Maritime Law & Regulations News

25 Jan 2021

Why Are Pirates Attacking Ships in the Gulf of Guinea?

© Venera / Adobe Stock

Pirates are stepping up attacks on ships in West Africa’s Gulf of Guinea, defying regional navies. On Saturday, pirates off Nigeria kidnapped 15 sailors from a Turkish container ship and killed one.Pirates in the Gulf of Guinea kidnapped 130 seafarers in 22 separate incidents last year, accounting for all but five of those seized at sea worldwide.Who are the pirates and why are the attacking?The pirates come from Nigeria’s turbulent Niger Delta, experts say. The region produces the bulk of the nation’s petroleum…

25 Jan 2021

Guyana Says Venezuela Detained Two Fishing Vessels In Its Waters

© JM-Guyon / Adobe Stock

Guyana said late on Saturday that a Venezuelan navy vessel detained two vessels that were fishing in Guyana’s exclusive economic zone, the latest dispute in a long-running border conflict between the two South American nations.Caracas says much of eastern Guyana is its own territory, a claim that is rejected by Georgetown. The conflict has flared up in recent years as Guyana has started developing oil reserves near the disputed area.“The Venezuelan vessel was illegally maneuvering within Guyana’s EEZ and Contiguous Zone when it intercepted…

25 Jan 2021

China Says US Military in South China Sea Not Good for Peace

(Photo: Brendan Mullin / U.S. Marine Corps)

The United States often sends ships and aircraft into the South China Sea to “flex its muscles” and this is not good for peace, China’s Foreign Ministry said on Monday, after a U.S. aircraft carrier group sailed into the disputed waterway.The strategic South China Sea, through which trillions of dollars in trade flows each year, has long been a focus of contention between Beijing and Washington, with China particularly angered by U.S. military activity there.The U.S. carrier group led by the USS Theodore Roosevelt and accompanied by three warships…

25 Jan 2021

Iran Asks Indonesia to Explain Tanker Seizures

© Mick Prendergast /

Iran has asked Indonesia to provide details about the seizure of an Iranian-flagged vessel, Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh said on Monday, a day after Jakarta said it had seized Iran and Panama-flagged tankers in its waters.Indonesia said on Sunday its coast guard had seized the Iranian-flagged MT Horse and the Panamanian-flagged MT Freya vessels over suspected illegal oil transfer in the country’s waters.Khatibzadeh said that the seizure was over a “a technical…

25 Jan 2021

Indonesia Seizes Iran, Panama-flagged Vessels Citing Illegal Oil Transfer

Iranian-flagged MT Horse (formerly known as Honar) - Credit: Mick Prendergast

Indonesia said its coast guard seized the Iranian-flagged MT Horse and the Panamanian-flagged MT Freya vessels over suspected illegal oil transfer in the country's waters on Sunday.Coast guard spokesman Wisnu Pramandita said the tankers, seized in waters off Kalimantan province, will be escorted to Batam island in Riau Island Province for further investigation."The tankers, first detected at 5:30 a.m. local time (2130 GMT on Jan. 23) concealed their identity by not showing their national flags…

22 Jan 2021

China Authorizes Coast Guard to Fire on Foreign Vessels if Needed

(File photo; William Colclough / U.S. Coast Guard)

China passed a law on Friday that for the first time explicitly allows its coast guard to fire on foreign vessels, a move that could make the contested waters around China more choppy.China has maritime sovereignty disputes with Japan in the East China Sea and with several Southeast Asian countries in the South China Sea.

21 Jan 2021

Biden's Transportation Secretary Pick Buttigieg Supports the Jones Act

Pete Buttigieg (Photo: U.S. Senate)

Pete Buttigieg, President Joe Biden's nominee to head the U.S. Department of Transportation, has voiced his support for the Jones Act, a federal law that regulates maritime commerce in the United States.Buttigieg's comments came in response to questioning by Sen. Maria Cantwell (Dem.-Wash.) during a nearly three-hour confirmation hearing held by the Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee on Thursday."I am a big Jones Act supporter, and the state of Washington and the trade that we have related to the Jones Act to make sure that we have U.S.-flagged vessels," Cantwell said.

21 Jan 2021

Biden Administration Suspends Federal Oil and Gas Permitting

© sic2005 / Adobe Stock

The Biden administration has temporarily suspended oil and gas leasing and permitting on federal lands and waters while it evaluates the legal and policy implications of the program, according to a Department of Interior memo.The move appears to be a first step in delivering on newly sworn-in President Joe Biden's campaign promise to ban all new federal drilling permits, part of his wider agenda to combat global climate change.The order was welcomed by environmentalists and derided by the oil and gas industry…

21 Jan 2021

Biden Administration Names Lessley as MARAD Deputy Administrator

© Felix Mizioznikov / Adobe Stock

Lucinda Lessley has been named Deputy Administrator of the U.S. Maritime Administration (MARAD), the Biden Administration announced Thursday among a number of key appointments to its Department of Transportation (DOT) leadership team.Lessley will lead MARAD until an Administrator is nominated by the Biden Administration and confirmed by the Senate. She takes over from Doug Burnett, MARAD's Chief Counsel, who had been serving as Acting Administrator following Mark Buzby's resignation in the wake of the Capitol intrusion earlier this month.

21 Jan 2021

Boluda Towage Acquires Iskes Towage & Salvage

Iskes tug Ginger (Photo: Iskes Towage and Salvage)

Boluda Towage SL on Thursday signed an agreement to acquire Iskes Towage & Salvage's port towage activities in Eemshaven, the Netherlands; Lubeck, Germany; and Lisbon, Portugal, as well as its offshore activities, together with the management and office staff in the head office in IJmuiden, the Netherlands.Iskes will remain a separate entity under Boluda's headquarters in Valencia, Spain, and it will continue to manage the aforementioned harbor towage activities. It has also been…

20 Jan 2021

Biden Announces Return to Global Climate Accord, New Curbs on US Oil Industry

Joe Biden - Image by Gage Skidmore/Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0)

U.S. President Joe Biden on Wednesday announced America's return to the international Paris Agreement to fight climate change, the centerpiece of a raft of day-one executive orders aimed at restoring U.S. leadership in combating global warming.The announcements also included a sweeping order to review all of former President Donald Trump's actions weakening climate change protections, the revocation of a vital permit for TC Energy's Keystone XL oil pipeline project from Canada…

20 Jan 2021

U.S. Imposes Sanctions on Vessel Bound for Nord Stream 2 Pipeline

Fortuna - Image by Lars Kongsbak/

The United States on Tuesday imposed sanctions on a ship involved in building the Nord Stream 2 pipeline to take Russian natural gas to Europe, as the Trump administration sought to raise pressure on the project on its last full day in office.The U.S. Treasury Department said it imposed the sanctions on the Russian pipe-laying ship "Fortuna" and its owner, KVT-RUS, under the Countering America's Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA).Nord Stream 2, designed to double the capacity of the existing Nord Stream undersea gas pipeline…

19 Jan 2021

US Blacklists Tankers, Oil Traders Undermining Venezuela Sanctions

© Yevgeniy B. /

The United States on Tuesday sanctioned a network of oil trading firms, individuals and vessels that have helped Venezuelan state-run oil company PDVSA sell crude mainly to Asia despite Washington's sanctions on the South American nation.The measure targets a network that the U.S. Treasury Department says helped the administration of President Nicolas Maduro, whose 2018 re-election Washington called a sham, broker the sale of hundreds of millions of dollars in Venezuelan oil."Those…

19 Jan 2021

Royal Caribbean to Sell Azamara Brand for $201 Million

© Jürgen Ruhardt /

Cruise operator Royal Caribbean Group said on Tuesday it reached a deal to sell its Azamara brand to private-equity firm Sycamore Partners for $201 million in cash, as it grapples with biting impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.Sycamore Partners will acquire the entire Azamara brand, including its three-ship fleet—Azamara Quest, Azamara Journey and Azamara Pursuit—and associated intellectual property. In conjunction with the transaction, Azamara Chief Operating Officer Carol Cabezas has been appointed President of the brand.Royal Caribbean said it will incur a one-time…

19 Jan 2021

Germany 'Regrets' U.S. Plan to Sanction Vessel Linked to Nord Stream 2 Pipeline

Fortuna - Credit:Lars Kongsbak/

The United States has informed Germany that it plans to impose sanctions on a Russian pipe-laying ship involved in construction of the Russian-led Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline from Russia to Germany, the German Economy Ministry said on Monday."We're taking note of the announcement with regret," an Economy Ministry spokesman in Berlin said.German business daily Handelsblatt had earlier reported the U.S. sanctions would go into effect on Tuesday as part of the Countering America's…

18 Jan 2021

New Study Finds Polyester Fibers Throughout the Arctic Ocean

The Canadian Coast Guard Ship Louis S. St. Laurent transiting the Arctic Ocean. This expedition between Norway and Canada collected seawater samples for microplastics analysis. (Photo: Arthi Ramachandra / Fisheries and Oceans Canada)

The Arctic has long proven to be a barometer of the health of our planet. This remote part of the world faces unprecedented environmental assaults, as climate change and industrial chemicals threaten a way of life for Inuit and other Indigenous and northern communities that rely heavily on seafood and marine mammals for food.But who would have imagined that the clothes we wear might add to this onslaught? Evidence increasingly shows that tiny synthetic fibers are permeating the Arctic Ocean and finding their way into zooplankton…

18 Jan 2021

Beirut Blast Chemicals Possibly Linked to Syrian Businessmen

© Ali / Adobe Stock

The company that bought the ammonium nitrate which exploded in Beirut last August had possible links to two Syrian businessmen under U.S. sanctions for ties to President Bashar al-Assad, according to a report by a Lebanese journalist and London company filings.Savaro Ltd, the trading firm which procured the chemicals in 2013, shared a London address with companies linked to George Haswani and Imad Khoury, according to the report by documentary film-maker Firas Hatoum, which aired on Lebanon’s al-Jadeed TV station this week.Haswani…

15 Jan 2021

US Imposes Fresh Sanctions on Iran

© R. Jeff Huth / Adobe Stock

The United States on Friday sanctioned companies in Iran, China and the United Arab Emirates for doing business with the Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping Lines and on three Iranian entities over conventional arms proliferation.They are the latest in a series of measures aimed at stepping up pressure on Tehran in the waning days of President Donald Trump's administration, which ends on January 20.U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Washington had sanctioned seven companies, including Chinese-based Jiangyin Mascot Special Steel Co.

15 Jan 2021

Deal on Marine Mammal Oil Spill Response Program for Western Alaska

Photo: The Alaska Chadux̂ Network (ACN) and the Alaska SeaLife Center (ASLC)

The Alaska Chadux̂ Network (ACN) and the Alaska SeaLife Center (ASLC) have finalized an agreement to develop and implement a program to respond to oil spill impacted marine mammals throughout Western Alaska, the U.S. Arctic, and Prince William Sound. The Agreement includes funding from ACN for ASLC to further develop oiled marine mammal response protocols and resources. In addition, the new program will involve opportunities to train, exercise and drill with ACN responders, including ACN partners in local communities…

14 Jan 2021

Report: Nord Stream 2 Set to Resume Pipelaying Works in Danish Waters

Fortuna pipelayer - Photo by Christoph Brilke/

The Russia-led Nord Stream 2 consortium said on Thursday that work to lay its subsea gas pipeline to Germany would resume in Danish waters on Jan. 15, the TASS news agency reported, despite pressure from the United States for construction to stop.Russia said on Wednesday it was confident of completing the project, although two sources said the U.S. State Department had this month told European companies suspected of helping to build the pipeline that they faced possible sanctions.Nord…

14 Jan 2021

Sweden Clearing Legal Path to Reexamine Estonia Wreck Site

An inflatable life raft from sunken RoPax ferry Estonia (Photo: Accident Investigation Board Finland)

A new examination of the wreck of the ferry Estonia, which sank in the Baltic in 1994 with the loss of 852 lives, will be possible from the summer when a change to Swedish law comes into force, news agency TT reported on Thursday.The official investigation concluded in 1997 that the roll-on, roll-off ferry’s bow shield had failed, damaging the bow ramp and flooding the car deck.But a recent television documentary renewed speculation about the cause of the disaster and prompted…

14 Jan 2021

European Firms Facing U.S. Sanctions over Nord Stream 2 Pipeline

© Nord Stream 2 / Axel Schmidt

The U.S. State Department this month told European companies which it suspects are helping to build Russia's Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline that they face the risk of sanctions as the outgoing Trump administration prepares a final round of punitive measures against the project, two sources said on Tuesday."We are trying to inform companies of the risk and urge them to pull out before it's too late," a U.S. government source said on condition of anonymity.The U.S. source said the State…

13 Jan 2021

Maritime Security: Neo-colonialism in the Gulf of Guinea

© Lucia / Adobe Stock

Is neo-colonialism in the Gulf of Guinea the answer to West Africa’s maritime crime crisis?In October 2020, China’s transport ministry established an ad hoc workgroup to lay down precautionary measures for ships and seafarers passing through high piracy risk West African waters.The move came as China told its vessels to up vigilance and implement a series of precautionary measures to ensure the security of ocea-going vessels and seafarers amid rising attacks and a surge in kidnaps in the Gulf of Guinea.Plans outlined by Wu Chungeng…

13 Jan 2021

Carnival Cruise Line Names Campbell CFO

Darrell Campbell (Photo: Carnival Cruise Line)

Carnival Cruise Line said it has named Darrell Campbell as chief financial officer. He joins the U.S.-based cruise operator from parent company Carnival Corporation where he has served as corporate treasurer since 2017.Prior to his role at Carnival Corp, Campbell served as an audit partner at PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP. He is a licensed CPA in Florida and New Hampshire. He has master's degrees in accounting from Florida International University and in international business from the University of Florida. He also holds a bachelor's degree from University of the West Indies in Jamaica.

13 Jan 2021

Ship Insurers Primed to Raise Rates After Red Sea Attacks

© Denys / Adobe Stock

Insurers are set to raise the cost of providing cover for merchant ships through the Red Sea after a series of incidents that have hit vessels around Saudi Arabian waters, industry sources said.The possibility of more attacks on commercial shipping carrying oil and commodities through these waterways is growing after the outgoing U.S. administration’s move to designate Yemen’s Iran-aligned Houthi movement as a foreign terrorist organization.“We are seeing increased rates for vessels making port calls in the Red Sea due to concerns over risk of attack by militia groups…

13 Jan 2021

Interpol Issues Red Notices for Ship Captain, Owner Over Beirut Blast

© Ali / Adobe Stock

Interpol has issued red notices for the captain and owner of the ship that carried the chemicals which devastated Beirut in an explosion in August, killing 200 people, Lebanon’s state media said.Five months since one of the biggest non-nuclear blasts on record, big questions remain about the ammonium nitrate that detonated after being stored at the port for years.The Interpol notices, which are not international arrest warrants, ask authorities worldwide to provisionally detain people pending possible extradition or other legal actions.

12 Jan 2021

WRDA 2020 Winds its Way to Passage

© Christopher Boswell / Adobe Stock

In early October, Waterways Council, Inc. (WCI) reported in its newsletter Capitol Currents that the future of the Water Resources Development Act (WRDA) of 2020 hung in the balance, with many unknowns for its chances of being signed into law during the Lame Duck session of Congress that just concluded in late December.But despite twists and turns and a roller coaster ride, WRDA was, indeed, passed by Congress on December 21 as part of the FY21 Omnibus Appropriations that included a $900 billion COVID Relief package.

12 Jan 2021

UK to Use Satellites to Track Ship Emissions

© aerial-drone / Adobe Stock

An initiative aiming to help track and reduce shipping's carbon emissions is among five projects recently awarded U.K. government funding through the country's Space Agency.The University of Leicester will use satellite analytics to track the greenhouse gas and pollution emissions of shipping fleets, ushering in a new approach that could help shipping companies to face down climate change.The university will work with Redshift Associates Ltd to develop analytics to track the carbon and pollution emissions of ships…

12 Jan 2021

US Ramps Up Fight Against Illegal Fishing

(Photo: NOAA)

NOAA has entered into a memorandum of understanding with the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) to combat illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing across borders and promote sustainable fisheries abroad, as the U.S. ramps up its fight against practices that threaten global food security, damage economies and risk the sustainability of fisheries and marine ecosystems.This partnership builds on NOAA's larger work with the U.S. State Department and U.S. Coast Guard under the Maritime SAFE Act…

11 Jan 2021

Lloyd’s Register Names Members of Its Decarbonization Panel

© Lina / Adobe Stock

Classification society Lloyd’s Register (LR) announced the industry experts who have joined the advisory panel of its Maritime Decarbonization Hub, a dedicated center of excellence launched in October that aims to accelerate the safe, sustainable and cost-effective decarbonization of world shipping in support of delivering greenhouse gas reduction targets.The panel is made up of representatives from across the industry and includes Ole Graa Jakobsen, VP Head of Fleet Technology at AP Moller-Maersk…

11 Jan 2021

Australia Issues Its Most Severe Vessel Ban to Date

(Photo: AMSA)

A "poorly maintained" livestock carrier seen operating with a list and a hole in its hull has been banned from Australian ports for a period of 24 months, the country's "most severe banning to date", authorities said Friday.The Marshall-Islands-flagged Barkly Pearl was initially spotted on November 3, 2020 traveling through Australia’s northern waters with a large hole in its hull, and the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) issued an intervention direction instructing…

11 Jan 2021

Carnival Reports $1.9 Billon Quarterly Loss

© Solarisys / Adobe Stock

Carnival Corp reported a bigger-than-expected preliminary fourth-quarter net loss on Monday as the cruise operator’s business was brought to a virtual standstill by the COVID-19 pandemic.The world’s largest cruise company’s shares fell 2% to $20.04 in morning trading, after plummeting nearly 60% over the last year as the health crisis hammered holiday tourism demand across the globe.Carnival, which extended its pause on U.S. cruise operations until March 31, said it was working to bring all its ships back in service by the end of the year.

11 Jan 2021

Scotland's Seafood Exporters Dealt New Post-Brexit Blow

© Alan Smillie / Adobe Stock

The post-Brexit woes facing Scotland’s fishing industry deepened on Saturday as its biggest logistics provider, DFDS Scotland, said it would halt exports to the European Union through one of its main services until at least Wednesday.Previously, the company had said it would take until Monday to resume its “groupage” export service - which allows exporters to ship multiple products in a single consignment - while it tries to fix IT issues, paperwork errors and a backlog of goods.The…

11 Jan 2021

Iran Tells South Korea Not to Politicize Seized Vessel

© Rik van Marle /

Iran said on Sunday that South Korea should avoid politicizing the seizure of its vessel by Iranian Revolutionary Guards in the Gulf, Iranian state media reported, while pressing Seoul to release $7 billion in funds frozen amid U.S. sanctions.South Korea’s vice foreign minister, Choi Jong-kun, arrived in Tehran on Sunday to discuss the release of the South Korean-flagged MT Hankuk Chemi, which was seized by the Guards on Monday near the strategic Strait of Hormuz.Iran has denied allegations that the seizure of the tanker and its 20-member crew amounted to hostage taking…

08 Jan 2021

Port Everglades Receives 'Marine Highway' Designation

© dani3315 / Adobe Stock

Port Everglades received approval from the U.S. Maritime Administration (MARAD) for “Marine Highway” designation for a new route connecting Port Everglades with Port Houston, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands (USVI). National Shipping of America (NSA) will be the first company to offer service on this new route. Port Everglades is the first port to receive this designation in South Florida and is among only 45 others nationwide.“We are honored to be part of MARAD’s Marine Highway program,” said Jonathan Daniels, Port Everglades Chief Executive and Port Director.

08 Jan 2021

Encore Dredging Partners Acquires Inland Dredging Company

© Aleksandr Lesik / Adobe Stock

Newly formed dredging and marine infrastructure services firm Encore Dredging Partners, LLC. (EDP) said it has acquired Inland Dredging Company, LLC for an undisclosed purchase price.EDP said it completed the transaction with support from its sole financial sponsor, Austin, Texas-based private equity firm AV Capital. League City, Texas-based EDP is a mid-sized cutter suction and mechanical dredging services provider focused on navigable waterways throughout the U.S.For 24 years, Dyersburg, Tenn.-headquartered Inland has provided dredging services throughout the Central U.S.

08 Jan 2021

Ireland Eases Customs Rules as Low Demand Stops Ferry Sailings

A Stena Line Vessel - Credit:Stena Line

Ireland's tax authority temporarily eased post-Brexit customs arrangements after some trucks were unable to deliver goods from Britain, difficulties that prompted the largest Irish Sea ferry operator to cancel some sailings from Friday.Britain's departure from the EU's orbit introduces reams of paperwork and costs that must be completed to move goods across the new customs border. For Irish firms, it means a 12-fold rise in the number of import and export declarations, the tax…

07 Jan 2021

US Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao to Resign

U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao (Photo: U.S. Department of Transportation)

U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao said Thursday she would resign, citing the intrusion of the U.S. Capitol by violent supporters of U.S. President Donald Trump.Chao, the wife of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, is the first Cabinet secretary to announce her departure after the events. Many lower-level administration officials have announced they would resign, including several White House aides.Chao said her resignation would take effect Monday, just nine days before Trump is set to leave office.

07 Jan 2021

IMO2021, Not Just an IT Concern

(Image courtesy GTMaritime)

IMO2021 came into effect on January 1, and it is vital that ship owners and managers continue to monitor the systems and processes in place to ensure vessels remain cyber secure. Mike McNally, Commercial Director at GTMaritime discusses what shipping companies can do to ensure cyber security and that they remain compliant with the new regulations.The IMO2021 guidelines on maritime cyber risk management provide the basis for a safer, more secure and resilient cyber space for shipping operations.

07 Jan 2021

Mercuria Teams Up with Envysion for Project Investment

© Igor Groshev / Adobe Stock

Trading house Mercuria and Singapore-based asset manager Envysion Wealth Management have agreed to co-invest in mining and energy projects, as default-hit banks tighten their purse strings and leave commodities firms seeking other funding.The deal, signed on Wednesday, will see Mercuria present potential projects for investment to Envysion, founded and led by former Julius Baer banker Veronica Shim. Envysion will then decide whether to participate via a fund with a start-up amount…

07 Jan 2021

United Overseas Group to Acquire United Arab Chemical Carriers

© Harvey Wilson /

Investment company United Overseas Group (UOG) is to acquire Dubai-based shipping company United Arab Chemical Carriers (UACC), the two companies said on Thursday.The deal is subject to regulatory approvals and is expected to close in the first quarter, they said in a statement, without disclosing the value.UOG is controlled by shipping industry veterans Peter Georgiopoulos and Leonidas Vrondissi.The sale of UACC, whose shareholders include the sovereign wealth funds of Saudi Arabia and Qatar…

06 Jan 2021

South Korea Delegation Heads to Iran to Seek Release of Seized Tanker

© Rik van Marle /

A South Korean delegation is heading to Iran on Wednesday to seek the release of a chemicals tanker and its 20-member crew seized in Gulf waters by Iranian forces, Yonhap news agency reported.Iran denied on Tuesday it was using the ship and its crew as hostages, a day after it seized the tanker near the Strait of Hormuz while pressing a demand for Seoul to release $7 billion in funds frozen under U.S. sanctions.The seizure of the MT Hankuk Chemi has been seen as an attempt by Tehran to assert its demands, just two weeks before President-elect Joe Biden takes office in the United States.

05 Jan 2021

US Hits Iran With Fresh Sanctions

© twinsterphoto / Adobe Stock

The United States on Tuesday blacklisted a Chinese company that makes elements for steel production, 12 Iranian steel and metals makers and three foreign-based sales agents of a major Iranian metals and mining holding company, seeking to deprive Iran of revenues as U.S. President Donald Trump's term winds down.In a statement, the U.S. Treasury Department named the China-based company as Kaifeng Pingmei New Carbon Materials Technology Co Ltd.

05 Jan 2021

Iran Denies Seized Korean Ship and Crew Are Being Held as Hostages

© Sergei Skriabin /

Iran denied on Tuesday it was using a South Korean ship and its crew as hostages, a day after it seized the tanker in the Gulf while pressing a demand for Seoul to release $7 billion in funds frozen under U.S. sanctions.The seizure of the MT Hankuk Chemi and its 20-member crew near the strategic Strait of Hormuz has been seen as an attempt by Tehran to assert its demands, just two weeks before President-elect Joe Biden takes office in the United States.Iran wants Biden to lift sanctions imposed by outgoing President Donald Trump.

05 Jan 2021

Boskalis Buys Rever Offshore's Subsea Services Business

Rever Polaris - Credit: Rever Offshore

Dutch marine contractor Boskalis on Monday acquired all the shares of Rever Offshore’s subsea services business.Rever, formerly known as Bibby Offshore, provides solutions in the area of subsea construction, inspection, repair, and maintenance. The company has operated in the North Sea out of Aberdeen, United Kingdom.Through this transaction, Boskalis will acquire two diving support vessels of which one is fully owned (Rever Polaris) and a second chartered (Rever Topaz). The group employs an onshore staff of around 130 in addition to approximately 220 offshore workers.

04 Jan 2021

S.Korea Reviewing Planned Diplomat Visit to Tehran After Tanker Seizure

© Rik van Marle /

South Korea's foreign ministry is reviewing whether a senior diplomat would be visiting Tehran on Sunday as planned, an official said, after Iranian forces seized a South Korean-flagged chemical tanker in Gulf waters and detained its crew.The incident comes amid tensions between Tehran and Seoul over Iranian funds frozen in South Korean banks due to U.S. sanctions. Iranian state TV cited a Tehran government official as saying Vice Foreign Minister Choi Jong-kun had been due to…

04 Jan 2021

US Calls for Iran to Release South Korean-flagged Tanker

© Sergei Skriabin /

The U.S. State Department called on Iran on Monday to immediately release a South Korean-flagged tanker that it seized in the Gulf and accused Tehran of threatening freedom of navigation as a way to extract relief from economic sanctions.“The (Iranian) regime continues to threaten navigational rights and freedoms in the Persian Gulf as part of a clear attempt to extort the international community into relieving the pressure of sanctions.

04 Jan 2021

Suez Canal Annual Revenues Fell 3% in 2020

© Kazu / Adobe Stock

Egypt’s revenues from the Suez Canal in 2020 declined 3% to $5.61 billion compared to 2019, the canal authority said in a statement on Sunday.Transit fees for all types of ships would remain unchanged in 2021 and would include reductions and incentives offered in 2020, Canal Authority Chairman Osama Rabie said.Rabie said their marketing policies had helped to protect much of the canal’s shipping volumes and revenues against the global economic slowdown caused by the coronavirus pandemic.The canal is the fastest shipping route between Europe and Asia and one of the Egyptian government’s main so

04 Jan 2021

South Korean-flagged Tanker Seized by Iran

© Rik van Marle /

Iran's Revolutionary Guards Corps seized a South Korean-flagged tanker in Gulf waters and detained its crew, Iranian media said on Monday, amid tensions between Tehran and Seoul over Iranian funds frozen in South Korean banks due to U.S. sanctions.Seoul confirmed the seizure of a South Korean chemical tanker by Iranian authorities in the waters off Oman, and demanded its immediate release.Several Iranian media outlets, including state TV, said the Guards navy captured the vessel for polluting the Gulf with chemicals."According to initial reports by local officials…

04 Jan 2021

Sherrard Enhances Squire Patton Boggs Commodities and Shipping Capabilities

Squire Patton Boggs continued the expansion of its commodities and shipping capabilities with the addition of partner Kate Sherrard into its Financial Services Practice.

Squire Patton Boggs continued the expansion of its commodities and shipping capabilities with the addition of partner Kate Sherrard into its Financial Services Practice. She joins the firm from Clifford Chance where she was Head of the Asia Pacific Maritime and Offshore Group and is accompanied by senior associate Bernice Chia.“When we launched our commodities and shipping group last year we set our sights on creating one of the premier practices in the market,” said Steve Mahon, global managing partner – clients and strategy.

31 Dec 2020

Interlake Acquires Two Great Lakes Vessels

(Photo: Interlake Holding Company)

Interlake Holding Company announced today the purchase of the assets of Pere Marquette Shipping Company and Lake Michigan Car Ferry Company in an acquisition that includes two working Great Lakes vessels, the articulated tug-barge Undaunted-Pere Marquette 41 and the historic passenger-and-car ferry S.S. Badger.The acquisition signals the creation of a new business entity, Interlake Maritime Services, which will manage the new businesses along with The Interlake Steamship Company…

31 Dec 2020

Saltchuk Acquires Centerline Logistics’ West Coast Harbor Towage Ops

© Amtek Marine / Adobe Stock

Saltchuk Marine announced it has acquired Centerline Logistics’ harbor ship assist operations in California and the Pacific Northwest.Eight ship assist tugs currently operated under the Millennium and Starlight brands will join the Saltchuk Marine fleet in early 2021. Operations will be consolidated under the Starlight brand, which will remain independently-operated – managing, dispatching, and crewing its own boats.The acquisition increases the ship assist capacity of Saltchuk…

31 Dec 2020

Alfa Laval's PureBallast 2.0 BWMS Gains US Type Approval

© Gudellaphoto / Adobe Stock

The U.S. Coast Guard Marine Safety Center issued a ballast water management system (BWMS) type approval certificate to Alfa Laval Tumba AB after a detailed review of the manufacturer’s type approval application determined the system met the requirements of 46 CFR 162.060.Most owners of Alfa Laval’s second-generation ballast water treatment systems can now opt to continue operating in U.S. waters, even when their Alternate Management System (AMS) approval expires.The PureBallast 2.0 system generation, launched a decade ago, was developed before the USCG presented its testing regime.

30 Dec 2020

France Gives Fincantieri Extension on Chantiers Deal

(Photo: Chantiers de l'Atlantique)

France has offered Italian shipbuilder Fincantieri's a one-month extension to its planned acquisition of French rival Chantiers de l'Atlantique, the finance ministry said in a statement sent to Reuters on Wednesday.State-controlled Fincantieri has accepted the proposal, a spokesman said.The agreement between France and Fincantieri was due to expire on Thursday, after repeated deadline extensions following competition concerns over the merger of two global leaders and the deal…

30 Dec 2020

Cosmic Rays, the 'Unseen Menace' for Maritime

© Peter Jurik/Adobe Stock

Most people these days are aware of risks inherent in our increasingly electronic maritime industry. There is malware, ransomware, and spear phishing to name a few. But a new one has been recently identified – cosmic rays.Cosmic rays are high-energy protons and atomic nuclei which move through space at nearly the speed of light. They originate from the sun, from stars outside of the solar system, and from distant galaxies. They are capable of penetrating and passing through almost any material.

29 Dec 2020

UAE Emerges as Hub for Companies Helping Venezuela Avoid US Oil Sanctions

© Pak Agen /

In June, the United States imposed sanctions on half a dozen oil tankers managed by established shipping firms. It was a major escalation of American attempts to choke off Venezuela’s oil trade.Within weeks, a little-known company based in the United Arab Emirates took over management of several tankers that had been shipping Venezuelan oil. The vessels got new names. And then they resumed transporting Venezuelan crude.The company, Muhit Maritime FZE, is one of three UAE-based entities identified by Reuters that have shipped Venezuelan crude and fuel during the second half of this year.

29 Dec 2020

River Dance: Grounding Triggers Breakaway Barges

© kikimor / Adobe Stock

It was a beautiful mid-summer afternoon in the nation’s heartland. The skies were clear, the sun was shining and the variable southwest breeze barely caused a ripple on the muddy water of the winding river. Optimistic fishermen lined the riverbanks and a few recreational boaters were cruising close to the floating docks lining both shores.This tranquil scene on this busy waterway was about to change…and quickly.A parting of the waysAbout a half mile upriver, a 95-foot tug was proceeding southbound on a slow bell with two barges made up end-to-end along her starboard side.

28 Dec 2020

Centerline Logistics Acquires Saltchuk Marine Services’ California Ship Refueling Ops

"As one of the largest bunkering operators in the United States, we are excited about the synergies this acquisition will deliver to our customers," said Matt Godden, President and CEO of Centerline  Logistics. Photo courtesy Centerline Logistics

Centerline Logistics acquired Saltchuk Marine Services’ California ship refueling business, currently operated by subsidiary Foss Maritime Company. According to a press release from Centerline, this "major acquisition" brings together the combined capabilities of two of the nation’s leaders in petroleum transportation, strengthening Centerline’s position as a provider of around the clock bunkering (ship refueling) services.Through this expansion, Centerline will "substantially…

28 Dec 2020

Kremlin Says New U.S. Sanctions Could Complicate Nord Stream 2 Pipeline Completion

The Nord Stream 2 resumed laying pipes in the German zone of the Baltic Sea using the The pipelay vessel Fortuna - Image Credit:Juergen Baack/MarineTraffic

The Kremlin said on Thursday that new U.S.

24 Dec 2020

EU and UK Clinch Narrow Brexit Trade Deal

© Photography by APD / Adobe Stock

Britain clinched a narrow Brexit trade deal with the European Union on Thursday, just seven days before it exits one of the world’s biggest trading blocs in its most significant global shift since the loss of empire.The deal, agreed more than four years after Britain voted narrowly to leave the bloc, means it has averted a chaotic finale to the tortuous divorce that has shaken the 70-year project to forge European unity from the ruins of World War Two.It will preserve Britain’s zero-tariff and zero-quota access to the bloc’s single market of 450 million consumers…

23 Dec 2020

Wasted Words: Post-casualty Apologies Are ‘Sorry’ Excuses

© Steve / Adobe Stock

Vessel collisions on America’s busy inland waterways have been a fact of life for a very long time. With towboats, barges, ferries, oceangoing ships and recreational vessels all jockeying for position in limited space, collisions (and even more near misses) are inevitable.Most of these incidents involving professional mariners do not lead to suspension and revocation (S&R) proceedings against the involved USCG licensed mariners, but, depending on the human and/or financial costs associated with the collision…

23 Dec 2020

Elbit Systems to Buy Sparton for $380 Million

Kovalenko I - AdobeStock

Israel-based international defense electronics company Elbit Systems has signed an agreement to buy maritime defense contractor Sparton for $380 million. Elbit said Wednesday that its U.S. subsidiary Elbit Systems of America had signed a definitive agreement with an affiliate of Cerberus Capital Management, L.P. for the acquisition of Sparton. Sparton Parent, Inc.—formerly known as Striker Parent 2018—an affiliate of Cerberus Capital Management, L.P. bought Sparton in March 2019.The Elbit transaction is conditioned on various closing conditions, including receipt of U.S.

22 Dec 2020

WRDA 2020: A Historic Win for Inland Waterways -WCI

© Kent / Adobe Stock

On December 21, as part of an Omnibus Appropriations and COVID-19 relief funding package, the U.S. House of Representatives passed (359 yeas to 53 nays), and later the U.S. Senate passed (92 to 6) the Water Resources Development Act (WRDA) of 2020. Waterways Council, Inc. (WCI) called it a historic win for the inland waterways.The package included WCI’s top priority to adjust the cost-share for construction and major rehabilitation of inland waterways projects from 50% Inland…

22 Dec 2020

Satellites Expose Risks of Forced Labor in Global Fishing

© whitcomberd / Adobe Stock

Fishing vessels with crews of forced laborers behave in systematically different ways to the rest of the global fleet, according to a study purporting to be the first to remotely identify vessels potentially engaged in modern slavery.Using satellite data, machine learning and on-the-ground expertise from human rights practitioners, U.S. researchers found up to 26% of about 16,000 industrial fishing vessels analyzed were at high risk of using forced labor.As many as 100,000 people are estimated to work on these high-risk vessels, many of whom are potential victims of forced labor.

22 Dec 2020

AqualisBraemar Completes LOC Takeover. Targets 50% of Revenues from Renewables

Credit: AqualisBraemar

Offshore energy and marine consultancy AqualisBraemar has completed the acquisition of the marine and engineering consulting firm LOC Group (London Offshore Consultants).Oslo-listed AqualisBraemar announced the completion of the transaction on Tuesday, saying the acquisition created "a leading global independent offshore energy and marine consultancy."As part of the transaction, originally announced on November 23, AqualisBraemar acquired 100 percent of the shares in Neptune Midco 1 Limited from the ultimate parent company of the LOC Group…

21 Dec 2020

Thordon Expresses Concern Over New VIDA Proposals

Thordon’s seawater lubricated propeller shaft bearing system eliminates oil pollution from the ocean and waterways (Image: Thordon Bearings)

Thordon Bearings has added to the growing concern over proposed changes to Vessel Incidental Discharge National Standards of Performance (VIDA) requirements, citing far reaching environmental consequences if clauses in the existing document are removed.In a statement submitted to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on November 20, 2020, the Canada-based bearings and seals pioneer “strongly questions the removal of some text” in the proposed amendments, stating that…

21 Dec 2020

China Says It Tailed a US Warship in the Taiwan Strait

USS Mustin (DDG 89) (Photo: Arthur Rosen / U.S. Navy)

China’s military tailed a U.S. warship as it passed through the sensitive Taiwan Strait on Saturday, the Chinese military said, denouncing such missions as sending “flirtatious glances” to supporters of Taiwan independence.China, which claims democratically-run Taiwan as its own territory, has been angered by stepped-up U.S. support for the island, including arms sales and sailing warships through the Taiwan Strait, further souring Beijing-Washington relations.The U.S. Navy said the guided missile destroyer USS Mustin had conducted “a routine Taiwan Strait transit (on) Dec.

17 Dec 2020

Fincantieri Hit by Concerns Over Big Capital Increase

(Photo: Fincantieri)

Fincantieri shares fell as much as 6.5% on Thursday on the prospect of a big capital increase by the Italian shipbuilder as it tries to cope with the coronavirus crisis which has hit its customers in the cruise industryBloomberg News reported late on Wednesday the state-owned firm, which has a market capitalization of about 1 billion euros, was considering a capital increase of up to 1.5 billion euros ($1.8 billion).A spokesman for Fincantieri said no decision had yet been taken on various options for ‘extraordinary transactions’ which were being evaluated.

17 Dec 2020

Investor EnTrust Global Turns Sights to Green Shipping Assets

© Mariusz / Adobe Stock

U.S. investment company EnTrust Global, already a player in shipping finance, aims to buy ships that generate lower emissions, an executive said, the latest sign of efforts in the shipping industry to go green.Global shipping accounts for nearly 3% of the world’s CO2 emissions, putting the industry under pressure to clean up. About 90% of world trade is transported by sea.New York-based EnTrust, which has $18.9 billion in assets, lends to the shipping sector through its Blue Ocean Funds.

17 Dec 2020

US Blacklists Chinese, UAE Companies Over Sale of Iranian Petrochemicals

© BUSARA / Adobe Stock

The United States on Wednesday imposed sanctions on companies based in China and the United Arab Emirates, accusing them of supporting the sale of Iranian petrochemicals as Washington increases pressure on Tehran in the closing days of President Donald Trump's term.The U.S. Treasury Department said in a statement it had blacklisted the four entities for facilitating the export of Iranian petrochemical products by Triliance Petrochemical Co. Ltd, which was hit with sanctions by…

16 Dec 2020

BW Group Buys 39.1% Stake in Navigator Holdings

© Dragec /

Private equity firm WL Ross & Co. said it has agreed to sell its approximately 39.1% equity interest in ship owner-operator Navigator Holdings to maritime and offshore company BW Group at a price of $9 per share."Navigator Holdings has been an industry leader since we made the initial investment. We think the company's future is bright, and this long-term investment from BW Group will position the company to realize its potential," said Hal Malone, Head of Transportation of WL Ross.Andreas Sohmen-Pao…

16 Dec 2020

Biden Introduces Buttigieg as Transportation Secretary

Pete Buttigieg (Credit: Gage Skidmore CC BY-SA 2.0)

President-elect Joe Biden touted the diversity of his incoming administration as he introduced former rival Pete Buttigieg on Wednesday as his choice for U.S. transportation secretary.Buttigieg, the former mayor of South Bend, Indiana, would be the first openly gay Cabinet secretary confirmed by the Senate if he is approved.Appearing with Buttigieg in Wilmington, Delaware, Biden said the 38-year-old would confront the task of upgrading America’s aging infrastructure and restoring what he called “our crumbling roads…

16 Dec 2020

Daniamant Acquires Alcares

Danish-based marine electronics company Daniamant said it has acquired the Danish-based company Alcares’ complete portfolio of products, assets and activities. Alcares specializes in the design, development and manufacture of survivor location lights.The acquisition of Alcares’ assets and activities by Daniamant is effective as of December 15, 2020 and involves all design, development, production, stock, patent, sales and marketing activities.

16 Dec 2020

Iran Says It Opposes All Maritime Sabotage, Days After Tanker Blast

BW Rhine (File Photo) - Author:Comrade King/Flickr - CC BY-SA 2.0

Iran said on Wednesday it was against any act that threatened maritime safety and trade, two days after a fuel transport ship was attacked near the Saudi port of Jeddah."Iran rejects any act of sabotage against maritime safety and security and the freedom of international trade" ISNA news agency quoted Foreign Ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh as saying when asked about the attack.(Reporting by Dubai newsroom; Editing by Andrew Heavens)

15 Dec 2020

Ship Finance Lenders Fall Short of Sector's Carbon Targets

© Alexey Lesik / Adobe Stock

Many of the world’s biggest lenders to shipping companies fell short of carbon-cutting targets last year in the first analysis of CO2 goals for the sector by financiers, a report showed on Wednesday.Global shipping accounts for nearly 3% of the world’s CO2 emissions and the industry is under pressure to reduce those emissions and other pollution. About 90% of world trade is transported by sea.Last year, a group of leading banks signed up to environmental commitments known as the Poseidon Principles…

15 Dec 2020

ABB Marine & Ports Opens Cyber Security Lab

ABB Marine & Ports’ cyber security lab will support shipping companies at all stages of digitalization (Image: ABB)

ABB Marine & Ports has opened a new shipping cyber security laboratory ahead of stricter maritime cyber security rules due to enter force on January 1, 2021.In line with the guidelines set out by the International Maritime Organization (IMO), the new laboratory features hardware and software systems developed to help shipowners and operators combat the maritime industry’s growing cyber security risks, ABB said. Customers are now being invited for virtual demonstrations of the laboratory’s systems and capabilities.With the rise of smarter…

15 Dec 2020

Baltic Exchange Launches New Service for Ship Investors

(Image: Baltic Exchange)

Publisher of maritime market benchmarks, the Baltic Exchange, has launched a new service for shipping investors which provides a snapshot five-year view of the financial prospects of dry bulk carriers.The Baltic Exchange Investor Indices are an easy to use online dashboard displaying data relevant to vessel investment decisions, residual value, health of earnings, spot and five-year timecharter earnings; purchase & recycling values; and running costs. It offers a high level of clarity and transparency for investors in capesize, panamax, supramax and handysize vessel types.

15 Dec 2020

PSC Acquires Fryoux Tankerman Service

(Photo: PSC)

Petroleum Service Corporation (PSC), a provider of tankerman services, product handling and site logistics for the petrochemical and refining industries, announced Tuesday that it signed an agreement to acquire certain assets from shoreside tankerman company Fryoux Tankerman Service.As part of the transaction, PSC will absorb Fryoux’s tankerman operations along the Gulf Coast. Jimmy Fryoux, President of the third-generation, family-owned company built by his grandfather and father…

15 Dec 2020

Timeline: Nord Stream 2 Gas Pipeline's Difficult Birth

(File Photo: Nord Stream 2 - © Axel Schmidt)

Russia has resumed construction of the politically-charged Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline to Germany, laying pipes after a one-year hiatus prompted by U.S. sanctions, the pipeline operator said on Friday.An alleged nerve agent attack on Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny in August was the latest political controversy to hit the nearly-completed Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline, as Germany debates whether to halt the project as part of potential sanctions against Russia.Led by Russia's Gazprom with Western partners…

15 Dec 2020

Turkey Won't Abandon East Med Rights over EU Sanctions Threat, FM Says

Tensions flared in August when Turkey sent its Oruc Reis seismic survey vessel to waters claimed by Greece - Image Credit: HUSEYIN YALCIN ATAN/MarineTraffic

Turkey will not abandon its rights and interests in the eastern Mediterranean because of possible European Union sanctions or criticism, Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said on Monday.At a summit on Friday, EU leaders agreed to prepare limited sanctions on Turkish individuals over a row with Greece and Cyprus about offshore energy exploration but postponed discussions on any harsher steps until March.German Chancellor Angela Merkel said after the summit that EU leaders planned to discuss weapons exports to Turkey with allies in the NATO military alliance following a Greek push for an arms em

14 Dec 2020

LR to Acquire C-MAP Commercial from Navico

Nial McCollam (Photo: Lloyd’s Register)

Lloyd's Register (LR) said it has reached a deal to acquire Navico Group’s C-MAP commercial marine business, a provider of commercial marine cartography and digital publications, shore-side and shipside voyage optimization, cloud-based fleet management and fleet analytics software. Financial terms were not disclosed. The acquisition, which includes C-MAP’s charts and publications, route planning and fleet management, weather services, professional services, and marine hydrographic services, will be integrated with into Lloyd's Register's i4 Insight performance platform.

14 Dec 2020

Leaders Push Brexit Trade Talks Beyond Sunday Deadline

© Kalyakan / Adobe Stock

London and Brussels agreed on Sunday to “go the extra mile” in coming days to try to reach an elusive trade agreement despite missing their latest deadline to avert a turbulent exit for Britain from the European Union’s orbit at the end of the month.British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and the president of the EU’s executive Commission, Ursula von der Leyen had given negotiators a Sunday deadline to find a way to resolve an impasse on arrangements that would guarantee Britain zero-tariff and zero-quota access to the EU’s single market.On Sunday they mandated negotiators to continue…

14 Dec 2020

Hurtigruten Struck By Cyberattack

(Photo: Hurtigruten)

Norwegian cruise company Hurtigruten sustained a cyberattack earlier on Monday and several key systems are currently down, the company said in a statement.The company, which operates ferries along the Norwegian coast as well as cruises in the Arctic and Antarctic in normal times, said it did not expect the attack to lead to a “material financial effect”, it said.“This is a serious attack.

11 Dec 2020

US Defense Bill Affirms Jones Act Applies to Offshore Wind

(Photo: Dominion Energy)

The U.S. Senate on Friday passed the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for fiscal year 2021, a massive $741 billion defense bill setting policy for the Pentagon. Importantly for the U.S. offshore and maritime industries, the bill includes an amendment ensuring full enforcement of the Jones Act and other federal laws in offshore wind development.The legislation passed the Senate by a vote of 84-13 and now heads to President Donald Trump’s desk for his signature following overwhelming 335-78 veto-proof House passage on December 8.

11 Dec 2020

Brazilian Prosecutors Sue Maersk Over Alleged Corruption

© marchello74 / Adobe Stock

Federal prosecutors in Brazil filed a civil lawsuit against Danish shipping company Maersk and former executives representing the firm for alleged corruption involving shipping contracts with state-run oil firm Petrobras, they said on Friday.The lawsuit requests that a judge freeze almost 1 billion reais ($198 million) in assets in order to make sure funds are available to pay for damages resulting from the alleged scheme.Prosecutors said there was evidence of bribe payments to…

11 Dec 2020

Green Hydrogen is Finally Getting Its Day in the Sun

© Thomas / Adobe Stock

Hydrogen has taken off this year as the future green fuel of choice, with governments and businesses betting big that the universe's most abundant element can help fight climate change.More than $150 billion worth of green hydrogen projects have been announced globally in the past nine months. In total, more than 70 gigawatts of such projects are in development, which could require $250 billion worth of investment by 2040, research firm Rystad Energy estimates.Why now?China, Japan…

10 Dec 2020

East Med Dispute: Erdogan Unmoved by EU Sanctions Threat

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan (File Photo: Turkish Presidency)

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan accused the European Union on Wednesday of never acting honestly towards his country and said Ankara was not concerned by any economic sanctions the bloc might impose on it.EU foreign ministers said on Monday Turkey had failed to help end a row with Greece and Cyprus over potential gas resources in the eastern Mediterranean, but they left a decision on sanctions for a summit of EU leaders that starts on Thursday.NATO ally Turkey has been at odds with EU members Greece and Cyprus over the extent of their continental shelves in the east Mediterranean.

09 Dec 2020

US Maritime Industry Seeks $3.5 Billion in COVID-19 Relief

© Natalia Bratslavsky / Adobe Stock

In a joint plea to Congressional leadership and Treasury Secretary Steven Munchin this week a host of maritime transportation entities asked that $3.5 billion in COVID-19 relief funding be made available for the U.S. maritime transportation sector, citing “significant hardships” and “unique and unexpected challenges” posed by the COVID-19 pandemic.The letters ask Congress and the Administration to take immediate action to provide the whole of the maritime transportation system…

09 Dec 2020

EnTrust Raises $2.1 Bln for Its Blue Ocean Funds

© AytugAskin / Adobe Stock

Alternative asset management firm EnTrust Global said Wednesday that it has completed fundraising for its EnTrust Global Blue Ocean Funds for investment in the global maritime industry. The Funds closed at $2.1 billion after raising $925 million since April of 2020.Part of EnTrust Global’s private debt and real asset division, the Blue Ocean Funds engage in direct lending and similar financing opportunities to vessel owners and operators and other maritime businesses.“We continue to see strong demand for our debt capital solutions from clients around the world…

09 Dec 2020

Wallenius Bets on Wind-powered Cargo Ships

(Image: Wallenius Marine)

Two centuries after the first coal-powered steamships crossed the Atlantic Ocean, a Swedish company is designing a futuristic throwback: a huge, wind-driven cargo ship that could help end the fossil fuel era and limit climate change.Shipping accounted for 2.9% of man-made greenhouse gas in 2018, and the industry’s share of planet-heating emissions has been rising in recent years, according to the U.N.’s International Maritime Organization.One solution may be to turn the clock back to pre-industrial times and again hoist sails to carry cargo around the world.Sweden’s Wallenius Marine AB…

09 Dec 2020

U.S. Blacklists Companies, Ships Linked to North Korean Coal Exports

alm Bridge - Credit: Sergei Skriabin - MarineTraffic

The United States has blacklisted six companies, including several based in China, and four ships accused of illicit exports of North Korean coal, the Treasury Department said on Tuesday.The United Nations Security Council banned North Korean coal exports in 2017. The 15-member body has unanimously boosted sanctions on North Korea since 2006 in a bid to choke off funding for Pyongyang's nuclear and ballistic missile programs."The DPRK (North Korea) continues to circumvent the U.N.

08 Dec 2020

Coronavirus Slows Bangladesh's Shipbreaking Safety Reforms

© katiekk2 / Adobe Stock

The coronavirus pandemic has slowed efforts to make safer the often hazardous job of dismantling old ships in Bangladesh, officials said, following the latest worker fatality.COVID-19 temporarily shuttered ship-breaking yards in Bangladesh, one of the world’s main destinations for end-of-life vessels, delaying safety reforms ahead of a 2023 deadline.Almost all of the 70 active yards in Bangladesh have submitted Ship Recycling Facility Plans since 2019, according to the Ministry…

08 Dec 2020

Baltic Index Dips as Capesizes Slide to Near 6-month Low

© masterskuz55 / Adobe Stock

The Baltic Exchange's main sea freight index fell on Tuesday, as concerns over trade frictions between Australia and China on coal shipments sent capesize rates to a near six-month low.The Baltic dry index, which tracks rates for capesize, panamax and supramax vessels, was down by 41 points or 3.5%, to 1,121, its lowest since Nov. 18.The capesize index was down 140 points, or about 10%, at 1,279, a trough since June 10.Average daily earnings for capesizes, which typically transport 150…

08 Dec 2020

US Targets Coal Shipments in Fresh N. Korea-related Sanctions

© Parilov / Adobe Stock

The United States imposed new sanctions on six groups and four vessels related to the transport of North Korean coal on Thursday, including operations based in China, the Treasury Department said on Tuesday."The DPRK (North Korea) continues to circumvent the U.N. prohibition on the exportation of coal, a key revenue generator that helps fund its weapons of mass destruction programs," Secretary Steven Mnuchin said in a statement.

08 Dec 2020

Eastern Libyan Force Says It Intercepted Turkish Cargo Ship

Turkish ship under was intercepted while heading to the port of Misrata in Libya - Credit: Yarr65/Adobestock

Eastern-based Libyan forces have intercepted a Turkish ship under a Jamaican flag heading to the port of Misrata in western Libya, their spokesman said on Monday, a possible new flashpoint in the conflict after weeks of truce.Turkey is the main foreign backer of the internationally recognized Government of National Accord (GNA), in the west, which has for years been fighting the eastern-based Libyan National Army (LNA).LNA spokesman Ahmed al-Mismari added that the commercial cargo ship, Mabrouka, had 17 crew, including nine Turkish nationals, and containers that had not yet been inspected.

07 Dec 2020

Port of Los Angeles Inks $6.8 Mln Cybersecurity Deal with IBM

© trekandphoto / Adobe Stock

The Port of Los Angeles is working with IBM to design and operate a Port Cyber Resilience Center (CRC) at the U.S.' busiest container port.A $6.8 million, three-year agreement between the seaport and tech giant includes hardware, software and services to design, install, operate and maintain the first-of-its-kind system aimed at detecting and protecting against malicious cyber incidents potentially impacting cargo flow as well as improving the quality, quantity and speed of cyber…

07 Dec 2020

SEACOR to Go Private in $1 Billion Deal

© Joel Kifer /

Florida-based transportation and logistics firm SEACOR Holdings Inc announced Monday it has entered into a deal with private equity firm American Industrial Partners (AIP) to take the company private in an all-cash transaction valuing it at about $1 billion, including net debt.SEACOR said New York-based AIP will commence a tender offer to buy all its outstanding shares at $41.50 apiece, a premium of about 14% to the company’s closing stock price on Friday, and a premium of approximately…

07 Dec 2020

East Med Dispute: Turkey Won't Bow to Threats, Erdogan Says as EU Considers Sanctions

Turkey's Oruc Reis seismic vessel - Credit: Cengiz Tokgoz/

Turkey will not bow to threats in its dispute with Greece and Cyprus over maritime claims in the eastern Mediterranean, President Tayyip Erdogan said on Monday as European Union foreign ministers met in Brussels to discuss the issue.But Erdogan also said Turkey wanted negotiations over the conflicting claims to continental shelves and rights to potential energy resources.The EU ministers were due to evaluate grounds for sanctions against Turkey. The bloc's leaders will then decide on Thursday whether to make good on their threat…

07 Dec 2020

Fincantieri Sees Chantiers Deal Decided by Year End

(Photo: Chantiers de l’Atlantique)

Italy’s plan to create a European shipbuilding champion through Fincantieri’s bid for France’s Chantiers de l’Atlantique will be decided by the end of December, its chairman said on Monday, amid signs the deal is in trouble.Italy hopes the tie-up will help state-controlled Fincantieri, Europe’s biggest shipyard, better compete with rivals from Asia and elsewhere.Fincantieri, whose clients include Carnival Cruise Line, Holland America Line, P&O Cruises, MSC and Disney Cruise Line…

04 Dec 2020

Rolls-Royce Acquires Ship Control Systems Supplier Servowatch

(Image: Rolls-Royce)

Rolls-Royce has acquired Servowatch Systems, a UK-based international supplier of integrated marine automation solutions for navies, commercial vessels and large yachts.Representatives of Rolls-Royce's Power Systems business unit and the company’s previous owner, the Indian engineering, procurement and construction projects, manufacturing, defense and services group Larsen & Toubro, signed the contracts Wednesday. Commercial terms were not disclosed."Servowatch's modern and sophisticated…

03 Dec 2020

US Axes Environmental Reviews of LNG Marine Transport

© Mike Mareen / Adobe Stock

The U.S. Department of Energy on Thursday issued a rule to exclude environmental reviews for marine transport of liquefied natural gas (LNG), as the Trump administration unleashes last minute rules supporting the fossil fuel industry.The rule, which the Energy Department issued in a pre-publication notice in the Federal Register, frees LNG transport license applications from including environmental reviews that have been required under a bedrock environmental law, the National…

03 Dec 2020

Shipowner Fined $12 Mln for US Pollution Violations

© Erimar Macedo /

Pacific Carriers Limited (PCL), a Singapore-based company that owns subsidiaries engaged in international shipping, was sentenced today in federal court before U.S. District Court Judge Louise Flanagan in New Bern, N.C., after pleading guilty to violations of the Act to Prevent Pollution from Ships, obstruction of justice, and for a failure to notify the U.S. Coast Guard of a hazardous condition on the cargo vessel Pac Antares.PCL pleaded guilty to a total of eight felony offenses across three judicial districts – the Eastern District of North Carolina…

02 Dec 2020

Streamlining and Simplifying US Government Guaranteed Vessel Financing

© wi6995 / Adobe Stock

The Maritime Administration (MARAD) has taken several steps to streamline and simplify the Federal Ship Financing Program under Chapter 537 of Title 46 of the U.S. Code (commonly referred to as Title XI). The Title XI program provides for a full faith and credit guarantee by the United States government to promote the growth and modernization of the U.S. merchant marine and U.S. shipyards. The Title XI Program supports U.S. shipowners obtaining new vessels from, or reconstructing and reconditioning vessels in, U.S. shipyards. It also aids U.S.

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