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Friday, January 19, 2018

American Club News

The American Club Celebrates Its Centenary

	Joe Hughes, Chairman and CEO of the American Club’s managers, Shipowners Claims Bureau, Inc. (Photo:  American Club)

The American P&I Club was founded in New York nearly a century ago. To celebrate its first 100 years, a book entitled The American Club: A Centennial History has just been published. The book tells the story of the Club across ten decades of maritime and marine insurance history both within the United States and across the world. Its author is Richard Blodgett, a former Wall Street Journal reporter whose previous credits include histories of the New York Stock Exchange, Kohler and Co. and JPMorgan Chase & Co. The American Club was founded in February, 1917.

Witte Named Chairman of the American Club

J. Arnold Witte Sr., President and CEO of Donjon Marine, Co., Inc. has been named Chairman of the American Steamship Owners Mutual Protection and Indemnity Association, Inc. (the American Club). The Club, established in New York in 1917, is a member of the International Group of Protection and Indemnity (P&I) Clubs, a collective of 13 mutuals, which together provide P&I insurance for some 90% of all world shipping. In addition to Mr. Witte’s duties with Donjon and the American Club, Mr. Witte Sr. is a Past President of the American Salvage Association (ASA), as well as a Past President and current Vice President of the International Salvage Union (ISU).

American Club Announces 2.5% Increase

Joe Hughes (Photo: American Club)

At its meeting in New York on November 20, the American Club’s board resolved to levy a general premium increase of 2.5 percent for P&I cover, but no increase in the cost of FD and D for the 2016 policy year. The club’s board also reviewed release call requirements for open policy years, reducing the margins for 2013 and 2014, and undertaking to revisit the 2015 figure in the first half of 2016. In reaching these decisions, the board took account of the club’s recent performance against a background of the overall economic climate…

The American Club Reports Solid Progress in 2015

Arnold Witte (Photo: Donjon Marine)

The American Club reported solid progress during 2015 at the annual meeting of its members held in New York yesterday. Despite a challenging economic climate, the Club’s business developed respectably, and 2016 had started on a positive note. The Club’s tonnage and revenue experienced some attenuation in 2015 as global trade slowed and freight markets continued to struggle. Following the 2016 renewal, year-on-year tonnage entered for P&I and FD&D risks was stable at about 14 million GT for the former and 9 million GT for the latter class of business…

American Club takes Pilot Training Initiative

At a time when marine pilotage is coming under sharp focus by ship operators, marine insurers and seafarers' unions, the American Club has made a ground-breaking agreement with the Odessa National Maritime Academy in the Ukraine to provide training courses on marine pilotage for its members' deck officers. This development is a result of the club establishing a relationship with the Ukrainian maritime community through its Pre-Employment Medical Examination (PEME) scheme, launched in March this year, which has led to liaison with the Odessa National Maritime Academy. In view of the increasing number of members employing Ukrainian crew…

American Hellenic Insures 1,000 Vessels

Photo: American Hellenic Hull Insurance Company

American Hellenic Hull Insurance Company (AHHIC) has already provided cover for 1,000 vessels managed from Europe, the Americas and Asia, said said Vincent Solarino, Chairman of the Board of Directors of AHHIC and President and COO of Shipowners Claims Bureau, managers of the American Club. The company’s remarkable initial success that exceeds targets for first six months, underlines its ability to become a global player in the marine hull market as well as industry recognition of AHHIC’s backers and managers, he said.

P&I Claims Increase for Bagged Rice Shipments

According to estimates, of the nearly 475m metric tons of rice produced globally in 2013, the largest producers were China (30% of the total) and India (22%). However, most of the rice produced in these countries is consumed domestically. By contrast, the largest exporters of rice since 2008 have been Thailand, Vietnam, India and the US (at just under 10%). Overall, it is reckoned that only 5-6% of global rice production is transported internationally. Nevertheless, even this figure represents a significant volume of global trade. In its latest loss prevention initiative, the American Club has published Transport Guidance for Bagged Rice…

“Oily Business” in Argentina can be Costly to Ship Operators

According to the American Club, the latest customs threat in Argentina concerns the misdeclaration of shipboard stores, which can lead to fines. In an alert to its members, the American Club said that customs authorities are becoming stricter, particularly regarding the declaration of lube oils, bunkers, chemicals, spare parts, grabs and other items in lists of stores carried onboard vessels, especially in ports such as San Nicolas. Based on information from Pandi Liquidadores S.R.L, the club’s correspondent, ships have been required to declare the lube oil in the sump tank of the main engine, despite previous practice to the contrary.

American Club Wins P&I Award

"An excellent start to 2005 and the new policy year" is how Joe Hughes, chief executive of managers Shipowners Claims Bureau Inc., describes the American Club's double achievement of the past week. On February 24, at London's Banqueting House in Whitehall, the club was voted the winner among four finalists for the P&I/Insurance Services Award at Lloyd's List's 2005 Awards covering 12 categories of the maritime industry. The P&I Award, sponsored by Clyde & Co., was presented to Paul Sa, the club's chairman, by Derek Hodgson, partner and head of the maritime transportation department at Clyde. Earlier the same week, the American Club had reported a successful outcome of the annual P&I renewal, which saw the club post a further increase in entered tonnage, to approximately 21.7 gross tons.

Crew Medical Initiative Debuted in Ukraine

The American Club is the first P&I insurer to set up a program for pre-employment medical examinations (PEME) in the Ukraine. Claims resulting from pre-existing illnesses have been a big problem for shipowners and P&I clubs alike. However, certain illnesses and medical conditions can be identified during a PEME, and the American Club plans to establish an ‘approved’ list of quality clinics in labour-supplying countries where club members employ seafarers. It is estimated that approximately 60% of the vessels entered with the club have Ukrainian and/or Filipino crews. Paul Sa, chairman of the American Club, said today: “In view of this, the directors have accepted the managers’ recommendation that the club initiates a clinic approval programme in the Ukraine and Philippines.

American Club Rings in Posidonia 2014

Stuart Todd

The American Club held its traditional party on the evening of Thursday, May 29 to mark the start of Posidonia week. More than 600 guests from the club’s expanding Greek membership, as well as club directors and representatives from the Greek maritime industry, attended a buffet reception on the rooftop of the Royal Olympic Hotel in central Athens. The event was also attended by Miltiades Varvitsiotis, the Greek Minister of Shipping and the Aegean, together with senior diplomats from the U.S. Embassy to Greece.

American Club Gets S&P Rating Boost

American Club logo

Under Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services’ latest review, the American P&I Club’s financial strength rating has been raised a full notch from BB+ to BBB-, an investment grade, with a stable outlook. This action follows a comprehensive review of the club’s current and prospective circumstances by reference to S&P’s new criteria for the rating of insurance companies which it has now extended to 14 marine mutual insurers. In their rationale for increasing the club’s rating to an investment grade…

Nickel Ore Shipments: Lessons Learned from Losses

One of the most pressing problems for the bulk shipping industry is the safe carriage of nickel ore. The increasing demand for this commodity is fuelled by China’s thirst for nickel ore as it is the principal alloy component for stainless steel. Chinese nickel ore imports have spiraled from nearly 5m metric tons (mt) in 2006 to near 50m mt in 2011. The bulk of these imports come from Indonesia, with the Philippines now running very close behind. But this fast-expanding trade has been marred by the heavy price paid in terms of lives and vessels lost. In August, the 2012-built Trans Summer sank off Hong Kong, but all 21 crew were saved by rescue helicopters. All these vessels were carrying nickel ore from Indonesia to China.

Wreck Removed, Mess Remains

The wreck of the TASMAN SPIRIT has been successfully removed. The aft section was re-floated on Saturday, March 6, and was yesterday delivered to buyers at Gadani Beach in the province of Baluchistan, Pakistan. This follows the earlier removal of the forward section of the tanker that had run aground in the channel into Karachi Port on July 27 last year. The wreck removal contractors SMIT Salvage B.V., were operating under a wreck removal contract agreed with The American Club, the vessel’s liability insurers. Speaking in London, Brian Davies, Claims Director of The American Club said, ‘We are very pleased with the outcome. SMIT have completed a difficult operation under difficult circumstances well within the required time frame.

American P&I Club Rings in Posidonia

Stuart Todd

While Posidonia is well regarded for its exhibition, it is famous for its parties. The American Club held its traditional party on the evening of Thursday, May 29, to mark the start of Posidonia week, with more than 600 guests from the club’s expanding Greek membership, as well as club directors and representatives from the Greek maritime industry, attended a buffet reception on the rooftop of the Royal Olympic Hotel in central Athens. The occasion proved to be an ideal opportunity for the club’s leading underwriter…

American Club Announces New Appointments

Dr William H Moore will shortly be joining Shipowners Claims Bureau Inc. (SCB), managers of the American P&I Club, to take charge of its growing technical, safety and loss prevention activities. Dr Moore joins SCB from the Bergen office of Gard Services AS, where, as a vice president, he has had responsibility for the loss prevention, risk assessment and technical services of Gard’s substantial P&I and hull/machinery portfolios. An American, Dr Moore, 41, holds a doctorate in engineering, naval architecture and offshore engineering from the University of California at Berkeley, together with a master’s degree from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

American Club Announces Record Year

The American Club reported solid progress in its financial performance and business development at the annual meeting of its members in New York. In spite of challenges encountered early in 2004, the year ended on a high, with both tonnage and premium reaching record figures against a background of strong operating results. Paul Sa (Standard Shipping Inc.), the club’s chairman, told members: “Although somewhat negative conditions prevailed at the beginning of the year, the club’s fortunes improved steadily during the later part of 2004. Tonnage and premium continued to grow, funds under investment increased substantially and, by year-end, the club’s free reserves had hit a new high despite anaemic capital markets. “The first half of 2005 has also shown promise.

American Club: Solid Progress despite Challenging Market

Joe Hughes (Photo: American Club)

The American Club reported solid progress during 2014 at the annual meeting of its members held in New York today. Despite a challenging economic climate, the club’s business had developed favorably, and 2015 had started on a positive note. Tonnage and revenue grew strongly at the outset of 2014, but faded slightly later in the year as freight markets struggled. However, premium pricing remained firm, despite the enduring effect of “churn” as older, higher-rated vessels continued to be replaced by younger, lower-rated ships.

American Club Strengthens Asia Presence

Katherine Wang, who is well known in Asian P&I circles, has joined the American Club as assistant vice president and marketing manager for Greater China and Northern Asia. In the first instance she will be stationed in the Hong Kong office of the club's managers, Shipowners Claims Bureau, and thereafter will be deployed to Dalian in Northern China - where in fact she graduated from Dalian Maritime University, obtaining her Bachelor’s Degree in International Shipping Transportation. Ms Wang joins SCB from another international group P&I club, where she was employed as an underwriter. Prior to that, she worked at China Shipping (Hong Kong) Marine Co. Ltd. in its chartering department, specialising in the dry bulk sector.

American Club Reports Strong Renewal

The American Club, the only mutual protection and indemnity insurer domiciled in the Americas, has  revealed very positive overall results for the February 20 renewal season. Tonnage entered for owners’ P&I risks increased by over 11% year-on-year as at February 20, while that entered for defence risks grew by over 30%. There was an overall premium increase of slightly under 8% for P&I on renewing tonnage, and nearly 6% for the club’s defence class. However, when the monetary value of deductible increases and other adjustments to insurance conditions are taken into account, the target of a 10% increase in premium set by the club’s board for 2014 was very broadly achieved, notwithstanding a continuation of the difficult commercial environment.

American Club Expands E-Learning Offering

The American P&I Club has added to its library of e-learning modules released in cooperation with IDESS IT in the Philippines. The new module covers compliance with The Code of Practice for the Safe Loading and Unloading of Bulk Carriers (BLU Code). The aim is to familiarize members and their crews with the code’s requirements for bulk carriers, terminal operators and other parties involved in the safe handling of solid bulk cargoes. The module is the second in a series of bulk carrier safety training e-learning modules released by the club. The first, released in January this year, was a module on compliance with the International Maritime Solid Bulk Cargoes (IMSBC) Code.

American Club Elects First China Director

Members of the American P&I Club have elected the first director to come from The People’s Republic of China (PRC). At the annual meeting in New York, Lianyu Zhu of CCCC International Shipping Corporation, Tianjin, was elected to the board for the forthcoming year. Mr. Zhu’s company is a subsidiary of China Communications Construction Company, a major state-owned enterprise (SOE) which is, among other things, the largest port construction and design company in the PRC. The election highlights the American Club’s continuing growth in China in particular and Asia in general, supported by its Shanghai office which it opened in 2007. Servet Yardimci of the Yardimci Group, Istanbul, retired from the board, having been first elected a director in 2000. At the following board meeting, J.

American Club Reports Progress in 2012

The American Club reported solid progress on several fronts at the annual meeting of its members held in New York. Despite many challenges, including those intrinsic in a struggling maritime sector hampered by anemic growth in global trade, the club made progress in many areas during 2012 and has started 2013 on a positive note. Income came under pressure during the first half of 2012 as the retirement of older, higher-rated vessels and their replacement by newer, lower-rated ships, caused a reduction both in rates per ton and overall revenue by comparison with the position 12 months earlier. While retained claims developed within expectations…

Maritime Reporter Magazine Cover Dec 2017 - The Great Ships of 2017

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