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.
23 Jan 2019
The Tanker Market: 2019 and Beyond
Late 2018 saw the tanker market bubble upwards through late November, with daily vessel hires moving in the direction of, though not yet reaching levels not seen since late 2014-2015, when oil prices were in freefall and inventories building to the brim. A few pundits have suggested that we are seeing a “mini 2014” where lowered oil prices are coaxing another inventory build which would drive tanker capacity utilization, and per diem freight inflows, higher.
30 Oct 2018
Cautious Consolidation for OSV Companies Brings Market Change
Will a rising tide in the offshore oil markets float all the boats? In the U.S. Gulf of Mexico, that remains to be seen.Offshore services, exploration and production are on a roll. In early October, yet another business combination of big drillers was announced. In a sign of optimism, Ensco announced its plan for an all-stock acquisition of Rowan Offshore, worth around $2.4 billion. The new company will be domiciled in the United Kingdom, but will have a large presence in Houston.
12 Sep 2018
Offshore Optimism is Cautiously on the Rise
Following the path of oil prices, consolidation also follows myriad financial crises. What happens next isn’t altogether clear, but the long, deep trough for offshore energy may finally be in our choppy wake.In mid 2017, financial turnaround and financial repairs specialist Alix Partners made a bold statement regarding the beleaguered Offshore Service Vessel (OSV) marketplace. In a July 2017 report…
07 Aug 2018
Shipping Executive Focus: Art Regan, Executive Chairman, Genco Shipping & Trading
Art Regan, who has been the Executive Chairman at Genco Shipping and Trading (NYSE: GNK) since October 2016, personifies the new type of shipping executive, savvy on all things maritime (he is a graduate of SUNY Maritime College at Fort Schuyler) coupled with a keen understanding of market dynamics. Regan commenced his maritime industry career at sea, rising through the shipboard officer ranks completing…
21 May 2018
LNG is the Bridge to ‘Zero Emissions’ Shipping
The advent of industry wide tightening of allowable sulfur emissions is getting nearer. Suddenly, with the deadline now little more than one year away, the countdown clock will very soon be ticking much louder. Simply stated, the cap on allowable sulfur content in marine fuels, presently at 3.5 percent in many geographical regions, will be reduced to 0.5 percent in January 2020. The 0.1 percent sulfur cap…
23 Jan 2018
Autonomous Vessels: Modern Ferries Evolve
Automated now; autonomous looms large in the center porthole. The word ‘autonomous’ is probably the maritime industry’s most frequently used term in the past year. The word, however, has a far different meaning than the similarly sounding “automated” – which means that certain processes are handled by machines, rather than by humans. Throughout 2017, industry thought leaders have been mulling over…
04 Jan 2017
LNG: Lagging, Not Gone
Low energy prices, depressed day rates and slow growth of bunkering infrastructure has dampened progress for the marine industry’s ‘white knight’ of environmentally friendly fuels. LNG, nevertheless, is here to stay. Liquified Natural Gas (LNG) is a clean fuel in abundant supply. The green advantages of LNG are well known: Class Society DNV-GL, a pioneer in the commercialization of LNG fueling for maritime applications…
07 Feb 2017
North American Ferries: Faster, Greener & Safer
Domestic ferries adjust their business models to met regulatory pressures and exceed environmental standards with an eye towards improved service. And, not a minute too soon. In North America, stalwarts in the ferry business continue to shorten journey times compared to surface alternatives, while at the same time, bring accessibility to barrier and coastal islands that would otherwise be impossible to reach.
21 Jun 2017
Dredging: Digging Deep for a 'WIIN'
In the waning days of 2016, the outlook brightened dramatically for the big U.S. dredging contractors. Just before Congress dispersed for the Holidays, then-President Obama signed a pivotal piece of legislation – the Water Infrastructure Improvements for the Nation (WIIN) Act, S612. Authorized needed investment in America’s ports, channels, locks, dams, and other infrastructure that supports the maritime and waterways transportation system and provides flood protection. Authorized U.S.
02 Aug 2017
The Evolving ATB Jones Act Business Model
Today’s ATB play seemingly has legs for the long haul, as operators build and market needs fluctuate. The refined product trades are always in flux. Similarly, the supply patterns for products (and for chemicals derived from oil refining) are subject to constant change. At the same time, the distribution of refined petroleum products sees great benefit from the efficiency of Articulated Tug Barges (ATBs)…
25 Oct 2017
Marine Finance for Brown Water Operators
A primer for navigating the ‘ups and downs’ of marine money for domestic stakeholders. Vessel financiers are resourceful and adaptable to changing markets. On the domestic side, financiers of Jones Act and “brown water” assets have continued to serve their customers through shifting shoals in both broader capital markets and in the marine markets – both known for their ups and downs. Marine finance can take many forms.
20 Nov 2017
Managing the New Panamax Containerships
The explosive growth of international boxships is challenging not only the physical infrastructure of North American ports, but also the very nature of the existing supply chains that they impact. The recent dialogue on container shipping has been all about so-called “mega-ships;” those vessels that with larger capacity than those that are already in service at any point in time. In the container trades…