ICS Chairman Calls For More Navy Forces In Indian Ocean

Governments have ceded control of the Indian Ocean to pirates and the small deployment of naval forces to the region is like putting a band-aid on a gaping wound – so says ICS Chairman Spyros M Polemis.

And in a damning indictment of western governments, Mr Polemis will controversially suggest they would be acting differently if the many seafarers held hostage off the coast of Somalia were “Americans or Europeans”.

Speaking at next week’s Maritime Cyprus conference in Limassol on Monday (October 3rd) Mr Polemis will tell shipping professionals: “The fundamental problem is the lack of navy ships that are committed to protecting shipping – a band aid on a gaping wound, although the navies do an excellent job under the circumstances and we commend them for this.”

In a straight-talking speech Mr Polemis is set to tell delegates that “by their own admission, the military advise that no ship is completely safe”. He will say: “Sadly, one can only conclude from the current response of many governments that those thousands of seafarers that have so far been captured have simply had the wrong nationality. If they were all Americans or Europeans, the governments’ attitude might have been somewhat different. It is really unacceptable that so many governments seem to feel that the current situation can somehow be tolerated, and that a box has been ticked by making a relatively small number of navy ships available to police Somalia’s waters and the entire Indian Ocean.”

Apologising for his “depressing” remarks he is set to conclude: “We appreciate that governments have many competing priorities, but I am afraid that they still seem to be lacking a coherent strategy to tackle the pirates head on.”

While acknowledging that adherence to Best Management Practices and the use of private armed guards can both reduce the risks of capture, Mr Polemis will say that the escalating use of armed guards represents a failure by the international community to find an effective solution to the situation and will call for an increase in military force deployed to the Indian Ocean.

“I do wish to stress that, despite acknowledging their use, private armed guards do not represent a long term solution. Rather, their use actually signifies a failure on the part of the international community – and those governments with significant military forces – to ensure the security of maritime trade on which the whole world depends. Governments don’t like it when we say this, but the reality is that they have ceded control of the Indian Ocean to the pirates.

He will continue: “The use of private guards does not mean that military forces are no longer needed. Far from it – they are needed more than ever and should be greatly increased in number.”

ICS is in close contact with both EUNAVFOR and NATO discussing practical solutions to the problems in the Indian Ocean including a possible blockade of the Somali coast and tackling pirate ‘motherships’. ICS is also in discussion with Flag States to ensure they take a coherent pan-industry approach to producing a proper framework for the use of armed guards.

Notes To Editors:
• The International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) and the International Shipping Federation (ISF) are the principal international trade association and employers’ organisation for shipowners, with member national associations from 36 countries representing all sectors and trades and over 80% of the world merchant fleet.

• Spyros Polemis is speaking on the subject of “Countering Piracy” at Maritime Cyprus, organised by the Cyprus Department of Merchant Shipping, at the Evagoras Lanitis Centre, Limassol, from October 2nd to 5th 2011.

• ICS (and ISF) will move office to new premises this coming weekend (1st /2nd October).
Our new contact details will be as follows:
International Chamber of Shipping
38 St Mary Axe
Tel: +44 20 7090 1460
Fax: +44 20 7090 1484
Email: info@ics-shipping.org
Web: www.ics-shipping.com

For Further Information, please contact:
Elaborate Communications, Debra Munford Tel: +44 (0) 1296 682124
International Chamber of Shipping, Simon Bennett Tel: 020 7090 1464

Jamaica Adds Its Voice To Campaign Against Piracy

The Maritime Authority of Jamaica, and other key players in the country’s shipping industry, have spoken out in support of the need for more effective international measures to tackle piracy and added its voice to calls for greater resources to rid the high seas of this increasing threat.

Speaking at a high profile luncheon in Kingston to mark World Maritime Day (September 29th 2011), MAJ Director General Rear, Admiral Peter Brady, said: “We join the rest of the world in solidarity towards ridding international shipping of piracy.”

Jamaica has not escaped the effects of piracy. As a Flag State (through the Jamaica Ship Registry) it regularly has vessels transiting the Gulf of Aden carrying bulk and other cargoes. Last year the Jamaican-flagged bulk carrier Miltiades was attacked 130 miles off the coast of Yemen by several pirates carrying AK-47 weapons who had approached the vessel from a skiff. MAJ Legal Director Bertrand Smith reported: “The quick action of the Master and crew was able to repel the attack with no injuries or deaths.”

In addition Jamaica is an important crew supply nation working with the Caribbean Maritime Institute to provide quality training of Masters, Chief Engineers and other marine officers. Earlier this year two Jamaican seafarers were assaulted by criminals who boarded their vessel off the coast of Benin. Mr Smith said: “The growth of the CMI has resulted in many young Jamaican women and men gainfully employed in internationally trading ships, some of which transit the Gulf of Aden and other high risk areas.”

In fact one CMI graduate, who recently transited the Indian Ocean, told the MAJ: “Piracy is one of my biggest fears. I hear too many stories about hijacking and kidnapping for months and that hurts my head when I think about it.”

Rear Admiral Brady said: “We have just cause to join the IMO and the international shipping community in the call for measures to protect international trade by sea. Jamaica supports the various recommendations and guidance developed by the IMO in conjunction with its partners in the international shipping community in an effort to prepare ships’ crews to counter the attacks by pirates. At the same time we laud the efforts of the IMO to develop public awareness to the scourge of piracy, while encouraging countries most equipped to assist by lending their resources to counter piracy.”

ICS Stresses Importance Of Treaty Ratification

Governments must not impede the smooth operation of a global maritime regulatory regime by failing to ratify and implement crucial maritime conventions, warns the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS).

It is crucial that the same regulations governing matters such as safety, environmental protection, liability and seafarers’ working conditions apply to all ships in international trade and that the same laws apply to all parts of the voyage, advises ICS – the principal international trade association for shipowners, representing 80% of the world merchant fleet.

ICS and its sister organisation, the International Shipping Federation (ISF), have produced a campaign brochure (launched this week – attached) which reiterates the importance of maritime treaty ratification and which is intended to help member national shipowner associations lobby their governments to support the global regulatory system that shipping requires.

“A global industry requires global rules.” said ICS Secretary General, Peter Hinchliffe.
“The failure of new Conventions to enter into force or become widely ratified also gives encouragement to the promotion of unwelcome unilateral or regional regulation.”

The brochure, available from national associations or online via www.ics-shipping.org, provides updated information on the progress of a variety of instruments adopted by the International Maritime Organization, the International Labour Organization and other United Nations bodies that impact on shipping.

The instruments which ICS believes that more governments should ratify as a matter of priority include:
• IMO Ballast Water Management Water Convention
• IMO Ship Recycling Convention
• IMO MARPOL Annex VI – Prevention of Atmospheric Pollution
• ILO Maritime Labour Convention

ICS expresses satisfaction with the recent entry into force of the IMO Anti-Fouling Systems (AFS) Convention and the IMO Bunker Spill Liability Convention, which
featured in the last ICS/ISF campaign update. ICS reports that the IMO Ballast Water Management Convention and the ILO Maritime Labour Convention have almost received the necessary ratifications to enter into force. Although MARPOL Annex VI (governing atmospheric pollution) has already entered force, ICS suggests that more ratifications are desirable in order to ensure worldwide implementation of the new package of CO2 emission reduction measures that were agreed at IMO in July.

InterManager Welcomes Bibby Shipmanagement


InterManager, the international trade association for the ship management industry, is delighted to welcome Bibby Ship Management Ltd to its membership.


Located in Liverpool, Bibby Ship Management Ltd provides a quality assured comprehensive technical management service to the international marine industry.

The firm’s parent company, Bibby Line Group Limited, has been established for 200 years and appreciates investment in long-term results and commitment to core values – aims which chime well with InterManager’s aims and objectives.


Between them InterManager’s members are involved in the management of more than 4,370 ships and almost 250,000 crew members.


Alastair Evitt, InterManager President, said: “We are delighted to welcome Bibby Shipmanagement to InterManager’s growing membership. Our members are actively involved in achieving global standards across the industry. Working together and sharing best practice is a hallmark of InterManager membership and we look forward to involving Bibby in our discussions and activities.”


Martin Kent, Managing Director of Bibby Ship Management’s Liverpool and Singapore offices, commented: “Over the past fourteen years Bibby Ship Management has expanded its operations  globally within the various disciplines that encompass ship management so it was natural for us to consider joining InterManager. We are pleased to have been given this opportunity and look forward to  being an active member within the association.”


Growing Hutton’s Moves To New Headquarters

Hutton’s, the UK’s leading ship supplier, has moved into a large new head office and warehouse facility to accommodate the company’s growing business.

Located in Witty Street, Hull, the new double-sized unit is called Dianthus House and has access straight onto the A63 and national motorway network, along with being strategically located for access to Europe overnight via the Hull to Rotterdam ferry. The large new facility provides increased storage, warehousing and logistics facilities along with larger administration offices.

Managing Director Alex Taylor says: “This is an exciting time for us and an important step to prepare for our next ten years of business. We look forward to many years of success in our new, larger premises.”

The new premises has plenty of room to accommodate Hutton’s extensive stock list and boasts:
• 3,000 sq mtrs of warehousing
• 1,500 cu mtrs of freezer and chilled storage, packing, delivery and loading areas
• secure bonded warehouse
• tailor-made office space
• filing and storage facilities
• meeting rooms and staff areas

Customers are advised that the Hutton’s sales lines will remain the same:
Tel: +44 (0) 1482 324093 Email: sales@huttons-chandlers.com

Hutton’s dominant role in the UK’s marine supply industry is demonstrated by its sales figures which continue to exceed expectations. June and July both recorded monthly sales in excess of one million and the annual turnover is anticipated to reach seven figures – up more than £3million on 2010 results. In particular the company is benefiting from the offshore boom, supplying a wide range of offshore support vessels in the North Sea and Humberside region.

Alex Taylor said: “We believe these figures demonstrate that our dedication to providing cost-effective and timely ship supply solutions is an approach very much appreciated by our world-wide clients.”

Notes to Editors:

• Hutton’s new address is:
             DIANTHUS HOUSE,
               WITTY STREET,
                    HU3 4TT
• Hutton’s has developed as the UK’s one-stop shop facility providing the full range of products and services to the International Shipping and the Offshore Industry.

• With a history dating back almost 200 years, Hutton’s ensures the highest standards are provided to customers from its extensive branch network.

• Having the UK’s largest branch network ensures that most of the UK’s ports are no more than two hours from a Hutton’s depot.

• In recent years Hutton’s has acquired a number of related businesses including Pembroke and London-based Lars Knutsen & Clode


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InterManager Calls For Freedom Of Choice In Deploying Armed Guards Onboard Ship

InterManager members have called for more proactive methods to be developed in the protection of ships transiting pirate-infested trade lanes by launching a campaign to allow owners and third party managers the freedom of choice in employing armed guards onboard ships they manage.

The InterManager campaign, which has received more than 90% support from its members, proposes to lobby Flag States and Charterers to review their rules relating to armed guards onboard ship.

It claims that any decision taken to provide armed guards should be based on a robust risk assessment of each vessel and its transit and should be in accordance with the guidance set out in Best Management Practices 4 (BMP4) – the recently produced IMO guidelines on the employment of armed guards. Such decisions should be unhindered by restrictive Flag State legislation or Charter Party agreements.

Pressure for greater protection of ships transiting danger areas such as the Gulf of Aden and the NW Indian Ocean has grown following concerns over the effectiveness of naval operations in the area. Notwithstanding the efforts of the international community’s naval forces deployed in the area since 2008, more than 3,500 seafarers have been taken hostage by pirates with around 60 dying as a result of their captivity.

InterManager, whose members include ship managers as well as crew managers, is keen to give all support possible to protect its seafarers from the mental and physical torture, degrading treatment, food deprivation and dehydration, that those held hostage suffer.

InterManager believes the shipping industry needs to work closer with those flag administrations, oil majors and bulk charterers who prohibit owners from protecting their assets in the manner to which they believe they should be protected. The current situation creates a disparity between those companies free to involve armed private security and those who are prevented from utilising this option, so increasing unnecessary risk for their crews.

Alastair Evitt, InterManager President, said: “At the end of the day it is the welfare of our crew members and their families that is at stake and there can never be too many initiatives running in parallel to address this disgraceful situation.

“Pirates are demanding increasingly larger ransoms as a result of which many ships are being held hostage for longer periods while owners attempt to negotiate deals. This can inevitably cause more personal stress to those captured and their families.

“InterManager believes the shipmanagement sector has to utilise all tools available to it to stop ships being hijacked. Statistics to date demonstrate that no ship carrying armed guards has been captured,” he said.


For Further Information, Please Contact:

Elaborate Communications, Sean Moloney
(UK) Tel +44 (0) 1296 682356

Workplace First Aid: Is Your Kit Up To Date?

Leading ship supplier Hutton’s is warning UK-based customers to ensure their workplace first aid kits comply with latest legislation. New standards for workplace first aid kits have been introduced this summer and will become mandatory from January 1st 2012.

The British Standard Workplace First Aid Kits – BS8599 – take into account revised first aid training protocols, heightened concerns about infection control and technological advances. The standards apply to all UK workplaces and replace BHTA (British Healthcare Trades Association) and HSE (Health & Safety Executive) kits numbers BHTA-HSE 10, 20 and 50.

UK Law states that employers must ensure that adequate and appropriate first aid equipment and facilities are provided to enable first-aid to be rendered to employees if they are injured or become ill at work.

The new kits are available in four sizes – small, medium, large and a travel kit – and have good quantities of essential items such as plasters, gloves and wipes which was a common criticism of the old kits. In addition they include new items like gel dressings for burns, adhesive tape and a foil emergency blanket. For the first time they include a mouth-to-mouth resuscitation device which incorporates a one-way valve to protect the first aider from infection from body fluid pathogens.

Hutton’s Medical General Manager John MacDonald says: “The new British Standard First Aid Kits are the only safe way for UK employers to ensure they meet their obligations.”

Hutton’s stocks a full range of BS8599 compliant first aid kits. For more information telephone: 01482 324093
Notes to Editors:
• Hutton’s has developed as the UK’s one-stop shop facility providing the full range of products and services to the International Shipping and the Offshore Industry.

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Global Shipping Industry Calls For Un Armed Force Against Somali Pirates

The global shipping industry (represented by the Round Table of international shipping associations) has called for the establishment of a United Nations force of armed military guards to tackle the piracy crisis in the Indian Ocean, which it says is spiralling out of control.

In a hard hitting letter to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon, the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS), BIMCO, INTERTANKO and INTERCARGO demand a “bold new strategy” to curb rising levels of piracy which have resulted in the Indian Ocean resembling “the wild west”.

The letter states: “It is now abundantly clear to shipping companies that the current situation, whereby control of the Indian Ocean has been ceded to pirates, requires a bold new strategy. To be candid, the current approach is not working.”

Regretting the increasing necessity for shipping companies to employ private armed guards to protect crew and ships, the letter continues: “It seems inevitable that lawlessness ashore in Somalia will continue to breed lawlessness at sea.”

The shipping industry organisations – which represent more than 90% of the world merchant fleet – say they fully support the UN’s long-term measures on shore aimed at helping the Somali people but are concerned that these “may take years, if not decades, to have a meaningful impact on piracy.”

Asking the UN to bring the concept of a UN force of armed military guards to the attention of its Security Council, the letter says: “The shipping industry believes that the situation can only be reversed with a bold approach that targets the problem in manageable pieces. We believe that an important element in this approach would be the establishment of a UN Force of Armed Military Guards that can be deployed in small numbers onboard merchant ships. This would be an innovative force in terms of UN peacekeeping activity but it would do much to stabilise the situation, to restrict the growth of unregulated, privately contracted armed security personnel and to allow those UN Member States lacking maritime forces – including those in the region most immediately affected – to make a meaningful contribution in the area of counter-piracy.”
pdf of full letter below:

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Braemar Seascope says the tanker markets should not be surprised that the strategists who plan China’s energy requirements prioritise their national interest over the global shipping industry

The tanker markets are reported to have been spooked by the rumour that Chinese oil companies may order up to 80 VLCC newbuildings from Chinese yards. But should anyone really be overly surprised?

China’s priority throughout its urbanisation and industrialisation process has been to secure reliable, consistent and affordable supplies of raw materials and energy. To meet this end, it has developed trading companies, mining and resource companies, shipping and shipbuilding companies. This is a country run by a strategically minded government with their engineers holding detailed plans for development.

China has a stated policy that fifty per cent of its oil imports should arrive on Chinese controlled tonnage. According to Braemar Seascope analysis, almost 50 per cent of spot VLCCs discharging in China in H1 2011 were Chinese controlled (that also includes time chartered tonnage). But this does not mean that China will stop building VLCCs, after all its oil import requirements are undoubtedly going to grow.

China currently refines about 8.5m bpd of crude oil, at least 7.5m bpd of which is imported by sea. Braemar Seascope estimates that China is likely to increase refinery throughput to 11m bpd by 2015 and that around 15m bpd is achievable by 2018, which would put China on a roughly equal footing with the US for daily refinery throughput.

An extra 6.5m bpd of imports by 2018, depending on its source, would require about three modern VLCCs a day to meet seaborne import requirements, or about 1,100 VLCC shipments a year. If each VLCC can make nine round trips a year from the AG to the Chinese coast, about 120 VLCCs will be required between now and then. Merely to meet its 50 per cent Chinese-controlled imports target, Chinese ship owners will have to contract 60 new VLCCs for delivery in those coming years.

To ensure that there is sufficient supply of VLCC tonnage to maintain reliable, consistent and affordable supplies of crude oil, China may wish to have a surplus of tonnage, particularly if also incentivised to maintain its growing skilled workforce at the shipyards. So 80 VLCC contracts, although a little excessive, are feasible.

The Chinese shipbuilding industry has been upgrading its VLCC building capability with a view to competing with others and no doubt also in order to meet China’s own requirements. According to Braemar Seascope research, mainland Chinese companies own 39 VLCCS and currently have just eight on order. These can be supplemented in part by 24 Hong Kong–owned VLCCs, with another 17 on order. These combined fleets and orderbooks comprise only 13% of the global VLCC fleet and orderbook so there is clearly room for more Chinese-controlled tonnage.

Chinese shipyards delivered 21 VLCCs in 2010 and have delivered another 21 in 2011 to 1st September, with a further 10 due for delivery this year. In 2012, 29 are expected, followed by 23 slots currently filled for 2013. If China is capable of delivering 30 newbuilding VLCCs a year with current shipyard capacity, and if 20 a year of these are for Chinese buyers (who currently only have 8 VLCCs on order, remember), then realistically it will be 2014 before Chinese companies start to take delivery of the extra VLCCs required to maintain the 50 per cent policy, and 2017 or 2018 when the programme completes, which fits in with anticipated refinery development plans.

Scrapping Growth Could Be Good News

Braemar Seascope’s demolition brokers are working extra hard this year, which may be good news for everyone.

Dry cargo demand growth is running at strong levels due to the twin processes of industrialisation and urbanisation in emerging markets. Annual average demand growth between 2011 and 2015 is likely to match and may even exceed the annual 5.2% growth witnessed between 2004 and 2008 – the years of the superboom in dry cargo vessel earnings.

However, the massive amount of vessel ordering during and after the boom has led to the currently depressed freight market for dry bulk carriers. Bulker fleet gross growth (i.e. counting new deliveries but not scrapping) is likely to be in the order of 12% a year until 2013 as we add more than 3,000 newbuildings to the circa 8,100 ships that existed at the end of 2010.

But scrapping can make a difference in these markets. In order to bring net fleet growth (i.e. deliveries minus deletions) into line with demand growth expectations, every bulk carrier built before 1985 – nearly 1,500 ships – would have to be scrapped by the end of 2013. This would bring fleet growth down to an average 6.3% a year.

In other words, to return supply and demand growth to balance, the industry must scrap 12 bulk carriers every week for the next two years and four months without ordering any further bulkers for delivery before 2014.

The good news is that demolition at these levels is less outlandish than it may seem. According to the Braemar Seascope Demometer, 395 bulk carriers totalling 19.2 million dwt have been sold for demolition in 2011 up to 26th August, at a rate of 11.6 a week.

This amount of scrapping far exceeds previous records of 11.8m dwt in 1999 and 11.2m dwt in 2009. If scrapping continues at this rate for the balance of 2011, some 29.5m dwt will be removed from the bulk carrier fleet, offsetting the 85m dwt Braemar Seascope expects to be delivered in 2011.

Braemar Seascope Research Manager Mark Williams, says: “There’s a good chance that bulk carrier fleet growth can be kept down to 9% this year if these levels of scrapping keep up. We just have to hope that the global economy pulls out of the doldrums and that demand keeps up with expectations.”

Real Time Tutoring to Meet Real Business Need: The New Videotel Academy MLC 2006 CBT Course

5 September 2011
Ref: 1169


No matter which flag their vessels fly or which country they are from, ship operators will soon have no option but to comply with the obligations of the ILO Maritime Labour Convention – and now is the time to prepare. However, they face the challenge of finding high quality, flexible and user friendly training that suits the needs of personnel who operate in diverse working environments with unusual working hours. Videotel Marine International now provides the answer, with the launch of the on-line Videotel Academy MLC 2006 tutor assisted distance learning course, incorporating computer based training (CBT), the first programme of its kind in the industry and the only course of its kind to offer real time on-line tutoring across the globe.

“The ILO Maritime Labour Convention is probably the single most important international regulation affecting manning and labour affairs that has been seen for many generations,” says Nigel Cleave, CEO at Videotel. “It covers every aspect of the manning of ships, from employment conditions to medical standards, and from crew accommodation to work hour regulations.

“We feel that the extensive training needed should be conducted in real time by a senior course tutor with significant experience in the field. However the range of roles and responsibilities held by course participants also demands that the training be flexible and available on demand. Videotel Academy tutor-assisted CBT training perfectly suits those seemingly conflicting requirements by combining distance learning techniques with the traditional advantages of the support and interaction provided by learning in a classroom environment. Participants really benefit from the ability to communicate ‘face to face’ with their course tutor and receive mentoring and academic support in real time.”

The course is on-line and tutor supported, and follows a structured learning programme lasting 12 weeks. It provides the essential knowledge required from those responsible for implementing and ensuring compliance with the standards of the ILO Maritime Labour Convention. Participants will be encouraged to engage in on-line discussions with the course tutor and fellow delegates to pool experience and knowledge.

The tutor for the course is David Dearsley who has over 45 years of experience in the shipping industry at sea and ashore, some 25 years of which was working as Deputy Secretary General of the ISF where he was responsible for co-ordinating the global shipowners position on initiating, reaching agreement on and then drafting and developing the text for the MLC. He has also worked with the IMO and the ILO.

Website: www.videotel.comicon-pdf[download id=”325″]