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Wednesday, April 8, 2020

Washington News

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COVID-19 Impacts on Demurrage and Detention

What might not be so obvious in this COVID-19 environment, which we have grown to associate with shortages, is that counterintuitively there are issues beginning to appear dealing with the opposite situation. The Journal of Commerce has reported that “[t]he container shipping industry is marshaling a response to signs of a building import backlog as some retailers and manufacturers fail to pick up containers because warehouses are full or closed due to not being deemed essential…

Mario Cordero (Photo: AAPA)

AAPA Elects Cordero as Board Chairman

The American Association of Port Authorities (AAPA) has elected Mario Cordero, executive director of California’s Port of Long Beach, to serve as the association’s next Chairman of the Board.Cordero will be installed as Chairman on the final day of AAPA’s 2020 Annual Convention, set for September 13-16, in Québec City, QC, Canada. He will assume the AAPA chairmanship from Gary G. Nelson, executive director of Washington State’s Port of Grays Harbor, who began his term on October 15…

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Shipping Not Immune to a Pandemic -BIMCO

The World Health Organization (WHO) has declared the outbreak of the novel coronavirus a pandemic. There is little doubt that this will have significant implications for the shipping industry. But to what extent? BIMCO expects that the strict containment measures imposed by governments around the world will result in substantially lower global economic growth and consequentially, lower demand for shipping. Container and dry bulk shipping are at the front line when it comes to feeling the fallout…

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COVID-19 and Supply Chain Implications for Ocean Shipping

Only 10 days ago, reports indicated that China cargoes were returning to pre-coronavirus levels, and there appeared to be light at the end of the tunnel. Today, however, a barrage of new headlines has underscored the impact on the rapidly changing global supply chain, including in the United States. In addition to the aggressive spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), new economic developments indicate a decreased trend in global manufacturing. Changes in local economies negatively impacting employees reflect corresponding changes in consumer buying patterns.

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Seattle Cancels Two Cruise Calls Amid Coronavirs Outbreak

The Port of Seattle announced Wednesday that it has canceled two cruise ship calls to help curb the spread of the novel coronoavirus.“This region is in a public health emergency and we will cancel the first two sailings of our cruise season,” said Port of Seattle Commission President Peter Steinbrueck. “The health, safety, and wellbeing of our residents is our top priority.”The canceled one-day stops by Grand Princess and Celebrity Eclipse on April 1 and 5 respectively were to…

MV Argo Merchant was a Liberian-flagged oil tanker that ran aground and sank southeast of Nantucket Island, Mass., on Dec. 15, 1976, causing one of the largest marine oil spills in history. U.S. Coast Guard Archives

Anatomy of a Marine Casualty Investigation

Blank Rome’s maritime attorneys have represented clients in some of the largest maritime casualties in the last 20 years, including the Staten Island Ferry allision with a maintenance pier in New York, the blow out and eventual loss of the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig in the Gulf of Mexico, the sinking of the El Faro during Hurricane Joaquin, and the collision between the Navy Destroyer USS John S. McCain and the tanker ALNIC MC in the Singapore Strait. These casualties have resulted in the catastrophic loss of life…

Michael Toohey (Photo: WCI)

WCI's Toohey Announces Retirement

Waterways Council, Inc. (WCI) President and CEO Michael J. Toohey has revealed plans to retire, the group announced to its Board of Directors and members at its meeting in Washington, DC on Wednesday.“Having turned 71 this month, I believe it is time to focus on my faith, family, my golf handicap and my other interests,” Toohey said. “I remain committed to WCI’s continued achievement now and in the future once a successor is named.”WCI’s Executive Committee will select an executive search firm to begin the process to seek a successor.

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US Trade Deficit Narrows for First Time in Six Years

The U.S. trade deficit fell for the first time in six years in 2019 as the White House’s trade war with China curbed the import bill, keeping the economy on a moderate growth path despite a slowdown in consumer spending and weak business investment.The report from the Commerce Department on Wednesday also showed the Trump administration’s “America First” agenda decreased the flow of goods last year, with exports posting their first decline since 2016. President Donald Trump, who has dubbed himself “the tariff man…

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US Lifts Sanctions on COSCO's Dalian Unit

The United States on Friday lifted sanctions on one of two units of the Chinese tanker company COSCO, the U.S. Treasury said, partially reversing its punishment on the company for transporting Iranian oil after China complained about the measure in trade talks with Washington.President Donald Trump's administration on Sept. 25 blacklisted two units of COSCO, named after the northeastern Chinese port of Dalian. The move sent worldwide freight costs to record highs and disrupted the global shipping market.The U.S.

MV Argo Merchant was a Liberian-flagged oil tanker that ran aground and sank southeast of Nantucket Island, Mass., on Dec. 15, 1976, causing one of the largest marine oil spills in history. U.S. Coast Guard Archives

Anatomy of a Marine Casualty Investigation

Blank Rome’s maritime attorneys have represented clients in some of the largest maritime casualties in the last 20 years, including the Staten Island Ferry allision with a maintenance pier in New York, the blow out and eventual loss of the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig in the Gulf of Mexico, the sinking of the El Faro during Hurricane Joaquin, and the collision between the Navy Destroyer USS John S. McCain and the tanker ALNIC MC in the Singapore Strait. These casualties have resulted in the catastrophic loss of life…

Photo: Seamen’s Church Institute of New York & New Jersey (SCI)

Nestlehutt tapped to lead SCI

The Seamen’s Church Institute of New York & New Jersey (SCI) selected Rev. Mark S. Nestlehutt as its new President & Executive Director, succeeding the Rev. David Rider, effective February 18, 2020.With more than two decades of church experience in Massachusetts, Illinois, Maryland, Australia and South Africa, Mark joins SCI from Washington Memorial Chapel in Valley Forge, Pennsylvania where he serves as Rector. His previous employment and interests include service as an officer in the U.S.

AMP Announces New Officers

The American Maritime Partnership (AMP) has announced the election of new leadership for the organization. Michael Roberts becomes the new president, with Matt Woodruff as vice president alongside Ku’u Park as treasurer and Matthew Paxton as secretary. Roberts continues to serve as senior vice president for Crowley Maritime Corp. Roberts has represented Crowley on government matters since first joining the company’s DC office in 1991. He has more than 30 years’ experience in Washington…

Photo: St. Louis Regional Freightway

St. Louis Regional Freightway: The Year in Review

The St. Louis Regional Freightway has compiled a summary of the major developments over the past year that either elevated the St. Louis region’s global status as a world-class freight hub or will help to advance the region’s position as the country’s freight nexus in the year ahead.“From mega projects breaking ground and global companies choosing to invest here, to newly formed partnerships that strengthen the bi-state region’s role in national and global supply chains, there was much to be excited about in 2019…

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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…

Konecranes Wins $46 mln USN Crane Deal

US Navy has contracted Konecranes to deliver a 175-ton portal jib crane to the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard in the State of Washington. The $46-million order was booked in December and contains options for six additional portal jib cranes over the next seven years. If realized, the total value of the agreement would be around $330 million.The crane to be provided is a Konecranes tailor-made design, unique with features that allow it to operate on the multiple rail section sizes, straight or curved, located at the Naval base.

Rear Admiral Peter Sparkes (Photo: UKHO)

UKHO Appoints Rear Admiral Sparkes

The UK Hydrographic Office (UKHO) appointed Rear Admiral Peter Sparkes to the position of National Hydrographer and Deputy Chief Executive.As National Hydrographer, Sparkes is the UK government’s representative at the International Hydrographic Organization (IHO), where he works with partners to set and maintain standards that protect the safety of mariners around the world. In addition to this, he oversees key international partnerships with foreign navies, hydrographic offices, governments and commercial organizations to support the sharing of global marine geospatial data.

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.

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.

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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…

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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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Stocks Nearing Record Highs on Trade Hopes

World shares made another push for an all-time high on Wednesday after U.S. President Donald Trump said Washington and Beijing were in the final throes of inking an initial trade deal.European trading was restrained, with MSCI's all-country world index now within 0.4%, or 2 points, of its record high from January 2018.London, Frankfurt, Paris and Wall Street futures all rose, and though Shanghai had struggled after Chinese industrial company profits shrank, Australia had set its…

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Oil surges as China Pushes Tariff Rollbacks

Oil prices rose more than 1% on Tuesday on hopes for a U.S.-China trade agreement and optimism that Washington could roll back some tariffs on Chinese imports.Brent crude futures rose 74 cents, or 1.2%, to $62.87 a barrel by 12:56 p.m. EST (1756 GMT). U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures rose 68 cents, or 1.2%, to $57.22 a barrel.China is pushing U.S. President Donald Trump to remove more tariffs imposed in September as part of a so-called Phase 1 deal, which would…

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China, U.S. Reportedly to Cancel Tariffs in Phases

China and the United States have agreed to cancel in phases the tariffs imposed during their months-long trade war, the Chinese commerce ministry said on Thursday, without specifying a timetable.An interim U.S.-China trade deal is widely expected to include a U.S. pledge to scrap tariffs scheduled for Dec. 15 on about $156 billion worth of Chinese imports, including cell phones, laptop computers and toys.Tariff cancellation was an important condition for any agreement, ministry spokesman Gao Feng said…

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Energy Transfer: VLCC Offshore Port to be Ready Early 2023

Energy Transfer LP said on Thursday discussions with potential shippers to build an offshore crude export facility in Texas capable of handling supertankers were progressing on schedule, with the project expected to be in service by late 2022 or early 2023.The company has also made advances on the regulatory and permitting process for the project, Marshall McCrea, Energy Transfer's chief commercial officer, said on the company's quarterly earnings call.Plans call for the facility to be connected to Energy Transfer's Nederland…

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Port of LA Box Volumes Dip

The Port of Los Angeles, the nation's busiest for ocean trade with China, processed fewer containers of imported and exported goods in October as the U.S.-China trade war roils the domestic economy and global supply chains.October imports dropped 19% to 392,768.6 TEU - or 20-foot equivalent unit - versus a year ago. Exports also fell 19%, landing at 140,331.5 TEU.

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Retail Imports to See Final Tariff-Driven Surge

Imports at the nation’s major retail container ports are expected to see their final surge of the year this month ahead of new tariffs set to take effect in December, according to the Global Port Tracker report released today by the National Retail Federation and Hackett Associates.“Retailers are highly competitive, but the ability to compete has been challenging this year because of the uncertainty of the trade war and continued tariff escalation,” NRF Vice President for Supply Chain and Customs Policy Jonathan Gold said.