US Coast Guard Issues RFP for New Waterways Commerce Cutters
The U.S. Coast Guard is seeking proposals from shipyards to design and construct its new river buoy and inland construction tenders as part of the waterways commerce cutter (WCC) program.In total, the Coast Guard plans to acquire 16 river buoy tenders, 11 inland construction tenders and three inland buoy tenders to replace its aging inland tender fleet, which has an average vessel age of over 55 years.The request for proposal (RFP) released on April 30 encompasses designing the river buoy tender and inland construction tender (designs which share 95% commonality)…
Car Carrier Grounds Near Cape Charles
A 760-foot car carrier vessel ran aground in the Chesapeake Bay, on Tuesday, the U.S. Coast Guard said.Watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector Virginia received a report that the Norwegian-flagged Tirranna ran aground near the Cape Charles Anchorage at approximately 3:30 a.m. The vessel was heading southbound on its way from Baltimore to Savannah, Ga.The Coast Guard launched a team aboard a 29-foot Response Boat-Small from Station Cape Charles to provide an initial assessment of the situation.
Survey Seeks to Gauge COVID-19's Impact on Mariner Mental Health
The U.S. Committee on the Marine Transportation System (CMTS) COVID-19 Working Group (C-19 WG) is encouraging mariners from all segments of the U.S. maritime industry to anonymously complete the “Mariner Mental Health Needs during Covid-19” online survey here.The confidential survey takes about 10 minutes to complete and asks mariners about COVID-19, mental health, and their experiences and feelings when on board vessels during the challenges of this pandemic. No mariner identification data is collected.CMTS…
Marine Transportation System Innovative Conference Set for March 15-17, 2021
The 6th Biennial Marine Transportation System Innovative Science and Technology Conference, hosted by the CMTS and the Transportation Research Board, will be held virtually from March 15-17, 2021. The theme of the upcoming conference is “Advancing the Marine Transportation System through Automation and Autonomous Technologies: Trends, Applications and Challenges," and it will showcase current and emerging innovative science and technologies related to maritime transportation. This conference will be held virtually.Join your colleagues from government, industry, and academia to examine the rapidly evolving applications of autonomous and automated technologies.
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…
Maritime Resilience and the Human Element at MRS2020
Has the age of maritime discovery and exploration actually ended? Perhaps not exactly. As the history of maritime resilience and the human element shows, as far back as the 1500s and earlier, from using new navigational aids and improved ship designs, to coastal and inland route sailing, to navigating on open seas with uncertain charts, wayward icebergs, dense fog and luckily at times, clear starry nights, mariners have faced human element and maritime resiliency challenges. "Short of food and water…
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.
MARAD Awards $9.5 Mln for Marine Highways Projects
The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Maritime Administration (MARAD) awarded $9.5 million in grants to eight marine highways projects across the Nation under the America’s Marine Highway Program. The funding supports the enhancement of navigable waterways and expands existing waterborne freight services in Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, New York, New Jersey, Oregon, Tennessee, Washington and American Samoa.“This Federal assistance will provide additional options to reduce congestion on the roads and help the surrounding local communities’ and the regions’ economic recovery…
COVID-19 Weighs on Great Lakes-Seaway Shipping
While St. Lawrence Seaway cargo volumes decreased during the past two months due to economic shifts related to COVID-19, industry leaders said the binational trade and transportation corridor is ready to play its part in the economic recovery efforts in the coming months. Meanwhile, with an increased focus on commodity diversification through project cargo, international shipments of wind energy components in the Great Lakes region are taking off.Overall St. Lawrence Seaway tonnage from March 15 through May 31 totaled 7.7 million metric tons, down 10% compared to the same time period in 2019.
One on One with Buckley McAllister
Buckley McAllister, President of McAllister Towing & Transportation, weighs in on the coronavirus pandemic and its impacts on the maritime sector.McAllister Towing & Transportation is a long and storied organization based in New York, the original U.S. COVID-19 hot spot that has been transformed from the city that never sleeps into a surreal ghost town. Describe the view from your perspective.All McAllister administrative personnel who can work from home are doing so. Luckily, most office personnel do most of their work online, so the need for actual visits to the office are infrequent.
USCG Issues AIS Safety Warning Following Towboat Collision
The U.S. Coast Guard has issued a safety alert highlighting the importance of accurate Automatic Identification System (AIS) data entry and display to safe navigation following a recent towboat collision on the Mississippi River.Although the investigation into this casualty is not yet complete, the Coast Guard said the incident shows the hazards created by inaccurate AIS data and should prompt owners and operators to review and update their procedures to prevent similar casualties from occurring.Before sunrise, two towing vessels were approaching a bend on the Mississippi River.
Safeguarding the Maritime Transportation System During the COVID-19 Pandemic
The marine transportation system (MTS) is critical to both our national security and economic prosperity. The U.S. Coast Guard has an enduring responsibility to safeguard the MTS and enable the uninterrupted flow of maritime commerce. While Coast Guard Prevention missions normally address the systemic risks to the MTS through a variety of regulatory and compliance activities on a day-to-day basis, the COVID-19 response demands a flexible approach to prevent an undue backlog from causing MTS delays today and in the near term.
Coast Guard Corrals Wayward Buoy in Long Island Sound
Built to guide mariners through safe waters, the Valiant Rock Lighted Whistle Buoy 11 was dangerously adrift in the Long Island Sound.When ferry operators traveling between Orient Point and Fishers Island, New York, first reported the buoy off station on Jan. 17, the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Oak (WLB-211) was already underway but foul weather kept the cutter from removing it.This was the beginning of a two-week saga that would involve several Coast Guard units. Like the Loch Ness monster of the Long Island Sound, the 35-foot-tall green buoy was occasionally seen but hard to catch.
USCG Advises on Minimizing Novel Coronavirus at Sea
The Coast Guard Assistant Commandant for Prevention Policy has published an update March 16, 2020 to MSIB: Novel Coronavirus – Update (Change 2)An outbreak of respiratory illness caused by a novel coronavirus (COVID-19) may affect mariners and maritime commerce. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has updated their Interim Guidance for Ships on Managing Suspected Coronavirus Disease 2019 (see https://go.usa.gov/xdfyG) and Cruise Ship Travel (see https://go.usa.gov/xdfVP).Illness…
Coast Guard Pursues Enforcement Action against Bouchard
The U.S. Coast Guard said it is pursuing enforcement action against Bouchard Transportation Company after the shipping company failed to comply with a captain of the port order for one of its two vessels anchored in the Marine Safety Unit Port Arthur, Texas, area of responsibility.According to the Coast Guard, tugs Kim M. Bouchard and Danielle M. Bouchard and their associated barges have been anchored off Texas Point since mid-December with no known plans to move and crews unpaid since January…
Adm. Schultz Delivers State of the Coast Guard Address
U.S. Coast Guard Commandant Adm. Karl Schultz outlined his vision for the service Thursday during the State of the Coast Guard Address in Charleston, highlighting the organization’s top initiatives, accomplishments over the past year, and challenges facing the service today and on the road ahead.The 26th Commandant stressed the importance of America's marine transportation system and highlighted Coast Guard's role in safeguarding maritime commerce among the service's many crucial contributions to U.S. security. “Our interconnected global economy relies on efficient ports and waterways.
Matson Promotes Three
U.S. carrier Matson announced it promoted three executives to the company's senior leadership team, effective immediately.Branton "Bal" Dreyfus, Vice President, Alaska, has been promoted to Senior Vice President, Alaska in recognition of Matson's growing scope of operations, continuing investment in and long-term commitment to serving Alaska. Dreyfus will continue to report directly to Matt Cox, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer.Capt. John "Jack" Sullivan, Vice President, Vessel Operations and Engineering…
The Good, the Bad and the Undeniably Ugly
The end of 2019 promises to be a busy, and potentially discordant, legislative and regulatory period for the United States maritime industry as both Congress and the Executive Branch look to take decisive action, with both positive and negative potential impacts depending on your perspective. With appropriation and authorization bills still pending, and various open regulatory actions, there are significant opportunities for maritime stakeholders to influence policy outcomes.Funding Fights Continue in CongressOn October 31…
10th Annual Maritime Risk Symposium at Suny Maritime
3-Day Event Gathers Industry Leaders to Focus on Risks to the Marine Transportation SystemFrom November 13-15, the 10th annual Maritime Risk Symposium (MRS) will take place at SUNY Maritime College bringing together academics, government, and commercial entities to discuss threats, challenges, and risks associated with the Marine Transportation System (MTS).Key industry leaders participating in the event include First Coast Guard District Commander Rear Admiral Andrew Tiongson, MARAD Administrator Mark “Buz” Buzby, and New York State Supreme Court Judge John Ingram. “A resilient Marine Transportation System is imperative to our Nation’s economic prosperity and national security…
Maritime Risk Symposium, Nov. 12-15 at SUNY Maritime
The State University of New York Maritime College, in collaboration with the U.S. Coast Guard, National Academy of Sciences, academic institutions, industry partners, and federal, state and local agencies, will host the 10th Annual Maritime Risk Symposium (MRS 2019) Nov. 13-15, 2019, at New York Maritime College located in the Bronx, New York.MRS 2019 will bring together academics, government and commercial entities to discuss the threats, challenges and risks associated with the Marine Transportation System with a focus on current and future marine transportation challenges and threats.
Massport Board Appoints New CEO
The Massachusetts Port Authority (Massport) picked its port director, Lisa Wieland, to be its next Chief Executive Officer(CEO), bypassing the other finalist, a member of the city's power elite, for one of the most influential public-sector jobs in the state.Board of Directors voted to offer Wieland the position of CEO and Executive Director for a five-year term. Contract negotiations will occur at a later date.The search firm Isaacson, Miller sought a diverse candidate pool for the position and more than 100 applications were received. Members of the Board’s Preliminary Screening Committee interviewed 10 semifinalists, of which five were women and three were people of color.
OP/ED: Is Short Sea shipping on the horizon along the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway?
Are paradigms shifting on the increased role of inland waterways with respect to short sea shipping and the Nation’s marine transportation system? Investigation and implementation of new commerce shipping avenues are becoming more common along the Eastern seaboard of the United States with each new announcement of a Port Authority supporting the development of shipping routes for container on barge services.In the past few weeks, the South Carolina Ports Authority (SCPA) furthered their quest to develop a marine highway to support the Port of Charleston in South Carolina.
AIS Data: History & Future
The Automatic Identification System (AIS) was developed with the sole goal of improving maritime safety by allowing ships in proximity to one another to automatically exchange information regarding their name, course, speed, type, cargo, etc. The exchange of this information would allow conning officers on each ship to make better decisions regarding the possibility of close encounters and the need to change course and/or speed. It would also make it easier for one ship to contact the other by radio-telephone to hopefully remove any doubt.