Offshore Oil Wells, Ports Shut as Hurricane Sally Advances on U.S. Gulf
Energy companies, ports and refiners raced on Monday to shut down as Hurricane Sally grew stronger while lumbering toward the central U.S. Gulf Coast, the second significant hurricane to shutter oil and gas activity over the last month.The hurricane is disrupting oil imports and exports as the nation's sole offshore terminal, the Louisiana Offshore Oil Port (LOOP), stopped loading tanker ships on Sunday, while the port of New Orleans closed on Monday.The U.S. government said 21%…
Maritime Risk Symposium 2020: Maritime Resilience in Black Swan Events
In 2007, scholar Nassim Nicholas Taleb, who holds a doctorate from the University of Paris, wrote a bestselling book titled “Black Swan,” which proposed a theory involving unpredictable events with significant impact. Taleb believed that a black swan event was an outlier with significant impact and, once it occurs, is the source of deep reflection and rationalization. Since the book’s publication, a significant number of research efforts have been developed to consider possible black swan events that significantly impact the Maritime Transportation System (MTS) and the Maritime Global Commons.
Shipping Community Beware; Sanctions Scrutiny is Stepping up a Gear
Earlier this year, The U.S. Department of State, the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), and the U.S. Coast Guard issued a new advisory to provide those engaged or involved in trade in the maritime industry with further information and tools to counter illicit shipping and sanctions evasion.The advisory is representative of the U.S. Government’s increasingly detailed efforts towards addressing these issues, as illustrated by OFAC’s recent sanctions actions which show a trend of incremental but clear extension of oversight.
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…
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.
Container Losses in the Rolling Seas
Cargoes have come off ships at sea it seems like forever. Some years ago a ship suffered a casualty transiting the English Channel in a storm. Much of its cargo of lumber and other floating items washed ashore on the southwest English coast. Before the authorities could arrive, enterprising local residents gathered it up.Nowadays, the majority of non-bulk cargo is carried in containers. Container ships have gotten larger and are capable of carrying thousands and thousands of containers. The ships have greater length, greater breadth, and greater draft. They also have greater air draft.
Congress Responds to COVID19 and Other Challenges for the Maritime Industry
In response to the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic, the Congressional Research Service released a report that stated global economic growth has declined by 3% to 6% in 2020 with a partial recovery predicted for 2021. Also, the GDP of the U.S. has fallen by 5% in the first quarter 2020. According to the International Maritime Organization (IMO), the maritime industry, and seafarers themselves, have not been able to escape the significant effects of this crisis.All sectors of the maritime industry have been adversely affected by the global pandemic.
Isle of Man Ship Registry’s QUALSHIP 21 Status Confirmed by USCG
The Isle of Man Ship Registry has retained its place within the United States Coast Guard’s QUALSHIP 21 program, designed to recognize foreign-flagged vessels that maintain the highest safety and quality standards.Isle of Man Ship Registry director Cameron Mitchell said continued inclusion in the scheme through to July 2021 was great news for the registry and its clients, representing further independent verification of the quality of the Manx fleet.Entry into the program is based on data gathered during Port State Control inspections in the United States.
LISCR Hires Former USCG LNG Expert
The Liberian Registry announced Dallas Smith has been hired as the Director of LNG and Offshore Technology, and as General Manager of the Liberian International Ship and Corporate Registry’s (LISCR) new Houston Office.Smith brings to his new role at LISCR over 20 years of experience as an officer in the U.S. Coast Guard. Before his retirement last month, Smith was head of the USCG Liquefied Gas National Center of Expertise where he was responsible for executing the Coast Guard’s entire liquefied gas safety, security, and environmental compliance mission around the world.
Optimarin Completes IMO G8 and USCG Test Program
Norwegian-based ballast water treatment (BWT) systems manufacturer Optimarin informs it has completed testing of its Optimarin Ballast System (OBS) in accordance with the revised IMO G8 guidelines, while also upgrading its existing U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) approval certificates to ensure compliance for zero to two hours holding time.The testing procedures were conducted at the NIVA test facility in Norway from September 2019 to the end of June 2020, with DNV GL operating as the designated Independent Laboratory. Tests were conducted with two different filters simultaneously.
Great Lakes Shipping Companies Navigate Market Challenges Ahead
For U.S.-flag shipping on the Great Lakes, 2019 was a good year. Total cargos were 90 million net tons, up 7.5% over 2018 and 4.6% over the five-year average. 49.7 million net tons of iron ore were shipped, up 8.5% over 2018 and 11.7% over the five year. Limestone was up 9.7% over 2018 and 10.2% over the five-year average. In 2010 and 2011, coal and limestone were each about 20 million net tons. Since then, coal has shown a steady decline as coal-fired power generating plants…
MarAd Insights: “In peace and war” -- Even Against a Virus
The U.S. maritime industry takes great pride in our motto: “In Peace and War.” It sums what we’re all about. From colonial times, through the Revolution, the Civil War, two World Wars, several regional conflicts, and many natural and humanitarian disasters, we got the cargo delivered because our economic security and our national security depend on it.Today, we confront a new kind of enemy: an invisible, debilitating, and too often deadly disease. Yet, just as the courageous merchant…
COVID-19 & the US Workboat Market: Business Continuity, Not Business as Usual
In today’s environment, the overarching challenge for the American tugboat, towboat and barge industry is to continue transporting the vital commodities that help keep our nation’s economy moving during a highly uncertain time, while taking all necessary measures to ensure the health and safety of our workforce as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to evolve – in other words, to ensure business continuity, while recognizing we are not, nor can we be, going about business as usual.
Doyle Hired to Lead the Port of Baltimore
William P. Doyle, a former U.S. Federal Maritime Commissioner, has been hired to lead the Port of Baltimore as the new executive director of the Maryland Port Administration, Maryland Governor Larry Hogan announced.Currently CEO and Executive Director of the Dredging Contractors of America, Doyle will take the helm at the Port of Baltimore effective July 22, succeeding Jim White, who announced he would step down at the end of 2019. Doyle was appointed by Secretary of the Maryland Department of Transportation (MDOT) Greg Slater…
Elliott Bay Design Group Promotes Reeves
Elliott Bay Design Group (EBDG) announced that Senior Engineer, John Reeves has been promoted to Director of Business Development to oversee business development, generate leads and provide leadership to the sales and marketing team.Reeves joined EBDG in 2015 bringing field experience gained through 23 years of operating and maintaining some of the most complex vessels in the U.S. Coast Guard fleet. His background includes five years as port engineer and manager of four industrial repair facilities, serving as an Associate Professor at the U.S.
US Tells Gulf Mariners to Stay Clear of Its Warships
In an alert that appeared aimed squarely at Iran, the U.S. Navy issued a warning on Tuesday to mariners in the Gulf to stay 100 meters away from U.S. warships or risk being “interpreted as a threat and subject to lawful defensive measures.”The notice to mariners, which was first reported by Reuters, follows U.S. President Donald Trump’s threat last month to fire on any Iranian ships that harass Navy vessels."Armed vessels approaching within 100 meters of a U.S. naval vessel may be interpreted as a threat," according to the text of the notice.A U.S.
Coast Guard Academy Cadet Receives Fulbright Award
First Class Cadet Owen Gibson, a Civil Engineering major from the U.S. Coast Guard Academy, has received a Fulbright Award to pursue a two-year Master of Science degree in Water Resource Engineering and Management at the University of Stuttgart, Germany.Gibson’s Fulbright research project will focus on climate change and soil erosion models. The goal of his research is to develop a model for assessing coastal soil erosion rates. The model will address the uncertainty of climate change using probability analysis and will be tested throughout coastal regions in Northern Germany.
MarAD Extends Comment Period for SPOT Terminal Services LLC
The Maritime Administration (MARAD) announced the extension of the period for the public to comment on the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) for the proposed SPOT Terminal Services, LLC deepwater port facility. The comment period was initially scheduled to end on March 23, 2020, but is now extended 30-days from the publication date of this Federal Register notice published on Friday, May 1, 2020.Due to the nationwide impacts of COVID-19 and the associated social distancing protocols, MARAD and the U.S.
Rear Adm. Bert Makes History with New USCG Role
The U.S. Coast Guard announced Friday Rear Adm. Melissa Bert has been invested as judge advocate general and chief counsel of the Coast Guard. Bert is the service’s first woman to hold that office.Bert was most recently the director of Governmental and Public Affairs for the Coast Guard, where she was responsible for external engagement with Congress, the media and other inter-governmental entities.As judge advocate general and chief counsel, Bert will lead a group of legal professionals who are responsible for the delivery of all legal services in support of the Coast Guard's missions…
Adm. James Steele Gracey, 17th USCG Commandant, Passes Away
Admiral James Steele Gracey, USCG (retired), 17th Commandant of the Coast Guard, passed away on Sunday, April 5, 2020, in Falls Church, Va., at the age of 92.Born in Newton, Mass. in 1927, Adm. Gracey graduated from the United States Coast Guard Academy in 1949. Adm. Gracey was a 1956 graduate of the Harvard Graduate School where he earned a Masters Degree in Business Administration.His career included diverse tours both ashore and afloat, including Commanding Officer, LORAN Station Ocean Cape…
US Grants BWTS Extension Due to COVID-19
The U.S. Coast Guard is giving additional time for vessels impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic to comply with regulations requiring ballast water treatment systems (BWTS) to be installed on board.Recognizing the impact of public health policies and the importance of a the continued flow of maritime commerce, the Coast Guard said vessels with BWTS compliance dates before April 1, 2021 will have an extra 12 months to comply.In some instances, disruptions to supply chains and workforce…
Coast Guard Academy to Hold Virtual Graduation
The U.S. Coast Guard Academy announced it is preparing to hold a virtual graduation ceremony on Wednesday, May 20 due to the coronavirus pandemic.The graduating Class of 2020, along with the rest of the Academy Corps of Cadets were on spring break when travel restrictions were imposed and they were ordered to remain home. The Corps then shifted to virtual remote classes which are ongoing.During the virtual ceremony, Chad Wolf, the acting Secretary of Homeland Security is scheduled to deliver the keynote address. Adm.
Safeguarding the Maritime Transportation System During the COVID-19 Pandemic
The marine transportation system (MTS) is critical to both our national security and economic prosperity. The U.S. Coast Guard has an enduring responsibility to safeguard the MTS and enable the uninterrupted flow of maritime commerce. While Coast Guard Prevention missions normally address the systemic risks to the MTS through a variety of regulatory and compliance activities on a day-to-day basis, the COVID-19 response demands a flexible approach to prevent an undue backlog from causing MTS delays today and in the near term.
Marine Jet Power Adds to Growing Team in the Americas
Marine Jet Power (MJP) announced Cole Merritt and Peter Gonzalez have joined its business development team in the Americas.“Peter and Cole are a welcome addition to the MJP team in the Americas. As we continue to expand our footprint in the region their experience and expertise will be invaluable as we strive to offer an unmatched customer experience for shipyards, boat builders and operators,” said MJP President and Regional Director, Michael Rickey.Both Peter and Cole started…
Hyde Marine BWTS Secures USCG Type Approval
The U.S. Coast Guard Marine Safety Center issued the 30th U.S. Coast Guard Ballast Water Management System Type Approval Certificate to Hyde Marine, Inc., after a detailed review of the manufacturer’s type approval applications determined the systems met the requirements of 46 CFR 162.060.The treatment principle of the GUARDIAN-US consists of filtration and UV treatment at intake and UV treatment at discharge. This approval covers models with maximum intake treatment rated capacities between 60 m 3 /h and 3,000 m 3 /h.
St. Lawrence Seaway/Great Lakes Shipping Season Commences
The St. Lawrence Seaway’s 62nd navigation season kicked off on Tuesday with the transit of the Canadian-flagged cement carrier NACC Argonaut through Lock 8 on the Welland Canal.Then, in the early hours on Wednesday morning, first U.S.-flag commercial vessel transited the locks at Sault Ste. Marie, Mich., signaling the start of the U.S. fleet's 2020 sailing season.The Seaway’s Montreal / Lake Ontario section will open on April 1 this year, eight days after the opening of the Welland Canal.