593 Port of Virginia


The Port of Virginia has begun the first phase of their ship-channel expansion project, which will deepen and widen its shipping channels to accommodate larger vessels and make it the deepest port on the U.S. East Coast. The 55-foot dredging project started nearly two-and-a-half years ahead of schedule following a final approval from the federal government. When dredging is complete in 2024, the commercial channels serving the Norfolk Harbor will be able to simultaneously accommodate two ultra-large container vessels.



593 US Charges


The US Justice Department has charged two foreign shipping companies and a first assistant engineer related to the alleged illegal dumping oily bilge water from a tanker near San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge. The FGL Moon Marshall Limited, the Unix Line, and engineer Gilbert Dela Cruz are being charged with failing to maintain an Oil Record Book and with obstruction of justice. If convicted, Dela Cruz could face up to thirty-one years in prison and fines up to $750,000. FGL Moon and Unix Line are facing criminal fines up to $1.5 million each.



Friday, 01 November 2019 11:27

Golden Ray wreck to be stabilized by rocks

593 Golden Ray


St. Simons Sound Unified Command Salvors are working to stabilize the overturned Golden Ray from erosion in preparation for a potentially lengthy dismantling operation. Crews will begin to strategically place rocks next to the hull of the vessel in hopes of slowing erosion from strong tidal currents, which have already caused some erosion and movement of sediment. The rock-mixture will range in sizes from 1-to-3 inch pieces.



567 Echo Slowdown


The National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is hosting a scoping meeting on November 12th in Friday Harbour, WA to solicit public comments on whether, based on best available information, existing National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) regulations and other measures adequately protect killer whales from the impacts of vessels and noise in the inland waters of Washington State and, if not, what actions NMFS should take. Written submissions invited with a deadline of Dec. 23rd.



592 US Waiver


The US Treasury Department has issued a nearly two-month waiver for companies to wind down transactions with COSCO Tankers, after they were sanctioned last month for allegedly transporting Iranian oil. The waiver expires on Dec. 20 and allows “maintenance or wind down of transactions” including offloading non-Iranian crude oil involving COSCO Shipping Tanker Co. Ltd. The waiver applies to COSCO Shipping Tanker or any entity owned 50% or more by the company.



Friday, 18 October 2019 15:03

California – ocean-going vessels at berth

584 CARB


The California Air Resources Board (ARB) issued a bulletin announcing that a public hearing will be held in Oakland on 5 December to consider the proposed Control Measure for Ocean-Going Vessels at Berth. The proposed regulation includes adding requirements on ports and terminals, expand covered vessels to include ro-ro and tankers to further reduce GHG and black carbon emissions.  Written comments must be submitted by 2 December. 



Friday, 18 October 2019 15:01

PMSA notes higher costs in California ports

584 california


In a JOC article this week the president of the Pacific Merchant Shipping Association (PMSA), John McLaurin speaks to concerns with California’s ports losing market share over the past decade due to high costs, regulatory uncertainties, and environmental restrictions. While California ports have the highest usage of shore power, the costs of complying with state regulations has eroded ports’ competitiveness in the absence of offsets and any recognition or advantage provided. Expensive terminal leases are another concern as marine terminal leases in Southern California are twice as expensive on a per-acre basis compared to terminal costs in other parts of the US.



Friday, 18 October 2019 14:59

California – ballast water amendments

585 California Leg


The State of California has adopted Assembly Bill (A.B.) 912 amending the state’s Marine Invasive Species Act. The Bill requires the State Lands Commission to adopt regulations that would require an owner or operator of a vessel, as defined, carrying, or capable of carrying, ballast water that operates in the waters of the state to implement specified federal standards regulating ballast water discharges and to comply with certain federal performance standards for implementing approved ballast water management methods. The bill would also require that those regulations set a date no later than January 1, 2040, by which the final performance standard for the discharge of ballast water of zero detectable living organisms for all size classes would be required to be met, and would revise certain requirements for the submission of that report regarding ballast water discharges, as prescribed. This also delays implementation of the state’s interim ballast water discharge performance standards until 1 January 2030. 



581 Seattle WeWork


Washington Maritime Blue, the Port of Seattle and WeWork Labs have collaborated to launch Washington’s first maritime accelerator with the goal of helping budding maritime companies innovate and grow. Funded by the Port of Seattle and a grant from the Washington State Department of Commerce, the accelerator aims to advance three key strategies, including helping maritime companies innovate and grow, establishing Washington as a global leader in maritime innovation, and increasing the sustainability of maritime businesses in both Seattle and beyond. The first accelerator cohort is expected to formally begin in January 2020.



Friday, 18 October 2019 14:55

Golden Ray to be dismantled and removed

584 Golden Ray


The Unified Command unit established for car carrier, Golden Ray, that ran aground and capsized in St. Simons Sound while it was leaving the Port of Brunswick, Georgia, on Sept. 8th has decided that the vessel is impossible to safely right and refloat fully intact, and will therefore be cut in place and removed.

As of Oct. 12, 225,000 gallons of fuel have been removed from the forward fuel tanks and removal of the remaining fuel and lubricant tanks continues.  Around 300,000 gallons of fuel was on the ship when it overturned. The Golden Ray is operated by the South Korean shipping and logistics company Hyundai Glovis.



583 fmc


The US Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) will retain the requirement for ocean container carriers to file service contracts in response to a petition from the World Shipping Council (WSC) to exempt carriers from publication requirements in the Shipping Act. The FMC agreed that continued publication of essential terms no longer serves a purpose but rejected the WSC's call to eliminate the ocean carrier confidential service contract filing requirements of the Shipping Act, reports American Shipper. "I would point out that we have three very large alliances that carry something north of 80 per cent of the cargo in the US east-west trades," said FMC chairman Michael Khouri. "One thing we're making sure is that there is competitive pricing among the members in each alliance."Mr Khouri also said eliminating the service contract filing requirement at this time would impact the FMC's "effectiveness and necessity for tools to look into areas of anti-competitive behaviours."


Friday, 11 October 2019 14:39

China to Ask US to End Sanctions on COSCO

583 cosco


China plans to ask the US to lift sanctions against the Dalian units of China COSCO Shipping Corp. during trade negotiations that started earlier today in Washington. Four other Chinese entities were also sanctioned last month along with COSCO but it is unclear if the Chinese delegation plans to seek relief for those companies.


Nearly 300 oil tankers globally have been placed off limits as companies fear violating US sanctions against Iran and Venezuela, driving freight rates to new highs. Day rates for VLCC’s are rising rapidly toward the $200,000 per day threshold and some have already fixed at a much higher level. The Tankers International pool reported on Oct. 11 that the 2012-built VLCC Ingrid has just been booked at the equivalent of $301,219 per day (on the basis of 45.4 days). The percentage of the VLCC transport cost to cargo value is now quadruple what it was one year ago – but there still appears to be plenty more room for rates to run. US-listed tanker stocks are now surging upward in response.


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