20 Sep 2021
Expect the Unexpected on the Inland Waterways
Among transportation planners, “resilience”, describing the ability to bounce back from adversities, both economic and other, has become a top consideration as we increasingly must “expect the unexpected.” The U.S. waterway system, covering the network of inland rivers and coastwise waterways, has seen a mix of good and not so good. As the 2020-2021 pandemic moves toward winding down, a recovery from the dismal 2020 is underway, but activity on the rivers is uneven.
17 Sep 2021
Supply Chain Shocks: Ocean Shipping Challenges Abound
Supply chain issues tied to liner shipping have been front page news throughout 2021; just about everyone agrees that there’s a problem. The underlying cause is right out of Economics 101: a surge in demand for moving containerized cargo, in the face of “inelastic” throughput capacity (which includes vessels and their landside interfaces to surface transportation, trucks and rail) that could not handle the swell…
16 Aug 2021
Marine Autonomy: The Future is Being Revealed
Automation, where routine tasks are handled by machines, has been talked about throughout maritime sectors for much of the 21st Century. Initially touted by suppliers of engine room and bridge management systems for its cost savings (with reduced manning levels), its value proposition was then infused with risk management (reduced human error) and remote operations, where vessels could be managed from a shoreside control room.
21 May 2021
The Shipping Industry Embraces Battery Power
The past decade has seen tight restrictions on emissions from vessels, notably with a 2015 move to a .10% sulfur maximum in Emission Control Areas (ECA) in North America and in northern Europe. As the International Maritime Organization (IMO) now shapes shipping’s decarbonization future, shipowners are looking at transitions away from fossil fuels. Among the myriad of alternatives are lithium ion batteries and some early forays into hydrogen fuel cells.To date…
19 Apr 2021
Inside the Red-Hot Offshore Wind Energy Market
As the traditional offshore oil and gas markets continue to struggle, the renewable offshore wind market is hot and getting hotter.As the cumulative maritime, offshore, port and logistics marketplace gears up for offshore wind energy on a huge scale, World Energy Reports (WER), in its report “2021 The Year When Offshore Wind Takes Off in the United States,” shows the anticipated growth trajectory.
12 Apr 2021
A Favorable Fetch for US Offshore Wind
Offshore wind caught a favorable gust with the 2020 election of Joe Biden, and the following breeze from the early 2021 reconfiguration of the U.S. Senate toward Democrats. Though widely touted as a growth engine for maritime businesses (as well as shoreside trades), the latter years of the Trump administration seemed to see delay after delay.The class society DNV has been involved in offshore wind since its outset in the early 1990s…
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).