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22 Jul 2017

Singapore Exchange approves Rickmers Maritime's delisting

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"Rickmers Maritime, the failed boxship leasor of Bertam Rickmers, will be delisted from the Singapore Exchange (SGX), 10 years after its IPO, back when shipping trusts were all the rage in the Lion Republic. With Rickmers Maritime beign wound up following massive losses, its manager has sought to delist with shareholders braced for a big loss. Rickmers Maritime claimed in a release the trust the trust is unable to make a reasonable exit offer to unitholders, and that no net cash proceeds will remain for distribution to unitholders following the disposal of the property of the trust, repayment of borrowings to its secured creditors and unsecured creditors and retention of certain, unspecified amounts permitted under the trust deed constituting the trust. ''[U]nitholders will not receive any recovery or distribution in connection with the winding up of the Trust,'' the comapny stressed in a release. The bust company also said there was not chance of any corporate rehabilitation. SGX for its part said it had no objection to the proposed delisting. A date for Rickmers Maritime exit from the SGX will be announced shortly."

21 Jul 2017

Maritime industry experts to discuss cyber security

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"* WannaCry cyberattack and other huge IT outages prompt warnings on vulnerability of shipping industry, as cost of average attack rises to US$4 million per incident IT protection and cyber security will take centre stage at the biennial Seatrade Offshore Marine and Workboats Middle East (SOMWME) exhibition and conference, taking place at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre (ADNEC) from 25 – 27 September 2017. The focus on IT systems at sea follows the recent global WannaCry attack, which shut down computers used by Spanish ISP Telefonica, FedEX and the UK’s National Health Service, among others, affecting some 200,000 computers in 150 countries. This was followed later in May with the British Airways outage, which saw hundreds of flights cancelled over a holiday weekend and £500 million wiped of parent company IAG’s value. Peter Broadhurst, Senior Vice President Safety & Security Services, Inmarsat, the mobile satellite company, will deliver the keynote presentation in the Knowledge Theatre, “Cyber Security: Protecting the Industry”, assessing the new risk factors of an increasingly connected shipping industry and how industry players can protect themselves against cyber security threats. “Hacking, ransomware and system outages have long been a concern for the shipping industry, particularly with the advent of the Internet of Things (IoT) and the connected ship. These risks are heightened due to the significant growth in networks of physical objects accessed through the internet,” said Broadhurst. According to a 2016 global analysis report by the Ponemon Institute, which surveyed data collected from 383 companies in 12 countries, the average total cost of a data breach stands at US$4 million, a figure that has increased 29% since 2013. The average cost per lost or stolen record is $158, with a 15% average price increase since 2013. In total, the number of security incidents reported in 2015 stood 63% higher than in 2014. Emma Howell, Group Marketing Manager, Seatrade portfolio commented, “Over recent weeks and months, we have seen huge organisations crippled by ransomware attacks and IT meltdowns – compromising systems and costing some businesses many millions of dollars. The need for the shipping industry to tackle this growing menace head-on is greater than ever before and we look forward to welcoming decision makers and industry leaders to debate these important issues.” However, compounding the issue, insurance providers are yet to close all of the gaps in their policies, leaving shipping companies at even greater risk and facing huge financial losses. “Most insurance policies have Cyberattack exclusion clauses, for property damage and business interruption and this exposes shipping companies and ship owners to huge risks. We have seen some response from the insurance industry but until comprehensive products are rolled out the responsibility of backing up systems, protecting data and ensuring a network is robust and secure, very much remains with the shipping company and ship owner,” added Howell. Staying with the technological theme, the SOMWME 2017 programme will also feature sessions on SMART solutions, covering developing technologies such as automation and predictive maintenance, alongside design and development of a new generation of specialised offshore vessels, with confirmed speakers including; Arnstein Eknes, Business/Segment Director Special Ships, DNV GL, Oskar Levandar, SVP Concepts & Innovation, Rolls-Royce; and Alexander Nürnberg, Managing Director, MacGregor."

14 Jul 2017

Shipping Ministry appointed committee suggests ways to upgrade port hospitals under PPP

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"The Ministry of Shipping had constituted a committee to study how the existing healthcare infrastructure at major ports can be upgraded under PPP mode to provide world class health services, along with affordable medical and paramedical education. Presenting its report to Shri Nitin Gadkari, Minister of Shipping and Road Transport and Highways in New Delhi today, the committee has indicated possible alternatives by which port hospitals can be upgraded under PPP mode so that their healthcare facilities are augmented. The report has also indicated the feasibility of starting of medical college and postgraduate specialty courses attached to port hospitals. According to the report, the hospitals at Mumbai Port which has more than 200 beds can be taken up for this, while hospitals at Cochin, Chennai, Vishakhapatnam and Kolkata ports can be considered for upgradation into tertiary care facilities, with a particular super specialty being assigned to a specific port hospital, which then becomes the super specialty center for all referral purposes by the other port hospitals. As such, Port Trust Hospital, Chennai could be availed for development of tertiary care facilities in the domain of cardiovascular thoracic surgery, Port Trust Hospital Cochin for nephrology, Port Trust Hospital Kolkata for neurology and neurosurgery and Port Trust Hospital Vishakhapatnam for gastroenterology and surgical gastroenterology respectively. The report has also indicated certain policy changes that need to be brought in with the objective of widening the ambits of PPP mode and teachers eligibility qualification under the relevant regulations. Speaking on the occasion Shri Gadkari said that if port hospitals can be upgraded under PPP mode and if medical colleges and PG courses can be started at these hospitals, it will not only enhance the quality of health care available to people in and around the port area, but will also create educational and employment opportunities for the local youth. He said that this move will also help fill the huge shortage of doctors and paramedical staff in the country, and will make ports the drivers of economic change, enabling equitable and inclusive growth of the local area. He said this will also usher in the era of Smart Ports, Smart Cities and Smart Hospitals. The committee was constituted on 6th May, 2016 under the chairmanship of Dr. Ved Prakash Mishra, Chancellor of Krishna Institute of Medical Sciences (Deemed University), Karad and Chairman of the Academic Committee of the Medical Council of India, New Delhi."

12 Jul 2017

US, India and Japan conduct naval exercises, Dragon keeps an eye

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"A rising Chinese presence in the Indian Ocean has prompted the largest naval exercise the region has seen in more than two decades. The United States, Japan and India have deployed front-line warships, submarines and aircraft as part of the tri-nation Malabar exercises in the Bay of Bengal. Conducted annually since 1992, Malabar has grown in size and complexity in recent years to address what the US Navy describes as a ""variety of shared threats to maritime security in the Indo-Asia Pacific."" Formerly a bilateral exercise between India and the US, Japan became a permanent Malabar member in 2015. This year is the first to include aircraft carriers from all three participating navies. The exercises, which officially began Monday, are intended to provide a ""symbolic reassurance that the US is committed to working with India to continue shaping the Asian security environment,"" said Constantino Xavier, a foreign policy specialist at Carnegie India. Rising China The buildup of naval power in the region comes at a time of increased tensions between India and China. China has steadily increased its naval presence throughout the Indian Ocean in recent years, part of an assertive blue-water strategy that aims to extend the country's operating ability far from Chinese shores. According to an IndiaSpend analysis of publicly available data, China's People's Liberation Army Navy (PLA-N) has 283 major surface combatant warships, four times more than those under the control of the Indian Navy (66). Delhi has long viewed the India Ocean as part of its immediate sphere of influence. The expansion of China's naval power -- and its submarine fleet in particular -- has forced Indian leaders to reevaluate the country's coastal defense policy. The Indian Navy has reported at least a dozen sightings of Chinese vessels in the region since May, including submarines. This year's Malabar exercises will for the first time include exchanges on anti-submarine warfare, patrol and reconnaissance, according to the US Navy. The Indian Navy has also sent its Sindhughosh class submarine and a P-81 long range maritime surveillance aircraft, underscoring the exercise's anti-submarine focus. Further north, India and China remain locked in an ongoing border dispute in the mountainous region of Doklam, on the unmarked border between China and Bhutan. Though not a part of Indian territory, the plateau holds immense strategic importance for Delhi and is vital to its geopolitical interests. Elsewhere, China's close ties with Pakistan -- the two countries recently agreed a deal that gives China access to Pakistan's Gwadar Port -- as well as the construction of China's first overseas military base in Djibouti have added to Delhi's military concerns. Global maritime community India has recently begun to take a more active role in working with regional partners to contain China's influence. Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi's trip to the US in June, along with the US sale of surveillance drones to the Indian Navy, reaffirmed the two counties' relationship. And in June, US defense giant Lockheed Martin said it would build F-16 fighter jets in India if Delhi signs an order for as many as 150 of the single-engine warplanes. Meanwhile, Modi's courting of Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has accelerated in recent months, with the two leaders agreeing to ""strengthen coordination"" across a range of issues, including maintaining a free and open Indo-Pacific. That sense of openness will likely strike a chord in Beijing. The Bay of Bengal, where the Malabar exercise is taking place, is a strategically important waterway for China, due to its proximity to the Strait of Malacca. The Indian administered Andaman and Nicobar archipelago, several hundred miles northwest of the Strait of Malacca, provides India with a degree of territorial and strategic leverage over China. Notably, both India and Japan have declined to participate in China's One Belt, One Road project -- an ambitious series of interlinking trade deals and infrastructure projects throughout Eurasia and the Pacific. Key events planned during the at-sea portions of the Malabar exercises include submarine familiarization, air defense exercises, surface warfare exercises and anti-submarine warfare, according to the US Navy. (CNN) "

06 Jul 2017

Modern Slavery ‘Alive and Kicking’ in Merseyside According to Union Maritime Trade Union Nautilus International

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"Seafarers onboard a flag of convenience ship detained in the UK port of Runcorn have been suffering atrocious conditions in British waters, being paid wages as low as US$0.85 an hour. They were also found to be owed almost US$43,000 in back pay following checks by a maritime union inspector. Nautilus International/ITF (International Transport Workers’ Federation) ship inspector Tommy Molloy has lodged protests with the Turkish owners of the 1,596 Gross Tonnage general cargo ship Seccadi and the Panama ship registry over the shocking conditions onboard the vessel. Wages identified on the contracts for the Turkish and Indian crew of the ship were below International Labour Organisation minimums and ranged between US$250 and US$700 per month for Able Seamen (ABs). Mr Molloy said there was no fresh fruit, vegetables or meat onboard the ship and there was a cockroach infestation in the galley. He comments: “When crew are not paid for more than two months, not repatriated and do not have the basic food requirements to sustain a healthy diet, then they are considered to have been abandoned.” Mr Molloy said the crew had been promised owed wages when the ship called at Rijeka, Croatia, in May but nothing was forthcoming. The deficiencies amounted to a clear breach of the Maritime Labour Convention (MLC), he added, and the owners have another vessel detained in the port of Sharpness and another in Thirsk – both with similar problems. “Despite the MLC 2006 we still see too many owners operating in this way,’ he added. ‘Human beings - in the form of crew - seem to be nothing more than a necessary evil to them. 85 cents per hour - when lucky enough to get paid - and no food or repatriation doesn’t seem like too many levels up from slavery to me.” Mr Molloy added: “The North West Port Welfare Committee and the good people of Merseyside are rallying round and have taken it upon themselves to look after the crew’s welfare. Fresh fruit and vegetables have been provided by the Seafarers Centre, who are also ensuring they have adequate shore leave as a diversion from their plight. Others have offered cash donations to cover their basic needs. That they do so speaks volumes for their good hearts. That they have to in 2017 is a disgrace.” He said an appeal had also been made to the vessel’s insurers – Lodestar Marine – to meet their obligations to pay and repatriate the crew. “They have told us their enquiries are continuing and in the meantime the UK Border Force has given notice to remove – deport – the crew, and I can only conclude that the insurers would prefer this, with all of the negative ramifications for the crew, rather than paying out as we believe they are required to.” To continue pressuring the government to change the outdated system, join Nautilus’s CEC campaign and send a letter to your MP by visiting: https://nautilusint.org/en/what-we-say/nautilus-news/nautilus-uk-committee-launches-certificate-campaign/ "

04 Jul 2017

"Relief for two stranded Indian sailors Punjab and Haryana governments assure financial support"

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"Two Indian sailors stranded in UAE waters have been assured financial support by their state governments, the Indian Consulate in Dubai has confirmed. The governments of Punjab and Haryana have allocated funds to compensate the sailors aboard the vessel Sharjah Moon that has been stranded in UAE waters for a year. Confirming this, Consul-General of India in Dubai Vipul told Gulf News that India’s Ministry of External Affairs had written to chief ministers of the states. The vessel with six Indian and one Sri Lankan crew members had been at anchorage in UAE waters since July 2016. The sailors have been stranded with no salary and poor supplies of food, water and fuel. Fed up with the false promises of ship-owner Alco Shipping, the crew docked the vessel in Hamriya Port in Sharjah without permission on May 9 and sought the help of the Indian Consulate in Dubai through social worker Girish Pant. The mission has been supporting them with food and water supplies and working with the port authorities in the UAE to assist in their immediate signoff. “Since there was no sign of the company keeping its promise to pay their pending salaries, without which they refused to fly back home, our ministry had written to the state governments seeking their support for the crew,” Vipul told Gulf News. “We now have confirmation from Punjab and Haryana governments to support the crew. The sailors Vikram Singh and Nayab Singh will receive their pending salaries from their state government’s funds once they reach India,” said Vipul. Responding to the news, the sailors said they were relieved that there is some assurance about receiving their pending wages now. “Going by the way things have been happening, we are not sure when we will be paid by the company. I joined this ship on July 3 last year and I have not received a penny. So, I would prefer going back home at the earliest and taking the fund offered by our chief minister,” said Vikram Singh. Last week, the owner of the company told Gulf News that he would arrange the payment and signoff of all the sailors stranded on his vessels by July 15. The consulate and the Sharjah Port Authority, however, have helped the captain of the ship to fly home as he was willing to leave without the salary to attend his brother’s marriage. On Tuesday, the mission also provided fresh water to the vessel MT Ocean Pride that has been at anchorage off Hamriya Port for two years. The sailors said they had no water for last 20 days and the company also delayed giving permission to accept the water sent by the mission for about 11 hours on Tuesday. Also it is reported that about 100 Indian sailors aboard 22 ships have been stranded in UAE waters and have sought the help of the Indian Consulate General in Dubai, according to a media report. Citing the Indian Consul General of Dubai, Vipul, the Gulf News said that the number of distress calls from Indian sailors stranded in UAE waters had hit its peak this summer. “We are currently dealing with cases of 22 ships. There are 97 Indians aboard these vessels,” the diplomat said. Though the exact number of crew members belonging to other nationalities is not available with the Indian Consulate, the mission said there are sailors from Sri Lanka, the Philippines, Myanmar and Pakistan also on these ships. “Outstanding salary, non-availability of food, fresh water, fuel, harsh living conditions and no sign-off after the contract period are the major concerns voiced by the sailors,” the mission said in reply to questions by the paper. Majority of the sailors have complained about not being paid by their employers for several months. They have also sought to sign off and fly home after receiving payment of their pending dues, the paper said. The consulate said it had been contacting the owners and agents for settlement of the dues, provision of food, water and fuel, request for sign off, it added. The mission has helped repatriate 36 sailors from six ships — MV Gulf Pearl, MV Ayah, Enjaz 2, MV Salem, MVRock and Al Hamad 1 — in the past few weeks, the daily said. In some cases, the Consulate has been providing food, water and even fuel and recharge of their mobile phones, it added. Vipul said the mission had been taking up the issues of the stranded sailors, case by case, with the relevant authorities."

29 Jun 2017

National Cyber Security Coordinator visits JNPT to assess the impact of cyber attack

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"Restoration of operations at the affected terminal linked to restoration of Global IT system Steps being taken to avoid congestion of cargo at the port The National Cyber Security Coordinator Dr Gulshan Rai visited Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust to assess the impact of the global cyber attack that has disrupted the operations of one of the container terminals at the port. He, together with Chief Commissioner Customs and Excise, Chairman-JNPT and Inspector General-Cyber Maharashtra held discussions with the officials of GTI Terminal, DP World and officials of JNPT. JNPT handles container traffic through four terminals. One of the Terminal(GTI) is operated by APM Moller Maersk, a Danish company with headquarter at Copenhagen. Two other terminals - NSICT and NSIGT, are operated by DP World and the fourth terminal JNPCT is operated directly by JNPT. The central IT infrastructure of AP Moller Maersk installed at Hague has been affected by a cyber attack on 27th/28th June 2017. As a consequence, the IT infrastructure of the GTI terminal at JNPT which is installed, managed and operated by AP Moller Maersk, also got affected and the APM management had to shut down their IT infrastructure at JNPT. The other three container terminals at JNPT are working with full efficiency and performance. The IT infrastructure of Customs and Excise authority handling operations at JNPT is also working normally with full capacity. The authorities of JNPT as well as Customs and Excise have taken all necessary steps to enhance the resilience and security of their IT infrastructure with respect to Cyber security. The Pipavav terminal, ICD Dadri and CFS Nhava Sheva managed by the APM group have also been affected by the cyber attack on the infrastructure. The IT Team of AP Moller Maersk together with the IT companies in the country are working to restore the IT infrastructure at the earliest and resume cargo operations, however restoration of their infrastructure is linked with restoration of their global IT systems. The Govt. authorities at JNPT are working closely with AP Moller Maersk team to extend all possible assistance in restoration of their operations. Additional parking space has been made available to avoid congestion and clogging of cargos. JNPT authorities and DP World operating the other terminals have extended berthing facility to APMT bound vessels during the period of contingency. An unforeseen situation had developed at Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust (JNPT), Sheva owing to disruption in the operations of one of the private terminal operator, APM Maersk at JNPT. It had been informed by the private Terminal Operator that this disruption was a consequence of a worldwide disruption being faced by them because of a cyber attack. While the Terminal Operator took steps to address the issues disrupting the operations, it was then anticipated that there could be bunching of in-bound and out-bound container cargo. Ministry of Shipping and JNPT were alive to the situation and took steps to ensure minimum disturbance to trade, transporters and more importantly local citizens. Since the congestion could create difficulties in traffic management, JNPT had opened up its parking lots for cargo destined to this private terminal. Further, CFSs had been advised to hold the cargo in their yards. JNPT was also working with local authority CIDCO, to identify more parking areas. Traffic control teams were deployed to address potential road congestion."

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