U.S. Grants Jones Act Waiver to Company to Ease Fuel Supply Shortages after Cyber-attack on Pipeline
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security has approved a Jones Act waiver request to an individual company to ease fuel supply constraints between Gulf Coast and East Coast ports, Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said in a statement.The Jones Act requires goods moved between U.S. ports to be carried by ships built domestically and staffed by U.S. crews.Privately owned Colonial Pipeline began to slowly restart the nation's largest fuel pipeline network on Wednesday after a ransomware attack shut the line…
US Ready to Review Jones Act Waiver Requests Amid Pipeline Shutdown
The U.S. Transportation Department has completed its assessment of what ships are available to carry petroleum products from the Gulf to the Eastern Seaboard and is ready to review any Jones Act waiver requests, the White House said on Wednesday after a ransomware attack on Colonial Pipeline disrupted supplies.The Jones Act requires goods moved between U.S. ports to be carried by ships built domestically and staffed by U.S. crews.The Department of Homeland Security must issue…
US Considering Jones Act Waivers Amid Colonial Pipeline Shutdown
The Transportation Department said on Tuesday it was evaluating whether a temporary waiver of the Jones Act is needed to ensure sufficient gasoline supply to some U.S. states after the ransomware attack on Colonial Pipeline."The U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) has started the work needed to enable consideration of a temporary and targeted waiver of the Jones Act," the department said. The Jones Act requires goods moved between U.S. ports to be carried by ships built domestically and staffed by U.S.
Enabling America’s Offshore Renewable Energy Opportunity
Offshore wind (OSW) energy is a new focus for the U.S. under President Biden, who highlighted it in his January 27, 2021 Executive Order on climate. Since then, there have been several new supporting developments:Rulings by the Customs and Border Patrol (CBP);Announcement that workers in Alabama and West Virginia are supplying 10,000 tons of domestic steel for use at a Texas shipyard where Dominion Energy is building the nation’s first Jones Act compliant wind turbine installation vessel;U.S.
Interview: Jennifer Carpenter, AWO President & CEO
Jennifer Carpenter joined The American Waterways Operators (AWO), the national trade association representing the inland and coastal tugboat, towboat and barge industry, in August 1990 and became its president and CEO in January 2020. She weighs in on the unprecedented challenges encountered over the past year and addresses top priorities along the uncertain path ahead.The world has changed drastically in the year since you took the helm at AWO. How have priorities shifted, both…
'Fireboats are Basically an Insurance Policy'
“Fireboats are basically an insurance policy.” -Meeting minutes, Southeast Texas Waterways Advisory Council (SETWAC).Developments in America’s coastal ports are causing officials to closely review maritime safety operations and equipment. Fireboats draw a lot of attention. The reference here is to big fireboats – 40-50 feet, crewed by specially trained firefighters, outfitted with the equipment required to confront and take on a range of waterway emergencies. [CBRN is a frequent acronym used with these fireboats: Chemical…
Op/ed: Investing in America’s Critical Maritime Infrastructure
Congress recently made a major, if little noticed, new investment in American infrastructure. As part of the year-end budget deal, lawmakers released $10 billion that had been locked away in the Harbor Maintenance Tax Trust Fund to be used for its intended purpose: dredging U.S. harbors to keep our ports open and support U.S. economic and national security.Maritime infrastructure is an indispensable national asset, which is why the U.S. Department of Homeland Security recognizes the Maritime Transportation System (MTS) as one of the seven critical subsectors within the transportation system.
Top Maritime Trends of 2020: Captain Andrew Kinsey, Allianz, Examines Logistics Challenges
Captain Andrew Kinsey, Senior Marine Risk Consultant, Allianz Global Corporate & Specialty, recently discussed some of the trends that will shape 2021 for the maritime, ports and logistics world.MR TV: As we come to the end of 2020, talk now turns not simply to COVID-19 and a potential vaccine, but to the supply chain logistics and challenges that come with distributing those vaccines. How does the picture look from where you sit?Andrew Kinsey: The picture looks complicated. It's a global demand. It's a global logistics problem.
Implementing VIDA: The Next Step Forward
The tugboat, towboat and barge industry has a profound impact on America’s economy, security and quality of life, safely moving over 760 million tons of vital commodities every year and annually generating over $33 billion in U.S. GDP. Those numbers are a tribute to the hardworking men and women who ply our nation’s waterways, as well as a testament to the national scope of a critical industry whose operations, and contributions, do not stop at state lines.The Department of Homeland…
Phase Two Contract Awarded for New Soo Lock Project
The second phase construction contract for the New Lock at the Soo has been awarded to Kokosing Alberici LLC of Westerville, Ohio, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers officials announced Thursday.The much-anticipated mega-project will require three phases of construction. Kokosing Alberici's $111 million contract to complete the second phase will stabilize the existing approach walls, allowing modern vessels to tie up and wait their turn to pass through the new lock. Construction will…
Vigor Builds Patrol Boats for Jordanian Navy
Fincantieri Marinette Marine and Vigor (Team RB-M) in August delivered two additional Response Boat-Mediums (RB-Ms) to the U.S. Coast Guard. These boats are part of an approved foreign military sale to the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan through the Department of Homeland Security.Fincantieri Marinette Marine was the prime contractor and program manager for the project, and Vigor built the vessels at its Seattle facility.The Royal Jordanian Naval Force (RJNF) plans to operate the new boats from its base in Aqaba…
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 “Black 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.
New Unit Will Support Coast Guard Research and Development Center
The U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary will stand up its first unit dedicated to supporting the Coast Guard Research and Development Center (RDC) in New London, Conn. today.The new Auxiliary unit will support the RDC mission by coordinating requests for assets and skills in three focus areas: subject matter expertise, field research activities and public affairs. The new Auxiliary unit coordinator, Bruce Buckley, will develop a skills bank that matches Coast Guard research priorities to Auxiliary skill sets across the nation.
Four Tankers Carrying Iranian Fuel Cargoes to US for Seizure
Tankers carrying Iranian fuel cargoes covered by a U.S. warrant for seizure are sailing to the United States after talks between U.S. authorities and ship owners, a U.S. government source and a shipping source said on Thursday.Iran had planned to transport the gasoline to Venezuela, a supply line that both Tehran and Caracas have flaunted in defiance of U.S. sanctions. Washington has imposed sanctions on both countries to choke oil exports and deprive their governments of their…
Interview: Tracy Zea, President & CEO, Waterways Council Inc.
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.
U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Mellon Completes Final Patrol
One the U.S. Coast Guard's last remaining 378-foot high endurance cutters recently wrapped up its final patrol before its scheduled decomissioning in August.A 150-person crew on Coast Guard Cutter Mellon (WHEC 717) left Seattle April 17 to conduct missions throughout the Aleutian Islands and Bering Sea and returned to homeport July 7.During the patrol the crew conducted 38 law enforcement boardings, four search and rescue cases and enforced federal regulations governing Alaska’s…
Video: Trump Says US is Working to Acquire 10 Icebreakers
President Donald Trump says the U.S. is hashing out a plan to acquire up to 10 additional polar icebreakers for the U.S. Coast Guard.Trump, who over the years has emphasized his administration's commitment to growing the Coast Guard's icebreaker fleet, outlined the new plans in vague terms within remarks delivered at Southern Command headquarters in Doral, Fla., Friday.The President did not specify how the icebreakers would be obtained, or whether the vessels would be newbuilds…
Selecting Crew Comms for High-speed Craft
Headset communications on board workboats in harsh marine environments are subject to a variety of challenges: background noise from loud engines and high wind turbulence around the microphone and the highly corrosive salt and spray in marine environments. On board rigid hull inflatable boats (RHIB) and high-speed craft (HSC) that pound through rough waters at 60 knots – including a variety of patrol boats and interceptor/interdiction vessels – critical communication can be rendered all but impossible.
Austal USA Graduates 28 Apprentices Into Full-time Positions
Alabama shipbuilder Austal USA said it graduated 28 youth apprentices into full-time paid positions this spring. The apprentices are recent high school graduates from schools throughout Mobile and Baldwin County and completed seven weeks of training at the Alabama Industrial Development Training facility adjacent to Austal’s campus.“Austal USA is excited to have hired 28 Youth Apprentices into full-time Fabrication Trade Assistant positions,” Austal USA Workforce Development Manager Ryan Lee said. “The Youth Apprenticeship program is a special program.
MarAd Insights: “In peace and war” -- Even Against a Virus
The U.S. maritime industry takes great pride in our motto: “In Peace and War.” It sums what we’re all about. From colonial times, through the Revolution, the Civil War, two World Wars, several regional conflicts, and many natural and humanitarian disasters, we got the cargo delivered because our economic security and our national security depend on it.Today, we confront a new kind of enemy: an invisible, debilitating, and too often deadly disease. Yet, just as the courageous merchant…
Coast Guard Auxiliary Supports Research Efforts
Unique among the nation’s armed services, the Coast Guard’s missions include national defense, law enforcement, natural disaster incident management, recreational boating safety and environmental protection. This diversity of mission scope presents opportunities for the Coast Guard at the strategic, operational and tactical levels as the service works to make their efforts as effective and efficient as possible.Contributing to the service’s overall execution effort is the Coast Guard Research and Development Center (RDC), based in New London, Connecticut.
Big City Fireboats
On March 3, the Coast Guard published a notice that Martin Midstream Partners (MMP), a petrochemical transport and storage company, was seeking approval to modify terminal operations in Beaumont, Texas, along the Sabine-Neches Waterway. If approved, MMP would expand its liquefied hazardous gas (LHG) operations, both in volume and products. Instead of just handling ammonia the change would allow shipments of butane, propane, ethane, ethylene and propylene.Critically, MMP’s expansion would increase LHG vessel transit from 24 ships to as many as 350 per year.
USCG Polar Security Cutters: The History and Future
The good news is that work has commenced on the first new heavy polar icebreaker for the United States Coast Guard in 43 years. The bad news is that when it enters service, projected to occur in FY2024, it will be the first new heavy polar icebreaker for the USCG in 47 years.Meanwhile, Russia has approximately 30 active polar icebreakers, including four that are nuclear powered. Arktika, the first of a new class of three heavy polar icebreakers, has commenced sea trials in the Gulf of Finland, with the other two under construction.