Congress News

17 Sep 2020

Opportunities Gust Off US Shores

© Daniël Leppens / Adobe Stock

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 for a hefty portion of incremental capacity coming online.Shipyards in New England have already seen the tip of the offshore wind iceberg…

16 Sep 2020

New Legislation Aims to Boost Great Lakes Icebreaking Capacity

File photo: The U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Mackinaw (WLBB-30) breaks ice and maintains Aids to Navigation across the Great Lakes. (U.S. Coast Guard photo)

New legislation introduced by U.S. Senators Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.), Todd Young (R-Ind.) and Gary Peters (D-Mich.) will codify the U.S. Coast Guard’s icebreaking mission on the Great Lakes and increase the icebreaking capacity of the Great Lakes fleet.The Great Lakes Winter Commerce Act aims to increase Great lakes icebreaking capacity, which the lawmakers say will help the businesses and workers that rely on the maritime industry to transport their goods to market and grow the regional economy.“In recent years…

14 Sep 2020

Mississippi River Ship Channel Deepening Begins

(Photo: Big River Coalition)

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) officially kicked off the project to deepen of the Mississippi River Ship Channel to 50 feet Friday, as Weeks Marine’s cutterhead dredge Captain Frank started dredging 5 miles above the Head of Passes.The USACE awarded this first contract for the Ship Channel deepening to Weeks Marine on September 3, 2020, and the Captain Frank started the deepening Friday. The USACE awarded the second cutterhead dredge contract to Manson Construction on September 8, 2020. Manson’s cutterhead, the Robert M. White, is expected to begin deepening in late September.

08 Sep 2020

Congress Eyes Maritime Economic Relief

© Ruslan / Adobe Stock

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act enacted in March 2020, provided relief to numerous industries impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Air carriers, for example, benefitted from the creation of a $25 billion Treasury direct loan program, in addition to a $25 billion worker support program that provides a mix of grants and loans to cover employee wages, salaries and benefits. In addition, Congress waived the small business affiliation rules for businesses…

08 Sep 2020

Trade Fair SMM Preps for 2021 Restart

©Hamburg Messe und Congress / Michael Zapf

Today would have been the day that SMM 2020 opened its doors if it hadn't been for the coronavirus pandemic. Instead, organizers of the maritime industry's largest trade fair are preparing for the rescheduled date in February 2021."Of course, the entire SMM team is a bit sad the fair isn't starting today. But increasingly, this regret is giving way to a sense of anticipation of a rather unique SMM in February 2021," says Claus Ulrich Selbach, Business Unit Director – Maritime and Technology Fairs & Exhibitions at Hamburg Messe und Congress GmbH (HMC).

28 Aug 2020

Maritime Risk Symposium 2020: Maritime Resilience in Black Swan Events

In 2007, scholar Nassim Nicholas Taleb, who holds a doctorate from the University of Paris, wrote a bestselling book titled â€śBlack Swan,” which proposed a theory involving unpredictable events with significant impact. Taleb believed that a black swan event was an outlier with significant impact and, once it occurs, is the source of deep reflection and rationalization. Since the book’s publication, a significant number of research efforts have been developed to consider possible black swan events that significantly impact the Maritime Transportation System (MTS) and the Maritime Global Commons.

14 Aug 2020

What will Cruise Ships Look Like Post-COVID-19? Look to Marine Interiors @ SMM 2021

Photo credit: Hamburg Messe und Congress / Nicolas Maack

As the COVID-19 pandemic lingers, talk turns to all aspects of interior design of ships, particularly cruise ships that can carry thousands of passengers in relatively close quarters. In response to the coronavirus pandemic, SMM has been postponed to February 2-5, 2021. According to the organizers, as of today, about 90 percent of exhibitors have committed to the new date. Apart from Green Shipping, Security & Defence, and Digitalization, the interior outfitting of passenger ships…

13 Aug 2020

Interview: Tracy Zea, President & CEO, Waterways Council Inc.

Tracy Zea is the Waterways Council Inc.’s new President & CEO.

We recently checked in with Tracy Zea, Waterways Council Inc.’s new President & CEO, on what’s in store for the U.S. inland waterways for the remainder of 2020.To start, give us some insight on your background and how you came to lead WCI.I was born and raised in Chandler, Ariz., and attended South Dakota State University, receiving a degree in Political Science. After college, I found my way to Washington, D.C. via an internship with Senator Thune (R-S.D.). After the internship, I was hired by the House of Representatives, Transportation and Infrastructure Committee.

30 Jul 2020

Op/Ed: Federal Support for Ports is Critical

© dbvirago / Adobe Stock

Florida’s seaports are one of the state’s greatest economic assets, positively affecting every region and every resident. Our seaports have a $117.6 billion economic impact across Florida and account for more than 900,000 direct and indirect jobs, while linking our communities to vital national and international markets.During the COVID-19 crisis, ports across the country have sustained mounting losses. Ports that specialize in moving hard-hit cargoes like steel and automobiles, or depend on tourism and cruise ships are also particularly vulnerable.

30 Jul 2020

Congress Responds to COVID19 and Other Challenges for the Maritime Industry

© Sono Creative/AdobeStock

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.

22 Jul 2020

Congress Lines Up COVID-19 Relief for the Maritime Industry

© Christopher Boswell / Adobe Stock

New legislation passed through Congress aims to provide relief to the U.S. maritime industry during national emergencies such as the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic or natural disasters.Introduced July 9 by the Chair of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure Peter DeFazio (D-Ore.) and Chair of the House Subcommittee on Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation Sean Patrick Maloney (D-N.Y.), The Maritime Transportation System Emergency Relief Act (MTSERA) would establish…

15 Jul 2020

WRDA 2020: 'A Step in the Right Direction'

File photo: A tow exits the east lock of the Colorado River Lock system near Matagorda, Texas. (Credit Simon DeSoto, Colorado River lockmaster / courtesy U.S. Army Corps of Engineers)

The U.S. House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure voted the Water Resources Development Act of 2020 (WRDA 2020) favorably out of Committee, Wednesday. The legislation, which provides authority for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) to carry out water resources development projects and studies, as well as policy direction to the Corps for implementation of its Civil Works missions, now heads to the House Floor for a vote.Maritime trade groups Waterways Council, Inc. (WCI) and the American Waterways Operators (AWO) applauded the House T&I bill (H.R.

14 Jul 2020

SMM 2021: Plotting a Course Forward for the Global Maritime Community

Photo: ©Hasenpusch

As the maritime world collectively feels its way forward in a time now defined by the COVID-19 pandemic, the organizers of the SMM in Hamburg, traditionally the world's largest and most influential maritime and shipbuilding trade event, share market overview insights on the economic consequences of the coronavirus pandemic throughout the the shipping industry.The Covid-19 pandemic has turned the world economy on its head. “The recession this year will likely be more severe, and recovery in 2021 will be slower than we anticipated two months ago…

13 Jul 2020

Sickles Named Interim Head of Dredging Contractors of America

Mark D. Sickles

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.

08 Jul 2020

Corps Continues Legacy of Dredging at Port of Alaska

The Westport, a red and white hopper dredge operated by Manson Construction, dredges near the Port of Alaska on April 3, 2019. From May 1 to Nov. 1 each year, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers removes built-up sediment from the seafloor near the Port of Alaska to maintain shipping channels and dock access. An estimated 50 percent of all goods entering Alaska come through this port. (Photo: U.S. Army)

All summer long, a crimson and white boat moves back and forth through the waters near the Port of Alaska collecting silt, sand and gravel off the seafloor to allow vessels to navigate the harbor in Anchorage. The boat is a dredging vessel called the Westport, operated by Manson Construction of Seattle, Wash., which the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers – Alaska District contracted to maintain the mooring areas for the past three years.An estimated 2,400 to 2,600 cargo containers arrive…

06 Jul 2020

New Bill Aims to Secure Grant Funding for Maritime Training

© LaVonna/ Adobe Stock

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.

26 Jun 2020

Video: President Trump Visits Fincantieri Marinette Marine

President Trump delivers remarks at the Fincantieri Marinette Marine shipyard in Wisconsin (Photo: Fincantieri Marinette Marine)

President Donald Trump visited Fincantieri Marinette Marine Thursday following the Wisconsin shipyard’s recent contract award to design and build the U.S. Navy's first-in-class FFG(X) guided-missile frigate.The first U.S. president to visit the Marinette Marine shipyard, Trump toured the facilities where Freedom-class Littoral Combat Ships (LCS) are currently built and met with employees before delivering remarks in which he pledged support to the U.S. shipbuilding industry and congratulated the shipyard for winning the multibillion dollar frigate contract."Not long ago…

25 Jun 2020

Responder Immunity: The Means to Protect the Salvor in “Bet the Company” Responses

The specter of liability beyond the limits of applicable insurance for the salvor’s liability to both its contractual partner and third parties continues to haunt the American Salvage Association’s members. Hence, the efforts since 2011 to obtain broad based immunity from claims beyond the patch work of statute, judge made law and contractual risk shifting terms. The exposure on certain projects to the prospect of “you bet the company claims” has caused prospective bidders with the requisite skills, technical expertise, and physical resources to decline opportunities to participate in major but high-risk projects. Responder immunity…

24 Jun 2020

Marine Salvage and SMFF Regulations

THE GOLDEN RAY response project, although still unfinished, provides a stark example of how easily the US spill response program can get off track. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Brian McCrum

The Federal Water Pollution Control Act (FWPCA, often called the Clean Water Act), as amended by the Oil Pollution Act of 1990 (OPA 90), provides:If a discharge, or a substantial threat of a discharge, of oil or a hazardous substance from a vessel, offshore facility, or onshore facility is of such a size or character as to be a substantial threat to the public health or welfare of the United States (including but not limited to fish, shellfish, wildlife, other natural resources…

15 Jun 2020

Great Lakes Shipping Companies Navigate Market Challenges Ahead

American Steamship Company’s M/V American Courage upbound on the Cuyahoga River in Cleveland, Ohio with a load of taconite from the iron ranges on Lake Superior for ArcelorMittal Cleveland, one of the most productive integrated steel mills in the world. (Photo Credit: Thomas Rayburn)

For U.S.-flag shipping on the Great Lakes, 2019 was a good year. Total cargos were 90 million net tons, up 7.5% over 2018 and 4.6% over the five-year average. 49.7 million net tons of iron ore were shipped, up 8.5% over 2018 and 11.7% over the five year. Limestone was up 9.7% over 2018 and 10.2% over the five-year average. In 2010 and 2011, coal and limestone were each about 20 million net tons. Since then, coal has shown a steady decline as coal-fired power generating plants…

16 Jun 2020

Waterways Council, Inc.’s 2020 Vision

© PeekCC/AdobeStock

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)…

17 Jun 2020

Nord Stream 2 Seeks Updated Permit to Complete Pipeline in Danish Waters

AKADEMIK CHERSKIY vessel / ©Sergei Skriabin/ MarineTraffic.com

The Nord Stream 2 has requested a permit allowing it to use pipe-laying vessels with anchors to complete the final roughly 120-kilometer stretch of pipeline in Danish waters, Denmark's energy agency (DEA) said on Tuesday.Work on the project stopped in December as pipe-laying firm Swiss-Dutch Allseas suspended work due to U.S. sanctions targeting companies providing vessels laying Nord Stream 2 pipes.The DEA did not say how the work would proceed in the face of a new risk of sanctions…

22 Jun 2020

Carnival Extends Operations Pause to Sept. 30

© Tamme / Adobe Stock

Carnival Cruise Line said on Monday it has extended its pause in operations for North American voyages until September 30, as it determines how to safely resume service amid the COVID-19 pandemic.The cruise line, owned by Carnival Corp, had previously said it would resume some voyages on August 1.Industry trade group Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) said on Friday its ocean-going cruise line members, which include Carnival, Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd, and Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd, would voluntarily extend their pause in operations from U.S. ports until Sept.

Maritime Reporter E-News subscription

Maritime Reporter E-News is the maritime industry's largest circulation and most authoritative ENews Service, delivered to your Email five times per week

Subscribe for Maritime Reporter E-News