COLUMN | Global sulphur cap 2020 – Don't panic! (Part 2) [The Boroscope]

There’s no better way to sell newspapers to an unsuspecting public than to instill a bit of fear and panic into their lives. Yet the world’s press hasn’t cottoned on to the latest big event which will change our way of life forever. The 2020 Sulphur Cap will be implemented on January 1 next year and the world will feel the immediate effects of the increased costs of shipped goods.

REMINISCENCES | Shipbuilding on the Clyde

The river Clyde – though a very muddy little stream – is known to most people throughout the world as a place that has a great deal to do in the building of ships. Doubtless, most young engineers have at some time or another observed that familiar brass plate which adorns the engine-room bulkhead, “Built on the Clyde."

REMINISCENCES | Carefully to carry

It was a photograph of one of these monster container ships that made me sorry for those who have to sail in them. It was probably a maiden voyage of a CMA-CGM new delivery, because every one of the 18,000TEU that festooned this colossal ship was identical and advertising the company brand. Whatever amazing treasures were contained in the cargo carried in this big ship, its crew would have remained in ignorance about it all. Isn’t that sad?

COLUMN | Too many eggs in the basket [Grey Power]

You should, as the song instructs us, always look on the bright side of life. I’m afraid, when I saw the news that the German carmaker Porsche was having to restart its limited edition, top-of-the-range production line, because nearly 40 of its most expensive vehicles had been lost aboard the sunken Con-Ro Grande America, my reaction was not entirely negative.

COLUMN | Global sulphur cap 2020 – Don't panic! (Part 1) [The Boroscope]

We are only months away from an event which will not only change world shipping forever but possibly the world’s economy as well. On January 1, 2020, the IMO will enforce the reduction of global sulphur cap for ships heavy fuel from 3.5 per cent to 0.5 per cent. The implications of this regulation change are far reaching and the impact has yet to be fully appreciated.

REMINISCENCES | Oiling the wheels of industry

These days, when corruption has gone inter-continental and there is so much money laundering, you don’t wonder why the banknotes are dirty, I sometimes recall the corrupt practices of the past. It wasn’t exactly an age of innocence, but it all seems to have been on a smaller and more comprehensible scale, when there was less transparency about what was being given to whom to ..er..“facilitate trade”.

COLUMN | Staying mum on pirate problems [Grey Power]

I never sailed in the West African trades, but I know several people who looked back with the fondest memories of voyages to that part of the world, with ships being worked in roadsteads; cargo loaded and discharged using surfboats and the seamanship exhibited by the cheerful locals who handled these boats.

  • Published in Piracy

REMINISCENCES | The slow march of technology

I don’t know how they cope these days with all the electronic equipment, which keeps ship systems together, having to be updated or even replaced, every eighteen months or so. On our oldest ladies – some of them the wrong side of 35 years old – the equipment they took to the scrapyard was mostly that which had been installed when they left their shipyards. Our company was no mean-minded tramp outfit – our Commonwealth cargo liners were the best that the owner’s money could buy - but marine technology moved rather slower in those days.

COLUMN | Ports to dread [Grey Power]

Ships, you might think, are the customers of ports and their main (sometimes the only) source of revenue. So you might think that visiting ships would be welcomed with open arms and treated in such a way that they might return, delighted at the exhibition of customer-friendliness which they found.

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