Category "Maritime Knowledge"

Ghost Ships and the Seven Seas

in Maritime Knowledge by

The maritime folklore of ghost ship, “Flying Dutchman” happens to be very popular and it has inspired hundreds of paintings, books, operas and movies. Are ghost ships only limited to the folklores and Halloween stories? In the world of modern maritime, the term ghost ship has a much more practical meaning.  

Ghost ships are vessels floating with no living crew onboard. These abandoned vessels drift in the ocean and appear suddenly at some coast or are spotted midsea giving rise to a series of questions about ownership, crew safety, environmental hazard, security of state, etc. These vessels could have been abandoned under any unknown circumstances. Later these ships become subject to horror stories as these abandoned vessels have many unanswered questions, such as: What happened to the crew? From where did the vessel arrive? and many more attached to them. It is interesting to learn the reasons behind the abandonment of vessels which later turn up as ghost ships.

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Why are ship hulls painted red?

in Maritime Knowledge by
Image of container ship CMA CGM Benjamin Franklin by ship spotter Claus_Gaser has its hull painted red.

Any avid ship spotter or someone who has been on board a commercial ship knows that these are often painted red below the waterline.  Since the ship hulls mostly remain underwater, one question that might be asked is ‘Why red is the color of choice?’ Well, the reason lies simply in shipping tradition – Oh, and worms!

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Strait of Hormuz: The Chokepoint for Global Oil Demands

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Cargo and tanker high-traffic lanes and vessel traffic in the Strait of Hormuz via FleetMon Explorer

Sandwiched between the Persian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman, the Strait of Hormuz is the only sea passage connecting the Persian Gulf to the open ocean. In other words, it is the lifeline of the Arab world, the most notable among them being Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Qatar, and the United Arab Emirates.

Although the narrowest point in the strait is just 33km wide, the shipping lanes in both directions are only 3km wide.

If you’ve been following maritime incidents, you’d know that this Strait is in the frontline when it comes to the battle between Iran and the United States. So much so that the United States Fifth Fleet, based in Manama, Bahrain, is responsible for protecting maritime shipping lanes in this region.

Have a look at the Strait of Hormuz using FleetMon Explorer for real-time vessel tracking.

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Which cruise ships have been sold or scrapped since COVID-19?

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Cruise ships became the first hot-spots of the deadly Coronavirus, with luxury yachts and mega cruises turning into large quarantine centers. FleetMon reported on the developments since the beginning of the pandemic. Governments all around the world resorted to imposing a strict ‘No Cruise’ ban.

With COVID-19 impacting all sectors of the economy, the cruise industry has been particularly brought to its knees.

With the figures we’re going to show you now, it becomes apparent that the sheer scale of this global shutdown is unlike something the industry has ever witnessed, easily dwarfing global events like 9/11 or stock market crashes.

Cruise liner Queen of the Oceans by ship spotter AIS-Split
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What are blank sailings?

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A void sailing or a blank sailing is when a ship does not sail. More specifically, it is a scheduled sailing which has been either cancelled by the shipping company or the company decided to skip a certain string owing to some shortcomings.

A string is a set of ports served weekly by a carrier. For example, one string might be: Shanghai NingboLos AngelesOaklandShanghai. The string moves in a circular direction but always along with the same schedule of ports with a fixed departure day of the week set for each port.

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10 years Fehmarnbelt tunnel: an overview

in Trends, Maritime Knowledge by
Fehmarnbelt tunnel: a visionary yet controversial project

Happy 10th Anniversary, many would say. But this particular anniversary, which recalls the start of a visionary project, is somewhat different. In January 2010, a treaty was signed between the Kingdom of Denmark and the Federal Republic of Germany for the construction of a fixed link under the Fehmarnbelt, the 18 km Baltic strait running between the Danish island of Lolland and the German island of Fehmarn. Yet not everybody in Denmark or Germany feels like celebrating.

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Why does HMM build the world’s largest vessels?

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HMM ALGECIRAS

South Korea is an absolute powerhouse when it comes to the shipbuilding industry. Samsung, Daewoo, and Hyundai are names that every shipping company knows, partially because every notable shipping company has at least one ship built from any of these shipyards. There’s a new company rising on the horizon, and that too has its roots deeply embedded in the South Korean lifestyle: Hyundai Merchant Marine (HMM).

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Malacca Strait: China’s strategic chokepoint

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Vessel traffic in the Malacca Strait via FleetMon Explorer

There’s a popular saying in the Maritime sector: Whatever happens in China, affects global shipping. Remember the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic when ports all across China were closed off? According to Alphaliner, more tonnage of container ships remained idled around the world than during the global financial crisis during this period. Daily charter rates for tankers and bulk freighters plummeted more than 70% from normal levels as China bought less oil, iron ore, and coal.

Or take a look at the country’s oil statistics:

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