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Saturday, August 8, 2020

America News

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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.

(Photo: Port of Vancouver USA)

Port of Vancouver USA Receives Record Shipment of Wind Turbine Parts

The Port of Vancouver USA received a shipment of wind turbine components on July 22 that included the longest wind turbine blades ever to enter the West Coast of the U.S. and transported across North America, to-date. The port received a total of nine wind turbines including blades, nacelles, generators, hubs, tower sections and other sub-components. Eight of Goldwind’s GW155/4.2 MW turbines arrived on the MV Star Kilimanjaro. There are four complete turbines featuring Goldwind’s 76-meter blades and four additional turbines of the same model with blades arriving on later shipments.

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US Ports Seek COVID-19 Relief

America’s port authorities are advocating for relief to manage the “extremely negative impacts” on the seaport industry brought on by the coronavirus pandemic as U.S. policymakers begin negotiations on the next COVID-19 aid package.Among the port leaders’ advocacy efforts are letters sent Friday to U.S. House, Senate and Administration leaders, urging them to provide $1.5 billion for seaports to cover business-critical expenses that ports have incurred due to COVID-19. The letters…

Marcus Cheesman, Founder, Seven Seas Preparatory Academy

Profiles in Training: Marcus Cheesman, Founder, Seven Seas Preparatory Academy

Marcus Cheesman started his maritime training in 1987 at the early age of 13, attending Trinity House Navigation School, the UK’s only Nautical school. Upon graduation he was selected for a deck cadet apprenticeship with P&O Cruises and continued to progress through the ranks with P&O Cruises, Princess Cruises, Holland America Line (including Windstar Cruises) and Disney Cruise Line, ultimately obtaining his Master Mariners license in 2002. He has piloted vessels on the busy River Humber based in his home town Hull…

A special modified LHM 600 at Port Canaveral marks the largest mobile harbor crane in the U.S. to handle all types of heavy cargo, including space components. (Photo: Liebherr)

Liebherr Lifting Space Components at Port Canaveral

A custom-designed Liebherr LHM 600 mobile harbor crane has been in operation for the Canaveral Port Authority since beginning of 2019. The special modified machine is the largest mobile harbor crane in the U.S. to handle all types of heavy cargo, including space components. The crane has the heaviest lift capability in all of Florida at up to 154 tonnes plus an outreach of 18-containers across. Furthermore, the machine is equipped with a double layer winch and a special tower…

Fraserborg loading wheat bound for Italy at the Riverland Ag Corp. terminal in Duluth, Minnesota, on June 15, 2020. (Photo: Duluth Seaway Port Authority)

US Great Lakes Ports See Mixed Impacts from COVID-19

U.S. Great Lakes ports reported mixed results in June with aluminum, road salt and grain shipments holding strong despite the coronavirus pandemic, while shipments of commodities related to steel production and manufacturing have continued to slide.Additionally, the St. Lawrence Seaway reported that from April 1 to June 30, nearly 11.7 million metric tons of cargo was shipped via the bi-national trade corridor. While these volumes were down 8% compared to the same time period in 2019, cargo shipments improved in June narrowing the year-over-year decline.Craig H.

The car carrier Golden Ray sits capsized in St. Simons Sound, Ga. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Brian McCrum)

Total Shipping Losses Are Declining, But Challenges Persist -Report

The record low 41 large shipping losses worldwide in 2019 represents a 20% improvement year-on-year and almost 70% over a decade, but the coronavirus crisis could endanger the long-term safety improvements in the shipping industry for 2020 and beyond, as difficult operating conditions and a sharp economic downturn present a unique set of challenges, according to recent report from marine insurer Allianz Global Corporate & Specialty (AGCS).Consequences of coronavirus and a sustained…

John P. Phillips

Phillips Joins WQIS as Senior Underwriter

The Water Quality Insurance Syndicate (WQIS) appointed John P. Phillips as Senior Underwriter based in Houston, TX. Phillips will report to Justin A. Mongello in New York, NY."We are very excited to have John join the WQIS team as he brings a wealth of experience, expertise, and first-hand knowledge of WQIS' customers and our broker partners. For certain a great addition to our team," said Justin.Phillips was most recently Head of Marine Programs at Aspen Insurance U.S.-based in Houston, in charge of the development and management of all Specialty Marine Programs throughout the Americas.

(Photo: Monjasa)

Monjasa Expands Bunkering Capacity in Houston

Marine fuels supplier Monjasa says it is further developing its services in America’s top bunkering hub.The Houston Greater Area welcomes 1,375 vessel arrivals monthly and sees marine fuels demand of an estimated 4.5-5 million metric tons yearly. To further cater for an increasing demand, Monjasa now extends local supply capacity and product loading options.The company said it will add an additional barge on time charter as of July 2020. This improved operation can now accommodate around 60 deliveries and supply 40…

Mark D. Sickles

Sickles Named Interim Head of Dredging Contractors of America

Former Dredging Contractors of America (DCA) executive director and Weeks Marine’s corporate and government relations director Mark D. Sickles will serve as Interim CEO and executive director as the organization searches for new staff leadership to succeed outgoing DCA head William P. Doyle, who has been appointed to lead the Maryland Port Administration, and Executive Director of the Port of Baltimore.Sickles was unanimously approved by the DCA board of directors and general membership during its annual meeting on July 9.

File photo: Seaboard Marine

Seaboard CEO Bresky Passes Away

Seaboard Corporation announced Monday that its president, CEO and chairman of the board Steven J. Bresky passed away suddenly. The group said its board of directors expects to name Bresky's successor in the near future.Steve was the third generation Bresky to lead Seaboard in its 102-year history, following in the footsteps of his father H. Harry Bresky and grandfather and company founder Otto Bresky. He had been president, CEO and chairman of the board since 2006. Among the agribusiness conglomerate's group of companies is Seaboard Marine…

Neil Palomba (left) and Gus Antorcha (Photos: Carnival Corp)

Carnival Makes Leadership Changes at HAL, Costa

Carnival Corporation announced another set of moves within its global leadership team as part of the company's broader efforts to streamline operations and prepare the organization for the eventual resumption of cruising amid the coronavirus health crisis.Gus Antorcha, currently chief operations officer for the group's Carnival Cruise Line brand, has been named president of the company's Holland America Line, while Neil Palomba, currently president of the company's Italy-based Costa Cruises…

Governments Pledge Crew Change Action

A dozen countries have have committed to facilitate crew changes and achieve key worker designation for seafarers, following a virtual ministerial summit hosted by the U.K. government on Thursday, marking progress to help resolve a growing crisis facing the maritime industry, and enable hundreds of thousands of stranded seafarers to go home or join ships.“The inability of ship operators worldwide to conduct ship’s crew changes is the single most pressing maritime operational challenge to the safe and efficient movement of global trade…

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New Bill Aims to Secure Grant Funding for Maritime Training

A new bill introduced in the U.S. aims to make available $200 million in grant funding for community and technical colleges offering training programs for maritime industry professions. The legislation H.R. 7456 was introduced by Congresswoman Sylvia R. Garcia (Texas-29) alongside Rep. Don Young (Alaska-At-Large), Rep. Anthony G. Brown (Md.-04), Rep. Brian Babin (Texas-36), and Rep. Steven Palazzo (Miss.-04).“Maritime industry jobs are a critical part of our nation’s economy. Yet research has shown that there may soon be a shortage of maritime industry workers,” said Congresswoman Garcia.

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Will Container Shipping Woes of the 2010s Repeat?

Reduced volumes are currently posing a major challenge to container shipping due to the COVID-19 crisis. So far, freight rates have been held up by the massive blanking of sailings that carriers have put in place.However, even before this crisis, the container shipping industry was saddled with overcapacity carried over from the previous decade, a problem that will rise again due to the demand fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic.To understand the challenges that the container shipping market will face in the coming years…

Josh Leibowitz (Photo: Seabourn)

Leibowitz Takes Over as Seabourn President

Carnival's luxury cruise brand Seabourn announced Thursday that Josh Leibowitz has been named president, effective immediately. He will report to Stein Kruse, group CEO of Holland America Group and Carnival UK.Leibowitz joined Carnival Corporation in 2013 as chief strategy officer and was also named senior vice president of Cunard North America in 2016. He previously served as managing partner of the Miami office of the consulting firm McKinsey & Co.He succeeds Rick Meadows, who retired at the end of May after 35 years with Carnival Corporation…

Photo: Interferry

Ferry Operators Start to See the Light at the End of the Tunnel

Interferry CEO Mike Corrigan reflects on the crushing impact of COVID-19…but suggests that the gradual easing of travel restrictions offers a turning point on the road to recovery.Last year the ferry industry was riding the crest of a wave. In an end-of-year review, I went so far as to express my belief that the industry had rarely if ever been in such good health. Throughout the developed world, most operators were reporting year-on-year traffic growth and many had set new records for passenger and vehicle volumes.

MSC Isabella at APM Terminals’ Pier 400 in the Port of Los Angeles (Photo: Port of Los Angeles)

Video: New Container Moves World Record Set in Port of LA

The 18,465 containers moved from the ultra-large container vessel (ULVC) MSC Isabella at APM Terminals’ Pier 400 in the Port of Los Angeles last week set a new world record for most boxes moved during a single port call.The Port of Los Angeles, MSC Mediterranean Shipping Company, APM Terminals Los Angeles and International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) Locals 13, 63 and 94 set the new record total — equal to 34,263 20-foot equivalent units (TEU) — topping the previous world best by 1…

Ben Bordelon (Photo: Bollinger Shipyards)

Shipbuilders Council of America Elects New Leadership

The Shipbuilders Council of America (SCA), the national trade association representing the U.S. shipbuilding and repair industry, today announced new board leadership. Taking over the helm of Chairman from Terry O’Brien of Austal USA in Mobile, Al., is Ben Bordelon, president and CEO of Bollinger Shipyards from Lockport, La. Joining him to lead the SCA Board is Brad Moyer, Vice President of BAE Systems Ship Repair in Norfolk, Va., who will serve as Vice Chairman.Bordelon and Moyer were elected to their new leadership positions at the SCA annual meeting…

(Photo: Total Lubmarine)

Total Lubmarine Opens Chicago Lab

Total Lubmarine has extended the global reach of its technical support services with the opening of a new Diagomar Plus Laboratory in Chicago, Ill.The new lab opening means the marine lubricant specialist now has five centers around the world – with Chicago joining Ertvelde (Belgium), Singapore, Shanghai and Panama City.“North America is an increasingly busy market for us and the opening of the Chicago Lab ensures we have a specialist team on hand to deliver onshore dedicated technical support to our customers…

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Waterways Council, Inc.’s 2020 Vision

Waterways Council, Inc. (WCI) is the national public policy organization that advocates for a modern, efficient inland waterways system. Abiding by our mission has meant success over our 17-year history. In 2020, WCI’s top priority is to conform the cost-share for Inland Waterways Trust Fund (IWTF)-financed construction projects to require 25% of the project cost be derived from the IWTF and the remaining 75% from General Revenues. The policy vehicle for this adjustment is the Water Resources Development Act (WRDA)…

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…

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MARAD Awards $9.5 Mln for Marine Highways Projects

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Maritime Administration (MARAD) awarded $9.5 million in grants to eight marine highways projects across the Nation under the America’s Marine Highway Program. The funding supports the enhancement of navigable waterways and expands existing waterborne freight services in Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, New York, New Jersey, Oregon, Tennessee, Washington and American Samoa.“This Federal assistance will provide additional options to reduce congestion on the roads and help the surrounding local communities’ and the regions’ economic recovery…

Aurelio Martinez. Photo courtesy Port Authority of Valencia

Port Chief Martínez says "Large-scale infrastructure is the key to maintaining an international presence"

The President of the Port Authority of Valencia, Aurelio Martínez, has indicated that "the large infrastructures are the key to maintaining a presence abroad and to face the forecasts that indicate that the growth of the commercial flows of goods is lower than those experienced in previous periods as reflected in the fall of the elasticity of trade to income and in a reduction of the coefficient of external opening. We need to prepare for medium- and long-term trends in the development of international trade and its fluctuations."To do this…

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New Zealand to Allow Some Ships, Cruises Still Banned

New Zealand said on Friday that it would allow entry of some maritime vessels as it looks to open up its economy after lifting all coronavirus restrictions earlier this week.Cruise ships and people traveling for leisure, however, will continue to be banned from entering the country, the government said in a statement.New Zealand lifted all social and economic restrictions except border controls after declaring on Monday it was free of the coronavirus, one of the first countries in the world to return to pre-pandemic normality.It’s now looking to kick-start its economy that was battered by the

File photo: The Federal Schelde dropping off a load of salt at the Port of Johnstown in 2019. (Photo: Port of Johnstown)

COVID-19 Weighs on Great Lakes-Seaway Shipping

While St. Lawrence Seaway cargo volumes decreased during the past two months due to economic shifts related to COVID-19, industry leaders said the binational trade and transportation corridor is ready to play its part in the economic recovery efforts in the coming months. Meanwhile, with an increased focus on commodity diversification through project cargo, international shipments of wind energy components in the Great Lakes region are taking off.Overall St. Lawrence Seaway tonnage from March 15 through May 31 totaled 7.7 million metric tons, down 10% compared to the same time period in 2019.