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Tuesday, March 26, 2019

United States News

U.S. Clinches Port Deal with Oman

Tehran has in the past threatened to block the Strait of Hormuz, a major oil shipping route at the mouth of the Gulf, in retaliation for any hostile U.S. action, including attempts to halt Iranian oil exports through sanctions.Still, the U.S. official noted that the agreement would expand U.S. military options in the region for any kind of crisis.Duqm is ideal port for large ships. It is even big enough to turn around an aircraft carrier, a second official said."The port itself is very attractive and the geostrategic location is very attractive…

Adm. Karl Schultz delivers the annual SOTCG Address in San Pedro, CA (Image: CREDIT USCG)

USCG Commandant Delivers SOTCG Address

The Commandant of the United States Coast Guard delivered his first State of the Coast Guard address Thursday at Coast Guard Base Los Angeles-Long Beach in San Pedro.Speaking from the largest port in the nation, Adm. Karl Schultz highlighted Coast Guard security and marine safety operations, which facilitate $4.6 trillion in annual economic activity.Schultz also recognized the service and sacrifice of Coast Guard men and women deployed around the world ensuring global peace and prosperity, including servicemembers supporting U.S. Indo-Pacific Command and U.S. Central Command.

USCGC Mackinaw in Duluth. Credit: port of Duluth

2019 Shipping Season to Open for Duluth

Last night’s arrival of United States Coast Guard Cutters Alder and Mackinaw signaled that the 2019 commercial shipping season is soon to commence for the Port of Duluth-Superior and the entire region.The Alder and Mackinaw made their way across Lake Superior from Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan, opening a 100-foot lane in the ice that will be widened soon by Canadian Coast Guard Ship Samuel Risley in support of breakout efforts that will also include local tugs from the Great Lakes Towing Company and Heritage Marine.

Pic: Uber

Uber Freight Expands into Europe

Uber has announced that its lesser-known service, Uber Freight, will be arriving in Europe helping independent trucking companies with logistics.Next month, Uber Freight will start operations in the Netherlands, marking the unit’s first international expansion, the company said.The newly spun out Uber business unit that helps truck drivers connect with shipping companies sad that Holland was selected as the launch country due to its “dense logistics hub connecting Europe.”"The inroads we have made in the U.S.

Image: Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development

Fakes Make Up 3.3% of Global Trade

Trade in counterfeit and pirated goods, mostly originated in China, has risen steadily, posing a major challenge in an innovation-driven global economy, revealed a new study.Trade in counterfeit and pirated goods has risen steadily in the last few years – even as overall trade volumes stagnated – and now stands at 3.3% of global trade, according to a new report by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and the EU’s Intellectual Property Office.Trends…

File Image / CREDIT: AdobeStock / © Kasto

McQuilling ends tanker contracts with PDVSA

A second maritime firm has told Venezuela's state-run oil firm Petroleos de Venezuela it would end all charter contracts with the company as a result of U.S. sanctions, according to an internal document and a person familiar with the matter.U.S.-based McQuilling Partners Inc, which provided PDVSA with four contract tankers, joined German tanker operator Bernhard Schulte Shipmanagement (BSM) in withdrawing from providing oil-shipping services to Venezuela.The United States levied…

file Image: an idled PDVSA tanker (CREDIT: MarineTraffic.com / © Leslie Brug

BSM: PDVSA Tanker Management Likely Ending

Maritime contractor Bernhard Schulte Shipmanagement (BSM) is considering to stop managing Venezuelan state-oil company PDVSA's tankers by the end of this month or in April following U.S. sanctions against the country, BSM said on Thursday.It also said in a statement that recent political developments made managing assets for the Venezuelan government "an almost impossible task", and it was working on returning Venezuelan vessels to PDVSA's maritime arm PDV Marina and its subsidiaries.The German firm…

File Image: AdobeStock / © Sunny

U.S. Democrats Initially Cool to New NAFTA

Democrats in the U.S. House of Representatives gave a cool reception to the replacement for the North American Free Trade Agreement on Wednesday as the top U.S. trade negotiator opened a campaign to win broad support for the accord in Congress.Several Democrats said a closed-door meeting between United States Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and their caucus failed to ease their concerns about the new U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement's (USMCA) provisions on labor, biologic drugs and some other issues.A USTR spokeswoman declined to comment on the meeting.The support of Democrats…

Dr. Stelios Kyriacou

Prioritizing Consistent, Reliable Ballast Compliance

As the Ballast Water Management Convention (BWMC) deadline for compliance approaches, the market is visibly gearing up to address the snowballing demand across the board.Ballast water treatment system (BWTS) manufacturers are sizing up the competition as ship owners weigh up their immediate needs, against a sustainable future for their vessels. With the conversation reaching a crescendo, now more than ever it is vital that manufacturers are transparent about their provisions and focus on how best to meet the needs of the customer.

File Image: CREDIT GPA

Fitch: Port Growth to Level Off

Volume growth will continue for ports throughout the world but at a more modest pace over the next 10 years, according to Fitch Ratings in a new report. Global port throughput has shown resilience over the last 10 years with throughput growth outpacing economic growth rates despite volatility through the last recession. Containerization of cargo and increasing vessel sizes coupled with supporting infrastructure at ports have all contributed to these throughput trends. However…

File image: credit OPDR

Blackstone Invests in Terminal Operator Carrix

U.S. investment firm Blackstone Group LP said on Sunday that funds affiliated with Blackstone Infrastructure Partners invested in Carrix Inc, the largest marine terminal operator in the United States and the Americas.The company did not disclose the terms of the transaction.Carrix is the parent of SSA Marine and its related affiliates with operations at over 250 port and rail locations worldwide, including 16 container terminals in Long Beach and Oakland in California, Seattle and Tacoma in Washington…

File Image: CREDIT AdobeStock / © Nightman 1965

Imports at Annual Low on Seasonal Lull, Tariff Worries

With the retail industry in its annual lull between seasons and plans for a tariff increase on hold, imports at the nation’s major retail container ports are expected to drop to their lowest level in almost a year this month, according to the monthly Global Port Tracker report released today by the National Retail Federation and Hackett Associates.“Now that the holiday season is over and summer has yet to crank up, this is the quiet time of year for retail supply chains,” NRF Vice President for Supply Chain and Customs Policy Jonathan Gold said.

China Diplomat: Real Progress for China-U.S. Trade talks

The Chinese government's top diplomat, State Councillor Wang Yi, said on Friday that trade talks with the United States had made substantive progress, and that the two countries' relations should not descend into confrontation.Speaking at a news conference on the sidelines of China's annual meeting of parliament, Wang said China had positive expectations for the future of ties with the United States.Reporting by Ben Blanchard

A VLCC alongside in the port of Corpus Christi, TX (CREDIT: port of Corpus Christi)

Moda Midstream Eyes Second TX VLCC Berth

Moda Midstream LLC is considering building a second berth at its Ingleside, Texas, crude export terminal to accommodate booming shale oil production on the Gulf Coast, the company's chief executive said on Thursday.The expansion to the terminal that loads oil tankers will come as three major pipelines open in the second half of 2019, CEO Bo McCall said in an interview. Moda is also increasing the facility's crude storage capacity to 10 million barrels from 2 million."When these new pipelines come online…

The Icaro (© Leslie Brug / MarineTraffic.com)

PDVSA Insists it's Still Working with BSM

Venezuela's state-run oil company PDVSA said on Thursday it has not halted business with maritime firm Bernhard Schulte Shipmanagement (BSM), even after the German firm said it would remove the crews that have been operating 10 of 15 PDVSA vessels over unpaid fees and return the tankers.On Tuesday, PDVSA's maritime arm PDV Marina declared an emergency due to lack of staff to immediately receive the 10 vessels BSM proposed to return to Venezuelan ports due to unpaid bills of at…

Mark Pieter Frölich (Photo:  Lankhorst Ropes)

Lankhorst Appoints Commercial Director

Maritime and heavy lift ropes company, Lankhorst Ropes, has appointed Mark Pieter Frölich as commercial director for Lankhorst Ropes USA. Based in Philadelphia, Frölich will head the development of Lankhorst Ropes’ sales in the maritime and offshore markets in the United States and Canada.Lankhorst Ropes is part of Kansas based WireCo WorldGroup, a steel wire and synthetic ropes maker. Previously regional manager for Lankhorst Ropes in the Middle East, Frölich has spent the past seven years successfully founding and growing the WireCo WorldGroup branch office in Dubai.

Edie Rodriguez, Ponant

Cruising: Small is Beautiful

Cruise shipping, at the intersection of maritime and hospitality industries, continues to be vibrant. The Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA), the industry’s major trade association, forecasts that the ocean cruise segment will draw 30 million passengers in 2019, up from 28.2 million in 2018. At the start of the decade, in 2010, the comparable count was 19.1 million passengers. CLIA members will have 272 vessels operating in 2019- with 18 ocean going vessels set to begin service.

Securing, Enhancing America’s Ports & Supply Chain

The American Association of Port Authorities and its membership recently looked ahead at the challenges and opportunities facing the Port Security Grant Program.In its annual “State of Freight” series, AAPA has highlighted the transportation infrastructure needs of U.S. ports, state transportation agencies and multimodal projects. In this final report in the State of Freight series, AAPA turns to the vital role that security infrastructure plays in moving goods.In 2002, Congress…

Tim Protheroe joins Bureau Veritas, leading its North America efforts.

Protheroe Takes Charge of BV N. America

Tim Protheroe, with more than 40 years of industry experience, was tapped to head North American activities for Bureau Veritas Marine & OffshoreProtheroe was officially named Regional Chief Executive, Marine & Offshore, North America, providing leadership in the United States and Canada. His role includes responsibility for the marine operational client support teams and services provided under the continued management of the General Manager, Marine Operations, Daniel Giani. Protheroe will report to Bruno Dabouis…

Photo: OBS

OBS: Reduced Ballast Water Holding Time

Optimarin Ballast Systems (OBS) have gained approval from the United States Coast Guard (USCG) slashing their required holding time from 72 to just 24 hours for all salinities. The certification ensures the systems are optimized for short sea shipping routes in the US, as the time between ballast water treatment (BWT) and de-ballasting is cut dramatically.USCG requires a holding time post treatment for environmentally friendly UV systems. This is to ensure all cells are inactive before testing.

Jill Biden, the former Second Lady of the United States, delivers commencement address at The Apprentice School graduation. Photo by Ashley Cowan/HII

HII: 157 Apprentice School Graduates

Huntington Ingalls Industries (HII) hosted commencement exercises on Saturday, March 2, 2019, for 157 graduates of The Apprentice School at Newport News Shipbuilding. The apprenticeship is a rigorous four- to eight-year program designed to develop the next generation of shipyard leaders. The Apprentice School, which first opened in 1919 with 126 apprentices, is celebrating its centennial anniversary this year. Over the last 100 years, the school has produced more than 10,800 graduates.“To casually say that you build ships falls woefully short of how you serve the United States of America…

World Shares Higher on US-China Deal Hopes

Global shares rose on Monday amid growing optimism the United States and China will reach a trade agreement as soon as this month.U.S. President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping might seal a formal trade deal around March 27, given progress in talks between the two countries, the Wall Street Journal reported on Sunday.The two nations have imposed tit-for-tat tariffs on billions of dollars worth of each others' goods, roiling financial markets, disrupting manufacturing supply chains and shrinking U.S.

File Image: AdobeStock / © Redindie

World Shares Higher on US-China Deal Hopes

Global shares rose on Monday amid growing optimism the United States and China will reach a trade agreement as soon as this month.U.S. President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping might seal a formal trade deal around March 27, given progress in talks between the two countries, the Wall Street Journal reported on Sunday.The two nations have imposed tit-for-tat tariffs on billions of dollars worth of each others' goods, roiling financial markets, disrupting manufacturing supply chains and shrinking U.S.

Image Courtesy US Coast Guard

Fire Breaks out on USCG's Polar Star

It seems the U.S. cannot do enough to fast-track the construction of its new icebreaking fleet, as the USCG announce last night that the 150-member crew of the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Polar Star fought a fire at approximately 9 p.m. PST Feb. 10 that broke out in the ship's incinerator room about 650 miles north of McMurdo Sound, Antarctica.After initial response efforts using four fire extinguishers failed, fire crews spent almost two hours extinguishing the fire. Fire damage was contained inside the incinerator housing…

File Image / CREDIT: AdobeStock / © Leeylutung

China Imports First U.S. Crude since November

An oil tanker carrying U.S. crude oil is offloading its cargo at a Chinese port on Friday, marking China's first import from the United States since late November, according to trade sources and Refinitiv data.Trade tensions between the United States and China cut U.S. oil exports to Asia to a trickle in the second half of last year. No U.S. crude volumes were recording going into China October, December and January, according to China customs.The Kara Sea, an Aframax tanker capable of carrying up to 600…

Inland Port Development: Take the train

The intermodal equation for any deep draft port is incomplete without its inland component.It’s definitely a work in progress.There are inland ports in the truest sense: major lakefront and riverfront cities such as Chicago and St. Louis, including even Duluth and Tulsa, with vast distribution areas, wildly varying cargo, roads, trains and waterways to serve them.And, then, there are inland ports, dry ports that have vast distribution areas, containerized cargo delivered from true oceanfront ports…