Friday, 02 May 2014 11:10

Korean Ferry Disaster

309 Sewol1  309 Sewol2

Despite a public apology by the country’s President, the Korean ferry disaster has now had major reverberations throughout the country and has even prompted the resignation of the Prime Minister. The owners of the Sewol are being investigated, all 15 members of the deck crew have been arrested (picture above left) and a major investigation has been launched involving the Korea Register of Shipping and the Korea Shipping Association (KSA) related to conversion of the ferry in 2012. This has prompted the Chairman and CEO of the Korean Register to also stand down.

Friday, 02 May 2014 11:09

World's largest coal export port sold

309 coal

A 98 year lease on the world’s largest coal export port, Newcastle, New South Wales, has been won by Australian based Hastings Funds Management and the China Merchants Group. A higher than expected bid of A$1.75 billion ($1.6 billion) sealed the deal, far above the State Government’s valuation of A$700 million. The successful tender is 27 times earnings, matching the 27 times earnings compared to the recent 25 times earnings in a A$5.07 billion deal for 99-year leases for Port Botany and Port Kembla. The Hastings Group has a diverse portfolio of utilities, airports, toll roads and ports in Australia, Europe and the United States. China Merchants owns a wide range of transportation, finance and property assets with A$819 billion assets under management as of end-December. The port exported 142 million tons of coal in 2012/13.

Friday, 02 May 2014 11:08

Hong Kong IMC seeks to reform

309 IMC

A report by BMT Asia-Pacific, commissioned by the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, has proposed the establishment of a new statutory body, independent of government, with a view to kick starting the territory’s declining role as an International Maritime Centre. The report calls for a change of direction in areas of policy, R&D, marketing, training, and communications in order to increase competitiveness with leading IMCs such as London, Singapore and Shanghai. There are currently around 2,300 ships of 87.6 million GRT flying the Hong Kong flag. 

Friday, 02 May 2014 11:05

More labour unrest in Panama

309 Panama

Construction of the new Panama Canal locks is again at a standstill after around 700 workers voted to strike last weekend. The country’s most powerful union with around 70,000 members, is demanding annual salary hikes of at least 20% for each of the next four years, while the Panama Construction Chamber is proposing a staggered raise that would see workers’ pay increase by 22% over four years. Negotiations are underway between representatives of the striking workers and the construction consortium GUPC. As of March 31, the US$5.25 billion project was 74% complete.

Please also see the linked presentation on the conceptual Nicaragua Grand Interoceanic Canal by courtesy of the International Chamber of Shipping.

309 Navy1 309 Navy2

A ton of heroin worth almost £160million has been found hidden inside sacks of cement on a dhow in the Indian Ocean.The crew of the Australian warship HMAS Darwin intercepted the dhow 27 nautical miles east of the Kenyan port city of Mombasa and discovered the drugs stowed in 46 bags.The seizure is largest ever in the history of the Combined Maritime Forces, a joint operation between 30 countries to combat piracy, militancy and smuggling in the waters of East Africa. 

309 BCMEA  309 Capilano

The BC Maritime Employers Association in a joint venture with Capilano University has put together a new Waterfront Leadership Certificate Program to focus on developing team leaders on the waterfront. The program will consist of 15 days of training and will cover broad range of topics including business basics, the supply chain, corporate social responsibilities and operations management.  The first course will be held in September 2014.  For more information visit the BCMEA website.

309 pirate

A crew member was killed during a pirate attack this week on the German owned product tanker SP Brussels. Two pirates were also killed in crossfire with two armed guards on the ship. At the time of the attack, the vessel was in ballast sailing from Port Harcourt to Lagos and the crew were attempting to reach a citadel. In December 2012, pirates attacked and looted the same vessel, also off the coast of Nigeria, taking five crew members hostage.

309 Submarine

In what must surely be one of the largest naval procurement orders in history, General Dynamics this week secured a contract with the US Navy to build 10 Block IV Virginia-class submarines at a total contract value of $17.6 billion. Two submarines per year will be built with first steel cutting planned for 1 May 2014 (yesterday) and the last vessel being scheduled for delivery in 2023. The design calls for 12 Tomahawk cruise missiles to be installed in two separate silos. Ten Virginia class submarines are already in service and eight are under construction. Hull length is 115 meters and beam 10 meters with a speeds “in excess of 25 knots”. 

Friday, 02 May 2014 06:59

UK to build new Polar research vessel

309 Polar1 309 Polar2 309 Polar3

The UK government's capital investment fund for science is to order a new £200m polar research icebreaker for delivery in 2019. With a helideck and hangar, robotic subs, ocean-survey and sampling gear the vessel will provide UK science with one of the largest and most capable polar research vessels in the world. Initial specifications:

  • LOA 130m and beam 25m
  • GRT approximately 13,000 tons
  • Self-sufficiency to operate for up to 80 days or 24,000 nautical miles
  • Up to 60 scientists and support staff could live aboard

The UK already operates two polar ships - the Royal Research Ship (RRS) James Clark Ross and the RRS Ernest Shackleton. The former was built in 1990 and the latter in 1995.  

It was also announced last week that a $6.5 million contract has been awarded to Babcock Canada Inc. for critical refit work for Canadian Coast Guard icebreaker Louis S. St-Laurent. The shipyard portion of the work will be carried out by Chantier Davie Canada Inc., a sub-contractor to Babcock Canada. Commissioned in 1969, CCGS Louis S. St-Laurent is Canada's largest and heaviest icebreaker.

The provincial government has released its latest proposal on land-based spills.

Three major policies are being proposed to ensure both government and industry can respond to heavy oil and other hazardous material spills on land in a timely and effective manner, including:

  • New requirements for spill preparedness, response and restoration based on the most stringent in the world;
  • A new provincial preparedness and response organization; and
  • An enhanced provincial Environmental Emergency Program.

The public will have until June 26, 2014, to review the paper and submit feedback. The paper can be found at:

Canada Border Services Agency clarifies its interpretation of "Open Vessel" in tariff items 8901.90.10 and 8906.90.11 and 8906.90.19.  An "open vessel" for the purpose of tariff classification is considered to be a vessel that has no deck.  Barges are not considered to be an "open vessel".

Canada Border Services Agency has issued Customs Notice 14-009 to clarify sealing requirements for containers moving beyond the First Point of Arrival to final point of export and to CBSA examination locations. 

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