Congress News

10 Jan 2019

US Oil Export Boom Sparks Battle to Build Texas Ports

© Robert Coy / Adobe Stock

Booming U.S. oil exports have set off a scramble to build Gulf Coast ports to handle more than 3 million barrels per day in new supplies expected over the next five years.Of seven proposed oil-export projects, nowhere is the opportunity greater or the competition more fierce than in Corpus Christi, Texas, where three firms are vying to open the state's first deepwater port.Commodities trader Trafigura has taken an early lead with a planned offshore facility that has an easier…

22 Dec 2018

Ingalls Shipbuilding: $930M Contract for Pair of USCG Ships

Ingalls Shipbuilding's seventh U.S. Coast Guard National Security Cutter, Kimball (WMSL 756), during sea trials in the Gulf of Mexico. HII photo

Huntington Ingalls Industries’ (NYSE: HII) Ingalls Shipbuilding division has received two fixed-price incentive contracts from the U.S. Coast Guard to build two additional National Security Cutters for the U.S. Coast Guard. The contract values for the a 10th and 11th ships in the program are $468.75 million for NSC 10 and $462.13 million for NSC 11.“This additional funding for two NSCs is a great accomplishment on which to end the year,” said Ingalls Shipbuilding President Brian Cuccias.

13 Dec 2018

NOIA Calls for Offshore Wind Territories Act

Image: BOEM

National Ocean Industries Association (NOIA) said that U.S. territories need the Offshore Wind for Territories Act.The U.S. has five permanently inhabited 'Territories' in the Caribbean Sea and the Pacific Ocean: American Samoa, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands which are directly overseen by the United States Federal Government.NOIA President Randall Luthi issued this statement: “The House passage of H.R. 6665 is welcome news for many Americans this holiday season. Too often, Americans in the U.S.

07 Dec 2018

Coast Guard Commandant Optimistic About Icebreaker Funding

A file image of the Coast Guard's lone heavy icebreaker, the Polar Star. Image CREDIT: USCG

The United States may soon get funding for a new heavy icebreaker ship, the head of the U.S. Coast Guard said on Thursday, as global warming spurs the race to stake out the Arctic, which is rich in oil, gas, and minerals.The United States has two operational icebreakers - a heavy one, the Polar Star, which is more than 42 years old and has outlived its life expectancy by a dozen years, and a medium one, the Healy cutter.By comparison, Russia has about 40 to 50 icebreakers, purpose-built vessels that can rescue other ships…

04 Dec 2018

AAPA: U.S. Ballast Water Legislative Victory Appears Imminent

Legislation that sets standards for incidental water discharges from vessels passed the House on Nov. 29.The Frank LoBiondo Coast Guard Authorization Act of 2018, S. 140, which includes the Vessel Incidental Discharge Act (VIDA), passed the Senate two weeks earlier and now moves to the President to be signed.The provision places the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in the lead role of establishing standards for ballast water discharge, and the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) will monitor and enforce compliance.

16 Nov 2018

INSIGHTS: Rear Admiral Mark H. Buzby, USN (Ret)

Mark Buzby, Maritime Administrator, U.S. Maritime Administration

Rear Admiral Mark Buzby is the Maritime Administrator, U.S. Maritime Administration.Rear Adm. Mark H. Buzby was appointed by President Donald Trump and sworn in as Maritime Administrator on August 8, 2017. Prior to his appointment, Buzby served as president of the National Defense Transportation Association, a position he has held since retiring from the U.S. Navy in 2013 with over 34 years of service. A 1979 graduate of the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy, Buzby earned his Bachelor of Science in Nautical Science and U.S. Coast Guard Third Mate License.

14 Nov 2018

CargoX Launches the World's First Smart Blockchain Platform

Pic: CargoX

Slovenia-based supplier of blockchain solutions for logistics, CargoX has  launched the CargoX latform to become the first open, neutral, and accessible blockchain platform in the shipping industry.The company said that the platform can be used by businesses of any size, and it was recently selected as the winning innovation at the IRU World Congress among 77 startups after a presentation in front of over 1000 attendees from more than 60 countries."Shipping, freight forwarding…

13 Nov 2018

Passenger Terminal Amsterdam Appoints Dick de Graaff as New Director

Dick de Graaff. Pic: Port of Amsterdam

Dick de Graaff, MA (48) has been appointed the new Director of Passenger Terminal Amsterdam (PTA) effective 1 January 2019. He is succeeding René Kouwenberg who will retire on the same date.PTA, which coordinates the efficient processing of cruise ships and receives their passengers, said that De Graaff is very familiar with the cruise sector and knows the Passenger Terminal Amsterdam inside and out."He has served as PTA’s Commercial Director since December 2004 and in this role…

13 Nov 2018

U.S. Flag Vessel Safety

Image: NTSB

Congressional and Agency Actions to Implement Changes to U.S.-Flag Vessel Safety Requirements Three Years after the M/V El Faro IncidentOctober 1, 2018 marked three years since the tragic sinking of the M/V El Faro – ranking as one of the worst maritime disasters in U.S. history and resulting in the highest death toll for a U.S. commercial vessel sinking in almost 40 years. Following this incident, both the  National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) and U.S. Coast Guard spent considerable  effort to investigate this incident.

05 Nov 2018

Regulatory Reform: Good Ideas … Ready to Start?

Image credit: USCG / Anthony Soto

Regulatory reform is one of President Trump’s priority agenda items. Upon taking office, the President issued a number of Executive Orders focusing attention and demanding action on the myriad of regulations impacting American businesses.Last May, the reform spotlight fell on maritime regulations when the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB), published a Request for Information (RFI) on how the government should “prudently manage regulatory costs imposed on the maritime sector.” OMB…

04 Nov 2018

Arctic Council Focuses on Biodiversity

Photo: Arctic Council Secretariat

Representatives of the eight Arctic States and six indigenous Permanent Participant organizations, as well as the Arctic Council’s six  Working Groups and more than thirty Observers, met in Rovaniemi, Finland  last week. The Council focused its thematic discussion on biodiversity in the Arctic and welcomed updates from the six Working Groups, two Task Forces, and one Expert Group, as well as interventions from Observers. During the biodiversity discussion Working Groups presented their ongoing efforts to advance biodiversity conservation…

26 Oct 2018

Navy of the Future: The Revolution & Evolution of Surface Combatants

Artist’s concept of a DDG-51 Flight III with the Air and Missile Defense Radar (AMDR). Image: Raytheon

Following the drawdown at the end of the Cold War, the Navy finds itself trying to build up again. The expansion of Russian and Chinese naval power has changed the calculus. While there will always be a debate about the final number of ships to build, we can all agree on one thing: the Navy must get bigger and the demand signal is to start building now,” said Chief of Naval Operations Adm. John Richardson, in testimony before Congress regarding the sea service’s 2019 budget request.

25 Oct 2018

Baleària Builds World's First Gas Engine-Powered High-Speed Catamaran

Photo: BaleĂ ria

The shipping line Baleària, a pioneer in the application of liquefied natural gas in sea transportation, has marked another milestone with the construction of the world's first passenger and cargo fast ferry powered by dual LNG engines. The fast ferry is being built at the Armon shipyard in Gijón, as announced yesterday by Baleària President Adolfo Utor at the inaugural conference of the 57th Naval Engineering and Maritime Industry Congress currently being held in Valencia.Capacity and investmentWith a length of 125 meters and a beam of 28 meters…

17 Oct 2018

The USCG RDC & Electronic Aids To Navigation

© Rob Bouwman/Adobe Stock

To recreational boaters, Aids to Navigation (ATON) are the familiar red and green buoys (and day markers) that line our inland waterways. What they might not be aware of is that buoys have been around since the days of the Roman and Egyptian empires. In the decades following the creation of our country, buoys in every shape and color began appearing in our waterways. It wasn’t until 1850 that Congress harmonized their deployment, thereby encouraging the familiar “Red, Right, Returning” mantra.

10 Oct 2018

AWIA/WRDA Overwhelmingly Passes in Senate

File Image: AdobeStock / © SunnyS

Bill now heads to White House for President Trump’s signature.Today, the Senate voted 99-1 in favor of America’s Water Infrastructure Act of 2018/Water Resources Development Act, otherwise known as WRDA 2018. The Bill passed in the U.S. House by unanimous voice vote (435-0) in August.“The passage of WRDA 2018 is a win for the Nation’s towboat operators, freight shippers, ports and labor and conservation groups that rely on an efficient inland waterways system,” said Mike Toohey, President and CEO of the Waterways Council, Inc. (WCI).

26 Sep 2018

NASSCO Begins Building Future Oiler USNS John Lewis

U.S. shipbuilder General Dynamics NASSCO has begun building the future USNS John Lewis (T-AO 205), the first ship for the U.S. Navy’s John Lewis fleet replenishment oiler program.Representatives from the shipyard and the U.S. Navy gathered in San Diego on September 20 for a steel cutting ceremony signifying the start of construction for the first of six vessels in the John Lewis-class.Construction of the first ship is scheduled to be complete in November 2020. John Lewis will be operated by the Navy's Military Sealift Command (MSC) and is the first ship named after the civil rights leader and Presidential Medal of Freedom recipient."As the first ship of its class…

19 Sep 2018

Olmsted: Online & Open

A USACE rendering of the Olmsted lock area infrastructure (Credit: US GAO)

After more than 30 years of frustratingly slow progress, cost overruns and more than a few mistakes, Olmsted is finally poised for success. That’s something to celebrate.It is official: The U.S. Army Corp of Engineers (USACE) wants Olmsted operational by October. After more than 30 years, the ribbon cutting to officially open the Olmsted Locks and Dam took place on August 30. The very old (1929) upstream locks and dams – Nos. 52 and 53, which Olmsted is replacing – will be dismantled by December 2020. Before that happens, Olmsted’s performance will be tested and confirmed.

14 Sep 2018

Kings Point Alumni Release Commemorative Video

Video marks Academy's 75th year and those who made the ultimate sacrifice.Alumni of the United States Merchant Marine Academy (USMMA) released an inspiring video to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the institution and memorialize midshipmen who have died in service to the nation. Over the summer, the USMMA Alumni Association and Foundation (USMMA-AAF) has been executing a multi-faceted campaign to mark the federal academy's decades of service and the foundational role it plays…

14 Sep 2018

APH Pushes Container on Vessel Service for St. Louis Region

The concept Container on Barge vessel underway on left.

Innovative waterway concept vessel could deliver transportation savings for shippers on the Mississippi River. Plans to transport freight via innovative waterway vessels that backers say will revolutionize the inland waterway system and provide significant transportation cost savings for shippers, especially those accessing the Midwest by utilizing the Mississippi River and its tributaries, are underway, according to Sal Litrico, CEO for American Patriot Container Transport, a…

13 Sep 2018

Apples and Oranges When it Comes to Vessel Finance

A careful and thorough vessel survey underway (CREDIT: DLS)

Companies, lenders, and their auditors worldwide need vessel appraisals that can be relied upon when put into legal documents. As the offshore energy support markets awaken, this is more important now, than ever.While a great deal of shipping finance is done at a 10,000' level, with bond deals and equity swaps, the value of the assets found on ground level are still very important. There are taxation issues, insured value, public reporting, and allocation of purchase price, where the value of individual vessels is important.

13 Sep 2018

Maritime Accidents & Confidential near-miss Reporting

© MrSegui/Adobe Stock

As in most if not all industries, the maritime sector experiences many more near-misses than actual casualties. And yet, information regarding near-misses is seldom shared outside the particular company or vessel/facility involved. This is a needless waste of valuable learning opportunities.The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) established the first formal confidential near-miss reporting system in the federal government in 1975. The Aviation Safety Reporting System (ASRS) was transferred in 1976 to the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) for collection of information…

12 Sep 2018

New Strategies to Guard Against Future Security Threats

©Hamburg Messe und Congress, Rolf Otzipka

The international conference on maritime security and defense (MS&D), held for the seventh time in Hamburg during the SMM maritime trade fair, focused on current and future challenges to maritime security and defense. Twenty naval, industrial and science experts discussed topics such as how to protect international ocean trading routes, when and how to deploy naval forces on crisis missions, as well as cyber security issues.The welcome address opened the event with somber words as Rear Admiral Thorsten Kähler…

07 Sep 2018

Shipping Industry Heads for Climate Protection

Photo: gmec

At gmec, the global maritime environmental congress (gmec) during SMM in Hamburg, high-profile business and science experts discussed how the global shipping industry can achieve the International Maritime Organization’s (IMO) environmental goals while continuing to provide its services at competitive prices.“We are at the beginning of a new chapter in the history of shipping,” said Tian-Bing Huang, Deputy Director - Marine Environment Division at the IMO, in his opening keynote.There is no question that the shipping sector is facing huge challenges…

Maritime Reporter Magazine Cover Dec 2018 - Great Ships of 2018

Maritime Reporter and Engineering News’ first edition was published in New York City in 1883 and became our flagship publication in 1939. It is the world’s largest audited circulation magazine serving the global maritime industry, delivering more insightful editorial and news to more industry decision makers than any other source.

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