United States News

01 Apr 2020

Cruise Passengers Await Florida Deal Allowing Them to Disembark

(Photo: Holland America Line)

The U.S. government and Florida were working on a plan on Wednesday to allow thousands of cruise ship passengers exposed to an onboard coronavirus outbreak to disembark, a day after President Donald Trump urged the governor to drop his opposition to their docking.Fort Lauderdale Mayor Dean Trantalis said he was not opposed to them docking in his city. But he said a clear protocol was needed to protect residents of his South Florida city from infection.“There can be no missteps in this process…

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

Navico Inks US Coast Guard Contract Through 2025

(U.S. Coast Guard photo by Class Ryan Dickinson)

Navico announced it has signed a five-year agreement with the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) to provide C-MAP cartography under the USCG’s Small Boat Product Line (SBPL). Navico was selected for a competitive award by the USCG for products that met all of their technical needs. Navico’s C-MAP will deliver cartography cards to 300 different stations across America, twice a year.The SBPL aligns all boat support resources under a single entity with authority and accountability for maintenance and logistics for all boats in the Coast Guard.

30 Mar 2020

Laden LNG Tanker Bound for China is First from US Since March 2019

Roberto Garnham Poblete / MarineTraffic.com

A liquefied natural gas (LNG) tanker which loaded a cargo from the United States is currently heading to China, the first shipment since March 2019, according to shiptracking data from Refinitiv Eikon and Kpler on Monday.The tanker SK Resolute loaded the cargo from the Cameron LNG terminal on March 22 and was originally headed to Cristobal, Panama, according to shiptracking data from Refinitiv Eikon and data intelligence firm Kpler.It changed its destination to Tianjin in China on March 28 and is expected to arrive at the Chinese port on April 28…

30 Mar 2020

Yamal LNG Resumes Loading Operations in Norway

(File photo: Novatek)

Yamal LNG, controlled by Russia's largest liquefied natural gas (LNG) producer Novatek, is resuming ship-to-ship transfers in Norway, Novatek said on Monday, after plans to shift the operations to Russia fell through due to coronavirus.Novatek suspended transfers in Norway in June last year due to what it termed "pressure from the West".According to Refinitiv Eikon data, the Arc7 tanker Vladimir Vize is due to arrive at the Norwegian Arctic port of Honningsvag on April 1, carrying a cargo from Yamal LNG.The data also showed that an empty Arc4 tanker…

30 Mar 2020

What Will COVID-19 Mean for US Offshore Wind?

© Bragapictures / Adobe Stock

What will COVID-19 mean for the offshore wind industry? An industry not yet spinning on its own.Epitomized by the roller coaster ride that defined the stock market over the last few weeks, unpredictability has emerged as one of the few certainties of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) crisis. Every industry has seen the effects of the pandemic, from hospitality, to travel, and even to the renewable energy sector. Indeed, even though the US offshore wind industry is not yet fully established…

29 Mar 2020

Coronavirus-hit Ship Approved to Pass Through Panama Canal

The Panama Canal facilitated this Sunday the transit of Holland America's MS Zaandam and MS Rotterdam cruise ships (Photo: Panama Canal Authority)

A cruise ship stuck off Panama’s Pacific coast after four passengers died and more than 130 others developed influenza-like symptoms, including at least two with the coronavirus, will be allowed to proceed through the Panama Canal, the government said on Saturday.Holland America Line’s 238-meter (781-foot) MS Zaandam vessel can now continue its trip to Fort Lauderdale, Florida, but Panama’s government underscored that no passengers or crew members would be allowed to set foot…

29 Mar 2020

USNS Comfort Departs for New York

President Donald J. Trump delivers remarks at Naval Station Norfolk, March 28 during his visit to see off the Military Sealift Command hospital ship USNS Comfort (T-AH-20). (U.S. Navy photo by Mike DiMestico)

U.S. Navy hospital ship USNS Comfort (T-AH 20) departed Norfolk, Va. Saturday for New York City in support of the COVID-19 response efforts.The Military Sealift Command ship will serve as a referral hospital for patients not infected with COVID-19, providing a full spectrum of medical care to include general surgeries, critical care and ward care for adults, while allowing shore-based civilian hospitals to focus on their medical care devoted to the treatment of COVID 19 patients."The entire Comfort team safely…

27 Mar 2020

Fully Laden LNG Tankers Sit Idle Off Indian Ports after Force Majeure

© Wojciech Wrzesien/AdobeStock

At least five fully-laden liquefied natural gas (LNG) tankers are idling offshore India, as yet unable to discharge their cargoes, after importers there declared force majeure earlier this week, according to an analyst and shipping sources.Gas demand is falling globally amid the fast-spreading coronavirus which has capped industrial output, forcing LNG tankers in several regions to remain at sea fully laden with no immediate destination, the sources said.At least three major buyers in India…

26 Mar 2020

Australia Orders Two Cruise Ships to Leave ... Now!

© Richie Chan/AdobeStock

Australia ordered two cruise ships to leave its waters on Thursday, after a liner that docked in Sydney Harbor last week became the primary source of infection in the country's coronavirus outbreak.Although well below levels elsewhere in the world, the pace of Australia's infections is starting to pick up speed, reaching nearly 2,800 cases and 13 deaths.The government of West Australia state said nobody would be permitted to disembark from the German-operated MV Artania after seven of 800 foreign passengers on board tested positive for the virus…

24 Mar 2020

Modern-Day Mayflower Sets Sail Ahead of 400th Anniversary Voyage

© Archivist / Adobe Stock

Four hundred years after the Mayflower crossed the Atlantic from Britain to the United States, a group of engineers plan to have a crewless-ship also named the Mayflower, navigate itself along the same route.The voyage is due to begin in September and the new Mayflower could become the first full-sized, fully autonomous vessel to cross the Atlantic, organizers IBM and marine research group Promare say.The original Mayflower ship transported 102 British settlers from England to America.

24 Mar 2020

31 Years Ago Today: The Exxon Valdez Oil Spill

© MelissaMN/AdobeStock

On March 24. 1989, the single-hull tanker Exxon Valdez was departing the Port of Valdez, Alaska with a full load of North Slope crude oil (approximately 1.26 million barrels) destined for Long Beach when it grounded on Bligh Reef in Prince William Sound. The resulting oil spill (approximately 258,000 barrels), while not the largest in US history, was clearly the most important. It engendered much litigation. Public concern over the spill led directly to enactment of the Oil Pollution Act of 1990 (OPA 90)…

23 Mar 2020

Western Supply Chains Buckle as Coronavirus Lockdowns Spread

© THATREE / Adobe Stock

Freight carriers are struggling to deliver goods by land, sea or air as the coronavirus pandemic forces Western governments to impose lockdowns, threatening supplies of vital products including medicines into the most affected areas, such as Italy.While China's draconian steps to stop the spread of the virus are now allowing its economy slowly to come back online, supply chains are backing up in other parts of the world.Problems ranging from finding enough truck drivers to restrictions on seafarers and a lack of air freight are hitting the smooth flow of goods…

23 Mar 2020

Insights: Gavin Higgins, CEO, Everett Ship Repair

Gavin Higgins, CEO, Nichols Brothers Boat Builders and Everett Ship Repair

Everett Ship Repair (ESR) is a relatively new name in the U.S. ship repair business. Established in October 2019, the Pacific Northwest shipyard is owned by Ice Cap Holdings, LLC, which is also the parent company to another shipyard not too far away: Nichols Brothers Boat Builders (NBBB).Both ESR and NBBB are headed up by CEO Gavin Higgins, who is responsible for the development of new business opportunities and cultivation of new business relationships, including working with industry groups…

23 Mar 2020

Oil, Fishing, Tourism: Alaska Economy Faces Triple Hit from Coronavirus

© Stephen Finn/AdobeStock

The U.S. state of Alaska is so far distant from the worst medical ravages of the coronavirus pandemic, but its economy is in critical condition. Alaska is especially vulnerable because it depends on oil, tourism and fisheries – basic industries that are reeling from the global coronavirus pandemic – and the state government gets most of its revenue from investment earnings that have now evaporated."Alaska is experiencing a perfect storm, a most terrible trifecta, the hat trick from hell," said state Senator Natasha von Imhof, co-chair of the Senate Finance Committee, at a hearing Saturday.

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…

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

Long Beach Terminals Remain Open

COSCO America leaving Pier J at the Port of Long Beach in February 2020. (Photo: Port of Long Beach)

Marine terminals at at the United States’ second-busiest seaport have remained open and operating amid the unfolding coronavirus crisis, with regular vessel calls and scheduled work shifts continuing, the Port of Long Beach said.The port said its marine terminals are receiving vessel calls and workers are transferring cargo off and on ships under the health-protective directives established by the U.S. Coast Guard and Customs and Border Protection, with guidance from the U.S.

16 Mar 2020

Fed Funds Could Aid Battered Cruise Lines

© smallredgirl/AdobeStock

U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said on Sunday officials will have a better idea this week of the total cost of a coronavirus aid package, but predicted it will likely be "significant but not huge."Mnuchin told "Fox News Sunday" he also planned to talk to lawmakers about critical aid to airlines, as well as the hotel and cruise ship industries."It's hard to model some of these things because you don't know how many workers are going to be home. I want to be careful about throwing out numbers," he said.

14 Mar 2020

Trump Says Cruise Lines Suspend Departures for 30 Days

© Mariakray / Adobe Stock

U.S. President Donald Trump on Friday said that major cruise lines would suspend cruises for 30 days, following a series of industry announcements that came after repeated transmission of coronavirus among passengers at sea.“At my request, effective midnight tonight, Carnival, Royal Caribbean, Norwegian, and MSC have all agreed to suspend outbound cruises for thirty days,” Trump said on Twitter.“It is a great and important industry – it will be kept that way!” he added.Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd said earlier on Friday it was suspending its cruises in the United States for 30 days…

12 Mar 2020

Anglo-Eastern Deploys Navigator

Image: DNV GL

Hong Kong-based ship management company Anglo-Eastern Group has completed the successful roll-out of Navigator Port to its fleet of more than 600 vessels.DNV GL’s port clearance software is used daily onboard several thousand ships worldwide for management of port documentation, assisting seafarers in navigating the administrative and regulatory complexity of port clearance and passage through controlled waters.“One of the most time-consuming tasks onboard is preparing port documentation,” says Captain Pradeep Chawla, Managing Director, QHSE and Training at Anglo-Eastern.

11 Mar 2020

Shell in Talks to Book Tankers for Crude Floating Storage

© Suriyapong / Adobe Stock

Royal Dutch Shell is in discussions to charter at least three supertankers to store around 6 million barrels of crude oil at sea, shipping sources said on Wednesday.Shell has provisionally booked the vessels, known as very large crude carriers (VLCCs), for storage options for at least three months, the sources said, adding that the fixtures were still to be concluded.A Shell spokeswoman declined to comment.If fully fixed, these would be the first tankers to be used for floating…

12 Mar 2020

Booking Frenzy Sends Tanker Rates Soaring

© Vladimir / Adobe Stock

The cost to transport oil on supertankers soared on Thursday as major producers scrambled to secure vessels to ship more crude in a bid to regain market share and buyers took advantage of plunging oil prices.Freight charges to ship oil in very large crude carriers (VLCCs) from the Middle East, which is home to the largest OPEC producers, to China, the world's top crude oil importer, nearly doubled overnight.VLCC tanker rates along the busy Middle East Gulf to China route jumped to about $160…

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