Shipping: Does location matter anymore?

For centuries the great port cities analysed in the recent Xinhua-Baltic International Shipping Centre Development Index report were built on the confluence of trade, people and ideas. Centred around ships and the presence of their owners, managers and charterers, maritime clusters steadily grew across Europe, Asia and the Americas. A combination of talent, time-zone, geography, expertise and government policies has helped locations such as Singapore, London and Shanghai thrive. Successful clusters combine the experience and size of established companies with the energy and drive of smaller and start-up firms. Collectively they have consistently delivered innovation, jobs and tax receipts.

But has the successful shift to working from home during the COVID-19 pandemic ruptured the maritime business cluster concept Continue reading “Shipping: Does location matter anymore?”

Australia imposes container fumigation rules for Khapra beetle

With effect from 12 July 2021, the Australian authorities have introduced new fumigation requirements for containers coming from a total of 40 high-risk countries, in a bid to tackle Khapra beetle infestation. The Khapra Beetle has been identified by Australia as a major biosecurity risk. It feeds on grains and other dry foodstuffs, causing damage to the production while also infesting goods with larval skins and hairs that are difficult to remove.

According to data provided by the North P&I Club, containers from 40 designated countries, as listed by the Department for Agriculture, Water and Environment (DAWE), must undergo treatment to prevent the migration of this invasive species – using methyl bromide, heat Continue reading “Australia imposes container fumigation rules for Khapra beetle”

Cargo tank explosion and fire on chemical tanker Stolt Groenland report published

Cargo tank explosion and fire on chemical tanker Stolt Groenland report published
Cargo tank explosion and fire on chemical tanker Stolt Groenland report published

On 28 September 2019, a cargo tank containing styrene monomer on board the MAIC (Maritime Authority of the Cayman Islands) registered chemical tanker Stolt Groenland ruptured due to runaway polymerisation. The catastrophic rupture released a large quantity of vapour to the atmosphere, and it subsequently ignited. Fire-fighting efforts by the emergency services took over six hours and involved more than 700 personnel and 117 units of fire trucks, pumps and fire tugs.

The rupture of the styrene monomer tank resulted from a runaway polymerisation that was initiated by elevated temperatures caused by heat transfer from other chemical cargoes. The elevated temperatures caused the inhibitor, added to prevent the chemical’s polymerisation during the voyage, to deplete more rapidly than expected. Athough the styrene monomer had not been stowed directly adjacent to heated Continue reading “Cargo tank explosion and fire on chemical tanker Stolt Groenland report published”

Three individuals to face criminal charges over 2018 Stretch Duck 7 boat sinking at Table Rock Lake

U.S. Attorney Tim Garrison announces the 17-count indictment of Kenneth Scott McKee
U.S. Attorney Tim Garrison announces the 17-count indictment of Kenneth Scott McKee

The captain of a World War II era duck boat and two other employees at Ride the Ducks Branson have been hit with criminal charges in relation to the sinking of the Stretch Duck 7 on Missouri’s Table Rock Lake in 2018, resulting in the death of 17 people. The Missouri attorney general’s office announced a total of 63 charges against Scott McKee, the boat’s Captain, and Operations Supervisor Charles Baltzell and General Manager Curtis Lanham.

According to a probable cause statement, the Stretch Duck 7 was under the command of McKee when it entered Table Rock Lake on July 19, 2018 during a severe thunderstorm warning and later encountered severe weather and rough winds, causing the boat to take on water and sink. Seventeen people died in the accident, including 16 passengers and one crew member. Continue reading “Three individuals to face criminal charges over 2018 Stretch Duck 7 boat sinking at Table Rock Lake”

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