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Saturday, November 17, 2018

Great Lakes News

Algoma Central Buys Product Tanker

Image: Algoma Central Corporation

Canadian dry-bulk shipper Algoma Central Corporation announced the purchase of a 2008 built product tanker which will become the seventh tanker within the Algoma Tankers Limited fleet.A press release from the provider of marine transportation services said that the purchase demonstrates Algoma’s commitment to continuing to safely and efficiently ship petroleum products on the Great Lakes – St. Lawrence Seaway and East Coast.“We are extremely pleased to add a vessel to our Algoma Tankers Limited fleet as customer demand continues to strengthen in this segment…

Cruise Shipping: Sunstone Sells Victory Cruise Lines

Niels-Erik Lund, SunStone’s President and CEO. Photo: Sunstone.

SunStone Ships, Inc. sold Victory Cruise Lines to the American Queen Steamboat Company (AQSC). After rapidly expanding market share in the Great Lakes, French Canada, and St. Lawrence Seaway, Victory became the market leader in these regions. Having recently added the VICTORY II, afforded AQSC the opportunity to acquire the largest capacity in the region.AQSC will acquire the VICTORY I and VICTORY II cruise vessels, as well as some assets in connection herewith, among them being the Victory brand, all Great Lakes charters, group bookings, individual passenger reservations, and related assets.

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).

Strong July Across Great Lakes Gets Seaway Tonnage

Photo:Chamber of Marine Commerce

Great Lakes-St. Lawrence shipping continues to bounce back after a slow start. With strong tonnage numbers in July, particularly shipments of U.S. grain, liquid bulk and project cargo, the 2018 shipping season is right on par with the healthy statistics posted last year.Overall cargo shipments on the St. Lawrence Seaway between March 29 and July 31 totaled 16.5 million metric tons. Areas of strength included U.S. grain shipments totaling 888,000 metric tons, up 32 percent over last year. Liquid bulk shipments totaled 2.3 million metric tons, an increase of 25 percent.

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…

U.S. DOJ Announces Environmental Crimes Conviction

File Image / Adobestock © renaschild

German Shipping Operator Sentenced to Pay $3.2 Million for Obstruction of Justice and Falsifying Official Logs to Hide Deliberate Oil Pollution. The previously Convicted Company Committed Environmental Crimes While on Probation.A German shipping company, MST Mineralien Schiffahrt Spedition und Transport GmbH (MST), pleaded guilty and was sentenced today in Portland, Maine, for obstruction of justice and for maintaining false official records to conceal deliberate pollution from one of its ships, the M/V Marguerita, announced Assistant Attorney General Jeffrey B.

Great Lakes Iron Ore Trade Up in October

U.S.-flag laker loading iron ore at Two Harbors, Minnesota.  (Photo: LCA)

Shipments of iron ore on the Great Lakes totaled 5.8 million tons in October, an increase of 5.7 percent compared to a year ago, the Lake Carriers' Association reported. Shipments also outpaced the month’s 5-year average by nearly 9 percent,Year-to-date the iron ore trade stands at 44.7 million tons, a decrease of 1.8 percent compared to the same point in 2017. The shortfall has been decreasing over the course of the shipping season. At the end of April, iron ore shipments were…

Lakes Limestone Trade Dips

GRT Lakes John G Munson Credit: Great Lakes Fleet

Shipments of limestone on the Great Lakes totaled 3.4 million tons in October, a decrease of 7.5 percent compared to a year ago, the Lake Carriers' Association said. Limestone cargos also trailed the month’s five-year average by 4.6 percent.Loadings from U.S. quarries totaled 2.8 million tons, a decrease of 6 percent. Shipments from Canadian quarries totaled 568,000 tons, a decrease of 14.6 percent.Year-to-date the limestone trade stands at 24.2 million tons, an increase of 1.9 percent compared to a year ago.

Great Lakes Limestone Trade Steady In August

© scandamerican / Adobe Stock

Shipments of limestone on the Great Lakes totaled nearly 4 million tons in August, a near carbon copy of both a year ago and July of this year, The Lake Carriers’ Association reports. The 3,941,085 tons of limestone cargos in August also bettered the month’s five-year average by 5.8 percent.Loadings from U.S. quarries totaled 3.248 million tons, a decrease 3.3 percent, or 110,000 tons, compared to a year ago, LCA said. Shipments from Canadian quarries, meanwhile, totaled 693,003 tons…

Answering the Call for Environmental Answers

The RDC project team poses on USCGC Hollyhock after completion of the offshore mitigation system prototype test.  From left to right, LT Charles Clark, Alexander Balsley, and Coast Guard Academy Cadet 2/c Valerie Hines.)

The Coast Guard has developed two separate mitigation system prototypes specifically designed for inland and offshore environments and tested them in the Kalamazoo River and Lake Huron.Whenever there is a need for oil, there will always be a risk of oil spills. This is no less true for bituminous sands, commonly known as oil sands or tar sands. Oil sands are mostly found in Alberta, Canada, and comprised of bitumen, sand, clay and water. They are typically viscous, with a texture similar to peanut butter.

Algoma Central Cancels Croatian New Build Contracts

Pic:  Algoma Central Corporation

Canadian shipping company Algoma Central Corporation has decided to cancel all four newbuild construction contracts with Croatian shipbuilder Uljanik.The provider of marine transportation services announced in a press release that that it has taken steps to cancel its remaining four new build construction contracts with a Croatian shipyard.The cancellation notices have been sent to the shipyard as a result of the Yard’s failure to secure refinancing and Algoma has no assurance…

Great Lakes Iron Ore Trade Rises in August

© Kenneth Keifer / Adobe Stock

Shipments of iron ore on the Great Lakes totaled 6.4 million tons in August, an increase of 1.8 percent compared to a year ago, the Lake Carriers’ Association reported. Shipments outperformed the month’s five-year average by nearly 13 percent.Year-to-date the iron ore trade stands at 33 million tons, a decrease of 2.4 percent compared to the same point in 2017. The gap has been steadily decreasing over the course of the shipping season. At the end of April, iron ore shipments…

Metal Shark Open for Business in Alabama

(Photo: Metal Shark)

Metal Shark announced it has secured a contract to build three 120’ x 35’ river towboats for Florida Marine Transporters, Inc. (FMT), signalling the U.S. shipbuilder’s entry into the towboat market.The four-decked, welded-steel, USCG Subchapter “M”-compliant towboats were designed by John W. Gilbert Associates, Inc. and will be powered by twin Cat 3512C Tier 3 marine diesel engines rated at 1,911 HP each. Construction is underway at Metal Shark Alabama, with deliveries commencing in 2019.With the FMT contract…

Finland: A Hot-Bed of ICEBREAKER Technology

In 2016 the most recent Finnish icebreaker, Ib Polaris, was built at a cost of EUR123m. Arctia Ltd. received an LNG fueled double-acting PC4 class icebreaker capable of penetrating 1.8m thick level ice with a speed of 3.5 knots. Photo: Tuomas Romu and Arctia Ltd.

Finland is a traditional marine tech hub, with almost 90 company members in the Finnish Maritime Industries association. While the country has a storied maritime history across many sectors, based on geographic locale, it’s Arctic and ice marine technology is second to none, and it’s hoping the U.S. Coast Guard is taking notice.The Finnish maritime industry is hoping to get involved in developing the new icebreakers for the U.S. Coast Guard polar icebreaker program. Ulla Lainio…

Maritime Response Services & Non-Tank Vessel Response Plans

The Author, Richard Paine Jr.

Avoiding Potential Pitfalls and HeadachesThe summer of Sub M may be over, but the heat remains for the tugboat and towing vessel industry operating under the July 20th regulations. Owner & Operators are faced with daily challenges to continually sustain and build their businesses. As with any new regulation, there is a period of learn-ing and, even more so, interpretation by industry and by those enforcing regulations. One of the more significant matters related to this situation revolves around vessels in response services and those required to hold Non-Tank Vessel Response Plans (NT-VRP).

The New York Bight – a Hydra of Difficult Issues

File Image: offshore wind operations (CREDIT: CWind)

The greening of America’s energy signature will not come without the usual discussions, regulatory oversight – and opposition from a raft of special interests.Amidst an atmosphere of possible resurgence in the domestic offshore oil energy, maritime stakeholders are also reminded that there is more than one kind of energy available for development off the four collective coasts of the United States. That process is underway in the Great Lakes; it has already happened off of New England.

St. Lawrence Seaway Workers Ratify Contract

A St. Lawrence Seaway bulk vessel (SLSMC)

The St. Lawrence Seaway Management Corporation (SLSMC) has announced that its unionized employees, members of UNIFOR, ratified a three-year labor agreement covering the period of April 1, 2018 to March 31, 2021.Terence Bowles, President and CEO of the SLSMC, praised the negotiating teams for achieving another multi-year agreement, and said, “A fair labor settlement was reached earlier this month, enabling the St. Lawrence Seaway to continue providing uninterrupted service to the thousands of entities that depend upon marine transportation…

US-flag Great Lakes Cargo Movement Steady in July

© johnsroad7 / Adobe Stock

U.S.-flag Great Lakes freighters (lakers) moved 9.8 million tons of cargo in July, a virtual tie with a year ago, the Lake Carriers’ Association reported. The July float was, however, 6.4 percent below the month’s five-year average.Iron ore cargos for steel production totaled 5.2 million tons, an increase of 5 percent. The July ore float was also the highest monthly total for U.S.-flag lakers since December 2014.Coal loads totaled 1.3 million tons, a decrease of nearly 11 percent.

USACE Participation Soars, Membership Expands at CDMCS

Michael Gerhardt is Vice President, Dredging Contractors of America, and the CDMCS Pipeline Taskforce Director (Image CREDIT: DCA)

The Council for Dredging and Marine Construction Safety (CDMCS) convened this week in Washington, DC on the heels of its Pipeline Task Force Meeting to discuss OSHA regulatory updates, best practices for employee training documentation, opioid identification and prevention, and incident/injury trends in the industry.Representatives from The Dutra Group, Inland Dredging, Great Lakes Dredge & Dock, JT Cleary, Manson Construction Co., Mike Hooks, Norfolk Dredging, and Weeks Marine attended…

Great Lakes Limestone Trade Rises in September

© Gerald Bernard / Adobe Stock

Shipments of limestone on the Great Lakes totaled 3.6 million tons in September, an increase of 3.7 percent compared to a year ago, the Lake Carriers’ Association (LCA) reported. Limestone cargos also bettered the month’s five-year average by 8 percent.According to the LCA, Loadings from U.S. quarries totaled 2.9 million tons, an increase of 1.8 percent, or 54,000 tons compared to a year ago. Shipments from Canadian quarries totaled 685,000 tons, an increase of 12.4 percent, or 76…

SubM: The Coast Guard IS Still an Option

Credit: Ashton Marine

Not all towing vessel companies are choosing Third Party Organizations (TPOs) for their Subchapter M compliance option. One size does not fit all.Under Subchapter M, towing vessel companies may opt to use TPOs to conduct their audits and surveys instead of inspections by the Coast Guard. While many companies are going the TPO route, many are opting for traditional Coast Guard inspections.As a retired Coast Guard marine inspector, I have always advocated the Coast Guard option to our clients.

Mobile BWTS Tested on Great Lakes

TRO Sampling Area (CREDIT: Global Diving)

New system allows for contingency ballast water treatment in a variety of ecologically-sensitive and emergency conditions. Global Diving & Salvage, Inc. recently led a demonstration of the mobile ballast water treatment system, Ballast Responder, on board the 730-foot bulk carrier Tim S. Dool on the Great Lakes. “Equipment was operational within eight hours of arrival and the first set of tanks were fully treated, neutralized, and ready to discharge only 20 hours later,” said Glosten Principal and ballast water treatment expert Kevin Reynolds, PE.

SC Ports State of the Port Emphasizes Infrastructure to Support Growth

South Carolina Ports Authority (SCPA) president and CEO, Jim Newsome

Jim Newsome, president and CEO, highlights cooperation and collaboration.South Carolina Ports Authority (SCPA) president and CEO, Jim Newsome, presented the annual State of the Port to an audience of approximately 600 customers, elected officials and shipping industry representatives at the Charleston Area Convention Center. Jim’s presentation focused on the Port’s successes, strategic infrastructure investments to support continued container volume growth, new initiatives to increase Port productivity and overall industry trends that will impact the Port in the future.

Maritime Reporter Magazine Cover Nov 2018 - Workboat Edition

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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