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SPYR Technologies, MagiX applied receives delivery of Apple HomeKit products before scheduling; Product sales will begin

SPYR Technologies, MagiX applied receives delivery of Apple HomeKit products before scheduling; Product sales will begin

Bloomberg

The fight between cargo, giants and shippers leaves the sailors stranded

(Bloomberg) – A confrontation between cargo giants and shipping companies prolongs the sea labor crisis, with an estimated 200,000 seafarers still stranded on their ships after their contracts expire and exceed the requirements of globally accepted safety standards. In an effort to maintain deliveries of food, fuel and other raw materials on time, some large freight companies avoid hiring certain ships or impose conditions that could block the exemption of exhausted seafarers. Companies are trying to avoid crew changes, which became much more expensive and time-consuming during the coronavirus outbreak. In an effort to keep deliveries on time, some companies have asked their transport partners to guarantee that no changes will take place, according to emails and contracts reviewed by Bloomberg. These requirements risk exacerbating a labor crisis as early as the 12th month, according to shipowners, trade unions and the United Nations. More than a year after the pandemic, hundreds of thousands of sailors have been waiting for their shore leave. Some worked without pay or a firm repatriation plan, and many took desperate action: in one case, a captain diverted his ship to the middle of the ocean and refused to return to class without a guarantee of relief. In the event of a pandemic, a shipowner could bring in a new crew during routine port stops. This common practice has become a logistical nightmare with Covid border borders. Some ports require long quarantines for incoming and outgoing workers, others reject ships that have changed crews within 10 to 14 days, due to fears that sailors could spread the virus. In January, about 300 companies, including Vitol Group, the world’s largest independent oil trader, and Australian mining giant Rio Tinto Group, signed a pledge to take action to resolve the navigator crisis. Named the “Neptune Declaration”, the signatories acknowledged a “shared responsibility” and promised increased collaboration between ship operators and charterers to facilitate the change of crew. But for now, some shipowners and laborers say they have changed little and not all have signed major charters. “We have chosen not to sign because we believe that our current practices regarding crew changes are correct and we fully respect the need for regular crew changes,” said a spokesman for Equinor ASA, a major oil company. gas and energy based in Stavanger, Norway. “We will not sail for any voyage if a change of crew is required that cannot be included in our delivery schedule.” Exxon Mobil Corp., the largest U.S. oil and gas producer, also refused to sign. A spokesman said the company was “considering the next steps”. The pact is “an ongoing work,” said Rajesh Unni, captain and chief executive of Synergy Marine, which manages more than 375 ships, including container vessels and cargo carriers. Shipping has always had competing interests, he said, but the companies that sign the Neptune Declaration “are at least committed to following the standard protocol, which should give you much more comfort now that we are all on the same page now. “What you need to know: Following the labor crisis at sea The battle for who should pay the higher costs of crew changes is the most acute for freight companies and their shipping partners, which perform what are called spot charters . Crewed ships available on request from anywhere, from a few days to a few months, on-site shipping vessels account for 85% to 90% of dry bulk and tanker deliveries in the cargo industry, according to the BIMCO industry group. Some companies did not stipulate changes to the crew or ask for verbal guarantees before hiring a charter, according to emails and contracts reviewed by Bloomberg. Charterers also used questionnaires to find out if ships are planning crew exchanges, according to shipowners. In one case, a shipowner told Bloomberg that in order to secure a charter with Rio Tinto, he had to extend workers’ contracts, pay extra pay, and promised to exempt them when the voyage was completed. He also had to confirm that no changes to the crew were planned for the entire duration. “Rio Tinto does not use clauses” without changing crew “in charter contracts,” the company said in a statement. “Rio Tinto aims to support the shipping industry and the human rights of its seafarers. This requires collaboration between shipowners, which employ seafarers, charterers and regional port authorities in terms of information transparency and flexibility in time. “The problem, say labor lawyers and navigators, is that workers have no choice in any way. Ship captains often hold their crew’s passports – a convenience for stopping the port, they say – and the ports are strictly controlled borders. Even if a worker wanted to leave his ship, he would not get very far without a passport, visa or plane ticket home. Read more: What happens when tycoons abandon their own huge cargo ships The industry says it is the responsibility of shipowners to arrange for a change of crew and to ensure the safety and well-being of seafarers on their ships. BIMCO has encouraged charterers to share the costs of crew changes and has developed a contractual language that requires companies that hire ships for a specified period of time – called a time charter – to do just that. Shipowners available for chartering on site, the group said, should change crew when the ship is not chartered. Working groups and industry want companies to be more flexible and allow dry bulk tanks and ships to divert or delay deliveries to help alleviate the crisis of stranded sailors. Also shareholders: A group of 85 investors managing assets worth more than $ 2 trillion, including Fidelity International, said in January that frequent charterers should be flexible about changing crews and should consider providing financial support for sailors to be repatriated. “At this time, charterers need to share the costs and assume the delays they may face,” said Laura Carballo, head of maritime law and policy at the World Maritime University in Malmo, Sweden. “This is the biggest argument. “It’s about delays. We’re sorry, we’re all facing delays right now. The world only works because sailors do their job.” Wichita, Kansas-based Koch Industries, which has interests in oil and instructed shipowners not to make crew changes while on charter, according to a person with direct knowledge of the terms and who asked not to be identified, as the conversations were private. In response to questions about the stipulation, the company responded in a statement: “Koch works closely with shipowners to ensure the safety and well-being of crew members. This is a problem that we are following closely and looking for ways to solve it. “Vitol, based in Rotterdam, asked the shipowners not to make changes to the crew in some charter spots, according to people familiar with the company’s contractual conditions who asked not to be identified because they were not allowed to speak publicly. Vitol says he “sought to manage our shipping business in accordance with the standards outlined in the Neptune Declaration.” “Wherever commercially and operationally possible, we make it easier to change crews,” company spokeswoman Andrea Schlaepfer said in a statement. “As a shipowner and administrator, Vitol appreciates the challenges of the current situation, but believes that with good management, owners can maintain high standards of seafarer welfare.” The Neptune Declaration also calls on world leaders to change their port and border policies to ease burdens. for seafarers, following a September statement from consumer companies, including Unilever Plc and Procter & Gamble Co., to do the same. Last month, the IMO recognized 55 countries that had agreed to consider sailors “essential workers” and encouraged nations that have not yet done so. This name has no official definition, and the countries have not been specific as to what, if any, would change port procedures. On Friday, the shipping industry expressed concern that while the number of stranded seafarers has fallen from the top, improvements could be short-lived as governments and port authorities respond to the threat of new Covid-19s with stricter restrictions. Sailors, many of whom come from developing countries, could also miss ongoing vaccination attempts, risking further delays and disruption of the supply chain. “The crisis is still ongoing,” said Guy Platten, secretary general of the International Transport Chamber, which accounts for more than 80 percent of the world’s merchant fleet. “Governments will not be able to vaccinate their citizens without the shipping industry or, most importantly, our navigators.” (Updates with recent statements from the shipping industry about the threat of new Covid-19 variants to navigator improvement efforts.) Articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com Subscribe now to stay with the most reliable source of business news. © 2021 Bloomberg LP