STRAIT TALK

A 'new normal' where scrubbers are history?

THERE can be few board rooms in the shipping and related industries where the main topic for discussion, albeit probably through online meetings, hasn't been the impact of Covid-19 on the company's future.

STRAIT TALK

Covid-19 rule breakers risk setbacks to crew change progress

OVER the past several months, since the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic, the shipping industry's representatives, seafaring unions, the International Maritime Organization (IMO) and seafarers' welfare organisations have been working flat out to persuade governments to allow crew changes in...

STRAIT TALK

Fewer ships lost, but new threats loom

OVER the last forty years or so there has been a remarkable development at sea, although it has gone largely unnoticed by society in general. During that time there have been some terrible accidents. The Estonia, Herald of Free Enterprise, Prestige, Costa Concordia and several more come to mind...

STRAIT TALK

Flexible approach can yield agreement on tackling greenhouse gas emissions

LAST week, Singapore played a significant role at a five-day virtual meeting of International Maritime Organization (IMO) member states.

STRAIT TALK

More collaboration needed for cleaner hulls, cleaner waters

A COUPLE of days ago I watched a television programme which explained how indigenous freshwater crayfish in English rivers were being wiped out by a much larger and more aggressive crayfish that belongs in North America.

STRAIT TALK

Container shipping set to pick up steam, but not all routes lead to recovery

IN THE midst of the bad news stories about Covid-19, it is nice to see a good news story. Singapore's next-generation Tuas Port has the International Association of Ports and Harbors' World Ports Sustainability Award for Community Outreach & Port City Dialogue: Port Development and License...

STRAIT TALK

Patience wears thin on crew change issue

LAST week, the International Transport Workers' Federation (ITF) - the global maritime and transport trades union body - sent a message to all seafarers on commercial ships about their right to go home after their contracted period had finished, even during the current Covid-19 pandemic.

STRAIT TALK

Ominous clouds hang over industrial relations harmony in shipping

IT DOES not seem that long ago that relations between shipowners' organisations and the seafarer unions' global representative body, the International Transport Workers' Federation (ITF) were characterised by continual confrontation.

STRAIT TALK

A digital future for maritime education?

WHILE Singapore Polytechnic's Singapore Maritime Academy continues its work of seafarer training, around the world face-to-face maritime education has largely been paused.

STRAIT TALK

Is going for gas environmentally sound?

AWAY from the very pressing immediate demands of coping with Covid-19 the debate over what should fuel the world's merchant fleet over the next two or the decades continues.

STRAIT TALK

Too long onboard but, perhaps, less time spent working

AS Singapore is a key air and sea hub as well as a major player in all sectors of the shipping industry, the plight of of seafarers stuck on their ships is well known here. Since the beginning of the Covid-19 crisis, this issue has featured several times in this column.

STRAIT TALK

An unexpected consequence of disruptions from Covid-19

BUNKER prices have been volatile over the past several weeks but the overall trend has been clear. Bunkers have become much cheaper.

STRAIT TALK

Some movement on much-needed ship crew changes

THERE are some grounds for cautious optimism that the logistical crisis that has seen many seafarers stuck on their ships for far longer than they should have been is starting to ease. One sign of this is that the number of crew repatriated to the Philippines is increasing.

STRAIT TALK

Cautious optimism on container shipping

JIT SHOULD surprise nobody that cargo, either still in containers or unloaded onto pallets, is building up in warehouses, port terminals and inland depots in Europe and North America. Most of the countries that normally import large quantities of consumer goods are in lockdown and retail demand...

STRAIT TALK

Bunkering set to weather challenging times

WE ALL knew that, from Jan 1 this year, the shipping industry and the bunkering sector in particular would have to cope with the implementation of the International Maritime Organization (IMO) 0.50 per cent maximum sulphur in fuel regulation.

STRAIT TALK

Piracy and robbery are still real dangers

THE world's attention right now may be on combating coronavirus but the oceans' criminals are not heeding the "stay at home" advice. They still see merchant ships and their crews as their prey.

STRAIT TALK

Raising a distress signal for seafarers caught in virus storm

LIVING in a port city means that Singaporeans are more aware of the importance of ships and seafarers than most of of the world's population.

STRAIT TALK

Shipping industry is sailing into rough seas

COVID-19 is now affecting all aspects of the international shipping industry. The cruise sector has almost closed down but as I write, there is still a dreadful situation off Panama on Holland America Line's MS Zaandam. According to reports, four elderly passengers have died of the coronavirus;...

STRAIT TALK

Remembering the seafarers during Covid-19

COMPARED to what is going on in much of the world right now, Singapore has managed to keep a grip on the Covid-19 situation. However a few days ago, the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) issued a Port Marine Circular (No 15 of 2020) which reflected the continued, and worsening,...

STRAIT TALK

Cruising takes a hammering from Covid-19

ON returning at the weekend from a two-week holiday in Egypt, I was expecting to read lots of reports of how the Covid-19 was affecting shipping. But I was not prepared for just how badly the newly termed pandemic was affecting world trade.

STRAIT TALK

3D printing and the future of shipping

THOSE of us who can remember the early days of the container revolution will recall its slow start, which went almost unnoticed. Then suddenly, or so it seemed, the world had changed almost beyond recognition. The once-ubiquitous general cargo ship was on a one-way trip to a breaker's beach, and...

STRAIT TALK: VIRUS OUTBREAK

Shipping must be prepared for wider spread of virus

UNFORTUNATELY, everybody in Singapore is now all too aware of the novel coronavirus that originated in Wuhan, China. The situation has moved on since the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) issued an advisory stating that on Jan 29 there was a confirmed case of a crew member with...

STRAIT TALK

All eyes on next marine fuel deadline

SO FAR, so good seems to be the general consensus a month after the International Maritime Organization (IMO) 0.50 per cent sulphur in fuel limit came into force for the global fleet.

STRAIT TALK

Piracy is still an unacceptable reality

HERE we go again. New year, new attacks on shipping and crews.

STRAIT TALK

How old? New guidelines on age discrimination

A PRESS release from the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) has grabbed my attention. As somebody who first went to sea as a cadet 50 years ago, I was very interested to see ICS has released new Guidelines for Shipowners to Avoid Age Discrimination On Board Ships. It is available free of...