31 January 2016

Record low for container ships:

This year's global container ship capacity is expected to grow at a pace of only 4.6 per cent, the lowest ever recorded for the global containership fleet, according to Alphaliner.

Falling below the previously smallest year-on-year increase of 5.5 per cent, recorded in 2009, this year will register well below the average annual growth rate (CAGR) of 10.3 per cent, recorded since 1990.

In combination, the slower pace of vessel deliveries and the projected increase in the numbers of container ships sold for demolition, are expected to curb 2016 net fleet growth to less than 1 Mteu of nominal vessel capacity.

Adjusted for potential deferrals, vessel deliveries are expected to reach 1.25 Mteu this year, compared to a record capacity of 1.72 Mteu delivered in 2015, and Alphaliner added this figure could end up even lower if the current weak market demand persists over the course of the year.

"Continued slow demand could prompt owners to delay deliveries of some ships in their order books, while a small number of orders, placed at financially troubled yards, could be cancelled altogether," Alphaliner said.

Vessel scrapping and other deletions are expected to reach an estimated 350,000 teu this year, as sagging demand is expected to increasingly force owners to de-commission elderly ships.

The number of vessels sold for scrap surged last December, with 15 units for 51,000 teu sold within that month alone. These ships accounted for more than a quarter of the total of 192,000 teu scrapped in 2015.

Source: Fiji Times. 27 January 2016

ClassNK releases updates on HKC-compliant ship recycling facilities:

Tokyo – ClassNK (Chairman and President: Noboru Ueda) has released the latest updates on ship recycling on its website. The updates include information on ship recycling facilities that ClassNK has issued Statements of Compliance (SoC) to so far in line with the Hong Kong International Convention for the Safe and Environmentally Sound Recycling of Ships, 2009 (HKC).

Although the HKC has yet to enter into force, several ship recycling facilities have proactively improved their facilities and developed the Ship Recycling Facility Plans (SRFPs) required for a competent authority’s verification according to the HKC in a bid toward safer and greener ship recycling.

In response to the growing demand for verification, ClassNK reviewed HKC-compliant SRFPs prepared by ship recycling facilities from Japan, China and India and confirmed that their ship recycling processes follow their respective SRFPs. The leading classification society also conducted thorough on-site inspections before issuing Statements of Compliance (SoC) based purely on technical verifications of the facilities.

ClassNK has been invited to draw on its experience in verifying ship recycling facilities throughout the world to discuss better ship recycling practices at the ‘Ship Recycling Seminar: Towards sustainable ship recycling’ in London on 3 February. The event is organized by Japan’s Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (MLIT) in cooperation with the IMO Secretariat.

ClassNK will continue encouraging safe and environmentally sound ship recycling in accordance with the HKC through its issuance of SoC to facilities that meet the HKC standards.

For the latest updates on ship recycling and ship recycling facilities verified by ClassNK, please go to:

For more information on this topic, please contact:

Executive Operations Department
Tel: +81-3-5226-2047

Source: Class NK. 29 January 2016

Weak Rates Prompt Panamax Owners to Commence Scrapping Earlier Than Planned:

The scrapping of the74,000 deadweight tonnage (dwt) Panamax dry bulk vessel MV Diamond Seas, which was built only 15 years ago, is being viewed as a rarity for the demolition market and a sign that all Panamax vessels 10 years or older will be demolished earlier than expected, media reports.

The Japanese-made MV Diamond Seas, currently at the west coast Indian port of Hazira, was recently sold in the $260/light displacement ton to $265/LDT range, with about 1,100 metric tons of bunker fuel still on board.

An unnamed source at Lion Shipbrokers who disclosed the news of the sale to Platts said the dry bulk sector's sustained weak rates will result in all Panamax vessels built in 2005 or prior being scrapped "sooner rather than later" – possibly starting six months from now, if the market doesn't improve.

Supporting this prediction is a report from Intermodal shipbrokers, which states, "It seems that disposing of loss generating tonnage even of younger ages becomes more and more popular as an option for those [owners] looking to find a quick way out of the 'scary' market."

Konstantinos Papazoglou, research analyst for Bancosta Research, told Platts that scrapping is a preferable alternative to the $400,000-$500,000 cost facing owners for dry docking their vessels, an expense that isn't recoverable in the current market.

He went on to note that "We see approximately 41 percent [800 vessels] of the Panamax [65,000-84,999 dwt] trading fleet being over 10 years old [and] expect more and more vessels being scrapped including younger ones, especially if the market continues to be at such levels not even covering operational expenses."

Although scrapping may be a solution to vessel owners, Poten & Partners Inc. earlier this month noted that based on the profile of the global tanker fleet, there are not enough scrapping candidates to offset new deliveries and quickly support weakening freight rates.

Source: ship and bunker. 29 January 2016.

28 January 2016

A Miserable Start to a New Year:

Dry Bulk Shipping: A Miserable Start to a New Year, Where the Market Struggles to Grow at All


The global production of steel dropped in 2015 compared to 2014, to a larger extent outside China, as China exported its surplus of steel to destinations across the globe; it is too complex to single out whether this is positive or negative for the seaborne dry bulk transport demand. Going forward, the Chinese steel industry is set to grow its global market share, currently at 50%. Depending on domestic steel consumption in China, use of domestically mined iron ore and profitability in the steel industry, the dry bulk market will be impacted. Chinese steel prices have risen since mid-December and currently, sit at the highest level since October 2015. International iron ore prices could slide further during 2016 as supply exceeds demand.


Since August 2015, dry bulk freight rates have continuously been eroded by deteriorating market conditions. As of 11 January 2016, daily freight rates ranged from USD 3,361 per day for a panamax ship to USD 4,416 per day for a supramax.

The brief lift in capesize rates at the end of November may be explained by the record-high import of relatively cheap iron ore into China. More shipments from Brazil contributed to this lift, squeezing out more domestically produced ore. No less than 96.3 million tons of iron ore were discharged in China in December 2015. This brought the full year total up to 952.7 million tons, 2.2% more than in 2014.

Whereas total transported volumes in 2015 are estimated to have stayed unchanged from 2014, some commodities set new records, while others dropped in significant volume. One of the highlights was soybeans, which also saw a new record high of imports into China in 2015. While soybean import into any other country hasn’t grown for two decades, Chinese imports went from barely anything to 81.7 million tons. China took 9.1 million in December alone, primarily for animal feed.

Despite these record numbers of imported commodities, dry bulk freight rates remain very low. This demonstrates the serious problem of the current market conditions for dry bulk shipping.


The prices offered to owners who wanted to sell their ship for demolition in the past year were very disappointing. All of the shipbreaking nations have been offered cheap new Chinese steel and accepted the offers. This floored the prices for scrap steel in nations that used to rely on it for around 80% of their steel demand.

Nevertheless, the freight market remains the most significant factor behind the decision to scrap a ship or continue trading. During 2016, BIMCO forecasts that dry bulk shipping capacity of 40 million DWT will be sold for demolition, making 2016 the busiest year on record for shipbreaking.


Despite devastating market conditions in 2015, “only” 30 million DWT were demolished. Considering the factors mentioned above, this illustrates that the pool of ready-to-break ships is not vast, but even a modest improvement in the freight rates causes demolition to halt.

Limiting the inflow of new capacity into the market going forward also requires a low level of new orders to be placed. In that sense, 1.4 million DWT of new capacity ordered during Q4-2015 is just what is needed. For 2015 as a whole, 17.7 million DWT was ordered. The lowest amount since 2001. Hopefully, 2016 will see even lower dry bulk tonnage being ordered.


If the CISA (China Iron & Steel Assoc.) forecast for a drop in steel production from 806 million tons to 783 million tons in China becomes reality, less iron ore is needed. Depending on the required mix of domestic/imported ore, shipping will be affected. China remains the key driver of the dry bulk market, for better or worse. Volumes are still huge but growth rates are likely to be very low and probably negative for some commodities.

BIMCO forecasts coal imports into both India and China will go down in 2016, following the trend of 2015.Volume losses into India in 2015 were not originally predicted. This went against a multiyear growth trend over the previous years. But, the domestic coal production rose on the back of some political decisions, which seem to work against dry bulk imports.

2016 is also likely to see a return of India to the iron ore export market – something that will be a positive for seaborne demand if market share is taken from Australian exporters, but a negative if it limits Brazilian Asia-bound exports.

For the coming months: January-April, BIMCO expects transported volumes to diminish as they traditionally do from the fourth quarter to the first. This increases a fundamental imbalance as the delivery of new ships in recent years has followed the opposite pattern. That is more new ships are being delivered early in a new year rather than late in the year just about to end, achieving the newest “year of built” for the record. As we move into the second quarter the downward pressure should ease somewhat.

BIMCO remains worried about the sustainability of freight rates in 2016. The demand side seems unable to buoy profits as both Chinese and Indian growth cools off and the rest of the world is still importing smaller volumes than before the financial crisis of 2008.

A new record of shipbreaking volumes in 2016 could limit fleet growth to just 10 million DWT, so in fact “all we need” is an increase in transported volumes to around 60 million tons to balance out the inflow. As little as this may seem, growing from a base of 4,700 million tons – it can prove to be a high bar to jump before we start eating into the significant oversupply of ships.

Source: g captain. 22 January 2016

130 killed at ship-breaking yards in 10 years:

Fatalities of workers at ship-breaking yards continue unabated as the employers are reluctant to train the workers properly for the hazardous job and equip them with necessary safety gears, experts and observers have alleged.

They also blame the government for lax enforcement of laws against the yard owners.

In the latest accident, a worker was killed when a heavy plate fell on his head at Asadi Steel Enterprise at Madam Bibir Hat of Sitakunda on January 19. Injured Akkas Mia, 42, was taken to Sitakunda Upazila Health Complex where the on-duty doctors pronounced him dead. A case was lodged with Sitakunda police.

According to the Young Power in Social Action (YPSA) – an NGO working to uphold the rights of the ship-breaking workers, at least 130 workers were killed while several hundred others injured at the ship-breaking yards in the last decade.

On September 5 last year, a total of eight workers sustained grievous injuries from a deadly accident. Of them, four succumbed to their injuries while undergoing treatment at the Burn and Plastic Surgery unit of Chittagong Medical College Hospital.

On April 3, 2014, four workers were killed and three others injured from inhaling carbon dioxide when a gas cylinder exploded at a ship-breaking yard in Sitakunda.

According to the YPSA, the workplace casualty occurs as most of the ship-breaking yards hardly follow the occupational safety standards. Analysing the accidents that took place over the last 10 years, it has been found that the workers in many cases died from explosions or after coming into contact with toxic substances in the ships waiting to be scrapped.

Inhaling toxic substances like carbon dioxide and falling from vessels (which are up to 70 metres high) with no safety harness on are the major causes of workplace accidents in the ship-breaking industry, the YPSA said, adding that in some cases the workers are crushed under falling steel beams and heavy plates in the yards.

The ship-breaking industry boomed in the country in 1980s. As per the Bangladesh Ship Breakers’ Association data, there are around 40 ship-breaking yards along the 25km strip in Sitakunda coastal area of Chittagong. At present, around 2 million tonne large oil tankers, cargo and passenger vessels are dismantled every year in the ship-breaking yards.

“Most of the workers in the ship-breaking yards are sourced by the contractors from poverty-stricken areas of the country. Later they become easy prey to exploitation by the yard owners. The accidents take place since the yard owners hardly pay any attention to maintain occupational safety measures,” said Muhammad Ali Shahin, programme officer of the YPSA.

Although the government announced ship-breaking as an industry in 2011, the workers are still denied their inalienable rights to form or join trade unions.

“The owners cannot shrug off their liabilities as they are engaging untrained workers in the risky jobs without ensuring adequate safety measures,” added Shahin.

Tapan Datta, convener of Ship-breaking Workers’ Trade Union Forum, also blamed the owners for the recurring accidents at the yards.

Mohammad Mamun, general secretary of Bangladesh Trade Union Sangha, Chittagong, alleged that many yard owners do not abide by the minimum wage structure set by the government.

Amzad Hossain Chowdhury, vice-president of Bangladesh Ship Breakers’ Association, however, claimed that the number of workplace casualties was coming down gradually as the ship-breakers were complying with all necessary safety measures.

“We have a centre to impart training to the workers. We also provide the workers with Personal Protective Equipment such as safety helmets, eye shields, gloves, boots and overall protective equipments through the contractors,” he said.

“Under the aegis of our association, we have also set up a hospital with a fully-fledged Burn Unit for providing treatment to the workers,” he added.

When contacted, Abdul Hyi Khan, deputy inspector general of the Department of Inspection for Factories and Establishments, said that they would go tough against the ship-breakers who refuse to comply with the stipulated safety standards.

Source: Dhaka Tribune. 23 January 2016

26 January 2016

Govt earns Tk1.518b from ship breaking sector:

The government has earned Tk1.518 billion as revenue from the ship breaking sector at Shitakundu in the 2014-2015 financial year.

Finance Minister Abul Maal Abdul Muhith disclosed this while replying to a question from treasury bench member Didarul Alam in the Jatiya Sangsad Monday. The total revenue income include Tk0.97 billion as income tax from 53 ship breaking organisations and Tk0. 55 as Value Added Tax (VAT) from 81 organisations in the same financial year, Muhith said, according to BSS.

Source: the financial express. 25 January 2016

25 January 2016

Record shipbreaking volumes likely in 2016:

Both BIMCO and Clarkson agree that this year will be a record one for shipbreaking volumes.

“With an expected tidal wave of tonnage on the horizon, it would appear that the market has still not reached a ‘bottom’ level. We have already seen about ten Panamax and Capesize units sold for recycling this year, and it looks like 2016 could be another record breaker,” shipbroker Clarkson said in a weekly report.

Shipowner body BIMCO echoed the sentiment in a recently released market report that states 2016 will likely be “the busiest year on record for shipbreaking” of dry bulk vessels, with a capacity of 40m dwt to be sold for demolition, compared to last year’s 30m dwt total.

Separately, Deutsche Bank has just issued a report suggesting that scrapping in the dry bulk sector will likely surpass the number of ships sent to breakers in 1986 to set a new record this year.

With a huge variation in prices, it is difficult to find a firm level of where the market lies, Clarkson stated. “With price fluctuations almost every hour, it has been difficult for brokers to provide guidance to sellers on the possible price for their available tonnage,” the broker added.

Scrap prices are reported by BIMCO as”very disappointing”, thanks in large part to South Asian nations now taking cheap new Chinese steel rather than relying on scrap.

Owners are fighting historically bad dry bulk markets with the Baltic Dry Index plunging to record lows in the first few weeks of 2016. As well as torching ships, more and more bulk carriers are being laid up. Brokers tell Splash the number of idled capesizes could surpass 100 vessels soon.

Source: 25 January 2016

BIMCO: Dry Bulk Scrapping to Hit Record 40m DWT in 2016:

BIMCO: Dry Bulk Scrapping to Hit Record 40m DWT in 2016

BIMCO says it is anticipating 2016 to be "the busiest year on record for shipbreaking" of dry bulk vessels, with a capacity of 40 million deadweight tonnage (DWT) to be sold for demolition, compared to last year's 30 million DWT total.

BIMCO disclosed the news in its analysis of the 2016 dry bulk shipping market to date, which it describes as "miserable" and believes could get worse depending on factors such as domestic steel consumption in China.

BIMCO says the prices offered to owners selling their ships for demolition have been "very disappointing" and are due to shipbreaking nations accepting cheap new Chinese steel – which consequently reduced what used to be an 80 percent reliance on scrap for their steel demands.

However, BIMCO states that "the freight market remains the most significant factor behind the decision to scrap a ship or continue trading."

It also notes that the pool of ready-to-break ships is not vast, "but even a modest improvement in the freight rates causes demolition to halt."

In acknowledging that limiting new capacity inflow requires a low level of new orders, BIMCO hopes that less dry bulk tonnage will be ordered in 2016 than the 17.7 million DWT ordered in 2015, the lowest amount since 2001.

BIMCO concludes its analysis by stating that a new record of shipbreaking volumes in 2016 could limit fleet growth to just 10 million DWT, "so all we need is an increase in transported volumes to around 60 million tons to balance out the inflow.

"As little as this may seem, growing from a base of 4,700 million tons – it can prove to be a high bar to jump before we start eating into the significant oversupply of ships."

Earlier this month, BIMCO predicted the dry bulk supply to only grow by about 2 percent this year, while demand remains level.

Source: ship and bunker. 25 January 2016

Gujarat: Shipbreakers at Alang criticise new policy as charges shoot up to 35%:

Gujarat: Shipbreakers at Alang criticise new policy as charges shoot up to 35%

Summary: In lieu of the serviced land made available to shipbreakers on lease basis, the government through its arm Gujarat Maritime Board (GMB) collects plot rentals, development charges, LDT charges and water charges from shipbreakers. Though the overall policy is a balanced one, the increase in charges levied on us is perhaps the most sore part of the policy. Members of the Ship Recycling Industries Association (SRIA) said the increase in fees is untimely, considering that business at Alang is currently at a six-year-low. The charges have gone up by 25-35 per cent and this is a burden on us. Both these charges will increase 10 per cent annually.

Business at Alang is at a six-year-low. File Business at Alang is at a six-year-low. File At a time when the world’s largest ship-breaking yard at Alang fights for survival, a new ship recycling policy announced by the Gujarat government has come in for criticism from shipbreakers who are staring at a possible increase in expenditure in form of rentals and fees. Though the new notification makes it flexible for shipbreakers to resize, realign and readjust their plots as per the requirement and size of ship, the bone of contention has been the proposed increase in government charges that stands raised by as much as 35 per cent.

Members of the Ship Recycling Industries Association (SRIA) said the increase in fees is untimely, considering that business at Alang is currently at a six-year-low. The shipbreakers, however, did not oppose the provisions that make them accountable for any possible environmental damage that old ship might create and the increase in the compensation paid to families of laboureres in case of fatal accident at work. “The rates have been increased at a time when our business is passing through a recessionary phase. The charges have gone up by 25-35 per cent and this is a burden on us. A 5 or a 10 per cent hike would have been bearable.

Source: nyoooz. 24 January 2016

23 January 2016

Lowest ever container ship growth expected in 2016

This year’s capacity growth will be the lowest ever recorded for the global container shipping fleet, according to Alphaliner, welcome news for an industry already buried under a deluge of excess vessels that cannot be filled.

The analyst expects the fleet capacity to grow by 4.6 percent in 2016, with fewer new buildings and a rising level of scrapping. This combination of fewer deliveries and greater numbers of ships being demolished will add less than 1 million 20-foot-equivalent units to the global fleet.

In percentage terms, fleet growth is lower than the previously smallest year-over-year rate of 5.5 percent recorded in 2009 and well below the 10.3 percent average annual growth rate recorded since 1990.

The record low fleet growth follows last year’s record high when 1.72 million TEUs of capacity were delivered. Deliveries this year are expected to reach 1.25 million TEUs, but Alphaliner noted that continued slow demand could see owners delaying some deliveries or even cancelling some orders altogether, particularly at financially troubled yards. Scrapping and other deletions is expected to account for about 350,000 TEUs.

Yet even with the moderating capacity growth, Alphaliner said the supply-demand equation remained heavily imbalanced because of the surplus ships carried over from 2015 and weak cargo demand growth.

“Any positive impact of the lower fleet growth, as far as a market equilibrium is concerned, would only become apparent if the capacity overhang were cleared,” the analyst wrote in its weekly newsletter.

“With the current idle container ship fleet running at 1.35 million TEUs, or 6.8 percent of the total fleet, it would require a few more years of low fleet growth before the supply-demand imbalance recedes.”

There is little sign of action on the demand side. The traditional surge in volumes in the few weeks before Chinese New Year has yet to happen with just two weeks until the long holidays begin. A planned Jan. 15 general rate increase looks like it was scrapped by the carriers and spot rates on Asia-Europe were down 21 percent last week.

Compared to last year, Asia-U.S. West Coast spot prices last week were down more than 30 percent and rates to the East Coast were 44 percent below the same week last year.

“There are no signs of any strong market demand during the pre-holiday period, with carriers starting to cut spot freight rates from China again, giving up part of the gains achieved from the Jan. 1  general rate increases,” Alphaliner said.

Source: joc.com. 22 January 2016

Recycling and bridge procedures guidelines published:

In the wake of EU regulations and the forthcoming IMO convention, shipping companies were being urged to use the recently launched ‘Transitional Measures for Shipowners Selling Ships for Recycling’ guidelines.

‘Transitional Measures’ – researched by an inter-industry working group led by the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) – was developed to help shipowners ensure, to the greatest extent possible, that their ships will be recycled at facilities that are compliant with the standards enshrined in the IMO Hong Kong Convention, in advance of the global regime entering into legal force. 

The measures set out detailed advice on the preparation and maintenance of inventories of hazardous materials, as required by the IMO Convention and a separate new EU regulation, which has already entered into force and which has implications for non-EU ships calling at EU ports. The Guidelines also address measures, which shipping companies are strongly recommended to take now when selling ships for recycling.

“The industry accepts its responsibility to promote the safe and environmentally sustainable disposal of ships in the world’s ship recycling yards, the majority of which are located in developing countries,” said ICS secretary general, Peter Hinchliffe. “Adherence to these ‘Transitional Measures’ should be seen as a sign of good faith prior to the entry into force of the IMO regime. But they will also help companies avoid falling foul of the separate EU ship recycling regime, which started to take effect on 31st December and which is also relevant to ships flying non-EU flags.”

The Guidelines were originally issued by the industry immediately after the adoption of the Hong Kong Convention in 2009, and have now been expanded to take account of subsequent detailed guidance issued by IMO.

“The Transitional Measures demonstrate that the shipping industry is playing its full part. It is disappointing that after six years the Hong Kong Convention has still only been ratified by a handful of IMO member states. Governments need to make this a far more urgent priority if they are serious about improving conditions in ship recycling yards on a global basis,” Hinchliffe warned.  

In addition to the ICS, these guidelines were developed with help from IACS, BIMCO, IPTA, Intercargo, Intertanko, OCIMF and the ITF. They are also supported by the Asian Shipowners’ Forum and the European Community Shipowners’ Associations (ECSA), the latter being closely engaged in the discussions concerning the adoption and implementation of the EU Regulation.

In addition, the fifth edition of the ‘ICS Bridge Procedures Guide’ will be published in February, 2016, the chamber said.

Widely acknowledged as the principal industry guidance on safe bridge procedures, the ICS claimed, the ‘Bridge Procedures Guide’ is used by Masters, watchkeeping officers, companies and training institutions worldwide.

The updated edition covers internationally agreed standards and recommendations adopted by the IMO and also addresses the 2010 amendments to the STCW Convention, introducing enhanced Bridge Resource Management training for all officers in charge of the navigational watch.

Additional features include additional bridge and emergency check lists, including for ECDIS.

The full list price will be £135 per copy, although payment will not be taken until the Guide is published. Companies that are members of ICS national shipowners’ associations are eligible for a 20% discount on the advertised price. Discount order forms can be obtained from ICS member associations. 

Source: tanker operator. 22 January 2016

NGO Shipbreaking Platform publishes South Asia Quarterly Update #8

Brussels, 21 January 2016 - The NGO Shipbreaking Platform publishes today the eighth South Asia Quarterly Update, a briefing paper in which it informs about the shipbreaking industry in Bangladesh, India and Pakistan. Providing an overview of vessels broken on the beaches of South Asia, accidents, recent on-the-ground, legislative and political developments including our activities in South Asia we aim to inform the public about the negative impacts of substandard shipbreaking practices as well as positive steps aimed at the realisation of environmental justice and the protection of workers’ rights.

(Pictured: Representatives of Platform member organization BILS visit workers severely injured at Shitol Enterprise at the Chittagong Medical College Hospital)

In this edition you will find out about the appalling accident record of the shipbreaking yards in Bangladesh in 2015. Very unfortunately, the New Year has already seen its first fatal accident in the shipbreaking yards of Chittagong. Our Bangladeshi member organisation OSHE Foundation recently published a Bengali language documentary highlighting some of our major concerns regarding occupation health and safety in the yards. In the last quarter of 2015, 150 large commercial vessels were sold for breaking, 104 of these were beached in South Asia. 

Source: ship breaking platform. 21 January 2016

22 January 2016

Signed up, locked up, laid-up:

STOCK markets may be collapsing around our ears, with the oil price following suit, but the business of moving things from one place to another on ships goes on. Overcapacity in the container sector gets a strong look in this week, along with a stirring giant at the IMO, a union tussle down under and an expected sentence in long running case of the Seaman Guard Ohio.

Too big, too late
Recent ratifications of the Ballast Water Management Convention has brought the total percentage of the world fleet represented by signatories so close to the entry into force trigger of 35% that the IMO has had to go away and check its numbers. While the IMO checks on fractions of percentages here and there, the world’s largest ship registry is stirring, and may well place its 330m dwt mass behind the BWMC. Craig Eason has the details in Panama plans ratification of ballast water and ship recycling conventions.

Sentencing surprise
The crew of the Seaman Guard Ohio have endured a series of highs and lows since their vessel was intercepted in October 2013, and the 35 men on board were arrested. At one stage hope shone in the form of a judge quashing charges against the crew, leaving them free to return home. The crew remained tangled in the local Indian politics of the case though, as local police refused to return travel documents to them while an appeal was brought, a move seen as a breach of the individual human rights of the men by Human Rights at Sea. Gary Howard ‘s Five years' hard labour for Seaman Guard Ohio crew details the latest court decision affecting the crew, the reactions of the charities and authorities involved, and the next move in securing the release of the crew.

Tools down Down Under
Australia’s maritime unions have a history of conflict, and a move by Svitzer Australia to combine the three separate Enterprise Agreements covering the masters, engineers and deckhands on its tugs into one document threatens a return to tension. Australian ports hit by Svitzer tug strike action is a piece first published on Lloyd’s List Australia by Jim Wilson and has the where, when and why on the industrial action. Both Lloyd’s List and Lloyd’s List Australia have subsequent updates on the story, and more are sure to follow.

Bigger losses...
Last week we opened the year with news that box lines will have to idle record numbers of vessels to revive rates, and this year Katherine Espina has the jolly news that Container industry losses to widen to over $5bn in 2016, Drewry estimates.

... on fewer boxes
Janet Porter takes the final spot in the list, with even more data on the new realities for container shipping. No respite for Asia-Europe trades as volume decline continues is a look at the main global routes and indices with information on the ups and downs of both volumes and freight rates, and what lies ahead as new vessels continue to enter the fleet.

Source: Lloyds list. 15 January 2016

ClassNK issues SoC to two additional ship recycling facilities in India

Japan-headquartered classification society ClassNK has issued Statements of Compliance (SoC) to two ship recycling facilities in Gujarat, India.

Shree Ram Vessel Scrap Pvt. and Leela Ship Recycling Pvt. have been verified in line with the Hong Kong International Convention for the Safe and Environmentally Sound Recycling of Ships, 2009 (HKC).

Both recycling facilities have carried out substantial improvements to their facilities in a bid to create safer and green ship recycling.

As well as this they have developed the Ship Recycling Facility Plans (SRFPs) required for a competent authority’s certification according to the HKC.

Shree Ram and Leela were reviewed and ClassNk confirmed that their processes follow the respective SRFPs in addition to conducting on-site inspections before issuing the SoC.

The SoC was issued based on purely technical verifications of the facilities by ClassNK, as well as encouraging safe and environmentally sound ship recycling in accordance with the HKC.

Source: maritime journal. 15 January 2016

Shipbreaking workers in peril:

Proper safety measures, monitoring needed

In this paper we have written many times about the hazardous working conditions at shipbreaking yards. Regrettably, there has been very little progress in ensuring safety measures for the workers. According to an estimate, in the last five and half years 60 workers were killed and another 125 injured in accidents at the yards.

Though there is a clear directive that all ships must be cleaned of toxic materials before they are exported to ship recycling yards, it is hardly followed in Bangladesh. The workers are exposed to poison contamination and explosion of leftover gas and fumes which are the prime causes of accidents in the yards. According to international rules, workers must use personal protective equipment (PPE) at works but it is alleged that many companies do not provide adequate safety gears. Furthermore, owners usually hire unskilled workers who do not have training on shipbreaking works and are unaware of safety measures. Owners also do not allow workers to exercise their rights. These malpractices ultimately result in frequent accidents and high casualty numbers.

There are High Court directives and government safety guidelines on shipbreaking, but very little is being implemented due to owners' apathy and lax government monitoring system which also suffers from acute shortage of inspectors. There are only two inspectors in Sitakunda for around 100 shipbreaking yards in the Upazila.

The government should gear up the monitoring mechanism of the yards and ensure safety of the workers. There should also be a probe into the accidents by independent inquiry committees and the persons responsible should be taken to court for their sheer disregard for workers' lives.

Source: the daily star. 21 January 2016

Tanker Sector Can't Rely on Scrapping to Keep Market Balanced:

In its latest Tanker Opinion, Poten & Partners Inc. (Poten & Partners) says that while tanker owners are currently "doing well" and will enjoy a strong market throughout 2016 as high crude production continues to require transportation, "after this year, we foresee weakening freight rates as deliveries increasingly affect tonnage supply and oil inventories start to wind down."

When that inevitable market decline comes, Poten & Partners argues that scrapping alone will not be enough to keep the market in balance.

While the global tanker orderbook is not excessively large in historical terms, the partners say it will still require a sizeable demand increase to maintain a balanced market in the coming years.

However, due to the 2004-2008 commodity boom, the fleet is fairly modern: of the current VLCC fleet of 653 vessels and 128 on order, 26 are about to turn 20 years old and could be scrapping candidates.

Scrapping candidates for the 594 crude tanker Aframax fleet (with an orderbook of 92 vessels) is 45 in number, and the 426-tanker Suezmax fleet (with 129 new vessels on order) has 21 scrapping candidates.

Even though many of these vessels will need to undergo a special survey within the next few years (which often compels owners, faced with spending millions of dollars in upgrades, to choose demolition as an option), Poten & Partners believe a relatively small number of vessels will be sent to the scrap yard.

"Based on the profile of the fleet, it does not look like there are enough scrapping candidates to offset the deliveries and quickly support the [weakening freight] rates," Poten & Partners concludes.

Last September, Poten & Partners predicted that tanker fleet expansion will "pick up a bit in 2016."

Source: ship and bunker. 21 January 2016