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Families of Indian sailors abducted

Families of Indian sailors abducted by Somali pirate`s camp outside shipping ministry


With just three days to go for the deadline set by Somali pirates to end, families of Indian sailors in their custody camped outside the office of the Shipping Ministry and implored the government to secure their release. The pirates, who hijacked the United Arab Emirates (UAE)-owned MT ROYAL GRACE  in March, have set November 30 as the

deadline for their demands to be met, failing which they have threatened to kill the 17 Indian sailors on board the ship.


The relatives of the sailors said that the government had only `empty` assurances to offer. "We have come here twice, and the government has given us nothing but empty promises. The Somali pirates have threatened to kill our children if the government does not give in to their demands by November 30. That is why we have all gathered here," said Chandran, the father of an abducted sailor. "We get no news of our children, and are unable to talk to them on the phone either. My son has two children, aged six and three," added Mahtab, the mother of a sailor, Sahid, aboard the same ship. Shipping Minister G. K. Vasan said that efforts were continuing to secure the sailors` release. 


"This is a process which we are continuously doing. Around 200 of our sailors have been abducted by Somali pirates in the past five years. Because of the discreet and strategic functioning of the government, we have been able to release around 160 of them. Another 42 sailors are still there in captivity. Their lives are very important. We are very concerned about manifest in 2Q13 as the most challenging quarter in terms of tonnage delivery, beyond easy year-on-year rate comparisons in 1Q13,” it said. Maersk itself is due to take delivery of 10 vessels next year, including the first four of its Triple-E class.  In fact, the introduction of the 18,000teu vessels will be crucial to the line`s future profitability because of their potential to significantly reduce Maersk`s operating costs.


The MAERSK BRANI  anchored in the Panama Canal – Photo : Anko Staas © The line says that the vessels  – which by 2016 will represent 10-15% of its total fleet capacity – are 19% more fuel efficient than the Emma Maersk class; 35% more fuel efficient than a 13,100 teu vessel and 50% more fuel efficient  than the average-sized vessel deployed on the Asia-Europe trade. 


“This suggests the potential for a 3% unit cost saving over a three-to-four year period, assuming fuel is broadly 30% of operating expenses. Were  Maersk Line  to prove successful in keeping a potential $800m saving in costs, by limiting rate discounting on a larger gauge fleet, this alone could contribute to around 30% of the total structural cost base reduction requirement suggested by 2012E earnings,” the research note said. Attacking its cost base is its one recourse to profitability, given how weak trading conditions are. But as the slew of articles about the company noted last week, predicting a diversification away from liner shipping, Maersk Line continues to represent the bulk of the group`s revenues and investment in 2012, according to Credit Suisse estimates, but not its pre-tax earnings – the line accounted for 46% of revenues, 39% of invested capital and 17% of ebitda. “As such, in the short term, Maersk Line`s fortunes will likely be dictated by management`s ability to insulate the company from rate downswings and capitalise on opportunities as rates rebound with the push and pull of global capacity management—we model  Maersk Line  rates down 1% in 2013 reflecting declines from 2Q13 [onwards],” it concluded.


Date: November 29, 2012


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Source: The Load Star


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