Transportation News

02 Apr 2020

IMO Urges Governments to Allow Crew Changes

© Igor Kardasov / Adobe Stock

United Nations shipping agency the International Maritime Organization (IMO) has echoed industry calls for governments to grant special travel exemptions to seafarers in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.In a Circular Letter (link) issued on Monday, the IMO distributed a series of recommendations for governments and relevant national authorities, proposed by a broad cross-section of global industry associations representing the maritime transportation sector.The Circular Letter specifically calls on governments to designate professional seafarers and marine personnel…

02 Apr 2020

Covid-19: Boskalis Stops Crew Changes, Cuts Spending

Boskalis heavy transportation vessel carrying an FPSO - Image Credit; Boskalis

Dutch offshore transportation and dredging giant Boskalis has halted crew changes and will slash spending this year due to the COVID-19 virus crisis, it said on Thursday.The company said that, while its workers work from home where possible, this is not an option for staff working on international projects and vessels."Therefore, as a consequence of global travel restrictions and to ensure the business continuity and health of our colleagues, the customary crew and project staff rotations have been suspended as of 16 March…

01 Apr 2020

US Shipyards Forge Ahead Through COVID-19

The 56-foot icebreaking tugboat being built by Blount Boats for N.Y. Power Authority (NYPA). (Photo: Blount Boats)

As the novel coronavirus and its impacts continue to spread across America, U.S. shipbuilders, by and large, continue to build. While most yards have been deemed essential to marine transportation and/or national security and have been able to maintain operations, the situation at and around every shipyard is different, and there are several builders across the country that have had to temporarily suspend activity. In either scenario, it’s far from business as usual for America’s…

01 Apr 2020

FMC Investigating COVID-19's Suply Chain Impacts

© Mihai Andritoiu / Adobe Stock

The Federal Maritime Commission issued an order authorizing Commissioner Rebecca Dye to identify operational solutions to cargo delivery system challenges related to Coronavirus-19.The Order notes that “Recent global events have only highlighted the economic urgency of responsive port and terminal operations to the effectiveness of the United States international freight delivery system. Given the Commission’s mandate to ensure an efficient and economic transportation system for ocean commerce…

31 Mar 2020

Environmental DNA Emerging in the Ocean Science Community

A microfluidic sensor from Dalhousie (credit: Dartmouth Ocean Technologies Inc. and Sieben Laboratory Dalhousie University)

There is a new buzzword in the ocean science/sensing community. The word is eDNA, an abbreviation for environmental DNA. This refers to DNA that can be extracted from environmental samples without first isolating any target organisms. In the maritime community such samples are taken from water. All living organisms leave traces of DNA in their environments which is an indicator of their presence over time. This DNA is released into the environment through the biological process of living animals or by the decomposition of dead organisms.

30 Mar 2020

Coast Guard Corrals Wayward Buoy in Long Island Sound

U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Oak (WLB-211) sits at anchor. The Newport, Rhode Island-based buoy tender maintains 144 Aids to Navigation (ATON) that guide mariners into some of the oldest and busiest ports in the U.S., including Boston, Massachusetts; Portsmouth, New Hampshire; and Portland, Maine. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Emily E. Torsney)

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.

30 Mar 2020

Qingdao Cruise Terminal Construction Kicks Off

(Photo: Stadt Qingdao)

An event officially signalling the start of construction on Qingdao International Cruise Terminal in China was held alongside a global promotion launched to attract investment. At the event, the People's Government of Qingdao signed a cooperation agreement with Shandong Port Group for a RMB10 billion project, and inked contracts with a number of partners for 14 industrial projects with a total investment of RMB31.35 billion.The government of Qingdao's Shibei District is pushing…

25 Mar 2020

St. Lawrence Seaway/Great Lakes Shipping Season Commences

© Daniel / Adobe Stock

The St. Lawrence Seaway’s 62nd navigation season kicked off on Tuesday with the transit of the Canadian-flagged cement carrier NACC Argonaut through Lock 8 on the Welland Canal.Then, in the early hours on Wednesday morning, first U.S.-flag commercial vessel transited the locks at Sault Ste. Marie, Mich., signaling the start of the U.S. fleet's 2020 sailing season.The Seaway’s Montreal / Lake Ontario section will open on April 1 this year, eight days after the opening of the Welland Canal.

20 Mar 2020

FMC Revokes PVO for French America Line

French America Line Prohibited from Offering, Advertising, or Conducting Passenger CruisesFrench America Line, a domestic passenger vessel operator (PVO), is prohibited from offering, advertising, or conducting cruises following revocation today of its Certificate of Financial Responsibility for Indemnification of Passengers for Nonperformance of Transportation (Certificate (Performance)) by the Federal Maritime Commission.In April 2019, the Commission’s Bureau of Certification and Licensing notified Great Northern & Southern Navigation Co., LLC, which does business as French America Line (FAL), that it intended to revoke the company’s Certificate (Performance). Companies must maintain a Certificate (Performance) to offer passenger services.

20 Mar 2020

ACL Expects to Emerge from Chapter 11 Soon

© Warren Price / Adobe Stock

American Commercial Lines Inc. (ACL) said on Friday it expects to complete its recapitalization and emerge from Chapter 11 in the coming weeks after the U.S. Bankrptcy Court for the Southern District of Texas, Houston Division confirmed the company's pre-packaged plan. ACL announced it would implement the recapitalization plan in February. Upon emergence, the company will receive $200 million in new capital to support liquidity and investments in the business and will reduce its funded debt by approximately $1 billion…

20 Mar 2020

Dredging: Essential Critical Infrastructure Workforce

(Photo: Dredging Contractors of America)

On Thursday, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) released guidance to help state and local jurisdictions and the private sector identify and manage their essential workforce while responding to COVID-19.The Dredging Contractors of America (DCA) helped the federal government develop this first-of-a-kind guidance on Essential Critical Infrastructure Workers.“This is why Government Coordinating Councils and Sector Coordinating Councils are so important.

20 Mar 2020

Staten Island Ferries: A "New York State of Mind"

The OLLIS Class: is a new class of vessels being built for Staten Island Ferries by Eastern Shipbuilding Group. Photos: Staten Island Ferries/ESG

It takes a thick skin to live in New York City, let alone to run its Staten Island Ferry service. James C. DeSimone, Deputy Commissioner, Ferry Division, New York City Department of Transportation, has been charged with running the ferry service for the last 16 years. We met with him for his insights on the challenges of keeping the iconic ferry running safely and efficiently.Jim DeSimone has led a maritime life, with his time equally split between the private and public sectors. His maritime affiliation is literally in his blood, as his father Guy J.

19 Mar 2020

China Iron Ore Recoups Losses Amid Stimulus Hopes

© martinfredy/AdobeStock

 China's iron ore futures erased earlier losses to end flat on Thursday, regaining support as miner Vale SA said it may temporarily halt activities at its Malaysian distribution center as a safety measure against the coronavirus pandemic.Iron ore's most-traded contract on the Dalian Commodity Exchange steadied at 678 yuan ($95.76) a tonne, after tumbling 5.8% earlier in the session.On the Singapore Exchange, the front-month iron ore contract trimmed losses to just 0.3% in afternoon trade from 4.1% earlier in the day.Iron ore supplier Vale said on Wednesday its Malaysian distribution center may

18 Mar 2020

Rewrite the Rules: The Path to Zero Emissions

First-of-its-kind cargo vessel Captain Ben Moore delivers local produce and food across Long Island Sound. Built by Derecktor Shipyards, the aluminum catamaran is powered by two Cummins QSB 6.7 diesels, and lithium batteries connected to a pair of BAE Systems HybriDrive electric motors.  (Credit: Harbor Harvest)

With social media updates and conference agendas addressing the subjects of climate change, emissions reductions and alternative fuels, it’s a wonder we are not climbing the Himalayans in search of the Jedi Master that will provide us with the magic potion. Yoda’s blessing with a calming breath, “You have chosen wisely.”Government emissions intervention started with a move to reduce energy and fuel consumption measured in greenhouse gas (GHG), at a time when the world and our politicians spoke about global warming.

18 Mar 2020

BIMCO Revises 2020 Forecast

© Igor Yu. Groshev / Adobe Stock

The coronavirus pandemic is impacting global shipping demand for 2020 negatively. The speed of the virus spread makes it difficult to assess the full consequences. Nevertheless, we see a need to update our 2020 forecast to make some of this massive uncertainty tangible.What is going on in addition to the coronavirus pandemic?Geopolitical tensions that made the OPEC+ alliance break down, has subsequently made the crude oil tanker spot freight market erupt. The events that followed the breakdown - and those that are likely to follow…

18 Mar 2020

Seaspan Marine Transportation Names Wortman CFO

© edb3_16 / Adobe Stock

Seaspan Marine Transportation said it has appointed Linda Wortman as Chief Financial Officer.Wortman brings to this position more than 25 years of accounting and finance experience. She joined Seaspan in 2008 as Controller, Marine and was promoted to Vice President, Corporate Finance, Accounting in 2016. Her responsibilities were expanded to include Seaspan’s Corporate Supply Chain Management and Risk and Insurance functions in 2017.

18 Mar 2020

Opinion: Maritime Freedom & the Global Commons

Freedom of Navigation: The guided-missile destroyer USS Lassen (DDG 82) escorts the merchant vessel Tomahawk through the Strait of Hormuz.
(U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Michael H. Lehman/Released)

“Freedom” – the absence of subjection to foreign domination or despotic governmentIt has been decades since international relations in the world order dictated true competition for sea control, sea lines of communication, access to world markets, and diplomatic partnerships. However, it is becoming increasingly alarming that nations such as Iran, China and Russia seek to accumulate/consolidate power and re-define international maritime norms, potentially at the peril of diplomatic…

18 Mar 2020

USCG Advises on Minimizing Novel Coronavirus at Sea

© Inna/AdobeStock

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…

17 Mar 2020

COVID-19 and Supply Chain Implications for Ocean Shipping

© hanohiki / Adobe Stock

Only 10 days ago, reports indicated that China cargoes were returning to pre-coronavirus levels, and there appeared to be light at the end of the tunnel. Today, however, a barrage of new headlines has underscored the impact on the rapidly changing global supply chain, including in the United States. In addition to the aggressive spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), new economic developments indicate a decreased trend in global manufacturing. Changes in local economies negatively impacting employees reflect corresponding changes in consumer buying patterns.

17 Mar 2020

Bouchard Says All Back Pay Processed

(File photo: Bouchard)

Bouchard Transportation Co. reports all back pay has been processed as the company continues to work to raise capital that would allow it to return its vessels to service, the company's president and CEO Morton S. Bouchard III said Tuesday in a letter to staff, customers and vendors.The full letter is below:To Bouchard Transportation Co., Inc. Valued Staff, Customers and Vendors:On Monday, March 16, 2020 Bouchard Transportation Co., Inc. as agent on behalf of the individual vessel corporations is pleased to announce that all back pay has been processed. Bouchard Transportation Co., Inc.

16 Mar 2020

US Passenger Vessel Operators Seek Financial Assistance

© verve / Adobe Stock

U.S. passenger vessel operators suffering low ridership and large economic losses amid the COVID-19 pandemic are urging President Donald Trump to include the hard-hit sector in the administration's plans to provide economic assistance to American businesses that have experienced financial hardship due to the coronavirus outbreak.The Passenger Vessel Association (PVA), a trade group representing the domestic passenger vessel industry, shared a letter it sent to President Trump urging him to take immediate action to include U.S.

16 Mar 2020

New Vessel Delivered for Navimag Ferries

Navimag Ferries’ new ship Esperanza (Photo: Wärtsilä)

Navimag Ferries’ newest vessel, Esperanza, has been delivered.The 150-meter-long vessel can carry up to 274 passengers and has 1,800 vehicle lane meters. It will operate exclusively in Chile, sailing between Puerto Montt and Puerto Natales, and providing a transportation link with Chile's south, in addition to ferry cruising in the Patagonian fjords.The newbuild's propulsion system includes two Wärtsilä 20 main engines, two Wärtsilä controlled pitch propellers (CPP) and two Wärtsilä gearboxes.

19 Mar 2020

Jumbo Sends Employees to Work from Home to Cut COVID-19 Risk

A Jumbo vessel - Credit: Jumbo

Jumbo, a Dutch heavy lift shipping and offshore transportation company, has said it will close it office locations and send office employees to work from home until further notice, to reduce the risk of coronavirus infection.The marine company said it was acting in response to the Dutch Government guidance to slow down and prevent the spread of COVID-19 (Coronavirus). It also said that its vessels would continue with their schedule."Our teams (sales, operations, purchasing etc.) can be reached as per usual, although there might be slight delays in response time in specific matters.

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