News Digest 14-Nov-2022

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Web3 And Its Relevance In The Maritime Industry

13 Nov 2022
Every time the maritime industry adopts a new technology, it’s not just a transformation but a revolution and the next one is here with Web3.

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As a storm, Web3 has already taken over a few industries, including finance. The maritime industry has already started experiencing the wonders of Web3 in a few aspects. However, the Web3 moment in the maritime industry is just beginning, which is what we are here to discuss.

Essentially, Web3 is a concept that comprises three main factors: A decentralized system, A consensus-based environment and An immutable record creating a verifiable trail of all transactions

Therefore, Web3.0 is a digital ecosystem governed by a decentralized mechanism eradicating all intermediaries and creating a fair economy. The use of smart contracts, Blockchain, Cryptocurrencies, and several such concepts makes a web3.0-based ecosystem to become an evolved version of its traditional counterpart.

Trade Finance is one of the most critical aspects of the global supply chain industry and one of the most challenging phases for the shipping industry. With Web3.0 and Blockchain, LoC becomes as easy as sending an email. Having all details already verified and recorded on an immutable digital ledger, the allocation of funds becomes extremely easy. At the fundamental level, Web3.0 is a digital record of all online activities that no one can modify.

Apart from the aforementioned, fractional ownership, decarbonization, better insurance settlements, and several other use cases solidify that Web3 and Maritime were meant to tango. For instance, building a platform for fractional ownership of Maritime assets is just a starting point. Reference

All countries must back efforts to free Heroic Idun and its crew

12 Nov 2022
The fate of very large crude carrier Heroic Idun (IMO: 9858058) has attracted little attention. The plight of the ship and its crew should anger everybody in the industry, not to mention everybody committed to upholding international law and human rights.

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Marshall Islands-flagged Heroic Idun — owned by Ray Car Carriers, operated by Norwegian manager OSM Ship Management and subchartered to oil major BP — had been due to load a part-cargo from Nigeria’s Akpo Terminal on August 8.

What happened next is hazy. But the VLCC appears to have mistakenly identified an unknown and unannounced Nigerian naval vessel approaching at night for a pirate ship. Naturally, the master followed the recommendation of war risk insurer DNK to get the ship 250 nautical miles offshore, and fled the area.

A few days later, Heroic Idun was stopped in international waters by the Equatoguinean Navy, at the request of their Nigerian counterpart.

The crew, mainly Indian and Sri Lankan nationals, has been treated like criminals, even though no charges have been brought against them. Lawyers, embassy staff and owners’ and flag state representatives have been denied access.

Their mental and physical health has of course deteriorated; several have been hospitalised after contracting malaria and typhoid. Some of them have felt suicidal.

Nobody denies Nigeria has every right to maintain naval patrols in its own waters and a natural economic self-interest in curtailing oil theft, not to mention a duty to the international community to fight piracy.

But no oil was loaded on Heroic Idun, as confirmed by subsequent inspection in Equatorial Guinea, when none was found. This cannot have been, then, an attempt at oil smuggling.

Seafarers are not bargaining chips or political playthings. Justice demands that they be freed and flown home at once. Any legitimate questions can be answered via Zoom.

Meanwhile, India and Sri Lanka have rightly exercised their diplomatic leverage on behalf of their citizens. The embassies of other countries should also make their displeasure felt, in Malabo and Abuja alike. Reference

Italy’s New Government Challenges the Law of the Sea

12 Nov 2022
Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni is cracking down on charity rescue boats operating in the Mediterranean, accusing them of acting as a de facto taxi service for migrants.

FILE PHOTO: Crew members of NGO rescue ship ‘Ocean Viking’ give lifejackets to migrants on an overcrowded boat in the Mediterranean Sea, October 25, 2022. Camille Martin Juan/Sos Mediterranee/Handout via REUTERS. Image Source: gCaptain

Her uncompromising stance has sparked a diplomatic row with Paris after one of the non-governmental (NGO) boats, which had been refused access to an Italian port, headed instead to France to disembark some 230 migrants.

France and the NGOs have accused Italy of breaking international maritime law by denying the ships safe refuge. Meloni’s right-wing government denies this. 

Here is a breakdown of the legal framework that regulates rescues at sea:

Article 98 of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) says every state must require ships flying their flag to “render assistance to any person found at sea in danger of being lost”. 

The International Convention on Maritime Search and Rescue (SAR) requires signatory countries to set up often huge “SAR” areas beyond their own territorial waters, which extend for up to 12 nautical miles from the shoreline. 

Malta has repeatedly refused to take in migrants, pointing to its limited size and facilities. Tunisia has no asylum framework. Charity rescue ships therefore automatically head to Italy. 

Meloni’s coalition allies vowed to crack down on illegal immigration ahead of September elections. When they took power, they told that Italy could no longer be the default country for disembarkations. Reference

Cadets Say Wellbeing Should Be Mandatory In Maritime Training

12 Nov 2022
‘Wellbeing should be a mandatory element of maritime training’ – that was the unanimous call from cadets across the Philippines polled at the first Sailors’ Society’s wellness and mental health conference designed exclusively for maritime school students there.

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More than 2,400 aspiring seafarers along with top industry experts took part, with 100 per cent of those polled adamant that wellness training was vital for cadets. All of those polled also said the conference had ‘better prepared them for a future career at sea’ and that they would recommend the event to other cadets considering a career in the maritime industry.

The virtual event was the third in a ground-breaking series of global Wellness at Sea Maritime Schools’ Conferences hosted by the international maritime welfare charity, with earlier events held in India and Africa. Sailors’ Society’s technical partner for all three events was The UK P&I Club. Reference

France grants port to migrant rescue ship amid Italy rift

11 Nov 2022
France will take in passengers from a migrant rescue ship who have been stranded in the Mediterranean Sea for weeks after Italy refused them entry but plans to withdraw from a voluntary European Union mechanism for sharing asylum-seekers, the country’s interior minister said Thursday.

Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin said France would welcome some 230 Ocean Viking passengers at the military port in the city of Toulon on Friday. Darmanin said the passengers subsequently would be divided among France and other EU countries in line with the “solidarity” mechanism approved in June to reduce the pressure on front-line countries such as Greece, Italy and Spain.

By refusing to assign the Ocean Viking a port and dragging its feet in responding to other charity-operated rescue ships in recent weeks, the Italian government broke its commitments to the initiative, Darmanin said in explaining the French government’s decision to cease participating. Reference

Shipping Decarbonization Action Plan Launched To Upskill Global Seafaring Workforce

11 Nov 2022
A new Action Plan, launched at COP 27 by UN organizations, shipowners and unions, sets out recommendations to upskill seafarers to meet shipping’s decarbonisation goals. The plan is in response to findings from new research, the modelling of which cautions that as many as 800,000 seafarers will require additional training by the mid-2030s.

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The three emission reduction scenarios assessed in the research highlight an immediate need to start putting the training infrastructure in place, to ensure hundreds of thousands of the world’s nearly two million seafarers are upskilled and empowered through the transition.

Findings also suggest that a lack of certainty on alternative fuel options is having knock-on effects for seafarer training, as the global maritime community works towards a clearer decarbonization pathway in a post-fossil fuel era.

Kitack Lim, Secretary General of the International Maritime Organization, said: “Climate change is a global issue that requires a global response. We must use every tool available to decarbonize the maritime sector. Alternative fuels and green technologies can help meet emission reduction targets. This cannot happen without the people who will be at the heart of implementing shipping’s decarbonization journey. It is clear that seafarers must have the appropriate training for a smooth transition to a greener future. This is something that will be in sharp focus as IMO works on its comprehensive review of the STCW Training Convention.” Reference

Samsung Heavy develops liquid hydrogen fuel cell system for ships with DNV’s approval

11 Nov 2022
South Korean shipbuilding major Samsung Heavy Industries (SHI) has developed a liquid hydrogen fuel cell system for ship propulsion and received approval in principle (AiP) from the classification society DNV.

Image Source: Offshore Energy

As explained, the system uses the electric power generated by liquid hydrogen and polymer electrolyte fuel cells to propel a vessel.

SHI developed the system through joint research with domestic hydrogen-related companies.

Bumhan Fuel Cell and Jungwoo E&E participated in developing the hydrogen fuel cell and liquid hydrogen storage tank for ships, respectively, and S&Sys was in charge of the hybrid power management system that controls the hydrogen fuel cell and battery. Reference

India Receives First International Cruise Vessel, After Two Years

10 Nov 2022
International cruise vessels are reportedly returning to ports in India after two years, per Business Standard reports.

Image Source: Marine Insight

Viking Mars — a vessel operated by Switzerland-based Viking — will be the first to dock at Mumbai port on 13 November. It is en route to Thailand. Per sources, 28 cruise liners will transit via Mumbai, Mormugao (Goa), and Cochin from November through May.

During transit stopovers, individuals come ashore to participate in pre-booked activities as the vessel stocks up on freshwater supplies, offloads wastes and changes crew members.
India can attract more international cruise operators as China stays closed, explains Ratna Chadha, the chair of TIRUN Travel Marketing. Reference

Maritime sector given green boost with major COP27 pledge

10 Nov 2022
International zero-emission shipping routes came one step closer to becoming a reality, as the UK made a major pledge alongside the US, Norway, and the Netherlands to roll out green maritime links between our countries at this year’s COP27 conference in Sharm el Sheikh, Egypt.

So-called ‘green shipping corridors’ are specific maritime routes decarbonised from end to end, including both land-side infrastructure and vessels.

Setting up such routes involves using zero-emission fuel or energy, putting in place refuelling or recharging infrastructure at ports, and deploying zero-emission capable vessels to demonstrate cleaner, more environmentally-friendly shipping on a given route.

Committing to roll out green shipping corridors will help the sector to comply with the Paris Agreement goal of limiting global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius by the end of the century. Reference

Alternative fuels training needed for up to 800K seafarers by 2030’s

10 Nov 2022
As many as 800,000 seafarers serving global shipping will need upskilling by the mid-2030’s to meet the industry’s decarbonisation ambitions according to research commissioned by the Maritime Just Transition Task Force.

Image Source: Safety4Sea

The task force launched a 10-point action plan at COP27 based on the new research which it commissioned from DNV Maritime’s consultancy modelling three different scenarios for decarbonisation of shipping through to 2050. The Maritime Just Transition Task Force was launched at COP26 last year bringing together UN Global Compact, the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS), and International Transport Workers Federation (ITF) with an aim to ensure seafarers at the frontline of decarbonisation were properly looked after and trained in shipping’s energy transition.

The zero carbon by 2050 scenario, modelled Lloyds Register and University Maritime Advisory Services (UMAS), foresees 450,000 seafarers would require some additional training by 2030, and 800,000 by the mid-2030’s to handle alternative fuels.

The Action Plan makes recommendations to industry, governments, seafarer unions and academia in terms of meeting the challenge of training for alternative fuels. Recommendations include: strengthening global training standards, ensuring a health-and-safety-first approach, and establishing advisory national maritime skills councils.

While the urgent need for training is clear which fuels this training needs to be for is not. In its general conclusions the report notes a lack of clarity viability and uptake of alternative fuels, and uncertainty over regulatory developments and finance made it difficult to plan further training for seafarers. Reference

Governments around the globe spur creation of green corridors

09 Nov 2022
As part of the Green Shipping Challenge, governments around the world are creating green shipping corridors that will help put the shipping sector on a pathway to align with the 1.5-degree goal this decade.

Image Source: Offshore Energy

Green shipping corridors are specific maritime routes decarbonised from end to end, including both land-side infrastructure and vessels.

Setting up such routes involves using zero-emission fuel or energy, putting in place refuelling or recharging infrastructure at ports, and deploying zero-emission capable vessels to demonstrate cleaner, more environmentally-friendly shipping on a given route. 

Specifically, the UK and the US have agreed to launch a special Green Shipping Corridor Task Force focussed on bringing together experts in the sector, encouraging vital research and development, and driving other important work and projects to see these initiatives come to life as quickly as possible. 

A total of 24 global governments have so far signed a declaration to establish “green shipping corridors” between two or more ports. The collective aim is to support the establishment of at least 6 green corridors by the middle of this decade, and many more after 2030. Reference

India to revive ancient stitched ship technology practiced centuries ago

09 Nov 2022
Sanjeev Sanyal, Member of the Economic Advisory Council of the Prime Minister, said efforts were on to revive the ancient ‘stitched ship technology’ practised by Indians to build ships centuries ago.

Image Source: ResearchGate

He was speaking at the national Dhara event – ‘Samudramanthan’ to focus on Odisha’s glorious seafaring history and create the vision document on maritime traditions – 2047 which kicked off here on Tuesday.

Sanyal highlighted India’s ancient maritime exploits saying it was the only country after which an ocean had been named.

“India wielded enormous influence in South East Asia through its trade, culture and geo-politics during that time”, he said, adding that efforts were on to revive the ancient ‘stitched ship technology’ practised by Indians to build ships centuries ago.

Speaking to PTI, Sanyal said India’s maritime history is unfortunately not fully appreciated, its Indian Ocean and much of this history of the coast is unfortunately drowned out. Reference

Could nuclear power propel shipping into ’a new era’?

08 Nov 2022
Small, ambient pressure nuclear reactors could create entirely new operating models for shipping as the sector struggles with decarbonisation and the development of alternative fuels.

Image Source: Seatrae Maritime News

At a recent webinar on this subject organised by DNV, Core-Power’s Mikal Bøe presented the arguments in favour of nuclear technology, a subject that still causes some disquiet in relation to its application to shipping. But Bøe said that ambient pressure nuclear technologies have the potential to take shipping into a new era. 

Core Power is currently engaged in developing molten salt reactor technology for energy intensive desalination facilities sited offshore or mobile units that could be located in regions hit by drought, for example. But there are also other initiatives in the nuclear field, notably Ulstein’s ‘Thor’ concept in which a nuclear-fuelled floating plant would generate electricity for a fleet of expedition cruise vessels operating in remote areas. 

Bøe is convinced that nuclear, as a true zero-emission technology, could provide the answer for shipping as the sector struggles to develop alternative fuels with far less energy intensity, that create far more waste, and which have no global supply system. Nuclear-fuelled vessels, on the other hand, could be delivered ready fuelled for their entire operating lives, and the fuel could then be used in another vessel in the future.  

He identified the energy density of the new fuels as a major issue. All are likely to be substantially less efficient than IFO 380 cst, requiring much larger bunker tanks, lower speeds and much higher costs. A small nuclear reactor can supply two hundred thousand times more energy, kilo for kilo, compared with green methanol, he said. What’s more, they would take up much less space, maximise cargo capacity, and with much more power, could facilitate faster sailing speeds. Reference

India: Post Covid, Goan shipbuilding industry looks for a silver lining

08 Nov 2022
The shipbuilding industry in Goa, which has been existed for centuries ever since the Portuguese set foot on the land, or even before, experienced one of its worst periods in 2020 and to some extent in mid-2021 as companies did not place orders or put on hold existing projects, causing a 90 per cent drop in business and resulting job losses, during April 2020 to March 2021, the CPIE India paper stated.

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While Goa has been building sailing ships since pre-Portuguese times, the last century has seen a quantum jump in organised shipbuilding activity.

Right from passenger steamers which plied between Mumbai (then Bombay) to Goa in the 1950s and 60s to more advanced barges for the transportation of iron ore, the Goan shipbuilding industry has managed to fight off competition from shipyards in Mumbai, Cochin and Visakhapatnam, explains Bernard Sequeira of Maritime Research Network and a domain expert with the CPIE.

The shipbuilding industry in Goa is poised for tremendous growth and an excellent opportunity for expansion with initiatives by the Central and State governments like Sagarmala, National Logistics Policy and Atmanirbhar Bharat – Swayampurna Goa giving the sector an incentive to improvise and grow at an astounding pace.
Opportunities for innovation and growth are in store for local Goan shipbuilders, both small and big, predicts the CPIE India paper.  Reference

India: Cochin Shipyard, IIT-Madras sign pact to support maritime startups

07 Nov 2022
Cochin Shipyard Limited and the Indian Institute of Technology Madras have signed an agreement to support start-ups in the maritime sector, which will provide a platform for young and talented entrepreneurs to develop products/services in the marine space with financial support provided by CSL.

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Under this initiative, start-ups can get up to ₹50 lakh as seed grants, ₹1 crore as prototyping grants, and equity funding for start-ups at the scale up stage.

The agreement was signed between V. Kamakoti, Director, IIT Madras, and Deepu Surendran, General Manager (C-SAS), CSL.

IIT Madras will act as one of the implementation partners of this initiative and will provide incubation, mentorship, and training to start-ups selected under this programme. The Institute will invite applications online twice a year to identify start-ups for funding under seed fund, pilot grants, and equity investment schemes.

This is part of the start-up engagement program Ushus, launched by CSL to augment the Government’s initiatives to encourage and develop an ecosystem for supporting maritime start-ups from the technical, regulatory, financial, and marketing points of view by bringing the stakeholders together. Reference

India: Govt may give time to local vessels before fixing age limits for operation

07 Nov 2022
Even as the government looks to fix age limits for ships operating in Indian waters, to ensure overall safety and protect the marine environment from pollution caused by mishaps, it is mulling a proposal to give more time to existing vessels to conform to the new norms.

Image Source: Mint

Government officials aware of the development said that a plan is being developed to evolve a stringent fitness regime that would allow even older ships to operate with proper health certification, thereby giving more time to the fleet operators to conform to any new age limit norms.

Currently, the age limit for registration of vessels operating in Indian waters is 25 years. But, there is no age restriction after registration. Government is looking to fix this loophole.

Industry chambers PHDCCI in its representation has also suggested to bring a sunset clause for phasing out of old vessels like – three years from the date of the age circular coming into force. This will give enough time to ship owners to make their contingency plans and renew their fleets, the industry body has said. Reference

15 Biggest Global Logistics and Shipping Companies

07 Nov 2022
The global logistics and shipping industry is at a very interesting crossroads right now. While many industries were crippled by the Covid-19 pandemic which impact most countries across the world, few were affected as badly as the logistics and shipping industry.

Image Source: Yahoo! Finance

One thing is for certain, ranking the biggest logistics and shipping companies in the world was not the easiest task. For these companies, we decided to rank the companies based on their total cargo capacity and the total number of ships each company has, assigning 70% of weightage to the former and 30% to the latter. Following is the list starting from rank 15:

15. IRISL Group: Total TEU: 143,468, Total ships: 32

14. KMTC: Total TEU: 150,429, Total ships: 66

13. SITC: Total TEU: 153,003, Total ships: 103

12. Pacific International Lines: Total TEU: 297,163, Total ships: 91

11. Wan Hai Lines: Total TEU: 425,317, Total ships: 147

10. ZIM Integrated Shipping: Total TEU: 537,522, Total ships: 140

9. Yang Ming Marine: Total TEU: 707,354, Total ships: 94

8. HMM: Total TEU: 818,063, Total ships: 76

7. Ocean Network Enterprises: Total TEU: 1,527,159, Total ships: 203

6. Evergreen: Total TEU: 1,632,467, Total ships: 206

5. Hapag-Loyd: Total TEU: 1,771,439, Total ships: 250

4. COSCO Shipping: Total TEU: 2,870,533, Total ships: 464

3. CMA CGM: Total TEU: 3,356,504, Total ships: 593

2. Maersk: Total TEU: 4,233,345, Total ships: 915

1. MSC: Total TEU: 4,566,138, Total ships: 709


Note: All above news items compiled in this digest should be considered as news in brief. For detailed news, please refer to reference link, mentioned with each item.

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