News & Events

Government allows stranded seafarers to return on Air India repatriation flights

The Ministry of Home Affairs has allowed around 7,000 Indian seafarers/crew employed on cruise ships and stranded across the globe to return home on repatriation flights run by Air India. The permission followed a Shipping Ministry request in this regard. The seafarers and their families have been pushing the government to facilitate this task. Shamim Ahmad, Under Secretary (Immigration), Ministry of Home Affairs, in a May 13 office memorandum wrote : “It is requested that Ministry of Shipping may ensure that all these 7000-odd Indian seafarers/Indian crew members are duly registered on the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) Web Portal meant for such stranded Indians in need of repatriation. The nearest Indian Mission may put them in the appropriate repatriation flight as provided in the MHA standard operating procedures (SOP) dated 5 May 2020.” “The Competent Authority in the MEA is also requested to consider the matter so that the aforementioned SOP is followed in letter and spirit especially regarding post landing screening and quarantine facilities in coordination with the State Governments concerned,” it added. Thousands of Indians employed on cruise ships were stranded across the globe after the coronavirus outbreak forced their owners to suspend services. Their repatriation to India has generated much heat among the seafaring community, more so due to the suspension of international flights into the country, closing a key mode for their homecoming. Cruise line owners had offered to evacuate the Indian crew on chartered flights as was done in the case of Indonesian and Philippines crew, but a government wary of easing the international travel restrictions to combat the pandemic, refused to budge. Since April 24, two cruise liners – Marella Discovery and Seven Seas Voyager – travelled to India just to drop off 313 crew stuck on board. Source: The Hindu Business Line

News & Events

Government allows stranded seafarers to return on Air India repatriation flights

The Ministry of Home Affairs has allowed around 7,000 Indian seafarers/crew employed on cruise ships and stranded across the globe to return home on repatriation flights run by Air India. The permission followed a Shipping Ministry request in this regard. The seafarers and their families have been pushing the government to facilitate this task. Shamim Ahmad, Under Secretary (Immigration), Ministry of Home Affairs, in a May 13 office memorandum wrote : “It is requested that Ministry of Shipping may ensure that all these 7000-odd Indian seafarers/Indian crew members are duly registered on the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) Web Portal meant for such stranded Indians in need of repatriation. The nearest Indian Mission may put them in the appropriate repatriation flight as provided in the MHA standard operating procedures (SOP) dated 5 May 2020.” “The Competent Authority in the MEA is also requested to consider the matter so that the aforementioned SOP is followed in letter and spirit especially regarding post landing screening and quarantine facilities in coordination with the State Governments concerned,” it added. Thousands of Indians employed on cruise ships were stranded across the globe after the coronavirus outbreak forced their owners to suspend services. Their repatriation to India has generated much heat among the seafaring community, more so due to the suspension of international flights into the country, closing a key mode for their homecoming. Cruise line owners had offered to evacuate the Indian crew on chartered flights as was done in the case of Indonesian and Philippines crew, but a government wary of easing the international travel restrictions to combat the pandemic, refused to budge. Since April 24, two cruise liners – Marella Discovery and Seven Seas Voyager – travelled to India just to drop off 313 crew stuck on board. Source: The Hindu Business Line

Sailing beyond corona – investing in a sustainable future for shipping

Anew reality demands a new approach. Here Asbjørn Halsebakke, Product Manager, Yaskawa Environmental Energy / The Switch, argues that we can’t afford to let the greatest opportunity within the current crisis slip away… We can’t celebrate a pandemic. People are dying. Economies are crashing. Unemployment rates are rocketing. We are distanced – from those we love, but also from our immediate past. Life as we know it has been turned upside down. So, we can’t celebrate. But nature can. Instant impact As we have retreated into our homes, the natural world has come out to play. Coyotes near the Golden Gate Bridge, goats walking down once crowded city streets, bees buzzing with excitement as wildflowers blossom…such stories are emerging online, on screens and in print every day. Nature, it seems, is rejoicing. If it feels like a breath of fresh air to read positive news, it is, quite literally. One of the key factors in the decline of our economic activity and motorised movement is the drop in air pollution. According to CarbonBrief, lower power demand and the slowdown in manufacturing in the EU could cause emissions to fall by nearly 400 million tonnes this year. In China alone, some 250 million tonnes were saved between February and mid-March. That’s more than half of the total annual emissions of the UK. A raft of countries are recording dramatic drops of up to 40% in CO2 and nitrogen levels, greatly improving air quality and personal health. This is particularly noteworthy as, staggeringly, the WHO notes that 7 million people a year die as a result of air pollution. A truly catastrophic figure that seems to have somehow slipped by the mainstream media. Asbjørn Halsebakke, Product Manager, Yaskawa Environmental Energy / The Switch The new normal? For a world that many environmental […]

Shipping and bunkers: coronavirus trade shock eclipses IMO 2020 upheaval

The shipping and bunker sectors spent years in preparation for the historic changes imposed by the International Maritime Organization’s global low sulfur mandate, IMO 2020. But no sooner did the new rules kick in than market participants had to urgently confront a collapse in crude oil prices and obstructed tradeflows, as the world was gripped by the deadly effects of the coronavirus pandemic, and lockdowns and social distancing became the new norm. “IMO 2020 has got lost somewhere. But that’s how shipping is. There’s always something around the corner,” a shipbroker said. The IMO 0.5% sulfur limit rule, planned years back and finally implemented from January 1, 2020, forced shipowners to either switch to cleaner marine fuels or continue using high sulfur fuel oil (HSFO) but install scrubber units. Alternative fuels are also a solution but their reach still remains limited, with very low sulfur fuel oil (VLSFO) emerging as the chief marine fuel choice. Refiners adjusted their crude slate accordingly, and suppliers increasingly invested in storage and barge infrastructure to boost availability of such fuels to quench the shipping sector’s thirst. VLSFO blends have risen to the forefront despite some initial concerns about a drastic escalation in bunker fuel quality issues worldwide due to their use, particularly related to sediment and sludge formation, cold flow properties and stability. Rising VLSFO consumption comes even as some environmental groups have said that VLSFO blends with high aromatic content contribute to significant black carbon emissions and should therefore be banned as their consumption is detrimental to the environment. With some of the challenges of IMO 2020 still not fully resolved, the plunge in crude oil prices has come as a rude shock to many, with demand destruction hitting players in the oil and bunker industry hard. OPEC expects global oil pandemic demand […]

Global Shipping Industry Looks Forward To LISW21 As September Date Is Confirmed

Preparatory work to deliver a London International Shipping Week in 2021 that will be even more relevant and internationally-focused than ever before is well underway as London and the UK look to a trading future outside of the EU and an industry free of the economic constraints imposed by this year’s Coronavirus pandemic. LISW21, which will be held in the week of September 13-17, 2021, has already received the support of over 100 international shipping trade associations together with the UK Government, Royal Navy and the UK domestic shipping and maritime sectors. It promises to be an occasion of global proportions, with the number of events expected to exceed the 220 held during LISW19, meaning visitor numbers are expected to be higher than the 20,000 who attended last year. John Hulmes, Chairman of the LISW21 Steering Group, said: “This year’s international shipping events calendar has been adversely affected by the Coronavirus pandemic with many shipping weeks cancelled or postponed. LISW21 will be one of the first major opportunities shipping industry leaders will have to meet and network again in safety. “That is why the LISW21 Steering Group and Board of Advisors are pulling out all the stops to ensure that LISW21 is more relevant and international that ever before,” he added. For the first time, LISW will run industry events throughout the five days of the week as opposed to keeping the Thursday free just for the headline LISW Conference and Gala Dinner. This will give Supporting Organisations and Sponsors more freedom of choice when it comes to planning their events,” he added. Source: LISW21