News Digest 30-May-2022

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Following Stories compiled in this News Digest for the week from 23 May 2022 to 29 May 2022 in descending order:


India: No jobs for trained seamen, marine edu needs revamp: GSAI

29 May 2022
The Goan Seamen Association of India (GSAI) has written to Union minister of state for ports, shipping and waterways Shripad Naik highlighting the non-availability of jobs for trained seamen and marine engineers. The letter has also called for a revamp in marine education.

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“Getting a job after completing pre-sea training is very tough and competitive as many students are going for this course, and there aren’t enough ships to place them on board,” GSIA president Frank Viegas wrote in his letter.

Viegas further pointed out how the unemployment situation has led to ‘a breeding ground for job agents and fraud shipping companies’. “Maritime academies are churning out cadets and making huge profits, irrespective of the market condition,” Viegas said. “Most merchant shipping companies ask for experience without even considering that experience will only come after employment is provided to these candidates.

“To reverse this trend, the shipping ministry, DG shipping, shipping bodies and HRD ministry should chalk out a plan for a major revamp of India’s marine education,” Viegas said. Reference


Carnival, Royal Caribbean struggling to hire crew members

29 May 2022
The cruise industry could be in rocky waters again: Difficulties with hiring crew members has hindered several cruise lines’ operations, leaving some would-be cruise-goers with fewer onboard dining options or canceled trips.

Photo by Dylan McCord/U.S. Navy via Getty Images. Image Source:

Like on-land hospitality companies, cruise lines haven’t been immune to worker shortages” amid the Great Resignation. And now, a lack of available cruise workers has begun affecting itineraries and onboard amenities.

This staffing problem is one of the reasons Holland America has decided to “pace its restart over the year,” a spokesperson told Insider in a statement. While Royal Caribbean’s spokesperson acknowledged similar difficulties in hiring up, the cruise line doesn’t expect it’ll be canceling any future itineraries.

Not all cruise companies have been as fortunate as Holland America or Royal Caribbean.

Guests sailing with Carnival will also be spared from itinerary changes. But this doesn’t mean it’ll be smooth sailing for the cruise line. Reference


Why India Needs To Consider Developing A Yacht Charter Industry

28 May 2022
Most people appreciate the element of freedom they now have to arrange a break that incorporates everything from romantic meals and time spent on secluded beaches to family-friendly activities and fun-packed festivals. A yacht charter is the ultimate in holidaying freedom as you can travel around your chosen destination at your leisure, drop anchor in a wide variety of places and enjoy your own space, even if you’re in the middle of the action.

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The appeal of yacht chartering has certainly grown in recent years, to a point where it is now a global industry and experts predict that it will be worth nearly eleven billion dollars by 2027. Travellers that want the lifestyle that a yachting holiday gives them are increasing demand for high-speed yachts that are ideal for those who want to enjoy watersports and fishing while on their break and want all the necessary facilities to hand.

Currently. European countries are leading the market when it comes to the yacht charter industry, accounting for more than eight billion dollars of the industry’s total value. North America is another large market with many tourists choosing to charter a yacht and explore the wide variety of destinations that are accessible from the US by sea.

The fastest-growing market is in the Asia Pacific region, where economic and social factors have made yacht chartering a much more affordable and accessible option for a lot more people in recent years. Marine sports are becoming more and more popular in countries such as Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia, Japan and China, and the response to demand has been enough to grow the industry significantly in recent years.

India may not be among the largest yacht chartering market, but there is huge potential for its burgeoning charter industry to grow swiftly. Operators in India are currently benefiting from a number of new government initiatives to encourage marine tourism, increasing the demand for yacht charters even more and allowing room for even more competition in the marketplace.

The Indian government is in the process of improving the infrastructure available in port cities to allow them to capitalise on the potential uplift in tourism that such changes would facilitate. Improved transport links, better equipped services and other changes will make it easier for visitors to access local tourism destinations, especially those in coastal regions. Reference


Does Mafia Control The Port Authority Of New York, New Jersey?

28 May 2022
During the Second World War a massive amount of money and materials flowed through New York harbor providing victory for Europe but also profits for the Mafia. In 1948 journalist Malcolm Johnson published a Pulitzer Prize-winning series of articles exposing mafia control of the waterfront resulting in congressional hearings, Marlon Brando’s 1954 film On The Waterfront, and a unique agency – the Waterfront Commission of New York Harbor – set up to fight the mafia. That organization still exists today but does it remain relevant?

Governor Murphy and International Longshoreman’s Association Chief of Staff Jim McNamara visited the Port of Newark to highlight New Jersey’s supply chain infrastructure. 2021 Image via Governor Murphy. Image Source: gCaptain

Financial Times journalist Joshua Chaffin published an exposé into the inner workings of port operations at The Port Authority of New York And New Jersey – the powerful public-private entity that operates and regulates America’s second-largest port complex – and asks if efforts to eliminate the Waterfront Commission is the work of business interests looking to streamline efficiencies or the mafia itself.

According to Chaffin serious efforts to eliminate the commission began in 2018 when former Republican governor of New Jersey Chris Christie signed legislation withdrawing his state from the joint commission. The State of New York disagreed, took the matter to court, and won an injunction, but in March Christie’s Democratic successor Phil Murphy announced he was appealing that decision in the US Supreme Court.

Why is New York trying to prevent New Jersey from closing the commission? According to court documents New York state and commission officials claim the waterfront remains in the “ironclad grip” of a corrupt union and organized crime, where kickbacks and crooked labor contracts are commonplace.

The New York Shipping Association – which represents terminal operators and major ocean carriers like Maersk, CMA CGM, and Mediterranean Shipping Company – says the unions and Waterfront commission just “don’t like each other” suggesting the commission’s claims of Mafia involvement are overblown. That could the case but the association has been careful in the past not to anger a union that could go on strike and shut down port operations overnight.

Click here to read the full article in Financial Times. Reference


Middle East ports top global efficiency rankings

27 May 2022
New research into container port performance last year has thrown into relief recent efficiency gains achieved by Middle East ports, with four facilities in the region positioned in the global top five.

Image Source: Seatrade Maritime News

Compiled by the World Bank and S&P Global Market Intelligence, the Container Port Performance Index 2021 ranks facilities based on the time vessels needed to spend in port to complete workloads over the course of 2021, “a year that saw unprecedented port congestion and disruption to global supply chains.”

“Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah Port [ranked first] in 2021, with regional competitors Salalah Port in Oman, Hamad Port in Qatar, and Khalifa Port in Abu Dhabi rounding out the top five. Saudi Arabia’s Jeddah Islamic Port also featured strongly in eighth place overall,” a joint statement by the two research teams said.

While the report is an invaluable tool for industry stakeholders, its findings represent a snapshot of the upending of well-oiled container port activity around the world caused by congestion at U.S. west- and east-coast ports during the peak of the Covid-19 dislocation.

Middle East port sources have informed Seatrade Maritime News that recent Drewry research showed that in 2021, capacity utilisation at Middle East ports fell to 57%, from 66% in 2016, indicating that several Middle facilities may have installed too much capacity for their near-term requirements.

US ports were identified as stragglers in the report’s rankings. The Port of Virginia was the top-ranked port in North America in 23rd position, followed by Miami (29) and Canada’s Halifax (46).

The CPPI is based on total port hours per ship call, defined as the elapsed time between when a ship reaches a port to its departure from the berth having completed its cargo exchange, the researchers explained. Reference


Fleet Safety To Modernize Maritime Distress Communication

27 May 2022
Marine safety is part of Inmarsat’s DNA. The company was founded in 1979 by the International Maritime Organization (IMO) to establish a satellite communications network for protecting the lives of seafarers. With the launch of Inmarsat C in 1991, it became the first satellite operator to meet the stringent requirements of the IMO’s Global Maritime Distress and Safety System (GMDSS) – a set of marine safety procedures that Inmarsat helped to define – for ship security alert systems (SSASs).

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To this day, Inmarsat C forms the backbone of the GMDSS. With over 100,000 terminals at sea, it has been safeguarding the lives of mariners for over 30 years. However, like safety, innovation is central to Inmarsat’s identity, and the company has also spearheaded steps to bring distress communication services into the digital era of shipping.

Marking a turning point for the way satellite communications ensure the preservation of life at sea, Inmarsat’s forthcoming maritime safety service, Fleet Safety, will offer unmatched speed and reliability, advanced functionality, and an intuitive user interface.

Since there can be no shortcuts in developing a solution dedicated to the protection of seafarers, Fleet Safety has been several years in the making. Planning began in 2015, and the IMO granted GMDSS approval in 2018. With its launch now imminent, Fleet Safety has passed initial sea trials and is in the process of securing wheelmark certification.

The solution will be delivered via a combination of a Maritime Safety Terminal and existing FleetBroadband or Fleet One data services, with the supporting satellite connectivity providing high speeds, global coverage, and 99.9% global network availability.

In addition, Fleet Safety’s new user interface will optimise usability, making it easier for seafarers to navigate the system, access critical functionality, and communicate with maritime rescue coordination centres (MRCCs) in an emergency. A network of over 50 global MRCCs will be available to contact, by voice or instant messaging, at the touch of a button. Reference


Seafarer shortage – rising wages and fake CVs

26 May 2022
A shortage of seafarers is driving up wages and the number of fake CVs and qualifications, according to Danica Crewing Specialists.

Image Source: Seatrade Maritime News

The availability of seafarers is under pressure due to the Ukrainian conflict, sanctions on Russia, and Covid restrictions in China.

China has had lockdowns in major ports such as Shanghai, while ship managers have told Seatrade Maritime News that some owners are asking for Russian seafarers to be replaced as they do not want to be seen doing business with Russia.

The shortage is, unsurprisingly, driving up wage costs. “We are seeing increases in remuneration across all ranks and vessel types. For some ranks these have been very steep rises indeed,” Jensen said.

The shortage of seafarers is also sees some faking qualifications and CVs to try and gain positions they are not qualified for.

According to Jensen this behaviour is not specific to any nationality of seafarer and has been seen across the board. Reference


Vietnamese refugees reunite with sailor who saved them from lost fishing boat 44 years ago

26 May 2022
After years of searching, a chief mate sailor who saved 51 Vietnamese refugees in 1978 was reunited with a group of them 44 years later.

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One of the refugees, Lisa Dam, was 19 years old when she escaped from Vietnam after the fall of Saigon. While on a fishing boat with 50 others, including 33 adults and 18 children, the group got lost in the South China Sea.

Dam said that several ships had passed by and did not rescue the group. A chief mate sailor on a container ship, however, saw the lost fishing boat and convinced his captain to bring all 51 refugees aboard to safety.

Pedersen spent several years trying to find the group and finally made a breakthrough when his neighbor tracked down one of the refugees, Nguyen Minh, on a list of names that the 88-year-old kept of all 51 people. Minh was the first to reunite with Pedersen in 2018.

Dam thanked Pedersen while shaking his hand during their reunion and credited him for saving the groups’ lives.

Two other refugees, Truong Anh, who is now an attorney for Los Angeles, and his brother Van, were 4 and 9 years old when escaping with the group in 1978. Truong recounted the moment the ship’s crew brought him and the other refugees onto the container ship. Reference


Maersk supply vessels to continue ocean plastic clean-up work

26 May 2022
Maersk Tender and Maersk Trader, the two Maersk Supply Service anchor-handling tug supply (AHTS) vessels currently supporting The Ocean Cleanup in the Pacific Ocean, have been contracted for an additional year of operations.

Courtesy of Maersk Supply Service. Image Source: Offshore Energy News

Since 2018, Maersk Supply Service has project managed and delivered offshore campaigns for The Ocean Cleanup, the Dutch green tech non-profit organisation developing and scaling plastic-harvesting technologies to rid the oceans of floating plastic.

The offshore campaigns have taken place in the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, the largest accumulation of ocean plastic in the world, and have involved towing and trialling The Ocean Cleanup’s plastic-harvesting systems, in order to optimise the systems’ viability and capacity for subsequent scale-ups.

In May 2021, Maersk Supply Service committed a second vessel and crew to the operations for System 002. By October, the teams reached a major milestone, with the vessels returning from a second offshore voyage with proof of technology after a successful trial, which ascertained that The Ocean Cleanup’s System 002 could safely, repetitively, and reliably remove plastic from the oceans.

System 002 continues to harvest plastic in the Great Pacific Garbage Patch in tandem with the onshore development of System 03, a larger version designed to act as the blueprint for future scale-up.

To date, The Ocean Cleanup has collected approximately 67,000 kg of plastic waste from the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. Reference


Quad set to launch maritime security initiative to track ’dark shipping’ in Indo-Pacific

25 May 2022
Quad leaders at the Tokyo summit are set to launch a range of initiatives including the Indo-Pacific Partnership for Maritime Domain Awareness (IPMDA) that will allow the member countries to monitor illegal fishing, track “dark shipping” and other tactical-level activities.

Image Source: ABP Live

The leaders of the Quad nations including Australia, India, Japan, and the United States met Tuesday in Tokyo for the fourth time and the second time in person to discuss these initiatives.

This initiative will transform the ability of partners in the Pacific Islands, Southeast Asia, and the Indian Ocean region to fully monitor the waters on their shores and, in turn, to uphold a free and open Indo-Pacific.

The ability to track dark shipping is among one of the several benefits listed under the maritime initiative. “The benefit of this maritime initiative will allow tracking of dark shipping and other tactical-level activities, such as rendezvous at sea, as well as improve partners’ ability to respond to climate and humanitarian events and to protect their fisheries, which are vital to many Indo-Pacific economies,” said the White House in a statement on the sidelines of Quad Summit.

Dark ships are vessels with their Automatic Identification System (AIS), a transponder system, switched off so as not to be detectable. IPMDA will offer a near-real-time, integrated, and cost-effective maritime domain awareness picture, added the White House in the statement. Reference


Daewoo Shipbuilding builds 3D-printed ABS model ship

25 May 2022
South Korean shipyard Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering Co. said Tuesday it has successfully constructed a 3D-printed plastic model vessel that could help cut costs and improve productivity.

This photo provided by Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering Co, shows a 3D-printed ABS model ship that the shipyard has manufactured jointly with US 3D printer maker Ingersoll. (Yonhap). Image Source:

Daewoo Shipbuilding said it has joined hands with U.S. 3D printer maker Ingersoll in building the 10-meter-class, twin-skeg ship made of acrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene (ABS), which will be tested in its research lab in Siheung, about 26 kilometers southwest of Seoul.

It represents the first 3D-printed ABS model ship in the world, heralding the start of 3D printing in the shipbuilding industry, the shipyard claimed.

Currently, wooden model ships are used to create prototypes for building new vessels. Daewoo Shipbuilding said the new technology will likely reduce the 3-week production period of a model ship by up to 40 percent.

In addition, the new method is expected to help respond to customer demands for sudden tests in a quick and flexible manner, pare down costs by using an automated production system and enhance productivity, the company added. Reference


Single window for ship data exchange to become mandatory

24 May 2022
IMO’s Facilitation Committee has adopted amendments to the Facilitation (FAL) Convention which will make the single window for data exchange mandatory in ports around the world, marking a significant step in the acceleration of digitalization in shipping.

Image Source: IMO

The Facilitation Convention was adopted in 1965 and contains standards and recommended practices and rules for simplifying formalities, documentary requirements and procedures on ships’ arrival, stay and departure. The Convention has been updated continuously, embracing digitalization and automation for procedures. (Read more.)

The amendments adopted at the Facilitation Committee (FAL 46) session, which met 9 to 13 May, are expected to enter into force on 1 January 2024.

The amendments update the provisions of the FAL Convention on mandatory electronic data exchange in ports for ship clearance. The amendments to the annex of the Convention will make it mandatory for public authorities to establish, maintain and use single window systems for the electronic exchange of information required on arrival, stay and departure of ships in ports. In addition, public authorities will have to combine or coordinate the electronic transmission of the data to ensure that information is submitted or provided only once and reused to the maximum extent possible.

The Committee approved related guidelines on authentication, integrity and confidentiality of information exchanges via maritime single windows and related services; and revised guidelines for setting up a maritime single window. Reference


Cognitive, digital and soft skills will be sought after in seafarers

24 May 2022
The maritime workforce of the future will require expanded skillsets in order to ensure safe and efficient operations.

Image Source: Seatrade Maritime News

Ahead of the debut Global Maritime Club Summit, Seatrade Maritime News spoke to panellists for their views on how the industry must prepare crews for the industry of the future.

Top of the speakers’ lists was digitalisation, and the new demands that will place on crews.

“Systems on board will be more complex and regulations more stringent, therefore the role of more than standard training is crucial to ensure safe operations. More digital skillsets are needed. Virtual learning and tools including VR will be even more crucial elements,” said Peter Schellenberger, Vice President Supply Chain, Thome Group.

Dr Konstantinos Poulis, General Manager, Epsilon Hellas, agreed that changes were coming for the seafaring profession.

Representing those with the task of meeting upcoming training needs, Valentinos Steliou, Innovation Director at Mintra said: “Automation, artificial intelligence, and the great data exchange will determine future roles but also change the requirements of positions which traditionally only required practical skills. Seafarers will be required to demonstrate strong soft skills as well as cognitive capabilities. Practical and technical skills will no longer suffice and those who fail to evolve and develop will be left behind. It is vital for the industry to invest in robust, high-quality training to ensure the next generation of seafarers meet this challenge.

“Seafarers need to be upskilled to adapt to the new landscape and be able to access this training even when at locations with poor network connectivity or with travel restrictions. This is where eLearning providers play a huge role,” said Steliou.

Schellenberger said that cyber security training is also of paramount importance as seafarers bring more and more digital devices onboard, and some 70% of cyber security incidents originate with crew. Reference


11 Start-ups Awarded MINT-STARTUP Grant at the Launch of Smart Port Challenge 2022

23 May 2022
The Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) and NUS Enterprise, the entrepreneurial arm of the National University of Singapore (NUS), today announced the launch of Smart Port Challenge (SPC) 2022 under Port Innovation Ecosystem Reimagined @ BLOCK71 (PIER71™) during a hybrid event held at the Singapore Maritime Gallery.

Peer sharing from MarineTech start-ups. Image Source:

MPA has awarded 11 start-ups (see Annex A for details) a Maritime Innovation and Technology (MINT)-STARTUP grant for prototype development and test-bedding. This brings the total number of grant recipients to 50, and the total funding disbursed since 2017 to over S$2.45 million. These 11 start-ups are collaborating with maritime corporate partners from PIER71™ on pilot projects that focus on the use of smart sensors, vision and data analytics, artificial intelligence and wearables amongst others.

For SPC 2022, 16 maritime companies have identified challenge statements across 15 areas for innovation under the areas of (1) Smart Port; (2) Smart Ship; (3) Crew Safety, Training and Wellbeing; (4) Smart Maritime Services and Logistics; and (5) Green Technology. Technology start-ups – both based in Singapore or abroad – are invited to submit proposals on solutions to any of the challenge statements spanning across the 15 areas or in other areas related to the maritime sector in an Open Category. The closing date for submission of proposals is 8 July 2022.

Shortlisted start-ups will be mentored under the PIER71™ Accelerate programme and may be eligible for a MINT-STARTUP grant of up to S$50,000. They will also enjoy continued entrepreneurial and technical support beyond SPC through PIER71™’s global network of partners. The top three winners for SPC 2022 will be announced at the Grand Final in November 2022 and will win cash prizes of S$10,000, S$5,000 and S$3,000 respectively. Reference


Suez Canal Revenues Set To Reach $7 Billion By End Of Fiscal Year

23 May 2022
Egypt expects the Suez Canal’s revenues to reach about $7 billion by the end of the current fiscal year, finance minister Mohamed Maait said on Saturday.

Shipping containers are seen on a ship, belonging to Ocean Network Express (ONE), moving through the Suez Canal in Suez, Egypt February 15, 2022. Picture taken February 15, 2022. REUTERS/Mohamed Abd El Ghany. Image Source: gCaptain

Tourism revenues are expected to reach between $10 billion and $12 billion by then, despite the Ukrainian crisis, he added. Egypt’s fiscal year runs from July 1 to June 30.

The canal is the fastest shipping route between Europe and Asia and one of the Egyptian government’s main sources of foreign currency. Reference


Coffee Shipped by Sailboats In Efforts To Distrupt The Heavy Ships Command Of The High Seas

23 May 2022
There’s never been a more dreamy way to have your coffee delivered than a sailboat across the Atlantic.

SAILCARGO INC. has purchased the cargo vessel S/V Vega Gamleby. Vega will sail approximately 148 cubic metres (or 82 tons) of green coffee beans and other dry goods between Colombia and the United States. Photo Courtesy SailCargo. Image Source: gCaptain

A small number of specialty roasters in Europe are now offering beans that have been sailed — rather than shipped via fossil-fuel burning vessels — from South America. While they’re a rare luxury compared with standard bags of supermarket coffee, these wind-blown beans may inspire some imaginative ideas for finding and stamping out carbon emissions from your everyday life.

Here’s a glimpse of the journey: Roasters buy the beans directly from growers in countries like Colombia before they’re stored in a warehouse and loaded onto a sailboat — destined for ports like Le Havre, France or Penzance, England. The crossing typically takes six weeks. The beans are then couriered to specialty roasters before ending up in espressos served in coffee shops or at home.

A few years ago, a small group of environmentally focused entrepreneurs, such as Shipped by Sail in the UK, started using pirate-like schooners to prove that goods like coffee could be transported with near-zero emissions — even if it took more money and all the risks linked with crossing the Atlantic on hundred-year-old wooden boats for a couple dozen bags of high-end beans.

What started as bravado is now making a bit more business sense. Consumers have become more willing to pay extra for the greener coffee and roasters are rising to the challenge to provide it to them.

Years of innovation have given the coffee industry plenty of ways to reduce its carbon footprint on the farm level, from replacing chmical fertilizers with organic waste to using renewable energy to power equipment. Shipping has remained a weak spot. It might be more efficient to transport coffee beans by sea than air, but today’s cargo ship engines are driven by bunker fuel —the dregs of th oil refining process. Large sailboats have motors for when they’re needed, but their main source of power is emissions-free wind, which gives them the added benefit of being mostly immune to volatile oilprices. Reference

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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