Three weeks after coming together to address the challenges imposed on seafarers due to the travel restrictions due to COVID-19, countries around the world continue to struggle with permitting crew changes while seeking to continue to mitigate the spread of the virus. Several countries have been forced to backtrack on their accommodations prompting leaders in the shipping industry to speak out calling for better coordination and following the protocols.
On the same day that Hong Kong began to enforce its tighter restrictions limiting crew changes mostly to ships importing or exporting cargo from the port, the leaders of Hong Kong two shipping associations wrote a letter explaining their positions. Published in the South China Morning Post, the letter from Bjorn Hojgaard, chairman, Hong Kong Shipowners Association and Roberto Giannetta, chairman, Hong Kong Liner Shipping Association sought to address recent issues and clarify their positions.
“Recently, there have been media reports about the irresponsible behavior of individual practitioners in shipping. A few rotten apples have brought disrepute to their peers and the industry, which has been working hard to ensure the smooth operation of the world’s supply chain for essential items such as food, fuel, and medical supplies, during this most difficult time,” the letter said.
The leaders of Hong Kong’s associations went on to express their extreme disappointment and urging strict adherence to the protocols. The letter suggests that the government impose penalties for not following the protocols, and while repeating calls to recognize seafarers as essential workers they said, “If any of them are unfortunately infected, they deserve our support, not bias.” However, the associations said they had also asked “their members to reschedule or postpone crew changes for at least three weeks.”
Last week, the International Chamber of Shipping also issued a new call urging everyone involved in the shipping industry to strictly adhere to crew change protocols that have been developed to facilitate the safe crew changes. Alarmed by reports of ship managers and individuals failing to comply with national crew change guidelines, the ICS said, “recent failures to strictly comply with crew change and health guidelines, are putting in danger the hard-won accommodations from countries around the world.”
Despite the reports of problems, Dubai announced that it has facilitated 3,000 crew changes in the two weeks since it opened its ports. Working in cooperation between the Dubai Maritime City Authority (DMCA) and the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs – Dubai (GDRFA) 1,300 crew members have been signed off ships while 1,700 crew boarded ships in Dubai’s territorial waters.
“The resumption of the marine crew change operations comes from our constant efforts to guarantee the highest levels of health, safety and security of seafarers, visitors and workers within the maritime sector,” said Sheikh Saeed bin Ahmed bin Khalifa Al Maktoum, Executive Director of Dubai Maritime City Authority.
Dubai reports that it has witnessed a growth in marine activities, and continues to receive hundreds of requests for crew changes for a broad range of nationalities. Hey note that it is requiring close coordination between the DMCA, the port authorities, the Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship, airlines, and continue to work with the Dubai Health Authority to facilitate the precautionary measures to enable crew changes.
Dubai, however, points out that the efforts also obligates all shipping agents to coordinate closely with the DMCA, the GDRFA – Dubai, Dubai ports and airports in the UAE, to speed up procedures for the movement of crew members from the airport to the ship and from the ship to the airport. Maritime agencies it highlights also have an obligation to perform the required medical examinations, in compliance with the preventive procedures and guidelines on COVID-19 to preserve the health and safety of both the crews and personnel involved in maritime activities.
The move has proved to be a strong boost to Dubai’s national efforts to revitalize its economy, in the post-corona period, but it is also highlighting the need to follow strict precautionary measures.
A massive fire broke out at the Port of Beirut on Thursday, incinerating a warehouse full of tires and oil within the port’s free zone. The same area was heavily damaged in the ammonium nitrate explosion that leveled the central port area and the adjacent waterfront on August 4. According to Lebanon’s civil defense agency, […]
Over the course of the past five days, the Australian Maritime Safety Authority arranged a medical intervention for an injured aboard a freighter in the Indian Ocean. On Saturday evening, the Spliethoff tweendecker Dolfijngracht called for assistance while under way about 1,000 nauical miles off the coast of Western Australia. A crewmember had sustained serious […]
The naval forces of the US and Bahrain recently staged a joint force training exercise which showcased the interoperability between coalition warships operating I the Arabian Gulf. Coalition Task Force Sentinel executed combined exercise Sentinel Shield supporting Sentry and Sentinel patrols in the coalition’s area of operations. The guided-missile destroyer USS John Paul Jones and […]
DSV Belgium has solid experience in the transport of pharmaceutical products for different customers. With a pharma hub based at Brussels Airport a lot of experience and know-how has been built up over the years. Last weekend, the forwarder handled one hundred million mouth masks, an important milestone for its Belgian organisation that has put […]
The U-Freight Group (UFL), with its considerable involvement in eCommerce logistics, says that the latest statistics showing that global e-commerce sales hit $25.6 trillion in 2018 are a further vindication of its decision to enter this sector of the international freight market several years ago. The latest available estimates, up 8% from 2017, were recently […]
The UK government’s new post-Brexit tariff regime will result in both winners and losers. The new regime is set to replace the European Union’s Common External Tariff from the end of the Brexit Transition Period on December 31, 2020. The UK’s commitment to the ongoing Brexit process and ending the UK’s transition from EU membership […]
With close to 100 daily cargo flights operated to a destination network spanning more than 65 cities across six continents, Emirates SkyCargo is delivering essential supplies and commodities to people around the world. The air cargo carrier is currently operating 11 Boeing 777 freighter aircraft, each with a capacity to transport about 100 tonnes of […]
The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has released a Marine Accident Brief about an accident that occurred on April 15, 2019, involving the towing vessel DeJeanne Maria which struck the end of a submerged dredge pipeline while pushing two spud barges to the Gulf of Mexico. The incident occurred on the Mississippi River in Pass […]
Astral Aviation has increased its intra-African network with cargo freighters during the pandemic. While there has been a reduction in capacity to, from, and within Africa, which has been caused by a stoppage of passenger flights and limited frequencies on freighter aircraft, Astral Aviation continues to operate cargo freighters from its Nairobi hub to 13 destinations […]
Best known as a leading passenger airport serving Germany’s most populated federal state North Rhine-Westphalia, Düsseldorf has become transformed into a vital distribution point, during the COVID 19 pandemic, for medical equipment and other life-saving goods, mostly from China. Gerton Hulsman, managing director of cargo operations, reports that the handling teams are working hard to […]
Global commercial aviation charter company Albion Aviation Group is reporting that it is seeing a considerable uptake in its professional cargo broker training courses from the current global pandemic crisis and surge in charter demand. “We have completed a number webinar courses for a whole of host of companies, looking to manage their own cargo […]
Operators can continue to use pilots and other crew members who have unable to comply with certain training, recent experience, testing, and checking requirements due to the COVID-19 outbreak in support of essential operations. Additionally, this Special Federal Aviation Regulation (SFAR) provides regulatory relief to certain persons and pilot schools unable to meet duration and […]
Emirates SkyCargo has expanded its weekly scheduled cargo flight operations to cover 75 destinations across six continents. Through its wider reach, Emirates SkyCargo is able to transport essential commodities and other urgently needed cargo more rapidly across the world, allowing exporters and importers across markets to benefit from direct access to widebody cargo capacity. Some […]
Callan Marine is serving as the prime contractor to the Texas Department of Transportation for a maintenance dredging project located at the Bolivar Ferry Terminal, in Galveston, Texas. Work began in May and is estimated to be complete in late July 2020. The project consists of the removal of 600,000 cubic yards of material and […]
Network Airline Management and TAAG Angola Airlines are pleased to announce the renewal of their long-term freighter aircraft contract by an additional 12 months, sealing an ongoing partnership for the foreseeable future. Operating a regular weekly scheduled service from Liege, Belgium, to the capital of Angola, Luanda, Network Airline Management provides a Boeing 747-400F aircraft […]
Qatar Airways Cargo transported 56 SkyCell containers with vaccines from one of the largest vaccine manufacturers worldwide on its scheduled freighter and belly-hold cargo flights for its customer, CEVA Logistics. The 54-tonne shipment consisting of pneumococcal and varicella vaccines were flown from Brussels to Mumbai via the carrier’s hub in Doha on two separate flights. […]