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IMO approves Kattegat, Skagerrak as new ship routes

IMO approved the ship routes in Kattegat and Skagerrak after a proposal from Denmark and Sweden. This step is important because of the much larger size of ships navigating the straits today in comparison to the ships that the route systems were originally designed for. About 70,000 ships a year pass through Kattegat and Skagerrak.

Greece, Cyprus, Malta ask for less bureaucracy to boost shipping sector

Panagiotis Kouroumplis, noted that EU has to find new ways to make shipping industry more attractive. From his side, the Maltese transport minister, Ian Borg, mentioned that there is work happening to examine today’s EU directives that create the administrative burden. Natasa Pilides, Cyprus’s Deputy Minister for Shipping Natasa Pilides, informed that the three discussed about possible measures to enhance cooperation.

Largest ever wave recorded in Southern Ocean

The MetOcean Solutions wave buoy, moored in the Southern Ocean, recorded a massive 23.8 m wave, the largest ever recorded in the Southern Hemisphere, on 8 May. The previous record was marked one year ago, with a 19.4 m wave, informed Senior Oceanographer Dr Tom Durrant.

EU adopts proposal for simpler ship reporting

The European Commission adopted a proposal to optimize ship reporting requirements when calling at ports within the EU. 13 EU Member States called the EU Commission to present a proposal for the revision of the Reporting Formalities Directive. The aim is to reduce the administrative burdens on shipping.

Asian Shipowners: Compliant fuels must be available before 2020

The Asian Shipowners’ Association held its 27th Annual General Meeting on 15th May 2018 in Hong Kong. ASA dealt with a number of issues, such as protecting seafarers, 2020 sulphur cap compliance, compliance with international conventions and trade matters. ASA also noted that the shipping industry needs to keep its free trade principles.

Bermuda wants to build cargo port and energy facility

Bermuda Land Development Company Limited called local and international developers to submit their qualifications for consideration about two infrastructure projects in Bermuda: a national Energy Generation Facility; and an international Cargo Port. The proposed Energy Production Facility and Cargo Plant are both expected to exceed US$150m, and will take several years to complete.

Panama Canal welcomes largest passenger ship to date

The Panama Canal welcomed the ‘Norwegian Bliss’, the largest passenger vessel to ever transit the waterway, on 14 May, which was made possible by the Canal Expansion inaugurated two years ago. Operated by Norwegian Cruise Lines, the ship weighs more than 168,000 gross tons and can carry nearly 5,000 passengers. 

New initiative to link North Africa with Belt and Road

The Afro-Asian Economic Council informed that it will launch a development project, aiming to connect Egypt and other North African countries to China’s Belt and Road Initiative. This projects aspired to improve Egypt’s position as strategic navigational and land corridor in the world.

Mixed feelings for Turkey’s plans on new Canal

Turkey revealed plans for a canal in Istanbul to reduce maritime traffic on Bosphorus Strait and turn the European half of Istanbul into an island. However, the plan foresees the digging of a 400 meter canal through the farmlands of  Sazlibosna, a village near Istanbul, which has alarmed residents and environmentalists. 

China’s new aircraft carrier begins sea trials

The first Chinese domestically-built aircraft carrier began from Dalian Shipyard dock to start its sea trials, on Sunday, 13 of May. This aircraft carrier will be the country’s second aircraft carrier. The sea trials will test how reliable and stable the carrier’s power system and other equipment is.


’Unmanned and autonomous vessels are quickly becoming a reality. Do you think that seafarers will be able to trust an autonomous system?

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