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Sunday, April 11, 2021

Transportation News

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Future Prospects of Shipping COVID-19 Vaccines by Sea

The lucrative prospect of transporting COVID-19 vaccines by sea has intensified the spotlight on the maritime industry’s cold supply chain and its ability to carry high-value pharmaceuticals.At present, speed to market is critical to stemming the spread of the pandemic, so the vaccines are being shipped by air to international destinations. Delivering them by sea is a longer-term strategy; certainly, the present urgency would have to calm considerably before enough confidence could be built to support delivery times in weeks…

Jon Nass (Photo: Port of Gulfport)

Port of Gulfport Names Nass CEO

The Mississippi State Port Authority (MSPA) Board of Commissioners has named Jon Nass the new CEO and executive director of the Port of Gulfport, following a national search led by Tim McNamara, head of Odgers Berndtson’s Transportation and Infrastructure Practice in Washington, D.C. His tentative start date is June 1.“After nearly an eight-month process, the MSPA Commission is very pleased to announce we have selected a new executive director to lead the Port of Gulfport team,” said MSPA President E.J. Roberts.

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China is Paying a High Price for Its Ban on Australian Coal

China is paying a high price for its unofficial ban on coal imports from Australia, with the cost of domestic and alternative foreign supplies rising for both thermal and coking grades of the fuel.China, the world’s biggest importer, producer and consumer of coal, has effectively ended imports from Australia, the biggest shipper of coking coal used to make steel and number two in thermal coal used to produce electricity, as part of an ongoing political dispute between the two nations.The restrictions on imports from Australia came into effect in the second half of last year…

Trish Skoglund (Photo: Crowley Maritime Corp.)

Crowley’s Skoglund to Lead Mergers and Acquisitions Team

Crowley Maritime Corp. has appointed Trish Skoglund as corporate director of mergers and acquisitions, guiding strategic investments that create sustainable growth and accelerate the company’s competitive advantages.In her newly created role, Skoglund will contribute to all aspects of strategic acquisitions, and she will collaborate with Crowley’s business units to identify growth opportunities that best maximize the company’s diverse capabilities and offerings, the company said.

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Survey Seeks to Gauge COVID-19's Impact on Mariner Mental Health

The U.S. Committee on the Marine Transportation System (CMTS) COVID-19 Working Group (C-19 WG) is encouraging mariners from all segments of the U.S. maritime industry to anonymously complete the “Mariner Mental Health Needs during Covid-19” online survey here.The confidential survey takes about 10 minutes to complete and asks mariners about COVID-19, mental health, and their experiences and feelings when on board vessels during the challenges of this pandemic. No mariner identification data is collected.CMTS…

Jones Capital Acquires Rockport Terminals

Jones Capital said it has acquired Rockport Terminals, one of the largest private intermodal terminals on the Texas Gulf Coast.Rockport Terminals is located within 28 miles of the fast growing Port of Corpus Christi, but outside of the Port's tariff zone. With more than 250 acres of industrial land, Rockport Terminals boasts access to the Intracoastal Waterway, nearby railways and many major highways. Today, the terminal specializes in bulk liquids storage, bulk and break bulk…

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New Guidance Published on Marine Transport of Ores and Concentrates

Updated guidance from the International Council on Mining and Metals (ICMM) outlines the techniques required for accurate hazard assessment of ores and concentratesAiming to help minimize the risk of accidents in maritime transportation, the Hazard Assessment of Ores and Concentrates for Marine Transport: Guidance 2021 brings the previous guidance issued in 2014 in line with recent regulatory updates from the International Maritime Organization (IMO) and advancements in knowledge in assessing hazards.Through ICMM’s Mining Principles…

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ClassNK Opens Kyushu Regional Office

Classification society ClassNK said it has opened a Kyushu regional office in Hakata, Fukuoka, Japan on April 1, 2021.Hakata is the transportation hub of Kyusyu, the island located in the southwest part of the Japanese archipelago. On top of five existing survey stations in Kyusyu, ClassNK adds Kyusyu Regional Office overseeing its operation in the region in order to expand the service and further improve customer convenience there, the class society said.

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.

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MARAD Announces $230 Million for Port Infrastructure Grants

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Maritime Administration is encouraging states and port authorities to apply for $230 million in discretionary grant funding for port and intermodal infrastructure-related projects through the Port Infrastructure Development Program (PIDP).“Our nation’s ports are a key part of our critical infrastructure. They create jobs and make our economy more resilient and sustainable,” said U.S. Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg. “This funding…

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USTC Puts Digitalization on the Fast Track with BunkerEx Acquisition

USTC has acquired BunkerEx in a move to step up and streamline digitalization activities across USTC companies.BunkerEx caters to digitalization and transparency within logistics and transport, providing accessibility and optimization of online platform for fueling costs.“The acquisition of BunkerEx is a testament to our ambition to digitalize and be at the forefront of innovation and new technologies within the industry. We see great potential in BunkerEx and the team behind it…

“For every piece of equipment, we needed special permits,” said Zhugan. “There are also quite complex logistics involved in moving such large cargo. We had to block regional roads as well as the federal road that connects Moscow with Vladivostok for a couple of hours during the night to transport the loads. All this requires careful planning and approval of every detail of the project.”  Photo courtesy Mammoet

Mammoet Delivers for Vostochny Cosmodrome, Russian Spaceport Project

The Vostochny Cosmodrome, a spaceport on Russian territory, is currently being built in the Amur region in the Russian Far East. As part of the project, Mammoet was contracted to unload 14 pieces of heavy and oversized equipment from a barge and transport them to the construction site 60 km away.The cargo included parts of two different big structures - the launch pad and a vacuum chamber for the launch complex of the Angara space rocket complex, with a total weight of about 600t.

(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: GECF)

LNG Shipping Costs: A Roller Coaster in Early 2021

For most of 2020, the liquefied natural gas (LNG) shipping market was in a depressed state like many other segments of the global gas industry. LNG export cargoes fell by 0.2% y-o-y in 2020 to reach 5,682 shipments, driven by a slowdown in LNG demand amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The commissioning of various LNG carriers around the world exacerbated that trend. Between the period 2018 and 2020, the market witnessed the record commissioning of LNG carriers, with 134 LNG carriers coming on line, with 41 of those being commissioned in 2020.

(Photo: Suez Canal Authority)

Suez Canal Blockage Adds Strain to Global Supply Chains

A stuck container vessel in the Suez Canal, which has blocked the flow of goods through the narrow channel, will add strain to global supply chains already stretched by rebounding economic activity and tight shipping container supplies, analysts said on Friday.The 400-metres long Ever Given container vessel has been stuck in the canal since Tuesday, suspending traffic of containers transporting goods, parts and equipment through the shortest sea link between Europe and Asia.The…

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Seafarer Vaccination Conundrum a 'Legal Minefield', ICS Says

Seafarers' lack of access to vaccinations is placing shipping in a "legal minefield", while leaving global supply chains vulnerable, warns the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS).The organization is planning to circulate a legal document to the global shipping community later this week highlighting its concerns following reports that some states may require crews to be vaccinated in order to enter their portsComplicating matters even further, it's expected developing nations will not achieve mass immunization until 2024…

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JAXPORT Bringing More Jobs to Florida

The Jacksonville Port Authority (JAXPORT) in Northeast Florida and Volusia County in Central Florida have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) that establishes a working relationship to promote each other’s geographical and business advantages. The goal of the partnership is to attract more global businesses to Volusia County, bring more Florida-bound cargo through JAXPORT and create high-wage jobs for Florida.Under the agreement, JAXPORT and Volusia County will work together to attract new distribution…

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Congress Provides Last-minute Help for Small Inland and Coastal Ports

In two major pieces of legislation passed by Congress at the end of 2020 and the beginning of this year, Congress addressed the difficulty that many smaller inland and coastal ports have in obtaining funding for their infrastructure projects. First, on December 11, 2020 Congress passed the William M. (Mac) Thornberry National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2021 (NDAA), and on January 1, 2021 overrode President Trump’s veto. Second, on December 24, 2020 Congress passed…

Port of Vancouver USA Reports Record 2020

2020 was a year unlike any other for maritime and ports businesses globally. It was also a record-breaker for the Port of Vancouver USA, which reported the highest returns in its 108-year history: revenues totaling $50 million—a 15% increase from the previous year.The port said it moved over seven million metric tons of commodities, led primarily by energy infrastructure components. In total, more than 2,700 wind turbines crossed the port's docks, the most of any West Coast port and enough to power 112…

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China’s One-sided Recovery Drives Iron Ore Market Back Up -BIMCO

In the first two months of 2021, Brazilian iron ore exports have risen by 9.1% to 53 million tonnes, driven by China. So far this year, 35.2 million tonnes of iron ore has been exported to China, representing a 15.2% increase from the same period last year and standing in contrast to slightly declining exports to all other countries: down 1.2% to 17.8 million tonnes, continuing the trend from 2020.Despite the strong growth rates in the first months of this year, total exports of iron ore have failed to recover to 2019 levels following the 21.8% drop in volumes in 2020.

(Photo: Port of Gdansk Authority)

Gdansk: One of Europe’s Fastest Growing Ports

The Port of Gdansk has overtaken Russia’s Port of Primorsk to become the third-busiest port for cargo shipments in the Baltic Sea.Figures show the port handled a total of 4.6 million tons of cargo in January 2021, up 8.8% year-on-year, moving the Port of Gdansk Authority into third place on the Baltic Sea podium.Russia’s Port of Ust Luga and Port of St. Petersburg held onto the top two spots, handling 9.4 million tons (+3.6% Y-O-Y) and 4.7 million tons (-0.8%) respectively. The Port of Primorsk dropped to fourth in the rankings with 4.4 million tons (-26.3%)…

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Stena Bulk Debuts InfinityMAX Electric Vessel Design Concept

As shipping companies face mounting societal and regulatory pressure to decarbonize, innovative alternative designs are expected to become the norm rather than the exception. Stena Bulk unveiled the InfinityMAX hybrid bulk carrier concept, intended to push the boundaries for zero carbon, multi-modal vessel design. It is electric and modular, designed to enable sustainable, zero carbon, efficient and flexible seaborne transportation.The concept is designed to carry both dry and wet cargoes in modular compartments…

Marine Transportation System Innovative Conference Set for March 15-17, 2021

The 6th Biennial Marine Transportation System Innovative Science and Technology Conference, hosted by the CMTS and the Transportation Research Board, will be held virtually from March 15-17, 2021. The theme of the upcoming conference is “Advancing the Marine Transportation System through Automation and Autonomous Technologies: Trends, Applications and Challenges," and it will showcase current and emerging innovative science and technologies related to maritime transportation.

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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Baltic Exchange Adds LNG Powered Seaborne Gas Assessments

A new set of independent indices for the liquified natural gas (LNG) seaborne trade went live this week (2 March), based on the carriers burning LNG, rather than marine fuel oil or marine gas oil, as their primary fuel.Published twice weekly, the new indices have been given the acronym (BLNGg) and will be published alongside the current LNG indices which are based on LNG carriers burning Very Low Sulphur Fuel Oil (VLSFO). Historical data for the new indices will be available dating…

(Photo: MDOT MPA)

Comment Period Open for Baltimore Tunnel Project

The Maryland Department of Transportation Maryland Port Administration (MDOT MPA) announced release of the federally approved Environmental Assessment for the project to reconstruct the CSX-owned, 126-year-old Howard Street Tunnel in Baltimore to allow for double-stacked intermodal container trains to and from the Helen Delich Bentley Port of Baltimore. Double stacking allows two shipping containers stacked on top of each other, and this project will increase container capacity…

Q4 2019  - Short Sea Shipping Ports