News Digest 29-Aug-2022

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INS Vikrant shows India is self-sufficient in security

28 Aug 2022
INS Vikrant, the country’s first aircraft carrier, built at a cost of around Rs 20,000 crore, will be commissioned into the force at a ceremony in Kochi which will be attended by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Defence Secretary Ajay Kumar on Saturday expressed happiness over the upcoming commissioning of India’s first indigenously-built aircraft carrier INS Vikrant on September 2. Kumar noted that it will ‘increase our potential in maritime security.’ “It is a very proud moment for every Indian that INS Vikrant is going to be commissioned on 2nd September. This will increase our potential in maritime security. It gives out a message that India is a self-sufficient nation when it comes to our security,” the Defence Secretary said.

Notably, INS Vikrant, the country’s first aircraft carrier, built at a cost of around Rs 20,000 crore, will be commissioned into the force at a ceremony in Kochi which will be attended by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

The aircraft carrier comprises of a mini hospital with 16 beds, two operation theatres and a CT scan machine. The indigenous aircraft carrier is designed by the Indian Navy’s in-house Directorate of Naval Design (DND) and built by Cochin Shipyard Limited.  Reference

Young maritime leaders determined to see the industry improve its approach to human sustainability

28 Aug 2022
In April 2022, Global Maritime Forum called for young professionals across the global maritime industry to participate in this year’s Future Maritime Leaders essay competition. We asked them how the maritime industry may significantly improve its approach to human sustainability and what issues and challenges need to be addressed before 2030.

Image Source: Global Maritime Forum

August 25 2022: 188 essays received from young maritime leaders from 27 different countries, with a large majority of them from Asia (74%). Countries with the most submissions included India (104 submissions), Philippines (19 submissions), and Greece (11 submissions). In terms of gender ratio, 32 participants were female and 156 were male.

Even if the essay participants came from both onshore and offshore, the vast majority of essays focused on human sustainability at sea. The essays focused on five themes: a broad discussion of human sustainability (44 essays), human wellbeing and human rights (44 essays), future skills & competences (21 essays), diversity, equity & inclusion (13 essays), and human safety (13 essays), and other (53 essays).

Addressing overall human sustainability – across topics: The human element is an essential condition for the global maritime industry to achieve the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals, in addition to the two major transformations of decarbonization and digitalization. Therefore, addressing human sustainability challenges is an imperative task for the global maritime industry.

In total, more than 40 essays discussed human sustainability more broadly, as an emerging call from young members of the industry – below the age of 30 – of much needed change following the ongoing crew change crisis, changing Covid-19 regulations, sexual harassment, piracy, human safety concerns, inadequate and outdated training setups, poor mental and physical health on board,  concerns of long working hours, payment issues and so on. Many essays have put the general wellbeing of seafarers at heart, paying attention to their limited personal and family time, crew health, skill gap, and their basic human rights.

Multiple essays urged the industry to work together on collectively defining and identifying what kind of training is needed (for employees and their management) to ensure crew wellbeing with a particular focus on mental health. Notably the focus should be on how to ensure adequate prevention and response to stress, anxiety, crisis, and suicide thoughts. Practical proposals included the creation of a global mental health hotline, supported by an openly available online platform for training on mental health and human wellbeing to ensure adequate prevention and response.

Calling out the industry to improve on Diversity, Equity & Inclusion: Among the 13 essays discussing different aspects of diversity, equity, and Inclusion, gender imbalance at sea remains the predominant concern. Several essays call out the industry for discriminating female seafarers. Some companies are still reluctant to employ female seafarers, while multiple essays highlight the challenges of sexual harassment and safety threats faced by female seafarers.

Enhancing human safety at sea: Human safety was another important concern that was the primary focus of 13 essays, while also being addressed more broadly in multiple other essays. Working conditions on board, including noise, bright lights, heat, vessel movement, and rigid watch schedules, combined with intense and long work hours were pointed out to directly and indirectly lead to operational accidents that potentially endanger lives, property, and even the marine environment.

Who will take charge for securing the necessary skills and competences of the future?
In the context of a rapidly evolving socio-economic and technological environment, outdated operational technologies in the maritime industry as well as skill gaps (both hard and soft skills) among maritime practitioners were discussed in more than 20 essays.

Advancing a people-centered future through collaborative effort: When looking at all the submitted essays, it is encouraging how human sustainability is not just an abstract concept for young talents below the age of 30 but is reflected in where they choose to seek employment and who they will eventually decide to work with and for. Reference

India Seeks To Standardise Security Across All Ports

27 Aug 2022
The Ministry of Home Affairs is looking to standarise security at all ports across the country, irrespective of their classification as major or non-major ports, according to a report by Mirror Now.

Image Source: Daily Hindustan News

The move follows recent incidences of smuggling of drugs from Afghanistan into India using maritime routes. The ministry is now mulling bringing in uniform security cover for all ports—major and minor ports in India to prevent smuggling through the maritime route.

Currently, major port and airport security is handled by Central Industrial Security Force, while non-major port security is managed by state government agencies.

The increase in security measures, which could entail screening of all trade cargoes to intercept smuggling of illegal drugs and contraband, could bring increased scrutiny on trade cargoes arriving across ports in India.

The moves follow recent arrests by the National Investigation Agency of two Delhi residents in connection with the seizure of nearly 3,000 kg of heroin smuggled from Afghanistan at Gujarat’s Mundra port in September last year as it carried out searches at 20 locations in the national capital and three states, PTI reported on Aug. 25.

The government recently introduced the India Port Bill, 2022 to replace the 110-year-old Indian Ports Act, 1908. The bill seeks to: Promote integrated planning between states inter-se and centre-states, Ensure prevention of pollution, Address lacunae in the dispute resolution, Usher-in transparency and cooperation through use of data.

The bill, open for stakeholder consultation, is after three earlier versions of the bill were circulated by the ministry to various stakeholder. Reference

Solving the maritime recruitment crisis: why salary rises are not enough

27 Aug 2022
There is a palpable supply-side shortfall in maritime recruitment, particularly in commercial and operational roles. As a result, shipping companies are frequently forced to exceed their recruitment budgets to attract new talent at above-market levels.

Image Source: Splash247

The job market is still suffering from the effects of the “Great Resignation” which has seen many people reassess what is important to them, and what they expect from their post-pandemic career. Pay rises and bonuses are therefore being handed out to prevent competitors from tempting existing staff away, and a lot of attractive offers are being turned down once existing employers make a defensive counter-offer.

The market for support staff, for graduates and second-jobbers is particularly red hot. As a group, these people have more choice than we’ve ever seen before. It’s adding to the headaches for shipping companies, as they are having to pay inflated salaries for people with little or no experience and who, on paper, might previously have been their second choice.

The challenges are not unique to the industry, so shipping companies are also facing even tougher competition than usual from other sectors suffering from the same talent-supply problems. Of course, if you need staff, you have to fish in the same pond as everyone else and cope with the market conditions. The good news is that solving the maritime recruitment crisis is not entirely dependent on remuneration.

Employers are also focusing on culture, training, and personal development with a vigour that we’ve never seen before in this industry. The message seems to have got through that people want to feel that their employer and their individual roles have a purpose – a ‘why’. This isn’t necessarily about grandiose change-the-world missions but about giving people a reason to get up and come in to work in the morning.

Despite looming recessionary clouds and concerns about inflation, overall recruitment demand is high at the moment and there is a general sense that this will continue. For instance, improving tanker market sentiment has started to drive the kind of demand and moves in that sector that we’ve been seeing in dry bulk for the last couple of years. Reference

113-year-old sailing ship is making a comeback for maritime cargo

27 Aug 2022

A Costa Rican start-up, Sailcargo, is bringing old sailing ships back for the maritime cargo industry.

Image Source: Interesting Engineering

In a bid to be more environmentally friendly, the company announced on May 17, 2022, that it has purchased a 113-year-old sailing vessel, and it plans to launch the ship in the last quarter of the year.

Sailcargo had purchased a timber freight schooner with three masts and a square top sail; S/V Vega Gamleby was first constructed in Sweden in 1909. For nearly 60 years, Vega was used as an industrial cargo ship. The sailing ship is 137 feet long and is now registered at 140 gross tonnages. It raises a total of 7,000 square feet of sail area by hoisting 14 conventional sails and six auxiliary studding sails. In 1967, she stopped transporting cargo, fell into disrepair, and drowned in Stockholm harbor.

They intend to start a business that will move dry products like green coffee beans between Santa Marta, Colombia, and New Jersey in the United States.

Hybrid cargo vessel Ceiba is under construction
Additionally, Sailcargo continues to build the Ceiba, a ship combining sustainability and conventional building techniques. The plan calls for a three-masted sailing ship with a cargo capacity of nine TEU or up to 250 tons.

The design has electric batteries and dual propellers as underwater turbines that can produce energy when under sail in addition to the 6,300 square feet of sail area. The company is also trying the use of photovoltaic technology in their ship. The company anticipates launching Ceiba in 2023.

Whether the Costa Rican company succeeds in bringing the old vessels back to life to reduce the maritime industry’s emissions or not, it’s nice to see the effort. Reference

Maersk’s Reefer Business Sale to China’s CIMC Sinks

26 Aug 2022
Maersk and China International Marine Containers (CIMC) have abandoned plans for the sale of Maersk’s reefer container business to CIMC after a U.S. Department of Justice investigation found that the planned acquisition would have significantly reduced competition in the market for refrigerated shipping containers and consolidated control of production to China state-owned or controlled entities.

Photo courtesy Maersk. Image Source: gCaptain

The intended transaction was announced in September 2021 and was expected to close this year after regulatory approvals.

Under the terms of the original agreement, CIMC would have taken over the entire business and assets of Maersk Container Industry (MCI), an A.P. Moller – Maersk company, and its reefer factory in Qingdao, China, known as Maersk Container Industry Qingdao Ltd. The transaction also would have included MCI’s R&D and test engineering facilities in Tinglev, Denmark.

But a thorough investigation by the Justice Department’s Antitrust Division has thrown cold water on the deal. In a statement, the DOJ said the proposed transaction would have combined two of the world’s four suppliers of insulated container boxes and refrigerated shipping containers and concentrated the global cold supply chain, consolidating control of over 90% of global reefer production in Chinese state-owned or state-controlled entities.

CIMC is owned by China Merchants Group and China COSCO Shipping, both of which are state-owned.

For CIMC, the acquisition would have further strengthened its position as the world’s leading producer of shipping containers.

The DOJ cooperated with German competition regulator Bundeskartellamt in the investigation. Reference

PSC inspection campaign on STCW

26 Aug 2022
Casualty investigations continue to show that there is a clear link between fatigue and accidents at sea. Recent years has also seen a growing concern regarding the difficulties in implementing and enforcing provisions related to seafarers’ hours of work and rest, and fatigue. This year’s joint concentrated inspection campaign by the Paris and Tokyo MoUs on Port State Control aims to raise the awareness of the requirements in the STCW Convention and the Principles of Minimum Safe Manning. The campaign starts on 1 September 2022.

Image Source: Maritime Cyprus

Ships should always be operated and maintained in such a way as to ensure good working conditions, safe operations, and smooth Port State Control (PSC) inspections. However, targeted PSC inspections announced in advance, like the annual Concentrated Inspection Campaigns (CIC), focus on specific areas where a higher risk of accidents and/or non-compliance with international safety regulations could exist.

According the Paris and Tokyo MoUs’ joint press release of 1 August 2022, the purpose of this year’s joint CIC is to raise the awareness of shipowners, operators and crew on the specific requirements in the International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers (STCW Convention). The CIC, which will run from 1 September to 30 November 2022, applies to all types of ships.

As always, inspections will be conducted in conjunction with the regular PSC inspection. However, a ship will be subject to only one inspection under this CIC during the period of the campaign. PSC officers will use a list of predefined questions during the CIC.

Most other MoUs, such as the Black Sea, Caribbean, Indian Ocean, Mediterranean, Riyadh, and Vina del Mar MoUs, are expected to join this CIC and use similar questionnaires during their inspections. Reference

New Offshore Wind Crew Transfer Vessel Launched in UK

26 Aug 2022
Marine engineering consultancy BAR Technologies on Wednesday held the official launch of its first BARTech 30 crew transfer vessel (CTV) from its premises on The Camber, Portsmouth, UK.

Seacat Columbia – Credit: Bar Technologies. Image Source: Marine Link

BAR Technologies, Chair, Martin Whitmarsh – also Chair of the Offshore Wind Growth Partnership – led his BAR Technologies colleagues to officially hand over the first vessel of its type to its owner Seacat Services.

As part of the launch, the vessel was officially named ‘Seacat Columbia’ by Ian Baylis, Founder, Seacat Services and Martin Whitmarsh.

According to BAR Technologies, with its 30m ProA design, and active foiling systems to correct for pitch and roll, the BARTech 30 crew transfer vessel is able to minimize vessel motion and fuel burn – leading to an average increase in stability across all sea states of up to 70% and a reduction in total emissions of 30% over a typical operational profile.

Additionally, the company said, with the vessel able to operate in more challenging conditions than the current catamaran designs, offshore wind turbines may be serviced over a greater number of sea states, ensuring wind farm owners have more opportunities to better and more cost-effectively provide turbine maintenance. Reference

Wind Power Comes to Cargo Ships as Shipping Goes Green

25 Aug 2022
Ocean transport giants such as Maersk and Cargill have a new take on a very old idea that might help big boats reduce their carbon footprints.

Photo illustration: 731; Photos: Alamy; Getty Images. Image Source: Bloomberg

Around 3500 B.C., Egyptian mariners suspended woven reeds on ships to capture wind to propel boats along the Nile River, inventing the first sailboats and enabling maritime commerce. Now modern-day shippers are adapting this ancient technology in a bid to address the very 21st century challenge of greenhouse gas emissions.

Some of the biggest names in the maritime trade are investing in retrofitting or building newly designed vessels that harness wind energy to meet pollution-busting goals and emissions standards. From giant kites that pull cargo ships to inflatable sails to spinning rotors that create lift, the move toward wind-powered commercial vessels will generate a doubling of such ships on the water by 2023. Although starting from a low base, global shipping giants including Cargill, Maersk Tankers, and Mitsui are tacking into the wind to cut emissions, betting on the revived technology to help meet the industry goal of cutting greenhouse gas emissions from the global fleet by 50% by 2050, from 2008 levels.

By the end of this year, 25 commercial vessels—including seven delivered in 2022—will make use of wind-powered innovations, according to trade group International Windship Association. By the end of 2023, that number will almost double, to 49.

Shipping transports 90% of world trade and accounts for 3% of global greenhouse emissions, or about 1 billion metric tons of carbon dioxide a year. The International Maritime Organization, the United Nations agency that regulates air pollution from shipping, has adopted mandatory measures to reduce greenhouse gases. Starting on Jan. 1, vessels over 400 gross tons must meet certain energy efficiencies, and most shipowners will need to implement technical measures so their emissions comply with the required levels. Vessels will need to meet that standard to continue trading globally.

With the focus on drastically cutting emissions, the shipping industry will likely face a transformation over the next several decades that’s as dramatic a disruption as the one it faced at the end of the 19th century, when commercial ships propelled by wind and sails quickly lost favor as the Industrial Revolution ushered in the diesel engine. Reference

Every Seafarer Can Have an Impact on Greener Shipping

25 Aug 2022
Teaming up with London-based clean-tech company Signol, BSM studied how individual behavioural change can lead to a reduction in ships’ energy demand and carbon emissions. This was done by combining operational data analysis from selected vessels managed by BSM Deutschland (BSMD) with cutting-edge behavioural science in the form of an app and tailored communications developed by Signol.

Image Source: The Maritime Executive

During the research project, which ran in the second half of 2021, 60 Masters and Chief Engineers on 28 vessels under full management of BSMD were invited to take part in the trial on a voluntary basis. Such voluntary participation is a consequence of intrinsic motivation; a key element of behaviour change triggered by Signol’s solution. To ensure reliable and authentic test results, seafarers must be assured that they can trust the methodology and that their expertise, autonomy and privacy are respected at all times.

During the trial, each participating crew member was assigned an individual target via the Signol app. These targets were derived from the seafarers’ past performances. Every week, the seafarers received updates on their personal milestones and achievements via the app and email. Through a combination of realistic targets and positive feedback, Signol was able to gently nudge Masters and Chief Engineers to implement fuel-saving practices.

The trial analysis revealed some promising reductions in bunker fuel consumption on several vessels which will need to be verified by further tests. However, the trial has already shown that the human side of operational efficiency can be a crucial contributor to reducing greenhouse gas emissions and increasing sustainability: Seafarers can be nudged and become aware of their individual influence on major challenges. They can play a key role in reaching our global environmental objectives when empowered by the right feedback. Reference

UK: Eligible seafarers will get half of their training paid

25 Aug 2022
Namely, eligible seafarers will get half of their training paid, providing a real investment in the future of maritime and securing future growth. Previously, the subsidy was 30% but increases to 50% for all new and existing tonnage tax groups and Support for Maritime Training (SMarT) funding.

Image Source: The Maritime Executive

This now means that maritime companies can take advantage of an extra £13m of funding to take on and train up cadets.

The DfT and HMT have increased the subsidy on training costs for cadets and ratings – which companies can obtain as part of their tonnage tax – to 50% from the current level of 30% for all new and existing tonnage tax groups and SMarT funded seafarers.

The new measures complement UK Government’s commitment to protecting and supporting seafarers as announced in the seafarer protections nine-point plan, which commits to improving the longer-term working conditions of seafarers as part of a wider vision to boost seafarer protections and welfare.

This increase in training subsidies for cadets and ratings does this and emphasises UK Government’s drive to grow and support the UK’s highly skilled seafarer population to meet UK and global needs.

Funding for eligible seafarers is available this year and will be locked in until at least September 2024 providing an incentive and financial security for those looking to take up a career in maritime. Reference

25 Aug 2022
In a sizzling hot luxury market, small ship cruises and private yacht charters are clear standouts.

Argo Superyacht. Image Source: Travel Weekly

Luxury travel is remarkably resilient, bouncing back earlier and faster than other travel sectors following crises like the Covid pandemic. Just how resilient? This summer Virtuoso, the consortium of luxury travel advisors, reported that 2023 sales were tracking fully 47% ahead of sales in 2019, itself a record-breaking year. 

Two high-end vacation experiences witnessing remarkable growth in this hot market are private yacht charters and luxury small ship cruises.

The global yacht charter market, including both crewed and bareboat charters, is projected to expand from $6.83 billion in 2020 to $10.8 billion in 2027, according to the research company Fortune Business Insights. The company anticipates “substantial growth” for the crewed yacht charter sector in particular, citing “growing demand for superyachts and the increasing involvement of cruise lines and their hybrid business models.”

There’s product growth in the small ship sector as well, notably the highly anticipated, ultra-luxury Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection, now expected to debut in October. 

These days, many small ship and yacht operators are focused on improving sustainability, an increasingly important selling point. Ponant, for example, launched the hybrid-electric LNG-fueled Le Commandant-Charcot in 2021 and is working on developing a fully carbon-neutral vessel that carries 100 to 200 passengers. 

After putting travel plans on hold for the better part of two years, today’s travelers are keenly focused on fulfilling their vacation desires. Increasingly, those desires center around culturally enriching itineraries. 

Travelers want intimate access to less-visited destinations, immersive custom experiences like curated wine tastings and cooking classes, as well as outdoor activities, great food and wine and, of course, personalized service.

After putting travel plans on hold for the better part of two years, today’s travelers are keenly focused on fulfilling their vacation desires. Increasingly, those desires center around culturally enriching itineraries. 

Travelers want intimate access to less-visited destinations, immersive custom experiences like curated wine tastings and cooking classes, as well as outdoor activities, great food and wine and, of course, personalized service. Reference

Royal Caribbean increases gratuities for crew members on its cruise ships

24 Aug 2022
After four years, Royal Caribbean is increasing the gratuity rate cruise ship passengers will pay for the service they receive from crew members onboard its ships.

Image Source: Royal Caribbean Blog

Each passenger pays a daily gratuity that covers the services of the crew members they interact with the most, and this daily rate is charged automatically unless the guest pre-pays it prior to the cruise.

The daily gratuities are shared among dining, bar & culinary services staff, stateroom attendants and other hotel services teams who work behind the scenes.

Royal Caribbean stipulates in the unlikely event that a guest onboard being charged the daily automatic gratuity does not receive satisfactory service, the guest may request to modify the daily amount at their discretion by visiting Guest Services onboard up until the morning of their departure.

Other major cruise lines already increased their gratuities this year.

If you do absolutely nothing, then you can expect an automatic charge on your SeaPass account each day of the cruise.

The exception is in certain markets where tipping is not as ingrained as part of their culture, so Royal Caribbean includes daily gratuities as part of the price of the cruise.  This occurs in the Australian cruise market.

Each guest, regardless of age, will be assessed the daily gratuity as recognition for the hard work crew members do each day. Reference

Brunei: Deal signed to provide employment opportunities

24 Aug 2022
PTAS Marine Sdn Bhd held a Conditional Offer of Employment signing ceremony last Friday, for Deck Rating trainees to mark the end of their three-month pre-sea training at Brunei Maritime Academy (BMA), Institute of Brunei Technical Education (IBTE) Jefri Bolkiah Campus, Kuala Belait.

The deck rating trainees will next attend the basic safety training and designated security duties courses as a pre-requisite for their upcoming six-month sea-time training onboard PTAS Amanah fleet of Infield Utility Vessels. PTAS Amanah vessels are currently contracted to Brunei Shell Petroleum Sdn Bhd (BSP) for passenger and light cargo transfers across all BSP offshore platforms in Brunei.

Image Source: gCaptain

The engagement and signing ceremony was attended by trainees and their parents/guardians and witnessed by PTAS Director Fayadh Amir. He expressed appreciation for the strong collaboration between the government and private sector in being able to provide trainees with industry relevant classroom as well as vessel based offshore trainings in preparation for their employment as seafarers.

He also congratulated the candidates for having successfully completed the pre-sea training and for being ready to take on the challenge of training while living onboard the vessels. He advised them to be steadfast and disciplined in facing the challenges of their chosen career in the marine industry. On completion of the six-month sea-time training, successful deck rating trainees will gain full-time employment onboard PTAS Amanah vessels. Reference

Youngest Pinoy ship captain to seafarers: Just aim high

24 Aug 2022
OLD sea salts and veteran master mariners from the ’70s and ’80s would usually consider a very young ship captain to be an affront to the seafaring profession. Anyhow, they came from a time when a generation of seafarers would survive the wrath of the high oceans with decades of brunt, brawn and brains.

In the olden days, it would take seamen almost half of their lifetime to be promoted to captain.

In the past decade, however, the global seafaring profession has seen a new trend in the speed by which mariners advance through their ranks. The number of board licensure examinations was lessened to two, principals are more generous with shipboard promotions, and the labor-intensive work was replaced by computers, automation and digital information.

Among those who benefited from this positive change in the maritime industry is Angelo Panganiban, a Batangueño who earned his master mariner license at the young age of 25 and was promoted onboard as ship captain at the age of 28.

This earned him the title of “youngest licensed master mariner in the Philippines” up to the year 2017.

As with many Filipino seafarers, Panganiban was enticed by the promise of seeing the world whilst having a lucrative job. He came from a poor family in Batangas and dreamed of providing a better life for them.

Panganiban worked his way up the ranks ang got promoted to chief mate by 24 years old. Four years later, he was already commanding a ship. He also earned a master’s degree in Maritime Education.

The young captain was not immune to criticisms from those who believe he is way too young to be a master mariner. Nevertheless, he trudged on and pursued his dream.

During his vacations, Panganiban teaches part-time in his alma mater and serves as a volunteer with the Philippine Coast Guard Auxiliary in Southern Tagalog with the rank of auxiliary commander. Reference

India, Iran sign MoU for smooth movement of seafarers between both countries

23 Aug 2022
In a bid to smoothen the movement of seafarers between the two countries, India and Iran on Monday signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on recognition of Certificates of Competency in Unlimited Voyages to help seafarers from both the countries as per the provisions of International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watch Keeping for Seafarers (1978).

Image for representation purpose only. Image Source:

The MoU was signed during a bilateral meeting between Union Minister of Ports, Shipping and Waterways and Ayush, Sarbananda Sonowal and Iranian Minister of Roads and Urban Development Rostam Ghasemi. Mr. Sonowal is on a three day visit to Iran.

The visiting Minister also called on the Iranian Vice-President Mohammad Mokhber. The Vice-President, who is Iran’s special envoy for relations with India, noted that the development of Chabahar port would lead to increase in trade and shipment volume, the statement said.

The statement said that since the India Ports Global Private Limited (IPGPL) assumed the operations of Shahid Beheshti Port, it has handled over 4.8 million tonnes of bulk cargo. With close cooperation between India’s IGPL and Iranian stakeholders including Iran’s Port and Maritime Organisation, Iranian Customs Administration and the Chabahar Free Zone Authority, the Shahid Behesti Port Authority & other stakeholders, the Port is likely to act as a catalyst to unlock the huge trade potential in the region, it stated. Reference

India, Philippines to hold maritime dialogue

23 Aug 2022
As India and Philippines continue to increase engagement in security aspect, both sides have agreed to “fast-track preparations” for a bilateral Maritime Dialogue.  This was among the key areas of focus as both sides convened the 4th Philippines-India Strategic Dialogue in Manila. The Philippines sides was led by Foreign Affairs Undersecretary for Bilateral Relations and ASEAN Affairs, Ma. Theresa P. Lazaro while the Indian side was led by secretary east in Ministry of external affairs Saurabh Kumar.

Image Source:

The development on maritime dialogue is significant, in terms of China worry for both sides amid the Taiwan strait crisis. The consensus to hold Maritime dialogue comes even as India-Philippines concluded Brahmos deal earlier this year.

Other topics discussed in the meeting included counterterrorism, disaster risk reduction and management, transnational crime, intelligence exchange and procurement of defense equipment. Initially, the Strategic Dialogue was known as the Security Dialogue. The renaming happened after the inaugural meeting of the Philippines-India Joint Commission on Bilateral Cooperation on 15 March 2011.

Last week also saw the 13th Philippines-India Policy Consultations, something that began on an ad hoc basis in 1994 and was later institutionalized with the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding on Policy Consultation Talks in November 2000.  Reference

Tug Performs Autonomous Collision Avoidance in Port of Singapore

23 Aug 2022
A harbor tug has become the first vessel to be verified for autonomous collision avoidance in the Port of Singapore as the shipping industry’s push towards self-driving technology continues to advance.

The Maju 510 tug performing autonomous navigation. Image credit ABB. Image Source: gCaptain

ABB worked in collaboration with Keppel Offshore & Marine (Keppel O&M) on the project. The successful sea trials involved the Keppel Smit Towage tug Maju 510 which was used to verify autonomous collision avoidance capabilities of ABB Ability™ Marine Pilot technology in the Port of Singapore.

In what is said to be an industry-first, the Maju 510 becomes the first vessel in the world to receive Autonomous and Remote-Control Navigation Notation from international classification society ABS and the first Singapore-flagged vessel to receive the Smart (Autonomous) Notation from the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA).

Maju 510 is already notable because it was the first to receive ABS Remote-Control Navigation Notation following initial remote operation trials at the Port of Singapore in April 2021. These latest trials verified the next level of autonomy by demonstrating automated situational awareness, collision avoidance, and maneuvering control provided by ABB technology.

ABB says autonomous navigation technology can crews to focus on the overall situation rather than on performing specific maneuvers, while also optimizing maneuvering to help prevent accidents, enhance productivity and reduce fuel consumption and emissions. Reference

Indian Ocean High Risk Designation to be Withdrawn at End of 2022

23 Aug 2022
Further reflecting the progress that has been made in reducing the danger of piracy off the east coast of Africa and into the Indian Ocean, the shipping industry plans to formally end the “High Risk Area,” designation as of the first of the year. While a level of risk remains, they highlight that there have been no boardings in nearly four years with the last reports coming in 2019 of pirates being scared away by EU forces after menacing a vessel near the Horn of Africa.

EU NavFor protects commercial shipping in the region (EU Naval Force – Somalia). Image Source: The Maritime Executive

The official notification of the plan to end the designation was submitted to the International Maritime Organization, today, August 22, to be reviewed and approved at the next meeting of the Maritime Safety Committee scheduled to start on October 31. 2022. The decision to end the designation was made by the International Chamber of Shipping, BIMCO, International Marine Contractors Association, INTERCARGO, INTERTANKO, and the Oil Companies International Marine Forum.

The designation of the region as a High Risk Area began in 2010 near the peak of the attacks on ships near the Horn of Africa. Two years earlier, the Council of the European Union adopted an action plan based on UN resolutions, to establish the executive EU military maritime operation for Somalia. Known as Operation ATALANTA, the mission was the deterrence, prevention, and repression of acts of piracy and armed robbery off the Somali coast.

At the height of Somali piracy in January 2011, EU Naval Force – Somalia reports there were 736 hostages and 32 ships being held by pirates. The combined efforts contributed to a reduction in activity so that two years later they were able to report that there had been no successful hijackings of a commercial vessel and the last confirmed attack on a vessel came in 2018. EU NavFor reported that it chased away a small boat in 2019 but Iran has continued to report that its navy has intervened in recent attacks. The EU mission was extended in 2020 to continue to patrol the waters and specifically to protect commercial ships in the World Food Program and others that might be vulnerable to attack. EU NavFor’s mandate is currently scheduled to end on December 31, 2022.

The removal of the HRA reflects a significantly improved piracy situation in the region, said the organizations. A year ago, they had reduced the size of the designated region, but they said today the end of the designation would not come till year’s end allowing charterers, shipowners, and operators time to adapt to the changed threat from piracy. The groups continue to warn, however, that threat and risk assessments should still be carried out and ships are still encouraged to report to the UKMTO and register with the Maritime Security Centre for the Horn of Africa under the Voluntary Reporting Area administered by UKMTO. Reference

India hands over 6 cranes to Chabahar Port to expand trade in region

22 Aug 2022
Indian Minister of Ports, Shipping & Waterways and Ayush, Sarbananda Sonowal paid a visit to the Shahid Behestti port at Chabahar in Iran on Saturday to hand over six mobile harbour cranes to Indian Ports Global Chabahar Free Trade Zone (IPGCFTZ) at the port.

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The Minister was accompanied by the India’s Ambassador to Iran, Gaddam Dharmendra. Dr Ali Akbar Safaee, Deputy Minister and Managing Director of Ports and Maritime Organisation, Iran, led the Iranian delegation at the launch.

Sonowal and Dr Ali Akbar Safaee had a fruitful meeting on development of maritime and port cooperation between Iran and India. Both the delegation discussed the possibilities of trade & unlock trade potential between Central Asian countries with South Asian, ASEAN and even from Far East countries like Japan and Korea, officials said.

Since India Ports Global Private Limited (IPGPL) assumed operations of Shahid Beheshti Port, it has handled over 4.8 million tons of bulk cargo. The trans-shipment of goods were from varied countries including Australia, Bangladesh, Brazil, Germany, Oman, Romania, Russia, Thailand, UAE, Ukraine and Uzbekistan. The port functions in close cooperation between India’s IGPL and Iranian stakeholders including Iran’s Port and Maritime Organisation, Iranian Customs Administration and the Chabahar Free Zone Authority, Shahid Behesti Port.

The Port is likely to act as a catalyst to unlock the huge trade potential in the region and India has pitched to link the Port with INSTC. Reference

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