Tuesday, 22 October 2019

COSCO Launches New Shipping Intermodal Service between Rijeka and Central Europe

ZAGREB, October 22, 2019 - The new shipping and intermodal service COSCO Rijeka Land Sea Express, connecting the northern Croatian Adriatic port to central Europe, was formally launched at the port's Brajdica container terminal on Monday.

The shipping and intermodal service was organised by the largest Chinese company COSCO Shipping Lines and Ocean Rail Logistics, a company within the COSCO group responsible for rail transport.

The service comprises a regular shipping line between Rijeka and the Greek port of Piraeus as well as rail services operating along the routes Rijeka-Budapest-Rijeka and Rijeka-Belgrade-Rijeka.

By combining overseas and rail services under the name Rijeka Land Sea Express, COSCO offers its clients a transit time of 32 days from eastern China to Budapest and of 28 days from southern China to Budapest, using Piraeus and Rijeka as transloading ports.

The project was launched in March and has been fully operational since July.

The Minister for Maritime Affairs, Transport and Infrastructure, Oleg Butković, said: "With our cooperation with the Chinese companies we managed to set things in motion to increase traffic in the port of Rijeka."

The director of the Rijeka Port Authority, Denis Vukorepa, said he expected that nearly 300,000 container units would be transloaded at Brajdica this year. He emphasised the fact that COSCO, as the world's largest shipping company, had established a direct line between Rijeka and Pireus and an intermodal service.

The ceremony was also attended by representatives of COSCO Shipping Lines from Shanghai, Shipping Europe and the concessionaire Adriatic Gate Container Terminal.

More Rijeka news can be found in the Lifestyle section.

Saturday, 12 October 2019

Search for Missing Sea Captain Miškić Continues

ZAGREB, October 12, 2019 - The search for Croatian captain Dino Miškić, who went missing with the crew of a French tug boat when it sank in the Atlantic on September 26, continues, Foreign Minister Gordan Grlić Radman said on Saturday after Martinique's authorities and the French Navy said that after 16 days they would stop the active search and switch to active surveillance.

"One still hasn't given up. The search continues in a way," the minister said, adding that the French authorities had shown incredible solidarity and cooperation.

The Croatian authorities continue to follow developments, the European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA) is involved and satellites are also available, the minister said.

"We continue to be actively involved in the search," he said, adding that the Foreign Ministry, the Croatian Embassy in Paris and the prime minister's office were in contact with Miškić's family.

The Bourbon Rhode tug sank in the middle of the Atlantic due to hurricane Lorenzo. Four ships as well as US and French aircraft have been involved in rescue operations. The EMSA became involved at the request of the Croatian government.

Martinique Prefect Franck Robine said early this morning the search for seven crew members was switching from an active search to active surveillance because they believed it was nearly impossible any of the crew were still alive.

Active surveillance means that everyone remains mobilised yet no new boats will be sent into the search area, but everyone passing there must be on alert for any signs of the crew or the life raft, he explained.

The authorities said an area of 205,000 square kilometres had been searched by 19 boats and 15 aircraft.

An executive of the Bourbon shipping company said today he regretted that the extensive search and rescue operation over the past week had not yielded the desired result. "In more than ten days, no sign of life or the life raft has been detected," he said in a press release.

So far, the search has resulted in the finding of three crew members who have survived and four dead. The Bourbon Rhode comprised 14 members - Miškić, one Russian, one South African, one Filipino and the rest were Ukrainian.

More shipping news can be found in the Lifestyle section.

Tuesday, 8 October 2019

Search for Missing Bourbon Rhode Seafarers to Continue

ZAGREB, October 8, 2019 - The Bourbon shipping company said on Monday that the search operation for missing seafarers from its Bourbon Rhode tug boat, including captain Dino Miškić of Croatia, would be continued by the Alp Striker vessel and that all commercial vessels sailing through the area where the Bourbon Rhode sank on September 26 had been alerted.

The French CROSS emergency centre on the French island of Martinique said last Friday that it had suspended the search for seven missing Bourbon Rhode seamen. The tug sank with a 14-member crew on board in the Atlantic about 2,000 kilometres from the nearest mainland, Martinique.

The crew were mostly Ukrainians and it also included one Russian, one South African and one Filipino as well as the captain Miškić.

After receiving the news about the end of the search, Miškić‘s family appealed to the Croatian state leadership to help continue the search, and an online petition has been launched and is being signed by citizens of Croatia and Ukraine.

The search operation launched after the ship sank lasted for a week and resulted in the discovery of three crew members who were alive and four members who died. No other bodies have been found since October 1.

More news about Croatian shipping industry can be found in the Business section.

Monday, 7 October 2019

Grabar-Kitarović Asks Macron to Review Decision to Suspend Search for Missing Seamen

ZAGREB, October 7, 2019 - President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović has asked her French counterpart Emanuel Macron to ensure a review of the decision to suspend the search for missing Croatian sea captain Dino Miškić and his crew who many believe could be alive ten days after their ship sank in the Atlantic.

In a letter, Grabar-Kitarović asked Macron to use his authority to ensure a review of the decision to suspend the search as long as there is even a slim chance and hope that it might be successful, her office said on Sunday.

The ship Bourbon Rhode, with a 14-member crew on board, sank on September 26 in the Atlantic, about 2,000 kilometres from the nearest mainland, the French island of Martinique. The search lasted for a week and resulted in the discovery of three crew members who were alive and four who died.

The crew were mostly Ukrainians and it also included one Russian, one South African and one Filipino. The captain was Dino Miškić, a Croatian national.

The French Regional Operational Centre for Surveillance and Rescue (CROSS) on the island of Martinique said on Friday that the search for the missing members of the crew of the Bourbon Rhode had been suspended.

After the official announcement that the search for the seven missing crew members had been suspended, the Mikšić family on Saturday appealed to the Croatian prime minister, president and government to help them ensure that the search continued.

More news about relations between Croatia and France can be found in the Politics section.

Sunday, 6 October 2019

Not All Options Have Been Exhausted in Search for Croatian Sea Captain

ZAGREB, October 6, 2019 - Foreign Minister Gordan Grlić Radman said on Sunday that together with the family and friends of missing Croatian sea captain Dino Miškić he believed that Miškić was alive.

"Instructions have been issued to all merchant ships and aircraft to observe the area. Not all options have been exhausted. The family, friends and we hope and believe that the captain is alive," Grlić told reporters.

"When it comes to the lives of Croatian citizens, we here are the first to protect them," he added.

The ship Bourbon Rhode, with a 14-member crew on board, sank on September 26 in the Atlantic, about 2,000 kilometres from the nearest mainland, the French island of Martinique. The crew were mostly Ukrainians and it also included one Russian, one South African and one Filipino. The captain was Dino Miškić, a Croatian national.

The search operation lasted for a week and resulted in the discovery of three crew members who were alive and four members who died. No other bodies have been found since October 1.

More shipping news can be found in the Business section.

Monday, 30 September 2019

Uljanik Plovidba Shipping Submits Application for Pre-Bankruptcy Proceedings

ZAGREB, September 30, 2019 - The Uljanik Plovidba shipping company has applied for pre-bankruptcy proceedings to be launched after a foreign banking syndicate broke off negotiations and retained in Malaysia an Uljanik ship as collateral for due debts, the Pula-based company said on Monday.

"The management and steering boards on 29 September 2019 adopted a decision to have pre-bankruptcy proceedings launched, along with a restructuring plan based on and in accordance with agreements reached so far regarding a possible settlement with existing creditors," the company said in a press release.

The company's management said that despite a high level of agreement regarding settlements with local and foreign creditors, a banking syndicate led by Credit Suisse had decided to unilaterally break off negotiations and had retained one of its ships in Malaysia as collateral for due debts.

The management added that a new foreign creditor had already signed an indicative offer to reschedule the loan by the foreign banking syndicate and announced that a binding offer for loan rescheduling would be delivered by October 4.

Uljanik Plovidba underscored that the proposed restructuring plan did not foresee any write-offs of claims from workers, seamen or suppliers and that is purpose was to ensure conditions to complete negotiations and come to a settlement with creditors so that the company can continue to do business.

More business news can be found in the dedicated section.

Thursday, 18 July 2019

Atlantska Plovidba: Two Croatian Crew Members Killed in Accident

ZAGREB, July 18, 2019 - The Atlantska Plovidba (AP) shipping transport company on Thursday reported that a Brazilian navy helicopter had arrived on the AP Dubrava ship which experienced an accident on Wednesday in which two crew members were killed and another two were injured while the ship's tank was being rinsed out.

According to information from the ship, the medical team has confirmed the death of two crew members while another two have been injured and transported by helicopter to land for observation, the company reported.

Another sailor who was not directly involved in the incident has been transported to hospital, presumably because of the stress he suffered, AP said.

The company denied "misinformation in certain media outlets," that the accident occurred due to a 'series of explosions' and underscored that the accident occurred during regular activities while the crew was rinsing out the ship's tank.

The relevant institutions on the Marshall Islands, under whose flag the ship is sailing, will conduct an investigation to determine all the circumstances.

The families of all the crew members have been informed of the incident in a timely manner. We have ensured essential assistance to the ship's commander and crew upon arrival in Tubarao, Brazil and have sent an official from the company's headquarters to Brazil as support, Atlantska Plovidba reported.

More news about maritime affairs can be found in the Lifestyle section.

Sunday, 10 February 2019

Croatian Captain Refuses to Help Drowning Migrants?

The commander of the Cordula Jacob tanker, allegedly a Croatian captain, is under investigation by the prosecution in Rome for failing to assist the shipwrecked. About 117 people eventually drowned, including ten women, one of whom was pregnant, and two children, including one infant, reports 24sata.hr on February 10, 2019.

According to Slobodna Dalmacija, the investigation was initially launched against the Italian Coast Guard, but after obtaining documents and listening to radio messages, it was redirected towards the Croatian seaman whose name is not known to the public.

On 18 January, the ship was sailing in the Mediterranean Sea, not far from the Libyan coast, about 42 miles north of Garabulli. The surviving three migrants – one from the Gambia and two from Ghana – claim that there were 120 people on a dinghy, that the smugglers had set them to sail without life jackets, that the dinghy lost air while on the sea, that the shipwrecked people fell one by one into the cold sea and soon drowned.

During the rescue operation, the closest merchant vessel Cordula Jacob was alarmed. According to the Italian military authorities, at the time it was 36.5 miles from the dinghy, about two hours of sailing, and could, by the same estimates, reach the shipwreck before the helicopter and possibly save more people.

It is not known why the commander hesitated and what he was told and asked to do by either Libyan or Italian naval authorities. Since Libya has established control over its maritime zone, merchant ships hesitate to come to aid because they can lose far more time than is necessary for receiving and transferring the shipwrecked, and shipowners do not measure time with a chronometer but instead with money.

The Italian naval authorities have allegedly managed to convince the commander of Cordula Jacob to change course and go towards the shipwreck only after threatening him to never again be able to sail into an Italian or Libyan port, according to La Repubblica.

Translated from 24sata.hr.

More news on the migrant crisis can be found in the Politics section.

Tuesday, 18 December 2018

Croatian Maritime Sector Facing Challenges

 ZAGREB, December 18, 2018 - A conference on the challenges of Croatian maritime sector in doing business heard on Monday that aside from investing in the maritime infrastructure, it is necessary to improve the port infrastructure required for attracting cargo and the connection between ports and the rail sector.

Over the past dozen years, the government invested over 600 million euro in the maritime infrastructure and it is investing 130 million euro in the Rijeka port through the absorption of European funds, said Maja Markovčić Kostelac, state secretary at the Maritime Affairs, Transport and Infrastructure Ministry.

She underlined the importance of concessionaires for attracting cargo as well as the challenge of connecting ports and the rail sector, saying it is necessary to attract investment in the rail infrastructure and logistics.

She said Croatia's tax policy had helped its shipping companies weather the crisis on the global market.

Vedran Devčić of the Croatian Chamber of Commerce said rising protectionism and possible trade wars were key global trends affecting the future of the maritime sector.

He said he hoped for a Croatian mega project worth several billion euros which would comprise a new, big container port on Krk island, a new road and rail bridge between Krk and the mainland and a Rijeka-Karlovac-Botovo railway towards the Hungarian border.

More news on the Croatian maritime sector and economy can be found in our Business section.

Friday, 9 November 2018

Passenger Shipping Lines to Croatian Islands Aligned with Flight Schedules

The Agency for Coastal Liner Shipping has already prepared the schedules for the next year and presented them to partners at the World Travel Market in London. This means that all passengers travelling to Croatian islands in the upcoming season will soon be able to see all the details of the passenger shipping schedules, which have finally been aligned with flights coming to coastal airports, particularly in the evening, reports Slobodna Dalmacija on November 9, 2018.

For decades, one of the problems for the tourism partners was the late publication of the shipping schedules to the Croatian islands which were not known until the spring, which meant that partners sometimes had to cancel their already scheduled travel packages for the islands.

“Tourism Minister Cappelli wanted all tour operator and partners of our tourism to be provided with timely information on coastal and liner shipping for lines which link the mainland with the islands. This year, we have accepted all the remarks given by the public and private sectors and tried to be as fast as possible so that everyone would have the info on how to reach the Croatian islands. There are 51 state lines and 11 seasonal lines that have been established so far, and we can still receive and supplement the seasonal line requests,” said Paola Vidović, head of the Agency for Coastal Liner Shipping in London.

For example, this will solve a well-known problem for passengers landing at Split Airport in the evening, who until now had to wait until the next morning for the first ship to sail to the island of Hvar. “In about ten days, our schedule for the next season will be published on our website. We have already defined it, accepting suggestions and criticism and adapting to the demands of the islanders and tourists. From early May to late September, Jadrolinija will have a fast line from Split to Hvar at 8 pm, and a ferry half an hour later,” she said

“The shipping companies have accepted many of the tour operators’ demands. During the peak tourist season, there will be 16 lines connecting Hvar with the mainland, including to Dubrovnik and Korčula. The evening connections have been introduced as per passenger requests, and in about a month you will be able to buy the tickets on Jadrolinija’s webpage,” said Vidović, who attended the fair in London together with Minister Cappelli.

The seasonal lines will start from early April and last until late September. In 2019, some of the new seasonal lines will be the one from Split to Šibenik and Zadar, and a new line from Rijeka to Zadar that will visit the islands of Krk and Vir. These lines will be maintained by private shipping companies.

There is also talk about the possibility that guests could be transferred directly from Divulje to the islands on lines to be agreed with the shipping companies.

It is highly commendable that, for the first time ever, Croatia has done everything that its tourism partners in London were asking for.

For more on Jadrolinija, click here.

Translated from Slobodna Dalmacija (reported by Ružica Mikačić).

Page 1 of 2