Ship Spotter Spotlight: Nektarios from Greece

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After such a chaotic and crazy year like 2020, we started the new year by returning to what we at FleetMon.com truly care about. The answer came to mind immediately – Our community, of course! It is all those great people enjoying their time uploading unique vessel images and adding vessel information to the datasheets. You guys add value to our platform every day! Therefore, from now on, we would like to put the spotlight on our community members, introducing one ship spotter or maritime enthusiast every month on the corporate blog.

The community is growing! This month, we start with a new member joining FleetMon.com in September 2020: Ship spotter phduck2k from Greece. He uploaded 120 vessel photos already and has been ship spotting practically all his life.

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Container ships: Who is the “biggest loser?”

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While international shipping is making intensive efforts to demonstrate its environmental awareness, for example by introducing cleaner propulsion systems, it is creating negative headlines elsewhere.

We encounter increasing reports on losses of large quantities of containers on the high seas as a result of severe storms and other extreme weather conditions. The World Shipping Council (WSC) recently released its 2020 update showing that, on average, 1,382 containers are lost at sea each year.

The most spectacular example is the 2019-built Japanese 14,000 TEU freighter “ONE Apus” (IMO 9806079), which lost over 1,800 containers on Nov 30 2020 in the middle of the Pacific being en route from China to the US west coast. Initially, media reports stated that over 1,900 boxes were swept overboard by a storm. Some 64 dangerous goods containers were lost as well, alongside 54 with fireworks, eight with batteries, and two with liquid ethanol. On Dec 8 2020 the ship has arrived in Kobe, where the big clean-up and safety check-up has started.

Top 5 container ships with most freight loss

The loss of large amounts of cargo due to difficult weather conditions occurs equally for all shipping companies. FleetMon.com has put together a Top 5 of the “biggest losers” of freight in the container shipping industry.

#1: Container ship ONE Apus

End of November 2020, container ship ONE Apus will go down in history with 1816 containers lost in the North Pacific west of Hawaii. 64 contained hazardous goods like fireworks, batteries, and liquid ethanol.

Image of ONE Apus by ship spotter linse51
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Brexit’s done – or is it?

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Boris Johnson’s winning election slogan, “Get Brexit done”, is now reality. But is Brexit really done? And how will it impact ports and supply chains?

Spot the famous White Cliffs of Dover in the distance? This was a sight at least 10,000 lorry drivers waited many days to see around Christmas 2020. They were stuck in massive queues on the motorway to Dover or forced to park at Manston Airport far from the port. Some ended up spending Christmas in their lorries before they could cross the Channel. What went wrong? Britain’s Health Minister, Matt Hancock, had issued a panicky statement on the new corona virus mutation (“We’ve lost control!”) and many countries closed their borders to road, rail and air travellers from Britain. France shut the Port of Calais and the Eurotunnel. Was the resultant chaos a foretaste of Brexit’s impact on ports and European supply chains?

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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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The data revolution in shipping

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Artificial intelligence in today’s world:

AI or Artificial Intelligence is a blanket term that refers to many computer systems having “intelligence” in some form or another; even if the program is highly overseen by humans. Nevertheless, “Narrow AI’s” (AI’s that do not have general autonomy), while far less interesting constitute far more of what the society today perceives as AI.

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Inland waterway transport systems

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Vessel traffic and cargo and tanker density with FleetMon Explorer for real-time vessel tracking, Mississippi River, New Orleans area

A key cog in the wheel of global supply chains

The huge barge chugs its way southwards towards the Gulf of Mexico. A passer-by on the banks of the Mississippi can hardly hear the boat’s engine: the other shoreline is scarcely visible, so wide is America’s second-longest river at 3,730 km. Its length is just one of the Mississippi’s many superlatives. As an inland waterway transport system (IWTS), its economic significance cannot be overstated.

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FleetMon sponsors GPS devices for Row2Rio project

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Botha will be the first person to attempt this Trans-Atlantic crossing alone

Capetonian, Zirk Botha, will depart on his 7000km solo Trans-Atlantic row from Cape Town to Rio de Janeiro, on Saturday 5 December 2020, leaving from Granger Bay Marina, at 09:00. Botha will be the first person to attempt this Trans-Atlantic crossing alone.

The 59 year-old Botha is undertaking the extreme challenge in support of the environment and sustainable development. The crossing requires him to row completely unassisted for approximately 100 days, over approximately 7000kms (3800 Nautical Miles) in often treacherous weather conditions.

“I will have no supporting safety boat, and I can expect to experience large waves and swells, not to mention the threat of numerous tanker and other large vessels bearing down on me as I move through the shipping lanes.”

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Strait of Hormuz: The Chokepoint for Global Oil Demands

in Maritime Knowledge by
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?

in Maritime Knowledge by

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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Drone Ships: A not so distant maritime future

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Credits: IBM

There’s no denying that advancements in unmanned aerial vehicle (UAS) technology are affecting every sphere of our lives, ranging from agriculture & filmmaking to security and communications down to logistics.

With growing worldwide interest in commercial, scientific, and military issues associated with both oceans and shallow waters, there has been a corresponding growth in demand for the development of unmanned surface vehicles (USVs) with advanced guidance, navigation, and control (GNC) capabilities.

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