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Friday, July 19, 2019

Washington News

file image of US Navy assets underway (CREDIT: USN)

US to Work "aggressively" for Free Gulf Passage

U.S. Central Command chief General Kenneth McKenzie said on Thursday it was talking to other countries about freedom of navigation in the Gulf and would work "aggressively" to find a solution to enable free passage.The United States has beefed up its military presence in the Middle East over a perceived Iranian threat and is asking allies to help protect strategic waters off Iran and Yemen, following attacks on oil tankers in Gulf waters in recent months."We are currently talking…

The Tanker riah (File Image: CREDIT MarineTraffic.com / © Marinko)

U.S. Unsure About Details of Tanker Towed to Iran

U.S. officials say they are unsure whether an oil tanker towed into Iranian waters was seized by Iran or rescued after facing mechanical faults as Tehran asserts, creating a mystery at sea at a time of high tension in the Gulf.The MT Riah disappeared from ship tracking maps when its transponder was switched off in the Strait of Hormuz on July 14. Its last position was off the coast of the Iranian island of Qeshm in the strait.Iran says it towed a vessel into its waters from the strait after the ship issued a distress call.

Civilian Mariner Kevin Sauls, Ship's master aboard the Henry J. Kaiser-class fleet replenishment oiler USNS Guadalupe (T-AO 200), observes the Royal Navy Duke-class frigate HMS Montrose (F 236) during a replenishment-at-sea drill. Guadalupe is conducting operations, providing logistical support to U.S. Navy and allied forces operating in the U.S. 7th Fleet area of responsibility. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Tristin Barth)

Iran Attempts UK Tanker Block, Fails

Britain says it fended off Iranian attempt to block its oil tankerThree Iranian vessels tried to block a British-owned tanker passing through the strait that controls the flow of Middle East oil to the world, but backed off when confronted by a Royal Navy warship, Britain said on Thursday.A week after Britain seized an Iranian tanker accused of violating sanctions on Syria, London said the British Heritage, operated by oil company BP, had been approached in the Strait of Hormuz…

File Image: A UK Navy warship on patrol (CREDIT: AdobeStock / © Peter Cripps)

Britain Foils Iranian Attempt to Block Tanker

Three Iranian vessels tried to block a BP-operated tanker passing through the Strait of Hormuz but backed off when confronted by a Royal Navy warship, the UK government said on Thursday.Britain urged Iran to "de-escalate the situation in the region" after the British Heritage, a Suezmax oil tanker operated by BP under an Isle of Man flag, was approached."HMS Montrose was forced to position herself between the Iranian vessels and British Heritage and issue verbal warnings to the Iranian vessels…

The author, By Curt Cultice, U.S. Commercial Service, U.S. Department of Commerce.

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.

[left to right] Gus Green, Director of Industrial Security Field Operations, Defense Security Service, Dan Payne, Director, Defense Security Service, Donald Dwyer, Assistant Facility Security Officer, Retlif Testing Laboratories, William Hayes, Facility Security Officer and Executive Vice President, Retlif Testing Laboratories,  Cheryl Matthew, Northern Regional Director, Defense Security Service, and Mike Halter, Deputy Director Industrial Security Field Operations, Defense Security Service. Ph

DSS Honors Retlif

Retlif Testing Laboratories, the provider of EMC/EMI, lightning and Environmental Simulation testing and engineering services for maritime, has received the prestigious Cogswell Outstanding Industrial Security Achievement Award from the Defense Security Service (DSS).According to a press release from USA's  internationally recognized strategic compliance organization, the Cogswell award recognizes industrial security excellence and outstanding achievement in matters related exclusively to a facility’s security program.Established in 1966, it honors the late Air Force Colonel James S.

File Image: M/T "Grace 1" / credit MarineTraffic.com

Iran: UK Tanker Detention a 'threatening act'

Britain's detention of an Iranian tanker last week was a threatening and incorrect action, Iran's Defence Minister Amir Hatami said on Monday in a speech broadcast live on state television.Royal Marines seized the tanker on Thursday for trying to take oil to Syria in violation of European Union sanctions, a dramatic intervention that sparked Tehran’s fury and could escalate its confrontation with the West.Gibraltar received permission from its supreme court to hold the tanker for 14 days…

Recent crane deliveries to Greenwich Terminals in Philadelphia, PA / CREDIT: Philaport

Ramping (Up) to Lift Port Production

As North America’s larger ports continue to increase capacity, dredging and air drafts are receiving the attention they deserve. As bigger post-Panamax boxships begin to arrive, none of that means anything unless truck turn times and TEU moves per hour can be improved. The innovative and evolving supply chain of cranes is the ultimate answer.As 2019 passes its midpoint, the backlog 2019, one firm, Shanghai Zhenhua Heavy Industry Co., Ltd. (ZPMC), a global heavy-duty equipment manufacturer listed on the Shanghai Stock Exchange…

Vice Admiral Nanette DeRenzi, USN (Ret.)

Gibbs & Cox Names VADM DeRenzi to BoD

Gibbs & Cox announced the appointment of Vice Admiral Nanette DeRenzi to their Board of Directors. Vice Admiral Nanette DeRenzi retired from the Navy in 2015. She was the 42nd Judge Advocate General (JAG) of the Navy, serving as principal military legal counsel to the Secretary of the Navy and Chief of Naval Operations, and the DoD Representative for Ocean Policy Affairs. As the JAG, she led the 2,300 attorneys, enlisted paralegals, and civilians of the global Navy JAG Corps community."Nanette…

AdobeStock / © Rawf8

Hopes for U.S.-China Trade Truce Boost Markets

Risk appetite returned to world markets on Thursday following a media report the United States and China have tentatively agreed to a truce ahead of a highly-anticipated weekend meeting of the two nations' leaders in Tokyo.The South China Morning Post (SCMP), citing sources, said Washington and Beijing were laying out an agreement that would help avert the next round of tariffs on an additional $300 billion of Chinese imports.On Wednesday, U.S. President Donald Trump said a trade deal with his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping was possible this weekend…

Trump Warns Tehran of Possible Attack, Calls for Talks

Iranian officials told Reuters on Friday that Tehran had received a message from U.S. President Donald Trump warning that a U.S. attack on Iran was imminent but saying he was against war and wanted talks on a range of issues.News of the message, delivered through Oman overnight, came shortly after the New York Times said Trump had approved military strikes against Iran on Friday over the downing of a U.S. surveillance drone, but called them off at the last minute."In his message…

Images: Resolve Marine Group

Resolve Receives USCG AMVER Award

Resolve Marine Group was awarded the prestigious AMVER (Automated Mutual Assistance Vessel Rescue System) Award for work done by privately funded Emergency Response Salvage Tug the Resolve Pioneer.It was presented to Resolve by the United States Coast Guard Commandant, Admiral Karl Schultz at the close of National Maritime Day and the NAMEPA Safety at Sea conference at the Press Club in Washington D.C. on May 26, and recognized the work done by the Resolve Pioneer under the AMVER system. The global AMVER network is more than 60 years old.

Image Credit: AdobeStock / © Nightman 1965

China Pulls WTO Suit Over Claim to be a 'Market Economy'

China has halted a dispute at the World Trade Organization over its claim to be a market economy, a panel of three WTO adjudicators said on Monday, meaning Beijing must accept continued EU and U.S. "anti-dumping" levies on cheap Chinese goods.One trade official close to the case said so much of the ruling had gone against Beijing that it had opted to pull the plug before the result became official."They lost so much that they didn't even want the world to see the panel's reasoning…

(Photo:  Islamic Republic News Agency)

Two Tankers Attacked in Gulf of Oman

Two oil tankers were attacked in the Gulf of Oman on Thursday, leaving one ablaze and both adrift, shipping firms said, driving oil prices as much as 4% higher over worries about Middle East supplies.The Front Altair, carrying petrochemical feedstock, was on fire in waters between Gulf Arab states and Iran after an explosion that a source blamed on a magnetic mine. The Norwegian owner said its crew were safe.A second Japanese-owned tanker was abandoned after being hit by a suspected torpedo, the firm that chartered the ship said.

TOTE executive vice president and senior advisor Phil Greene, Jr. (Rear Admiral, USN-Ret.)

TOTE's Greene Receives SCI's Lifetime Achievement Award

RADM Phil Greene, Jr. Honored for Lifetime Commitment to Maritime Community.TOTE executive vice president and senior advisor Phil Greene, Jr. (Rear Admiral, USN-Ret.) was presented the 2019 Lifetime Achievement Award at the Seamen’s Church Institute’s 42nd Annual Silver Bells Award Dinner, where he was recognized for his 40+ years of leadership and service to the U.S. Armed Forces, seafarers in the U.S. and beyond, and others engaged in the international maritime industry.Greene was joined by his family…

Tillerson Applauds U.S. Trade Goals, Not Tactics

Rex Tillerson, the former U.S. secretary of state and Exxon Mobil Corp chairman who has clashed with President Donald Trump since leaving the administration, said on Wednesday he supports the president's trade objectives "but may not support the tactical moves."Speaking to a group of energy executives in Houston, Tillerson said he was concerned that pursuing bilateral trade talks around the globe could weaken Washington's network of allies, which he called "that very strong alliance…

The Bayonne Bridge (The growth in part can be attributed to the completion in June 2017 of the Bayonne Bridge Navigational Clearance Project, which raised the clearance under the bridge from 151 feet to 215 feet, allowing the world’s largest container ships to pass under it and serve port terminals in New York and New Jersey.) Credit: Port NY/NJ

CONTAINER PORTS: Boxed in or Busting Out?

Benchmarking the Nation’s top container ports in 2018 and looking ahead to what comes next.The nation’s major ports finished 2018 and began 2019 setting monthly and yearly container volume records, but agitated trade activity in the White House raised questions about what corrections would be permanent and which would not.President Donald Trump said on Febuary 24 he is delaying the scheduled March 1 increase in the tariffs on $200 billion in Chinese imports. The president said on Twitter he wants to give negotiators more time to reach a comprehensive trade deal with Beijing.

Image: Port of Long Beach

Long Beach Port Awards Scholarships

The U.S. gateway for trans-Pacific trade Port of Long Beach announced $100,000 in scholarships for 77 local college and high school students as part of a dramatically expanded and acclaimed education outreach effort. The students receiving the scholarships were recognized at the Port’s sixth-annual “Celebrating Education” event, along with the Port’s 25 incoming high school summer interns, and the 22 local teachers who were trained in engineering education earlier this year as part of the Port's externship program.

File Image: CREDIT CMA CGM

CMA CGM Upbeat Despite China-U.S. spat

Shipping giant CMA CGM expects to see further growth in its volumes this year as increasing activity from southeast Asia towards the United States helps make up for slowing China-U.S. flows that were a drag on its first quarter.French-based CMA CGM, the world's fourth-largest containing shipping firm, reported on Wednesday a first-quarter net loss of $43 million, compared with a $77 million loss in the same period last year."We are very confident about seeing our volumes grow in 2019, regardless of the geopolitical climate," Chief Financial Officer Michel Sirat said.Brisk China-U.S.

Photo courtesy of The 
Shipbuilders Council of America

DeFazio Honored with 2019 SCA Leadership Award

The Shipbuilders Council of America (SCA) honored U.S. House of Representatives Chairman of the House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee, Peter DeFazio (R-OR) as a 2019 recipient of SCA’s Maritime Leadership Award.As recipient of the Maritime Leadership Award, Chairman DeFazio is recognized as an exemplary leader in Congress who has demonstrated outstanding dedication and support of the U.S. shipbuilding and repair industry. Overall the American maritime industry, including shipbuilding and repair…

Adobestock / © Nightman 1965

Risk Drives Up US-Venezuela Cargo Rates

Two major shipping lines this month have raised their rates for transporting goods from the United States to Venezuela, according to three industry sources and two documents, as U.S. sanctions limit transit between the two nations.Washington on May 15 banned direct flights between the United States and Venezuela, citing safety concerns, as part of a broad package of sanctions meant to pressure Nicolas Maduro into resigning as president of the crisis-stricken country.Citizens and…

U.S. Deploys Troops to Middle East, Blames Iran for Tanker Attacks

The United States on Friday announced the deployment of 1,500 troops to the Middle East, describing it as an effort to bolster defenses against Iran as it accused the country's Revolutionary Guards of direct responsibility for this month's tanker attacks.President Donald Trump's administration also invoked the threat from Iran to declare a national security-related emergency that would clear the sale of billions of dollars' worth of weapons to Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates…

$160m Deal for NW Alliance Terminal Project

Orion Group Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: ORN) a leading specialty construction company, has announced a contract award of approximately $160 million.The company’s marine segment has been awarded a contract from the Port of Seattle, Washington, for the construction of The Northwest Seaport Alliance’s Terminal 5 Improvements Project, which aims to modernize the terminal for the loading and unloading of larger container vessels. The company’s scope on the project includes the rehabilitation and strengthening of the existing wharf at Terminal 5…

A typical fleet oiler in support of U.S. Naval operations (CREDIT: USN)

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…

AdobeStock / © nightman 1965

Trump: US-China Trade Talks Haven't Collapsed

U.S. President Donald Trump on Tuesday said trade talks with China had not collapsed, characterizing the trade war between the world's two largest economies as "a little squabble."He made the remarks to reporters at the White House as Beijing and Washington ratchet up tensions with tit-for-tat tariffs on billions of dollars of imports.Trump indicated negotiators from the two countries were still talking, saying they were having a good dialogue.

U.S. Urges Response "short of war" to Tanker Attack

The U.S. ambassador to Saudi Arabia said Washington should take what he called "reasonable responses short of war" after it had determined who was behind attacks on oil tankers off the coast of the United Arab Emirates.Iran was a prime suspect in the sabotage on Sunday although Washington had no conclusive proof, a U.S. official familiar with American intelligence said on Monday. Iran has denied involvement."We need to do a thorough investigation to understand what happened, why it happened…