Date: May 17, 2013
From remote-controlled ships to mine-hunting exercises these are the stories that have caught our eye this week.
Ships of the future could be made of plastic and controlled from land – At the latest Lloyd’s List Summit, audiences were told that vessels will look very different within 20 or 30 years’ time, with widespread use of alternative materials and sweeping advances in automation that will see remote-controlled ships come in a matter of time. Rolls-Royce marine vice-president of innovation Oskar Levander said that although change was inevitable over the next decade or two, it would not come in one large increment but step by step. Skyrocketing fuel prices were likely to encourage innovative ideas. These include developments in wind power and in harvesting wave energy. The industry was encouraged to look at ways to make shipbuilding a continuous process, rather than the multiple discreet processes it currently takes. In a later contribution, Mr Levander highlighted the need for greater automation and maybe even remote control. He said there was no reason why simple ships, such as cross-river ferries, should not be operated remotely. International Association of Classification Societies chairman, Tom Boardley pointed out that although technology had relieved airline pilots of the need to undertake routine navigation, passengers took comfort in having a human presence in the cockpit. Mr. Levander argued that automation did not necessarily mean removing the human element.
Date: May 10, 2013
From a growing shipping market to “Britain’s Atlantis,” these are the stories we’ve been catching up on this week.
Surge in Orders for New Cargo Vessels – A recent surge in new orders for some of the world’s biggest cargo ships has provided a glimmer of hope for the global shipping market, according to the Wall Street Journal, which has suffered from excess capacity and decline in trade. This week, China Shipping Container Lines (CSCL) signed a US$683 million deal for five new container ships. When completed, the ships will be the largest of their kind afloat, with a capacity to carry 18,400 standard container boxes. Whilst there will be concerns that further new orders will exacerbate the problem of excess capacity, Lloyd’s List reports that CSCL is seeking to increase vessel size to reduce costs, whilst holding down total capacity by returning or scrapping older, less fuel efficient vessels. The agreement follows recent orders from China Shipping’s sister company for six natural gas carrying ships, as well as U.S.-based shipowner Seaspan Corp.’s plans to buy as many as 14 large container ships. Tim Huxley, chief executive at Hong Kong shipper Wah Kwong Maritime Transport, expects an upturn in the shipping market starting in 2014. The shipping industry has seen container freight rates stabilise on routes between Asia and the U.S. and within Asia, emphasising the strength of those regions. China recorded a 71% year-over-year jump in new ship orders in the first quarter, recovering from the industry’s 44% fall in new contracts in 2012, according to the China Association of the National Shipbuilding Industry.
Date: May 9, 2013
The renowned Sea Asia 2013 Conference took place in Singapore, with an estimated 14,000 maritime professionals taking the opportunity to join the debate and discussions about the big issues shaping the future of the industry, not just in Singapore and Asia, but around the globe. Of course, with the transition to e-navigation in full swing, the UK Hydrographic Office was also there to provide guidance to shipping companies facing the requirement to not only install ECDIS on their vessels but also to implement supporting policies and procedures.
Date: May 3, 2013
This week, Polar news has taken the spotlight. From Arctic islands named after hydrographers to the first Arctic sea-ice maps, these are the stories we’ve been catching up on this week.
Antarctic islands named after hydrographers – According to Hydro International, the UK Antarctic Placenames Committee has named islands in the British Antarctic Territory after well-known hydrographic surveyors active in the IHO, like Willett Island, Gorziglia Island and Lambert Island. Also Taunton, hometown of the UKHO, has been honoured with an island being named after it. With so much to discover, hydrographic surveyors are making major contributions to maritime exploration and mapping. This is a wonderful way of recognising all their hard work. Other islands have been named after Bath and Cricklewood, towns with UKHO history, as well as Queen Elizabeth II and Neville Mann, a South Pole surveyor. For the full list and explanations, please visit the UK Antarctic Placenames Committee’s website.
Date: April 26, 2013
From the search for maritime entrepreneurs to tidal lagoons, these are the stories we’ve been reading this week.
Ocean Exchange seeks entrepreneurs to submit solutions – Hydro International has reported that the third annual Ocean Exchange has selected the theme of LEAP TO ZERO+ as it continues its search for entrepreneurs from around the globe with innovative solutions to the world’s most pressing problems. Solutions submitted should have the potential to generate economic growth and increase productivity while reducing the use of nature’s resources and waste production. This year’s competition boasts two monetary awards—The Gulfstream Navigator Award and The WWL Orcelle Award, both of which offer a USD100,000 award. The Gulfstream Navigator Award 2013 will be given to the solution that best demonstrates the greatest potential to LEAP TO ZERO+ with applicability across multiple industries generating positive impact on the environment, economics, and health while respecting cultures around the world. The WWL Orcelle Award 2013 will be given to the solution that makes shipping and logistics more sustainable by advancing zero-emissions marine transport and technologies that are commercially viable. For more details on how to enter, visit www.oceanexchange.org.
Date: April 19, 2013
From Mediterranean maritime cooperation to bay sediment dynamics, these are the stories we’ve been reading this week.
Mediterranean blue economy: enhancing marine and maritime cooperation – This week Maria Damanaki, European Commissioner for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, Philippe de Fontaine-Vive, Vice-President of the European Investment Bank (EIB), and Andrew Winbow, Assistant Secretary-General of the International Maritime Organization (IMO), met in Athens, Greece, for the 12th Facility for Euro-Mediterranean Partnership and Investment (FEMIP) Conference. They affirmed their commitment to work in partnership to support a blue and sustainable economy in the Mediterranean region and to maximise maritime cooperation across all bordering countries. The IMO has a worldwide mandate to provide for the adoption of the highest practicable standards in maritime safety, security, efficiency of navigation and prevention and control of marine pollution caused by ships. Andrew Winbow of the IMO stated: “It is clear that maintaining and enhancing, where possible, the quality and sustainability of the environment is a key issue…Two key areas of action seem to be vital: education, training and promulgation of information and some form of monitoring and oversight to ensure that the policies and practices required to be met are adhered to and implemented effectively. In this regard, the greater use of technology: satellite surveillance and data collection and the upcoming implementation of e-navigation are both resources that might be used in support of protecting the environment. In conjunction with the relevant EU organisations represented at the conference, IMO stands ready to provide its support to the States in the region to ensure the sustainable future we all seek.”
Date: April 9, 2013
This week sees the shipping industry descend on Singapore for Sea Asia 2013, taking place at the Marina Bay Sands. Getting underway today as part of the renowned Singapore Maritime Week, this is one of the biggest dates in the shipping industry calendar, combining a busy conference schedule with exhibitions, national pavilions and plenty of opportunities for socialising. Over 14,000 maritime professionals are expected to attend, including the UK Hydrographic Office.
Date: April 5, 2013
From the Suez Canal to the exploits of Royal Navy survey ship HMS Scott, these are the stories that caught our eye this week.
Future Prospects to Sail Maritime ‘Trains’ Through the Suez Canal - One of the world’s biggest shipping companies, Maersk Line, recently announced its intention to sail more of their ships through the Suez Canal, instead of the Panama Canal. According to The Maritime Executive, ongoing developments in international trade, such as construction of newer and larger ports in India and Sri Lanka, are affecting international transportation and increasing the amount of maritime tonnage that would sail through the Suez Canal. Interesting, the article also explores the concept of technology that allows multiple ships to be coupled into oceanic ‘trains’. Aided by the lack of locks, extended trains of coupled ships could increase the tonnage and cargo volumes travelling through the Suez Canal, with ‘super-tugs’ simultaneously pushing one ship and towing a second ship of equivalent size. The article suggests that one possible train could be a combination such as ship-tug-ship-tug-ship, whereby two tugs would guide a train of 3-post Panamax size ships.
Date: March 28, 2013
From shipping confidence to marine accident case studies, these are the stories that caught our eye this week.
Shipping confidence levels hit two-year high – Confidence levels across all sectors of the shipping industry are at their highest level in two years, according to the latest survey from international accountant and shipping advisor Moore Stephens. The survey revealed improved expectations of increased freight rates across all sectors in the next 12 months and greater likelihood of new investment. The reasons behind this improvement in industry confidence are varied, but include older tonnage leaving the market, a slow-down in newbuild orders, improved demand for seaborne trade and competitive finance, where it is available.
Date: March 22, 2013
From hydrographic heritage to makeshift harbours here are the stories we’ve been reading this week.
Charting the seas: the Royal Navy’s hydrographic heritage – Naval Technology published an insightful article detailing the Royal Navy’s rich heritage of hydrography and marine surveying that stretches back to the 17th century, with the first survey of the British coast compiled for Charles II. Despite the technological advances of the modern age, the Royal Navy’s hydrographic expertise is as important today as ever before. Dr Gareth Evans discusses the impact of changes and challenges, such as growing demand and piracy, on hydrography and also takes a look at the Royal Navy’s hydrographic role, both past and present.