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Thursday, July 9, 2020

Illinois News

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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)…

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MARAD Awards $9.5 Mln for Marine Highways Projects

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Maritime Administration (MARAD) awarded $9.5 million in grants to eight marine highways projects across the Nation under the America’s Marine Highway Program. The funding supports the enhancement of navigable waterways and expands existing waterborne freight services in Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, New York, New Jersey, Oregon, Tennessee, Washington and American Samoa.“This Federal assistance will provide additional options to reduce congestion on the roads and help the surrounding local communities’ and the regions’ economic recovery…

Arthur Mead (Photo: AWO)

AWO Elects Crowley's Mead as Chairman

Arthur F. Mead, Vice President and Chief Counsel at Crowley Maritime Corporation, has been elected Chairman of the American Waterways Operators (AWO), succeeding outgoing Chairman Scott Merritt, former Chief Operating Officer with Foss Maritime Company, LLC.Members of the national tugboat, towboat and barge industry association elected a new slate of leaders this week during the association's Spring Board of Directors / Annual Membership Meeting, which was held virtually due to COVID-19 precautionary measures that resulted in the meeting not taking place in Washington…

Photo: Volvo Penta

Volvo Penta Supplies PPE to Healthcare Workers

Volvo Penta  is taking action in response to the prevalent need for Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). At two of its North American facilities, the company is producing and distributing this vital protective gear to healthcare workers in the local communities and beyond. The efforts are part of an ongoing initiative from Volvo Group North America which plans to supply thousands of PPE units to healthcare operations across the country.The Volvo Penta engineering team at the company’s U.S. headquarters office in Chesapeake, Va., has led development of medical face shields.

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COVID-19 and Supply Chain Implications for Ocean Shipping

Only 10 days ago, reports indicated that China cargoes were returning to pre-coronavirus levels, and there appeared to be light at the end of the tunnel. Today, however, a barrage of new headlines has underscored the impact on the rapidly changing global supply chain, including in the United States. In addition to the aggressive spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), new economic developments indicate a decreased trend in global manufacturing. Changes in local economies negatively impacting employees reflect corresponding changes in consumer buying patterns.

Photo: Seamen’s Church Institute of New York & New Jersey (SCI)

Nestlehutt tapped to lead SCI

The Seamen’s Church Institute of New York & New Jersey (SCI) selected Rev. Mark S. Nestlehutt as its new President & Executive Director, succeeding the Rev. David Rider, effective February 18, 2020.With more than two decades of church experience in Massachusetts, Illinois, Maryland, Australia and South Africa, Mark joins SCI from Washington Memorial Chapel in Valley Forge, Pennsylvania where he serves as Rector. His previous employment and interests include service as an officer in the U.S.

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…

AdobeStock / © Rawf8

Oil surges as China Pushes Tariff Rollbacks

Oil prices rose more than 1% on Tuesday on hopes for a U.S.-China trade agreement and optimism that Washington could roll back some tariffs on Chinese imports.Brent crude futures rose 74 cents, or 1.2%, to $62.87 a barrel by 12:56 p.m. EST (1756 GMT). U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures rose 68 cents, or 1.2%, to $57.22 a barrel.China is pushing U.S. President Donald Trump to remove more tariffs imposed in September as part of a so-called Phase 1 deal, which would…

Ian Barrie  (Photo: Danfoss Drives)

Danfoss Drives Appoints Head of Sales for Americas

Danfoss Drives has named Ian Barrie as its new Head of Sales for the Americas. In this position, Barrie will continue to build and develop strong regional sales channels and verticals for Danfoss Drives’ business within North America and Latin America.Previously, Barrie was Head of Global Key Accounts for Danfoss Drives. He has an extensive 25-year history with Danfoss, wherein he has held several regional and global positions in sales, marketing, and business development. He will be based out of the Danfoss Drives’ Loves Park…

Image: MasterCraft Boat Holdings

MasterCraft Boat Appoints Frederick Brightbill as CEO

MasterCraft Boat Holdings announced that its Board of Directors has appointed current Board Chair, Frederick A. Brightbill, as Interim Chief Executive Officer, effective immediately.Brightbill’s appointment follows Terry McNew’s decision to step down as President, Chief Executive Officer and a Director of the Company to pursue an opportunity outside of the boating industry. Brightbill is expected to serve until the Company completes a search and appoints a new Chief Executive Officer.“On behalf of the Board and the entire organization…

Image: American Roll-on Roll-off Carrier

ARC to Christen 3 Vessels on Friday

American Roll-on Roll-off Carrier (ARC) will christen the ARC Resolve, ARC Integrity and the ARC Independence, welcoming three of the most versatile and militarily-useful ships to the U.S.-flag commercial fleet, on Friday in the Port of Baltimore.ARC’s three, new vessels will be enrolled in the Maritime Security Program (MSP), the bedrock Congressional maritime readiness program, and the Voluntary Intermodal Sealift Agreement (VISA).Maritime Administrator Mark H. Buzby will deliver the keynote address at the ship naming ceremony.

Aerial view of the Jerry F. Costello Lock & Dam on the Kaskaskia River. CREDIT: St. Louis Freightway

Creative Approach Keeps Commerce Flowing Amidst Historic Flooding

Operational changes keep Jerry F. Costello Lock and Dam open for 17 days longer than typical during high water events.While the record flooding in 2019 disrupted barge traffic throughout the inland waterways in the Midwest for extended periods this spring and summer, a little out-of-the-box thinking helped limit the number of days the Jerry F. Costello Lock and Dam was forced to close, keeping commerce flowing on the Kaskaskia River in Southern Illinois for several additional days during the persistent high water.The Kaskaskia River is a critical transportation link for several commodities…

Photo:St. Louis Regional Freightway

St. Louis Regional Freightway, Port of Savannah Partner

The St. Louis Regional Freightway and the Port of Savannah are forging a partnership to create a new connection between the St. Louis, Mo. region and the largest single-terminal container facility in the western hemisphere. In response to record movement of 4.3 million TEUs (20-foot equivalent units) in fiscal year 2017, the Port of Savannah is investing $3 billion to increase its containerized cargo capacity from 5 to 8 million TEUs by 2028. The investment will accelerate the…

David Grzebinski, Kirby’s President and Chief Executive Officer

Kirby Posts 2019 Q1 Results

Kirby Corporation announced net earnings attributable to Kirby for the first quarter ended March 31, 2019 of $44.3 million, or $0.74 per share, compared with earnings of $32.5 million, or $0.54 per share, for the 2018 first quarter. Excluding certain one-time charges, 2018 first quarter net earnings attributable to Kirby were $37.9 million, or $0.63 per share. Consolidated revenues for the 2019 first quarter were $744.6 million compared with $741.7 million reported for the 2018 first quarter.David Grzebinski…

U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine L. Chao

U.S. DOT Announces New MTSNAC Members

U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine L. Chao today announced the appointment of 29 members to the Maritime Transportation System National Advisory Committee (MTSNAC).Established in 2010, the MTSNAC is made up of leaders from commercial transportation firms, trade associations, state and local public entities, labor organizations, academia, and environmental groups that advise the Secretary on policies to ensure that the marine transportation system can respond to projected trade increases.“This advisory committee will help strengthen and modernize our nation’s maritime capabilities…

Logo: ISA

Demand for Box Shipping of Soybeans to Asia Grows

Countries in Asia, led by Indonesia, are increasingly relying on shipping containers to transport their purchases of U.S. soybeans, according to an analysis of federal data released by the Illinois Soybean Association (ISA).The number of soybeans shipped in containers to Asian countries has grown 40 percent since the 2014-2015 crop marketing year, from 2 million metric tons to 2.8 million metric tons. Indonesia is the top buyer of container shipments of soybeans at about 1.4 million metric tons…

River Raisin Dredging, Monroe, Michigan

U.S. Army Corps Selects 10 Beneficial Use Pilot Projects

At the end of December, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (ACE) announced its selection of ten dredging projects that will form the core of a pilot program to advance the beneficial use of dredged material.The recent U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ announcement culminated a program required by Congress, established within the Water Resources Development Act (WRDA) of 2016, specifically Section 1122. Congress directed that the ten pilot projects selected were required to present environmental…

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…

Pic: Kalmar Americas

Norfolk Southern Invests in Automation

American transportation company Norfolk Southern has signed a deal with Kalmar, part of Cargotec, for supply of four Kalmar SmartPower rubber-tyred gantry cranes (RTGs) equipped with a suite of process automation solutions.According to a press release, the order was booked in Cargotec's 2018 Q4 order intake with delivery scheduled to be completed by the end of Q4 2019. Norfolk Southern Railway subsidiary operates approximately 19,500 route miles in 23 states, serves every major container ports in the eastern United States and provides efficient connections to other rail carriers.

SeaCube Awarded U.S. TransCom Contract

SeaCube Container Leasing International has been awarded indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity, firm-fixed-price contracts for leasing and transportation of intermodal container equipment. Performance is from March 1, 2019, to Feb. 29, 2020. Work will be performed at multiple continental U.S. and outside continental U.S. locations. The contracts utilize fiscal 2019 and fiscal 2020 operations and maintenance funding. The U.S. Transportation Command, Directorate of Acquisition…

Photo: WCI

WCI Honors Senator Duckworth

On February 12, 2019, Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) received Waterways Council, Inc.'s (WCI) 18th Annual Leadership Service Award for her continual championing of ports and inland waterways. She was presented the award by Wade Beasley, Business Representative, Carpenters Local 174, Chicago Regional Council of Carpenters. WCI President & CEO Mike Toohey said, “Senator Duckworth is an American hero, and a stalwart advocate for the inland waterways in her state of Illinois, and throughout the United States.

© Henryk Sadura / Adobe Stock

Excessive Rain Disrupts US River Barge Shipping

Excessive rains across the central United States over the past week have slowed the harvest of corn and soybeans, while rising water levels closed at least three locks on the Upper Mississippi River, a key artery for shipping Midwest grain to U.S. Gulf exporters.Cash bids for corn shipped by barge to the Gulf firmed on Tuesday, reflecting exporter demand and dwindling pipeline supplies as rising river levels slowed barge traffic.The United States is the world's top corn supplier, and sales of the yellow grain represent one U.S.

The Illinois Port District

New Report Highlights Positive Impact of Illinois International Port District

The Great Lakes Seaway Partnership announces the release of Economic Impacts of the Port of Chicago, a report documenting the many contributions made by the Illinois International Port District (IIPD) and Great Lakes Seaway Shipping to the City of Chicago, Cook County, State of Illinois and Great Lakes region.The study reports that in 2017 the IIPD and maritime commerce supported:6,381 jobs$820.4 million in economic activity$514.8 million in personal income and local consumption…

Shortsea Container Shipping (File image / CREDIT Samskip)

U.S. Soybean Growers Mull Box Shipping as Trade War, Record Harvest Loom

Illinois Soybean Association Rallies U.S. Growers to Consider Shipping Via Container to Find New Markets for Anticipated Record Harvest.The anticipated bumper harvest of U.S. soybeans this fall amid a trade dispute with China presents an opportunity for growers to reach new international markets with containerized shipping. Farmers this spring sowed more soybeans than corn for the first time in 35 years. But prices have dropped since China, the world’s biggest market for soybeans, placed a 25 percent tax on imported U.S. soybeans, in response to U.S. tariffs on a swath of Chinese goods.

File Image: AdobeStock / © Lucasz Z

Illinois Soybean Growers Encouraged by U.S-China Trade Talks

Lynn Rohrscheib, Illinois Soybean Growers (ISG) chairwoman and a soybean farmer from Fairmount, Ill., released the following statement in response to U.S. and China announcing continued trade discussions: “As the nation’s top soybean-producing state, we are encouraged that talks are occurring between the United States and China leaders with hopes that our soybean market can be restored. Free trade and access to markets are critically important to producers’ livelihoods and profitability. We echo the need for the tariffs to be rescinded. We also need to see the promise of a Farm Bill delivered.

Photo: Sherwin-Williams

Sherwin-Williams' Schultz Honored

SSPC (The Society for Protective Coatings) named Mark Schultz, Government Marine Project Development Manager for Sherwin-Williams Protective & Marine Coatings, winner of the 2018-2019 John D. Keane Award of Merit. The award recognizes Schultz’s 25 years of significant contributions to the development of the protective coatings industry and to SSPC.Schultz was recognized with the award February 11, 2019, at the SSPC Coatings+ Conference in Orlando, Florida.Schultz, an SSPC Protective…