Recently in shipping Category
The Rhine is sparkling in the late evening sun as we settle down with a glass of local Weißer Burgunder in the chilly blast of the wind off the river. A few other patrons of Rheinterrassen are already wrapped in furry red blankets on this fine summer's evening.
That staple of ICIS news, the Rhine water level, has not been in the headlines recently (not since May) and the river is looking perfectly full. At this bend in the river, barges and canoes are passing without a care in the world.
Most summers we write numerous articles on the Rhine low water level and how it hinders the shipment of chemicals by barge in and out of the chemical plants along the Rhine. The lack of these articles in June and July is a clear indicator of the cool wet summer we have been having in northwest Europe.
photo of Rhine at Mannheim, Germany: wikimedia
The 84 year-old former science writer of the Daily Telegraph is crossing the
Anthony Smith shows a reckless cheerfulness at the prospect of hurricanes and freak waves over 90 feet, and is undeterred by warnings of "the disappearance of substantial merchant vessels without trace. Oh, and with the loss of all hands," according to this posting in the venerable shipping journal's Maritime Blogspot.
What about the cost to the taxpayer and "the danger to merchant shipping going about their legitimate and economically useful business", the crusty seadog splutters.
The Blog's first school trip to Germany was to St Goar at just this point on the Rhine, by the famous Lorelei rock where the Lorelei mermaid was said to lure sailors and fishermen onto the rocks.
(photo: SWR Fernsehen)
The Blog is indebted to an industry friend for pointing out that Unigas formerly had a ship called the Lady Barbara, and a whole fleet of prettily named vessels like the Pretty Lady and the Happy Bride.
The convention of using feminine pronouns when referring to ships may be fading away in public usage, but it is noticeable that people in the chemical shipbroking business still say "she" when talking about their ships.
The history of this is supposed to be that sailors were considered to be "married to the sea" because of their love of the ocean. As a compliment to women, they named their ships after them. Even when ships were no longer given women's names, they were still referred to as "she" because of "a captain's love for his ship."
(Photos: Lady Barbara, Pretty Lady, Happy Bride: Unigas)
An evocative helicopter view of all the ships waiting around Fos-Lavera port while the French refineries are out of action - it's a video from AFP, which my colleague Nel has spotted today.
Click here to play the video.
"Come sunshine, snow or rain - the wheels keep rolling on forever."
It's a road movie celebrating the nobility of the long-distance chemical trucker and the 90th birthday of Den Hartogh Logistics, complete with heart-tugging vocals.
"To experience the ultimate emotion, we recommend listening to the song and music," says the email today to "Dear Relationship" from Den Hartogh attaching the four-minute video clip.
Somali pirate attacks on oil and chemical tankers have been on hold for a few weeks on account of the monsoon season, but they are expected to start up again around the end of August.
Now luxury ocean liners in Russia are offering pirate hunting cruises aboard armed private yachts off the Somali coast, according to an article in Austria's Wirtschaftsblatt (Reiche Russen auf Piratenjagd vor Somalia), and picked up in today's Private Eye.
"Wealthy punters pay 5790 Dollars per day to patrol the most dangerous waters in the world hoping to be attacked by raiders. When attacked, they retaliate with grenade launchers, machine guns and rocket launchers. Passengers, who can pay an extra 5 Dollars a day for an AK-47 machine gun and 12 Dollars for 100 rounds of ammo, are also protected by a squad of ex special forces troops. The yachts travel from
PS There was a disclaimer at the foot of the Wirtschaftsblatt article to say:
"Comment of the editors: Goldman Morgenstern & Partners tells us, that "they believe", this story is "satire.""
Plunging demand for fuel is triggering a growing global supply glut, and