Charterers, brokers, traders and owners have turned the spotlight on the caring side of shipping by raising more than $500,000 so far for this year’s Mercy Ships Cargo Day.
That total is set to rise over the next few weeks as more companies get involved and the amount of money from contributed brokerage commissions becomes clear.
The money raised to help fund the world’s largest civilian hospital ship, the 16,572-gt Africa Mercy (built 1980), is already double the amount pledged this far ahead of last year’s Cargo Day.
Since its launch on 3 October, 77 companies have participated in this year’s event, and the number is growing.
The names and logos of those involved are posted on MercyShipsCargoDay.org, which a day after the launch had raised about $512,000.
Trading giant Trafigura, Litasco, Clearlake and Socar were among those contributing more than 60 so-called Mercy Cargoes.
Charterers provide cargoes and the brokers then donate 50% of their commissions to Mercy Ships.
More than 20 pledges have been made, mostly of between $1,000 and $10,000 but also at least a couple were of $25,000 or more. Three address commissions were also donated.
Last year, Cargo Day raised more than $672,000. An ambitious, but realistic, target for 2018 is to break through $1m.
“It’s not over yet, Mercy Ships Cargo Day will stay open until all the cargoes are fixed,” communications manager Corinne Kemp said.
“We’re making every effort to reach our target of $1m.”
Free medical care
Tim Webb, chairman of the Geneva Cargo Day committee, said the total could rise substantially once outstanding contributed cargoes are physically ready for vessels to be chartered. Mercy Cargoes can be given to participating brokers until the end of October, as well as further donations of money.
Webb said this year more brokers and charterers have been involved in the fundraiser, which will help provide free medical care for thousands of patients in Africa.
He hopes the final count will show more than 100 companies participating. By 4 October, the roll call included 23 charterers, 15 shipowners, 26 shipbrokers, three port agents, and three consulting and services companies.
Webb’s only disappointment is that not as many shipowners have signed up as expected. Many owners attended the Mercy Ships Cargo Day Ball in Geneva earlier this year, and it is hoped they will still come forward.
Various programmes on the Africa Mercy, currently on field service in Guinea, West Africa, and general vessel operating expenses cost about$16m per year.
Participants so far
Clearlake, Litasco, Trafigura, Sahara, Nyala, Augusta, Socar, Total, ST Shipping, Vitol, Mercuria, Equinor, Petrocam, Integra Petrochemicals, Stena, AET, Navix, Wisby Tankers, Riverlake, Clarksons, Ocean Shipbrokers, BRS, Lotus, Galbraiths, Teekay, Braemar ACM, Ifchor, Genesis, TPT, Segaline, Voyant Shipping, Genesis, Howe Robinson Partners, Eastmed, Cargill, Penfield Marine, Boluda Tankers, Affinity, Philia, Oldendorff Carriers, Infinity, SSY, Signal Maritime, Brassington, Sea Tank Chartering, Sentosa, MJLF, Laurel D Shipping, Saras Trading, Mediterranean Shipping Co, Alfa Tankers, Burk & Novi, Steem1960 Shipbrokers, P66, Gulfstream USA, BP, Sernavimar and Valero
October 8th, 2018 by Geoff Garfield