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Sunday, June 16, 2019

Federal Government News

Photo: Stephanie Pollack

Big Cash Boost at Boston Port

A new report from the Massachusetts Port Authority (Massport) shows the Port of Boston contributed $8.2 billion in economic activity in 2018, up from $4.6 billion in 2012.Smart investments and partnerships have led to growth in jobs, business revenues, and tax contributions, it said.“The finding that the Port of Boston contributed $8 billion in just one year to the regional economy underscores the important role transportation infrastructure plays in the vitality of an area,”…

Marad Names Vessel Construction Manager for NSMV

Maritime Administrator RADM Mark H. Buzby, USN (Ret.) has announced TOTE Services, Inc. of Jacksonville Florida as the Vessel Construction Manager (VCM) for the newest class of training ship, the National Security Multi-Mission Vessel (NSMV).TOTE Services was selected by MARAD as the construction manager for selecting a shipyard and ensuring that commercial best practices are utilized to deliver the NSMV on time and on budget.“The U.S. shipbuilding industry is vital to America’s economic strength and security,” said Administrator Buzby. “The selection of TOTE Services to work with a U.S.

Photo: Chamber of Marine Commerce

Great Lakes-St. Lawrence Shipping: We need Icebreakers

The Great Lakes-St. Lawrence shipping industry is calling for at least five new icebreakers to be part of the federal government’s recent announcement of $15.7 billion for Canadian Coast Guard fleet renewal.Chamber of Marine Commerce President Bruce Burrows will be in attendance as the Coast Guard dedicates the Captain Molly Kool into service at its home port of St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador. The Captain Molly Kool was recently retrofitted to provide services along the East Coast.

AdobeStock / © arsel

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.

Image: Port of Houston Authority

Houston Widens Ship Channel

The Port Commission of the Port of Houston Authority has decided to accelerate widening of the Houston Ship Channel, the nation’s busiest waterway.The Port Authority is working with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) and other representatives of the federal government, as well as Port of Houston and Houston Ship Channel stakeholders, to obtain authorization and accelerated funding and completion, of a deepened and widened ship channel.“The Houston Ship Channel is open for business for all and will continue to be…

Image: Port of Montreal

Montreal's Viau Terminal Set for Expansion

The Port of Montreal’s Viau Terminal will undergo a new construction phase to increase its handling capacity to 600,000 TEUs, the Montreal Port Authority (MPA) and LOGISTEC Corporation said.The project, which is scheduled to be finished by December 2020, will complete the container terminal, which currently handles about 350,000 containers annually, according to the MPA. The first phase was completed in 2016.This new phase will make it possible to add 250,000 TEUs to Viau Terminal’s current capacity…

© stockphoto mania/AdobeStock

Report: FBI Falls Short On Port Threat Assessment

The Federal Bureau of Investigation is not taking appropriate steps to review and assess potential maritime terrorism risks facing U.S. sea ports, the Justice Department's internal watchdog has found.The audit, released on Thursday by Inspector General Michael Horowitz, found that while top FBI officials believe the country faces a low maritime terrorism threat, that view is actually based on "incomplete and potentially inaccurate information."Moreover, the audit found that the FBI had not conducted its own formal assessment of the matter.In a letter to Horowitz dated Aug.

Securing, Enhancing America’s Ports & Supply Chain

The American Association of Port Authorities and its membership recently looked ahead at the challenges and opportunities facing the Port Security Grant Program.In its annual “State of Freight” series, AAPA has highlighted the transportation infrastructure needs of U.S. ports, state transportation agencies and multimodal projects. In this final report in the State of Freight series, AAPA turns to the vital role that security infrastructure plays in moving goods.In 2002, Congress…

Inland Port Development: Take the train

The intermodal equation for any deep draft port is incomplete without its inland component.It’s definitely a work in progress.There are inland ports in the truest sense: major lakefront and riverfront cities such as Chicago and St. Louis, including even Duluth and Tulsa, with vast distribution areas, wildly varying cargo, roads, trains and waterways to serve them.And, then, there are inland ports, dry ports that have vast distribution areas, containerized cargo delivered from true oceanfront ports…

Image: Vopak LNG Holding B.V.

German LNG Terminal Signs New Pact

German LNG Terminal GmbH, the joint venture driving forward Germany’s first LNG terminal in Brunsbuettel, has reached another long-term commercial capacity agreement with an unnamed global LNG player.The gas infrastructure company consisting of N.V. Nederlandse Gasunie (Gasunie), Oiltanking GmbH and Vopak LNG Holding B.V said in a press release that the parties agreed on the commitment of a substantial part of the terminal capacity.Negotiations with other interested parties are ongoing.

Intermodal operations in the port of Savannah, GA (CREDIT: GPA / Stephen Morton)

Savannah's TEU count grows 7.5 percent in 2018

As infrastructure expands to handle new business, the Port of Savannah moved more than 350,000 twenty-foot equivalent container units in December. Nine of the Georgia Ports Authority's 10 busiest months were in 2018. The Port of Savannah moved 4.35 million twenty-foot equivalent container units in Calendar Year 2018, its highest annual volume ever, and a 7.5 percent increase over 2017, according to a report from Georgia Ports Authority Executive Director Griff Lynch to the GPA Board Tuesday.

 R-L: Head, Corporate Communications, Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) Mr. Isichei Osamgbi, Executive Director, Finance and Administration, NIMASA, Mr. Bashir Jamoh, Head, Planning Research and Data Management Services, NIMASA, Mrs. Moronke Thomas and Coordinator, Central Zone, NIMASA, Engr. Femowei Abel  during the Independent Newspapers Awards 2018, held in Lagos. Photo by Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA).

NIMASA Redoubles Efforts to Refocus Nigerian Maritime

The Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) says it would intensify its efforts to reposition the maritime industry in Nigeria, as the agency moves to become a leading maritime administration in Africa.The Director-General of NIMASA, Dr. Dakuku Peterside, stated this last week in Lagos during the Independent Newspapers Awards 2018, where the agency bagged the Federal Agency of the Year Award. Dakuku said: “We are spurred by this award and we appreciate the fact that our efforts to revitalise the maritime sector through our medium term strategy plan are yielding results.

Former, Head of State, General Abdulsalami Abubakar flanked by Director General, Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Dr. Dakuku Peterside (Right) and Minister of Transportation, Rt. Hon. Rotimi Amaechi. Photo provided by NIMASA

Nigerian Government Repositions NIMASA

The Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Mr. Boss Mustapha has said that the Federal Government has successfully worked hard through the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) to reposition the Nigerian maritime industry for the nation’s economic growth.Mustapha said such development had also made the maritime sector a new attraction for investors.The SGF pointed out the nation was beginning to see another opportunity through which it could harness its vast resources.Mustapha…

FMC Offices Closed due Partial Federal Shutdown

The Federal Maritime Commission is closed effective Wednesday, December 26, 2018 as part of the partial federal government shutdown due to a lapse in appropriations. The Commission will resume normal operations when appropriations legislation is enacted and the federal government reopens.With the exceptions of Acting Chairman Michael A. Khouri and Commissioner Rebecca Dye, who are Presidentially-appointed, Senate-confirmed officials, all Commission employees have been placed on furlough and are prohibited by law from performing any duties during the shutdown.

Pic: Nigerian Ports Authority

Nigerian Ports Authority Calls for Eradicating Port Congestion

The Managing Director of Nigerian Ports Authority, Hadiza Bala Usman, has called on terminal operators, shipping companies, port managers and allied stakeholders to do all they could to eradicate or at best mitigate the effects of the present congestion at the nation’s seaports.According to the Managing Director, the issue of ports congestion should be of concern to all and therefore they should look into the issue of evacuation of empty containers, increase in free days of storage…

File Image: Adobestock / © Nightman 1965

AAPA Questions CBP Policy on Agency’s Staff Facilities at Ports

On Wednesday (Nov. 28), the American Association of Port Authorities (AAPA) addressed U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) policies requesting port authorities to build and incur the costs of CBP staffing facilities at ports. In a letter to CBP Commissioner Kevin K. McAleenan, AAPA expressed concern over CBP seeking ways to build new facilities, while there continues to be a shortage of CBP officers for maritime activities.“CBP is requesting consolidated and custom-built facilities (according to CBP design specifications) for CBP personnel.

© Andre / Adobe Stock

Canada's Alberta Will Buy Rail Cars to Transport Crude

Canada's energy-rich province of Alberta is in talks to buy rail cars to transport 120,000 barrels per day of crude oil and expects a deal to conclude within weeks, Premier Rachel Notley said on Wednesday.Notley, who says the cars are needed to help deal with a glut of oil that has slashed the price of Alberta oil, told a business audience in Ottawa she was disappointed the federal government was not helping fund the purchase.Full pipelines have stranded much of Western Canada's expanding crude output, driving down the price U.S. refineries are willing to pay.

Photo: Port of Corpus Christi

Port of Corpus Christi: $59m for Channel Upgrades

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) announced its Fiscal Year (FY) 2019 Work Plan, which includes an additional $59 million in funding for the Corpus Christi Ship Channel Improvement Project (CIP). This funding brings the total Federal appropriations for the CIP to $95 million. The estimated CIP cost is $360 million, of which the federal government is responsible for $230 million, while the Port of Corpus Christi is responsible for the remaining $130 million. To date, the Port of Corpus Christi has transferred $78 million of its own funds to the USACE…

Marco Rubio and Chris Coons (official portraits)

US Senators Alarmed if China Gets Control of Djibouti Port

Two prominent U.S. senators expressed alarm on Tuesday about the military and political consequences if China gains control of a port terminal in Djibouti, and said they were concerned it could further boost Beijing's influence in East Africa.In a letter to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis, Republican Senator Marco Rubio and Democratic Senator Chris Coons said they were concerned about Djibouti's termination of a contract for the Doraleh Container…

Pic: Port of Everett

Port of Everett Becomes First Port to Receive Federal Rail Loan

U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine L. Chao announced that the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Build America Bureau will provide up to a $5.95 million Railroad Rehabilitation and Improvement Financing (RRIF) loan to the Port of Everett in the State of Washington. The Port of Everett is the first Port to make it through the complex loan process.“I’ve been proud to work with the Port of Everett to secure federal investments to ensure the Port continues to meet the demands of the 21st century economy, and I’m thrilled to see the federal government bring even more resources to the table.

Gulfport as it appears today.

Gulfport’s Long Road Back From Hurricane Katrina

When Jonathan Daniels, executive director of the Mississippi State Port Authority at Gulfport spoke to the audience at the annual state of the port luncheon July 27, 2018 at the newly rebuilt Island View Casino, he had a lot to offer in terms of jobs. And he had two aces in the hole: SeaOne, an untested compressed liquefied gas company and Yilport, a terminal company operated by an ambitious Turkish port developer. Both had letters of intent dating back two years with much to do.As has been the case since before Daniels took over from Don Allee in 2013…

Maritime Administration Issues RFP for NSMV Training Vessels

Vessel Construction Manager Will Deliver National Security Multi-Mission Vessel. Today, the Maritime Administration (MARAD) released a Request for Proposal (RFP) to solicit for a Vessel Construction Manager (VCM) to deliver a new class of training ships referred to as a National Security Multi-Mission Vessel (NSMV). The VCM selected by MARAD will contract with a qualified shipyard to ensure that commercial best practices are utilized in delivering the NSMV on time and on budget.“A new multi-mission vessel built by an American Shipyard will not only create new jobs…

Photo: NIMASA

ICPC Advocates Joint Vessel Inspection

The Acting Chairman of the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC), Dr. Musa Usman Abubakar has stressed the need for all government agencies in the maritime sector to carry out joint inspection of vessels at the ports in order to fully actualize the Ease of Doing Business initiative of the Federal Government.Dr. Abubakar who made this known when he led a joint team from the Nigerian Shippers Council (NSC) and the Commission on a courtesy visit…

Kings Point Alumni Release Commemorative Video

Video marks Academy's 75th year and those who made the ultimate sacrifice.Alumni of the United States Merchant Marine Academy (USMMA) released an inspiring video to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the institution and memorialize midshipmen who have died in service to the nation. Over the summer, the USMMA Alumni Association and Foundation (USMMA-AAF) has been executing a multi-faceted campaign to mark the federal academy's decades of service and the foundational role it plays…

Image: International Maritime Organization (IMO)

Somalian Maritime Administration to be Fully Operational Soon

Somalia’s Department of Maritime Administration is planned to become fully operational by the end of the year, enabling the country to discharge its flag, port and coastal responsibilities effectively in line with International Maritime Organization (IMO) instruments.Somalian Government officials met at an IMO-sponsored workshop, held in Kigali, Rwanda (27-31 August) and agreed that the newly-established department, part of the Ministry of Ports and Marine Transport, should be restructured by 31 December 2018.The next steps…

CNCo Vancouver opening ceremony. From left: Graham Clarke, Founding Chairman, VIMC;  Bruce Ralston, Minister of Jobs, Trade & Technology, British Columbia; Chris Daniells, Commercial Director, CNCo; Bernard Huizenga, General Manager, Corporate Business Development, CNCo Americas. Photo: CNCo

China Navigation Company Opens Vancouver Branch

China Navigation Company (CNCo), part of the Swire Group, has expanded its presence in North America by establishing a branch office in Vancouver, Canada.The opening ceremony was graced by Bruce Ralston, Minister of Jobs, Trade & Technology, British Columbia, who unveiled a plaque in the CNCo office located at W Hastings Street.Minister Bruce Ralston said, “The Province recognises the significant contribution that The China Navigation Company makes to the shipping industry worldwide.