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Wednesday, April 8, 2020

New York News

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Buy a Statue for $4B? As COVID-19 Rises, so too do Cyber Scams

Police in India lodged a case this week against an unknown online fraudster who tried selling the world's largest statue for $4 billion, claiming the proceeds would be used to help the Gujarat state government fund its fight against the coronavirus.While the plot to sell the 'Statue of Unity", a monument that is nearly twice the height of New York's Statue of Liberty, is among the most brazen cases, police say cybercrimes have surged since the health scare gripped the country.With scams ranging from free mobile recharges…

U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Joshua D. Sheppard/Released

ABS Helps Ensure Readiness of US Hospital Ships

ABS made a key contribution to the nation’s COVID-19 response effort, helping ensure the readiness of two ABS-classed U.S. Navy hospital ships.ABS surveyors on the U.S. East and West coast helped the USNS Mercy and the USNS Comfort sail to provide urgently needed hospital beds in New York and Los Angeles.USNS Mercy was in her home port in San Diego making preparations for a large shipyard repair package scheduled to begin in April. Her activation was advanced to support California’s request for the vessel to berth in Los Angeles.

From Left: Lisa Lutoff-Perlo, President and CEO, Celebrity Cruises Inc.; James R. Mara, President Emeritus, Metropolitan Marine Maintenance Contractors' Association; James I. Newsome III, President and CEO, South Carolina Ports Authority; Dr. Nikolas P. Tsakos, President and CEO, Tsakos Energy Navigation Corp.; and Lois K. Zabrocky, President and CEO, International Seaways Inc. (Photo courtesy of the Maritime Association of New York and New Jersey)

International Maritime Hall of Fame Dinner Rescheduled

Taking into consideration concern about quarantine requirements surrounding the global coronavirus pandemic, the Maritime Association of New York and New Jersey has rescheduled its 27th Annual International Maritime Hall of Fame Dinner. The new date is Thursday, September 10, 2020, moved from its initially planned Wednesday, May 13, 2020.The event will be held at its originally slated venue, the Grand Hyatt Hotel in New York City. Tickets, sponsorship and souvenir journal advertising sales will be automatically applied to the new date.

Eye on Maritime Design: Better Ferries by (EBDG) Design

Elliott Bay Design Group is a well-known, long tenured Seattle-based naval architecture and marine engineering firm.We checked in with John Waterhouse, Chief Concept Engineer at EBDG, for insights on some of the design elements on the new Staten Island Ferries.Elliott Bay Design Group (EBDG) served as the design lead on the new “Ollis” class of Staten Island Ferries. “We started with them at the end 2014 to make a preliminary design investigation,” said John Waterhouse, Chief Concept Engineer at EBDG.

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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.

Rick Cotton (Photo: Port Authority of New York and New Jersey)

NY/NJ Port Head Tests Positive for Coronavirus

Rick Cotton, executive director of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, has tested positive for the novel coronavirus, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced on Monday.The Port Authority, which oversees both states' seaports as well as airports and other major travel hubs, said in a statement that Cotton is currently asymptomatic and has self-quarantined at his home while maintaining a full work schedule.Staff members who have had close contact with Cotton in recent…

SUNY Hosts Ceremony for Hornblower E-Navigation Lab

Ongoing partnership between Hornblower and Maritime College provides access to internships and jobs for students & alumni along with access to training facilities for Hornblower crewsThere is a new wave of maritime talent hitting the shores of New York Harbor as one of the oldest maritime institutions in the country continues to expand its partnership with one of the biggest ferry operators in the country. SUNY Maritime College officials joined Hornblower executives for a ceremony…

Jennifer K. Waters (Photo: Maritime College)

Maritime College Names Waters Provost and VP

The State University of New York (SUNY) Maritime College announced that Jennifer K. Waters has been appointed Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs beginning July 1. Dr. Waters currently serves as Associate Dean for Academic Affairs at the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis, Md.Dr. Jennifer Waters, a native New Yorker, received her bachelor’s degree in Naval Architecture and marine engineering from the Webb Institute before earning a master’s and doctoral degree in ocean engineering from Stevens Institute of Technology.Dr.

Photo courtesy of Virgin Voyages

Branson: Virgin Cruise Line Will Overcome Coronavirus Fears

British entrepreneur Richard Branson heralded his first cruise ship "Scarlet Lady" on Friday as targeting a younger generation of holidaymakers with a range of attractions that he believes will outweigh any fears around coronavirus.Despite the unfortunate timing, with passengers on one ship quarantined in Japan after hundreds caught the virus and another turned away by five countries over fears someone on board may be ill, Branson sees cruises as a growth area.In an event at Dover…

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…

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Golden Ocean Warns on Profit, Supply Chains Due to Coronavirus

Shipping group Golden Ocean warned on Tuesday its profit would be hit by a slowdown in demand due to the coronavirus outbreak in China, sending its shares down more than 3% in early trade.The world's second-biggest economy has seen business activity curtailed in recent weeks as it battles to combat the spread of the virus, pushing down shipping rates for commodities such as coal and iron ore used in Chinese factories."The market is currently presenting a challenging scenario that will impact our results in the near term…

Image: Ocean Network Express (ONE)

4 Major Lines Jointly Launches EMA Services

Chinese state-owned shipping company COSCO Shipping Lines, Hong Kong container shipping company Orient Overseas Container Line (OOCL), Japanese/Singapore container shipping company Ocean Network Express (ONE) and Taiwanese ocean shipping company Yang Ming Marine Transport Corporation are to launch a new weekly Transatlantic service, East Mediterranean - America Service (EMA).The first commencing voyage is scheduled to operate on April, 2020, subject to Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) filing.The EMA service, jointly operated by the four lines, will consist of six Panamax vessels.

Image by International Seaways, Inc.

International Seaways Signs Refi Deal

New York-headquartered product tanker company International Seaways has closed on senior secured credit facilities worth a total of USD 390 million.The crude oil and petroleum product tanker company said that the facilities consists of a 5-year USD 300 million senior secured term loan facility, a 5-year USD 40 million revolving credit facility, of which USD 20 million has been drawn, and a 2.5-year USD 50 million senior secured term loan credit facility.The NYSE-listed ship owner…

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…

James C. DeSimone, Deputy Commissioner, Ferry Division, New York City Department of Transportation. Photo: Greg Trauthwein

Profiles in Training: Staten Island Ferries

When James C. DeSimone, Deputy Commissioner, Ferry Division, New York City Department of Transportation, signed on to run the Staten Island Ferries in 2003, the organization was still in the aftermath of one of the most significant accidents in its history: the ferry Andrew J. Barberi allision of October 2003, an accident which included a number of fatalities and serious injuries. DeSimone, who had long-tenures in both the commercial and public end of the marine business, brought a unique perspective to the organization.“For the city to go outside the system to hire (me) was huge…

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.

Bart B. Kelleher has taken over as CEO of Chembulk Tankers (Photo: Chembulk Tankers)

Chembulk Tankers Announces Leadership Changes

Chembulk Tankers announced on Wednseday that Bart B. Kelleher has taken over as Chief Executive Officer for David Ellis, who has resigned for personal reasons. Ellis will be available to the company through January 31, 2020.Kelleher has held senior executive roles within Chembulk since joining the company in early 2016, initially as Chief Strategy Officer and then Chief Financial Officer in early 2019. Prior to joining Chembulk, Kelleher was the Chief Operating Officer for Principal Maritime Management and held roles in investment banking…

Image: Safe Bulkers

Safe Bulkers Sells, Leasebacks 8 Vessels

The Monaco-headquartered provider of marine drybulk transportation services Safe Bulkers Safe Bulkers has sold and leased back eight ships to refinance $105.2m in loans coming due in 2023 and 2025.The New York-listed bulker owner said that it will receive $158.3m in proceeds from the transaction.Under the arrangements, two vessels were leased back, under bareboat charter agreements, for a period of six years and six vessels were leased back under bareboat charter agreements, for…

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US Retail Imports Normalizing After Tariff Surges

U.S. retail imports are beginning to settle down following a year of fluctuations driven by the uncertainty of the trade war with China, industry experts say.Volume at the nation’s major retail container ports is expected to return to its usual seasonal patterns during the first few months of 2020, according to the Global Port Tracker report released today by trade association the National Retail Federation and consulting firm Hackett Associates.“We’ll be more confident after we see the Phase One agreement signed…

Mike Unger (Photo: Britannia P&I)

Britannia P&I sets up Shop in NY

Britannia P&I has established a new exclusive correspondent, B Americas P&I, to be based in New York.B Americas P&I will be headed by Michael Unger, a maritime lawyer with extensive litigation and arbitration experience.B Americas will enhance the Club’s ability to provide a round-the-clock claims service to all its Members, while also focusing on the needs of Britannia’s North American Members.This development follows other recent steps taken by the Club, including the opening of new offices in Denmark and Greece and the strengthening of its teams in Hong Kong, Japan and Singapore.

Image: Carnival Cruise Line

Carnival Delays Launch of Mardi Gras Ship

Florida-headquartered international cruise line Carnival Cruise Line announced that the debut of its newest ship, Mardi Gras, will be pushed back until Nov. 14, 2020 after the Meyer Turku shipyard in Finland informed the cruise line “that the delivery will be delayed.”With this new schedule, Carnival will now take delivery of the ship in late October and its first revenue sailing will depart from Port Canaveral on Nov. 14, 2020. Consequently, the first eight sailings that were scheduled starting Aug.

Sandy Hook Pilot Captain Dennis R. Sherwood

Sandy Hook Pilots Issue Statement on Operational Fatality

Coast Guard responds to deadly New York harbor pilot accident.On December 30, 2019 at approximately 0430, Sandy Hook Pilot Captain Dennis R. Sherwood was involved in an incident while boarding a container vessel inbound to the Port of New York & New Jersey. He sustained injuries after falling from an accommodation ladder and was evacuated to a local hospital where his injuries proved to be fatal. Prior to the incident, Captain Sherwood had been piloting vessels in and out of the Port of New York & New Jersey for over 35 years.The incident is being investigated by the United States Coast Guard.

AdobeStock / © Kasto

First LNG FFA Trades via CME Group

Affinity (Shipping) LLP, a shipbroker, said this week in a statement it had facilitated the first trades in CME Group's liquefied natural gas (LNG) freight futures contracts.The trades involved French energy major Total and commodities trader Trafigura and were submitted for clearing using CME Group's ClearPort system, Affinity saidEarlier in December, CME Group said it would be the first futures exchange to launch trading of three LNG freight futures contracts in response to growing demand for hedging tools on the LNG market"Since we arranged the initial bilateral LNG forward freight agreemen

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Five Common Mistakes in Maritime Contracts

“An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” – Henry de Bracton, DeLegibus, ~1240Often clients or prospective clients come to me with a commercial contract issue perched on the precipice of full-blown litigation or arbitration. When I ask to see the contract, often times I see errors in drafting that either (1) give rise to the problem before me or (2) could create a bigger problem for the client in the future.The risk of drafting error is higher for Europeans looking to contract with American companies.

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…

Lauren B. Wilgus (Photo: Blank Rome)

Wilgus Elected Partner at Blank Rome

Maritime and international trade attorney Lauren B. Wilgus has been elected partner at law firm Blank Rome, effective January 1, 2020.Wilgus, based in New York, focuses her practice on international and maritime litigation, alternative dispute resolution and business matters, notably involving domestic and foreign corporate interests as well as disputes concerning international and domestic commercial contracts, marine insurance coverage and charterparties. She counsels on claims involving the Carriage of Goods by Sea Act…