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Saturday, August 15, 2020

Federal Government News

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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…

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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.

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…

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…

COVID-19 & the US Workboat Market: Business Continuity, Not Business as Usual

In today’s environment, the overarching challenge for the American tugboat, towboat and barge industry is to continue transporting the vital commodities that help keep our nation’s economy moving during a highly uncertain time, while taking all necessary measures to ensure the health and safety of our workforce as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to evolve – in other words, to ensure business continuity, while recognizing we are not, nor can we be, going about business as usual.

(Photo: Crowley)

US Says No Requests Yet to Waive Jones Act to Help Oil Companies

The U.S. government said on Monday it has not yet received requests to waive a 100-year-old law on shipping goods between domestic ports, despite some interested parties who say temporarily lifting the regulation would help energy companies hurt by the oil price plunge.Kelly Cahalan, a spokesperson at the U.S Customs and Border Protection agency of the Department of Homeland Security, said no requests to waive the Merchant Marine Act, better known as the Jones Act, have been received.U.S.

Photo: Scott Dobry Pictures

Dredging: Managing the Impact of Channel Deepening and Widening on Surrounding Structures

U.S. ports have worked toward increasing the depth and width of their channels to allow for larger ships with greater capacities. The equation is generally: bigger ships = more throughput = increased profitability. But what are the impacts around a channel after it’s widened? The ripple effects may go further than you think.Managing the Impact of Channel Improvement Projects on Structures and PipelinesWith more water to impact them, structures around an expanded channel may need improvements, and pipelines under the channel may need relocation to make way for dredging.

© HMM/ Marc Ihle

Leases and Fees Defered at the Port of Hamburg

All tenants of the Hamburg Port Authority (HPA) in the port of Hamburg can apply for the interest-free moratorium of the building- and land lease for the months April, May and June. Payments can be deferred until December 31, 2020. The Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg furthermore supports the port industry in the current difficult situation by deferring charges. Ocean carriers, inland shipping companies and port skippers for example are able to request a moratorium for port dues payments for the months of April, May and June.

(Photo: Dredging Contractors of America)

Dredging: Essential Critical Infrastructure Workforce

On Thursday, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) released guidance to help state and local jurisdictions and the private sector identify and manage their essential workforce while responding to COVID-19.The Dredging Contractors of America (DCA) helped the federal government develop this first-of-a-kind guidance on Essential Critical Infrastructure Workers.“This is why Government Coordinating Councils and Sector Coordinating Councils are so important.

Photo: JAXPORT

JAXPORT Gets $93m for Harbor Deepening

The federal government allocated $93 million for the next phase of deepening the Jacksonville shipping channel to 47 feet from its current depth of 40 feet. Of the total $93 million investment, $57,543,000 is included in the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Fiscal Year 20 Work Plan, and an additional $35,457,000 is allocated in the A Budget for America’s Future – President’s Budget FY 2021.“This is the first time JAXPORT has ever received funding in the President’s budget, which speaks volumes about the significance of this project to the Southeast U.S.

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IMO 2020: U.S. Restricts the Use of Certain Fuels in Scrubber Vessels

With the January 1 implementation of IMO 2020, which requires dramatic reductions in the sulfur content of emissions from ocean-going vessels, the United States government issued a new rule that it asserts actually facilitates the distribution of compliant fuel.The US Environmental Protection Agency asserts that it is taking steps to allow for the distribution of distillate fuel with sulfur content of up to 5,000 ppm sulfur—something that it asserts was previously prohibited.

Image: South Carolina Ports Authority

$138M Ok'd for Charleston Harbor Project

US President Donald Trump approved $138 million for the Charleston Harbor Deepening Project as part of the Energy and Water Appropriations Bill in the 2020 Budget.According to a statement from South Carolina Ports Authority, both the Senate and the House voted to approve the appropriations bill this week as part of the fiscal year 2020 funding package, and Trump signed it into law Friday."This enormous step forward means the project is fully funded to completion and on track to achieve a 52-foot depth in 2021," it said.S.C.

Image: MV WERFTEN Wismar GmbH

New Cruise Ships Start Build in Germany

Genting Hong Kong and its Hong Kong–German shipbuilding group, MV Werften, announced a new Universal Class of cruise ships targeted at customers outside of Genting's cruise brand portfolio of Dream, Crystal and Star.The keel-laying of the second 208,000 gross ton Global Class ship for Dream Cruises took place December 10 at MV WERFTEN in Rostock.The midship section of the Global Class ship is being produced in Rostock. The transfer of the first 160,000 gross ton midship section…

Image: © WSV

Fairway Dredging Project Remains on Track

Port of Hamburg is continuing its dredging projects on the Elbe River as per plan. The second hopper dredger named Bonny River has been conducting dredging operations on the federal stretch and taking the spoil to the UWA - underwater dredged material disposal site at Medemrinne, from October.Built in 2018, the ‘Bonny River’ has a hold capacity of over 16,000 cubic meters; consequently having a highly efficient performance level.The holding area near Brunsbüttel and the widening work on the WSV - federal waterways and shipping stretch are finished.

Ralf Nagel. Photo: German Shipowners’ Association

Germany Mulls Onshore Power in Seaports

German federal government took a step to make onshore power in seaports more attractive; this week the environment ministers of the federal and state governments will be meeting in Hamburg to discuss onshore power initiatives in Germany.Against this backdrop, the German Shipowners’ Association (Verband Deutscher Reeder, VDR) welcomes plans to provide ships with onshore power while on berth in German ports.“We are united in our goal to further improve the climate and the air quality in the ports…

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Maritime Risk Symposium, Nov. 12-15 at SUNY Maritime

The State University of New York Maritime College, in collaboration with the U.S. Coast Guard, National Academy of Sciences, academic institutions, industry partners, and federal, state and local agencies, will host the 10th Annual Maritime Risk Symposium (MRS 2019) Nov. 13-15, 2019, at New York Maritime College located in the Bronx, New York.MRS 2019 will bring together academics, government and commercial entities to discuss the threats, challenges and risks associated with the Marine Transportation System with a focus on current and future marine transportation challenges and threats.

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Offshore Wind Conference Set for SUNY Maritime

The Center of Excellence for Offshore Renewable Energy at the State University of New York Maritime College and the Maritime Industry Museum at Fort Schuyler, are hosting the Ocean Wind Energy Conference on Thursday, September 26, 2019 at the Maritime Academic Center, SUNY Maritime College.Serving as the keynote speaker is Alana Duerr, Ph.D., Director, Offshore Wind North America, DNV GL - Renewables Advisory, who will offer insight to opportunities for maritime industry support of Ocean Wind Energy development and sustainment for many years to come.

Port Prize awarded (Photo: PORT OF KIEL)

Maritime Coordinator Honored with Kiel Port Award

The Federal Government Coordinator for the Maritime Industry, Norbert Brackmann, has been honored with the Port Award 2019. The prize was presented to him on September 5th on the occasion of the traditional “Sprottenback” event hosted by the companies of Kiel’s maritime industry. In his role as the Chairman of the Advisory Board, Jens B. Knudsen, the Executive Manager of Sartori & Berger, paid tribute to the awardee in his laudatory speech: “Norbert Brackmann campaigns at federal level for competitive conditions in the utilization of on-shore power.

Photo: Port of Johnstown

Port of Johnstown to Receive 12 Shiploads of Wind Turbines

The Port of Johnstown will be a busy port over the next several months as vessels are delivering ENERCON turbine components for the Nation Rise Wind Farm project.The cargo represents a major business win for the Port, which completed a multi-million-dollar infrastructure project in 2016 that included several acres of laydown space to be able to accommodate this type of heavy-lift cargo.The first vessel, the BBC Kurt Paul, arrived August 13, 2019. In total, 12 vessels are expected…

Photo: NIMASA

NIMASA Invests in Maritime Security

The Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) reports it has graduated another 298 surveillance officers in basic training course for the implementation of the Integrated Security and Waterway Protection Infrastructure also known as the Deep Blue Project.Speaking at the graduation ceremony held at the military base in Elele in Rivers State, the Director General of NIMASA, Dr. Dakuku Peterside noted that the capacity development component of the Deep Blue project…

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Maritime Recordkeeping is Serious Business

In addition to fuel, modern ships also run on paper or their electronic equivalent. Vessels are required to keep written or electronic records of many things – and the list is growing.There is the traditional Ship’s Log, which records the vessel’s position, course, speed, weather, and unusual events to name a few. The Oil Record Book (ORB) has been around for a long time and tracks all movement of oil throughout the vessel, including its loading, consumption, and discharge (generally via the oily water separator and overboard discharge piping).

John F. Reinhart, CEO and executive director of the Virginia Port Authority (VPA).

INSIGHTS: John F. Reinhart, CEO, Virginia Port Authority (VPA)

John F. Reinhart is the CEO and executive director of the Virginia Port Authority (VPA). He is responsible for the broad programmatic areas of business development and growth, strategic marketing, finance, and operations of Virginia’s marine terminal facilities: Virginia International Gateway, Newport News Marine Terminal, Norfolk International Terminals, Portsmouth Marine Terminal, Richmond Marine Terminal and the Virginia Inland Port.Under his leadership, the goal has been to…

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.

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,”…

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.