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Strategic thinking by shipping leaders

RIGHT now, it is difficult for shipping industry executives to think long term. An awful lot is going on, as has been noted in this column in recent weeks.

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Shipping remains a risky business

THERE has been a spate of survey findings landing on my desk recently, including another one from prolific survey instigator BDO.

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High crimes on the high seas

IF you look at the statistics it is possible to say that piracy and armed robbery against ships is becoming less of a problem.

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Shipping business adjusts to winds of change

THIS year has seen more than its fair share of political and economic instability. And high level politics and economic uncertainty have often come together, notably in the US-China trade dispute.

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Bunkers, busts, blame and blockchain

LAST month the World Shipping Council (WSC), BIMCO, the Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA), and the International Parcel Tankers Association (IPTA) asked all maritime countries to strictly enforce the 0.50 per cent global sulphur cap for marine fuel.

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A new look at watchkeeping standards is needed

AT LAST week's International Chamber of Shipping's conference in London, a marketing display by the UK Hydrographic office caught my attention.

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Getting ready for the Fourth Propulsion Revolution

SOMETIMES a phrase emerges that sets the tone for a discussion and gets repeated by almost every speaker. That was the International Chamber of Shipping's (ICS) 2019 Conference, Setting Course for 2050: Powering Global Trade, last week.

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When govts clash, ship crews suffer

A FEW days ago came the welcome news that seven of the crew of the UK-flagged tanker Stena Impero had been released by the Iranian authorities. The ship had been held for several weeks after being seized it in the Strait of Hormuz.

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Shipping business braces itself for new fuel rule

THE PACE of activity is shooting up as the global shipping industry approaches one of its biggest recent challenges. From Jan 1, 2020, all ships will have to meet one of two sulphur-in-fuel caps or comply with the regulations in some other way. The industry has lived with the 0.1 per cent cap in...

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Man overboard!

ON A recent cruise to the Mediterranean on a very large ship I was standing on an open upper deck late in the evening with nobody else around. I soon found my myself wondering what I would do if somebody were to go over the side as we steamed along at 22 knots.

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Are scrubbers really good for the environment?

THERE are two main challenges facing shipping that relate to emissions. In just over four months' time, a global sulphur limit of 0.5 per cent for marine fuels will come into force. That is centre stage right now.

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It's time to act on container fires

FIRE has always been regarded as one of seafarers' deadliest enemies. It is why so much effort goes into coming up with measures to prevent and, if necessary, extinguish fires. Firefighting is an essential part of seafarers' training.

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Of plights, perils, piracy and politics

SEAFARING can, by its very nature, be a dangerous occupation. The sea can be unforgiving when mistakes are made or ships are not really up to the conditions they face.

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Goodbye to energy shipping?

SOMETIMES we collectively miss the blindingly obvious. For quite a while, the shipping industry has been grappling with the idea that it must find its way to a carbon-free future. And we have all been focusing on clever technical solutions for pushing the world fleet around the globe in a zero-...

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Worrying about alarms

ON THE elderly small training vessel which I skipper frequently there are very few alarms. The set-up is still very similar to bridges of the typical merchant ships in the seventies, before the electronic revolution.

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Critical cruising questions

ABOUT 30 million people are expected to take a cruise somewhere in the world this year, up from under 29 million in 2018. The cruise sector now provides a living for over a million employees, afloat and ashore, and pays them a total of over US$45 billion. This year there are 272 ships in...

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Salvors remain busy but revenues disappoint

LAST year, specialist salvage companies, or "salvors", belonging to the International Salvage Union (ISU), carried out 234 operations worldwide, nine less than in 2017. The ISU has just published its annual statistics which show a mixed picture.

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Six months left and counting down to 0.50%

THIS Monday marked the start of the last six months until one of the biggest adjustments the shipping industry has ever been required to make.

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Shipping keeping cool in turbulent times

LAST week, I wrote about the danger of terrorist and piracy attacks on shipping. It is an unsettling scourge for the maritime industry.

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Dangerous times for shipping and seafarers

THOSE of us who can remember the Tanker War in the Middle East Gulf 30 years ago will have been dismayed by the latest news coming from the region.

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Fewer ships lost, but still lots of accidents

LARGE shipping losses are now at their lowest level this century having declined by over 50 per cent year on year, according to insurance company Allianz Global Corporate & Specialty's Safety & Shipping Review 2019. Now one might validly point out that this century is not yet very old...

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Look, no hands? It won't be for a long while yet

LAST night I watched horrified as a news report showed large cruise ship MSC Opera running into the quay at some speed and crashing into a large tourist boat, the River Countess, luckily without sinking her. From press reports, it appeared that five tourists on the smaller vessel were injured,...

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Practical responses to climate change

LAST week's column looked at the political responses to the International Maritime Organization's (IMO) latest meeting considering how to achieve massive cuts in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from ships.

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Getting serious about zero CO2 emissions

IT IS interesting to see how the same event can generate very different reactions. On Friday the most recent, the 74th, session of the International Maritime Organization's (IMO) Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC 74) came to an end after a fortnight of deliberations at the UN agency'...

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Slow progress on recycling

TWENTY years ago, how to dispose of old ships past their useful lives was not really an issue. It was accepted that they would end up on a beach and cut into pieces.