uss fitzgerald

USS Fitzgerald collision – Important Lessons To Be Learned

15 Sep 2020 News

Normally I limit my articles to sharing facts but this month I will also share my thoughts on a serious issue – that of marine casualties.

This past month has seen a maritime casualty which any seafarer worth his or her salt knows full well should not have occurred, namely the grounding of the Japanese owned Cape size bulk carrier M.V. Wakashio off Mauritius with significant environmental consequences and loss of the ship itself. Let’s not beat around the bush, given today’s navigation aids, this occurrence was inexcusable gross negligence.

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Recycling of Ships

Recycling of Ships – Practical and Political Considerations

14 Aug 2020 News

In normal times. the rate at which differing sectors of the shipping industry elects to sell or scrap ships is largely determined by freight markets or regulatory design and environmental changes and whether it makes economic sense to continue trading an aging vessel. In the COVID era we are seeing a new dimension in the decision of some cruise lines to sell or scrap ships which would normally have been expected to trade for several more years.

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loss of containers

Growing Impatience with Container Losses at Sea

14 Jul 2020 News

The incident in May this year, when the Singapore registered container ship APL England lost some 40 containers overboard off the coast of New South Wales, highlighted not only a continuing problem in the reliability of lashings but also the growing impatience of Port State Authorities with the consequences. In the case of APL England, the vessel was in transit from China to Melbourne and about 73 kms S.E. of Sydney when an engine failure left the vessel to the mercy of the elements resulting in unusually heavy rolling. In addition to the loss of containers, 74 were judged to be damaged including six hanging overboard. Rather than continue to Melbourne the vessel returned north to the port of Brisbane as a port of refuge. The vessel had previously lost 37 containers in the Great Australian Bight in August 2016, due to heavy rolling in rough seas.

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The China Factor in Shipping

14 Jun 2020 News

A study released a few days ago by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), concludes that commodity exports to China are likely to fall substantially as a consequence of Covid-19. According to the report, in a worst case scenario China’s 2020 demand for commodities could fall by as much as 50% compared to 2019. With China absorbing around 20% of global commodities, this would inevitably have a severe impact on the world’s ports and commodity export dependent economies, further compounded by the continuing trade war with the U.S. Perhaps understandably, China has decided to temporarily drop the publication of annual growth targets.

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Laying Up a Ship is Not a Simple Matter

14 May 2020 News

As the world continues to wrestle with the challenge of COVID-19, the immediate, medium and long term implications for the maritime sector appear to be gaining recognition. The decision to layup a vessel is usually financial, sometimes operational, but on a personal note and for any seafarer, the experience is always emotional. Accustomed to running hard 24/7/365, when everything comes to a grinding halt and the vessel is left with a skeleton crew the question begs, where from here? Facts dictate the business decision to layup a vessel but the personal uncertainty of those impacted can often be overlooked. It is rarely so simple as switching to another vessel when the whole future of a company or even an entire sector of the marine industry is in a crisis of the magnitude of today.

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Piracy Continues to Plague the Shipping Industry

14 Mar 2020 News

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.

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China’s Arctic Silk Road

14 Feb 2020 News

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.

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marine consultancy Vancouver

The Propulsion Revolution

14 Jan 2020 News

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.

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Digitalization in the Shipping Industry

13 Dec 2019 News

To give this discussion some perspective, the International Chamber of Shipping, representing the full spectrum of maritime nations and related NGOs, often reminds us that 90% of world trade is reliant on marine transportation. While much of this is largely out of the public eye, the conduct of maritime commerce earns ship owners an estimated $500 billion annually in freight rates, much of which is reinvested, of necessity, in new tonnage.

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