Container Ship Fire Fighting and Protection

15 Mar 2021 News

The threat of fire on a ship is an ever-present nightmare scenario. Improved construction standards and the use of inflammable materials have done a great deal to reduce the dangers, however, there are still too many incidents of fire consuming large parts of a vessel, in particular container ships.

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The Trends That Will Shape Our Future

14 Jan 2021 News

I was interested to note an article last month wherein California based Navis unveiled its leading predictions and trends that will drive the shipping industry in 2021.

For those unfamiliar, Navis is a subsidiary of Cargotec Corporation and has carved out a considerable niche in the development and supply of advanced container terminal operating systems across the globe. The predictions were as follows:

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Marine Industry

2020 – An Unprecedented Year of Challenges for the Marine Industry

14 Dec 2020 News

Events of historical significance for the globe occur every year but of course some years are etched in memory. The most memorable years often relate to the outbreak or end of global conflicts or for example the first man to walk on the moon or the fall of the Berlin wall. The year 2020 will forever be synonymous with the devastation of the global economy generated by COVID 19 and the tragic number of lives prematurely lost. When the pandemic is eventually in the rearview mirror it will be an opportunity for every country to objectively reflect on their preparedness and how they responded to the challenges represented by a virus which highlighted examples of strong leadership but also examples of significant political failure to lead when it most mattered.

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shipyards in crisis

Shipyards in Crisis

14 Nov 2020 News

The scrapping of a number of older cruise ships has been much in the maritime media since the onset of the global pandemic effectively shuttered the cruise industry. However, a headline that caught my eye a couple of weeks ago was that it is 500 days since the last Very Large Crude Carrier (VLCC) was sold to a scrapyard. There are a number of reasons for this, primarily that until very recently VLCCs have been making strong returns, but also the uncertainty generated by IMO emission reduction targets. Just to remind you these are to reduce total emissions from shipping by 50% in 2050, and to reduce the average carbon intensity by 40% in 2030 and 70% in 2050, compared to 2008.

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shipping registration

Ship Registration – The Options for an Owner

14 Oct 2020 News

Ships are registered in the country of an owner’s choice and the options are many. Traditionally a shipowner would register his ships in his country of business identity as a matter of national pride. As recently as the 1960’s this resulted in close to half of the world’s merchant fleet being registered in the UK as a direct reflection of where the fleet was controlled. However, in the last half-century, national ship registration has declined in favour of a number of “Open Registries” which incentivize third-party ship registration. The most popular of these are Panama, Liberia, Marshall Islands, Hong Kong, and Singapore.

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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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