FMC Offices Closed due Partial Federal Shutdown
The Federal Maritime Commission is closed effective Wednesday, December 26, 2018 as part of the partial federal government shutdown due to a lapse in appropriations. The Commission will resume normal operations when appropriations legislation is enacted and the federal government reopens.With the exceptions of Acting Chairman Michael A. Khouri and Commissioner Rebecca Dye, who are Presidentially-appointed, Senate-confirmed officials, all Commission employees have been placed on furlough and are prohibited by law from performing any duties during the shutdown.
AAPA: U.S. Ballast Water Legislative Victory Appears Imminent
Legislation that sets standards for incidental water discharges from vessels passed the House on Nov. 29.The Frank LoBiondo Coast Guard Authorization Act of 2018, S. 140, which includes the Vessel Incidental Discharge Act (VIDA), passed the Senate two weeks earlier and now moves to the President to be signed.The provision places the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in the lead role of establishing standards for ballast water discharge, and the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) will monitor and enforce compliance.
Long Beach Port to Add Trains to Improve Cargo Movement
The Port of Long Beach received a $14 million grant from the Trade Corridor Enhancement Program (TCEP) to offset construction costs for a $25 million rail project to increase efficiency and reduce local traffic.The grant will fund the port's Pier G and J Double Track Access Project, which is designed to allow for better use of the on-dock rail yards at Piers G and J. It will help pay for improvements to freight corridors across California using designated transportation funds…
Rail Project at Port of Long Beach Wins $14 Million Grant
Added access for trains will improve cargo movement.The Port of Long Beach has been awarded a $14 million grant to help pay for construction of a planned rail project that will increase efficiency while also reducing traffic congestion on local streets and freeways. The grant is from the Trade Corridor Enhancement Program, which helps pay for improvements to freight corridors across California using designated transportation funds from Senate Bill 1 and the National Highway Freight Program.
US Senators Alarmed if China Gets Control of Djibouti Port
Two prominent U.S. senators expressed alarm on Tuesday about the military and political consequences if China gains control of a port terminal in Djibouti, and said they were concerned it could further boost Beijing's influence in East Africa.In a letter to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis, Republican Senator Marco Rubio and Democratic Senator Chris Coons said they were concerned about Djibouti's termination of a contract for the Doraleh Container…
Port of Everett Becomes First Port to Receive Federal Rail Loan
U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine L. Chao announced that the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Build America Bureau will provide up to a $5.95 million Railroad Rehabilitation and Improvement Financing (RRIF) loan to the Port of Everett in the State of Washington. The Port of Everett is the first Port to make it through the complex loan process.“I’ve been proud to work with the Port of Everett to secure federal investments to ensure the Port continues to meet the demands of the 21st century economy, and I’m thrilled to see the federal government bring even more resources to the table.
WCI, AAPA Upbeat on Federal Funding for USACE, Inland Navigation Projects
WCI yesterday praised Congress for passage of the FY2019 Conference Report to Accompany H.R. 5895 that combines appropriations bills for the Legislative Branch, Military Construction and Veteran Affairs, and Energy & Water Development that funds the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Separately, The American Association of Port Authorities (AAPA) lauded the ‘On Time’ FY'19 Energy and Water Development Appropriation, also noting that it marked the first time since 2004 that an E&WD…
China Will Hit Back After New US Tariffs
China accused the United States of bullying and warned it would hit back after the Trump administration raised the stakes in their trade dispute, threatening 10 percent tariffs on $200 billion of Chinese goods.China's commerce ministry said on Wednesday it was "shocked" and would complain to the World Trade Organisation, but did not immediately say how it would retaliate. In a statement, it called the U.S. actions "completely unacceptable".The foreign ministry described Washington's…
DCA's Doyle: President Trump Supports Strong Infrastructure Projects
In an address to Western Dredging Association (WEDA) stakeholders, William P. Doyle, CEO & Executive Director Dredging Contractors of America told his audience: It all starts with dredging. Good Morning, and thank you for inviting me here today to open-up the conference. This is my first time addressing the Western Dredging Association (WEDA), and I am honored to be here. It all starts with dredging, and President Donald J. Trump is backing it up with critical legislative measures. As I will address later in my remarks– the U.S.
EU to Hit Back at US Tariffs
The European Union's plans to hit back at new U.S. tariffs on EU steel and aluminium exports include hiking duties on a range of imports from the United States, from blue jeans and rice to the proverbial kitchen sink.In eight closely typed pages of documentation lodged at the World Trade Organization (WTO) in Geneva, the EU has set out 25-percent tariff increases that are in part aimed at hurting the electoral districts of some of President Donald Trump's allies.That explains "motorcycles ...
US Dredging: An Advocate for Ports, Waterways & Coastal Protection
U.S. dredging companies are unlocking the potential of U.S. Ports. These companies build their equipment in U.S. shipyards, are owned by U.S. companies and staff their ships and projects with hardworking Americans. U.S.-based Dredgers build to suit the needs of the United States. We all know that it takes a significant amount of time to complete an environmental analysis before a dredging project can commence. This usually means that an environmental impact statement (EIS) under the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA) must be undertaken.
U.S. Infrastructure Bill May Not Pass this Year
The U.S. Senate's second highest-ranking Republican on Tuesday expressed doubt that Congress will pass legislation to increase infrastructure spending this year, citing time constraints. Senator John Cornyn, a Texas Republican, told reporters: "I think it will (be) challenging. I certainly would be happy if we could, but we’ve got a lot of things to do, that being one of them, and I don’t know if we will have time to get to that," according to a transcript from his office. President…
CMPort Acquires Container Terminal in Brazil
China Merchants Port Holdings Company Limited (CMPort) said that the Company's transaction regarding the acquisition of Paranaguá Container Terminal (TCP) in Brazil is completed. The acquisition is the biggest merger and acquisition so far in Brazilian and Latin American port sector. It is not only the first investment of CMPort in Latin America, but also the first M&A in mature port assets overseas with controlling stake. Since then, TCP has officially become a subsidiary of CMPort…
Indiana Port Awarded $9.85 Mln FASTLANE Grant
The Port of Indiana-Burns Harbor will receive one of the nation's 10 FASTLANE small project grants for 2017, U.S. Secretary of Transportation Elaine L. Chao has confirmed. In August, Secretary Chao informed Congress the Department of Transportation was recommending approval of a $9.85 million discretionary grant for the port. After a 60-day review period, the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure and the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works approved all the projects.
Cyber Threats Prompt Return of Radio for Ship Navigation
The risk of cyber attacks targeting ships' satellite navigation is pushing nations to delve back through history and develop back-up systems with roots in World War Two radio technology. Ships use GPS (Global Positioning System) and other similar devices that rely on sending and receiving satellite signals, which many experts say are vulnerable to jamming by hackers. About 90 percent of world trade is transported by sea and the stakes are high in increasingly crowded shipping lanes.
Buzby Confirmed as MARAD Administrator
The U.S. Senate has confirmed Mark H. Buzby as the new administrator of the Maritime Administration (MARAD). MARAD executive director Joel Szabat had been serving in lieu of the administrator following the departure of outgoing administrator Paul “Chip” Jaenichen. Buzby, who was nominated by President Donald Trump in June, is a U.S. Merchant Marine Academy (USMMA) alumnus and retired U.S. Navy admiral with a military career spanning over three decades at sea and ashore. He was most recently president and CEO of National Defense Transportation Association (NDTA).
A Full Agenda for the International Container Trades
The past couple of months have been chock-a-block full of maritime activity in the international container trades. As the Big-3 Japanese Lines remain still on track to spin-off their container business units into a single standalone container carrier company, some delayed merger and acquisition activity is finally moving ahead. Separately, Congress has taken a keen interest in the Shipping Act. On May 2, 2017, the U.S. Federal Maritime Commission (FMC), unanimously voted to reject the Tripartite Agreement proposed by Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha, Ltd. (K Line); Mitsui O.S.K. Lines Ltd.
US Trade Rep Says No Deadline Set for NAFTA Deal
U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer said on Wednesday there was no deadline for completing NAFTA trade talks between the United States, Canada and Mexico even as lawmakers warned that U.S. business would be hurt by prolonged negotiations. "There is no deadline. My hope is that we can get it done by the end of the year, but there are a lot of people who think that is completely unrealistic," Lighthizer told a Senate Finance Committee hearing to discuss the USTR's budget. Under U.S. law, Lighthizer, a veteran trade lawyer, will be the principal U.S. negotiator on NAFTA, although U.S.
Shipbuilders Council Names McCreary Chairman
Shipbuilders Council of America names Richard McCreary as new chairman; honors Sen. Cochran and Rep. At its annual spring meeting in Washington, D.C. this week, the Shipbuilders Council of America (SCA), the national trade association representing the U.S. shipyard industry, named Richard McCreary of BAE Systems as the new chairman of the association. Additionally, SCA honored Sen. Thad Cochran (R-Miss.) and Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-Calif.) as recipients of its Maritime Leadership Award, recognizing the two for their demonstrated dedication and support of the U.S.
Navy Christens USNS City of Bismarck
Austal celebrated the christening of Expeditionary Fast Transport ship USNS City of Bismarck (EPF 9) with a ceremony at its state-of-the-art shipyard on May 13. City of Bismarck is the ninth of 12 Expeditionary Fast Transport vessels (EPF) that Austal has under contract with the U.S. Navy as part of a contract worth over $1.9 billion. The ship’s sponsor, Congresswoman Jane Harman, headlined the group of officials, naval guests, civic leaders, community members and Austal employees who attended the ceremony beneath the hull of the ship in Austal’s final assembly bay.
Sen. Reed Honored for Maritime Industry Support
The Daniel K. Inouye Institute honored U.S. Senator Jack Reed of Rhode Island on Wednesday, May 17 for his long-standing support of the American maritime industry. Joined by dozens of maritime and Senate leaders, Sen. Reed received the Daniel K. Inouye Maritime Guardian Award for his strong leadership and dedication to the U.S. maritime industry. Irene Hirano Inouye, widow of Sen. Inouye, presented the award to Sen. Reed, whose coastal state of Rhode Island ranks 4th per capita among all U.S. states for American maritime jobs. Sen.
Senate Panel OKs Lighthizer for US Trade Rep
The Senate Finance Committee on Tuesday approved President Donald Trump's choice for U.S. Trade Representative, bringing Robert Lighthizer a step closer to taking office as U.S. trade disputes with Canada and Mexico heat up. The panel also voted to approve a legal waiver for Lighthizer from a 1995 law that prohibits people who did work on behalf of foreign governments from serving as the top U.S. trade negotiator. Lighthizer did work on behalf of the Brazilian agriculture agency in the late 1980s and assisted a colleague with work for a Chinese electronics industry group in 1991.
Optimistic Ports Outlook for 2017 Great Lakes-Seaway Season
While the first-half of 2016 was tough for many due to global economic conditions, a strong fourth quarter has spurred optimism as the 2017 shipping season gets underway with this week’s opening of the Great Lakes – St. Lawrence Seaway system. Chamber of Marine Commerce President Bruce Burrows said, “Certainly there was a big improvement in the last quarter of 2016 with the resurgence of iron ore pellet exports out of the U.S. and a strong grain season. “The overall feeling in the Port of Duluth-Superior is positive…
Dinh-Zarr to Serve as NTSB Acting Chairman
Christopher A. Hart’s term as Chairman of the National Transportation Safety Board concluded on schedule Wednesday and Vice Chairman Bella Dinh-Zarr will serve as the agency’s acting chairman. Hart will remain at the NTSB, applying his transportation safety expertise in the capacity of a board member. The NTSB has five board members, each nominated by the President and confirmed by the Senate to serve five-year terms. By statute, a board member is designated by the President as Chairman and another as Vice Chairman for two-year terms. The Chairmanship requires separate Senate confirmation.
Senate's Green Signal to Caribbean Maritime University
The Caribbean Maritime Institute (CMI) will now gain university status, following the passage of legislation in both Houses of Parliament to effect this. Not a single senator opposed the bill to make way for the Caribbean Maritime Institute Act, to now be known as the Caribbean Maritime University Act. Government Senator Kavan Gayle has suggested that lending institutions offer preferential terms and interest rates to students who are pursuing courses at CMI. Opposition Senator Angela Brown Burke advised that CMI also stressed the importance of financing…
AAPA ‘Encouraged’ By Senate Dems’ Infrastructure Plan
The American Association of Port Authorities (AAPA) – the recognized and unified voice of America’s seaports – is encouraged by the release yesterday of the infrastructure investment outline by Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and Senate Democrats, especially the recognition that ports and waterways play a vital role in our nation's economy, jobs and supply chain. America’s seaports, each of which are international trading hubs, are vital economic engines to their community, their region and the nation. Seaport cargo activity accounts for 26 percent of the U.S.