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24 Aug 2017

31 Vessels Laden With Fuel, Others, Expected At Lagos Ports

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"No fewer than 31 vessels are expected to arrive at the Lagos pilotage district with various cargoes, including petroleum products, wheat, corn, fertiliser and a host of others. This is coming on the heels of another four motor vessels carrying fertiliser, maize, and general cargo; and five motor tankers with Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) otherwise known as petrol, base oil, and Palmolein are waiting to berth at the Lagos ports. But these fuels, which are expected to boost supply in the downstream market are yet to be cleared for discharge, as the cargo is labelled, Customs release not applicable (CRNAPP). The Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), which revealed these in its shipping position on Tuesday, said the four motor vessels were currently at ENL port and GDNL, while the motor tankers are at ABTL, ACJ, and SBM terminals. Meanwhile, the 31 other ships that are expected in the Lagos pilotage district were scheduled to start arriving from August 22 to September 16th, 2017. The vessels expected include; Bro Nibe, Torm Timothy, Alithini, Nord Express, Elandra Spruce, Corona, Huanghai Pioneer, Tasing Swan, Sea Clipper, Histria Ivory, RHL Conscientia, and Hammaonia. Others are Istral, JPO Gemini, MSK Cunene, Safamarine Chachai, MSK Cunene, MSK Cameroun, JPO Aries, Schliemi Rickmers, Thuringa, MSK Cadiz, Rossini, Diamond Habour, Kota Singa, Kota Sempena and a host of others. Meanwhile, the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), said it would put a stop to vessels with high amount of sulphur in the fuel that allow for emission of carbon monoxide into the air from calling at the nation's seaports. Ships contribute to emissions of carbon monoxide into atmosphere and this contributes to climate change, and if not checked overtime, will have effect on the atmosphere and in turn on the environment. NIMASA Director-General, Dakuku Peterside, who disclosed this at a stakeholders' forum in Lgaos, said the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) through Annex VI, has put a cap to the amount of sulphur and nitrogen dioxide emitted into the air and the amount of sulphur contained in the fuel a ship used and emitted to the air. According to him, the penalty for vessels that violate the latest convention would be to be barred from calling at the nation's seaports. ""When vessels berth at our various ports, we take sample of the fuel and ?so many other things we do to check the quality of fuels and emissions thereof. But the penalty for violation of Marpol Annex VI would be not allowing such vessels to call in our territorial waters?,"" he said. "

20 Aug 2017

Suez Canal to cut box ship rates 3-50pc from October 1 to win back lost tonnage from Panama

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"According to a Middle East Monitor report, vessels carrying more containers will receive the larger discounts. In July, the SCA offered a discount of up to 45 per cent to large oil tankers en route from the United States to the Gulf. Egypt has been cutting transit fees to attract more shipping between East and the West, said the Middle East Monitor report. Suez sees itself as a rival to the Panama Canal, boasting that it can transit the largest containerships in the world which now run to 20,000 TEU while the Panama Canal is limited to 14,000-TEUers. BlueWater Reporting data shows Suez using 56 container services, deploying 569 vessels averaging 10,792 TEU while Panama uses 30 services, deploying 277 vessels, averaging 6,548 TEU. "

12 Jul 2017

Aid for Trade: ITC launches Export Potential Map for more targeted trade

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"The International Trade Centre (ITC) today unveiled Export Potential Map, the latest addition to a series of online tools that makes it easier for businesses and countries to identify what goods and services to export and to where. Presenting Export Potential Map at the Aid for Trade Global Review, which takes place at the World Trade Organization (WTO) in Geneva on 11-13 July, ITC Executive Director Arancha González said: ‘Export Potential Map is an innovative tool that will enable developing countries and their companies to make better export decisions based on rigorous economic analysis. It will allow companies to target new markets and for policymakers to optimize their policies and support programmes for their exporters.’ To ensure that companies can target new markets it is important that they have evidence on trade costs and expected demand. This is also crucial to allow policymakers and trade support institutions to optimize the policy environment and support programmes for existing and would-be exporters. Yet, figuring out a country’s export potential – and especially, which goods and markets would best contribute to sustained economic development – is as complicated as it is necessary. Export Potential Maps helps companies, institutions and policymakers get answers to these questions, allowing them to rapidly understand their country’s export opportunities. Building on ITC’s methodology for assessing trade potential, Export Potential Map translates complex economic analysis into practical information about new export markets and products. Export Potential Map pulls in data from a range of sources including import and export data, tariffs, gross domestic product, and geographic data. Based on this data, the tool can quickly carry out evaluations of a country’s potential to export: in specific sectors and to what markets. This represents a unique opportunity for developing countries to ramp up their exports. For example, least developed countries (LDCs) on average export to four markets only. Export Potential Map suggests additional markets that offer good demand and tariff conditions for goods exported by LDCs. In addition, the tool helps identify options to diversify and expand the range of products LDCs export. Information on Export Potential Map is available for 222 countries and territories at a very detailed product level. The web tool has a user-friendly interface and innovative visualizations that can be easily downloaded, shared on social media and embedded into reports or websites."

16 Jun 2017

ITF: “Qaaswa crew are having rights trampled by company”

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"The ITF (International Transport Workers’ Federation), which is assisting the crew of the tanker Qaaswa, marooned in Tunisia, has rebutted the owner company’s attempts to hide its ill treatment of the crew – including a farcical reported claim that the intimidated, underprovisioned and ill-treated seafarers are supposedly selling bunker fuel. Paul Falzon, ITF contact in Malta, has been helping the crew on a daily basis since 13 May, when they responded to ITF calls. The ITF had been offering help for weeks after hearing from Malta that there was a ship outside its national waters whose crew were saying that conditions were bad and that they felt threatened by the company. Paul Falzon explained: “The situation was as follows: the company, Alco Shipping Services, had not paid the crew’s wages for more than four months. It had promised that the vessel would undergo repairs but never kept its promises. It was not giving any cash to crew, meaning they could not even contact their families. It had ordered the ship to remain 100 miles from land at anchorage, and had left the vessel without fresh water and provisions. To make matters worse it was threatening the crew to force them to sail to Egypt, despite the vessel’s obvious unfitness to be at sea. “Within days myself and fellow ITF inspector Mohamed Arrachedi had phoned the Sfax Port’s vessel tracking services asking them to reverse their decision to send the vessel outside Tunisian national waters, written to the company pointing out the appalling conditions and asking for a repatriation plan, and requested that port state control urgently visit the vessel. This they did on 25 May and advised the captain of several deficiencies. We also engaged with the Tunisian authorities and both the Indian and Pakistani embassies in Tunisia to further increase pressure on the company, while keeping in daily contact with the crew.” Mohamed Arrachedi added: “At the ITF’s request our union, the Federation Nationale des Transports/UGTT, is also backing our fight to get the crew paid and repatriated. The union’s general secretary, Moncef Benromdhane, has personally spoken with the country’s ministry of transport, and a request for help has been sent to the embassy of the United Arabs Emirates, the flag state, to ask that it acts to secure a solution for the crew that will see them paid and repatriated and the deficiencies in the vessel fixed. “As a result of all these efforts and the ITF-initiated PSC visit, the company, which had tried to ignore all our approaches, has been forced into taking some action. The crew inform us that some, but not nearly enough, water and provisions were put on board and some crew repatriated – they’re also aware that if it weren’t for that PSC visit they’d have been forced to sail, unfed and unpaid, to Egypt on an unsafe vessel weeks ago.” “Sadly,” he added, “We are also defending the crew of another of the same company’s ships, the Sharjah Moon. Once again we ask the company to decide on a clear, transparent and realisable plan of action that will solve this crisis. The ITF remains available to help them make this happen.” In the latest offence against the long suffering crew of the Qaaswa, the company is reported in Splash247 (https://goo.gl/1RSY0j) as claiming that all is well on the ship and, unbelievably, that crew members have ‘hijacked it and are selling bunker fuel. Mohamed Arrachedi described the company’s claims as “beneath contempt”. Paul Falzon added that the situation for the crew was “desperate”."

13 Jun 2017

Ethiopia hopes to buy into projected DP World terminal in Somalia

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"ETHIOPIA is negotiating to buy shares in a projected joint venture involving DP World to manage a container port in northern Somalia, said a Somali official. Such a development would give the fast-growing yet landlocked Horn of Africa economy its first stake in world trade. Somaliland, a semi-autonomous territory that aspires to statehood, has agreed ""in principle"" to give Ethiopia a 19 per cent share in the venture administering Berbera port, according to Foreign Minister Saad Ali Shire. Somaliland's government and Dubai-based DP World, which has a 30-year concession to manage and develop the facility, will be the majority shareholders in Somaliland-registered DPW Berbera, he said"

19 May 2017

Liberian Registry cements position as No 1 choice for Greek shipping

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"Liberia has confirmed its position as the leading flag of choice for Greek ship owners and operators, according to statistics produced by the independent research and information organisation Marine Information Services (MIS) in Greece. The MIS figures show that the Greek merchant fleet now includes 1,037 Liberian-flag ships. Liberia also leads the way in terms of total deadweight tonnage registered under its flag by Greek owners, aggregating 78m dwt. Michalis Pantazopoulos, Senior Vice-President of the Liberian International Ship & Corporate Registry in Greece, says, “The MIS figures measure fleet size in numbers of ships and total deadweight tonnage, which are the parameters used by the International Maritime Organization and widely recognised throughout the industry. “It is fitting that Greece, the number one shipping nation in the world, should choose Liberia as its number one ship registry. This reflects both the uniquely strong historical ties between Greek shipping and the Liberian flag, and the proactive and innovative approach adopted by the Liberian Registry in what has been an extremely challenging time for the shipping industry. “Strong links have existed between Greek shipping and Liberia since the Stavros Niarchos-owned oil tanker World Peace became the first ship to be registered under the Liberian flag in 1949. From that time until the present day, the Greek shipping community has supported the Liberian Registry, and vice-versa, through good times and bad. Liberia is delighted that Greek shipping has once again given the Liberian flag a definitive vote of confidence, and looks forward to building on that still further in the future.”"

17 Apr 2017

Attention Shifts to Somalia in Bid to Protect Maritime Trade

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Somalia is suddenly back in the limelight, with a number of high-level visits in the past few weeks signalling a renewed interest by the international community in the country that had been written off as a failed state. Among world figures who visited the country last month were British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson, United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Gutterres, and the new African Union Commission chair Moussa Faki Mahamat, who made Somalia his first stop only four days after taking office. In addition to the visits, Somalia is attracting fresh attention from traditional allies, as well as newcomers from the Middle East, Europe and Africa. They include the United Kingdom, former colonial power Italy, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Egypt, Ethiopia as well as the African Union, and the traditional seafarers in the Indian Ocean such China, the Philippines, Japan and India. Important shipping routeExperts attribute the fresh interest in Somalia to a combination of factors. These include the recent successful presidential election that saw Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo take up the leadership; the country's strategic location along the world's most important shipping route, the war in Yemen and the resurgence of piracy in the Indian Ocean. Political risk analyst for Middle East and North Africa, James Pothecary, told The EastAfrican that a leading factor in the increasing importance of Somalia is the war in Yemen and how it impacts the Bab el-Mandeb Strait. The Bab el-Mandeb Strait is located between Yemen on the Arabian Peninsula and Djibouti and Eritrea in the Horn of Africa. It connects the Read Sea to the Gulf of Aden The strait is the gateway to almost all maritime trade between Europe and Asia and any security threats in this location would disproportionally affect global maritime trade routes and the security of sea lines of communication, said Mr Pothecary, who works for Allan & Associates in UK. "As maritime shipping is approximately 90 per cent of how the world's goods are transported, interference at these choke points is a serious threat to international business which in the case of the Bab el-Mandeb Strait, is worth an approximated $700 billion annually," he said. All traffic through the Suez Canal, the quickest route for European shipping to reach Asia, must pass through Bab el-Mandeb to reach the Gulf of Aden, and subsequently the Indian Ocean. In March alone, 1,454,000 tonnes of shipping, carried on 80,495 vessels, transited the Suez Canal. But since its narrowest point of Bab el-Mandeb is only 29km across, even small craft launched by Houthis from the Yemeni coast are capable of reaching all traffic passing through it. This has forced ships to sail closer to the Somalia coast, hence the renewed interest in Somalia. On his first official trip abroad since his election, President Farmajo flew to Riyadh, where he met king of Saudi Arabia Salman Bin Abdulaziz and where the two discussed the issue of Houthi rebels and plans by United Arab Emirates to set up a military base in the port of Berbera in the breakaway Somaliland. Piracy Then there is the resurgence of piracy, which at its peak 2011, witnessed a total of 237 attacks and resulted in loss of maritime business worth $8 billion, while the pirates earned $160 million in ransom.Piracy had reduced significantly in recent years as a result of extensive international military patrols. However, it is creeping back, mainly due to devastating famine and the increased unemployment. In early April, pirates hijacked an Indian vessel, Al Kausar with 11 crew on board. In January, a Chinese navy ship supported by an Indian navy helicopter thwarted an attack on a merchant ship, and secured the safety of all 19 Filipino crew members. The election of president Farmajo too has attracted the attention of the international community owing to his popularity and a clear programme to rid the country of Al Shabaab militants. On April 6, President Farmajo declared the country a war zone and replaced its military and intelligence chiefs in preparations for a new offensive against Al Shabaab set to begin in 60 days if the militants do not lay down their arms. According to Rashid Abdi, the International Crisis Group's Horn of Africa project director, there is a growing momentum within the region and the international community to stabilise Somalia, especially after the change of leadership in Mogadishu and the war in Yemen. "Somalia has always remained strategic to the geopolitics of the region and beyond and has been gaining importance with time as the conditions in the country improve," said Mr Abdi. Besides the oil, gas and mineral deposits that still lie unexploited, Somalia is emerging as a promising investment destination, as well as factor in the security of countries in the region such as Ethiopia.

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