The Malaysian government has enlisted US seabed exploration company Ocean Infinity to spearhead the new operation to locate the wreckage of the Boeing 777 on a “no find, no fee” basis. The company’s chartered Norwegian ship “Seabed Constructor” is heading for a search zone off the coast of Perth, Western Australia, after setting sail from Port Durban in South Africa last night. It us due to arrive on February 7. The high-tech vessel is carrying several autonomous submarines which can be launched from the boat to scour the seabed for fragments of the jet.
Weather Bomb Goes Off
A severe storm is about to hit the northeastern United States, and commercial shipping is already feeling its effects. A warning is in effect off the mid-Atlantic with forecasts for waves of up to 25 feet and winds to 70 knots. The weather system’s central pressure is expected to drop by more than 24 millibars in a day, likely beginning as it passes off North Carolina and continuing as it moves north to Cape Cod and on to Nova Scotia. As conditions deteriorate, heavy winds, snow and freezing spray could put small craft at risk of sinking at their anchorage or pier due to the weight of icing and snow.
Tech Shipping Shake Up
Technologies that could shake the maritime industry can come from all angles. But the biggest hitters this year will be those that change the face of IT and digitalisation in the industry. Shipowners will already be well aware of the changing face of ship emissions and smarter fleet management, but are they aware that developments in robotics, digital currencies and deep learning computers are also set to impact on their operations? The changes are set to be in Deep learning, Artificial intelligence, Industrial IoT, Autonomous surface vessels, Blockchain, Augmented reality, Virtual reality, Drones, Robotics, and cyborg seafarers.
Shanghai Sets New Record
The port of Shanghai has set a new world record by handling over 40 million TEUs on Friday, local media reports. Last month, Shanghai Yangshan Deep Water Port, the world’s biggest automated container terminal, started trial operations. Shanghai Port started container handling in 1978 with a capacity of 7,951 TEUs. In 2010, the port overtook the Port of Singapore to become the world’s busiest container port, and in 2011 throughput exceeded 30 million TEUs. In 2016, Shanghai set a record by handling over 37 million TEUs. Shanghai aims to become China’s leading international shipping, aviation and railway hub by 2040.
Trauma for Seafarers
Working at sea has always been dangerous, but this is especially true for the men and women who experience piracy, often in hot spots near Somalia and, increasingly, West Africa. From 1984 to 2016 there were 7,567 incidents of reported piracy or armed robbery, according to the International Maritime Organization, and 221 incidents in 2016 alone. Seafarers caught by pirates and especially those taken hostage for an extended period of time may be shot at, threatened and beaten or witness their colleagues being killed – and a growing body of research documents the lasting mental health effects of these experiences.