National Office Message – Upcoming Deadlines

The National Office would like to remind everyone of the National Conference East registration deadlines which are nearly upon us.

Hotel reservations at the host hotel must be made by March 26th to take advantage of the reduced room rates. You may make your hotel reservations by clicking here. You may also call the host hotel at 843.723.6900. Be sure to mention the NAMS Group Code, NMS, to get the reduced rate.

And conference registration must be made by March 29th to take advantage of the reduced conference rate ($445.00 v $495.00). A copy of the registration form is attached to this message. A copy of the conference program is also attached to this message. Additional conference program information will be published as it is received.

Lastly, and to our Surveyor Members, we want to remind you that your 2010 dues must be paid by March 31st. Payments made after that date will incur a 25% surcharge.

NAMS Applicants, New Members, Changes In Status & Committee Assignments

New Applicants
Name Level Region Sponsor
Jerry Wetzler CMS S. Pacific Roby Bessent
Kara Satra CMS C. Pacific Kenneth Moore

Website and Printed Membership Booklet

The WebCom (website & communications committee) wishes to encourage all Surveyor Members to take advantage the Supplemental Information field in the Surveyor Member profile on the NAMS website. Here each Member Surveyor may use up to 125 characters (including spaces, punctuation, etc.) to describe their services, expanded travel areas, or other information they desire to communicate to the website visitors.

For examples of this use, please see the Surveyor Member profiles of Paul Anstey (FL), Norman Antrainer (LA), Michael Baxter (IA), or Tom Benton (OK). The Supplemental Information field might be especially useful for international Surveyor Members to advise website visitors if they travel to neighboring countries. To take advantage of this website feature, just email the national office ([email protected]) with the information you would like in the supplemental information field on your website profile.

Also, as a reminder, please review your personal profile on the NAMS website and make sure all information is correct. Your personal profile on the NAMS website is driven by the online membership database. Also, the Printed Membership Booklet is now being compiled and the database information is what will be in the Printed Membership Booklet when it is published in a few weeks.

Crossing The Bar

Parker C. Emerson, NAMSGlobal Retired Life Member, Lake Oswego, Oregon, passed away in September 2009. Mr. Emerson joined NAMS in 1976 and retired in 1999 at which time he was elected to Life Member Status, noting his involvement with a NAMS committee working on the Fishing Vessel program, and preparing the NAMS examination. He served NAMS on various other committees over the years, as well promoting NAMS by distributing directories to banks and insurance companies.

Upcoming Educational Events

2009/ 2010 Prospectus from the International Institute of Marine Surveying

Diplomas In: Yacht & Small Craft Surveying, Marine Engineering Surveying, Marine Industry Surveying, and Cargo Surveying

IIMS Level 2 Diploma in Marine Surveying Practice

Accepting applications until 31 March (After this date, the courses will close). IIMS Student Membership is included in the price. Whilst on the IIMS Diploma you will be a student member of the Institute and on completion will lead to an invitation to join the Institute. Make sure you visit the website

SUNY Maritime Surveyor Series

Course Dates
Yacht 03/01/10 – 04/11/10
Heavy Weather 04/12/10 – 05/23/10
Hull 04/12/10 – 05/23/10
Cargo 06/14/10 – 07/16/10
Hull 08/02/10 – 09/12/10
Refrigerated Cargo 09/13/10 – 10/22/10
Cargo 11/01/10 – 12/12/10

If you are interested in these classes you should Contact: Margaret Poppiti, Administrative Assistant, Department Professional Education & Training Website:

March 22-24, 2010, Stamford, Connecticut

Hilton Stamford, the Connecticut Maritime Association’s (CMA) Shipping 2010 program. Please visit the following link: and to register. The full package promises three days of business, market intelligence, technical and operational imperatives and dynamic networking.

March 11-14, 2010, San Francisco, California

American Society of Appraisers is giving the ME 208 Marine Equipment Appraisal course in San Francisco,California. It will be put on by ASA NorCal Chapter. Details will be posted on the ASA website. Location: L’Olivier Restaurant, 465 Davis Court, San Francisco, Ca 94111 Tel. 415-981-7824.

Norman Laskay, ASA, NAMS-CMS and Capt. Joseph Rodgers, ASA, NAMS-CMS will offer the 4-day MTS course ME208 Marine Survey. This course is designed for the marine professional who wants to learn more about the appraisal side of the industry and the non-marine professional who wants basic knowledge of the industry. The course may be taken as a three-day seminar or, with an optional three hour exam on the fourth day, as an accredited course. Course/seminar includes a field trip to a shipyard to inspect a vessel under the guidance of two expert surveyors. Continental breakfast and lunch will be provided. Manual included. Register before February 11, 2010 for discount rate.

You will learn:

  • Functions of marine surveyor and appraiser
  • Scope of the marine industry
  • Identification of marine systems, commercial & yacht
  • Marine equipment vocabulary
  • Identification of marine equipment, commercial & yacht
  • Preparing the report
  • Application of the three approaches to value
  • Types of Bluewater/Brownwater equipment

March 9-10, 2009 TSAC Meeting, New Orleans, Louisiana

The Towing Safety Advisory Committee (TSAC) and its working group on revision of NVIC 04-01, sponsored by the US Coast Guard, will meet in New Orleans. 75 Fed. Reg. 7615 (February 22, 2010).

March 17-19 2010, Hanoi, Vietnam

The 5th Vietnam International Exhibition on Shipbuilding, Marine Technology & Transportation – VIETSHIP 2010. National Convention Centre, My Dinh, Tu Liem, Hanoi, Vietnam. Contact: Email: [email protected]Fax: +84-4 398 44 108. Website:

April 12 – 13, 2010 and April 15 – 15, 2010, Madison, WI

SHIPS Small Power Watercraft Damage Evaluation Seminar. These two seminars (two days each) will be held at American Family Insurance Company Corporate Training Facility in Madison, WI on the above dates. The course is approved for 12 CE Credits for SAMS members and adjustors in Texas and Oklahoma. For more information, please visit

April 25 – 27, 2010, Charleston, South Carolina

NAMSGlobal 48th Annual National Marine Conference East. Conference theme: In Pursuit of Excellence. Conference Chair, Janet Peck, NAMS-CMS. Location: The Embassy Suites Historic Charleston, 337 Meeting Street, Charleston, South Carolina 29403.  Room rate $179.00 plus taxes per night for a 2-Room Suite. Further details will be available at

For hotel reservations phone 843.723.6900. In order to receive the special group rates, you will need to make your room reservation by Wednesday, March 26, 2010, and identify the group and dates of the events. NAMS Group Code: NMS

April 28 and 29, 2010, London, UK

ACI’s 4th Maritime Risk Management Conference in London, UK will address the most relevant risk management and safety issues currently faced by the maritime industry and examine how the industry is managing those risks to maintain onboard safety standards and drive profitability.

For Information Or To Register, Contact: Marisa Magtultol Telephone: +44 (0)20 7981 2503 Email:[email protected]

May, 17-19, 2010, Baltimore, Maryland

The 2010 Clean Atlantic conference. The three-day conference will focus on environmental and wildlife issues, and a significant portion of the panel discussions will be focused on the upcoming Salvage & Firefighting regulations. More information will be posted at the website:

August, 22 – 24 ,2010, San Francisco, California

NAMSGlobal 42nd Annual National Marine Conference West: Conference Chair, Lorne Gould, and NAMS-CMS. Location: Radisson Hotel Fisherman’s Wharf, 250 Beach Street,. 94133. Room rate $149.00 plus taxes per night. For direct hotel reservations phone 415.392.6700 or Central Reservations 877.497.1212. In order to receive the special group rates, you will need to identify the group and dates of the events, and make your room reservation by Wednesday, August 6, 2010.

Uninspected Towing Vessels in the United States: SubChapter M

The Towing Vessel Inspection Bureau is being formed in anticipation of the USCG SubChapter M regulations governing the towing vessel industry. TVIB has recently launched it’s website:

Presently, most U. S. towing vessels are considered “uninspected”, even though there is some oversight by USCG. With SubChapter M, there will be new regulations these vessels and their operators will be required to comply with. The regulations will require inspection of the vessels and audit of company procedures and recordkeeping.

TVIB is a Not-For-Profit member-owned corporation with an elected Board of Directors.  It will have several membership levels, including Auditor/Surveyor, Affiliates, and Associates.

The primary purpose of TVIB is to accredit third-party auditors/surveyors that work under certain USCG accepted organizations that will conduct third-party audits and/or surveys of towing vessels under Subchapter M. TVIB proposes to train and accredit surveyors and auditors of towing vessels that tow either alongside or push ahead on all inland waters of the U. S.(east, west and gulf coasts), and all rivers including the Western Rivers. These third-party auditors and surveyors will perform the third-party audits and surveys on behalf of the USCG in the application of the new Subchapter M regulations, which will govern the towing vessel inspection process.

TVIB plans to provide and maintain an audit tool (checklist) for use by all auditors assessing compliance with requirements of Subchapter M. TVIB will work closely with the towing vessel industry and the USCG to ensure that the goals and processes of TVIB remain aligned with the needs and intent of the USCG for the application of Subchapter M standards. Todd Rushing of TVIB reports that “The current structure of TVIB is based on the DRAFT version of Subchapter M that was made available to the industry by the USCG in March of 2008. When the Notice of Proposed Rule Making and subsequently the Interim or Final Rules are published, it may be necessary to make changes”.

The new TVIB website has more details about the organization. When enough participants join, meetings will be held to continue developing the association. Greg Weeter, Editor. NAMSGlobal E-News.

Ethics and the Marine Surveyor, Essay by Guy Matthews, NAMS-CMS

The exercising of ethical conduct has always been an important and sometimes critical consideration for this marine surveyor and adjuster who spent the better part of the past 53 years involved in commercial marine and energy insurance works with a late in life brush with the quixotic yacht insurance establishment.

There are more sources of ethical guidance for the surveyor than there are attorneys. One prominent admiralty law-ethicist correctly observed that the fundamentals of professional ethics are learned in or before kindergarten.  My personal two favorite sources of ethical advice for the surveyor and adjuster are:

  1. The multiple admonitions of Elizabeth Queen Swilley Matthews RN (1896-1982) who repeatedly sermonized, “Always tell the truth, work hard and don’t get greedy.”
  2. The BSA Law Modified for Marine Surveyors and Adjusters — “A marine surveyor and adjuster is Trustworthy, Loyal, Helpful, Friendly, Courteous, Kind, Obedient Cheerful, Thrifty, Brave, Clean, Reverent and Concise.”

It is difficult to set out a Code of Ethics for commercial associations as indicated by the committee written- one and a half page NAMSGlobal Code of Ethics which is less ethics and more a directory of business practices for NAMSGlobal surveyors. Claims handling and surveys are now highly influenced by attorneys, engineers and supercilious technicians, some of whom tempt the surveyor by their willingness to take ethical shortcuts in the pursuit of greed. It is virtually impossible to compose a comprehensive code of ethics applicable to the full scope of marine surveying thus putting the onus of ethical performance on the conscience on the individual surveyor.

My most recent decade convinced me that the ethics of the commercial marine business and the yacht insurance business are quite different i.e. a commercial marine client is much less likely to outright deceive the surveyor or adjuster than are a few of the individual yacht claimants. In my earlier incarnation as the manager of a large commercial marine surveying company, I took the position that all clients were honest until proven otherwise. In the yacht insurance business such a position could be disastrous.

Listed below are a few of the multiple ethical issues which today face the marine surveyor and adjuster:

  • valuations—independently arrived at vs. expediency,
  • use of overlong common survey forms, which are absent objectivity and originality,
  • the failure to reward good works and willingness to ignore poor works,
  • business obtained on reasons other than competency,
  • surveyors who take advantage of some state’s lax licensing laws to become adjusters,
  • fee bases and
  • questioning if SAMS surveyors have a place in NAMSGlobal. A true ethical introspection would address the possibility of merging NAMSGlobal with SAMS.

Please accept these comments in the light hearted manner in which they are intended — mostly cocktail time conversation. There has to be some advantage in getting old.

Ship Lay Up–Do It Right

We note the people over at BMT Marine & Offshore Surveys have been drawing attention to one of the marine growth industries of our times. They told an audience of insurance people in London that merchant ships left without work during the trade downturn are being involved in costly and unnecessary casualties. Despite the insistence of maritime authorities and insurers on detailed precautions and supervision, ships have been damaged or written off while laid up in Far East anchorages.

Examples given of recent losses included a containership that had been laid up for most of the summer offHong Kong, in a known typhoon zone, with a reduced crew. As the ship tried to maneuver clear in fierce winds, it was sent rolling at up to 35 degrees, causing extensive damage and resulting in the death of the third officer.  The ship had to be repaired at a cost of at least $250,000. Another large containership laid up in a typhoon zone was pushed onto rocks southwest of Macao amid violent rolling which repeatedly tripped out the engine; it became an expensive constructive total loss.

BMT says these examples pose the questions: are ship owners informing underwriters about what they are doing with their ships, and are they putting commercial considerations ahead of the safety of ships and crew?

Under conditions recommended by the London Joint Hull Committee, underwriters have to agree to location and lay-up arrangements, including proper supervision and marine survey. A list of 400 approved lay-up locations was compiled by the London market in the 1980s, but had not been updated as it was thought unlikely there would be such demand again. Since then there have been changes in infrastructure and other conditions at such sites. The former Joint Hull Returns Bureau approved only a few locations in the Far Eastbecause of the propensity to storm damage.

In the 1980s, some 300 ships were laid up in the benign conditions of Elefsis Bay, Greece. However, despite initial enquiries, the current recession has seen just 30 ships moor there. The vast majority of operators preferred to keep their vessels waiting in the east, not formally laid up, but described as “awaiting orders”.

Mr. Jackson, speaking for BMYT also referred to the “indiscriminate anchoring” of vessels in non-designated anchorages outside port limits– thus avoiding paying port dues — along the Straits of Malacca and Singapore. Between 150 and 200 vessels were involved. “We have already seen several collisions. There is a real potential for serious incidents, especially in poor weather conditions.”

Also. if a vessel is in “warm lay-up with some machinery working, to all intents and purposes the vessel is still active,” and safe manning and other certificates should be maintained.

BMT Marine & Offshore Surveys will be running further CII accredited seminars in New York, Greece andHong Kong in the first half of 2010. These will address topics such as lay-up problems, new bunker fuel regulations, polar ice operations as well as the Chinese newbuilding and components market. Courtesy Bow Wave–the marine and transport e-zine. BOW WAVE is published each week to over 15 000 Readers in the transport, insurance, shipping and finance industries. To subscribe contact Sam Ignarski [email protected]

Lives At Risk With Misdeclared Containers

Shippers continue to put lives at risk by providing the wrong information about the weight of cargo, despite intensive efforts by lines to spell out the dangers of overloading containers. Three years after the grounding of the MSC Napoli and the collapse of a container stack on the feeder ship Annabella exposed the prevalence of misdeclared cargoes, the problem remains widespread. “It is still an issue that concerns us,” said Harald Nijhof, senior general manager at Maersk Line’s South Europe Liner Operations Cluster in Algeciras. The Danish carrier was caught up in an incident involving inaccurate cargo weights just a few months ago when a container stack toppled over while the chartered 950 teu Husky Racer was being unloaded inBremerhaven, resulting in 18 boxes being lost overboard. An investigation by the UK’s Marine Accident Investigation Branch found that the top containers in seven of the nine stacks, which were shown on the loading plan as empty, actually had contents weighing between 15 tons and 30 tons. Misdeclarations continue to be a serious problem for the whole container shipping industry, and one that is difficult to tackle, said Mr. Nijhof. Although accidents involving misdeclared cargo weights are not regular occurrences, they nevertheless continue to happen despite industry-wide attempts to stamp out bad practices. The true scale of the problem is said to be hard to gauge, since incidents involving just a few containers may go unreported. Maersk Line is now developing new software to help identify overloaded boxes. Should there be a mismatch between a container’s declared contents and weight, an alert will be triggered that will prompt Maersk to check the box in question and refuse to ship it if there are serious discrepancies. All lines try to advise their customers about the dangers of misdeclaration, but with literally thousands of shippers spread around the world and ranging in size from big global exporters to small local businesses, the task remains a daunting one. (Lloyd’s List, 1/11/2010.) Courtesy AIMU Weekly Bulletin.

USCG – Towing Vessel Stability

The US Coast Guard posted Lessons Learned 01-10 regarding the importance of operating vessels with full regard for the vessel’s stability letter. Investigation of the 2006 sinking of the tug Valour revealed that, contrary to its stability letter, it was operated with open cross-connections between port and starboard fuel tanks. When the tug rolled in heavy weather, the cross-connection allowed for excessive transfer of fuel to the lower tank, exacerbating the roll and resulting in the sinking of the tug. (2/18/10). Courtesy: Bryant’s Maritime Blog – Bryant’s Maritime Consulting [email protected] Website – © Dennis L. Bryant

USCG – Improper Assembly Of Shaft Seals

The US Coast Guard issued Lessons Learned 02-10 regarding the dangers that may result from the improper assembly of shaft seals. A towing vessel had a new shaft seal installed. During assembly, three-quarter inch bolts were used rather than the M20 metric bolts that were called for. The two sizes are very similar, but not the same. The bolts soon loosened, allowing the seal assembly to separate from the flange mounting service. When astern propulsion was applied, water passed up the shaft into the engine room, resulting in flooding. The master intentionally grounded the vessel to avoid sinking. (2/18/10). Courtesy: Bryant’s Maritime Blog – Bryant’s Maritime Consulting [email protected] Website – © Dennis L. Bryant

Coast Guard Eyes Standards For Box Packing

The Coast Guard is seeking comments from the public on methods for securing cargo in transport vehicles and freight containers. It wants to determine if a standardized approval or certification process or improved performance criteria for flexible strapping securing systems is needed. Under current U.S. regulations and international codes, there is no certification or qualification standard for blocking, bracing, or for the use of strapping systems for securing cargo. The National Cargo Bureau, a non-profit organization that the Coast Guard helped to establish to encourage safe stowage, can be hired to examine and certify proper stowage at the request of carriers that transport containerized cargo, but it has no regulatory authority to enforce proper stowage. Cargo must be secured to prevent shifting in any direction during transport. Packages of hazardous materials must be braced and dunnaged with wooden blocks within a container so that they are not likely to be pierced or crushed and the materials must be in proper condition for transportation. Currently, the specific method for securing cargo is left to the discretion of the individual or company packing the container. The Coast Guard is considering whether there is a need for a standardized certification or approval process for cargo securing systems. Comments and related material must be submitted to the Coast Guard’s online docket at on or before March 9 or sent to reach its Docket Management Facility by that date. Contact Peter T. Leach at [email protected].   (The Journal of Commerce, 1/8/2010.) Courtesy AIMU Weekly Bulletin.

Clarkson Resumes Ship Valuations

Clarksons has resumed publication of secondhand ship values for the first time in 15 months as liquidity returns to the sale and purchase market. The world’s largest shipbroker has started 2010 afresh by publishing guide prices for containerships, tankers and bulk carriers. (Lloyd’s List, 1/12/2010.) Courtesy AIMU Weekly Bulletin.

Superyachts Market

The superyacht insurance market looks likely to continue growing over the next 12 months despite many owners suffering because of the economic downturn. Statistics compiled by the British Marine Federation show the UK super-yacht industry grew 15.3% year on year to £410m ($656m) in 2008-2009, mostly as a result of newbuilding orders and refits. This expansion is going to continue through the new year and the insurance industry is likely to reap the benefits. “There was a lot of doom and gloom with people saying they would not be having all of these big boats, but it has actually been far better than we had hoped. The superyacht market is still growing,” James Roberts, head of Zurich Financial Services’ specialist yacht and motorboat insurance subsidiary Navigators & General, said. Speaking at the London Boat Show, Mr. Roberts added: “Those people who have money are still spending money [and] people are still upgrading their boats.” Another sign that the market is continuing to grow can be seen in manufacturers altering their target markets. Many manufacturers had previously concentrated on building smaller yachts with a value of £2m-£3m, but they are now focusing on bigger boats. (Lloyd’s List, 1/13/2010.) Courtesy AIMU Weekly Bulletin.

Emissions Standards for Category 3 Marine Diesel Engines

The firm of Blank Rome in its Maritime Developments Advisory has issued the following note:

On December 22, 2009, the U.S Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced that it finalized regulations implementing emission reductions from large marine diesel engines—so-called Category 3 marine diesel engines—for U.S.-flag vessels. Category 3 engines are marine diesels with per cylinder displacements at or above 30 liters and are mainly used as propulsion engines on large oceangoing vessels such as bulk carriers, cruise ships, tankers, and container ships. In addition, EPA announced that these regulations will implement MARPOL Annex VI, which was signed into law in the United States on July 21, 2008 and which will apply to both U.S. and foreign-flag vessels. Once the Emission Control Area (ECA) proposed by Canada and the United States goes into effect, both U.S. and foreign-flag vessels will have to meet these new standards up to 200 nautical miles off U.S. coasts. EPA’s final rule is expected to be published in the near future and will be effective 60 days after publication. Companies that manufacture, sell, or import Category 3 engines, and parties that build, repair, or operate U.S.-flag and foreign-flag vessels should review the rule and continue to monitor IMO developments to assure compliance as the new emission standards become applicable to their activities and operations.

Read the entire Advisory at:-

Courtesy Maritime Advocate Online, a weekly digest of news and views on the maritime industries, with particular reference to dispute resolution. To contact the editor Bevis Marks, send an e-mail to:[email protected]

OSHA – Authority Over Vessels
The U. S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) issued an instruction providing current agency policy, information, and guidance with respect to OSHA authority over persons working on vessels and facilities on or adjacent to US navigable waters and the outer continental shelf (OCS). Of particular note is the statement in the instruction that OSHA will continue to provide safety and health coverage of employees on US towing vessels until such time as the US Coast Guard issues inspected vessel regulations for these vessels. The instruction further notes that inspected vessels are required to carry a Certificate of Inspection (COI) issued by the Coast Guard. It also states that USCG regulations do not preempt OSHA recordkeeping and accident reporting regulations. This latter comment concerning recordkeeping and accident reporting reflects an ongoing disagreement between OSHA and the Coast Guard regarding whether the Coast Guard’s plenary authority over the USmerchant marine (or at least that portion of the merchant marine subject to inspection) prevents OSHA from requiring recordkeeping and reporting with respect to working conditions for crewmembers. OSHA generally does not push the issue, but it is also not willing to concede the point. Meanwhile, OSHA will continue to exercise its authority over towing vessels until the Coast Guard inspection regulations are officially promulgated and implemented.  CPL 02-01-047 (2/22/10). Note: This new instruction was brought to my attention by my friend Ron Signorino of the Blueoceana Company. Courtesy: Bryant’s Maritime Blog – Bryant’s Maritime Consulting[email protected]Website – © Dennis L. Bryant

USCG – CO2 Fire Suppression Systems – Proposal

The US Coast Guard proposes to amend its regulations for fire suppression systems on several classes of commercial vessels. The amendments would clarify that approved alternatives to carbon dioxide systems may be used to protect some spaces on these vessels and would set general requirements for alternative systems. Additionally, new and existing carbon dioxide systems, when used in spaces that can be accessed by persons on board the specified commercial vessels, would need to be equipped with lockout valves and olfactory additives to protect persons in the event of a carbon dioxide discharge. Comments on the proposal should be submitted by May 25. 75 Fed. Reg. 8431 (February 24, 2010). Courtesy: Bryant’s Maritime Blog – Bryant’s Maritime Consulting [email protected] Website © Dennis L. Bryant

Salvage Award Close To Record

Reconsideration of the award for salvaging the bulker “Ocean Crown” off Chile two years ago has resulted in a final award of $40m, meaning the case will offer the second highest payout under Lloyd’s Open Form. In allowing an appeal by ship and cargo owners in the UK High Court, admiralty judge Justice Gross last November ordered outgoing LOF appeal arbitrator John Reeder to reassess his own appeal award of $40.8m for what was by common consent a major salvage operation. After “carefully, conscientiously and fairly” considering the judge’s directions, Mr. Reeder has now reduced the award by $750,000. The final total remains beaten only once, by a reported $47m awarded for the salvage of the containership “APL Panama” off Mexico in 2005-2006. A key finding of Justice Gross was related to the principle that while the value of property salved is to be considered, awards should not be altogether out of proportion to the service rendered. This moderating principle, defined by the 19th century “Amerique” salvage case, should be applicable to all types of salvage, the judge said. In the “Ocean Crown” case, the ship — a 52,347 dwt bulker — was assessed to be worth $66m and its cargo of copper concentrates a further $100m, providing a salved fund of $166m. It ran aground in a relatively inaccessible area off the coast of Chile in August 2007, complicating the logistics of mounting the salvage effort. The operation, which was led by Greek contractor Five Oceans Salvage Consultants, involved 126 tug days and 1,390 man hours for the salvage team. Divers spent nearly 600 hours in the water, while 950 man days were notched up by stevedores for transshipping the cargo to two hired-in handysize bulkers. More than 10,000 kg of steel were used to repair the casualty’s forepeak, which involved the construction of a cofferdam. The cost of the services and the financial risk borne by the salvors were increased significantly as ship and cargo owners were unwilling to take over charters for the lightering vessels to take the cargo to destinations in India. The scale of the “Ocean Crown” award is frequently cited behind the scenes as one of the cases that allegedly goaded certain insurers into lobbying Lloyd’s to amend the composition of the panel and the arbitrators’ terms of appointment. (Lloyd’s List, 1/22/2010.) Courtesy AIMU Weekly Bulletin.

Cargo Robberies Are “Wreaking Havoc”

Thieves are swiping tractor-trailers filled with goods, triggering a spike in cargo theft on the nation’s highways. Truckloads containing $487 million of goods were stolen in the U.S. in 2009, a 67% increase over the $290 million worth of products swiped a year earlier. Thieves stole 859 truckloads in 2009, up from 767 loads in 2008 and 672 in 2007, according to FreightWatch International. “In the past two months, we’ve just seen such an increase that it’s to the point where criminals are just wreaking havoc,” said Sandor Lengyel, a detective sergeant and squad leader in New Jersey State Police’s cargo-theft unit. “They’ll pretty much steal anything.”  Law-enforcement authorities in Illinois, California and Pennsylvania are among several agencies and industry groups also reporting a spike. While organized-crime rings may be involved, “we are seeing a lot more amateurs get into this,” said Sgt. Sid Belk, of the California Highway Patrol. Thieves often know what cargo a truck is hauling because they will follow trucks from a plant, according to police. Cargo theft represents a big concern and cost for trucking and other freight haulers, says J.J. Coughlin, chairman of the SouthWest Transportation Security Council, a nonprofit industry group that represents more than 200 freight-shipping companies. The council estimates that the average loss in each theft is $350,000—and that is just the load inside the truck. “Sometimes you lose that too,” he said of the tractor-trailer. Typically, though, the tractor-trailer is found miles away. California, Florida, Texas, Georgia,Illinois and New Jersey are the top states for number of cargo thefts, according to FreightWatch. The crooks are targeting such things as electronics, food and beverages, clothing, pharmaceuticals and cigarettes. (The Wall Street Journal, 2/1/2010.) Courtesy AIMU Weekly Bulletin.

Slow Steaming May Fuel Engine Damage

Increasing use of slow steaming and super-slow steaming has prompted concerns from insurers about possible damage to main engines designed for high-speed, full-load operation if they are operating at low power for extended periods. International Union of Marine Insurance president Deirdre Littlefield said that insurers were “concerned” about the impact on machinery from the growing trend of slow steaming, now being strongly advocated by a number of operators as the way forward to combat high fuel prices until seaborne trade picks up. “Many large, high-speed diesel engines are designed to operate only at sustained high service speeds,” she said. The concerns arise from the trend among ship operators, particularly container lines, to adopt slow steaming as a strategy to reduce fuel consumption and adjust capacity. When slow steaming first emerged, leading engine manufacturers voiced fears of possible long-term damage because they warned that engines were not designed to operate at low loads. But as the practice has spread, engine suppliers, including MAN Diesel and Wärtsilä, have issued guidance to operators about how to limit potential damage and recommended operating procedures. (Lloyd’s List, 2/1/2010.) Courtesy AIMU Weekly Bulletin.

To Improve Cargo Loading

A Dutch-led project looking at the impact of badly loaded containers and poor lashing has reported that more can be done to prevent cargo accidents happening. The [email protected] project has released some of the findings of four years’ research amid heated debate over badly declared container loads leading to incidents on the Husky Trader, MSC Napoli and Annabella. The Dutch government is set to make several recommendations to the International Maritime Organization and the International Association of Classification Societies to try to improve safety. The project findings were revealed as the International Chamber of Shipping and the World Shipping Council issued guidelines aimed at improving safety by ensuring containers are properly packed, labeled and weighed. While containers that are stacked in accordance with design and safety parameters were found to have no stability anomalies, poorly declared cargoes could lead to unsafe dynamic conditions up to three times as severe as originally thought. (Lloyd’s List, 2/2/2010.) Courtesy AIMU Weekly Bulletin.

Tough On Box Weights

Container lines and terminal operators should make an example of shippers who provide the wrong information about the weight of a container. That is the message from both the TT Club and the International Cargo Handling Co-ordination Association, which continue to highlight the dangers of misdeclarations and seek ways of cracking down on a problem that puts both lives and ships in danger. The shipping industry should not look for outside assistance in tackling a practice that is thought to be widespread but is nevertheless very hard to quantify. The issue of misdeclarations has come to the fore again in recent weeks following investigation of an accident involving the feeder ship “Husky Trader”, with a container stack collapsing because boxes thought to be empty actually contained cargo. In that particular case, the shipper was not to blame, with the mistake attributable to a software glitch, but the incident once again drew attention to the danger of both under and over declaring the weight of a container. Evidence of actual weight could be required, where such facilities exist, or the terminal, in collaboration with its shipping company customers, could arrange to check weight. However, the continuing concern that the club would focus on is that the essential responsibility of the shipper to declare cargo is being blurred by suggesting that nodal points in the supply chain, such as terminals, assume this responsibility, whereas they can only provide a check on the truth of what is declared. Ports could ask the shipping lines if they want every container routinely checked before it is loaded, or to pick out those that should be weighed. The two sides would then have to agree about what to do with those containers whose weight does not match that provided by the customer. (Lloyd’s List, 2/10/2010.) Courtesy AIMU Weekly Bulletin.

Useful Links

The Master of Towing Vessels Association (MTVA) represents the interests of U.S. Coast Guard-licensed masters, mates and pilots of towing vessels (Oceans, Near Coastal, Great Lakes/Inland & Western Rivers), with a focus on safety issues, licensing and certification, training, and professional qualifications standards.

Union Pacific Tests 3-Mile Long Train – In the latest push by freight carriers seeking economies of scale, Union Pacific Railroad this month tested an ultra-long 18,000-foot double-stack train on a run from Texas toSouthern California. (To view video (4 minutes) of the train in action, see (The Journal of Commerce, 1/25/2010.) Courtesy AIMU Weekly Bulletin.

Cargo Conventions Compared

A well done to the firm of Hill Dickenson for publishing a comparative guide to the clauses of the Hague,Hague-Visby, Hamburg and Rotterdam Rules. Students of shipping law of all ages should be grateful to the firm. Maritime Advocate Online a weekly digest of news and views on the maritime industries, with particular reference to dispute resolution. To contact the editor Bevis Marks, send an e-mail to:[email protected]

Yachtbuilder International Magazine’s is available to view on their website. There is no log-in; it opens instantly when you click on the front cover at: Or even faster if you paste the following link into your browser’s menu bar:

Navigating Cargo Claims

Newcomers to the world of subrogated cargo claims are very quickly made aware that the US jurisdiction contains many pitfalls for the ignorant and the unwary. Traditionally a little study time had to be invested in the peculiarities of the package limitation case law–an uncleared minefield throughout the history of containerization–and the application of such things as the Carmack Amendment for goods in transit across the states. A recent paper published by John W Reis of the firm of Cozen O’Connor should help anyone who works in the cargo claims world and those who need a reliable guide to the American Way. It could save you a lot of trouble. Contact:[email protected]

Courtesy Maritime Advocate Online a weekly digest of news and views on the maritime industries, with particular reference to dispute resolution. To contact the editor Bevis Marks, send an e-mail to:[email protected]


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