News Bulletin – 15 February 2020

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1. 4 crew poisoned by fumigation, 1 died, France.

14 Feb 2020 : General cargo ship FRI DOLPHIN alerted MRCC Corsen France, in the evening Feb 13, reporting 4 crew being poisoned during cargo fumigation process. The ship was in Bay of Biscay W of Brest, en route from Les Sables d’Olonne to Hull UK, with cargo of corn.

Paramedics team was transferred on board by helicopter, they found one crew dead, other three in stable condition, but weather didn’t allow airlifting, so the ship interrupted voyage and headed for Brest. The ship entered Brest waters and anchored early in the morning Feb 14, and sick crew were transferred to hospital, their condition being stable. FRI DOLPHIN was still at anchor as of 0930 UTC Feb 14.

2. Master of bulk carrier missing in the Pacific, SAR under way.

14 Feb 2020 : Master of bulk carrier RISING WIND was reported missing on Feb 11, somewhere in 10 50N 148 09E area, if analysing ship’s search track. MRCC Australia alerted JRSC Guam, a large-scale SAR was launched, with deployment of planes.

The ship turned back and started moving along her initial track at around 0230 UTC Feb 12, until 2300 UTC, and after that, it seems, it was decided to move in legs, see screen shot of her track. The ship is en route from Japan to Australia, at the time of the alert she was some 400 nm SE of Guam. According to Chief Officer report, received by MRCC Australia, 47-year old Master was last seen in his cabin, feeling ill.

3. In a world-first, India’s dozen major ports now run fully on renewable energy.

13 Feb 2020 : The dozen state-owned major ports in the country have switched to renewable energy to meet their entire power requirements, making India the first nation to have all government-owned ports running on solar and wind energy.

Under a ‘green port’ initiative, the Shipping Ministry had directed all the major ports to install grid-connected and roof-top solar and wind power projects to facilitate day-to-day operations including supplying shore-power to visiting ships in an eco-friendly manner. The 12 state-owned ports are Deendayal Port Trust, Mumbai Port Trust, Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust, New Mangalore Port Trust, Mormugao Port Trust, Cochin Port Trust, Chennai Port Trust, VO Chidambaranar Port Trust, Visakhapatnam Port Trust, Paradip Port Trust, Kolkata Port Trust and Kamarajar Port Ltd.

4. Cruise Ship Banned over Coronavirus Fears Arrives in Cambodia.

A cruise ship operated by Holland America Line has been allowed to dock in Cambodia after it was turned away from several other disembarkation ports over coronavirus fears. The 82,862 GT passenger ship Westerdam departed Hong Kong on February 1, carrying 1,455 passengers and 802 crew members.

It spent two weeks offshore as ports in Taiwan, the Philippines, Japan, Thailand and Guam banned the cruise ship from docking due to the increasing threat of the coronavirus outbreak. The prohibitions came despite the fact that none of the ship’s passengers was tested positive with coronavirus.

5. India: Cargo volume at 12 major ports up marginally at 586 MT in Apr-Jan.

11 Feb 2020 : The country”s 12 major ports recorded a marginal 1.14 per cent growth in cargo volumes at 585.72 million tonne (MT) during April-January period of the current fiscal, according to the Indian Ports Association (IPA). The ports had handled 579.10 MT of cargo during the corresponding period of the last fiscal.

India has 12 major ports – Deendayal (erstwhile Kandla), Mumbai, JNPT, Mormugao, New Mangalore, Cochin, Chennai, Kamarajar (earlier Ennore), V.O. Chidambaranar, Visakhapatnam, Paradip and Kolkata (including Haldia). While the handling of iron ore saw 39.02 per cent jump to 45.05 MT during the period, thermal coal shipments declined 14.98 per cent to 74.60 MT, the IPA data showed.

The 12 ports had handled 32.37 MT of iron ore and 87.74 MT of coal during April-January period of the previous fiscal. Handling of coking and other coal rose 1.10 per cent to 47.08 MT during the ten months as compared to 46.57 MT in the year-ago period. Finished fertiliser volumes jumped 21.55 per cent but raw fertiliser volumes dipped 2.80 per cent.

6. Workers federations express concern over corporatisation of major ports.

11 Feb 2020 : The national coordination committee of five major port workers federations has express serious concern over the Finance Minister’s Budget speech to corporatise major ports in the country.

This announcement is contrary to the several assurances given to the federations that, being major stakeholders in the industry, they would be consulted before any such a decision is taken. The committee, which met in Kochi, maintained the view that corporatisation of major ports may lead to privatisation and, consequently, affect the very survival of the workers and pensioners of major ports. Taking stock of the situation, the panel decided to hold nation-wide agitation against the move to corporatise major ports.

7. Shippers, freight forwarders and port service providers strongly object to the inclusion of the prolongation of the CBER in the Commission’s Work Programme.

11 Feb 2020 : Associations representing shippers, freight forwarders and port service providers object to the inclusion in the Commission’s 2020 Work Programme of the decision of the Commission to extend the Consortia Block Exemption for another four years with the justification that it “will continue to simplify the analysis of consortia’s compliance with competition rules, limit the dependency on external advice and reduce legal costs.”

Nicolette van der Jagt, Director General of CLECAT noted: “This decision is based on the assessment that the CBER saves money for the shipping lines and cuts down on the red tape in the Commission, fully dismissing the views of the other parties in the maritime supply chain who are not benefiting from a similar exemption, but in many cases are competing with carriers on services.”

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