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Saturday, May 8, 2021

New York News

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US Trade Deficit Reaches Record High

The U.S. trade deficit jumped to a record high in March amid roaring domestic demand, which is drawing in imports, and the gap could widen further as the nation's economic activity rebounds faster than its global rivals.Manufacturers lack the capacity to satisfy the surge in demand because of resource constraints and bottlenecks in the supply chain. Inventories are very lean. Demand is being driven by a rapidly improving public health situation and massive government aid to households…

About 154 graduates of The Apprentice School at Newport News Shipbuilding were honored during graduation exercises on April 17, 2021. Due to COVID 19, the ceremony was held outdoors at the Hampton Roads Convention Center to ensure the safety of all graduates and guests, as well as event staff. Photo by Ashley Cowan/HII

Shipbuilding: HII Celebrates 154 Apprentice School Grads

Huntington Ingalls Industries (NYSE:HII) hosted commencement exercises on Saturday, April 17, 2021, for 154 graduates of the company’s Apprentice School at Newport News Shipbuilding. Due to the COVID-19 environment, and in an effort to keep all employees, staff, graduates and their guests safe, the ceremony was held outdoors at the Hampton Roads Convention Center in Hampton.“A drive-in movie-style graduation is likely not what you expected, but I think it’s pretty safe to say that the past year in many ways isn’t what any of us expected…

Commissioner Daniel B. Maffei has been sworn in as the Chairman of the Federal Maritime Commission. Photo courtesy FMC

President Biden Taps Maffei as Next FMC Chairman

Commissioner Daniel B. Maffei has been named Chairman of the Federal Maritime Commission, as appointed by President Joe Biden on March 29, 2021. Maffei is a sitting member of the FMC and replaces Michael A. Khouri in the role of Chairman.A native of New York, Maffei was a Member of the U.S. House of Representatives for two terms. His previous professional experience includes serving in the Department of Commerce during the Obama Administration, and earlier in his career, working as a Capitol Hill aide and as a broadcast reporter.

(Photo: BlackSky)

Suez Crisis Adds to Pandemic Supply Worries

A stranded container ship blocking the Suez Canal threatens to make it even more difficult for European and U.S. retailers to keep products in stock during the coronavirus pandemic.The Suez Canal saga that began on Tuesday and could go on for weeks, is just the latest crisis to strike the global supply chain that was upended when coronavirus shutdowns spurred house-bound consumers to upgrade appliances, sofas, televisions and backyards.IKEA, the world’s largest furniture seller…

(Photo: Suez Canal Authority)

Oil Gains More Than $3/bbl After Suez Canal Ship Grounding

Oil prices jumped about 6% on Wednesday after a ship ran aground in the Suez Canal, and worries that the incident could tie up crude shipments gave prices a boost after a slide over the last week.The crude benchmarks, U.S. crude and London-based Brent, added to gains after U.S. inventory figures showed a further rebound in refining activity, suggesting U.S. refiners are mostly recovered from the cold snap that slammed Texas in February.Brent crude settled at $64.41 a barrel, gaining $3.62, or 6%, after tumbling 5.9% the previous day.

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US FMC Commissioners Urge Vaccinations for Maritime Workers

This week, U.S. Federal Maritime Commissioners Daniel B. Maffei and Carl W. Bentzel sent letters to the Governors of major port states urging them to prioritize the vaccination of the maritime workforce to protect the nation’s supply chain.Letters were sent to the Governors of Alabama, California, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Maryland, New York, New Jersey, South Carolina, Texas and Washington following an earlier letter to the Biden administration encouraging the prioritization of maritime workers for access to vaccinations…

Elaine Chao (Photo: Office of President Trump)

Elaine Chao Used DOT Resources for Family Business - Report

The U.S. Justice Department declined to investigate or prosecute then-Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao after the inspector general’s office referred allegations of potential misuse of office for review, a report made public on Wednesday said.The report included allegations that Chao directed staff to research or purchase personal items for her online using her personal credit card or performed other personal errands for her or her father.The report focused largely on Chao’s actions related to her family’s shipping business…

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Satellite Data Company Spire to Go Public in Latest SPAC Space Deal

Satellite data company Spire Global Inc said on Monday it has agreed to go public through a merger with blank-check acquisition firm NavSight Holdings Inc at a $1.6 billion valuation.It is the latest example of a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) merging with a company in the space industry, following deals for the likes of space tourism company Virgin Galactic and rocket startup Astra.Spire said it expects the deal will provide it with up to $475 million in proceeds.

Dan Warner (Photo: Crowley)

Crowley Promotes Warner to CFO

Crowley Maritime Corporation said senior executive Dan Warner has been promoted to chief financial officer, consolidating company’s enterprise-level financial strategy, resources and services under his leadership. Warner has served as senior vice president and treasurer and member of the company’s senior leadership team since 2005. He began his career with Crowley in 2001 as a senior analyst for the corporate planning group, and later served as finance director for both the company’s…

Photo Source: Port Everglades

Inside Cruise Shipping's Fight for Survival

In early 2021, the somber news from the cruise sector continued. For some cruise brands, their own version of “lockdowns” will have spanned an entire year. By late January, 2021, Carnival and others were hesitantly pegging their restarts for April/May 2021, and for some markets, late summer, under a Conditional Sail Order promulgated late last year by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).What else to do but look ahead?In preliminary earnings guidance, Carnival Corporation (NYSE: CCL)…

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…

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BIMCO Shipping Number of the Week: U.S. Soya Bean Exports via Containerships

In the first four months of the 2020/2021 U.S. marketing year for soya beans (which started on 1 September), 2.5m tonnes of soya beans were exported in containers, accounting for 6.3% of total exports, while 37.1m tonnes departed the U.S. in dry bulk ships.Despite the record high containerized soya bean exports, the share of total U.S. soya bean exports being sent in containers has fallen from previous years and is currently at its lowest level since the same period in 2017. The…

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Equinor Selected for US' Largest Offshore Wind Award

Norwegian energy company Equinor said it has been selected to provide New York State with offshore wind power in one of the United States' largest renewable energy procurements to date.Under the award, Equinor and partner BP will provide 1,260 megawatts (MW) of renewable offshore wind power from Empire Wind 2, and another 1,230 MW of power from Beacon Wind 1, each calling for more than 90 turbines off the coast of Long Island—adding to the existing commitment to provide New York…

Ever Forever is the sixth containership of Evergreen Line’s F-type series. Built at the Geoje Shipyard of Samsung Heavy Industries, its twin-island hull design broadens the view from the navigation bridge and increases cargo loading capacity. (Photo: Evergreen Line)

Evergreen Takes Delivery of Two 12,000 TEU Ships

Evergreen Line took delivery of its sixth and seventh new 12,000 TEU class F-type containerships on December 15. Ever Forever was built at the Geoje Shipyard of South Korea's Samsung Heavy Industries, and Ever Far was delivered by Imabari Shipbuilding in Japan.The two new large containerships set sail in good order after the delivery procedures were completed. The ships’ 58,000-horsepower main engines are powering the technically advanced vessels to their allocated loading ports on Evergreen’s trans-Pacific services. Ever Forever will be put into service on the Asia-U.S.

(Photo: Interlake Holding Company)

Interlake Acquires Two Great Lakes Vessels

Interlake Holding Company announced today the purchase of the assets of Pere Marquette Shipping Company and Lake Michigan Car Ferry Company in an acquisition that includes two working Great Lakes vessels, the articulated tug-barge Undaunted-Pere Marquette 41 and the historic passenger-and-car ferry S.S. Badger.The acquisition signals the creation of a new business entity, Interlake Maritime Services, which will manage the new businesses along with The Interlake Steamship Company…

Offshore wind farm (Illustration) Credit: magann/AdobeStock

Sen. Schumer Calls for Offshore Wind Turbine Assembly Site to be Built in Brooklyn

U.S. Senator Charles Schumer on Monday joined Public Advocate Jumaane Williams, calling for a creation of a local offshore wind turbine assembly center at Sunset Park, Brooklyn, New York, and calling for the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) funding.According to a statement released by the Senator's office, the assembly site would position New York to play a significant role in the offshore wind supply chain, "which could create thousands of jobs…

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EU and UK Clinch Narrow Brexit Trade Deal

Britain clinched a narrow Brexit trade deal with the European Union on Thursday, just seven days before it exits one of the world’s biggest trading blocs in its most significant global shift since the loss of empire.The deal, agreed more than four years after Britain voted narrowly to leave the bloc, means it has averted a chaotic finale to the tortuous divorce that has shaken the 70-year project to forge European unity from the ruins of World War Two.It will preserve Britain’s zero-tariff and zero-quota access to the bloc’s single market of 450 million consumers…

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Investor EnTrust Global Turns Sights to Green Shipping Assets

U.S. investment company EnTrust Global, already a player in shipping finance, aims to buy ships that generate lower emissions, an executive said, the latest sign of efforts in the shipping industry to go green.Global shipping accounts for nearly 3% of the world’s CO2 emissions, putting the industry under pressure to clean up. About 90% of world trade is transported by sea.New York-based EnTrust, which has $18.9 billion in assets, lends to the shipping sector through its Blue Ocean Funds.

“One troubling statistic is that on average there is a fire onboard a container ship every week, with a major container fire occurring on average every 60 days.” (Photo: Indian Coast Guard)

Top Maritime Trends of 2020: Tackling the Scourge of Containership Fires

The proliferation of serious fires onboard container ships in recent years has shocked the shipping industry. Here we examine the causes and impact of such fires and the urgent efforts being made by a wide variety of stakeholders to solve this seemingly intractable problem.Over the last decade there has been a 70% fall in ship total losses[1]. This has been widely credited to long term improvements in ship safety management and loss prevention programs. Counter to this trend, there has been a substantial increase in the number of fires in containers carried onboard container and RoRo ships.

New Book: Steaming to Djibouti…My First Hitch on an Underway Replenishment Ship

The following excerpts are from the new travelogue by Captain Sean P. Tortora, titled, “Steaming to Djibouti…My First Hitch on an Underway Replenishment Ship.”  Join a motivated young merchant marine officer on his first journey onboard a venerable navy auxiliary steamship. Accompany him through the convoluted reporting for duty process through his truly surreal first tour onboard. Meet the oddball characters in the crew and follow their outlandish daily routine. Listen in to the truly jaw-dropping crew interactions.

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SEACOR to Go Private in $1 Billion Deal

Florida-based transportation and logistics firm SEACOR Holdings Inc announced Monday it has entered into a deal with private equity firm American Industrial Partners (AIP) to take the company private in an all-cash transaction valuing it at about $1 billion, including net debt.SEACOR said New York-based AIP will commence a tender offer to buy all its outstanding shares at $41.50 apiece, a premium of about 14% to the company’s closing stock price on Friday, and a premium of approximately…

A screenshot from the RS simulation suite. Image: VSTEP

Maritime Training: Non-Traditional Maritime Simulation

Our COVID-19 maritime world continues to change as our perspectives on education and training with the availability of online learning and conferencing, an increased use of webinars, and the use of simulation technology must evolve if we are to be able to continue to train and maintain skill sets as we navigate the current and predicted restrictions on movement. Changes made now may eventually become fully integrated in to future iterations of training in many industries.An increasing…

Credit: Equinor

"Hundreds of Jobs" - Equinor Picks Port of Albany for Offshore Wind Tower Making Facility

Norwegian energy company Equinor has proposed the Port of Albany, in upstate New York, as the first offshore wind tower manufacturing facility in the  U.S."Developed jointly with leading wind industry manufacturers Marmen and Welcon, Equinor stands ready to transform the port for manufacturing offshore wind towers and transition pieces (TPs), creating up to 350 direct jobs in the region," Equinor said.The Port of Albany extension initiative is part of the bid Equinor submitted…

Rear Admiral John Okon, Commander, Naval Meteorology and Oceanography Command

INTERVIEW: RDML John Okon, Commander, Naval Meteorology and Oceanography Command

Recently  the United States Navy  and NOAA signed an agreement to jointly expand the development and operations of unmanned maritime systems in the nation’s coastal and world’s ocean waters. RDML John Okon, Commander, Naval Meteorology and Oceanography Command, shares his insights on the direction and pace of the use of unmanned maritime systems for the Navy’s future.How and when you realized that yours would be a career dedicated to Oceanography?Interesting, I never started out to have a career in Oceanography, but rather in Broadcast Meteorology.

Lindblad Expeditions Holdings, Inc. named David Goodman as its Chief Commercial and Marketing Officer, effective November 9, 2020.

Lindblad Expeditions Names Goodman CCO/CMO

Lindblad Expeditions Holdings, Inc. named David Goodman as its Chief Commercial and Marketing Officer, effective November 9, 2020. Goodman spent more than years running divisions of global multi-media organizations, overseeing revenue, marketing, content creation, production, product/technology, distribution and oversight of some of the world’s most recognizable brands and properties. Most recently he served as Executive Vice President, Marketing and Digital Development at Sotheby's.Under his leadership…