By Brian Dunn
The cost of hijacking and corruption
In the film Captain Phillips based on the 2009 hijacking by Somali pirates of U.S.-flagged MV Maersk Alabama, the character played by Tom Hanks is taken hostage for a ransom that was never paid after a tense standoff. Maersk Alabama was also the first American cargo ship to be hijacked in two hundred years.
While hijacking is clearly the most dangerous type of situation facing shipping companies in some parts of the world, there are less severe incidents which still have to be dealt with on a daily basis. One of the most common is bribes to officials at certain ports who can make life difficult and costly if shippers don’t cooperate. (more…)
By Alex Binkley
Fatigued flight, railway and ship crews are a long-standing concern of the Transportation Safety Board and it hasn’t seen enough improvement on the issue to remove it from its watchlist of safety concerns. Board Chair Kathy Fox told a news conference fatigue has been an issue in more than 90 investigations since the TSB was created in 1990. The Board routinely investigates if fatigue was a factor in transportation accidents or incidents, and if it was, it examines whether the operator had measures in place to prevent operations with tired workers. (more…)
By Alexander Whiteman
As the IMO’s sub-committee on Carriage of Cargoes and Containers met in London during mid-September, TT Club is demanding urgent action on container safety. The major problem is mis-declared dangerous goods, it says, and suggests it leads to a major container fire every 60 days on average.
Risk management Director Peregrine Storrs-Fox said: “Achieving integrity across the web of the supply chain is a big ask and we’re in little doubt a comprehensive result will take time to achieve. “However, many industry bodies are making significant strides, particularly in the areas of dangerous goods identification, declaration and handling, as well as container weighing and packing. (more…)
By Mike Wackett
The International Union of Marine Insurance (IUMI) has warned that Solas firefighting regulations for container vessels are “inadequate” – particularly as ships have grown in recent years. IUMI said the regulations were developed for general cargo vessels, where freight is stored openly in holds, and are “not suitable for a modern containership”. It added: “With the growing size of container vessels and a recent spate of fires on board these ships, IUMI is concerned that current firefighting provisions are insufficient.” IUMI listed high-profile examples, including the mid-Atlantic blaze on the 6,732 TEU MSC Flaminia in July 2012, which took the lives of three crew members and resulted in a constructive total loss of the ship.
By Alexander Whiteman
Shipping remains blind to the threat posed by insufficient cyber security. And its continuing failure to address the problem could have a huge economic impact, according to Futurenautics Chief Executive Kate Adamson. She believes the biggest threat is the industry’s critical dependence on technology, which makes it a prime target for cyber criminals.
The federal Minister of Transport, Marc Garneau, and Fisheries and Oceans Minister Dominic LeBlanc, announced on August 11 that, in order to help reduce or eliminate deaths of North Atlantic right whales in the Gulf of St. Lawrence through collisions or other unintentional contacts with commercial vessels, the government is imposing a temporary mandatory speed reduction for vessels of 20 metres or more in length to a maximum of 10 knots when travelling in the western Gulf of St. Lawrence from the Quebec north shore to just north of Prince Edward Island. These measures are in addition to other measures already taken to reduce the possibility of whales becoming entangled in fishing gear.