The number of pirate attacks have fallen sharply in the
first half of 2012, led by a drop in Somali piracy according
to new figures from the International Chamber of Commerce's
International Maritime Bureau (IMB). But the agency warns
of a worrying increase of attacks in the Gulf of Guinea.
Overall, 177 incidents were reported to the IMB Piracy
Reporting Centre (PRC) in the first six months of 2012,
compared to 266 incidents for the corresponding period in
2011. The report showed that 20 vessels were hijacked worldwide,
with a total number of 334 crew members taken hostage. There
were a further 80 vessels boarded, 25 vessels fired upon
and 52 reported attempted attacks. At least four crew members
The decrease in the overall number is primarily due to
the decline in the incidents of Somali piracy activity,
dropping from 163 in the first six months of 2011 to 69
in 2012. Somali pirates also hijacked fewer vessels, down
from 21 to 13.
Nonetheless, Somali piracy continues to remain a serious
“Somali pirate attacks cover a vast area, from the Southern
Red Sea, Gulf of Aden, and Gulf of Oman to the Arabian Sea
and Somali Basin, threatening all shipping routes in the
north west Indian Ocean,” said Pottengal Mukundan, director
of IMB, which has been monitoring world piracy since 1991.
The report, in part, has attributed the noticeable decline
in Somali piracy to the pre-emptive and disruptive counter
piracy tactics employed by the international navies. This
includes the disruption of mother vessels and pirate gangs.
“The naval actions play an essential role in frustrating
the pirates. There is no alternative to their continued
presence,” said Mr Mukundan. The effective deployment of
Best Management Practices, ship hardening and, in particular,
the increased use of armed guards, has also contributed
to the falling numbers.
As of 30 June 2012, Somali pirates were still holding 11
vessels and 218 crew, 44 of whom were being held ashore
in unknown locations and conditions.
The decline in Somali piracy, however, has been offset
by an increase of attacks in the Gulf of Guinea, where 32
incidents, including five hijackings, were reported in 2012,
versus 25 in 2011. In Nigeria alone there were 17 reports,
compared to six in 2011. Togo reported five incidents including
a hijacking, compared to no incidents during the same time
The IMB report emphasized that high levels of violence
were also being used against crew members in the Gulf of
Guinea. Guns were reported in at least 20 of the 32 incidents.
At least one crew member was killed and another later died
as a result of an attack.
Tim Hart, senior maritime security analyst at global business
risk consultancy Control Risks, suggests that an evolution
in West African piracy has been evident since late-2010.
“There are many tactical variations amongst pirate groups
in that part of the world but perhaps of most concern has
been the spread of Nigerian piracy westward. Groups based
in Nigeria have increased their operational range and now
threaten the waters off Benin and Togo, targeting product
tankers in particular for the purpose of cargo theft via
ship-to-ship transfer. Such attacks are quick and well-organised.”
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Shipping & aviation should
provide funds for climate change mitigation schemes
The International Monetary Fund's managing director Christine
Lagarde set alarm bells ringing in the shipping industry
in June when she said the shipping and aviation industries
should provide about a quarter of the funds to used for
climate change adaptation and mitigation in developing countries.
Madame Lagarde gave a speech, Back to Rio—the Road to
a Sustainable Economic Future, in which she reportedly
said “charges on international aviation and maritime emissions
would raise about a quarter of the US$100 billion needed
for climate adaptation and mitigation in developing countries—resources
that developed countries have committed to mobilize by 2020”.
Newly elected International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) chairman
Masamichi Mooroka has now written a letter explaining in
detail the industry's concerns. While very polite in tone,
the letter effectively says that Madame Lagarde had not
done her homework properly or taken note of the IMF's own
paper on the subject.
In his letter Mr Mooroka says that Market Based Measures
(MBMs) are very controversial and most shipowners believe,
given the severely depressed state of global shipping markets,
that now is certainly not the time to impose an additional
major cost on international shipping.
However, he also explains the position of ICS and its member
national shipowners’ associations that, if all governments
so decide, then shipowners, in principle, will have no objection
to contributing, at some point in the future, to the Green
Climate Fund, or a similar mechanism that might be established
by IMO, provided that such money is indeed used for climate
change adaptation or mitigation, and that the same charges
apply to all ships internationally regardless of flag.
He also makes the point that any contribution by shipping
must be proportionate to shipping’s share of total global
emissions (less than 3%) and the forum where the details
of such a mechanism should be developed is the IMO.
“In particular,” Mr Morooka writes, “your rough calculation
overlooks the fact that about two thirds of the world fleet
is registered in Kyoto Protocol ‘non-Annex I’ nations. Apart
from being inequitable in view of shipping’s small contribution
to the world’s total CO2 emissions, to raise the huge monies
that you mentioned would therefore require a much larger
charge. This would almost certainly be viewed as a tax on
trade by those emerging economies that rely on ships operated
by ‘Annex I’ nations.”
He then explains: “Most importantly, you seem to overlook
the fundamental principle of international shipping, and
its regulator the IMO, which is that our global industry
requires a global regulatory framework. If any carbon charges
were only to apply to ships registered in Kyoto Protocol
‘Annex I’ nations these ships would be at a major competitive
disadvantage to the ships registered in ‘non- Annex I’ nations.
Because of the serious market distortion that would be created,
many of these ships would simply change their flag to a
jurisdiction where the carbon charge did not apply.”
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The latest Faststream Maritime Employment Review shows
that despite shipping industry woes, salaries across the
sector continue to rise.
Based on the responses of 4000 shipping professionals working
in all the main shipping centres as well as seafaring officers
worldwide, the survey by specialist maritime recruiter Faststream
shows that half of the respondents reported a 5% + salary
rise over the past 12 months. However, 30% of seafarers
reported a decrease in their salary.
Other key findings of the survey include:
• Average salaries for Master Mariners working on passenger
vessels remain the highest at $153K
• Benefit packages offered by ship management companies
have caught up with those on offer from shipowners
• Asia based ship operators and shipbrokers are 20% better
paid than their European counterparts
• 9% of shore based shipping professionals reported a salary
drop in 2012
• Officers who move from sea to shore after 6-10 years at
sea can expect a significant rise in income over their career
Commenting on the results, Faststream Group CEO Mark Charman
said: “Even though the shipping industry is being buffeted
by poor vessel earnings, rising costs and ever more stringent
regulations, salaries continue to rise. The sector suffers
from a skill shortage and the pool of highly qualified people
continues to shrink. This is both the legacy of a lack of
training in the 1980s during the previous downturn and the
often perceived low status of jobs in the shipping industry.”
here to download a full copy of the 16 page report.
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|Overweight containers: a serious problem for ports
FONASBA, the international ship brokers and ship agents
federation, has given its full backing to international
government and industry efforts aimed at ensuring that shipping
containers for export are accurately weighed.
The initiative, which is being led by the World Shipping
Council in concert with shipowners’ association BIMCO, the
International Association of Ports and Harbours, the International
Chamber of Shipping and the International Transport Workers
Federation, as well as the maritime administrations of Denmark,
the Netherlands and the United States, will be launched
at the 17th session of IMO’s Sub-Committee on Dangerous
Goods, Solid Cargoes and Containers (DSC 17) in September.
The problem of under-declared and unverified containers
is a serious one for ports and ships. A paper to be put
forward at the IMO meeting revealed that in recent containership
accidents, some boxes had been up to ten tonnes heavier
than the manifest weight, leading to stack collapse, capsizes
and even contributing to the break up of the vessel.
Onshore, under-declaration has led to crane, straddle carrier
and forklift failures as well as stack collapse, overturned
trucks and damage to trains, roads and bridges.
With the ship agent being central to the movement of cargo
to and from the vessel and port, issues arising from the
handling of containers of unverified weight, especially
those which are under-declared, can affect the agent anywhere
along the transport chain.
FONASBA general manager, Jonathan Williams FICS said:
“Ship agents see the problems which inaccurately weighed
containers cause ports and ships every day. It is extremely
worrying that there is currently no obligation for containers
to be accurately weighed anywhere along the transport chain.
FONASBA hopes that this initiative will rectify this anomaly
and bring considerably more certainty, resulting in increased
safety levels for all parties in the container shipping
World Shipping Council President and CEO Chris Koch welcomed
FONASBA's support for the initiative and said the Council
and the other partners were looking forward to the Federation's
input to the discussions in IMO and elsewhere.
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The UK Chamber of Shipping has revealed that its new home
will be 30 Park Street, London, SE1. The British Ports Association
and UK Major Ports Group will also be moving to 30 Park
Street with the Chamber. 30 Park Street will include flexible
event space that can accommodate over 100 people.
UK Chamber's chief executive Angus Frew said: “We’re delighted
to be able to announce our move to London Bridge and look
forward to welcoming our members there once we have completed
the fit out. Our staff are all thrilled to be moving to
the new purpose built offices, which are in a really vibrant
and exciting area with excellent connections through London
Bridge main line and tube stations.”
He added: “The Chamber’s new premises are bright and contemporary,
and will make an excellent venue for our many meetings and
events. We hope to launch the Chamber’s new brand and website
there in the coming months - this move completes the reorganisation
that has revitalised the UK Chamber over the last 2 years.”
The Chamber sold its current premises in Carthusian Street,
EC1, in October 2011. These had been purchased in 1994,
following the IRA bomb that destroyed its former offices
at St Mary Axe in 1992. The date for the move is yet to
be finalised, but is likely to be late September 2012.
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France-based international classification
society and Maritime London member, Bureau Veritas says
it has put in place a completely new IT-based certification
and ship status system. It is aimed at reducing the workload
of shipowners and operators and simplifying access to ship
information and status.
“In a world where so much is now done online
ships’ certificates are the last great area of outdated
paperwork,” explains Claude Maillot, ships in service director.
“We have seen the ship’s classification certificate grow
from one simple page into a document with many pages and
annexes which are built up of both printed and handwritten
entries. It has become unwieldy, error-prone, open to confusion
and difficult to maintain. Bureau Veritas’ new certification
system once more makes the ship’s Certificate of Classification
a simple one page document. Everything else is online in
a standardised and easy to access format. That cuts down
the chances of error, confusion and fraud and enables us
to add new services to make life more efficient for ship
owners and operators.”
The new Bureau Veritas Certificate of Classification
contains only the key identity of the ship and notation
information. It is printed on recycled paper embossed with
a logo to prevent fraudulent copies. All the other information
which used to be attached as annexes is now updated electronically
and can be accessed by owners and by charterers and port
authorities if given access by the owner.
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The Cardiff-based Graig Group and Global Maritime Investments
say they will provide lenders with workout solutions, safe
havens and exit routes for distressed assets and under-performing
shipping portfolios. The two companies say the joint approach
brings together the long-term ship management experience
and bank contacts of Graig and the outstanding freight market
expertise of GMI.
Graig Group CEO Hugh Williams says, “This is a slow burn
crisis for shipping banks and it is by no means over. Banks
are currently only really lending to offshore and LNG projects,
while nursing portfolios of tankers and bulkers which may
be under the water in value terms and in many cases are
under-performing as loans. They want a lot of ships off
their books or under better commercial and technical management
and with GMI alongside us we can deliver that. We know there
is a queue of ship managers outside every banker’s door
offering technical ship management, and there is private
equity in the market place looking to pick up opportunities.
This link up with GMI brings the two together in a powerful
combination which can apply technical know-how and commercial
presence to help banks clean up their portfolios.”
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|44 lives were lost when the livestock carrier Danny
FII sank in December 2009
Maritime professionals' union Nautilus International has
lodged fresh protests with the Panamanian authorities over
what it says is a continued failure to publish a report
on the investigation into the loss of the livestock carrier
Danny FII in December 2009. Two Nautilus members
were among the 44 crew who died when the vessel sank off
the coast of Lebanon and the union has expressed concern
that the register has still to produce a report on the incident,
despite repeated claims that publication is imminent.
Soon after the ship’s loss, a number of concerns were raised
– including its port state control record and references
to deficiencies including stability, structure and related
equipment, and Nautilus says it is essential that a report
is published in the results of technical investigations
into the potential effects of any alterations to hull or
equipment, and the factors affecting the stability of the
vessel, the cause and nature of the initial ingress of water
into the ship, and the life-saving appliances provided and
used, and any difficulties experienced in their use.
Nautilus has written to the Panamanian authorities voicing
concern at the continued delays in the publication of an
accident investigation report. The Union has also written
to UK shipping minister Mike Penning to call for diplomatic
pressure to be exerted on the issue.
General secretary Mark Dickinson commented: ‘It is now
more than two and a half years since this ship was lost
and I believe it is utterly appalling that there is still
no full and public report on the causes of the incident.”
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The Standard Club is adding to the coverage available to
members by offering three additional insurance products
– Kidnap and Ransom (K&R), Traders’ Transport Liability
cover and Professional Liability cover. T
he club says the move follows feedback from members who
are keen for the club to develop the range of services we
provide. All three policies may be purchased in addition
to existing P&I cover, and are supported by reinsurance
purchased through Lloyd’s and the London market.
The Club says that they are intended to provide additional
cover to existing club members, but may be of interest to
others who may consider becoming members of the Standard
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Braemar Shipping Services has appointed Nick Hubbard to
be head of its London container desk.
Sebastian Davenport-Thomas, managing director of Braemar's
shipbroking division, welcomed the appointment saying: "I
am delighted that Nick is joining us and he brings with
him a wealth of experience and a depth of knowledge of the
key container broking sector."
Mr Hubbard has over 25 years' experience in shipbroking
including over 20 years as a container specialist and was
formerly with Galbraiths and Howe Robinson.
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A series of one-day conferences looking at some of the challenges
facing the global shipping industry are being organised
by Plymouth University, but taking place in London. Over
the course of six events, experts from the University’s
Plymouth Business School will be joining industry professionals
to advise ship managers and operators about some of the
issues they may encounter on a daily basis.
The first conference – titled Maritime Crisis Leadership
– will focus on building crisis capability, leadership,
team effectiveness and risk management strategy and will
be held on 3 October on HQS Wellington.
Paul Wright, lecturer in Nautical Studies at Plymouth Business
School stated: “This is a new and exciting venture bringing
Plymouth University into the heart of the world’s maritime
capital. Already renowned for its undergraduate and postgraduate
courses in maritime business and international shipping,
and linked with the City of London through its own alumni
association PYNDA, Plymouth Business School’s conference
series will help deepen the relationships presently established.
It’s a great move forward.’’
Other conferences in the series will address management
communications, sustainable shipping management and leadership
and team working.
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