Floods Stall Inland Fertilizer Barge Shipments
Farm supplier CHS Inc has dozens of loaded barges trapped on the flood-swollen Mississippi River near St. Louis - about 500 miles from the company's two Minnesota distribution hubs.The barges can't move - or get crucial nutrients to corn farmers for the spring planting season - because river locks on the main U.S. artery for grain and fertilizer have been shuttered for weeks. High water presents a hazard for boats, barges and lock equipment.Railroads have also been plagued by delays from winter weather and flooding in the western Midwest…
2019 Shipping Season Opens at St. Lawrence Seaway
As the St. Lawrence Seaway officially opened for business yesterday (March 26), U.S. Great Lakes ports are predicting the shipping season will mirror last year’s stellar performance.In 2018, many U.S. Great Lakes ports recorded their highest cargo totals in recent years, with strong volumes of iron ore, petroleum products, construction products and international grain exports. This coming season, road salt shipments should also be strong as cities replenish their reserves after a long, difficult winter.
2019 Shipping Season to Open for Duluth
Last night’s arrival of United States Coast Guard Cutters Alder and Mackinaw signaled that the 2019 commercial shipping season is soon to commence for the Port of Duluth-Superior and the entire region.The Alder and Mackinaw made their way across Lake Superior from Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan, opening a 100-foot lane in the ice that will be widened soon by Canadian Coast Guard Ship Samuel Risley in support of breakout efforts that will also include local tugs from the Great Lakes Towing Company and Heritage Marine.
VA Offshore Wind: A Strong Foundation
Virginia officials have established a well-planned, extensive strategy to build out an offshore wind industry, including wind towers for electricity generation and the supply chain to support that extensive infrastructure and operations. The State’s big picture is ambitious: developing 2,000 MW of offshore wind by 2028.As currently envisioned, VA’s offshore wind development will likely start this year with two 8-megawatt wind turbines 27 miles off the coast of Virginia Beach. This is a Dominion Energy pilot undertaken in partnership with the Danish wind company Orsted.
U.S. Army Corps Selects 10 Beneficial Use Pilot Projects
At the end of December, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (ACE) announced its selection of ten dredging projects that will form the core of a pilot program to advance the beneficial use of dredged material.The recent U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ announcement culminated a program required by Congress, established within the Water Resources Development Act (WRDA) of 2016, specifically Section 1122. Congress directed that the ten pilot projects selected were required to present environmental…
U.S. DOJ Announces Environmental Crimes Conviction
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.
Excessive Rain Disrupts US River Barge Shipping
Excessive rains across the central United States over the past week have slowed the harvest of corn and soybeans, while rising water levels closed at least three locks on the Upper Mississippi River, a key artery for shipping Midwest grain to U.S. Gulf exporters.Cash bids for corn shipped by barge to the Gulf firmed on Tuesday, reflecting exporter demand and dwindling pipeline supplies as rising river levels slowed barge traffic.The United States is the world's top corn supplier, and sales of the yellow grain represent one U.S.
Great Lakes Shipping Supports 237,000 Plus Jobs
The new study by the Department of Transportation Great Lakes - Saint Lawrence Seaway says that shipping supports more than 237,000 jobs and billions in economic activity.A year-long study of the economic impacts of the entire Great Lakes-St. Lawrence Seaway navigation system is a definitive and detailed report documenting the many contributions made by the Great Lakes Seaway system to federal, state/provincial and local economies.The study reports that in 2017 maritime commerce supported: 237…
Cargill Aims to Cut Ship Emissions 15% by 2020
Cargill Inc aims to cut carbon emissions from its international shipping unit by as much as 15 percent by 2020, to meet U.N. regulations to reduce pollution and demands from some of its food manufacturer customers for more environmentally-friendly operations.The global commodities trader, which was scheduled to announce the emissions goal late on Monday, told Reuters the reduction of CO2 per cargo-ton-mile was targeted at its time-chartered fleet. But overall, Cargill plans to cut total greenhouse gas emissions on an absolute basis across all company operations by 10 percent by 2025.Cargill…
Study: Nonnative Species Carried in Lakers' Ballast Water
A recent study on nonindigenous species of plankton in ballast discharges from U.S. and Canadian lakers to western Lake Superior documented five species of nonindigenous zooplankton not yet established in western Lake Superior, including Hemimysis anomala (“bloody red shrimp”), in ballast water discharged there. It also detected, in uptake water, a species of zooplankton (Paraleptastacus wilsoni) that had not previously been recorded in the Great Lakes.Some of the species, including this one, live in harbor sediment and may have escaped routine surveillance to date.
EPA Announces Funding to Reduce Diesel Emissions
Preference given to fleets in areas facing air quality challenges. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced the availability of grant funding to modernize the nation’s diesel fleet by retrofitting or replacing vehicles with cleaner, more efficient diesel engines. EPA anticipates awarding approximately $40 million in Diesel Emission Reduction Program (DERA) grant funding to eligible applicants, subject to the availability of funds. “These grants will incentivize improvements to aging diesel fleets and improve air quality throughout the country…
Season’s First Saltie Heads for Duluth-Superior
The first ‘saltie’ of the 2018 commercial navigation season is on its way to the Port of Duluth-Superior. The 656-foot bulk carrier Federal Weser is scheduled to pass beneath Duluth’s Aerial Lift Bridge by 10 p.m. tonight and is expected to start loading Monday morning at the CHS terminal on the Superior side of the harbor. If all goes according to plan, the ship should depart late Tuesday or Wednesday with 21,400 metric tons of durum wheat bound for Algeria. The Federal Weser, part of the Fednav fleet, last visited the Twin Ports in 2015.
Enhancing Historic Lake Michigan Docking Facilities
A federal FASTLANE grant has been approved for S.S. Badger Ports & Harbor project impacting Manitowoc, Wis. and Ludington, Mich. A primer on how things get done. This is a story about two communities on the shores of Lake Michigan and the unique car ferry that connects them. The SS Badger provides a nautical “highway” across one of our nation’s major waterways, carrying passengers, oversized loads and trucks of nearly every kind. Essentially, the ferry provides a vital lifeline of commerce, tourism and economic growth between the cities of Manitowoc, Wis. and Ludington, Mich.
Last Saltie of 2017 to Depart Port of Duluth-Superior
The last oceangoing vessel of the year is scheduled to leave the Port of Duluth-Superior, signaling the beginning of the end of the 2017 commercial shipping season in the Twin Ports and across the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence Seaway system. Weather permitting, the Beatrix is set to finish loading 12,000 metric tons of spring wheat tonight at the CHS elevator in Superior—grain bound for the United Kingdom. The 512-foot Wagenborg vessel flies the flag of the Netherlands. Its estimated time of departure may be 8 p.m. (or later), enabling the ship to clear the Seaway locks by Christmas Day.
New Patrol Boat Delivered in Minnesota
Lake Assault Boats said it has delivered a 28-foot rescue vessel to the Hennepin County Sheriff’s Water Patrol Unit located in Minneapolis, Minn. Purchased from the General Services Administration (GSA) Schedule, the vessel will assist in rescue and recovery operations along the Mississippi River. The vessel is powered by a pair of Mercury Verado 300 hp engines with digital throttle, shift and power steering, as well as the Mercury Joystick Piloting and Skyhook Digital Anchoring systems.
U.S. Midwest Refiners Boost Output
U.S. refineries from Ohio to Minnesota are capitalizing on access to cheap crude from Western Canada and North Dakota oilfields, helping their region break a historic dependence on fuel from the Gulf Coast while redrawing oil trade maps. Since the early 2000s, crude and fuel flows from the Gulf Coast into the U.S. heartland have been cut in half, as crude coming from Canada and North Dakota has pushed U.S. Midwest refining activity to record levels. In 2016, Midwest refining capacity rose to 3.9 million barrels per day (bpd) of crude, the highest annual volume on record.
US Iron Ore Shipments Remain Strong
Iron ore, dry bulk cargo and general cargo shipments remain strong on the St. Lawrence Seaway, with overall tonnage up 18 percent over last year. The St. Lawrence Seaway Management Corporation reports that cargo shipments from March 20 through July 31 totaled more than 16 million metric tons – up 2.5 million metric tons over the same period in 2016. “We continue to see demand for raw materials that are needed for construction and in the manufacturing and automotive industries,” said Bruce Burrows, President of the Chamber of Marine Commerce.
US Iron Ore Boosts St. Lawrence Seaway Shipping
With strong increases in iron ore and other cargo, total tonnage shipped via the St. Lawrence Seaway is up 20 percent over last year. The St. Lawrence Seaway Management Corporation reports that cargo shipments from March 20 to June 30 totaled more than 12 million metric tons – up two million metric tons over the same period in 2016. “St. Lawrence Seaway shipping is a bellwether for the health of the overall U.S. and Canadian economies and reflects strong demand for raw materials to support the automotive…
Oil at 10-month Low after Biggest First Half Slide in 20 Years
Oil prices ended down more than 2 percent on Wednesday after hitting a 10-month low in volatile trade, as growing U.S. production and reduced Chinese refinery activity fed mounting concern over the stubborn global crude glut. U.S. crude futures settled at $42.53, down 98 cents or 2.3 percent, after touching a low of $42.13, the lowest intraday level since August 2016. Since peaking in late February, crude has dropped more than 20 percent, with only brief rallies. More than 1 million front-month crude contracts changed hands on Wednesday, far exceeding the daily average of 560,000 contracts.
US Navy: Bigger is Better, but at What Cost?
The U.S. Navy has a balanced fleet, but it wants to grow bigger and better. Will the budget allow both? Maritime Reporter's March 2017 cover story on the U.S. Navy was all about the numbers. There exists several plans to grow the fleet beyond the current number of 308 ships, the Mitre recommendation of 414 ships, the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessment 340-ship proposal, and the Navy’s decision to grow the fleet to 355 ships, and the Trump administration’s 350. With so many numbers being bandied about, there are even more suggestions on how to get there.
Interlake Steamship Moves First ‘Mustang’ Pellets
The 1,004-foot M/V James R. Barker has sailed from the Twin Ports with a new specialized cargo: 60,000 tons of Mustang superflux pellets – the first shipment of its kind since the new pellet production began at Cliffs Natural Resources Inc.’s United Taconite mine last month. The specialized Mustang pellets, which will be used for the automotive industry and other markets, contain a higher level of calcium added to dolomite and limestone than the standard taconite pellets. Production of Mustang pellets began in May…
Volvo Penta Appoints Midwest Marine Sales Partner
Further building its network of Power Centers and distribution partners to support its commercial marine business in North America, Volvo Penta of the Americas has appointed Interstate Power Systems as a strategic commercial marine partner for Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa, Illinois and upper Michigan. Interstate Power Systems was founded in 1957 and currently has four primary divisions providing products and services at more than 20 locations across the upper Midwest. Volvo Penta…
Spring Cargo Numbers Buoy Great Lakes-Seaway Shipping
Spring cargo numbers from the St. Lawrence Seaway and U.S. ports are signaling a better year for Great Lakes-Seaway shipping. According to the latest figures from the St. Lawrence Seaway, total cargo shipments via the Seaway from the start of the shipping season (March 20 through April 30) reached 3.7 million metric tons, up 8 percent from the same period a year ago. “It’s still very early in the season, but we’re optimistic that 2017 will be a better year for Great Lakes-Seaway shipping,” said Bruce Burrows, President of the Chamber of Marine Commerce. “U.S.