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Daily Briefing September 23 2019

Free to read: Shipping’s deadly liquefaction casualty crisis continues | MSC bids to boost Liverpool | The Middle East bet that paid off | The Lloyd’s List Podcast live from IUMI

Good morning. Here’s our quick view of everything you need to know today.

The Lloyd’s List Daily Briefing is brought to you by the Lloyd’s List News Desk.

What to watch   |   Analysis   |   Opinion   |   In other news




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What to watch


The disappearance of the Indonesia-flagged Nur Allya bulk carrier last month with 25 seafarers on board was just the latest in a deadly list of casualties pinned on cargo liquefaction problems. And yet enforcement of rules and training has continued to be found wanting in the very places it is needed most. In an extended special report, Lloyd’s List asks whether enough is being done to enforce safety standards and stop further liquefaction deaths.

Exclusive: Peel Ports’ Liverpool2 development has taken a while to get off the ground. A new joint venture with Terminal Investments Ltd, MSC’s terminal division, will give it a welcome boost. Details of the deal, which is still in its early stages, remain obscure, but the venture’s existence has been confirmed to Lloyd’s List by sources close to both companies.

For the weary survivors of Southeast Asia’s battered offshore supply vessel sector, salvation has come through resourcefulness and a willingness to work new markets. There are now 135 Singapore-owned OSVs in the Middle East Gulf, second only to the UAE in terms of the owned fleet in the region. For some at least, the OSV market has been the Middle East bet that paid off.


Analysis


For the past five years, Gene Seroka has been a very steady hand as executive director of the Port of Los Angeles, also known as America’s Port. It’s been a testing time for the New Jersey native, who came under fire from a variety of stakeholders, including dockworkers angered by his decision to grant a relatively low-level building permit to another stakeholder, APM Terminals. Mr Seroka sits down with our US west coast correspondent Eric Watkins and tells him why working smarter involves deeper co-operation with all stakeholders.


Opinion


The known unknowns: Container shipping likes stability but seldom finds it. And with geopolitical events driving the news agenda, there is a risk that opportunities could be missed, argues our Containers Editor James Baker.

The Lloyd’s List Podcast: IUMI 2019. The annual marine insurance bun-fight that is IUMI may not be everyone’s idea of a party, but there was a palpable undercurrent of optimism rippling through the actuaries and analysts this year. Our crack squad of risky reporters managed to grab a few words with such luminaries as Nick Shaw, chief executive of the International Group of P&I Club, Astrid Seltmann of Cefor and Lars Lange, IUMI’s Hamburg-based secretary-general.


In other news


Alternative direct lender Aurelius Finance Company has provided financial backing for a buyout of Ardent, the emergency salvage, wreck removal and marine services company. The acquisition will see Ardent’s management team take a significant shareholding in the business and appears to be a step back from the salvage sector for co-owners Svitzer and Crowley Maritime.

Smit Salvage managing director Richard Janssen has been elected as the new president of the International Salvage Union, saying that his goals include promoting “the value and benefit” of members’ services.

Kuwait has raised the security levels at its ports amid brewing tension in the Gulf, while Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates join the latest naval mission in the region.

Glencore Agriculture has joined a blockchain initiative launched last year by other global grain merchants to digitalise transactions globally. The platform is seen as having the potential to revolutionise the industry, making contract execution processes more efficient, more accurate and more transparent.

Specialist offshore marine service contractor POSH Terasea is in trouble after offshore and marine group Ezion ran into financial difficulties. A loan has entered into default, which is secured against five high-capacity anchor handlers on the joint venture's fleet. The vessels are valued at over $6m.

LNG Ltd, Australia, and Singapore’s Delta Offshore Energy Pte Ltd have announced an agreement with Vietnam’s Bac Lieu provincial government to establish a liquefied natural gas-to-power project for the province.

The Port of Jacksonville, Florida, also known as Jaxport, has received more backing to boost its prospects for increased container traffic from Asia, with the state of Florida awarding funds to deepen the harbour and its approaches.

A new online “job placement and networking” platform, Marefind, has been launched for the shipping sector. Marefind’s sponsors claim the platform is unique as it caters for both merchant shipping and yachting, as well as being a two-way tool that can be used by both job-seekers and employers looking to hire seagoing professionals or office staff.

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