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Thursday, October 1, 2020

Supply Chain News

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US Imports Surge as Pandemic Worries Have Retailers Stockpiling

The Los Angeles-based maker of Exploding Kittens and Throw Throw Burrito board games ordered 1 million extra units from its factory in China with the hope of preventing coronavirus from ruining its Christmas sales.The move from the company, which sells product through Target, Walmart and Amazon.com, comes as  U.S. suppliers and retailers have been rebuilding depleted inventories and battling uncertainty by stockpiling pandemic sellers such as toys, refrigerators, home furnishings and booze.In the last few months…

“Digitalization is not an option anymore - it is here to stay - and the marine insurance sector needs to keep pace" said Patrizia Kern, IUMI Data and Digitalization Forum Chair.

IUMI: Insurers, Underwriters Must Jump Onboard Maritime's Digital Transformation

Speaking at the International Union of Marine Insurance (IUMI) annual conference, IUMI Data and Digitalization Forum Chair, Patrizia Kern discussed big data, the use of digital technologies, and how the COVID-19 pandemic has put digitalization on the fast track.“Digitalization is not an option anymore - it is here to stay - and the marine insurance sector needs to keep pace," said Kern. "For some time now, the shipping industry has been seeking cost-effective ways to operate and key logistics players have already begun to partner and digitalize the global marine supply chain.

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Singapore Eyes Electric Harbor Boats to Cut Emissions

Singapore is seeking proposals on the electrification of small vessels known as harbourcraft as the industry transitions towards a low-carbon future, the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) said in a joint statement on Wednesday.The MPA is working with the Singapore Maritime Institute (SMI) to seek proposals from industry participants and institutes of higher learning or research institutes to develop commercially ready fully-electric harbourcraft.They are also seeking…

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Port of Los Angeles Imports Soar

Port of Los Angeles container volumes hit an all-time high in August, as importers restocked warehouses and retailers prepared for the upcoming holiday season, but officials warned that uncontrolled spread of COVID-19 remains an economic threat."The future of the economy really depends on the future of the pandemic, and the path of the virus right now continues to be the biggest uncertainty," said Jonathan Gold, vice president of supply chain and customs policy at the National Retail Federation.Total volume at the busiest U.S.

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The Future of Ship Agency Sits in the Cloud

With the Coronavirus pandemic hitting many segments of the global shipping industry particularly hard, it is understandable that businesses of all sizes are reviewing their budgets for 2020 and beyond and looking for ways to reduce costs while maintaining their operations. Supply chains are being disrupted, inspections postponed or conducted remotely, crew transfers complicated, and paperwork ditched as social distancing measures are in place. The role of the ship agent is of even greater importance during these troubling times…

Maritime Risk Symposium 2020: Maritime Resilience in Black Swan Events

In 2007, scholar Nassim Nicholas Taleb, who holds a doctorate from the University of Paris, wrote a bestselling book titled “Black Swan,” which proposed a theory involving unpredictable events with significant impact. Taleb believed that a black swan event was an outlier with significant impact and, once it occurs, is the source of deep reflection and rationalization. Since the book’s publication, a significant number of research efforts have been developed to consider possible black swan events that significantly impact the Maritime Transportation System (MTS) and the Maritime Global Commons.

Shipping Community Beware; Sanctions Scrutiny is Stepping up a Gear

Earlier this year, The U.S. Department of State, the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), and the U.S. Coast Guard issued a new advisory to provide those engaged or involved in trade in the maritime industry with further information and tools to counter illicit shipping and sanctions evasion.The advisory is representative of the U.S. Government’s increasingly detailed efforts towards addressing these issues, as illustrated by OFAC’s recent sanctions actions which show a trend of incremental but clear extension of oversight.

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Container Shipping & Perfecting on-time Performance

Recent reports show that on-time performance in the containership sector continues to deteriorate, causing tension between the carriers and retailers. In general, non-ocean carriers – trucks and trains – are achieving reliability rates well above 90% whereas containerships rarely beat a 70% on-time threshold. For retailers, the threat of having empty shelves is beginning to swing the balance from cheaper ocean transport to a need for reliable just-in-time deliveries supplied by…

Samskip Reinstates Amsterdam-Hull Service

Multimodal transport operator Samskip said it is reintroducing direct links between Amsterdam and Hull in response to recovering North Continent-UK unitized traffic, in a service renewal that reinforces containerized short sea options ahead of finalized Brexit trade negotiations.Starting from September 5, the three-times weekly service will depart from the TMA Terminal Amsterdam and connect into Associated British Ports’ terminal at Queen Elizabeth Dock, Hull, once more augmenting Samskip’s regular and separate Rotterdam-UK routing.The Amsterdam-Hull link was suspended in March…

Bleu Hilburn (Photo: Crowley)

Hilburn Rejoins Crowley Solutions as VP, Business Development

Logistics executive Bleu Hilburn is returning to Crowley Solutions as vice president of business development for all government services. In this role, Hilburn will develop strategies to build a customer pipeline, qualify opportunities and manage all aspects of marketing, bid and capture management to drive growth and build deep relationships with government customers for Solutions.Hilburn, a 2015 Thomas Crowley Award winner, the company’s highest honor for employees, will start Aug.

John Henshaw (Photo: CPA)

Henshaw Named Connecticut Port Authority Executive Director

The Connecticut Port Authority (CPA) approved the appointment of John Henshaw as its new executive director, effective September 8, 2020.Henshaw comes to the CPA after serving as the executive director of the Maine Port Authority for over 10 years and after serving as commissioner for the Board of Harbor Commissioners for the Port of Portland.He was selected for the position following an extensive search by the CPA board for a candidate with a specific set of skills and experience.

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ZIM Taps AI to Detect Misdeclarations

Israeli shipping company ZIM said it has developed and implemented an artificial intelligence (AI)-based screening software to detect and identify incidents of misdeclared hazardous cargo before loading to vessel.Misdeclaration of hazardous cargo has been at the root of major marine incidents, causing loss of life and severe damages. Last year, several carriers announced the imposition of additional fees as a partial solution for this recurring problem.ZIM’s new ZIMGuard system scans shippers’ cargo declarations at an early stage and flags potential cases of wrongly declared cargo.

(Photo: Port of Long Beach)

Port of Long Beach Reports Its Busiest Month Ever

July marked the busiest month in the 109-year history of the Port of Long Beach as terminal operators and dockworkers moved 753,081 cargo container units, topping a record set two years ago.Trade increased 21.1% in July compared to the same month in 2019. The previous single-month record of 752,188 twenty-foot-equivalent units (TEUs), set in June 2018, was surpassed by nearly 900 TEUs.“Supply chain workers at the Port of Long Beach expertly handled a welcome surge in cargo that was brought on due to pent-up demand by consumers,” said Mario Cordero, Executive Director of the Port of Long Beach.

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COVID-19 to Weigh on US Seaport Peak Shipping Season

Imports at major U.S. container seaports could hit their lowest level in four years as the novel coronavirus pandemic pummels a U.S. economy that was already grappling with negative effects of the U.S.-China trade war, experts said.Total container imports could fall 9.4% in 2020, according to the National Retail Federation (NRF) and Hackett Associates' Global Port Tracker report.That reflects pain in the U.S. retail sector, which is smarting from government-mandated store closures…

Jack Mahoney is the new President and CEO of Westwood Shipping Lines (Photo: Westwood Shipping Lines, Inc.)

Mahoney Named President and CEO of Westwood Shipping Lines

Longtime Maersk executive Jack Mahoney has been named president and CEO of Westwood Shipping Lines, Inc., a Puyallup, Wash. based independent conbulk liner carrier in the north Transpacific trade. He succeeds Guy Stephenson who is retiring after 13 years in the role. Stephenson will continue in a support role as Executive Advisor/General Counsel.Mahoney’s recent posts with Maersk include three years as President of Maersk in Canada and, more recently, he has been Vice President of the Automotive Industry in Florham Park…

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Insurers Discuss Container Casualty Causes

Handling of steel boxes throughout the shipping, ports and logistics supply chain has historically grown exponentially, putting strains on a range of operational procedures and the physical hardware employed to handle the steel boxes, particularly onboard ships. A recent webinar organized by the Thomas Miller managed insurance mutuals, container freight specialist TT Club and protection & indemnity insurer, UK P&I Club, revealed the diverse range of factors important to safe container ship operations and the security of the container stacks they carry.

Katarina Lindström (Photo: Hempel)

Lindström Joins Hempel as COO

Hempel's new Executive Vice President & Chief Operating Officer Katarina Lindström officially stepped into her new role on August 1.As a member of the company’s Executive Management Board, Lindström will play a central role in driving Hempel’s strategy. The company has an ambition to double in size in the next five years, and Lindström will lead Hempel’s strategic agenda within operational excellence, innovation and sustainability.“The company’s growth strategy is very ambitious, but also realistic and Hempel has a strong desire to lead sustainability in the coatings industry,” she says.

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Op/Ed: Federal Support for Ports is Critical

Florida’s seaports are one of the state’s greatest economic assets, positively affecting every region and every resident. Our seaports have a $117.6 billion economic impact across Florida and account for more than 900,000 direct and indirect jobs, while linking our communities to vital national and international markets.During the COVID-19 crisis, ports across the country have sustained mounting losses. Ports that specialize in moving hard-hit cargoes like steel and automobiles, or depend on tourism and cruise ships are also particularly vulnerable.

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Congress Responds to COVID19 and Other Challenges for the Maritime Industry

In response to the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic, the Congressional Research Service released a report that stated global economic growth has declined by 3% to 6% in 2020 with a partial recovery predicted for 2021. Also, the GDP of the U.S. has fallen by 5% in the first quarter 2020. According to the International Maritime Organization (IMO), the maritime industry, and seafarers themselves, have not been able to escape the significant effects of this crisis.All sectors of the maritime industry have been adversely affected by the global pandemic.

(Photo: DP World)

DP World Acquires Majority Stake in UNICO Logistics

Dubai-based DP World said it has agreed to acquire a 60% stake in South Korea's UNICO Logistics Co. Ltd. as the firm continues its expansion across the worldwide end-to-end logistics supply chain. The transaction, subject to regulatory clearances, is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2020.Established in 2002 by H.J. Park and headquartered in South Korea, UNICO is one of the largest independent NVOCC (Non-Vessel Operating Common Carrier) in South Korea, with a global footprint of 25 subsidiaries in 20 countries.

(File photo: PhilaPort)

Pennsylvania Extends Cargo Growth Incentive Program

Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf announced that the state's Intermodal Cargo Growth Incentive Program (PICGIP), which aims to increase cargo activity by incentivizing shippers to move cargo through Pennsylvania ports, will be extended through 2022. The program was previously slated to end in June 2020."Right now, Pennsylvania's ports are more vital than ever," Governor Wolf said. "Increasing shipping activity will help ensure that essential goods are delivered to stores in a timely manner…

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US Ports Seek COVID-19 Relief

America’s port authorities are advocating for relief to manage the “extremely negative impacts” on the seaport industry brought on by the coronavirus pandemic as U.S. policymakers begin negotiations on the next COVID-19 aid package.Among the port leaders’ advocacy efforts are letters sent Friday to U.S. House, Senate and Administration leaders, urging them to provide $1.5 billion for seaports to cover business-critical expenses that ports have incurred due to COVID-19. The letters…

(File photo: Pasha Hawaii)

Jones Act Does Not Raise Cost of Living in Hawaii -Study

The Jones Act has no significant impact on the cost of living in Hawaii, according to a recent report produced by economists from Boston based Reeve & Associates (Reeve) and Hawaii based TZ Economics.“The Impact of the Jones Act on Hawaii” also found that freight rates in the U.S. mainland-Hawaii trade lane have declined in real terms over the last 10 years, while the Jones Act has delivered positive and substantial economic contributions, including job creation, new infrastructure investments…

James Douglas (Photo: NCB)

Douglas Named CEO of NCB's Exis Technologies

The National Cargo Bureau (NCB) – a US inspection body authorized to certify compliance with Dangerous Goods regulations – has appointed James Douglas to the position of Chief Executive Officer of its group company Exis Technologies, effective immediately. Exis, based in the UK, was purchased by NCB in April 2018 and is a developer of IT systems for the management of dangerous goods in sea transport.Douglas who was previously commercial director at Exis for 11 years said, “Since becoming part of the NCB Group…

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Dubai Reopens For Crew Changes

The Dubai Maritime City Authority (DMCA) announced it is allowing crew changes to resume across all ports and anchorage areas in the region after crew changes in the major global shipping hub had been paused due to the coronavirus outbreak.Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, travel restrictions and border closures imposed by governments around the world have caused significant hurdles to crew changes and left hundreds of thousands of seafarers stranded onboard ships or unable to join ships.

Fraserborg loading wheat bound for Italy at the Riverland Ag Corp. terminal in Duluth, Minnesota, on June 15, 2020. (Photo: Duluth Seaway Port Authority)

US Great Lakes Ports See Mixed Impacts from COVID-19

U.S. Great Lakes ports reported mixed results in June with aluminum, road salt and grain shipments holding strong despite the coronavirus pandemic, while shipments of commodities related to steel production and manufacturing have continued to slide.Additionally, the St. Lawrence Seaway reported that from April 1 to June 30, nearly 11.7 million metric tons of cargo was shipped via the bi-national trade corridor. While these volumes were down 8% compared to the same time period in 2019, cargo shipments improved in June narrowing the year-over-year decline.Craig H.