Tuesday, 30 June 2020

15 crew members of an oil tanker test positive for COVID-19, 2 hospitalised


Mass quarantines in ports of Antwerp and Hamburg | MINERVA OCEANIA ...

Fifteen crew members on board a Maltese-flagged oil tanker have tested positive to COVID-19, and two crew members have been hospitalised, but they are not in a critical condition.

The information was confirmed to Offshore Energy-Green Marine by a spokesperson for the Antwerp Port Authority where Minerva Oceania is moored.

As disclosed, the  COVID-19 affected crew members are isolated in their cabins, and they are being closely monitored and supported by the shipping company, in close collaboration with the Flemish health authorities and the authority Port of Antwerp.

The ship and its crew are expected to remain in quarantine at the port’s Leopold dock until at least Jul 4, when the situation will be reevaluated.

The total number of crew members deployed on board the ship is 26.

Minerva Oceania’s last port of call was Kali Limenes in Crete on June 3. The MR2 tanker was built in 2009 by Onomichi Dockyard and is owned by Greek Minerva Marine, data from VesselsValue shows.

Crew members on board Maersk Idaho test positive for COVID-19

The tanker is the latest one to report the virus outbreak on board. Over the past few weeks, two containership majors Hapag-Lloyd and Maersk reported infections on board their ships.

Based on the latest update, all crew members on board Hapag-Lloyd’s chartered container ship M/V Montpellier have fully recovered and tested negative for the COVID-19 virus.

On the other hand, ten crew members onboard Maersk’s boxship Maersk Idaho tested positive, with nine mariners being asymptomatic.

Maersk Line Ltd. said it will soon begin evacuation of the current crew to a quarantine facility.

The 4,658 TEU vessel, which was last reported to be at anchor near Norfolk, will be sanitised and a new crew placed on board, Maersk said.

DFDS lays off 650 employees

DFDS

Danish ferry and logistics company DFDS will lay off around 650 people in the coming months as part of its measures aimed at adapting to post COVID-19 market conditions.

DFDS currently employs around 8,600 people.

The pandemic has had a crushing effect on the passenger transport sector amid strict travel restrictions and health and safety risks.

In response to the severe drop in demand, DFDS laid up its ferries and suspended two passenger routes to cut costs.

The company said that freight volumes in Q2 have in most areas been above expectations and of the 12 freight carrying ferries laid up in March/April, five have now been redeployed.

One of the passenger routes, Oslo-Frederikshavn-Copenhagen, reopened on 25 June following the opening of borders between Denmark and Norway.

The reopening of the second passenger route, Amsterdam-Newcastle, and the nonessential travel on the English Channel is contingent on an easing of UK and EU travel restrictions.

“Our initial response to Covid-19 has been successful. We now take further steps to restore long term growth and efficiency. At the same time, we continue to monitor new opportunities that may arise”, says Torben Carlsen, CEO of DFDS.

The new wave of measures aimed at adapting to the new market conditions will include combining industry sales of large freight customer solutions, involving both ferry and logistics operations, into one unit to drive sales.

DFDS said that its ferry division would focus on delivering services to freight forwarders and hauliers, and that its port terminal and haulage operations would be optimized.

Passenger concepts have been aligned to changes in travel market dynamics with a higher share of passengers that primarily travel for transport purposes, including holiday travel.

A reshaped and integrated IT and digital organisation, as well as downsizing of various functions, are also being planned.

These initiatives are expected to generate annual cost savings of up to DKK 250 million ($37 million).

In 2020, a positive financial impact of DKK 50-75 million is expected.

The outlook for EBITDA before special items was reduced towards DKK 2 billion ($301 million).

“Uncertainty remains exceptionally high, particularly for passenger travel, and this may still cause the outlook and its assumptions to change significantly in the second half of the year,” the company said.

DP World Southampton welcomes its largest vessel to date


HMM Oslo

The 23,820 TEU HMM Oslo, the biggest vessel ever to call at DP World Southampton, arrived at the port in the early hours of 26 June at the end of her maiden voyage to the UK.

Belonging to a new series of Megamax-24 containerships, the eco-friendly HMM Oslo features a length of 399.9 metres and a width of 61.5 metres. She is longer than London’s The Shard, one of the highest buildings in Europe.

Last week her sister ship, the HMM Algeciras, docked at DP World’s sister port London Gateway in Essex.

These vessels are part of a series of twelve HMM Megamax-24 vessels ordered in 2018 from Daewoo Shipbuilding Marine and Engineering (DSME), and Samsung Heavy Industries (SHI).

The capacities of the two variants are slightly different, with 23,964 TEU for the DSME ships (HMM Algeciras class), and 23,820 TEU for the Samsung ships (HMM Oslo class). 

The HMM Oslo was built by SHI and the HMM Algeciras by DSME — therefore, the Algeciras is slightly larger.

HMM Oslo arrived at Southampton from South Korea,having called at ports in China, Singapore and Rotterdam in the Netherlands.

The boxship departed DP World Southampton on 27 June carrying British exports on her return journey home, via France, Germany, The Netherlands and Singapore.

“The HMM Oslo joins around 200 other container ships that have called at DP World Southampton during the lockdown since March, keeping essential food, fuel and medicines flowing to sustain the country.”

“Our ongoing investment and innovation mean that we are well-placed to support an economic recovery which is not just strong but also green and sustainable,” Schulze added.

“The deployment of these Megamax-24 vessels is a major milestone for HMM, and we are delighted that the first of these to call at Southampton, the HMM Oslo, has arrived this week (26 June),” Peter Livey, Managing Director (Gt. Britain) for HMM, said.

“These Megamax-24 ships are ground-breaking, not just in their size, but in world leading environmental performance too.  Their optimised hull design and highly energy-efficient engines make a significant leap forward in reducing CO2 and other emissions.  

It’s all part of our long-term goal to achieve Net Zero carbon emissions across our container fleet by 2050.”

Felixstowe Docker Purchases Shipping TV



The owner of the Felixstowe Docker, Luke Smout and Local Businessman, Lee Taylor have purchased Shipping TV from renowned Shipping Journalist Chris Gosling.

Shipping TV has played a big part in the Felixstowe Docker over the years, providing professional videos and exclusive news.

Luke Smout, from Felixstowe, discovered that the site was up for sale and quickly snapped it up with Felixstowe Business mentor Lee Taylor in the aim of developing it and benefiting the Felixstowe Docker page too. 

Shipping TV has over seven million hits on YouTube and has a following of approximately 27,000 on various social media channels. 

It is the aim that Shipping TV and the Felixstowe Docker will work collaboratively- So don't be surprised if you spot Shipping TV featuring on Blog posts in the future.






SHIPPING TV NEWS: UK Government Commits to Protect Seafarers and Stabilise Global Markets

The UK Government and the United Nations have committed to protect seafarers by announcing that the UK will host the first International summit on the impact of COVID-19 on crew changes. Over 1.2 million seafarers are currently at sea and over 200,00 are due to change over, including up to 2,000 from the UK


Monday, 29 June 2020

NORTH SEA RO-RO, part 5: Arriving Felixstowe and onto the berth

Aboard DFDS Selandia Seaways, we're just arriving at Felixstowe when we're delayed by a large vessel sailing - Morten Maersk. This is the fifth and final part of our latest part series, filmed aboard this Suecia Seaways outbound, and aboard her sistership Selandia Seaways for this return to the UK. Keep a watch for extra items related to this series!

NORTH SEA RO-RO, part 4: Sailing from Rotterdam on Selandia Seaways

We're aboard Selandia Seaways, and sailing downriver on our return trip to Felixstowe. This is the fourth part of our five part series, filmed aboard this Suecia Seaways outbound, and aboard her sistership Selandia Seaways for this return to the UK. Part 5 online soon, and watch out for extra items related to this series!


NORTH SEA RO-RO, part 3: Sailing into Rotterdam and onto the berth!

After a quick look at Suecia Seaways accomodation, time to enter the New Waterway and sail upriver to the terminal in Rotterdam itself - and to watch a neat example of everyday ship-handling, as the captain swings the ship through 180 degrees, entering the basin and berthing astern. This is the third part of a multipart series, filmed aboard this vessel outbound, and aboard her sistership Selandia Seaways returning to the UK the next day. Part 4 online soon, and still more to come!



NORTH SEA RO-RO, part 2: Meet the Captain + the Engineer's domain!

With the Port of Felixstowe astern, the Captain of Suecia Seaways has time to tell us about his job and the route, and we can take a tour around the ship - from rudder posts to bow thrusters!
This is the second part of a multipart series, filmed aboard this vessel outbound, and aboard her sistership Selandia Seaways returning to the UK the next day.
Part 3 online soon, and more to come!



NORTH SEA RO-RO, part 1: Sailing from Felixstowe

Join Shipping TV aboard DFDS line's Suecia Seaways, a 197.5 metre freight-only ro-ro ferry, making her regular trip to Rotterdam.

This is the first of a multipart series, filmed aboard this vessel outbound, and aboard her sistership Selandia Seaways returning to the UK the next day.


Top 5 INSANE Ships Crashing Compilation (2020)

Friday, 26 June 2020

Belfast to build zero emissions ferries following £60m funding boost

A Belfast Maritime Consortium led by Artemis Technologies has won a £33 million UK Government innovation grant to develop zero emissions ferries in the city, that will revolutionise the future of maritime transport. 
With further investment from consortium partners, the total project investment will reach close to £60m over the next four years, creating an initial 125 research and development jobs, and leading to more than 1,000 in the region over the next 10 years.
The 13 partner syndicate – which is a mix of established and young companies, including Belfast Harbour and Bombardier, academia and local public bodies – is the only Northern Irish or maritime recipient of the UK Research and Innovation flagship Strength in Places Fund.
A spin-off from the America’s Cup sailing team, Artemis Racing, Artemis Technologies is led by double Olympic gold medallist Iain Percy OBE.
Iain said:
“When we launched Artemis Technologies, we decided to base ourselves in Belfast because of the incredible aerospace and composite engineering talent available.
“Belfast’s local expertise coupled with the city’s rich shipbuilding heritage, and our own America’s Cup yacht design experience, will ensure Belfast is the global lead in zero emissions maritime technology.
“For years, we’ve been designing low energy, high performance solutions for some of the fastest yachts on the planet, and we will now utilise that knowledge, and along with our partners, apply it to build the world’s most environmentally friendly high-speed ferries, capable of carrying up to 350 passengers.”
Iain added:
“Our concept for an electric hydrofoil propulsion system is totally unique and will enable vessels of the future to operate with up to 90% less energy, and produce zero emissions during operation.
“As cities across the world seek ways to reduce pollution and ease traffic congestion, the transformative vessels to be produced right here in Belfast, will have a global role to play in delivering the connected maritime transport system of the future.
“This investment from the UKRI Strength in Places Fund is a major endorsement of what we are trying to achieve, which we strongly believe will see Northern Ireland at the centre of the revolution in water transport.”

Welcoming the announcement, First Minister Arlene Foster said:
“We are all proud of Belfast’s maritime and shipbuilding heritage. However, it is even more exciting to look towards a future which can see Northern Ireland once again leading the way with world-class manufacturing and cutting-edge technology.
“I pay tribute to all those involved in the project which demonstrates so clearly the benefits of collaboration between business, academia and government at all levels. This investment can support economic growth locally, but its impact could be felt globally through solutions to more sustainable transport.”
The Belfast consortium brings together a range of established and young firms, academia and public bodies, including: Belfast Harbour, Bombardier Belfast, Northern Ireland Advanced Composites Engineering (NIACE), Creative Composites, Energia, Catalyst, Invest Northern Ireland, Ulster University, Belfast Met, Queen’s University, Belfast, Ards and North Down Borough Council, and Belfast City Council.
Iain Percy
Joe O’Neill, Chief Executive, Belfast Harbour, said:
“As we continue to develop Belfast Harbour as a key economic hub and centre for innovation, we are pleased to partner with Artemis Technologies in this cutting-edge maritime design project which keeps our city firmly on the shipbuilding map. Ambitious collaborative partnerships such as this are key enablers to help unlock groundbreaking technical innovations and this project fully aligns to Belfast Harbour’s vision to become one of the world’s greenest and best regional ports.
“Belfast Harbour is already home to a diverse range of businesses and this collaboration will only see that expand while also creating new pathways to employment and economic growth opportunities within Belfast and beyond.”
Suzanne Wylie, Chief Executive, Belfast City Council added:
“This investment will help our economy recover more quickly, creating jobs and economic prosperity for the city – both key objectives of the Belfast Agenda.
“We are delighted to be working in partnership with such talented, forward thinking colleagues to build the first zero emission ferries here. Belfast has a long history of innovation and it’s hugely exciting to know that once again, we’re on the cusp of a significant engineering breakthrough – one which will position us as pioneers in advanced manufacturing, resilience and transitioning to a low carbon economy.”
Michael J Ryan CBE, Chief Operating Officer, Aerostructures, Bombardier Aviation commented:
“As the largest manufacturer in Northern Ireland, Bombardier Belfast is a centre of excellence for the design, manufacture and aftermarket support of complex metallic and advanced composite aerostructures and therefore can provide a depth of experience, capability and capacity in support of Artemis Technologies.
“Bombardier Belfast is keen to expand into markets that exploit our capabilities/advanced technology and where there are synergies with novel technologies. The Artemis Technologies project, in our view, represents a credible technology path that could provide a technological ‘step-change’ to the maritime sector and passenger transportation.”
UK Research and Innovation Chief Executive, Professor Sir Mark Walport, said:
“UK Research and Innovation funding through the Strength in Places Fund will bring researchers, industry and local leadership together in outstanding collaborative programmes that will catalyse regional excellence and economic growth across the UK.”
Research England’s Executive Chair, David Sweeney, who leads the Strength in Places Fund, said:
“UK Research and Innovation’s flagship Strength in Places Fund is distinctive in specifically targeting investment to foster the local research and innovation ecosystems that can support sustained growth.
“All of these projects have the potential to deliver research and innovation that will transform activity within their target industries, in a way that is deeply rooted in local strengths and well linked to wider local economic plans.
“And, with a second wave of Strength in Places funding already in the pipeline, we look forward to broadening the reach of that impact to further projects in other areas of the country in future.”

Friday, 19 June 2020

MSC ANYA Arrives at the Port of Felixstowe


MSC ANYA (IMO: 9297864) is a Container Ship that was built in 2005 (15 years ago) and is sailing under the flag of Liberia. It's carrying capacity is 5018 TEU and her current draught is reported to be 9.8 meters. Her length overall (LOA) is 294.12 meters and her width is 32.3 meters.

CATHERINE C arrives at the Port of Felixstowe, 19th June 2020

 

CATHERINE C is a Container ship built in 2001 by SAMSUNG SHIPBUILDING & HEAVY INDUSTRIES CO. LTD. - GEOJE, SOUTH KOREA. Currently sailing under the flag of Liberia. Formerly also known as CATHERINE C, LODESTAR, L, NYK LODESTAR. It's gross tonnage is 75201 tons.
Filmed and edited by Luke Smout Felixstowe 

Sunday, 7 June 2020

Port of Los Angeles Adopts $1.5 Billion Fiscal Year 2020/21 Budget



The Los Angeles Board of Harbour Commissioners has approved a $1.5 billion budget for Fiscal Year (FY) 2020/21. The budget is based on expectations of slower cargo volumes in the near term and a continued slowdown in the worldwide economy, due to market uncertainties related to the COVID-19 pandemic and the lingering impacts from the 2019 trade war.

The approved budget lines up with the Port’s 2018-2022 Strategic Plan priorities, with emphasis on long-term investments in the supply chain and Port infrastructure in light of current market conditions.
“Given the unprecedented issues facing the world today and the immediate impact they have had on the economy, we are taking a decidedly conservative approach to formulating this year’s Harbour Department’s budget,” said Jaime Lee, President of the Los Angeles Harbour Commission.
“To best manage through these uncertain times, we focused this year’s revenues and expenditures on the Port’s most urgent priorities—keeping the supply chain moving and investing in Port infrastructure that will assure our competitiveness over the long term,” said Marla Bleavins, the Port’s Deputy Executive Director of Finance and Administration, and Chief Financial Officer.
With cargo volumes projected to be relatively soft through the first six months of FY 2020/21, the approved budget forecasts that cargo volumes will decrease by approximately 15.6% over the previous fiscal year’s adopted budget to slightly over 7.9 million Twenty-Foot Equivalent Units (TEUs). The budget also projects a corresponding year-over-year decrease of 7.9% in operating revenues, with projected receipts totaling $460.1 million. Operating expenses are forecast at $277.8 million.
Budget allocations for infrastructure and Port capital improvement projects (CIP) for FY 2020/21 will enable the Port to continue developing world-class infrastructure for container and cargo terminals; promote the most efficient movement of goods; implement systems to enhance security at the Port; and continue work on projects improving public access to the LA Waterfront.
The FY 2020/21 $163.6 million CIP budget includes continued funding for key terminal upgrades, such as $38.1 million in improvements at the Everport Container Terminal and another $4.8 million designated for the Pasha Terminal.
Among key LA Waterfront public access projects in the approved budget are the San Pedro Public Market at $42.3 million and $9.7 million for related projects at the Wilmington Waterfront Promenade. Security related projects are funded at $7.8 million, which include development of a Port Cyber Resilience Center and an upgraded Port Police Radio System.

Sustainable Shipping: Stena Line Reduces CO2 Emissions



Ferry shipping company Stena Line continues to reduce CO2 emissions and is now ten years ahead of the international shipping targets for reducing emissions. In the newly published sustainability overview “A Sustainable Journey” Stena Line reports a reduction of both total CO2 emissions and per transported ton onboard the ferries. New, larger and more energy efficient vessels, AI assisted captains and an increased punctuality are some important measures.
Despite a tough situation for the ferry industry due to COVID-19 ferry shipping company Stena Line continues its sustainable journey. In the newly published sustainability overview Stena Line presents initiatives, improvements and challenges within the sustainability area as well as give account on the companies ambitious sustainability targets.
During 2019 Stena Line to reduce CO2 emissions and is now ten years ahead of the international shipping targets for reducing emissions. The company reduced the total CO2 emissions with 1,7 %, corresponding to 24 000 tonnes of CO2 in total.
Even more important is that Stena Line continued to improve the efficiency and reduced the emissions per transported ton freight and passenger vehicles onboard the vessels with 3,6% CO2. This means that Stena Line, ten years ahead, already meets the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) targets for 2030 of a 40 % reductions in CO2 emissions efficiency from 2008-2030.  
“We aim to be the leader in sustainable shipping and we have high ambitions. During the last ten years we have improved the efficiency with more than 320 energy efficiency actions onboard and onshore, both technical and operational improvements and investments. The introduction of AI assisted vessels and the delivery of our first new larger and energy efficient vessels that went into operations on the Irish Sea during the spring, are some highlights from last year”, says Erik Lewenhaupt, Head of Sustainability at Stena Line.
Ambition is zero emissions by 2050 
The largest challenge for the shipping industry as a whole and for Stena Line is to reach zero emissions by 2050, in line with international targets.   
“We are currently working in parallel with reducing fuel consumption, and emissions to sea and air and at the same time exploring and evaluating the fuels for the future. We are currently involved in several projects with alternative fuels and propulsion, including the world’s first methanol powered vessel and a battery project with the aim of launching a fully battery powered vessel before 2030”, says Erik Lewenhaupt, Head of Sustainability at Stena Line.   
Stena Line’s ‘A Sustainable Journey 2019/2020‘ – Highlights:
  • Reduced our total CO2 emissions with -1.7% as well as -3.6% ton/km, measured by unit transported on our vessels.  
  • Reduced almost all single use plastic onboard and substantially improved share of recycled material in our offices, ports and terminals.  
  • Reduced the use of harmful chemicals and detergents. The newly introduced Stena Estrid and Stena Edda are best in class with 80 % Eco-label chemicals.  
  • Increased the number of female leaders in the company. In total 20 % of managers are females.

Cargo ship damaged after contacting pier, Crete

Cargo ship damaged after contacting pier, Crete

Aggregates carrier MASTRONIKOS contacted pier while berthing at Heraklion port, Crete, Greece, in the morning Jun 3, on arrival from Tsingeli, Greece. 

Bow of the ship was dented and holed above waterline, holes or cracks reportedly, of some 2 centimetres in size. The ship was reported as detained for inspection and repairs, but she left Heraklion in the evening same day, bound for Psara Greece.

Migrants hijack the vessel, threaten the crew and get what they demand

Migrants hijack the vessel, threaten the crew and get what they demand

On June 6, over 400 migrants held offshore on four tourist boats were allowed to disembark in Malta, after migrants on board of one of these boats, EUROPA II, rioted and effectively, hijacked the boat, holding the crew on the bridge, threatening them with stolen knives and giving Malta authorities half an hour to meet their demand of immediate disembarkation. 

They threatened to blow up gas cylinder and start fire on board, as if taking boat under their control and threatening crew weren’t enough, to deliver their message. Malta capitulated, all boats were allowed to enter harbour and disembark all migrants.

Two-Thirds of Factory Trawler's Crew Catch COVID-19

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Concerns of corona virus outbreaks in the Pacific Northwest fishing fleet gained new currency this week with multiple infections aboard the factory trawler American Dynasty. 86 out of the 124 crew members aboard the vessel have tested positive for COVID-19, according to operator American Seafoods. 

In a statement, American Seafoods said that all of the American Dynasty's crew members were tested for COVID-19 before departure, and all of those who sailed tested negative. When the vessel docked in Bellingham to off-load on May 26, one crew member reported symptoms and was taken ashore to be evaluated. 

The individual tested positive for COVID-19 and is now recovering. The firm decided to re-test the entire crew while the vessel was at the dock, and on May 30 it learned that 85 more crew members tested positive. The results are pending for nine additional tests. ??
American Dynasty has now returned to Seattle and is in lockdown. All of her crew members are being placed into quarantine and are under medical monitoring, American Seafoods said. 

The firm says that it has received support and assistance from multiple government agencies in addressing the outbreak. “American Seafoods is cooperating with the U.S. Coast Guard, the CDC, the Seattle/King County Health Department, Whatcom County Health Department, and the Port of Seattle,” said CEO Mikel Durham. 


Bellingham Cold Storage, the facility where American Dynasty offloaded her catch, has initiated its pre-planned COVID-19 response protocol. The firm implemented a two-hour industrial ozone disinfection treatement, then conducted a disinfectant wipedown of all of the spaces that were occupied by workers who had interacted with American Dynasty. 

Those individuals will undergo COVID-19 testing and their temperatures will be taken regularly for the next 14 days. As of Monday, none of the company's workers had developed symptoms, president Doug Thomas told the Bellingham Herald. 

Fate of Livestock Carrier With COVID-19 Remains Uncertain

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The fate of the livestock carrier Al-Kuwait remains uncertain as the crew continues to be in quarantine after having tested positive for COVID-19 and the Australian authorities have refused to permit the loading of its cargo.

The Al-Kuwait arrived in Fremantle, Australia on May 22, reporting “three unwell crew members but none with elevated temperatures or COVID-like symptoms prior to arrival,” according to the Department of Agriculture, Water, and the Environment. Subsequent testing by the Western Australian Department of Health, initially reported six positive results for COVID-19, with those crew members being moved to quarantine onshore.

The Department of Health is now reporting that a total of 20 crew members have tested positive for COVID-19 and are being held in a quarantine hotel. Other crew members were also placed in quarantine due to close contact with members of the crew who had tested positive, leaving the vessel with a skeleton crew. There were also concerns for Fremantle port employees who had handled the vessel’s arrival or of possible community spread of the virus, but to date, the Health Department has not reported any cases of spread beyond the ship’s crew.

The Al-Kuwait had been due to load a livestock consignment consisting of 56,000 sheep and 420 cattle on May 25 and depart Australia on May 26. With the vessel’s crew in quarantine, the ship’s owners filed for an exemption from the Northern Summer Order, a regulation that places a moratorium on the loading and transport of live animals after June 1. The ship’s operators wanted to load the animals before June 15 and sail to reach its destination in the Middle East before the end of the month.

Various organisations ranging from the local livestock producers to animal rights groups responded to the proposed wavier. Australia’s Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment announced its decision on June 2 not grant an exemption to export livestock.

The decision not to permit the export of the animals was hailed by animal rights groups, but has also caused uncertainty in Australia. The animals, which should have been exported, will instead be slaughtered locally causing a variety of isues including the potential impact on Australia’s domestic markets.

At the same time, the fate of the ship remains uncertain. Sanitising has begun while the remaining crew onboard continues to be monitored for the virus. Currently, it appears that the Al-Kuwait will continue to be detained in Australia until at least mid-June after which it may depart without its cargo for a return trip to the Middle East.


Under Australia regulations, the export of live animals is banned during the coming months due to the extreme heat that they would be transported through during the trip. Regulations permit the export of live animals to resume in September, but animal rights groups continue to call for an end to the live export saying that it causes unnecessary suffering for the animals.

BV, DNV GL Launch Infection-Prevention Certifications for Cruise Ships

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Two leading class societies are helping the passenger vessel sector restore operations by rolling out new certifications for infection prevention measures.
Class has played a key role in certifying safety since the Age of Sail, and many class societies have diversified into certification for shoreside sectors as well - like healthcare and hospitality. Both DNV GL and Bureau Veritas have public health-related experience from their work for clients on shore, and both have introduced shipboard infection-prevention certifications that unify that knowledge with their maritime expertise.
Hospital experience comes to shipping
DNV GL is a household name in the maritime industry, but it also has a strong presence on shore. Over the years, it has accredited 630 hospitals through its Healthcare division, and its health industry-oriented infection prevention certification launched six years ago. The new maritime-specific version of this protocol, dubbed CIP-M, is intended as a "hospital grade" risk-based solution for managing infectious disease threats. It is particularly targeted at the cruise and ropax segments, where it may be helpful in reassuring passengers and regulators that the ship is ready for safe operations. 
“CIP-M is unique in that it builds on proven hospital standards but is specifically tailored to the context of passenger vessels, while incorporating national requirements," said Luca Crisciotti, CEO of DNV GL Business Assurance.
As part of the certification process, DNV GL assesses the vessel's sanitation procedures, food preparation and handling, physical distancing measures, crewmember PPE usage, emergency response plans, pre-boarding screening and itinerary or port planning protocols. Continued compliance will be verified with an annual onboard survey. 
Genting Cruise Lines will be the first operator to sign on for CIP-M certification, and it plans to use it first aboard the cruise ship Explorer Dream.
"Genting is taking a lead in a sector so adversely affected by the pandemic and really trying to restore both industry and passenger confidence . . . doing something tangible and something that has proven very useful for the hospital and medical industries," said DNV GL Maritime CEO Knut ├śrbeck-Nilssen in a videoconference Tuesday. 
In keeping with DNV GL's digitalization efforts, each certificate is accompanied by a blockchain-enabled digital authentication mechanism so that regulators and customers can verify the source. Crisciotti said that his division is seeing a rising number of fake certificates in health-related industries - for example, unscrupulous manufacturers modifying certificates to show false information about a product. Blockchain verification allows all parties a secure way to check on certificate authenticity. 
Restarting business
Bureau Veritas (BV) has already launched an infection prevention certification scheme for onshore businesses of all types, from cafes to hotels to manufacturing plants. Its "Restart Your Business with BV" program is now available for ferries, cruise ships and other vessel classes as well. 
"Confidence is critical. 'Restart' provides that confidence. Passengers, the crew and all stakeholders engaged in operations on board, in ports and in transit will be able to see that a ship has been assigned the Bureau Veritas ‘Safeguard’ label. By addressing the real risks, with transparency, the necessary trust and confidence can be fostered to support a safe restart and maintain operations thereafter," said Matthieu de Tugny, President Bureau Veritas, Marine & Offshore.
While intended for the passenger vessel market, the certification could have applicability for other sectors - for example, work boats, OSVs and any ship with frequent crew changes. 

"The Safeguard badge demonstrates an operator has addressed health, safety and hygiene requirements, has properly implemented necessary procedures, has trained the crew and all employees on board and has well agreed procedures with ports and terminals – and, finally, that a BV audit has been concluded satisfactorily," said BV global market leader for passenger vessels Andreas Ullrich. 

Singapore Works With Shipping to Solve the Crew Change Challenge

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Wilhelmsen and Synergy Group have carried out the first crew change under the Singapore Crew Change Working Group (SGCCWG) protocol, a set of guidelines formulated to address the challenges of transferring seafarers in the COVID-19 era. In a carefully planned evolution, 19 new crewmembers flew from Sri Lanka to Singapore, where they relieved the 19-member crew of the bulker Genco Liberty. 

"It is encouraging to see how regulators, industry bodies, customers and indeed competitors now coming together to address such a critical matter, the welfare of seafarers. As port agents, we are committed to supporting the industry in any way we can to get our seafarers home, and new crews redeployed safely and efficiently," said Wilhelmsen Ships Agency EVP Neal De Roche.

The off-going nineteen members of the Liberty's crew will now return home via a chartered flight from Singapore to Colombo, then on to India. Their colleagues - fourteen Sri Lankans and four Indian seafarers who arrived from Sri Lanka early Saturday on the same chartered plane - have signed on aboard the ship.  
  
Unlike the many port states that have banned seafarer travel, Singapore allows crew changes under stringent procedures established by the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA). As an example, the oncoming crewmembers for Genco Liberty were asked to remain in home quarantine for 14 days and test negative for COVID-19 before their chartered departure flight. They were met at the airport by an agent with private ground transportation that complied with safe distancing measures. Face masks - required by Singaporean regulations - were provided for all.

Image courtesy Wilhelmsen
Image courtesy Wilhelmsen

For the crew signing off, an approved doctor certified that they were fit to travel prior to departure. No passenger boats were shared between crew and service technicians. The crew went to the airport in private transport and fresh face masks and hand sanitiser were provided for all before boarding. 

“At Synergy Group we have desperately been trying to conduct crew changes since the outbreak of COVID-19. In early March, we proposed the idea of a safe corridor for seafarers to facilitate crew changes, founded an alliance of leading maritime companies in April to push for collective crew changes and most recently have been one of the participants in the Singapore Crew Change Working Group," said Capt. Rajesh Unni, the founder and CEO of Synergy Group. "By enabling a full complement of Sri Lanka and Indian seafarers to join and disembark . . . [the Singaporean government and MPA] have shown the world that crew changeovers for seafarers of other nationalities are possible even during a pandemic.”
Moving seafarers in India
India has also implemented protocols for crew changes, and the transfer effort is well under way. To date, ship manager Fleet Management Limited has arranged crew changes for over 432 seafarers aboard 34 vessels in 12 ports across India, more than any of its competitors. Including this tally, Fleet has exchanged 1127 crewmembers worldwide, including 609 in China and 84 more in the Philippines. 
“As we navigate the global crisis, we never lose sight of the wellbeing of our seafarers,” said Kishore Rajvanshy, Managing Director, Fleet Management Limited. “While travel restrictions, border control and quarantine measures are posing manifold logistical challenges on crew rotation, our crewing department is working relentlessly to manage crew change as smoothly as possible.”
Fleet says that it is continuing to explore charter flight possibilities to solve the crew change and repatriation challenge. 
“A third of our seafarers are currently working at sea beyond their contractual lengths, but cannot return home due to the travel restriction. This has a direct bearing on their mental wellbeing," said Capt. Prashant Rangnekar, the COO of Fleet's Indian recruitment division, Elegant Marine Services. To help its employees in these challenging times, Fleet has launched a counselling hotline in partnership with Sailor's Society.