AALMAR UK CELEBRATES 40 YEARS OF SUCCESS
Aalmar’s UK office held several celebrations to mark their 40 years in the survey business this year.
The biggest event was a special party on board the HQS Wellington on the River Thames in London, attended by shipbrokers, insurers, friends old and new, surveyors and Aalmar staff from all over the world – and it was thoroughly enjoyed by all. (See staff party picture above, taken just before festivities began).
Aalmar loves a competition, so a unique ‘Chuck a Duck Challenge’ was created and run through the evening. This became a highlight of the event, with some very determined entrants battling it out. The winner, who was
presented with a voucher for a meal at the Duck & Waffle at the Heron Tower in London, was John Grenville-Goble of Navigators P&I Club. John is pictured (right) being
congratulated by the runner
up, Charlie Rotherham of Bright Cook & Co.
“Aalmar Surveys Ltd has never been busier,” says managing director, Carole Bryer. “As we celebrate 40 years as the leading independent marine survey company, we are immensely pleased and proud that a growing number of clients are asking us to provide record numbers of surveys in almost every area of the world.”
USEFUL STEPS TO AVOID A COMMON P&I CLAIM
Arguments between an oil supplier or trader and P&I Club members over responsibility for contaminated cargo is all too common. But there are things that can be done to greatly reduce this risk.
Aalmar USA Inc regularly gets calls from P&I Clubs to help a member who has become embroiled in a dispute with an oil supplier or trader who has loaded contaminated cargo into a vessel and then accuses the vessel of causing the contamination.
When this happens, Aalmar staff carry out joint sampling exercises on the vessel with oil inspection company involvement. This nearly always involves gas chromatography to analyse exactly what the contaminant is.
“All of this is very expensive and time consuming, with a knock-on effect when one of the party is faced with demurrage charges for the delays,” says Alan Coleman, Aalmar Group CEO.
“All of this can be avoided by the crew carrying out two simple steps before full loading has commenced.”
Aalmar’s two-step solution is as follows:
1. Before opening the manifold valve to the ship, take a sample of the liquid cargo coming into the ship. If it is safe to do so, check its look and smell. If not as expected, do not open the valve and refuse the loading of that cargo until it does have the characteristics that you expect.
2. After carrying out point 1 to your satisfaction, only fill cargo into one tank and only up to first foot (0.5m) height. Take a sample of that cargo loaded. If it appears good, load fully with more confidence that the cargo is far less likely lead to any P&I cargo damage and demurrage claims, avoiding very expensive tests at a laboratory.
“These simple two steps should be posted on every ship’s cargo control room mimic board,” Alan adds. “Very simple but very effective!”
MAJOR CHANGES LIKELY AS LESS SCRAPPAGE DICTATES THE MARKET TRENDS IN SHIPPING
The global shipping market is still looking somewhat bleak in the immediate future, as the demand for offshore activities and commodities’ transportation remains rather low.
Analysis, compiled by staff at Times Marine Survey LLC following discussions with many clients, would indicate that some major changes are likely to occur in shipping as a result of the downturn – and the company is both highly experienced and equipped to fully support its clients throughout this period.
During its investigation, the company found that numerous maritime operators in the Middle East seem to be in ‘survival’ mode and are making substantial efforts to procure more business.
A slight improvement has been seen in dry bulk and container transportation, which has affected the level of scrapping activity, as owners hold on to their older tonnage waiting for the expected revival. As a consequence, scrap value has started to rise, reaching close to 400 USD/T.
“The period would appear to be similar to that of 2009-2010, when scrap prices rose from 150 USD/T to over 400 USD/T,” says Michelle Megson, managing director of Times Marine Survey. “It appears that the old vessels’ scrapping process, which reached a high in 2016, has disposed of much of the non-competitive older tonnage – and this has had a positive effect on the market”.
However, there still remains a low level of new build orders, which brings prices down in an intensely competitive shipbuilding market.
“Analysts state that, with little or no influence over demand, reducing supply is the main tool owners and operators can use to improve the market situation,” says Michelle. “The best way to do that is to limit the number of new orders and increase scrapping”.
The joint effect of the global economy and shipping market will likely drive the industry to make major changes. Among the priorities may be (where feasible) a shift to more LNG fueled vessels.
Times Marine is already assisting more clients with de-commissioning and demobilization surveys, pre-scrapping inspections, pre-purchase inspections, condition and valuation inspections.
With the expected increase in new ship orders, the company is always ready and able to assist with new building supervision and delivery.
NOTES FROM NAUTICAL NED
HQS Wellington’s spectacular past: The location of our 40th anniversary celebration this year has quite a history. Built in 1934, it is the last remaining pre-WW2 sloop. Her greatest test came with the onset of war as she began a gruelling six-year spell on convoy escort duties in the Atlantic. HMS Wellington steamed over 240,000 miles and was one of the smallest ships to continuously risk the deadliest theatre of sea operations. She rescued over 450 Merchant Navy seamen, evacuated troops at Dunkirk, participated in the North African landings and shares the credit for sinking a U Boat.
Toe the line: Perhaps you’ve been at work and your boss has scowled at you and said, “toe the line, or you’re gone”. If this has happened to you, we are sorry – that sounds like a horrible work environment! But, if you were wondering about the origins of this saying, it’s an old naval expression that refers to a ship’s crew who would be called to gather and form a line with their toes all touching a given seam (or line) of the deck planking.