China has announced that it will impose additional tariffs on $75 billion of American goods including soybeans, automobiles and oil, in retaliation for President Donald Trump’s latest planned levies on Chinese imports. Some of the countermeasures will take effect starting Sept. 1, while the rest will come into effect from Dec. 15. This mirrors the timetable the US has laid out for 10% tariffs on nearly $300 billion of Chinese shipments.
The Center for Biological Diversity and the Orca Relief Citizens' Alliance is suing NOAA Fisheries, saying the agency has failed to act on a petition it filed in 2016. The petition sought to bar vessels from a 26- to 31-square-kilometre area west of San Juan Island where the whales feed from April through September each year. NOAA Fisheries claims that it supports the already-existing voluntary "no-go" zone, announced by the state Department of Fish and Wildlife, that extends 400 metres off the west coast of San Juan Island.
Port of Kalama Commissioners have sent a letter to the Port of Astoria approved a letter opposing a new fee that was implemented in March which charges any trade vessel 250 feet or longer a $300 fee, whether it docks there or continues upriver. The Port of Astoria has received similar letters from the Port of Longview and other nearby ports are reportedly considering issues letters as well. The Columbia River Steamship Operators’ Association said late last month it is prepared to sue the port because it believes the fee conflicts with the commerce clause of the US Constitution. Revenue from the fee is intended to fund the operation and maintenance of a wharf that provides an emergency berth to distressed vessels - a service many feel the port is not required to offer.
The port of Long Beach has welcomed the cleanest containership to travel to the US - the 14,436-TEU MSC Jewel, at Total Terminals International's Pier T facility. The vessel owned by Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC) is powered by tier III diesel engines, which are 75 per cent cleaner than the International Maritime Organization's (IMO) tier II standard. In addition to its clean engine, all MSC vessels are shore-power equipped, enabling them to connect to the landside electrical grid to reduce emissions when berthed. The carrier will receive US$6,000 from the port of Long Beach's Green Ship Incentive Programme.
Ship-to-shore cranes and shipping containers have been removed for the US tariff list, which includes $300 billion in goods subject to tariffs. Had the 10 percent tariff on ship-to-shore cranes remained in place, port authorities would have spent about $1.5 million more on cranes. New shipping containers would have cost about $1,000 to $1,500 to domestic intermodal providers.
The Port of New York and New Jersey has completed their first delivery by a zero-emission electric truck. Best Transportation delivered a 14,000-pound container from its Port Newark warehouse to Costco Wholesale in Monroe, New Jersey, about 36 miles away. The vehicle is the only commercially available zero-emission drayage truck and is powered by a battery pack that enables the truck to travel 125 miles per charge, with a cab that can carry a combined weight of 105,000 pounds. The delivery is the latest step in the port’s effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, which includes replacing aging trucks newer, cleaner-burning vehicles.
The US Department of Transportation’s Maritime Administration issued a warning yesterday suggesting Iran is engaged in interfering with ships’ GPS systems as they transit near the Middle Eastern nation. The warning said merchant ships had reported “spoofed bridge-to-bridge communications from unknown entities falsely claiming to be US or coalition warships.”
“Due to the heightened regional tensions, the potential for miscalculation or misidentification could lead to aggressive actions against vessels belonging to US, allied and coalition partners operating in the Arabian Gulf, Strait of Hormuz, and Gulf of Oman,” US Central Command (CENTCOM) explained in an emailed statement, adding that a number of ships have reported communications jamming in recent weeks.
The US believes Iran has GPS jammers operating on Abu Musa Island, an island in the Persian Gulf, aimed at getting international ships and aircraft to inadvertently wander into Iranian waters or airspace.
In early July, the Alaska Governor, Mike Dunleavy, announced he would eliminate funding for the Ocean Rangers program that monitors cruise ship traffic in the Alaskan waters. The Department of Environmental Conservation commissioner says the program is unnecessary and burdensome to the industry and is proposing an automated monitoring system that does not rely on inspectors. Voters approved the program in 2006.
Meanwhile, Alaska's ferry system was shut down for a second straight day last week, due to 420 members of the union taking strike action to protest stalled contract talks amid big budget cuts imposed by the Governor. A tentative agreement has since been reached. The Governor vetoed line items equalling $444 million in reductions to Alaska’s operating budget.
Georgia’s Savannah port posted another record fiscal year for container traffic for the 12 months ending in June. Container traffic hit a record 4.5 million TEUs, up 7.3 percent from the prior fiscal year. Automotive and machinery units shipped through the state’s Brunswick port were up 4 percent during that time. The Savannah port also saw substantial growth in shipping by rail. In 2018, the ports authority launched its Mason Mega Rail Terminal, a sprawling new rail yard designed to improve the Savannah terminal’s connection to the main CSX and Norfolk Southern rail networks. The Mason project will ultimately reduce the time for products arriving in Savannah to reach Nashville, Memphis and Chicago by rail. That project is about 40 percent complete.
The US Coast Guard issued a Marine Safety Information Bulletin (MSIB) providing updated guidance regarding seafarers’ access to maritime facilities. As of February 3, 2020 a system providing seafarers, pilots and representatives of seafarers’ welfare and labour organizations access to and from the vessel alongside at “no cost” to the seafarer or other individuals, must be documented in the Facility Security Plan (FSP) for each facility and approved by the local USCG Captain of the Port.
The project to modernize Port of Los Angeles’ APM Terminals is set to move ahead as they have struck a tentative deal with the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) on the training and upskilling of workers. The agreement follows several months of negotiations between the two groups. The project had been opposed by the ILWU due to the threat of loss of jobs that could be caused by automation. The two sides have now reached the agreement under which workers at the terminal would be paid while they receive training.
The 2018 International Maritime Prize for 2018 will be awarded to Mr. Joseph J. Angelo in recognition of his invaluable contribution to the work and objectives of IMO and to the international maritime community as a whole. Mr. Angelo is a former United States Coast Guard (USCG) and International Association of Independent Tanker Owners (INTERTANKO) senior executive who participated in International Maritime Organization (IMO) meetings for many years, providing leadership on a number of key regulatory developments.
US Federal authorities have released the MSC Gayane, the cargo ship involved in last month’s 20-ton cocaine seizure at the Port of Philadelphia, but said they are still considering pursuing civil or criminal forfeiture of the ship. For now, the ship has returned to commercial service and is on route to the Netherlands. Under the terms release, MSC posted a $10 million security deposit and $40 million surety bond. The firm has also agreed to submit to the jurisdiction of U.S. courts while the Justice Department’s investigation continues.
US Coast Guard have posted information for vessels carrying liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) and ethane with plans to use their cargoes as fuel during ocean transits. The use of cargoes other than methane as fuel is allowed in international waters under the International Code for the Construction and Equipment of Ships Carrying Liquefied Gases in Bulk, 2016 Edition (2016 IGC Code), Chapter 16, however US regulations have not established appropriate standards for use while vessel are in US waters. Gas carriers intending to use cargoes other than methane as fuel i are to promptly seek approval of US Commandant.
The Northwest Seaport Alliance has launched the Terminal 5 expansion at the Port of Seattle. When complete, the facility will be able to handle containerships of up to 18,000 TEU. The activity is estimated to result in 6,600 new direct jobs and more than USD 2 billion in business activity. Managing members of the NWSA will contribute USD 340 million in construction funds, with private partner SSA Terminals contributing up to USD 160 million toward the project. The 185-acre terminal is expected to open in two phases, with one major berth ready to handle international container cargo in spring of 2021, and the other berth ready in 2023.
Authorities have indicated that the MSC Gayane may be “subject to possible forfeiture.” While the seizure of a vessel this large is unprecedented, the US has also deemed the circumstances as unprecedented, and they are within their legal rights to seize the ship. The MSC Gayane is owned by JP Morgan Chase and is worth approximately $84.24m. This bust marked the third MSC ship busted for carrying cocaine in US ports this year, the CBP has temporarily suspended MSC’s Customs Trade Partnership (C-TPAT) certification, meaning US authorities for the time being do not assess the carrier as ‘low-risk’ so more scrutiny of its shipments can be expected in the coming weeks.
The report also incorporates twenty-nine different sources of possible vessel growth in the region and explores how these might be combined in four different growth scenarios extrapolated out to 2030.