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Wednesday, November 13, 2019

United States News

© Chris Mirek Freeman/Adobe Stock

Containership Fires

Incidents involving container ships, although not new, have made the news much more frequently of late. In 2011 the Container Incident Notification System (CINS) was established to allow container ship owners to self-report incidents that might be of concern the other members of the group, and today CINS has 17 vessel owner members.The cases of the Yantian Express, Maersk Honam, MSC Flaminia, MSC Daniela, are some of the most recent examples of container ship fires. The rise in the rate of container ship fires…

Image: Hapag-Lloyd

Hapag-Lloyd Expands Atlantic Loop 3

German international shipping and container transportation company Hapag-Lloyd AG announced that it is expanding fleet on Atlantic Loop 3 service between the US and Europe."Our Atlantic Loop 3 Service (AL3) fleet is growing with the addition of the 4,248 TEU vessel “Rio Grande Express” sailing between the United States and Europe," the cargo container shipping line said in a statement."Upgrading to a 6 vessel rotation will improve the reliability of the AL3 service for our customers and support our strategy of being number one for quality…

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Retail Imports to See Final Tariff-Driven Surge

Imports at the nation’s major retail container ports are expected to see their final surge of the year this month ahead of new tariffs set to take effect in December, according to the Global Port Tracker report released today by the National Retail Federation and Hackett Associates.“Retailers are highly competitive, but the ability to compete has been challenging this year because of the uncertainty of the trade war and continued tariff escalation,” NRF Vice President for Supply Chain and Customs Policy Jonathan Gold said.

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Port of LA Box Volumes Dip

The Port of Los Angeles, the nation's busiest for ocean trade with China, processed fewer containers of imported and exported goods in October as the U.S.-China trade war roils the domestic economy and global supply chains.October imports dropped 19% to 392,768.6 TEU - or 20-foot equivalent unit - versus a year ago. Exports also fell 19%, landing at 140,331.5 TEU.

Image Credit:MarineTraffic.com / © O.B.

Russian Gas Tanker to Lift U.S. LNG

A gas tanker once hailed by President Vladimir Putin as a bulwark of Russian energy security is heading for a liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal in the United States, ship tracking data from Refinitiv's Eikon showed on Friday.The collection of an LNG cargo from the United States by a Russian tanker would be potentially awkward for Putin and Kremlin-controlled gas company Gazprom, which leased out the vessel to Austrian company OMV in August until November.Two industry sources…

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China, U.S. Reportedly to Cancel Tariffs in Phases

China and the United States have agreed to cancel in phases the tariffs imposed during their months-long trade war, the Chinese commerce ministry said on Thursday, without specifying a timetable.An interim U.S.-China trade deal is widely expected to include a U.S. pledge to scrap tariffs scheduled for Dec. 15 on about $156 billion worth of Chinese imports, including cell phones, laptop computers and toys.Tariff cancellation was an important condition for any agreement, ministry spokesman Gao Feng said…

Pic: GasLog

GasLog Sees Tighter LNG Shipping Market

GasLog, an international owner, operator and manager of liquefied natural gas (LNG) carriers, is predicting a tighter LNG shipping market, as increasing United States LNG output combines with a seasonal uptick in demand for gas, resulting in rising demand for shipping and higher utilization of the global fleet.These underlying trends in the LNG commodity and shipping markets point towards a structurally tighter market through 2020 and into 2021.As of October 28, 2019, the LNG fleet and orderbook (excluding floating storage and regasification units (FSRUs) and vessels with capacity below 100…

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Bullet Dodged? Markets Bet on Global Economy

World shares climbed back towards record highs and safe-haven bonds tumbled on Tuesday, as hopes that Washington may roll back some of the tariffs it has imposed on Chinese imports rekindled optimism about the global economic outlook.A year-end rally looked to be building. Wall Street's main markets were expected to add to their 20% gains and best year since 2013. MSCI's 49-country world index was just 1.4% shy its early 2018 peak.Europe had galloped to a 21-month high on Monday before retreating on Tuesday. Asia had raced to its highest since May.

Venezuela's Oil Exports top 800,000 bpd Again

Venezuela's oil exports eased in October, but surpassed 800,000 barrels per day (bpd) for second month in a row, helping to drain an inventory buildup that had forced the OPEC country to cut output, according to documents and data.Since the United States imposed sanctions on Venezuelan state-run oil firm PDVSA in January to oust socialist President Nicolas Maduro, the OPEC-member country has struggled to find customers and tankers for its oil.New rounds of sanctions in August and September on Venezuela and maritime firms carrying the nation's oil pushed its crude stocks to record levels…

Image: Port of Helsinki Ltd

Cruise ships Hit Record in Helsinki

During the cruise season that ended on 22 October, a total of 603,500 cruise passengers arrived in Helsinki. This was 16 per cent more than the previous year.There were a total of 303 ship visits to Helsinki. This was the first time the number exceeded 300. This translates to a 6-percent growth from last year (2018:285).The largest percentages of cruise passengers came from Germany (32%), the United States (21%) and the United Kingdom (10%). The top three nationalities remained the same as the previous year, although the proportion of German visitors grew slightly.

USMI, Brunswick Enter into MOU

United States Marine, Inc. (USMI) and Brunswick Commercial and Government Products (BCGP) are pleased to announce they have entered into a Memorandum of Understanding to explore potential business opportunities.USMI and BCGP have a history of providing our warfighters with mission proven vessels to help ensure our troops come home safely. “We have always admired Brunswick craft. This is an opportunity for both of us to work together to explore our core strengths and synergies to determine how we can provide unique craft to the military market with our combined expertise.

file Image: QGTC

Poland's PGNiG to Charter LNG Tankers

Poland's state-run gas firm PGNiG has started the tender process to charter liquefied natural gas (LNG) tankers for its new imports of the super-chilled fuel, a senior company official said on Wednesday.The company currently imports most of the gas it sells to its customers from Russia's Gazprom, but Warsaw has taken steps to reduce that reliance so that it does not have to extend a long-term deal on gas supplies after 2022, when it is scheduled to expire.It has bought more LNG from Qatar and the United States and has signed import deals with companies including U.S.

Niels Aalund, President, International Propeller Club

Aalund Named International Propeller Club's President

Niels Aalund was elected at the 93rd International Convention and Conference in New Orleans on October 17th.New Orleans, LA: Prominent maritime industry stakeholder Niels Aalund has been elected President of the International Propeller Club. Mr. Aalund will serve a two-year term, commencing from October 17th. Aalund, a well-known maritime subject matter expert and executive, currently serves as an Officer and as Senior Vice-President of the West Gulf Maritime Association (WGMA).

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Freight Forwarding Executive Guilty in Antitrust Case

Francis Alvarez, owner of a large freight forwarding company, pleaded guilty to an antitrust charge for her role in a multi-year, nationwide conspiracy to fix prices for international freight forwarding services, the Department of Justice has announced.According to a one-count felony charge filed in the Southern District of Florida in Miami, Florida, Alvarez and her co-conspirators agreed to fix, raise and maintain prices for freight forwarding services provided in the United States and elsewhere from at least as early as September 2010 until at least August 2014.

Stakeholders met with Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) officials, Deputy Commissioner Susan Mulvihill, Deputy Commissioner Scott Peterson, and Bill Gardner, Director of Freight, Railroads & Waterways Department of Transportation.

Great Lakes Seaway Shipping Highlights Economic Impact

The Great Lakes Seaway Partnership hosted Capitol Day in St. Paul, Minnesota yesterday to meet with Governor Tim Walz and other key legislators to share insights on the critical role of the Great Lakes Seaway system in maintaining a vibrant regional, national and global economy.“Commercial navigation on the Great Lakes Seaway system is an economic driver — both broadly in the United States and Canada — but, especially, in Minnesota. More cargo moves in-and-out through Minnesota ports than any other Great Lakes state and supports over 6…

The crew transfer training facility is a critical component of a comprehensive safety training program to be offered by Mass Maritime. Image: MMA

Massachusetts Maritime Academy Opens Wind Training Facility

Baker-Polito Administration Celebrates the First-in-the-Nation Offshore Wind Training Facility Located at Massachusetts Maritime Academy. MMA steps out in front to train the professionals who will make the coming wave of domestic offshore wind.Today, Governor Charlie Baker, Lt. Governor Karyn Polito, Secretary of Energy and Environmental Affairs Kathleen Theoharides, and Stephen Pike, CEO of the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center, joined officials from the Massachusetts Maritime Academy to launch the first-in-the-nation offshore wind crew transfer training facility.

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Maritime Risk Symposium, Nov. 12-15 at SUNY Maritime

The State University of New York Maritime College, in collaboration with the U.S. Coast Guard, National Academy of Sciences, academic institutions, industry partners, and federal, state and local agencies, will host the 10th Annual Maritime Risk Symposium (MRS 2019) Nov. 13-15, 2019, at New York Maritime College located in the Bronx, New York.MRS 2019 will bring together academics, government and commercial entities to discuss the threats, challenges and risks associated with the Marine Transportation System with a focus on current and future marine transportation challenges and threats.

A paintings by Maarten Platje called the Great Chase  tells this amazing story of the US Frigate Constitution being becalmed off the New Jersey coast and becoming engaged in a rowing race to keep out of range of a powerful British Squadron. The Constitution escaped and went on to have her amazing victories that year, but if she had been caught, today we would have never heard of her. Credit Maarten Platje

Ship Design & The Inevitability of Change

At one time the most powerful lighthouse in the United States was Twin Lights in Highlands New Jersey. Today it is a wonderful little museum and right now it has a very interesting show of paintings by Maarten Platje on the War of 1812. One painting is called the Great Chase and it tells this amazing story of the US Frigate Constitution being becalmed off the New Jersey coast and becoming engaged in a rowing race to keep out of range of a powerful British Squadron. The Constitution escaped and went on to have her amazing victories that year…

Yamal LNG Tanker JV No Longer Under Sanctions

Teekay LNG's liquefied natural gas (LNG) tanker venture, the Yamal LNG Joint Venture, is no longer subject to U.S. sanctions after a change of ownership at its partner China LNG Shipping (Holdings) Ltd, Teekay companies said late on Tuesday.Teekay LNG and China LNG Shipping each own half of Yamal LNG Joint Venture.

The SS United States. Photo: Gibbs & Cox

Gibbs & Cox: Historic Ship Designer Turns 90

Hindsight, they say is 20/20, and in this regard renowned design house Gibbs & Cox has nine decades in the rear view mirror on which to lean. We recently caught up with Chris Deegan, President and CEO of Gibbs & Cox, celebrating its 90th anniversary in 2019, to discuss the organization’s rich history and promising future.When you took the top spot at Gibbs & Cox in 2016, what were your goals for the organization?As a company that designs everything from yachts to work boats to destroyers, I wanted to reassert G&C as the global leader in the naval architecture and marine engineering industry.

A VLCC loads crude oil in the port of Corpus Christi, TX (File image / credit Port of Corpus Christi)

Exxon, Trafigura Tap Lower Freight Rates

U.S. crude exports to Asia, which have slumped due to record freight costs, stirred on Thursday as rates slid and the premium in Asia for Russia's ESPO Blend oil sent buyers back to U.S. grades, according to market sources.Oil shipping costs for United States Gulf Coast to Asia cooled this week from record highs on the prospect of more vessels becoming available. Nearly 300 oil tankers globally were placed off limits due to U.S. sanctions on Iran and Venezuela.Seventeen supertankers returned to service in October after being sidelined for overhauls, as 11 entered drydocks.

The Q-LNG 4000 bunker barge was launched by builder VT Halter Marine (Photo: VT Halter Marine)

US-flagged LNG Bunker Barge Launched

America’s first offshore liquefied natural gas (LNG) barge has been launched for owner Q-LNG Transport, Mississippi shipbuilder VT Halter Marine announced on Wednesday.The Q-LNG 4000 barge, designed to carry 4,000 cubic meters of LNG, with dimensions of 324’ x 64’ x 32’.6”, will be operated as part of an articulated tug and barge (ATB) unit designed to meet the requirements of American Bureau of Shipbuilding (ABS) and the International Gas Carrier code as an LNG bunkering barge.Its tug, the Q-Ocean Services, is scheduled to launch late October.

AdobeStock / © Kasto

Tankers Switch from Clean to Dirty as Rates Surge

A recent surge in tanker rates due to U.S.

Dr. Catherine Warner, Director, NATO CMRE. Photo: CMRE

Interview: Dr. Catherine Warner, Director, NATO CMRE

At CMRE, it’s not just about the science. It’s about building trust and confidence in resilient systems. An interview with Dr. Catherine Warner, Director, NATO Center for Maritime Research and Experimentation, La Spezia, ItalyTell us a little about yourself and CMRE. What does CMRE do, and how do you see your mission evolving?I came here from the Pentagon, where I was the science advisor for the director of operational test and evaluation. My experience has been working with operators on systems that they’re getting ready to field.

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Cyber Hack: Fortifying Maritime, Port Security

The United States Coast Guard Marine Safety Alert 06-19 (USCG MSA 06-19) outlines a February 2019 incident aboard a deep draft commercial vessel that called on the Port of New York / New Jersey after experiencing a significant cyber incident that impacted their shipboard network. The Safety Alert stated in part:“An interagency team of cyber experts, led by the Coast Guard, responded and conducted an analysis of the vessel’s network and essential control systems. The team concluded that although the malware significantly degraded the functionality of the onboard computer system…

Image: Hudson Shipping Lines

Hudson Shipping Joins Trident Alliance

United States based commodities trader Hudson Shipping Lines (HSL) became a member of the Trident Alliance as part of the company’s ongoing ‘green’ initiatives.The shipping company is increasing its commitment to cleaning up the shipping industry in conjunction with two environmental organizations. Hudson has recently joined the Trident Alliance as a member.“The shipping industry has a tremendous opportunity to improve its impact upon the world with the IMO 2020 sulfur cap. Hudson…