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Monday, October 26, 2020

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Container Lines Expect US Import Binge to Lose Steam

Surging shipments into the United States are fueling record high freight costs and logjams at seaports, but transportation executives say the rally will lose steam with a second wave of COVID-19 restrictions on the cards.Container shipping companies, which move goods for customers including Amazon.com and Walmart, got stung late last year and early this year when COVID-19 halted trade around the world, and they question whether the U.S. import boom can be sustained."Let's not get carried away," Rolf Habben Jansen, chief executive of Germany's Hapag Lloyd, told reporters.

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Ships Wait to Unload at Port of Los Angeles as Imports Boom

Incoming cargo to the Port of Los Angeles is surging as businesses restock depleted inventories and retailers prepare for an early holiday season, the executive director for the nation's busiest seaport said on Wednesday.Workers unloaded 471,795 20-foot equivalent units (TEU) of imports in September, 17% more than the year earlier, marking the second month of robust import gains at the No. 1 gateway for U.S. trade with China.That trend has carried into October, said Gene Seroka…

Sea Captain Shares His Oceanic Adventures and Insight Into Sailing and Yachting

The sea presents many adventures and challenges for those who travel it. In his riveting memoir, “With Tangra Against the Wind,” Captain Nikolay Djambazov details his lifestyle as a sailor and yachtsman, where he did all of his voyages only with a compass and a sextant. Captain Djambazov shares many sea excursions including his sailing expeditions on a yacht that he built himself, named Tangra. Captain Djambazov had many great accomplishments at sea with Tangra. In 1980, he participated in OSTAR 80.

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US Imports Surge as Pandemic Worries Have Retailers Stockpiling

The Los Angeles-based maker of Exploding Kittens and Throw Throw Burrito board games ordered 1 million extra units from its factory in China with the hope of preventing coronavirus from ruining its Christmas sales.The move from the company, which sells product through Target, Walmart and Amazon.com, comes as  U.S. suppliers and retailers have been rebuilding depleted inventories and battling uncertainty by stockpiling pandemic sellers such as toys, refrigerators, home furnishings and booze.In the last few months…

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COVID-19 to Weigh on US Seaport Peak Shipping Season

Imports at major U.S. container seaports could hit their lowest level in four years as the novel coronavirus pandemic pummels a U.S. economy that was already grappling with negative effects of the U.S.-China trade war, experts said.Total container imports could fall 9.4% in 2020, according to the National Retail Federation (NRF) and Hackett Associates' Global Port Tracker report.That reflects pain in the U.S. retail sector, which is smarting from government-mandated store closures…

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Indigenous Leaders Fear Amazon Soy Port Could be Conduit for COVID-19

As the coronavirus pandemic reaches deep into Brazil’s Amazon, a ceaseless stream of trucks carry soybeans and construction workers to an expanding port complex in the heart of the forest.Indigenous activists have opposed the Itaituba port in Pará state for nearly a decade, even before shipments began there in 2014.But now the pandemic and expansion works are fueling new fears about the port’s impact on traditional communities and the biodiversity riches of the Tapajós river.“There’s a flow of workers all the time. Nothing’s changed.

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Jeff Bezos Invests in Digital Freight Forwarder Beacon

Amazon.com Inc Chief Executive Jeff Bezos has picked British startup Beacon, a digital freight forwarder, for his latest investment.Beacon said on Sunday it raised over $15 million in Series A fundraising, from investors including Bezos and venture capital firm 8VC.The startup, formed by two former Uber Technologies Inc executives two years ago, is already backed by Uber founders Travis Kalanick and Garrett Camp, along with former Google CEO Eric Schmidt.Beacon is also a supply chain finance firm that provides real-time data of cargo delivery and a marketplace view of global shipping costs and

(File photo: Maersk)

Maersk Profits Up 23%, Demand Slowdown Expected

Shipping group A.P. Moller-Maersk warned of a sharp drop in global container volumes due to the coronavirus pandemic, with weaker retail sales and depressed car production dampening demand.The crisis has thrown the container shipping trade off balance as supply chains have been upended and businesses and factory activity in China and later across the world was disrupted.Maersk, which also reported a 23% rise in first-quarter core profits on Wednesday, now expects global container demand to contract this year…

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Remote Working: Tips for Shipping Companies to Sustain Business During the Coronavirus Pandemic

As companies globally are increasingly shifting to remote working to help stop the spread of Coronavirus, Hanseaticsoft has put together a series of tips to help shipping companies keep their business and workforce agile.Some of the biggest companies in the world including Oracle, Apple, Google and Amazon have already restricted travel and asked employees to work remotely[i]. With the situation changing daily shipping companies need to prepare as much as they can to minimize business disruption.

Photo: St. Louis Regional Freightway

St. Louis Regional Freightway: The Year in Review

The St. Louis Regional Freightway has compiled a summary of the major developments over the past year that either elevated the St. Louis region’s global status as a world-class freight hub or will help to advance the region’s position as the country’s freight nexus in the year ahead.“From mega projects breaking ground and global companies choosing to invest here, to newly formed partnerships that strengthen the bi-state region’s role in national and global supply chains, there was much to be excited about in 2019…

Image: Hapag-Lloyd Cruises

Vard Delivers Hanseatic Inspiration

Vard, a Fincantieri subsidiary, has delivered the new Hanseatic Inspiration to Hapag-Lloyd Cruises, the second in a series of three 230-guest luxury expedition ships for the German cruise operator.With her close to 16,000 gross tons and 139 meters long, “Hanseatic inspiration” follows sister ship “Hanseatic nature”, delivered in April by Vard Langsten in Norway, while a third vessel, “Hanseatic spirit”, is scheduled for completion in 2021.Each ship is tailored to allow passengers to access remote regions…

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AI & Machine Learning, Possible Force Multipliers for the Coast Guard

Artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML): mention these two terms and the listener may instantly think of the ads displayed as you view your favorite online news site. This is one version of what AI/ML might be. Given the state of AI and ML research today, these advanced mathematical techniques represent something the U.S. Coast Guard should explore for mission application. To do this, common definitions need to be created, challenges understood, and practical use…

Pic: Port of Antwerp

Antwerp Port, Amazon Test Drones

The SAFIR consortium of partners – Amazon Prime Air, Aveillant, C-Astral, DronePort, Elia, Explicit, Helicus, Port of Antwerp, Proximus, SABCA, Skeyes, Tekever and Unifly – tested the first simultaneous drone flights today in Sint-Truiden DronePort, for among other things package deliveries, inspection flights and emergency situations. European Commissioner for Transport Violeta Bulc also followed the demonstrations from the front row. SAFIR stands for "Safe and Flexible Integration of Initial U-space Services in a Real Environment…

Image: Saudi Aramco

Saudi Aramco, World’s Most Profitable Co, Again

Saudi Aramco announced that its net income was $46.9 billion for the first half 2019, compared to $53.0 billion for the same period last year. That easily outstripped corporate titans such as Apple Inc, Amazon.com Inc and other big oil producers, many of which suffered larger declines in profit as output and crude prices fell. Saudi Aramco President & CEO Amin H. Nasser, said: “Despite lower oil prices during the first half of 2019, we continued to deliver solid earnings and strong free cash flow underpinned by our consistent operational performance…

the Baton Rouge-NOLA container on barge service / CREDIT: Port of New Orleans

SHORTSEA SHIPPING: All the Right Moves (Finally)

Marine Highways Gain Traction in the Intermodal Supply Chain.In the United States, landside infrastructure is at a crisis point. Congestion at the big hub ports, exacerbated by imperfect intermodal interfaces with surface transport serving cargo hinterlands is at the heart of the matter. As politicians bicker over a possible infrastructure package, the Highway Trust Fund, funded by taxes on gasoline and diesel fuel, has continued its downward journey towards further deficits (now $144 billion). And, where countless U.S.

Sailors assigned to the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Nitze (DDG 94) prepare to receive cargo for off load during a replenishment-at-sea with the fleet replenishment oiler USNS Big Horn (T-AO 198). Nitze is deployed to the U.S. 5th Fleet areas of operations in support of naval operations to ensure maritime stability and security in the Central Region, connecting the Mediterranean and Pacific through the western Indian Ocean and three strategic choke points.) (U.S. Navy photo b

Delivering parts, fuel, mail over 52 million square miles

In Port and at Sea: NAVSUP Fleet Logistics Center Yokosuka Supports Navy Ships and Crews. Understanding how that happens can benefit commercial stakeholders, as well.As the post-Cold War Navy once again faces near-peer competitors at sea, it must reposition itself and step up sustainment of ships at home and abroad. While admittedly a goal in logistics is to provide material and services in a stable and predictable fashion, so that operations can proceed unimpeded, that goal sometimes runs counter to the unpredictable nature of military operations.

Bristol Port Upgrades Box Terminal

Port of Bristol, which comprises the commercial, and former commercial, docks situated in and near the city of Bristol in England, announced that its container terminal capacity has been boosted significantly by the completion of a GBP 9 million upgrade.A release from the port authority said that the investment is a further commitment to the ever-expanding container services offered at Avonmouth and Portbury Docks.James Stangroom, Commercial Manager at Bristol Port, said: “This upgrade is designed to further refine our productivity…

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INSIGHTS: Transportation Industry Outlook 2019

The driver shortage will once again shape the trucking industry in the coming year. For ocean shipping, that’s a real problem. Any transport mode is only as good as the one that immediately follows or precedes it in the intermodal supply chain.For trucking, the outlook hasn’t changed much in the last two years: Too much freight and not enough drivers to haul it. It’s both the best and worst of times all at once. True, this means the U.S. economy is still very healthy. But, it also means that carriers struggle to recruit and retain quality drivers – and that can be frustrating.

Pic: Hapag-Lloyd Cruises

Hapag-Lloyd Names "Hanseatic nature" in Hamburg

Hapag-Lloyd Cruises presented the Hanseatic nature for the first time in Hamburg on Saturday (May 04, 2019).The provider of adventure and classic cruising with luxury voyages to Polar Regions, Caribbean, Central America, Europe & more said that Hanseatic nature is the first of three, structurally- identical ships in the cruise line’s new expedition class. The ship left Hamburg on May 5, 2019 for its inaugural cruise, which will take it to the Hebrides, Orkney Islands and Shetland Islands, finishing in Bergen.

John Downey (Photo: Hurtigruten)

Hurtigruten Names Downey Americas President

Exploration travel and cruising company Hurtigruten said it has appointed John Downey as President for the Americas, based in its Seattle regional headquarters.Downey is charged with driving sales and profitability across the U.S., Canada, and South America and will work to broaden and deepen key travel agent relationships and open new channels for growth. He is also tasked with increasing brand awareness and market share by ensuring effective brand positioning, marketing, and…

Bill Dobie, Founder and CEO of SEDNA

SEDNA’s Powerful Teamwork and Transaction Tool

In shipping, the team with the best documentation always wins. Today, for many stakeholders, that increasingly means employing SEDNA’s E-mail software platform for myriad projects.Bill Dobie is Founder and CEO of SEDNA with over 20 years of experience in bringing technology and people together while creating opportunity for innovation and growth. His newest product, specifically designed for the shipping industries, is a cloud-based communication and transaction management platform…

Photo: Marlink

Marlink VSAT Ensures Global Connectivity for Hapag-Lloyd Cruises

Marlink has re-established its commitment to Hapag-Lloyd Cruises to provide its Sealink services on the fleet of four cruise vessels, plus two new cruise ships which are due to enter operational service in 2019. The contract renewal reflects Hapag-Lloyd Cruises' desire to meet the requirements of the growing market for adventure and expedition cruises, as the ships are now in remote areas that were previously considered inaccessible for cruise ships, such as Arctic and the Antarctic.Marlink’s global Sealink services provide stable…

©  HHM / Michael Lindner

Port of Hamburg: Digital Networking Pioneer

Underwater drones, autonomous trucks and paperless customs clearance – the future is already buzzing in the Port of Hamburg.The ‘Digital Networking’ conference run by Port of Hamburg Marketing (HHM) showed how far the port has progressed. “In respect of digitalization, the Port of Hamburg is a worldwide beacon offering many USPs,” emphasized Axel Mattern, HHM’s Joint CEO.Dr. Sebastian Saxe, CDO of Hamburg Port Authority, presented an impressive picture of the digital future in his keynote speech. The port’s rail, road and inland waterway traffic is already digitally guided.

Pic: Port of Rotterdam

Port of Rotterdam Activates AI Vessel Platform

Significant efficiency steps can also be taken in the maritime sector regarding big data and artificial intelligence, said Port of Rotterdam.For instance, this technology is enabling the arrival times of vessels in sea and inland ports to be predicted earlier and with increased precision."Computers use the sea of data that we produce these days for self-training. The Port of Rotterdam is also investing in this development with Pronto, an application for standardised data exchange on port calls…

Photo: SpecTec

SpecTec Partners with iMarine Software

AMOS now offers integration with SeaProc, providing seamless electronic quotation management for an optimized procurement cycle. Seaproc also offers sourcing tools within it platform to achieve cost efficiency.Marine buying organizations can now enjoy significant speed, accuracy and ease in handling transactions. Requests for Quote, Quotations, Purchase Orders, Contracts, Invoicing and Delivery Receipts are directly interfaced with Amos. This allows buyers to conduct all their daily activities within the Amos platform as all communications…

Book Review: Casey the Container

Bringing the world of containerized cargo to young readers.This rhyming children’s book follows Casey the Container, a new shipping container, along her journey on her first day in port. Casey meets new friends, experiences the workings of the waterfront, and learns the important role containers play in our world. The story, as told from Casey’s perspective, provides operational insight about the movement of containerized cargo. Eighty-five percent of goods used within the world are transported in shipping containers arriving on container ships.In sharing Casey’s journey…