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Ship operators cannot afford to turn a blind eye to cyber security

The United States Coast Guard (USCG) shares its findings from an investigation into a cyber incident onboard a commercial vessel.

In February 2019, a deep draft vessel on an international voyage bound for the Port of New York and New Jersey reported that they were experiencing a significant cyber incident impacting their shipboard network. An interagency team of cyber experts, led by the Coast Guard, responded and conducted an analysis of the vessel’s network and essential control systems. The team concluded that although the malware significantly degraded the functionality of the onboard computer system, essential vessel control systems had not been impacted.

Nevertheless, the interagency response found that the vessel was operating without effective cybersecurity measures in place, exposing critical vessel control systems to significant vulnerabilities. Possibly the most alarming finding to come out of this investigation was that, prior to the incident, the security risk presented by the shipboard network was well known among the crew.

Andaman plans box terminal as alternative to colombo, Singapore

The Andaman and Nicobar Islands Administration plans to develop a container transshipment terminal with the Free Trade Warehousing Zone in South Bay, Great Nicobar Island, to provide Indian shippers an alternative to the Colombo, Singapore and Port Klang (Malaysia) transshipment ports.

The Port Management Board, Andaman and Nicobar Islands, has called for an Expression of Interest (EoI) from global players to participate in the terminal development under the private-public-partnership mode. The developers need to design, finance, construct, operate and maintain the container terminal for 30 years. An official of a leading container terminal said that it would cost over $1 billion to build a transshipment terminal. The Great Nicobar Island has a natural depth of over 20 m to handle large ships. Indian ports do not have adequate infrastructure to attract large ‘mother’ container vessels of over 15,000 Twenty-Foot Equivalent Units (TEUs) capacity. The transshipment terminal at Great Nicobar could be critical for India’s trade, especially in the South, which annually loses around Rs. 1,500 crore transporting cargo via feeder vessels to transshipment hubs such as Colombo, Singapore and Port Klang.

Baltic index rises to 5-1/2 year high

The Baltic Exchange’s main sea freight index rose to its highest in more than five and a half years on Wednesday, driven by demand for capesize vessels shipping iron ore.

The Baltic index, which tracks rates for ships ferrying dry bulk commodities, rose 1percent, or 18 points, to 1,777, its highest since January 2014. The index rose 28percent last week to post its best week in nearly five years, mainly driven by strong demand for vessels that ship iron ore from Brazil. The capesize index rose 18 points, or 0.5percent, to 3,361 points. Average daily earnings for capesizes, which typically transport 170,000 tonne-180,000 tonne cargoes such as iron ore and coal, rose $36 to $26,403. Iron ore futures in China surged on Tuesday amid strong demand and lingering concerns about supply.


Maharashtra rejigs maritime policy

The Maharashtra Cabinet on Tuesday approved the changes in the Maharashtra Maritime Development Policy of 2016, increasing the period of concession agreement for greenfield ports and multi-purpose jetties to 50 years from 35 now. Multi-purpose jetties have also been allowed to handle Exim cargo.

Maharashtra has the second-longest coastline among maritime States with two major and 48 minor ports. Currently, only 12 minor ports handle cargo. Therefore, the policy has highlighted the opportunities for further improvement of maritime infrastructure. A press statement issued by the Chief Minister’s office said greenfield ports and multi-purpose jetty developers will have to make 100 percent capital investment and handle 50 percent cargo in the first 35 years. For developers of shipyards, the period of the concessional agreement has been increased to 30 years from 10 years now. In the first 21 years of the agreement, the developers will have to make 100 percent capital investment and reach 50 percent target of shipbuilding and repairs, the statement said.

Freight charges to go up for India’s exporters-importers

India’s exporters and importers will have to pay more on freight as global container lines start levying a war risk surcharge ranging between $36 and $42 for shipping cargo containers to and from the Arabian Gulf transiting through the Strait of Hormuz in the wake of escalating tensions in the region. French container line CMA CGM has started charging an Extra Risk Coverage Surcharge of $36 per twenty-foot equivalent unit or TEU from July 5 for shipments to/from Oman, the UAE, Qatar, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia (Dammam + Jubail), Kuwait and Iraq.

Union budget 2019-20: call for port-led development

Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Friday stressed the need to enhance port-led development through the Sagarmala scheme and develop inland waterways to use rivers for cargo movement to decongest road and rail networks, reduce the cost of transportation as well as cut oil import bill.

In line with her announcement, the allocation for Sagarmala and the Inland Water Transport Authority of India was enhanced, though the total allocation for the Ministry of Shipping saw a marginal decline of 2percent. The net allocation for Sagarmala schemes has gone up with an increase of 44 percent. The contribution to the Inland Water Transport Authority of India also went up with a 17percent increase.

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