Cross channel ferry

‘Ferries: More than the sum of their bars’


A ferry is the perfect place for shipping to engage with the general public, but it’s an opportunity that seems to be being missed. By James Wilkes. Like thousands of people, I took a cross-channel…

Somali piracy 2017: the world is watching


The question as to whether Somali piracy is about to make a sustained return is based on a false premise. It never really went away. What did change in 2012 was that successful attacks of…

When can we say with more certainty that Somalia-based piracy is resurgent?


This article written by James Wilkes, MD, Gray Page, was first published on Splash 24/7 on 10th April 2017. On March 13, a small products tanker named Aris 13 was hijacked by a group of…

Maritime security reality check


This article written by Gray Page, first appeared on Splash 24/7 on March 9th 2017. If the first concerns that spring to mind at the mention of ‘maritime security risks’ are cyber-attacks and terrorism you…

Crew abandonment: owners need to be held accountable


Contact us “if the ship begins sinking or someone dies.” It was a brief message, sent by the owners of four merchant ships abandoned at the UAE’s Ajman anchorage in Sharjah. The 41 Indian sailors…

Marine pollution: prosecuting seafarers will not solve the problem


US Assistant Attorney General John C. Cruden said it best: “The pollution in this case was the result of more than just bad actors on one ship. It reflects poorly on [the ship’s] culture and…

Fighting the shipping of illegal wildlife products

Smarter ways of searching for a needle in a haystack; disrupting the shipping of illegal wildlife and counterfeit goods


2016 was the year shipping acknowledged its role as a facilitator of crime, admittedly an unwitting facilitator, but a facilitator none the less. The key moments were the Declaration of the United for Wildlife International…

The age of the ‘professional stowaway’


Traditionally the goal of the stowaway is to board a ship undetected to gain free passage from one part of the world to another. But evidence from South Africa suggests the emergence of a new…

Ballast water rules foreshadow uncertain future


The latest move by the international community to limit shipping’s impact on the environment has been met with qualified welcome but also trepidation and profound irritation. Irritation because the rules on ballast water management, while…

No short-term fix in battle against piracy


Piracy and armed robbery at sea have fallen to their lowest levels in over 20 years, according to data gathered in the first six months of 2016. The decline is in large part a measure…

South China Sea ruling: ‘Keep Calm and Carry On’


China, as expected, has said it will ignore findings from an international tribunal that undermine its claims to sovereignty over large parts of the South China Sea. The Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague…

Vessel boarding and kidnap threat, Philippines and Borneo


Since the end of March 2016, there have been three separate maritime kidnappings of crewmembers from tugboats operating in Malaysian territorial waters between Sabah State, Malaysia, and the southern Philippines. Each incident was perpetrated by…

A long road to recovery: shipping 2016


It’s going to be a longer road to economic recovery for the shipping industry than previously hoped. With loans exceeding assets, dwindling orderbooks and cash flow problems, any recovery in the shipping sector has well…

Outlook for the shipping industry; is the worst now behind us?


Some vessel sectors are seeing higher freight and charter rates in 2015, but these signs of optimism are being tempered by other macroeconomic factors, such as falling commodity prices, a tumbling Chinese stock market and…

The piracy threat in the South China Sea; mitigating the risks


James Wilkes, Managing Director of Gray Page, answers questions about the ongoing piracy risk, put to him by Breakbulk News Editor, Carly Fields. 1. What should operators do to mitigate the growing risks of piracy in…

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