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Monday, January 27, 2020

United States News

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Maersk Chief Warns EU Antitrust Policy Benefits China, US

Strict EU enforcement of competition rules prevents the development of the global champions necessary to compete with Chinese and U.S. companies, the head of shipping company Maersk warned in an interview."Is it really a good idea that we don't allow the creation of a European global champion? In doing so, we risk being outperformed by a Chinese company, over which the European Union has no influence," Maersk CEO Soren Skou told Danish business daily Finans.A Maersk spokeswoman confirmed his comments to Reuters.Skou is a member of the European Round Table for Industry (ERT)…

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Georgia Scraps Deal on Major Port Project

Georgia has ended an investment agreement with an international consortium for one of the biggest projects in the former Soviet country, the construction of a major deep sea port on the Black Sea coast, its infrastructure minister said on Thursday.The nine-phase project to improve access to Central Asia and the Middle East had received support from Georgia's strategic partner, the United States, as well as the European Union, which had labelled the planned port at Anaklia a priority project."The government discussed this issue and decided that further postponement does not make sense…

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Mideast Tensions Create Insurance Headache for Tanker Owners

Even as the United States and Iran appear to signal a keenness to avoid further conflict, oil and gas shipowners are bracing to pay a price for the war of words that culminated in rocket strikes in Iraq over the last week - higher insurance bills.According to industry sources, payments known as war risk premiums for tankers shuttling through the Strait of Hormuz could rise significantly, adding hundreds of thousands of dollars to shipping costs in some cases that will ultimately…

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IMO 2020: U.S. Restricts the Use of Certain Fuels in Scrubber Vessels

With the January 1 implementation of IMO 2020, which requires dramatic reductions in the sulfur content of emissions from ocean-going vessels, the United States government issued a new rule that it asserts actually facilitates the distribution of compliant fuel.The US Environmental Protection Agency asserts that it is taking steps to allow for the distribution of distillate fuel with sulfur content of up to 5,000 ppm sulfur—something that it asserts was previously prohibited.

Sandy Hook Pilot Captain Dennis R. Sherwood

Sandy Hook Pilots Issue Statement on Operational Fatality

Coast Guard responds to deadly New York harbor pilot accident.On December 30, 2019 at approximately 0430, Sandy Hook Pilot Captain Dennis R. Sherwood was involved in an incident while boarding a container vessel inbound to the Port of New York & New Jersey. He sustained injuries after falling from an accommodation ladder and was evacuated to a local hospital where his injuries proved to be fatal. Prior to the incident, Captain Sherwood had been piloting vessels in and out of the Port of New York & New Jersey for over 35 years.The incident is being investigated by the United States Coast Guard.

Image: Overseas Shipholding Group

OSG Acquires Alaska Tanker

Overseas Shipholding Group, the tanker company providing energy transportation services for crude oil and petroleum products in the U.S. Flag markets, has entered into agreements with BP Oil Shipping Company USA and BP AMI Leasing to purchase the crude oil carrier vessels operated by Alaska Tanker Company (ATC).OSG currently owns a 37.5% interest in ATC. As part of the above transaction, OSG will acquire the remaining 62.5% interest of ATC that it does not own.According to the publicly traded tanker company…

File Image: A Japanese naval asset. CREDIT: AdobeStock / © JP Aaron

Japan Sending Warship, Aircraft to Middle East

Japan will send a warship and patrol planes to protect Japanese ships in the Middle East as the situation in the region, from which it sources nearly 90% of its crude oil imports, remains volatile, Japan's top government spokesman said on Friday.Under the plan approved by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's cabinet, a helicopter-equipped destroyer and two P-3C patrol planes will be dispatched for information-gathering aimed at ensuring safe passage for Japanese vessels through the region.If there are any emergencies…

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Five Common Mistakes in Maritime Contracts

“An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” – Henry de Bracton, DeLegibus, ~1240Often clients or prospective clients come to me with a commercial contract issue perched on the precipice of full-blown litigation or arbitration. When I ask to see the contract, often times I see errors in drafting that either (1) give rise to the problem before me or (2) could create a bigger problem for the client in the future.The risk of drafting error is higher for Europeans looking to contract with American companies.

Matson's newest vessel, the largest combination container / roll-on, roll-off ("con-ro") ship ever built in the United States. Image Credit: NASSCO

Matson Takes Delivery of First Kanaloa Class ConRo

Largest "Con-Ro" Ship Built in U.S. Will Serve Hawaii.Matson today took delivery of its newest vessel, the largest combination container / roll-on, roll-off ("con-ro") ship ever built in the United States, from General Dynamics NASSCO. Christened 'Lurline,' the new ship is the first of two "Kanaloa Class" con-ro vessels being built for Matson by NASSCO at a total cost of approximately $500 million for the pair, and the third of four new vessels that Matson is putting into service between 2018 and 2020.

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Hawaii Congressman Introduces Anti Jones Act Legislation

Hawaii Congressman Ed Case has introduced three bills in Congress to reform Merchant Marine Act of 1920 (commonly referred to as the Jones Act), which he states “artificially inflates the cost of shipping goods to Hawaii”.Case’s three measures and their proposed amendments to the Jones Act are:the Noncontiguous Shipping Relief Act, which exempts all noncontiguous U.S. locations, including Hawaii, from the Jones Act;the Noncontiguous Shipping Reasonable Rate Act, which benchmarks…

Steve Felder (Photo: Maersk)

Maersk Outlines Year in Review, Outlook

Steve Felder, Managing Director, Maersk South Asia has outlined the developments in 2019 and what we can expect in 2020:“While the global container demand was lower in 2019 due to weaker growth in the global economy, India witnessed a broad-based slowdown in its import export trade as well after a growth of several years. This is aligned closely with the weaker domestic demand, tight liquidity and working capital as well as a reflection of the overall cyclical weakening of the economic environment in all the main global economies.

Photo: Maersk

Maersk India Trade Report Q3 2019

India’s import and export container trade in Q3 2019 (July-September) remained flat as compared to global growth of 1.5%. The slowdown is aligned closely with the weaker domestic demand, as well as a reflection of the broad-based cyclical weakening of the economic environment in all the main global economies. The negative effects from escalating trade restrictions also weighed on trade growth in the quarter. The trade restrictions have reduced bilateral trade between the United States of America and China…

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US Renews Waiver on COSCO's Dalian Tanker Unit

The Trump administration on Thursday renewed a waiver for companies to wind down transactions with the Dalian unit of a Chinese tanker company on which it had imposed sanctions in September for allegedly transporting Iranian oil.The waiver, good until Feb. 4, 2020, allows activities and transactions "ordinarily incident and necessary to the maintenance or wind down of transactions" including offloading of non-Iranian crude oil involving COSCO's Dalian Shipping Tanker Co, the U.S.

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China 'in touch' with U.S. on Phase 1 Trade Deal

China and the United States are in touch over the signing of their Phase 1 trade deal, China's commerce ministry said, which will see lower U.S. tariffs on Chinese goods and higher Chinese purchases of U.S. farm, energy and manufactured goods.The Phase 1 deal was announced last week after more than two years of on-and-off trade talks, although neither side has released many specific details of the agreement.Both the Chinese and U.S. trade teams are in close communication, Gao Feng…

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Commodities 2020? Reading the Trump, China Tea Leaves

As 2020 approaches, the year ends with the tantalising prospect of a trade deal between the United States and China. Again.Initial agreement to de-escalate the tariff war between the world's two biggest economies has been interpreted as a positive for the global economic outlook. But it's worth remembering that 2018 ended on a similar note - leaving the commodities outlook once again hostage to the whims of Donald Trump and Xi Jinping.In November last year, the U.S. President and his Chinese counterpart also reached a trade agreement of sorts at the G20 summit in Argentina.

Image: APM Terminals

APM's Moín Container Terminal Reaches 1MTEUs

APM Terminals, an international container terminal operating company, said that its Moín Container Terminal celebrated the movements of its 1 millionth TEU on 11 December 2019.This milestone, achieved in less than 10 months of operation, is particularly significant, as the next phase of the terminal will be built when an annual volume of 1.5 million TEUs is reached, said a press note. APM Terminals has a 30-year concession to operate the terminal.The millionth TEU was unloaded…

Reportedly, the impending trade deal depends heavily on significant increases in China imports of U.S. agricultural products. Image Credit: AdobeStock / © Igor Strukov

U.S. sets Trade Terms, Beijing So Far Silent

Washington has set its terms for a trade deal with China, offering to suspend some tariffs on Chinese goods and cut others in exchange for Beijing's buying more American farm goods, U.S. sources said on Thursday.Beijing has yet to confirm whether it is on board with the proposal, although officials will hold a press briefing Friday night local time to update progress on the talks, the State Council Information Office said. Officials from the state planner, ministry of finance, foreign ministry, agriculture ministry and ministry of commerce will attend.In the hours since U.S.

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U.S., China Reach Trade Deal 'in principle'

The White House has reached a "deal in principle" with Beijing to resolve the 17-month U.S.-China trade war, according to a source briefed on the trade talks.The White House was expected to make an announcement later on Thursday, the source said."The written agreement is still being formulated, but they have reached an agreement in principle," the source said. No details were immediately available.In an attempt to secure a "phase one" trade deal, U.S. negotiators offered to cut…

Chinese Tanker Spurns Malaysian Inspections

An oil tanker, which shipping data showed was managed by a Chinese company under U.S. sanctions, refused to allow an inspection by maritime authorities while anchored in Malaysian waters, Malaysia's maritime agency said.Silvana III's commercial manager is Kunlun Shipping Co Ltd, according to shipping transparency website Equasis.org.Kunlun is one of several firms placed under U.S. sanctions this year for alleged involvement in transporting oil from Iran.The Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) said the Silvana III, which anchored off Kuala Kurau on Malaysia's west coast on Dec.

Joseph J. Angelo (Photo: IMO)

Angelo Receives IMO Maritime Prize for 2018

The prestigious International Maritime Prize for 2018 has been presented to Mr. Joseph J. Angelo. Angelo,  a former United States Coast Guard (USCG) and International Association of Independent Tanker Owners (INTERTANKO) senior executive who participated in International Maritime Organization (IMO) meetings for many years, providing leadership on a number of key regulatory developments.IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim presented the prize on 25th of  November at the annual IMO Awards ceremony. Mr.

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China Hoping for Expedited US Trade Agreement

China said on Monday that it hoped to make a trade deal with the United States as soon as possible, amid intense discussions before fresh U.S. tariffs on Chinese imports are due to kick in at the end of the week.Beijing hopes it can reach a trade agreement with the United States that satisfies both sides, Assistant Commerce Minister Ren Hongbin told reporters on Monday."On the question of China-U.S. trade talks and negotiations, we wish that both sides can, on the foundation of equality and mutual respect…

Michael Rickey (Photo: MJP)

MJP Appoints Regional Director for Americas

Marine Jet Power (MJP) has appointed Michael Rickey as President and Regional Director of Marine Jet Power, Inc. effective as of December, 2. Rickey will be responsible for business development in the Americas region, where the company holds a corporate office in Blacklick, Ohio.Prior to joining MJP, Rickey enjoyed a 24-year career with American Honda, where he began in 1995 as an assistant manager for export sales. Since then, he has served in several senior roles within the organization from operational to business development. Most recently serving as Senior Manager for Honda Marine.

Pic: International Maritime Organization (IMO)

Joseph Angelo Awarded Global Maritime Prize

The prestigious International Maritime Prize for 2018 has been presented to Joseph J. Angelo, a former United States Coast Guard (USCG) and International Association of Independent Tanker Owners (INTERTANKO) senior executive who participated in International Maritime Organization (IMO) meetings for many years, providing leadership on a number of key regulatory developments.IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim presented the prize on Monday (25 November) at the annual IMO Awards ceremony.

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Fuel Market Calm ahead of IMO Changeover

Fears about a shortage of diesel and other middle distillates stemming from new marine pollution regulations have receded, with distillate premiums falling to some of the lowest levels for two years.From the start of 2020, ocean-going ships will be required to use low-sulphur fuels or employ exhaust gas cleaning systems, known has scrubbers, under pollution control rules approved by the International Maritime Organization (IMO).Fuel traders and shipowners have warned for several…

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Maritime Schools Must Prep for Offshore Wind Jobs

The offshore wind industry in the United States is growing exponentially, with multiple projects in the development stages off of the Atlantic coast. The total megawatt capacity of U.S. offshore wind farms is anticipated to reach 22,000 by 2030 and 43,000 by 2050. To support this growth, U.S. Department of Energy reports estimate over 40,000 new jobs will be created by 2030.The new jobs anticipated to support the offshore wind industry include a wide range of types, including engineers, trade workers, surveyors, scientists, technicians, managers, and seafarers.

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Bahri Looks to Make LNG Foray

Saudi Aramco's shipping arm Bahri has issued an expression of interest (EOI) to charter up to 12 liquefied natural gas (LNG) tankers from 2025, its first foray into the superchilled fuel, industry sources said on Monday.No further details were immediately available and Saudi Aramco declined to comment. EOIs are preliminary enquiries that may or may not turn into full-fledged orders.According to Bahri's website, the national shipping carrier of Saudi Arabia has six business units dealing in oil…