18 Feb 2021
Inside Cruise Shipping's Fight for Survival
In early 2021, the somber news from the cruise sector continued. For some cruise brands, their own version of “lockdowns” will have spanned an entire year. By late January, 2021, Carnival and others were hesitantly pegging their restarts for April/May 2021, and for some markets, late summer, under a Conditional Sail Order promulgated late last year by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).What else to do but look ahead?In preliminary earnings guidance…
15 Jan 2021
Fuel, Propulsion, Emissions & the Decision to Scrap or Refit
When the maritime history books are written, 2020 will be viewed as a year of pivots, re-invention and new paradigms. By February 2020, concerns about marine fuel’s sulfur content quickly shifted to near-term disruptions induced by the COVID-19 pandemic. By mid-year, with demand recovering, the conversation turned to longer term questions surrounding the moves towards reduced maritime carbon emissions and alternative fuels.
05 Jan 2021
RIBs: Turn Up the Power
However readers might define “normal”, 2020 was anything but. But the business of rigid inflatable boats (RIB) has been going at full throttle.Matthew Velluto, Director of Business Development and Marketing at RIBCRAFT USA, based in Marblehead, Mass., described a business moving steadily ahead, though it’s had to weave and bob at times during 2020. “We’ve been able to stay open throughout 2020, with no disruptions on our side…
18 Nov 2020
US Inland Waterways: High Waters & Swirling Currents
The inland waterway system, flowing through the United States heartland, is a microcosm of all that has been happening in 2020: trade tensions, infrastructure issues, shifting trends in fuel consumption and the pandemic that has gripped us since the winter months. Shortly after the initial coronavirus outbreak here in the U.S., maritime workers were deemed to be “essential”, paving the way for cargo flows to recover from their springtime nadir. As COVID-19 infections turned up on U.S.
13 Oct 2020
US Shipyards See Big Business Shifts
The American shipbuilding scene, filled with participants constructing all manner of vessels, has been navigating through stormy times (lately, yards along the Gulf Coast have literally been dealing with storms). The orders for newbuild, repair and conversion projects continue to flow in—albeit at a reduced pace—and the boats and ships go down the ways into the water, but the overall panorama has seen…
17 Sep 2020
Opportunities Gust Off US Shores
Throughout the world, offshore wind is on a growth trajectory. With green energy mandates from states in New England and the mid-Atlantic, the U.S. is joining the fray. Consultants Wood MacKenzie, in its U.S. Offshore Wind Outlook 2020-2029, suggested that as much as 25 gigawatts (GW) of capacity could be deployed in the U.S. by 2030 (though estimates range from 14 GW to as much as 34 GW), accounting…
14 Aug 2020
Truth be told, my ship-spotting addiction (nurtured by webcams streaming on the internet and fueled further by excessive desk-time during the 2020 pandemic) actually started with some business purpose. Agents in far flung locales were sometimes not as swift as hoped for with their reports- so when a vessel was visible online, augmented by AIS driven position websites, information flows to clients or partners in various supply chains were improved.
18 Mar 2020
"Ship-Spotter" of the Day
Barry Parker, contributor to Maritime Reporter & Engineering News and MarineNews magazines, is – like many people around the world – sequestered and working from home. He is our designated “ship spotter” for the day.In the maritime business, most of us have been adept at working from home (or from remote locations). Still, with the precautions being taken to prevent the spread of the Coronavirus (Covid 19)…
25 Feb 2020
Marine News' 2020 ATB Report
There’s a barge full of reasons why many operators turn to ATBs.A mainstay of the U.S. coastwise dirty and refined products trades, articulated tug barges (ATB) have increasingly filled a void left as the fleet of Jones Act tankers (with crew complement requirements exceeding that of tugs) has aged out. With the cargo capacity of the larger ATBs – some with barges exceeding 300,000 barrels capacity – rivalling that of workhorse tankers that had served oil consuming regions…
11 Feb 2020
Vessel Inspections: It's All About Safety
With the announcements that New York Waterway, a ferry operator running 32 boats around New York and New Jersey waters, had been largely shut down by the U.S. Coast Guard just prior to Thanksgiving, 2019, the reactions ranged from surprise to outright shock. There was also a great deal of grumbling, as commuters, the major customer group, endured delays on New York Waterway’s extensive network across the Hudson River…
07 Feb 2020
Are OSVs Fit for Refit for Offshore Wind?
While it is generally agreed that the nascent offshore wind energy market in the U.S. will be a newbuild market, there is a repair and conversion possibility for some stacked OSVs.Though estimates on the pace of the offshore wind energy market in the U.S. vary widely, the direction is clear: offshore wind will be a huge marketplace for construction and support vessels to be deployed in U.S. waters over the next decade.
08 Dec 2019
Offshore: OSV Market Report
The environment in oil patches onshore and offshore alike has been challenging throughout 2019; worries about an economic slowdown – whether cyclical or induced by a trade war – have weighed heavily on oil prices, even in the face of reduced production by the big producers. Though storm clouds persist, there appears a clearing on the horizon.The fate of Offshore Service Vessels (OSVs) is, naturally, closely tied to the price of oil.
05 Nov 2019
Maritime History & the Panama Canal
The Panama Canal is a strategic crossroads for maritime traffic, and is arguably one of the most important maritime developments in the past century. Here we take a deeper dive into the history behind that famous strip of waterway.The present canal, which saw its first vessel transits in 1914, along with possible alternatives through Nicaragua and Mexico, had actually been on the minds of merchants, explorers and military/political strategists since the Age of Exploration in early 1500’s.
11 Oct 2019
SHORTSEA SHIPPING: All the Right Moves (Finally)
Marine Highways Gain Traction in the Intermodal Supply Chain.In the United States, landside infrastructure is at a crisis point. Congestion at the big hub ports, exacerbated by imperfect intermodal interfaces with surface transport serving cargo hinterlands is at the heart of the matter. As politicians bicker over a possible infrastructure package, the Highway Trust Fund, funded by taxes on gasoline and diesel fuel, has continued its downward journey towards further deficits (now $144 billion).
22 Aug 2019
Expedition Cruise Market Powers Ahead
While nothing lasts forever, the cruise industry – and particularly the ‘expedition’ cruise sector – remain on a historic run with no indication of a near-term slowdown.The leisure travel sector, of which expedition cruising is a part, offers numerous possibilities for delivering new “experiences” unlike industrial shipping businesses (or even conventional ferry and passenger transport), which can…
27 Jun 2019
Shipping Companies: Is Bigger Better?
“If consolidation was the solution to all that ails shipping, then container liner companies would be super profitable. They are not. In ‘commoditized’ sectors of the shipping industry, which by now includes pretty much everything apart from very small niche markets, there is hardly any economies of scale at the company level. As long as bigger is not in fact much better, then meaningful consolidation will not happen.”Dr.
10 Jun 2019
Workboat Report: The U.S. Workboat ($33.8B) Market
The U.S. towing and tug business is 5,500 boats, more than 31,000 barges with an estimated total impact on U.S. GDP of $33.8 billion.“At a macro level, the bigger ships are causing downward pressure on the ship assist business because there are fewer ship calls given the increased capacity of these vessels. However, certain ports have seen tremendous growth, based on strategic location and infrastructure…
08 Apr 2019
OSV Market: Which Way is Up?
Any analysis of markets for offshore service vessels (OSV) usually begins with analogies to rough weather, best of times/worst of times or similar. OSV expert Seabrokers, with a home base in Stavanger, Norway, in the February edition of its Seabreeze market report follows this convention with a description of the “feast or famine” conditions in the North Sea. Recent day rate action highlights the localized nature of markets for anchor handlers (AHT)…
26 Mar 2019
Can the Cruise Shipping Boom Continue?
As the global cruise industry enjoys it most robust period of growth ever, the question invariably becomes: How long can it last?Cruising, which is a blend of the hospitality and maritime businesses, continues to grow at a historic pace. The Cruise Trends & Industry Outlook publication from Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) projects a passenger count of 30 million in 2019 – up nearly 2 million from the previous year.
18 Feb 2019
Inside the World's Top Ferry Lines
The ferry business, unlike more industrial parts of the shipping business, touches wide swaths of the world’s population across continents. The membership of Interferry, the leading trade group for the industry, with non-Governmental organization (NGO) status at the International Maritime Organization (IMO) includes 200+ members from all parts of the ferry spectrum. These include passenger ferries (including fast ferries), Ro/Pax and cruise ferries operating globally.