. By contrast, Russia and China are both aggressively moving to advance their Arctic interests, even though China is not geographically speaking an Arctic power.
In September 2019, Klaveness Combination Carriers took delivery of M.V. Barramundi from New Yangzi Shipyard in China. From a casual observation, this was not an exceptional event except that she is the third new build in a fleet of what will eventually be nine so-called “CLEANBU” combination carriers. That is to say, a series of high specification new builds capable of carrying wet or bulk cargoes. Deliveries are scheduled until 2021.
With the deadline for implementation of IMO 2020 now in the rearview mirror, we are on what might be described as step two of a ten-step ladder to be climbed if shipping is to meet the ambitious IMO targets for 2030 and 2050 which ultimately call for a reduction in total greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions of at least 50% by 2050 compared with 2008 levels while simultaneously pursuing efforts to eliminate emissions entirely.