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Monday, September 28, 2020

Mexico News

Hurricane Sally (Photo: NOAA)

Offshore Oil Wells, Ports Shut as Hurricane Sally Advances on U.S. Gulf

Energy companies, ports and refiners raced on Monday to shut down as Hurricane Sally grew stronger while lumbering toward the central U.S. Gulf Coast, the second significant hurricane to shutter oil and gas activity over the last month.The hurricane is disrupting oil imports and exports as the nation's sole offshore terminal, the Louisiana Offshore Oil Port (LOOP), stopped loading tanker ships on Sunday, while the port of New Orleans closed on Monday.The U.S. government said 21%…

(File photo courtesy U.S. Coast Guard)

Port of Houston Reopens as Hurricane Closure Lifted

The Port of Houston, the United States' largest energy export port, began reopening to commercial shipping on Thursday after a day-long closure due to Hurricane Laura, the U.S. Coast Guard said.Ports along the Texas and Louisiana coasts were closed as the Category 4 hurricane churned up the Gulf of Mexico and went ashore in Cameron, Louisiana, early Thursday. The storm brought hurricane winds and high seas to the region.The Port of Houston, a major import and export hub for fuel, chemicals and consumer goods, closed on Wednesday.

© Igor Groshev / Adobe Stock

US LNG Loading Delays Expected as Hurricane Slams Gulf Coast

Loadings of liquefied natural gas (LNG) cargoes from the United States likely will be delayed as a powerful storm strikes the heart of the U.S. oil and gas industry on the Gulf Coast, forcing several LNG plants to shut.Hurricane Laura made landfall early on Thursday in southwestern Louisiana as one of the most powerful storms ever to hit the state, with forecasters warning it could push a wall of water 40 miles (64 km) inland from the sea. Landfall came near Louisiana's border…

Plaquemines Port to Build Mississippi River Container Terminal

Plaquemines Port Harbor and Terminal District (PPHTD) said it has signed a letter of intent (LOI) with several potential partners to development a multi-modal container terminal on the Mississippi River in Plaquemines Parish, La.The signing of the LOI kicks off a six-month due diligence period during which the parties will conduct multiple studies prior to making a final investment decision (FID).The proposed container terminal would encompass up to 1,000 acres and 8,200 feet of Mississippi River frontage just 50 miles from the Gulf of Mexico.

Pictured from left to right are Major General Diana Holland, Commanding General, Mississippi River Valley Division; Gov. John Bel Edwards and Col. Stephen Murphy, Commander, New Orleans District signing the PPA. (Photo: LADOTD)

Lower Mississippi River to be Deepened to 50 Feet

The ports at Baton Rouge, New Orleans, South Louisiana, St. Bernard and Plaquemines are slated to have deep draft access after Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards and other state officials signed a formal agreement with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Friday to begin construction on the deepening of the Lower Mississippi River to 50 feet from 45 feet. The overall project will provide a draft of 50-feet from the Port of Baton Rouge to the Gulf of Mexico over 256 miles of the Mississippi River.

The car carrier Golden Ray sits capsized in St. Simons Sound, Ga. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Brian McCrum)

Total Shipping Losses Are Declining, But Challenges Persist -Report

The record low 41 large shipping losses worldwide in 2019 represents a 20% improvement year-on-year and almost 70% over a decade, but the coronavirus crisis could endanger the long-term safety improvements in the shipping industry for 2020 and beyond, as difficult operating conditions and a sharp economic downturn present a unique set of challenges, according to recent report from marine insurer Allianz Global Corporate & Specialty (AGCS).Consequences of coronavirus and a sustained…

SENER Group Appoints New Leadership

SENER Group announced it has appointed a new president and new CEO to usher in a new leadership phase at the Spanish-based engineering company. Andrés Sendagorta has been named President of the SENER Group, and Jorge Sendagorta Cudós its new CEO.Sendagorta, hitherto Vice President of SENER, takes over from Jorge Sendagorta, who will continue to be linked to the SENER Group as its Honorary President.Andrés Sendagorta holds a diploma in General Management from the Institute for Higher Business Studies IESE (Universidad de Navarra, Spain).

© Eddy Ulin / MarineTraffic.com

Tankers Carrying Venezuelan Oil Stuck at Sea

Tankers carrying nearly two months worth of Venezuelan oil output are stuck at sea as global refiners shun the nation’s crude to avoid falling foul of U.S. sanctions, according to industry sources, PDVSA documents and shipping data.Washington is tightening sanctions to cut Venezuela’s oil exports and deprive the government of socialist President Nicolas Maduro of its main source of revenue.The OPEC member’s exports are hovering near their lowest levels in more than 70 years and the economy has collapsed, but Maduro has held on - to the frustration of the administration of U.S.

© lazyllama / Adobe Stock

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…

(Photo: Port of Indiana-Mount Vernon)

Port of Indiana-Mt. Vernon Makes ‘Next Generation’ Terminal Upgrades

A  recently completed a $2 million capital improvement project aims to attract more cargo to one of the nation’s largest inland ports.Situated 153 miles from the confluence of the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers, the Port of Indiana-Mount Vernon connects the Ohio River Valley region’s agriculture, coal and manufacturing industries to the rest of the world via year-round access to the Gulf of Mexico and Great Lakes through the inland waterways system.Each year, more than 3,600 barges…

© Vladimir / Adobe Stock

Pemex Trading Arm Mulls Canceling May-June Cargos

The trading arm of Mexican state oil company Pemex is mulling options to slash the number of fuel cargoes the country imports in May and June as demand plummets because of the coronavirus, three sources close to the talks told Reuters.Pemex last week declared force majeure over fuel supplies from its trading arm PMI Comercio Internacional after a bottleneck of more than 60 vessels built up outside Mexican ports, waiting to discharge.But PMI still has not declared force majeure…

© Vladimir / Adobe Stock

Tanker Bottleneck Grows at Mexico's Ports

More than 20 vessels loaded with fuel have waited a week or more to discharge gasoline, jet fuel, diesel and liquefied petroleum gas at Mexico's ports, according to Refinitiv Eikon data, as demand craters due to coronavirus-related lockdowns.Mexico imports most of its fuel and has very limited storage capacity. State oil company Pemex and about a dozen independent importers typically discharge at least two gasoline cargoes per day, mostly coming from the United States.In January…

© eaumstocker / Adobe Stock

OPEC+ Outlines Record Oil Production Cut; Mexico Balks

OPEC, Russia and other allies outlined plans on Thursday to cut their oil output by more than a fifth and said they expected the United States and other producers to join in their effort to prop up prices hammered by the coronavirus crisis.But the group, known as OPEC+, said a final agreement was dependent on Mexico signing up to the pact after it balked at the production cuts it was asked to make. Discussions among top global energy ministers will resume on Friday.The planned output curbs by OPEC+ amount to 10 million barrels per day (bpd) or 10% of global supplies…

Trailers move through Port Manatee’s newly opened transfer facility (Photo: Port Manatee)

Port Manatee Opens Transfer Facility

A new throughput-maximizing facility opened in early April at Port Manatee is helping speed shipments of fresh produce to consumers of Florida and beyond.Port Manatee’s newly unveiled transfer facility, with room for 120 trailers, optimizes capabilities for expediting movement of cargo by freeing up near-dock yard space for stacking as many as 300 containers at a time.The 3.6-acre facility was completed in three months at a port investment of $916,093 while supporting 10 construction jobs.Shippers of produce through Port Manatee include Del Monte Fresh Produce Co.…

© Unkas Photo / Adobe Stock

Coronavirus Upends Global Food Supply Chains

In the fertile Satara district in western India, farmers are putting their cattle on an unorthodox diet: Some feed iceberg lettuce to buffalo. Others feed strawberries to cows.It’s not a treat. They can either feed their crops to animals or let them spoil. And other farmers are doing just that - dumping truck loads of fresh grapes to rot on compost heaps.The farmers cannot get their produce to consumers because of lockdowns that aim to stop the spread of coronavirus. In India…

© Iaroslav Neliubov/AdobeStock

Intermodal Supply Chains Strain Under the Weight of Coronovirus Lockdowns

LONDON/MADRID/LOS ANGELES, March 23 - Freight carriers are struggling to deliver goods by land, sea or air as the coronavirus pandemic forces Western governments to impose lockdowns, threatening supplies of vital products including medicines into the most affected areas, such as Italy.While China's draconian steps to stop the spread of the virus are now allowing its economy slowly to come back online, supply chains are backing up in other parts of the world.Problems ranging from…

© THATREE / Adobe Stock

Western Supply Chains Buckle as Coronavirus Lockdowns Spread

Freight carriers are struggling to deliver goods by land, sea or air as the coronavirus pandemic forces Western governments to impose lockdowns, threatening supplies of vital products including medicines into the most affected areas, such as Italy.While China's draconian steps to stop the spread of the virus are now allowing its economy slowly to come back online, supply chains are backing up in other parts of the world.Problems ranging from finding enough truck drivers to restrictions on seafarers and a lack of air freight are hitting the smooth flow of goods…

(Photo: Princess Cruises)

Coronavirus-hit Princess Cruises Suspends Operations

Princess Cruises, the operator of two coronavirus-stricken ships, said on Thursday it would suspend global operations of its 18 cruise ships for two months, sending shares of its parent company Carnival Corp down 22% in premarket trading.The Grand Princess was denied entry to San Francisco Bay last Wednesday en route back from Hawaii as authorities learned some passengers and crew had developed flu-like symptoms, and that patrons from an earlier cruise to Mexico aboard the same ship had tested positive for coronavirus.The Diamond Princess cruise ship…

(Photo: Port of Oakland)

Grand Princess Docks in Oakland

Weary passengers aboard a cruise ship idled at sea for days by a coronavirus outbreak erupted in cheers on Monday as the vessel sailed into San Francisco Bay en route to the Port of Oakland and the next, unexpected phase of their voyage - two weeks of quarantine.The 2,400 passengers, who have been largely confined to their staterooms since Thursday, were to begin disembarking on Monday for transport to quarantine stations or hospitals, depending on whether they are well or need immediate medical attention.Except for those with acute illness…

Image: A.P. Moller - Maersk

Global Container Demand to Grow by 1-3% in 2020

For 2020, global container demand is projected to grow by 1-3%, as per forecast by A.P. Moller - Maersk.The continued weak global sentiment above all in the manufacturing sector reduces the likelihood of a material growth pick-up in 2020, although sentiment brightened a bit at the end of 2019, and some improvement can be expected on the back of stabilizing inventory dynamics, said the shipping giant.Aside from the cyclical slowing of the global economy, substantial risk to global container demand comes from the effectiveness of fiscal and monetary policy in major economies…

© searagen / Adobe Stock

Shipping Industry Faces $370 mln Hit From New Panama Canal Charge

A new "freshwater" charge that came in this month to help the Panama Canal cope with climate change will cost the shipping industry up to $370 million a year, marking another blow for maritime companies already hit by fallout from the coronavirus.The Panama Canal, one of world's busiest shipping routes, which handled nearly 14,000 transits last year, said last month it would introduce a charge from Feb. 15 of $10,000 for any vessel more than 125 feet long.The canal, which relies on water from nearby Gatun Lake, has been hit by drought which affects water levels in the chokepoint.

MV Argo Merchant was a Liberian-flagged oil tanker that ran aground and sank southeast of Nantucket Island, Mass., on Dec. 15, 1976, causing one of the largest marine oil spills in history. U.S. Coast Guard Archives

Anatomy of a Marine Casualty Investigation

Blank Rome’s maritime attorneys have represented clients in some of the largest maritime casualties in the last 20 years, including the Staten Island Ferry allision with a maintenance pier in New York, the blow out and eventual loss of the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig in the Gulf of Mexico, the sinking of the El Faro during Hurricane Joaquin, and the collision between the Navy Destroyer USS John S. McCain and the tanker ALNIC MC in the Singapore Strait. These casualties have resulted in the catastrophic loss of life…

Image: Mammoet

Mammoet Completes Mexican Terminal Expansion

Mammoet, a Dutch company specialized in engineered heavy lifting and transport of over-sized and heavy objects, said that its  team has successfully completed the second phase of the relocation of several shipping container cranes for Hutchison Ports ICAVE as part of a planned port expansion in Veracruz, Mexico.Mammoet used 56 axle lines of SPMT to transport two ship-to-shore (STS) cranes and ten rubber-tired gantry cranes (RTGs). The completion of the crane relocations has increased the port’s capacity to more than 95 million tons.

Patrick Jany (File photo: Clariant)

Maersk Names Jany CFO

A.P. Moller - Maersk has appointed Patrick Jany as its new chief financial officer, effective May 1, 2020.Jany, a German citizen, joins the world's largest shipping company as CFO and a member of the executive board after more than two decades with Swiss chemicals company Clariant, where he's been CFO since 2006. Prior to his role as CFO, he held several leadership positions within finance, general management and corporate development in Clariant in Germany, Mexico, Singapore, Indonesia and Spain.“I am pleased to welcome Patrick Jany to A.

©  Mariakray / Adobe Stock

US Trade Deficit Narrows for First Time in Six Years

The U.S. trade deficit fell for the first time in six years in 2019 as the White House’s trade war with China curbed the import bill, keeping the economy on a moderate growth path despite a slowdown in consumer spending and weak business investment.The report from the Commerce Department on Wednesday also showed the Trump administration’s “America First” agenda decreased the flow of goods last year, with exports posting their first decline since 2016. President Donald Trump, who has dubbed himself “the tariff man…

MV Argo Merchant was a Liberian-flagged oil tanker that ran aground and sank southeast of Nantucket Island, Mass., on Dec. 15, 1976, causing one of the largest marine oil spills in history. U.S. Coast Guard Archives

Anatomy of a Marine Casualty Investigation

Blank Rome’s maritime attorneys have represented clients in some of the largest maritime casualties in the last 20 years, including the Staten Island Ferry allision with a maintenance pier in New York, the blow out and eventual loss of the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig in the Gulf of Mexico, the sinking of the El Faro during Hurricane Joaquin, and the collision between the Navy Destroyer USS John S. McCain and the tanker ALNIC MC in the Singapore Strait. These casualties have resulted in the catastrophic loss of life…