In a victory for the coal industry, a federal judge struck down the City of Oakland’s ban on the operation of a coal terminal, clearing the way for coal to be exported from the West Coast port. US District Judge Vince Chhabria ruled Oakland city officials violated a contract with developer Phil Tagami and his Oakland Bulk and Oversized Terminal when they prohibited the handling and storage of coal within the city limits in 2016 and retroactively applied the ban to his previously approved marine terminal project. Human health arguments previously put forth were dismissed as the evidence was insufficient and failed to consider mitigation technologies the company planned to deploy. Estimates are the terminal will handle five million metric tons of coal per year.
China’s regulatory approval of Cosco Shipping Holdings Co. Ltd.'s $6.3 billion takeover of Orient Overseas (International) Ltd. (OOIL) brings the latest step in shipping consolidation a step closer to completion. The buyout includes the OOIL-run Long Beach Container Terminal and Cosco will put this in trust pending a sale within a year's time to satisfy the Committee on Foreign Investment in the US, a federal panel that vets foreign purchases of American companies on national security grounds. The Long Beach terminal is one of the few in the U.S. that is almost fully automated and can handle some of the largest container vessels. The terminal is expanding to facilitate ships carrying more than 20,000 boxes each. Global port operators estimate the terminal is worth up to $1.5 billion.
European Union leaders, after marathon talks overnight, announced that they had reached a compromise deal on migration, an issue that has created a political crisis and threatens to undermine the bloc. International shipping groups have been calling for greater cooperation on a policy for migrants rescued at sea following Italy’s move to refuse ships carrying migrants from entering its ports. The Alexander Maersk which picked up 108 migrants off the coast of southern Italy last Friday was finally given permission to dock in the southern port of Pozzallo in Sicily on Tuesday. A second rescue ship, the Lifeline, was stuck in international waters for five days with more than 230 migrants aboard and was only allowed to dock after eight EU states agreed to take a share of those on board.
Antigua and Barbuda are testing a new maritime single window system that allows for the streamlining of procedures, via electronic systems, for provision of information related to the arrival, stay and departure of the ship itself, and data on its crew, passengers and cargo, according with the requirements of IMO’s FAL Convention. Amendments to this Convention make it mandatory for countries to establish systems for the electronic exchange of ship-related information by April 2019.
New versions of the system will be released every three-four weeks, based on the feedback of the users in Antigua and Barbuda, including Customs, Immigration, Port Authority, Health, the Maritime Administration, and shipping agencies. While IMO is the project coordinator and provides administrative assistance to the parties during the project timeline. The project is funded by the Norwegian Ministry of Trade, Industries and Fisheries, with technical expertise provided by the Norwegian Coastal Administration.
Cargill will be time-chartering four new baby-cape vessels through an agreement with CSSC Leasing, a division of China State Shipbuilding Corp. (CSSC). The agreement includes an option for two more vessels in the 100,000-120,000 DWT range. The ships will be built by CSSC’s Huangpu Wenchong Shipbuilding and delivered throughout 2020. The Wah Kwong Group, will oversee the technical management and crewing of the vessels.
Pacific Basin Shipping Limited has closed a $325 million seven-year reducing revolving credit facility secured over 50 of the company's owned ships. The new facility raises fresh capital on previously un-mortgaged vessels and extends the company’s overall amortization profile and enhance its financial flexibility. The average age of these 50 ships is 11 years and the facility will effectively extend their repayment profile by an additional 11 years to an average age of 22 years.
Cargill has launched a CO2Challenge aimed to find and scale new technologies capable of reducing a ship's gross CO2 emissions by ten percent. The initiative, focused on decarbonizing the shipping sector, is being launched in partnership with DNV GL and Rainmaking, a company which specializes in start-up accelerators, co-working projects and innovation partnerships. Cargill affirmed its commitment to improving the sustainability of its global dry bulk shipping operations and help lead the maritime industry to a sustainable future. Cargill aims to reduce its CO2 per cargo-ton-mile by 15 percent by the end of 2020. Interested parties should visit the CO2 Challenge website www.co2-challenge.com/
Allied Market Research has released a report titled, Shipping Containers Market by Size of Container and Product type: Global Opportunity Analysis and Industry Forecast, 2015-2023. The report projects the global container industry valued at $8.7 billion in 2015 to reach $12.1 billion by 2022 with 20-foot container segment generating the highest revenue in the global market by 2023.
A Chinese firm has come up with a quicker solution for building a 40,000 seat stadium for the Qatar games in 2022. China International Marine Containers (CIMC) says it can build a stadium out of 990 shipping containers stacked seven stories high like Lego building blocks held in place by steel structures. Once the games are over, the stadium can be taken apart and reused elsewhere for other competitions. It can also be combined into a few smaller venues or the containers can be put to new uses, like housing refugees, according to CIMC. The stadium will be completed in June 2020.
CMA CGM has launched its new connected containers product 'TRAXENS by CMA CGM', which will allow clients to efficiently track their merchandise with data transmitted in near real time. The connected device solution is a product of the group's investment in French start-up TRAXENS and co-development work on a device that offers unique traceability for location, temperature and shocks as well as door opening.The commercial deployment is being rolled out after a pilot phase where CMA CGM led various and numerous tests and has produced a tool that can help clients optimize their supply chains.
Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd is acquiring a 66.7 percent stake in privately owned Silversea Cruises for about $1 billion to fast-track its expansion into the ultra-luxury and expedition cruise market. Silversea Cruises, which has nine ships, sails to destinations including Antarctica, the Arctic and Greenland, with most of its tickets selling for more than $5,000. In contrast, the most expensive cruises run by Royal Caribbean under its Azamara Club Cruises brand cost around $3,000.
A pair of crane operators at the Port of Long Beach have set a new productivity record for moving the most cargo using a single crane during one eight-hour shift. The record was set on May 15 when two crane operators working the containership Gudrun Maersk at Total Terminals International’s Pier T terminal moved a total of 564 containers using a single crane over just an eight-hour period. This represents an average of 70 container moves per hour, which is nearly triple the West Coast average of 25 container moves per hour. The new record breaks the previous American record of 534 container moves set in 2014, also at the Port of Long Beach. Over the four-day call, more than 9,300 total containers were discharged and loaded on the 11,000 TEU capacity Gudrun Maersk.
The Minister of Transport, the Honourable Marc Garneau, has announced Canada’s $167.4 million Whales Initiative. The initiative seeks to protect and support the recovery of the Southern Resident Killer Whale, the North Atlantic right whale, and the St. Lawrence Estuary beluga whale through comprehensive actions tailored to address the unique combinations of threats.
Specifically in regards to the Southern Resident Killer Whales in the Salish Sea, the Government of Canada recognizes that they face an imminent threat to survival and recovery which requires immediate attention. Canada’s Whales Initiative includes immediate and comprehensive action to support their recovery by addressing the main threats they face: lack of prey, disturbance from vessels, including noise and pollution from land-based sources. Key actions include:
Reducing disturbance from underwater vessel noise by:
Improving prey availability for the Southern Resident Killer Whales by:
Enhancing monitoring under the water and in the air by:
Encouraging compliance and strengthening enforcement by:
The Minister clearly stated that these actions could include additional mandatory measures, legislative changes and adoption of new technologies. Fisheries and Oceans Canada is also undertaking a Whale Innovation Challenge initiative in partnership with Nesta’s Challenge Prize Centre to develop solutions towards real-time detection and location of whales. This initiative aims to mobilize the technology development community in Canada and globally to develop whale-specific solutions to better understand the location, abundance and movements of whales and whale populations. This will contribute to scientific whale research and overall efforts to protect endangered whales in Canada.
Today the Government of Canada announced a major investment of $167 million for three projects to improve port infrastructure, increasing the capacity and fluidity of the rail infrastructure that serves the south shore port area. The first two projects are led by the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority, with investment from Canadian National Railway and Canadian Pacific Railway and include:
The third project led by Canadian National, with investment from the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority, involves designing and building a 4.2 kilometre-long secondary track, parallel to the existing Burrard Inlet line, in the City of Vancouver. The increased rail capacity will support the flow of goods through the south shore port area, as trade volumes continue to grow.
The Seafarers' Training Institute, has partnered with Algoma Central Corporation, Groupe Desgagnés, Canada Steamship Lines and the Seafarers’ International Union of Canada (SIU), to launch a Canada-wide hiring initiative called Be a Seafarer. The Canadian commercial shipping industry directly contributes $3 billion to GDP, and the industry has an immediate need to attract and retain 300 new seafarers as Canada is expected to lose 20 percent of its aging seafarers to retirement within the next five years. This represents a huge challenge for the industry which is projected to increase significantly over the next decade. Click to view the promotional video.
The Paris MoU Committee has approved the 2017 inspection results and adopted new performance lists for flags and Recognized Organizations (ROs). These lists will take effect from 1 July 2018. The “White, Grey and Black (WGB) List” presents the full spectrum, from flags with a high performance to flags with a poor performance that are considered high or very high risk, with the White List representing flags with a consistently high performance record. Compared to last year’s list, the number of flags on the “White List” has decreased by two. The Republic of Korea has moved back to the “White list” after one year on the “Grey List”. Poland has entered the “White List” as well. New on the “Grey List” are the Islamic Republic of Iran, Kazakhstan, the Russian Federation and the United States of America, which were on the “White List” last year.
The US Coast Guard has issued Safety Alert 11-18 to raise awareness of a potentially dangerous circumstance involving Personal Flotation Devices (PFDs). Inspections have found that a number of unwearable type 1 PFDs would have presented a problem if ever needed in an emergency. Owners and operators are strongly requested to inspect their PFDs and are reminded that regulations require PFDs to be wearable and in serviceable condition.