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Wednesday, October 21, 2020

United States News

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US Blacklists Chinese Entities, Individuals Over Iran Shipping Ties

The United States on Monday said it blacklisted two Chinese men and six Chinese entities for having dealt with Iranian shipping company Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping Lines (IRISL) and, in some cases, helping it to evade U.S. sanctions.The U.S. State Department named the entities as Reach Holding Group (Shanghai) Company Ltd.; Reach Shipping Lines; Delight Shipping Co., Ltd.; Gracious Shipping Co. Ltd.; Noble Shipping Co. Ltd.; and Supreme Shipping Co. Ltd.In a statement, it also said it had targeted Eric Chen…

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Japan Export Decline Slows Dramatically

Japan’s exports fell in September at the slowest pace in seven months as U.S.-bound vehicle shipments rose from lows brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic, indicating easing pressure on the world’s third-largest economy.Exports fell 4.9% in September compared with the same month a year earlier, more than the 2.4% economists forecast in a Reuters poll. Still, the pace followed six months of double-digit decline, including a 14.8% drop in August.Fewer exports of iron to Taiwan and ships to Panama left September marking the 22nd consecutive month of export decline…

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Ships Wait to Unload at Port of Los Angeles as Imports Boom

Incoming cargo to the Port of Los Angeles is surging as businesses restock depleted inventories and retailers prepare for an early holiday season, the executive director for the nation's busiest seaport said on Wednesday.Workers unloaded 471,795 20-foot equivalent units (TEU) of imports in September, 17% more than the year earlier, marking the second month of robust import gains at the No. 1 gateway for U.S. trade with China.That trend has carried into October, said Gene Seroka…

Register now for the 2020 Maritime Risk Symposium
https://ciri.illinois.edu/events/11th-maritime-risk-symposium-2020. © George Dolgikh/AdobeStock

Maritime Resilience and the Human Element at MRS2020

Has the age of maritime discovery and exploration actually ended? Perhaps not exactly. As the history of maritime resilience and the human element shows, as far back as the 1500s and earlier, from using new navigational aids and improved ship designs, to coastal and inland route sailing, to navigating on open seas with uncertain charts, wayward icebergs, dense fog and luckily at times, clear starry nights, mariners have faced human element and maritime resiliency challenges. "Short of food and water…

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US Imposes New Iran Sanctions

The United States on Thursday slapped fresh sanctions on Iran’s financial sector, targeting 18 banks in an effort to further choke off Iranian revenues as Washington ramps up pressure on Tehran weeks ahead of the U.S. election.The move freezes any U.S. assets of those blacklisted and generally bars Americans from dealing with them, while extending secondary sanctions to those who do business with them. This means foreign banks risk losing access to the U.S. market and financial…

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Opinion: Legislative Loophole Could Keep U.S. Offshore Wind Jones Act Fleet at Dock

The U.S. House of Representatives has passed the Expanding Access to Sustainable Energy Act of 2019, which enforces Jones Act requirements for all offshore renewable energy production. However, the bill's current language has the potential to create a loophole that would leave the U.S. Jones Act fleet on the sidelines. The Jones Act and its applicability to the offshore wind sector has long been debated by politicians, activists, and industry professionals. The act requires components transported between points in the United States to be moved by U.S. built, owned, flagged and crewed vessels.

Edward Schwarz, Vice President for ABB Marine and Ports, received the United States Merchant Marine Academy’s Admiral McCready Award as the 51st recipient.

ABB’s Schwarz Honored with USMMA McCready Award

Edward Schwarz, Vice President for ABB Marine and Ports, received the United States Merchant Marine Academy’s Rear Admiral Lauren S. McCready Award as the 51st recipient.Edward A. Waryas, Jr., Board Member for NYSE-traded KNOT Offshore Partners, LP as the 43rd recipient of the award and co-chair of the award’s committee made the announcement.The Lauren S. McCready Award is intended to recognize graduates of the United States Merchant Marine Academy who have made significant technical…

The Royal Bahrain Naval Force coalition ship, RBNS Al Muharraq, operates in the Arabian Gulf during a sentry patrol as part of the International Maritime Security Construct (IMSC). The IMSC maintains the freedom of navigation, international law, and free flow of commerce to support regional stability and security of the maritime commons. (Royal Bahrain Naval Force Courtesy Photo).

On Watch: International Coalition Monitors, Protects Middle East Shipping Lanes

The International Maritime Security Construct (IMSC) was created July 2019 as a way to deter unprofessional behavior in the waters of the Middle East region through its operational arm, Coalition Task Force (CTF) Sentinel.The IMSC comprises eight nations – Albania, Australia, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Lithuania, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom and United States – who deploy personnel, ships and aircraft throughout the region as part of the international surveillance and detection effort.Since establishing CTF Sentinel…

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Cruising Pause Has Major Impact on Florida's Economy

The cruise industry has certainly been among businesses hardest hit by the economic impacts of COVID-19. But the industry-rocking fallout extends well beyond the cruise lines themselves, extending through cities throughout Florida where canceled sailings are resulting in loss of revenue to public ports, government at all levels, and private companies that do business with cruise lines.These conclusions are contained in the latest Fact Finding 30 report that was released today by Fact Finding Officer Commissioner Louis E. Sola, of the Federal Maritime Commission.

CSL Frontenac loading grain at the Port of Thunder Bay. Photo Credit: Michael Hull, Chamber of Marine Commerce)

Grain Shipments via St. Lawrence Seaway Climb

Canadian grain shipments through the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence Seaway trade corridor are up 20% in response to continuing world demand for wheat and canola, the latest figures show.Year-to-date shipments of grain (from April 1 to August 31) totaled 5.2 million tonnes, as ships transported Prairie wheat and canola and Ontario wheat and soybeans for both domestic use and for export to markets around the world.The rush of grain, which is carry over from last year’s crops, has helped to offset continuing pandemic-related declines in other key cargoes such as iron ore (down 23%)…

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Germany Offered to Build LNG Terminals to Avert US Pipeline Sanctions

Berlin offered to spend 1 billion euros ($1.2 billion) to build two liquid natural gas terminals in a bid to dissuade the United States from imposing sanctions over the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, due to bring gas directly from Russia to Germany, Die Zeit reported on Wednesday.The weekly paper said Finance Minister Olaf Scholz made the proposal in an Aug. 7 letter before Washington imposed sanctions on companies involved in building the Baltic Sea pipeline, effectively freezing its…

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Is China Really on Pace to Help US Soybeans Set New Export Records?

China has been buying U.S. soybeans at what seems like a breakneck pace for about two months now, increasing the probability of record U.S. exports to the Asian country over the next year.But while a record volume becomes more realistic as the sales pile up week after week, the lower price of U.S. soybeans relative to most prior years means that less ground is being covered when it comes to the Phase 1 trade deal, which is based on the exported value.Further, it has been only three years since China bought U.S.

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CMA CGM Sees Strong Shipping Rebound After Coronavirus Storm

Container shipping group CMA CGM on Friday reported higher second-quarter profits and said it expects results to improve again in the current quarter as the shipping sector recovers quickly from disruption caused by the coronavirus pandemic.French-based CMA CGM recorded a net profit of $136 million for the second quarter compared with a year-earlier $109 million loss.Core earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation rose 26% to $1.2 billion as favourable freight rates and reduced costs, linked to lower oil prices and an efficiency programme, offset a drop in sales caused by the

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US Preparing Tighter Oil Sanctions on Venezuela

The Trump administration is looking to tighten oil sanctions on Venezuela in the near future, top U.S. envoy for the country told Reuters on Monday, by potentially removing exemptions that allow some oil companies to exchange Venezuelan crude for fuel from the OPEC member.U.S. President Donald Trump has ramped up sanctions on Venezuela's state-run PDVSA, its key foreign partners and customers since it first imposed measures against the company in early 2019, seeking to oust the…

File photo (Credit: Andrew Kendrick, U.S. Coast Guard)

US Energy Exports Severely Disrupted by Hurricane Laura

Oil and gas exports from the United States have been severely disrupted by Hurricane Laura, with nearly a million barrels per day (bpd) of crude exports likely reduced this week by closures of U.S. Gulf Coast terminals and disruptions at ports.The hurricane also temporarily suspended operations at several liquefied natural gas (LNG) facilities in the world’s third largest exporter of the super-cooled gas, with shipments on track to fall to their lowest in 18 months.Laura made landfall early Thursday near the Texas-Louisiana border…

(File photo courtesy U.S. Coast Guard)

Port of Houston Reopens as Hurricane Closure Lifted

The Port of Houston, the United States' largest energy export port, began reopening to commercial shipping on Thursday after a day-long closure due to Hurricane Laura, the U.S. Coast Guard said.Ports along the Texas and Louisiana coasts were closed as the Category 4 hurricane churned up the Gulf of Mexico and went ashore in Cameron, Louisiana, early Thursday. The storm brought hurricane winds and high seas to the region.The Port of Houston, a major import and export hub for fuel, chemicals and consumer goods, closed on Wednesday.

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US LNG Loading Delays Expected as Hurricane Slams Gulf Coast

Loadings of liquefied natural gas (LNG) cargoes from the United States likely will be delayed as a powerful storm strikes the heart of the U.S. oil and gas industry on the Gulf Coast, forcing several LNG plants to shut.Hurricane Laura made landfall early on Thursday in southwestern Louisiana as one of the most powerful storms ever to hit the state, with forecasters warning it could push a wall of water 40 miles (64 km) inland from the sea. Landfall came near Louisiana's border…

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.

(Photo: Bureau Veritas)

Bureau Veritas Expands Marine and Offshore Services in N. America

Testing, inspection and verification services firm Bureau Veritas (BV) said it has taken a number of steps to broaden and deepen its marine and offshore services in North America.The opening of a new remote survey center in Miami is the latest step in the delivery of digital services across the Bureau Veritas network, providing yet further global coverage for remote surveys.Florida-based Tropical Shipping’s fleet has now benefited from remote survey services on three of its vessels sailing in the Caribbean trades.

Tracy Zea is the Waterways Council Inc.’s new President & CEO.

Interview: Tracy Zea, President & CEO, Waterways Council Inc.

We recently checked in with Tracy Zea, Waterways Council Inc.’s new President & CEO, on what’s in store for the U.S. inland waterways for the remainder of 2020.To start, give us some insight on your background and how you came to lead WCI.I was born and raised in Chandler, Ariz., and attended South Dakota State University, receiving a degree in Political Science. After college, I found my way to Washington, D.C. via an internship with Senator Thune (R-S.D.). After the internship, I was hired by the House of Representatives, Transportation and Infrastructure Committee.

(Photo: Ecochlor)

Ecochlor Expands Service Support Network in Singapore

U.S.-based ballast water management system (BWMS) manufacturer Ecochlor announced it has opened a service support center in the world's top shipping hub. Michael Madely, VP of Global Service at Ecochlor, said the new Singapore location is the first of many planned for Ecochlor’s spare parts support network outside the United States.“Having an inventory of spare parts located in Singapore will provide a faster response time to all vessels in Asia with our system on board. Our goal is to have parts located in the three main time zones – Asia…

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PDVSA Changes Oil Deals to Include Shipping as Sanctions Bite

Venezuelan state-run oil firm PDVSA has begun offering to ship its own oil, figuring in the costs in crude supply deals to help customers who have struggled to hire vessels to carry the country’s oil due to U.S. sanctions, according to company documents seen by Reuters.The United States has blacklisted vessel owners, shipping operators and threatened to sanction any tanker facilitating the country’s oil exports as it tightens restrictions on trade with the South American country.Washington has been trying to weaken socialist President Nicolas Maduro by choking the OPEC member’s oil exports…

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Beirut Blast a Wake-up Call on Dangers of Ammonium Nitrate

The devastating explosion in Beirut should be a wake-up call for countries on the dangers of ammonium nitrate, which caused the blast, experts say.Lebanese authorities said 2,750 tonnes of the industrial chemical had been stored for six years at Beirut port without safety measures. That stockpile exploded on Tuesday, killing more than 150 people, injuring thousands and leaving about a quarter of a million people homeless.Commonly used in fertilizers and as an industrial explosive…

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Deadly Explosion Rips Through Beirut Port Area

A powerful blast in port warehouses near central Beirut storing highly explosive material killed 78 people, injured nearly 4,000 and sent seismic shockwaves that shattered windows, smashed masonry and shook the ground across the Lebanese capital.Officials said they expected the death toll to rise further after Tuesday's blast as emergency workers dug through rubble to rescue people and remove the dead. It was the most powerful explosion in years in Beirut, which is already reeling from an economic crisis and a surge in coronavirus infections.President Michel Aoun said that 2…

Pictured from left to right are Major General Diana Holland, Commanding General, Mississippi River Valley Division; Gov. John Bel Edwards and Col. Stephen Murphy, Commander, New Orleans District signing the PPA. (Photo: LADOTD)

Lower Mississippi River to be Deepened to 50 Feet

The ports at Baton Rouge, New Orleans, South Louisiana, St. Bernard and Plaquemines are slated to have deep draft access after Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards and other state officials signed a formal agreement with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Friday to begin construction on the deepening of the Lower Mississippi River to 50 feet from 45 feet. The overall project will provide a draft of 50-feet from the Port of Baton Rouge to the Gulf of Mexico over 256 miles of the Mississippi River.

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South Korea's July Exports Record Slowest Decline in Four Months

South Korean exports fell the slowest in four months and beat market expectations, data showed on Saturday, a further sign a recovery in Asia’s fourth-largest economy is gaining traction, although threats loom from global flare-ups in the COVID-19 pandemic.Overseas sales fell 7.0% in July from a year earlier, the trade ministry said, the fifth month of decline but much less than June’s 10.9% fall and the 9.7% drop tipped in a Reuters survey.South Korea is the first major exporting economy to release monthly trade data…