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Monday, March 8, 2021

Congress News

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Corpus Christi, Rotterdam Ports Announce Partnership

The U.S.’ largest energy export gateway and Europe’s leading industrial deepsea port have entered into a Memorandum of Understanding that will allow the two global entities to collaboratively improve their global maritime operations.The Port of Corpus Christi and the Port of Rotterdam have outlined a number of shared objectives, which include codeveloping trade and commercial opportunities, fostering an exchange of information, and advancing the development and deployment of innovative technologies specifically related to navigational safety and environmental protection.Sean Strawbridge…

Tom McLaughlin (Photo: HDR)

McLaughlin Named President of HDR's Global Transportation Group

HDR has named transportation industry leader Tom McLaughlin, P.E., president of its global transportation program. McLaughlin succeeds former President Brent Felker, who retired at the end of 2020.McLaughlin, an executive vice president at HDR, will focus on continuing the growth of its transportation program, which includes over 4,000 employees and generated more than a billion dollars in new revenue in 2020. HDR provides traditional planning and design, program and construction management…

(Photo: Port of Los Angeles)

Port of Los Angeles Starts Giving COVID-19 Vaccinations

About 800 workers from the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach on Friday will be in the first wave of COVID-19 vaccinations for employees at the United States' busiest seaport complex, which has been hard hit by pandemic-related workforce disruptions and surging imports.Congress members last month joined state and local leaders in urging California officials to hasten COVID-19 vaccinations for employees at the ports amid high-stakes battles over which workers should be prioritized as essential.Such decisions at times are made at the local level…

(Photo: Port of Los Angeles)

Swift COVID-19 Vaccines Urged for Largest US Ports Amid Cargo Backlogs

Members of Congress have joined state and local leaders in urging California officials to hasten COVID-19 vaccinations for workers at the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, the nation's two busiest, hit hard by pandemic workforce disruptions and surging imports.As of Wednesday, 27 arriving container ships stood anchored off the twin ports complex waiting for berths to clear at terminals piled high with cargo from previous shipments, according to the Marine Exchange of Southern…

SMM DIGITAL: The Future Of Shipping Is Smart

Digitalisation is the maritime game changer. This is why the digital transformation will be in focus at SMM DIGITAL, which has been given the leitmotif “Driving The Maritime Transition”. As a purely digital event, SMM DIGITAL will feature conferences with top-ranking panelists discussing current trends in Smart Shipping. International experts will report about the challenges facing the maritime industry, and highlight attractive solutions.Complex contractual relationships, the enormous dimensions of ships and routes…

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US Maritime Industry Seeks $3.5 Billion in COVID-19 Relief

In a joint plea to Congressional leadership and Treasury Secretary Steven Munchin this week a host of maritime transportation entities asked that $3.5 billion in COVID-19 relief funding be made available for the U.S. maritime transportation sector, citing “significant hardships” and “unique and unexpected challenges” posed by the COVID-19 pandemic.The letters ask Congress and the Administration to take immediate action to provide the whole of the maritime transportation system…

SMM Goes Digital: World's Largest Shipbuilding, Ship Tech Expo Scuttles Plans for Hybrid Event

Citing a spike in second-wave COVID-19 infection numbers SMM, where the world meets in Hamburg every two years for the latest updates on shipbuilding and ship machinery technology, has opted to take the event planned for February 2021 digital.SMM 2020 was originally scheduled to be held live in September 2020, initially postponed to early 2021 as a hybrid live and digital event. But in the face of a rampant second wave of COVID-19 infections and the decision by several governments…

©Hamburg Messe und Congress / Michael Zapf

Trade Fair SMM Preps for 2021 Restart

Today would have been the day that SMM 2020 opened its doors if it hadn't been for the coronavirus pandemic. Instead, organizers of the maritime industry's largest trade fair are preparing for the rescheduled date in February 2021."Of course, the entire SMM team is a bit sad the fair isn't starting today. But increasingly, this regret is giving way to a sense of anticipation of a rather unique SMM in February 2021," says Claus Ulrich Selbach, Business Unit Director – Maritime and Technology Fairs & Exhibitions at Hamburg Messe und Congress GmbH (HMC).

Maritime Risk Symposium 2020: Maritime Resilience in Black Swan Events

In 2007, scholar Nassim Nicholas Taleb, who holds a doctorate from the University of Paris, wrote a bestselling book titled “Black Swan,” which proposed a theory involving unpredictable events with significant impact. Taleb believed that a black swan event was an outlier with significant impact and, once it occurs, is the source of deep reflection and rationalization. Since the book’s publication, a significant number of research efforts have been developed to consider possible black swan events that significantly impact the Maritime Transportation System (MTS) and the Maritime Global Commons.

Tracy Zea is the Waterways Council Inc.’s new President & CEO.

Interview: Tracy Zea, President & CEO, Waterways Council Inc.

We recently checked in with Tracy Zea, Waterways Council Inc.’s new President & CEO, on what’s in store for the U.S. inland waterways for the remainder of 2020.To start, give us some insight on your background and how you came to lead WCI.I was born and raised in Chandler, Ariz., and attended South Dakota State University, receiving a degree in Political Science. After college, I found my way to Washington, D.C. via an internship with Senator Thune (R-S.D.). After the internship, I was hired by the House of Representatives, Transportation and Infrastructure Committee.

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Op/Ed: Federal Support for Ports is Critical

Florida’s seaports are one of the state’s greatest economic assets, positively affecting every region and every resident. Our seaports have a $117.6 billion economic impact across Florida and account for more than 900,000 direct and indirect jobs, while linking our communities to vital national and international markets.During the COVID-19 crisis, ports across the country have sustained mounting losses. Ports that specialize in moving hard-hit cargoes like steel and automobiles, or depend on tourism and cruise ships are also particularly vulnerable.

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Congress Responds to COVID19 and Other Challenges for the Maritime Industry

In response to the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic, the Congressional Research Service released a report that stated global economic growth has declined by 3% to 6% in 2020 with a partial recovery predicted for 2021. Also, the GDP of the U.S. has fallen by 5% in the first quarter 2020. According to the International Maritime Organization (IMO), the maritime industry, and seafarers themselves, have not been able to escape the significant effects of this crisis.All sectors of the maritime industry have been adversely affected by the global pandemic.

Photo: ©Hasenpusch

SMM 2021: Plotting a Course Forward for the Global Maritime Community

As the maritime world collectively feels its way forward in a time now defined by the COVID-19 pandemic, the organizers of the SMM in Hamburg, traditionally the world's largest and most influential maritime and shipbuilding trade event, share market overview insights on the economic consequences of the coronavirus pandemic throughout the the shipping industry.The Covid-19 pandemic has turned the world economy on its head. “The recession this year will likely be more severe, and recovery in 2021 will be slower than we anticipated two months ago…

Mark D. Sickles

Sickles Named Interim Head of Dredging Contractors of America

Former Dredging Contractors of America (DCA) executive director and Weeks Marine’s corporate and government relations director Mark D. Sickles will serve as Interim CEO and executive director as the organization searches for new staff leadership to succeed outgoing DCA head William P. Doyle, who has been appointed to lead the Maryland Port Administration, and Executive Director of the Port of Baltimore.Sickles was unanimously approved by the DCA board of directors and general membership during its annual meeting on July 9.

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New Bill Aims to Secure Grant Funding for Maritime Training

A new bill introduced in the U.S. aims to make available $200 million in grant funding for community and technical colleges offering training programs for maritime industry professions. The legislation H.R. 7456 was introduced by Congresswoman Sylvia R. Garcia (Texas-29) alongside Rep. Don Young (Alaska-At-Large), Rep. Anthony G. Brown (Md.-04), Rep. Brian Babin (Texas-36), and Rep. Steven Palazzo (Miss.-04).“Maritime industry jobs are a critical part of our nation’s economy. Yet research has shown that there may soon be a shortage of maritime industry workers,” said Congresswoman Garcia.

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Coronavirus Rekindles Global Trade Disputes

At the start of the year, U.S.-China tensions were easing after their Phase I trade deal, while Washington, Brussels and Tokyo agreed on new global trading rules to curb subsidies. A relative calm had set in.Then the new coronavirus struck.Countries across the world imposed 222 exports curbs on medical supplies and medicines and in some cases food, according to Global Trade Alert, a Swiss monitoring group. For medical products, it was more than 20 times the usual level.Those curbs are now being lifted…

THE GOLDEN RAY response project, although still unfinished, provides a stark example of how easily the US spill response program can get off track. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Brian McCrum

Marine Salvage and SMFF Regulations

The Federal Water Pollution Control Act (FWPCA, often called the Clean Water Act), as amended by the Oil Pollution Act of 1990 (OPA 90), provides:If a discharge, or a substantial threat of a discharge, of oil or a hazardous substance from a vessel, offshore facility, or onshore facility is of such a size or character as to be a substantial threat to the public health or welfare of the United States (including but not limited to fish, shellfish, wildlife, other natural resources…

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US Supreme Court Rejects Challenge to Trump's Steel Tariffs

The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday turned away a challenge to President Donald Trump's tariffs on imported steel brought by an industry group that had argued that a key part of the law under which he imposed the duties violates the U.S. Constitution.The justices declined to hear the American Institute for International Steel's appeal of a February ruling by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in favor of the administration. The institute is a pro-free trade group that…

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Waterways Council, Inc.’s 2020 Vision

Waterways Council, Inc. (WCI) is the national public policy organization that advocates for a modern, efficient inland waterways system. Abiding by our mission has meant success over our 17-year history. In 2020, WCI’s top priority is to conform the cost-share for Inland Waterways Trust Fund (IWTF)-financed construction projects to require 25% of the project cost be derived from the IWTF and the remaining 75% from General Revenues. The policy vehicle for this adjustment is the Water Resources Development Act (WRDA)…

American Steamship Company’s M/V American Courage upbound on the Cuyahoga River in Cleveland, Ohio with a load of taconite from the iron ranges on Lake Superior for ArcelorMittal Cleveland, one of the most productive integrated steel mills in the world. (Photo Credit: Thomas Rayburn)

Great Lakes Shipping Companies Navigate Market Challenges Ahead

For U.S.-flag shipping on the Great Lakes, 2019 was a good year. Total cargos were 90 million net tons, up 7.5% over 2018 and 4.6% over the five-year average. 49.7 million net tons of iron ore were shipped, up 8.5% over 2018 and 11.7% over the five year. Limestone was up 9.7% over 2018 and 10.2% over the five-year average. In 2010 and 2011, coal and limestone were each about 20 million net tons. Since then, coal has shown a steady decline as coal-fired power generating plants…

MarAd Insights: “In peace and war” -- Even Against a Virus

The U.S. maritime industry takes great pride in our motto: “In Peace and War.” It sums what we’re all about. From colonial times, through the Revolution, the Civil War, two World Wars, several regional conflicts, and many natural and humanitarian disasters, we got the cargo delivered because our economic security and our national security depend on it.Today, we confront a new kind of enemy: an invisible, debilitating, and too often deadly disease. Yet, just as the courageous merchant…

Join a webinar on June 17, 2020 for the global release of a major new market study on the depth, breadth and growth prospects of the Offshore Wind Market -- https://zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_UR5uY1boTOKdAAcAXDbR4g
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The Emerging U.S. Offshore Wind Industry in a Post-COVID-19 World

Join a webinar on June 17, 2020 for the global release of a major new market study on the depth, breadth and growth prospects of the Offshore Wind Market --  https://zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_UR5uY1boTOKdAAcAXDbR4gJust when it was looking like the offshore wind industry was finally about to take off in the United States, the COVID-19 pandemic has introduced one more significant layer of uncertainty upon an already very complicated playing field. There are currently 15 active offshore wind projects in the planning stages which…

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Doyle Hired to Lead the Port of Baltimore

William P. Doyle, a former U.S. Federal Maritime Commissioner, has been hired to lead the Port of Baltimore as the new executive director of the Maryland Port Administration, Maryland Governor Larry Hogan announced.Currently CEO and Executive Director of the Dredging Contractors of America, Doyle will take the helm at the Port of Baltimore effective July 22, succeeding Jim White, who announced he would step down at the end of 2019. Doyle was appointed by Secretary of the Maryland Department of Transportation (MDOT) Greg Slater…

(Official White House Photo by Andrea Hanks)

President Trump Issues National Maritime Day Proclamation

In recognition of National Maritime Day, held on May 22 each year, President Donald Trump issued a proclamation honoring the U.S. maritime industry. The full text is below.Since the founding of our great Nation, we have relied on merchant mariners to deliver goods to market and strengthen our national security. On National Maritime Day, we recognize the United States Merchant Marine for all it does to facilitate our commerce and protect our interests at sea.Our Nation’s merchant…

(Photo: Port of Brownsville)

When the Bell Rings: Honoring US Merchant Mariners

This Memorial Day, as we rightfully honor the military men and women who gave their lives winning and protecting our freedoms, let us not forget an often-overlooked remembrance for the thousands of U.S. merchant mariners who also died serving our country in their own selfless ways.In 1933, by a joint Resolution of Congress and by Proclamation of the President of the United States, May 22 was set aside as National Maritime Day to honor the sacrifices of U.S. merchant mariners during wartime and in peace.

Owen Gibson (Photo: USCG)

Coast Guard Academy Cadet Receives Fulbright Award

First Class Cadet Owen Gibson, a Civil Engineering major from the U.S. Coast Guard Academy, has received a Fulbright Award to pursue a two-year Master of Science degree in Water Resource Engineering and Management at the University of Stuttgart, Germany.Gibson’s Fulbright research project will focus on climate change and soil erosion models. The goal of his research is to develop a model for assessing coastal soil erosion rates. The model will address the uncertainty of climate change using probability analysis and will be tested throughout coastal regions in Northern Germany.