Article by Geoff Garfields, Tradewinds, 14 of october 2016

Shipowners have less than a week to join charterers, brokers and others in the industry supporting one of the most worthwhile fundraising events of the year — Mercy Ships’ Cargo Day.

The 19 October event hopes to raise many thousands of dollars for the charity, which operates the world’s largest private hospital ship, the Africa Mercy, and has its first newbuilding ordered in China.

The next few days are critical in bringing on board more names from the shipping and trading community, but especially shipowners, who have been slow in stepping forward.

Broker Barry Rogliano Salles (BRS) head of tankers Tim Webb, who has visited the Africa Mercy twice this year and has been heavily involved in promoting Cargo Day, says a lot of owners have expressed an interest.

It is now hoped that enthusiasm will be translated into pledges to participate, using income from transporting so-called Mercy Cargoes, in the same way that charterers — Litasco, Vitol, Nyala, Statoil, Cofco Agri, Gunvor, Trafigura, Sahara and Augusta Energy — are taking part on the day. Nyala, Augusta Energy, Litasco and Cofco Agri are willing to donate between 50% and 100% of their address commissions.

Charterers can commit Mercy Cargoes to participating brokers, port agents and inspection companies. Seven brokers have already put their names forward — Fearnleys, Nolarma Group, Brassington Chartering, Riverlake Group, BRS, Ocean Shipbrokers and Tune Product Tankers — as well as port agent Wilhelmsen Ships Service.

Four shipowners so far have donated a total of $23,000: Wisby Tankers, Prime Tanker, Schulte Group and Erasmus Shipinvest.

“I am hoping this week there will be a couple more brokers, and that is what we really need,” Webb said. “That way, charterers have a slightly wider choice of brokers to give cargoes to.”

Webb acknowledges that the markets are tough. Signs are, however, that at least 20 or 30 fundraising cargoes could be distributed. Brokers, for example, donate 50% of their commissions on cargoes committed. Full details of Cargo Day and how it works are at
It is hoped that contributions will continue to flow in over the following couple of months and that the event can be repeated in future years. A charity ball is planned next spring in Geneva.

Among others supporting Cargo Day are three maritime consultancies — IRI Corporate & Maritime Services, Forsea’s and HR Maritime — as well as the Propeller Club Port of Geneva.

TradeWinds’ quarterly magazine, TW+, recently published a feature on Mercy Ships after visiting the Africa Mercy in Madagascar.

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