Shipbuilding Interview: Ron Baczkowski, VT Halter
VT Halter in Pascagoula, MS has been on a strong run, capped by its winning the high-profile contract to build the U.S. Coast Guard’s next generation of icebreakers. Maritime Reporter recently spoke with Ron Baczkowski, President and CEO, VT Halter Marine, for insights on the shipyard’s recent success and future prospects. Globally, the shipbuilding industry has gone through some ‘interesting’ times of late. How has it looked from your perspective?The shipbuilding market and activity at VT Halter during the past 12 months has been dynamic.
LGL Announces Retirement of Robert G. Wellner
Liberty Global Logistics LLC (LGL) announced today that Robert G. (Bob) Wellner, its current President, will retire effective December 31, 2019. Mr. Wellner is a widely respected industry veteran with more than 46 years of experience in the U.S.-flag shipping and logistics industry and was a key player in the formation and growth of LGL.Mr. Wellner joined forces with Philip J. Shapiro in 2003 which led to the formation of LGL. LGL commenced operations in 2004. Mr. Shapiro had previously formed Liberty Maritime Corporation in 1988…
Oil slumps 7% as More Tariffs Loom
Oil prices plummeted more than 7% on Thursday, with the U.S. benchmark posting its worst day in more than four years, after President Donald Trump said he would impose additional tariffs Chinese imports starting Sept. 1.The drop in Brent crude was the steepest in more than three years, undoing a fragile oil rally built on steady drawdowns in U.S. inventories even as global demand looked shaky due to the U.S.-China trade dispute.Trump's announcement of an additional 10% levy on…
Export Licensing: Tips U.S. Exporters Shouldn’t Overlook
Export Control Lists Include Key Marine Tech Categories Each year, the U.S. Department of Commerce receives thousands of inquiries from businesses looking to export, many of which involve licensing questions. The Commerce Department’s Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS), together with other USG agencies, is responsible for export licensing and controls. BIS export licenses may be required for items (commodities, software, or technology) with proliferation, military, or terrorist uses, or which warrant control for other reasons.
Light Sweet Crude Exports Jump at LOOP
The Louisiana Offshore Oil Port (LOOP) exported a record 283,333 barrels per day of light sweet crude last month, according to trade sources, as prices weakened against global Brent.LOOP, which exports mostly medium sour grades produced in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico, last month exported more than twice the amount of light sweet from the prior month. Overall exports of U.S. crude hit a record 3.77 million barrels per day (bpd) one week in June, U.S. government data showed.A decline in oil imports at the facility, stemming from record U.S.
Storm Approaching: Firms Fear IMO's 2020 Rules
U.S. furniture company RC Willey Home Furnishings is so concerned that new global clean air rules will cause transport disruption that it brought forward the shipment of arm chairs and sofas from China by two months.The tougher regulations, set by the United Nations shipping agency, the International Maritime Organization (IMO), come into force on Jan 1. Costs will rise for ships towards the end of this year and there will be a knock on effect for trucks and other transporters…
China Urges Dialogue, Negotiations to Solve US Trade Row
China's commerce ministry on Tuesday urged dialogue and negotiation to solve trade differences with the United States.It is common to make revisions, suggestions and adjustments in trade negotiations, it said in a statement in response to U.S. government comments that China was pursuing a "blame game".Reporting by Reuters Hong Kong and Beijing newsrooms
US warns Hong Kong about Iranian Oil Tanker
The United States has warned Hong Kong to be on alert for a vessel carrying Iranian petroleum that may seek to stop in the Asia financial hub, and said that any entity providing services to the vessel will be violating U.S. sanctions.The news comes two weeks after U.S. President Donald Trump’s administration stepped up moves to choke off Iran’s oil exports by scrapping waivers it had granted to big buyers of Iranian crude oil, including China.The fully laden Pacific Bravo abruptly changed course on Monday to head towards Sri Lanka, according to shipping data on Refinitiv Eikon.
London P&I clubs Widen Middle East Threat Zone
London's marine insurance market has extended the list of waters deemed high risk to include Oman, the United Arab Emirates and the Gulf after ship attacks off Fujairah, officials said on Friday, in a move that could push up premiums.The London insurance market's Joint War Committee said in a statement that the additions cover areas of perceived enhanced risk for marine insurers and reflected enhanced regional risk."The situation will be kept under close review," said the Joint War Committee…
U.S. seizes 'sanction buster' North Korean Ship
The United States has for the first time seized a North Korean cargo ship it accused of illicit coal shipments in violation of U.S. and United Nations sanctions, the U.S. Justice Department announced on Thursday.The ship, known as the "Wise Honest," was first detained by Indonesia in April 2018. Under an unusual U.S. civil forfeiture action, the vessel is now in the possession of the United States and is currently approaching U.S. territorial waters heading toward American Samoa, U.S.
U.S.-China Trade Talks Go to the Wire
World shares tumbled for a fourth day running on Thursday after a warning from U.S. President Donald Trump that a long-worked-on trade deal with China was in serious danger.Chinese Vice Premier Liu He was heading to Washington for two days of talks, but Trump's insistence that China "broke the deal" and Beijing's response that it would retaliate against a planned U.S. tariff increase raised the stakes.Europe's main stock markets and Wall Street futures sank 0.5 to 1.3 percent after a torrid day for Asia saw more than 1.8 percent taken off China and more than 3 percent off South Korea…
ARC Loads Cargo in Thessaloniki
The largest U.S.-flagged roll-on roll-off (Ro-Ro) carrier American Roll-on Roll-off Carrier (ARC) said that its M/V Patriot loaded equipment for the Army’s 4th Combat Aviation Brigade (CAB) at the port of Thessaloniki.M/V Patriot moved a mix of helicopters, vehicles, containers and support equipment used to take part in Operation Atlantic Resolve for 4th CAB, which is returning to Fort Carson, Colorado. 4th CAB is being replaced by 1st CAB from Ft. Riley, Kansas, said a press release.Operation Atlantic Resolve has been ongoing in Europe since 2014…
Mnuchin: China Talks "So far, so good"
U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said talks with China went well on Wednesday, as the world's two largest economies try to iron out an agreement to resolve their trade dispute."So far, so good," he said when asked by reporters on how the meetings in Beijing went. He did not say who he met.Mnuchin said earlier he hoped for "productive" trade meetings as the two countries seek to end a festering dispute that has seen both sides level tariffs at one other.U.S. tariffs on $200…
AAPA: US Ports Need $4B for Security
The American Association of Port Authorities (AAPA) identified nearly $4 billion in crucial port and supply chain security needs over the next 10 years.That funding level is what’s needed to maintain and upgrade America’s port facilities and ensure they are properly equipped to address new and evolving security challenges, said AAPA in the latest report in its “The State of Freight” infrastructure series.“The State of Freight IV” is the fourth report in as many years, conducted by AAPA…
Offshore Terminal Plan Slowed by U.S. Shutdown
The U.S. government shutdown has delayed Enterprise Products Partners LP's plan to build a major U.S. crude export terminal off Houston, blocking the pipeline operator from filing paperwork with U.S. regulators, an executive said on Wednesday.Enterprise plans to file a 10,000-page permit application with the U.S. Maritime Administration and the U.S. Coast Guard as soon as the U.S. government reopens. It takes about a year for regulators to process an application for a deep-water terminal."Tell me when the government opens and I'll tell you when it happens…
US Shutdown Impacts Shipping: North P&I Club
US Coast Guard and other federal agencies are operating at a reduced capacity following US government shutdown, said North of England Protecting and Indemnity Association (North P&I Club).Since 21 December 2018, the US Government has been in shutdown following the failure of Congress to agree federal funding. With no end in sight, it is the longest shutdown in US history, it said."We have not received any indications as yet that the shutdown is causing significant disruption to shipping," said a statement from North P&I Club.
Coast Guard Proposes Annual Great Lakes Pilotage Increase
“When somebody says it’s not about the money, it’s about the money.” – H.L. Mencken, American journalist and essayist, 1880-1956.This report is about Great Lakes pilotage rates. It’s all about the money. In fact, it’s hard to find someone who even suggests that it’s not about the money.For fifty or so Great Lakes pilots, it’s about cold hard cash: now. For others, say, vessel owners, it’s about wasted resources, about lost chances for a more efficient and sustainable system; “opportunity costs,” as economists like to say.
DSC Dredge CEO Wetta Delivers Ghana Fact-Finding Trip Report
As a member of the President’s Advisory Council – Doing Business in Africa (PAC-DBIA), Bob Wetta attended the September 26, 2018 Fact-Finding Trip Report meeting in Washington, D.C., with U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross and 13 other U.S. Government officials. Their purpose was to deliberate and adopt the final report of the 2016-2018 term of the PAC-DBIA. Prepared by IBM’s Takreem El-Tohamy, but unfortunately unable to attend the meeting, Bob Wetta presented the Ghana information…
US Downplays Impact on LNG Exports from China Trade Spat
Growing demand from other countries for U.S. liquefied natural gas (LNG) means that the United States is not concerned about a decline in exports to China amid the trade dispute between the countries, a U.S. government official said on Monday.U.S. Department of Energy Deputy Secretary Dan Brouillette downplayed China's lower imports of American LNG and other energy products following the imposition of tariffs on imports by both sides."I am not quite sure if it is going to have any impacts at least in the near term," he told reporters in Tokyo at a media briefing held by the U.S.
Kings Point Alumni Release Commemorative Video
Video marks Academy's 75th year and those who made the ultimate sacrifice.Alumni of the United States Merchant Marine Academy (USMMA) released an inspiring video to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the institution and memorialize midshipmen who have died in service to the nation. Over the summer, the USMMA Alumni Association and Foundation (USMMA-AAF) has been executing a multi-faceted campaign to mark the federal academy's decades of service and the foundational role it plays…
China Vows Retaliation if US Trade War Heightens
China said on Wednesday that "blackmail" wouldn't work and that it would hit back if the United States takes further steps hindering trade, as the Trump administration considers slapping a 25 percent tariff on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods.The proposal would increase the potential tariff rate from 10 percent the administration had initially put forward on July 10 for that wave of duties in a bid to pressure Beijing into making trade concessions, a source familiar with the plan said on Tuesday.The tariffs target thousands of Chinese imports…
Cosco Shipping Gets US 'Go-Ahead' for OOCL Deal
China’s Cosco Shipping Holdings Co received the clearance of a U.S. national-security review body, removing a major overhang of the USD 6.3 billion deal of taking over Orient Overseas International Ltd (OOCL). According to a Reuters' report, the U.S. Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States had notified it that it does not have any outstanding security issues following an agreement with the U.S. government to divest the Long Beach container terminal business to a third party. Cosco said the U.S.
OP/ED: The 2020 Sulfur Cap – Growing Pains or Mass Hysteria?
At the stroke of midnight on January 1, 2018, the global shipping industry will be expected to comply with the IMO agreed upon 0.5% sulfur cap for bunker fuels with few waivers available.For vessels which have installed scrubbers, higher sulfur fuels may continue to be used. IMO’s recent agreement on the ban of carriage of non-compliant fuel assures that cheating will not be allowed providing that port states integrate this ban into their respective port state control inspection programs.All that said…
Commerce Secretary Ross Taps DSC Dredge CEO Wetta to Key Post
Bob Wetta to serve on President Trump's Advisory Council on Doing Business in Africa. On April 26, 2018, Secretary Wilbur Ross, United States Department of Commerce, appointed Bob Wetta, President and CEO of DSC Dredge LLC to serve on the President’s Advisory Council on Doing Business in Africa (PAC-DBIA). Bob Wetta named Charlie Sinunu, DSC’s Director of International Dredge Sales to his staff and they will help identify commercial opportunities for the United States in the region. Bob Wetta shared, “Being tapped to serve on the Council is an honor and a privilege.
What Can Beijing Do if China-US Trade Row Worsens?
China and the United States sank into a deepening trade conflict that roiled financial markets Tuesday after U.S. President Donald Trump threatened to impose tariffs on an additional $200 billion of Chinese products, prompting Beijing to accuse Washington of starting a trade war.Trump said Monday his threat was retaliation for China's decision to raise tariffs on $50 billion of U.S. goods over the weekend, a move that itself was in response to additional U.S. tariffs on Chinese…
Corpus Christi Gearing Up to Handle US Shale Export Boom
Port officials on Tuesday are expected to consider $300 million in financing that would prepare the country's largest oil-export port - Corpus Christi, Texas - to handle a surge in U.S. shale production over the next five years.International buyers would like more U.S. crude but are unable to get it because of infrastructure constraints along the U.S. Gulf Coast. Terminals originally designed for imports only recently have revamped operations to handle exports including accepting…