Panama plans to compete with Suez for super-post Panamax 20,000 TEUs

Panama Canal sets sights on new $17 billion expansion project

By: Reuters | Mar 26 2015 at 05:10 PM | Liner Shipping   | Ports & Terminals  

As it enters the final stretch of a massive expansion, the Panama Canal Authority is setting its sights on an even more ambitious project worth up to $17 billion that would allow it to handle the world’s biggest ships.

Workers are now installing giant, 22-story lock gates to accommodate larger “Post-Panamax” ships through the Canal, one of the world’s busiest maritime routes.

The project involves building a third set of locks on the Canal. It is being headed by Italy’s Salini Impregilo and Spain’s Sacyr, and should open on April 1, 2016.

But Jorge Quijano, who leads the Panama Canal Authority, is already looking beyond this project to a fourth set of locks which would serve a new generation of even bigger ships that can carry 20,000 containers.

“Looking at our geology and the experience we gained with this current expansion, we estimate it’s a project that could cost between $16 billion and $17 billion,” he told Reuters, adding it would allow Panama to compete head-to-head with Egypt’s Suez Canal.

The Panama Canal Authority has long talked about building a fourth set of locks but Quijano said it is now for the first time seriously studying the project.

He says container ship traffic through the Canal has risen around 3 to 4 percent in the last few months due to a backlog at U.S. West Coast ports, which were hit by a now-settled labor dispute disrupting trans-Pacific trade..

“It has had a positive impact for us, but the Suez Canal has been the big winner because they can handle the Post-Panamax ships,” Quijano said.

If the Canal goes ahead with the project, Quijano says it could be completed within 15 years and that financing options include issuing bonds and using the Canal’s own revenues.

China Harbour Engineering Company Ltd (CHEC), a subsidiary of state-owned China Communications Construction Co Ltd, has voiced interest in building and financing a fourth set of locks in Panama, and Quijano said company officials met with him this week.

Further north in Nicaragua, a little-known Chinese businessman has vowed to build a $50 billion canal across the country to rival Panama’s, although some industry experts are deeply skeptical, pointing to the high costs, environmental challenges and the firm’s lack of experience in such projects.

The Panama Canal’s current expansion plan was originally set at $5.25 billion but the costs rose and the administrator became locked in a dispute with building consortium Grupo Unidos Por el Canal (GUPC), which built the third set of locks. Quijano said GUPC has submitted claims totaling $2.3 billion to date.

Giuseppe Quarta, GUPC’s CEO, says he is unsure whether its members would be interested in bidding to build a fourth set of locks, saying the Canal Authority has repeatedly rejected its claims in the dispute.

Quijano says the Canal has already lost around $400 million in revenue because of project delays caused by the spat.

The giant new locks sit alongside those of the existing Panama Canal and include a complex reservoir system that will empty and fill the lock chambers using gravity rather than pumps.

Sections of the 100-year-old waterway are being dredged to take ships with a greater draft.

Any new project to build a fourth set of locks will live or die by trade flows, says Maersk Line, a unit of conglomerate A.P. Moller-Maersk. It is a major customer of the Panama Canal, crossing it 300 to 350 times a year.

“The big question for any future expansion of the Panama Canal is will trade growth sustain that extra investment,” said Robbert Jan van Trooijen, Maersk Line’s CEO for Latin America and the Caribbean. “For me, to see any of those (mega) ships coming near Latin America, that’s the very distant future.” (Reuters)


SOUTHEAST ports celebrate Left Coast losses

East Coast sees ‘land of opportunity’ In wake of West Coast port concerns

about 2 hours ago

East Coast ports look to see significant long-term container volume growth in the wake of West Coast labor and congestion issues, according to opening session speakers at the JAXPORT Logistics & Intermodal Conference.

“There is going to be a monumental change here,” Brian Taylor, chief executive officer of the Jacksonville (Fla.) Port Authority, said today [March 24] at the conference at the Sawgrass Marriott Golf Resort & Spa in Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla.

In a panel session during which he was joined by fellow top port executives of the region.

Taylor termed the future outlook as “the South Atlantic land of opportunity,” adding that shippers without significant distribution centers on the East Coast are now moving in that direction, and more shippers are looking to trans-Suez Canal routings from Asia as well.

Curtis Foltz, executive director of the Georgia Ports Authority, said that, whereas East Coast ports are “never going to be a replacement” for West Coast gateways, the Port of Savannah has seen three times greater than projected container volume growth since October.

Stating that West Coast issues extend beyond labor concerns, Foltz said Southeast ports need a long-term plan to stay ahead of the curve, including deeper harbors, as advancing in Savannah, as well as better capabilities for efficiently moving containers inland by rail and truck.

Paul Cozza, chief executive officer of the North Carolina State Ports Authority, said, “There’s going to be really a material shift to the East Coast. We need to step up and provide the service they [shippers] need.”

In welcoming remarks, Clarence Gooden, executive vice president and chief commercial officer at Jacksonville-based Class I rail firm CSX Corp., said, “The East Coast ports are going to benefit greatly off this disaster on the West Coast,” which, he said, is “probably going to have more strategic implications in the near term than the opening of the [expanded] Panama Canal.”


Dozens of dreamers lining up for ferry permits to Cuba

 

Images

Brian Hall has a Cuba Dream. He’s named it “CubaKat,” all part of his business plan to revive the once popular ferry service from Florida to Cuba.

Back in the 50s, before Fidel Castro’s revolution and the resulting U.S. embargo on the communist island, taking ferries from Key West to Havana was a daily option for American tourists.

Hall has already purchased one catamaran in the Bahamas, planning to ferry Americans from a marina in Marathon, in the Florida Keys, to Cuba. The trip would take less than 4 hours.

"The Cuban side — they have done nothing but open their arms,” he said. "They want us to come so bad. It's like the Berlin Wall has fallen and they're begging for us to come."

Hall and half a dozen other American entrepreneurs have begun applying with the U.S. Treasury Department for future licenses to put American tourists willing to pay upwards of $300 onto catamarans and ships for the 90 mile journey through the Florida Straits.

So far, the Treasury Department is making no public comment about a timeline — when or even if ferry service will resume, but these would-be ferry operators want to be the first in line.

United America’s Joe Hinson, who is based in Miami, wants to bring his big, Baja Ferry over from Mexico to do the same from Florida to Cuba. Those ships are larger, feature cabins and a casino and would be a more relaxed, overnight, 10-hour cruise.

“We’re quite comfortable that it’s one of those situations where [it’s just] ‘build it and they will come’,” Hinson said.

The U.S. and Cuba’s efforts at normalizing diplomatic relations are ongoing, as both work to reopen their respective embassies. The changing relationship also reveals the market is there for Cuba-curious Americans eager for an open-water trip to the past.

Onboard the Key West Express, which offers daily ferry service between Ft. Myers and Key West, Mike Hazelhoff of Minnesota said “I would definitely go. I’ll take the first ferry.” His wife Sally added, “I would like to go, mainly to experience something new. It would be on my bucket list!”

Christopher Smith of San Francisco said, “I’d love to go to Cuba. It’s been closed to U.S. citizens for so long, it seems like it would be a wonderful experience to socialize with the people and the culture and kinda get a feel for Cuba."

Cuba and the U.S. State Department hope to reopen their respective embassies in mid-April. Meanwhile, these ferry boat buying entrepreneurs believe the sky’s the limit for profits, if the government’s wave of normalization begins to allow it.


PortaNY&NJ benefit from left coast strike - Fla ports too small to matter

Zepol’s data shows severe impact on US trade from West-Coast port issues

By: AJOT | Mar 11 2015 at 05:29 PM | Ports & Terminals  

Zepol reports that total U.S. container imports are down over 5 percent this year, compared to January and February of 2014. Nearly the entire decline in imports was attributed to West Coast ports. The ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, which make up a combined 40 percent of U.S. container imports, declined by 19 and 20 percent so far in 2015. East Coast ports have reaped the benefit, especially the port of New York/Newark, which increased container imports by 8 percent this year.

“The decline along the West Coast has lead to diverted shipments and a surplus in volume across the Atlantic and Gulf Coast,” confirms Zepol’s CEO and trade data expert Paul Rasmussen. “Due to these events, it’s the first time in over 11 years the port of New York/Newark has passed Long Beach as the second-largest port in the United States.”

Total U.S. imports by TEUs (twenty-foot containers) dropped from 2.93 million in January through February of 2014 to 2.78 million in 2015. Combined, the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach have declined by over 230,000 TEUs compared to the first two months of 2014.

Most East Coast and Gulf-Coast ports haven’t seen decay, but growth in containers. The port of New York/Newark grew by over 34,000 TEUs. The port of Savannah increased 20 percent with an increase of over 40,000 TEUs and Houston rose 29 percent, by nearly 31,000 TEUs.


Port of Oakland says no to business as usual

Port of Oakland says no to business as usual

By: AJOT | Mar 05 2015 at 10:58 AM | Ports & Terminals  

Change needed as West Coast recovery begins

Disruptions from waterfront labor negotiations have waned, but don’t expect a return to business as usual at West Coast ports. “The old methods won’t work any longer,” Port of Oakland executive director Chris Lytle said here today.

Addressing shippers and other stakeholders at a meeting of The Waterfront Coalition, Mr. Lytle said his industry must change, “We can’t go back to the way it was; that’s not acceptable,” he told an audience that included federal maritime commission Chairman Mario Cordero. “We have to do a better job for our customers if we want to hold onto our market share.”

Mr. Lytle joined other West Coast port executives in addressing the aftermath of nine months of labor-management disputes on the waterfront. The longshore contract impasse ended February 20 with a tentative settlement of a new contract for ports from Seattle to San Diego.

Ports now are digging out from a cargo backlog that has hampered retailers and other shippers in the US. Mr. Lytle called for a number of improvements to reshape his industry as recovery from the labor dispute gets underway. They include: 
“We need a new mindset for negotiating,” Mr. Lytle said. “What we just went through was the worst experience in my professional career. I don’t want to go through that again.”

  • Reduced transaction times for harbor truck drivers who can spend more than two hours inside marine terminals picking up cargo;
  • Better measurement of terminal operating performance; and
  • A new labor-management relationship.

Mr. Lytle said there is an opportunity for ports to play a greater role in labor relations by working with labor and management for greater collaboration.

The Port of Oakland does not hire longshore labor. That is the role of terminal operators and shipping lines in the Pacific Maritime Association. Nevertheless, Mr. Lytle said the port will meet with local labor officials and encourage them to take part in talks with shippers who rely on the Port of Oakland to move their cargo. “Better understanding of shipper needs can lead to better outcomes in future bargaining,” he added.

Mr. Lytle said the port will work with terminal operators to develop uniform methods of collecting and distributing performance data. Shippers and the truck drivers they hire have asked for the information to streamline the pick up and delivery of containerized cargo.

“The port will also work with leasing companies to improve the availability of truck chassis,” Mr. Lytle added. These are the trailers used to haul cargo containers over the road. Chassis have been in short supply at all West Coast sports during the recent cargo build up. Mr. Lytle indicated that the Port will work toward a common pool of the trailers to prevent shortages from recurring.


2015 FEMA funds threatened by congressional hjijinx

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) remains hopeful Congress will act this week to avoid a lapse in Department of Homeland Security (DHS) appropriations. However, without an annual appropriation, impacted FEMA staff will only be able to provide services that apply to the safety of human life or the protection of property. To prepare for this possibility, we are working to update our contingency plans for executing an orderly shutdown of activities that would be affected by a lapse in appropriations. During a lapse in appropriations, the impacts to our stakeholders will be as follows: All FEMA Grant Programs Directorate (GPD) Federal staff will be furloughed. Fiscal Year 2015 Preparedness Grant funds yet to be appropriated must be awarded prior to Sept. 30, 2015. A lapse in appropriations reduces the amount of time FEMA will have available to complete all the required actions associated with awarding these funds. The following required steps or actions needed for FEMA to award most FY 2015 Preparedness Grants will be impacted or halted: • Completion of Funding Opportunity Announcements • Departmental review and clearance process • Required Secretarial decisional briefings • Congressional briefings • Allocation announcements • Opening of application period • Grantee application submissions • Final allocations determinations (competitive programs) • Award processing Grantees will have no access to FEMA staff for technical assistance or answers to grant questions. There will be no support for grantees to process grant amendments, apply for extensions, conduct budget and Environmental and Historic Preservation (EHP) reviews, or seek additional grant-related assistance. There will be no headquarters or regional program staff available to provide assistance with new reporting requirements recently announced in the FY14 preparedness grant awards. There will be no staff available to resolve rejected payment requests, problems related to holds, missing reports, or to reset passwords. All GPD federal and contract staff will be furloughed, so no GPD help desks will be staffed, including the Centralized Scheduling and Information Desk (ASKCSID), ASK-GMD for Grant Operations, and Assistance to Firefighters Grants Help Desk. Most grantees may continue to draw down awarded grant funds managed in the FEMA Response, Recovery, Mitigation, National Preparedness and GPD divisions (but not the Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER), Assistance to Firefighters Grants (AFG), or Fire Prevention and Safety (FP&S) grants). Because manual approval is completed in the AFG program office for all payment requests, SAFER, AFG and FP&S program grantees will not be able to draw down funds during a lapse in appropriations. Processing of incoming applications for FY 2014 AFG or SAFER awards, impacting thousands of fire departments

To prepare for this possibility, we are working to update our contingency plans for executing an orderly shutdown of activities that would be affected by a lapse in appropriations. During a lapse in appropriations, the impacts to our stakeholders will be as follows: All FEMA Grant Programs Directorate (GPD) Federal staff will be furloughed. Fiscal Year 2015 Preparedness Grant funds yet to be appropriated must be awarded prior to Sept. 30, 2015. A lapse in appropriations reduces the amount of time FEMA will have available to complete all the required actions associated with awarding these funds. The following required steps or actions needed for FEMA to award most FY 2015 Preparedness Grants will be impacted or halted: • Completion of Funding Opportunity Announcements • Departmental review and clearance process • Required Secretarial decisional briefings • Congressional briefings • Allocation announcements • Opening of application period • Grantee application submissions • Final allocations determinations (competitive programs) • Award processing Grantees will have no access to FEMA staff for technical assistance or answers to grant questions. There will be no support for grantees to process grant amendments, apply for extensions, conduct budget and Environmental and Historic Preservation (EHP) reviews, or seek additional grant-related assistance. There will be no headquarters or regional program staff available to provide assistance with new reporting requirements recently announced in the FY14 preparedness grant awards. There will be no staff available to resolve rejected payment requests, problems related to holds, missing reports, or to reset passwords. All GPD federal and contract staff will be furloughed, so no GPD help desks will be staffed, including the Centralized Scheduling and Information Desk (ASKCSID), ASK-GMD for Grant Operations, and Assistance to Firefighters Grants Help Desk. Most grantees may continue to draw down awarded grant funds managed in the FEMA Response, Recovery, Mitigation, National Preparedness and GPD divisions (but not the Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER), Assistance to Firefighters Grants (AFG), or Fire Prevention and Safety (FP&S) grants). Because manual approval is completed in the AFG program office for all payment requests, SAFER, AFG and FP&S program grantees will not be able to draw down funds during a lapse in appropriations. Processing of incoming applications for FY 2014 AFG or SAFER awards, impacting thousands of fire departments

All FEMA Grant Programs Directorate (GPD) Federal staff will be furloughed. Fiscal Year 2015 Preparedness Grant funds yet to be appropriated must be awarded prior to Sept. 30, 2015. A lapse in appropriations reduces the amount of time FEMA will have available to complete all the required actions associated with awarding these funds. The following required steps or actions needed for FEMA to award most FY 2015 Preparedness Grants will be impacted or halted: • Completion of Funding Opportunity Announcements • Departmental review and clearance process • Required Secretarial decisional briefings • Congressional briefings • Allocation announcements • Opening of application period • Grantee application submissions • Final allocations determinations (competitive programs) • Award processing Grantees will have no access to FEMA staff for technical assistance or answers to grant questions. There will be no support for grantees to process grant amendments, apply for extensions, conduct budget and Environmental and Historic Preservation (EHP) reviews, or seek additional grant-related assistance. There will be no headquarters or regional program staff available to provide assistance with new reporting requirements recently announced in the FY14 preparedness grant awards. There will be no staff available to resolve rejected payment requests, problems related to holds, missing reports, or to reset passwords. All GPD federal and contract staff will be furloughed, so no GPD help desks will be staffed, including the Centralized Scheduling and Information Desk (ASKCSID), ASK-GMD for Grant Operations, and Assistance to Firefighters Grants Help Desk. Most grantees may continue to draw down awarded grant funds managed in the FEMA Response, Recovery, Mitigation, National Preparedness and GPD divisions (but not the Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER), Assistance to Firefighters Grants (AFG), or Fire Prevention and Safety (FP&S) grants). Because manual approval is completed in the AFG program office for all payment requests, SAFER, AFG and FP&S program grantees will not be able to draw down funds during a lapse in appropriations. Processing of incoming applications for FY 2014 AFG or SAFER awards, impacting thousands of fire departments

• Completion of Funding Opportunity Announcements • Departmental review and clearance process • Required Secretarial decisional briefings • Congressional briefings • Allocation announcements • Opening of application period • Grantee application submissions • Final allocations determinations (competitive programs) • Award processing Grantees will have no access to FEMA staff for technical assistance or answers to grant questions. There will be no support for grantees to process grant amendments, apply for extensions, conduct budget and Environmental and Historic Preservation (EHP) reviews, or seek additional grant-related assistance. There will be no headquarters or regional program staff available to provide assistance with new reporting requirements recently announced in the FY14 preparedness grant awards. There will be no staff available to resolve rejected payment requests, problems related to holds, missing reports, or to reset passwords. All GPD federal and contract staff will be furloughed, so no GPD help desks will be staffed, including the Centralized Scheduling and Information Desk (ASKCSID), ASK-GMD for Grant Operations, and Assistance to Firefighters Grants Help Desk. Most grantees may continue to draw down awarded grant funds managed in the FEMA Response, Recovery, Mitigation, National Preparedness and GPD divisions (but not the Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER), Assistance to Firefighters Grants (AFG), or Fire Prevention and Safety (FP&S) grants). Because manual approval is completed in the AFG program office for all payment requests, SAFER, AFG and FP&S program grantees will not be able to draw down funds during a lapse in appropriations. Processing of incoming applications for FY 2014 AFG or SAFER awards, impacting thousands of fire departments

• Departmental review and clearance process • Required Secretarial decisional briefings • Congressional briefings • Allocation announcements • Opening of application period • Grantee application submissions • Final allocations determinations (competitive programs) • Award processing Grantees will have no access to FEMA staff for technical assistance or answers to grant questions. There will be no support for grantees to process grant amendments, apply for extensions, conduct budget and Environmental and Historic Preservation (EHP) reviews, or seek additional grant-related assistance. There will be no headquarters or regional program staff available to provide assistance with new reporting requirements recently announced in the FY14 preparedness grant awards. There will be no staff available to resolve rejected payment requests, problems related to holds, missing reports, or to reset passwords. All GPD federal and contract staff will be furloughed, so no GPD help desks will be staffed, including the Centralized Scheduling and Information Desk (ASKCSID), ASK-GMD for Grant Operations, and Assistance to Firefighters Grants Help Desk. Most grantees may continue to draw down awarded grant funds managed in the FEMA Response, Recovery, Mitigation, National Preparedness and GPD divisions (but not the Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER), Assistance to Firefighters Grants (AFG), or Fire Prevention and Safety (FP&S) grants). Because manual approval is completed in the AFG program office for all payment requests, SAFER, AFG and FP&S program grantees will not be able to draw down funds during a lapse in appropriations. Processing of incoming applications for FY 2014 AFG or SAFER awards, impacting thousands of fire departments

• Required Secretarial decisional briefings • Congressional briefings • Allocation announcements • Opening of application period • Grantee application submissions • Final allocations determinations (competitive programs) • Award processing Grantees will have no access to FEMA staff for technical assistance or answers to grant questions. There will be no support for grantees to process grant amendments, apply for extensions, conduct budget and Environmental and Historic Preservation (EHP) reviews, or seek additional grant-related assistance. There will be no headquarters or regional program staff available to provide assistance with new reporting requirements recently announced in the FY14 preparedness grant awards. There will be no staff available to resolve rejected payment requests, problems related to holds, missing reports, or to reset passwords. All GPD federal and contract staff will be furloughed, so no GPD help desks will be staffed, including the Centralized Scheduling and Information Desk (ASKCSID), ASK-GMD for Grant Operations, and Assistance to Firefighters Grants Help Desk. Most grantees may continue to draw down awarded grant funds managed in the FEMA Response, Recovery, Mitigation, National Preparedness and GPD divisions (but not the Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER), Assistance to Firefighters Grants (AFG), or Fire Prevention and Safety (FP&S) grants). Because manual approval is completed in the AFG program office for all payment requests, SAFER, AFG and FP&S program grantees will not be able to draw down funds during a lapse in appropriations. Processing of incoming applications for FY 2014 AFG or SAFER awards, impacting thousands of fire departments

However, without an annual appropriation, impacted FEMA staff will only be able to provide services that apply to the safety of human life or the protection of property. To prepare for this possibility, we are working to update our contingency plans for executing an orderly shutdown of activities that would be affected by a lapse in appropriations. During a lapse in appropriations, the impacts to our stakeholders will be as follows: All FEMA Grant Programs Directorate (GPD) Federal staff will be furloughed. Fiscal Year 2015 Preparedness Grant funds yet to be appropriated must be awarded prior to Sept. 30, 2015. A lapse in appropriations reduces the amount of time FEMA will have available to complete all the required actions associated with awarding these funds. The following required steps or actions needed for FEMA to award most FY 2015 Preparedness Grants will be impacted or halted: • Completion of Funding Opportunity Announcements • Departmental review and clearance process • Required Secretarial decisional briefings • Congressional briefings • Allocation announcements • Opening of application period • Grantee application submissions • Final allocations determinations (competitive programs) • Award processing Grantees will have no access to FEMA staff for technical assistance or answers to grant questions. There will be no support for grantees to process grant amendments, apply for extensions, conduct budget and Environmental and Historic Preservation (EHP) reviews, or seek additional grant-related assistance. There will be no headquarters or regional program staff available to provide assistance with new reporting requirements recently announced in the FY14 preparedness grant awards. There will be no staff available to resolve rejected payment requests, problems related to holds, missing reports, or to reset passwords. All GPD federal and contract staff will be furloughed, so no GPD help desks will be staffed, including the Centralized Scheduling and Information Desk (ASKCSID), ASK-GMD for Grant Operations, and Assistance to Firefighters Grants Help Desk. Most grantees may continue to draw down awarded grant funds managed in the FEMA Response, Recovery, Mitigation, National Preparedness and GPD divisions (but not the Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER), Assistance to Firefighters Grants (AFG), or Fire Prevention and Safety (FP&S) grants). Because manual approval is completed in the AFG program office for all payment requests, SAFER, AFG and FP&S program grantees will not be able to draw down funds during a lapse in appropriations. Processing of incoming applications for FY 2014 AFG or SAFER awards, impacting thousands of fire departments

The following required steps or actions needed for FEMA to award most FY 2015 Preparedness Grants will be impacted or halted: • Completion of Funding Opportunity Announcements • Departmental review and clearance process • Required Secretarial decisional briefings • Congressional briefings • Allocation announcements • Opening of application period • Grantee application submissions • Final allocations determinations (competitive programs) • Award processing Grantees will have no access to FEMA staff for technical assistance or answers to grant questions. There will be no support for grantees to process grant amendments, apply for extensions, conduct budget and Environmental and Historic Preservation (EHP) reviews, or seek additional grant-related assistance. There will be no headquarters or regional program staff available to provide assistance with new reporting requirements recently announced in the FY14 preparedness grant awards. There will be no staff available to resolve rejected payment requests, problems related to holds, missing reports, or to reset passwords. All GPD federal and contract staff will be furloughed, so no GPD help desks will be staffed, including the Centralized Scheduling and Information Desk (ASKCSID), ASK-GMD for Grant Operations, and Assistance to Firefighters Grants Help Desk. Most grantees may continue to draw down awarded grant funds managed in the FEMA Response, Recovery, Mitigation, National Preparedness and GPD divisions (but not the Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER), Assistance to Firefighters Grants (AFG), or Fire Prevention and Safety (FP&S) grants). Because manual approval is completed in the AFG program office for all payment requests, SAFER, AFG and FP&S program grantees will not be able to draw down funds during a lapse in appropriations. Processing of incoming applications for FY 2014 AFG or SAFER awards, impacting thousands of fire departments

• Completion of Funding Opportunity Announcements • Departmental review and clearance process • Required Secretarial decisional briefings • Congressional briefings • Allocation announcements • Opening of application period • Grantee application submissions • Final allocations determinations (competitive programs) • Award processing Grantees will have no access to FEMA staff for technical assistance or answers to grant questions. There will be no support for grantees to process grant amendments, apply for extensions, conduct budget and Environmental and Historic Preservation (EHP) reviews, or seek additional grant-related assistance. There will be no headquarters or regional program staff available to provide assistance with new reporting requirements recently announced in the FY14 preparedness grant awards. There will be no staff available to resolve rejected payment requests, problems related to holds, missing reports, or to reset passwords. All GPD federal and contract staff will be furloughed, so no GPD help desks will be staffed, including the Centralized Scheduling and Information Desk (ASKCSID), ASK-GMD for Grant Operations, and Assistance to Firefighters Grants Help Desk. Most grantees may continue to draw down awarded grant funds managed in the FEMA Response, Recovery, Mitigation, National Preparedness and GPD divisions (but not the Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER), Assistance to Firefighters Grants (AFG), or Fire Prevention and Safety (FP&S) grants). Because manual approval is completed in the AFG program office for all payment requests, SAFER, AFG and FP&S program grantees will not be able to draw down funds during a lapse in appropriations. Processing of incoming applications for FY 2014 AFG or SAFER awards, impacting thousands of fire departments

• Departmental review and clearance process • Required Secretarial decisional briefings • Congressional briefings • Allocation announcements • Opening of application period • Grantee application submissions • Final allocations determinations (competitive programs) • Award processing Grantees will have no access to FEMA staff for technical assistance or answers to grant questions. There will be no support for grantees to process grant amendments, apply for extensions, conduct budget and Environmental and Historic Preservation (EHP) reviews, or seek additional grant-related assistance. There will be no headquarters or regional program staff available to provide assistance with new reporting requirements recently announced in the FY14 preparedness grant awards. There will be no staff available to resolve rejected payment requests, problems related to holds, missing reports, or to reset passwords. All GPD federal and contract staff will be furloughed, so no GPD help desks will be staffed, including the Centralized Scheduling and Information Desk (ASKCSID), ASK-GMD for Grant Operations, and Assistance to Firefighters Grants Help Desk. Most grantees may continue to draw down awarded grant funds managed in the FEMA Response, Recovery, Mitigation, National Preparedness and GPD divisions (but not the Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER), Assistance to Firefighters Grants (AFG), or Fire Prevention and Safety (FP&S) grants). Because manual approval is completed in the AFG program office for all payment requests, SAFER, AFG and FP&S program grantees will not be able to draw down funds during a lapse in appropriations. Processing of incoming applications for FY 2014 AFG or SAFER awards, impacting thousands of fire departments around the country, will be delayed. The current FY 2014 SAFER application period will close automatically on Friday, March 6, 2015 at 5:00 p.m. EST. FEMA will be unable to provide technical assistance to applicants during the lapse. Manual requests for other grant reimbursements will also not be processed during the shutdown as there will be no one available to process them. Some jurisdictions, such as the U.S. Virgin Islands and American Samoa, are currently under a manual draw down process for their preparedness grants, which will halt during a lapse in appropriations. In general, ongoing grant-funded projects for which funding has been awarded, obligated, and released by FEMA will not be affected by a lapse in FY 2015 appropriations. If no other hold has been placed, work on these projects can proceed

• Required Secretarial decisional briefings • Congressional briefings • Allocation announcements • Opening of application period • Grantee application submissions • Final allocations determinations (competitive programs) • Award processing Grantees will have no access to FEMA staff for technical assistance or answers to grant questions. There will be no support for grantees to process grant amendments, apply for extensions, conduct budget and Environmental and Historic Preservation (EHP) reviews, or seek additional grant-related assistance. There will be no headquarters or regional program staff available to provide assistance with new reporting requirements recently announced in the FY14 preparedness grant awards. There will be no staff available to resolve rejected payment requests, problems related to holds, missing reports, or to reset passwords. All GPD federal and contract staff will be furloughed, so no GPD help desks will be staffed, including the Centralized Scheduling and Information Desk (ASKCSID), ASK-GMD for Grant Operations, and Assistance to Firefighters Grants Help Desk. Most grantees may continue to draw down awarded grant funds managed in the FEMA Response, Recovery, Mitigation, National Preparedness and GPD divisions (but not the Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER), Assistance to Firefighters Grants (AFG), or Fire Prevention and Safety (FP&S) grants). Because manual approval is completed in the AFG program office for all payment requests, SAFER, AFG and FP&S program grantees will not be able to draw down funds during a lapse in appropriations. Processing of incoming applications for FY 2014 AFG or SAFER awards, impacting thousands of fire departments around the country, will be delayed. The current FY 2014 SAFER application period will close automatically on Friday, March 6, 2015 at 5:00 p.m. EST. FEMA will be unable to provide technical assistance to applicants during the lapse. Manual requests for other grant reimbursements will also not be processed during the shutdown as there will be no one available to process them. Some jurisdictions, such as the U.S. Virgin Islands and American Samoa, are currently under a manual draw down process for their preparedness grants, which will halt during a lapse in appropriations. In general, ongoing grant-funded projects for which funding has been awarded, obligated, and released by FEMA will not be affected by a lapse in FY 2015 appropriations. If no other hold has been placed, work on these projects can proceed unimpeded by the lack of FY 2015 appropriations. Grantees are advised to submit all required Semi-Annual Performance Reports and Federal Financial Status Reports (SF-425) that are overdue now before the close of business on Friday, February 27, 2015, so that they are current and up to date on reporting requirements. Delinquent reports can and will result in system-based holds and grantees will be unable to draw funds out of PARS if they remain delinquent.

However, without an annual appropriation, impacted FEMA staff will only be able to provide services that apply to the safety of human life or the protection of property. To prepare for this possibility, we are working to update our contingency plans for executing an orderly shutdown of activities that would be affected by a lapse in appropriations. During a lapse in appropriations, the impacts to our stakeholders will be as follows: All FEMA Grant Programs Directorate (GPD) Federal staff will be furloughed. Fiscal Year 2015 Preparedness Grant funds yet to be appropriated must be awarded prior to Sept. 30, 2015. A lapse in appropriations reduces the amount of time FEMA will have available to complete all the required actions associated with awarding these funds. The following required steps or actions needed for FEMA to award most FY 2015 Preparedness Grants will be impacted or halted: • Completion of Funding Opportunity Announcements • Departmental review and clearance process • Required Secretarial decisional briefings • Congressional briefings • Allocation announcements • Opening of application period • Grantee application submissions • Final allocations determinations (competitive programs) • Award processing Grantees will have no access to FEMA staff for technical assistance or answers to grant questions. There will be no support for grantees to process grant amendments, apply for extensions, conduct budget and Environmental and Historic Preservation (EHP) reviews, or seek additional grant-related assistance. There will be no headquarters or regional program staff available to provide assistance with new reporting requirements recently announced in the FY14 preparedness grant awards. There will be no staff available to resolve rejected payment requests, problems related to holds, missing reports, or to reset passwords. All GPD federal and contract staff will be furloughed, so no GPD help desks will be staffed, including the Centralized Scheduling and Information Desk (ASKCSID), ASK-GMD for Grant Operations, and Assistance to Firefighters Grants Help Desk. Most grantees may continue to draw down awarded grant funds managed in the FEMA Response, Recovery, Mitigation, National Preparedness and GPD divisions (but not the Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER), Assistance to Firefighters Grants (AFG), or Fire Prevention and Safety (FP&S) grants). Because manual approval is completed in the AFG program office for all payment requests, SAFER, AFG and FP&S program grantees will not be able to draw down funds during a lapse in appropriations. Processing of incoming applications for FY 2014 AFG or SAFER awards, impacting thousands of fire departments around the country, will be delayed. The current FY 2014 SAFER application period will close automatically on Friday, March 6, 2015 at 5:00 p.m. EST. FEMA will be unable to provide technical assistance to applicants during the lapse. Manual requests for other grant reimbursements will also not be processed during the shutdown as there will be no one available to process them. Some jurisdictions, such as the U.S. Virgin Islands and American Samoa, are currently under a manual draw down process for their preparedness grants, which will halt during a lapse in appropriations. In general, ongoing grant-funded projects for which funding has been awarded, obligated, and released by FEMA will not be affected by a lapse in FY 2015 appropriations. If no other hold has been placed, work on these projects can proceed unimpeded by the lack of FY 2015 appropriations. Grantees are advised to submit all required Semi-Annual Performance Reports and Federal Financial Status Reports (SF-425) that are overdue now before the close of business on Friday, February 27, 2015, so that they are current and up to date on reporting requirements. Delinquent reports can and will result in system-based holds and grantees will be unable to draw funds out of PARS if they remain delinquent.

To prepare for this possibility, we are working to update our contingency plans for executing an orderly shutdown of activities that would be affected by a lapse in appropriations. During a lapse in appropriations, the impacts to our stakeholders will be as follows: All FEMA Grant Programs Directorate (GPD) Federal staff will be furloughed. Fiscal Year 2015 Preparedness Grant funds yet to be appropriated must be awarded prior to Sept. 30, 2015. A lapse in appropriations reduces the amount of time FEMA will have available to complete all the required actions associated with awarding these funds. The following required steps or actions needed for FEMA to award most FY 2015 Preparedness Grants will be impacted or halted: • Completion of Funding Opportunity Announcements • Departmental review and clearance process • Required Secretarial decisional briefings • Congressional briefings • Allocation announcements • Opening of application period • Grantee application submissions • Final allocations determinations (competitive programs) • Award processing Grantees will have no access to FEMA staff for technical assistance or answers to grant questions. There will be no support for grantees to process grant amendments, apply for extensions, conduct budget and Environmental and Historic Preservation (EHP) reviews, or seek additional grant-related assistance. There will be no headquarters or regional program staff available to provide assistance with new reporting requirements recently announced in the FY14 preparedness grant awards. There will be no staff available to resolve rejected payment requests, problems related to holds, missing reports, or to reset passwords. All GPD federal and contract staff will be furloughed, so no GPD help desks will be staffed, including the Centralized Scheduling and Information Desk (ASKCSID), ASK-GMD for Grant Operations, and Assistance to Firefighters Grants Help Desk. Most grantees may continue to draw down awarded grant funds managed in the FEMA Response, Recovery, Mitigation, National Preparedness and GPD divisions (but not the Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER), Assistance to Firefighters Grants (AFG), or Fire Prevention and Safety (FP&S) grants). Because manual approval is completed in the AFG program office for all payment requests, SAFER, AFG and FP&S program grantees will not be able to draw down funds during a lapse in appropriations. Processing of incoming applications for FY 2014 AFG or SAFER awards, impacting thousands of fire departments around the country, will be delayed. The current FY 2014 SAFER application period will close automatically on Friday, March 6, 2015 at 5:00 p.m. EST. FEMA will be unable to provide technical assistance to applicants during the lapse. Manual requests for other grant reimbursements will also not be processed during the shutdown as there will be no one available to process them. Some jurisdictions, such as the U.S. Virgin Islands and American Samoa, are currently under a manual draw down process for their preparedness grants, which will halt during a lapse in appropriations. In general, ongoing grant-funded projects for which funding has been awarded, obligated, and released by FEMA will not be affected by a lapse in FY 2015 appropriations. If no other hold has been placed, work on these projects can proceed unimpeded by the lack of FY 2015 appropriations. Grantees are advised to submit all required Semi-Annual Performance Reports and Federal Financial Status Reports (SF-425) that are overdue now before the close of business on Friday, February 27, 2015, so that they are current and up to date on reporting requirements. Delinquent reports can and will result in system-based holds and grantees will be unable to draw funds out of PARS if they remain delinquent.


RoRo grows from Mexico, Latin America and Caribbean with USA services at Port Everglades

 

Images 

Port Everglades Welcomes SC Line’s Caroline Russ RoRo Ship

Media Contact: Jose Pardo | CMO (Chief Marketing Officer)
O: +507 282-5700
USA O: +1 305 767-1900
M: +507 6671-9069
j.pardo@scline.es  |  www.scline.com

Ocean RoRo carrier SC Line consolidates and reaffirms its USA SERVICE commitment from BrowardCounty’s Port Everglades to Mexico, Panama, Colombia, and the Caribbean with the arrival of its new Roll On / Roll Off cargo ship, M/V Caroline Russ, to the South Florida seaport. 

Founded by the Sola Matas family in 2006, SC Line began operating at Port Everglades, FL, in 2012, servicing OEMs and the NVOCC community at large by transporting self-propelled new & used vehicles, trucks, heavy equipment as well as project static cargo on mafi roll trailers from South Florida to Latin America and the Caribbean.

“SC Line has a proven track record that includes reliable service and professionalism,” said Port Everglades Deputy Director Glenn Wiltshire. “We appreciate their business and look forward to continued success with the Caroline Russ.”

The 10,488-gross-ton RoRo ship sails every other Friday from Port Everglades beginning February 14. The ship has capacity for 190 trucks, 470 cars and 120 20-foot containers (TEUs) on chassis.

Fast Terminal, the land based supply chain integrated services business unit of the SC Group, www.fast-terminal.com, operates at Port Everglades as the cargo handler and terminal operator for SC Line. Fast Terminal features a specialized RoRo terminal with several value added services for the port´s trade community such as VPC, EPC, FTZ and transit storage with a capacity of 1,100 bays. The latter earmarked and tailor-made with the OEM auto, truck and heavy equipment industry in mind. Thanks to its ocean liners weekly service and rail connectivity through the FEC, CSX, BNSF, NS, the terminal serves as an ideal OEM inventory transshipment & processing point of service for the SE United States, Caribbean, Central & Northern part of South America´s markets.

About SC Line

The SC Line Group, founded in 2006, started its activities moving trucks between Mexican, Colombian, Panamanian and Peruvian ports with two major pillars: Reliability and attention to detail.

In 2008, the group began a regular fortnightly RoRo service between Mexico and Colombia for the truck manufacturer Navistar/International. Superb performance on its itineraries, unfettered operational excellence, backed by a powerful cloud / android based information system quickly moved SC Line to the forefront of this trade on the Roll on Roll off segment in the MexicanGulf area. With its young and fresh, dynamically adaptive management style, SC LINE earned the trust of major truck and auto manufacturers in the Americas.

In the present day, SC Line is headquartered in Panama, featuring full commercial and operational offices in the United States, Colombia, Mexico and Venezuela.

It is noteworthy that one of its business units, SC Chartering, has become an important carrier contributor by transporting oil and gas, wind power and renewable energy solutions to several projects in the Panama & Central America region.

SC Line offers a very reliable transport service but it also delivers high quality products that have been awarded by current OEM senior executives who highlight SC Line’s flexible and professional portfolio of services.


Container fees to soar $600 at West Coast ports

TSA Lines recommend April GRI to help address ongoing costs

By: AJOT | Feb 25 2015 at 05:40 PM | Liner Shipping  

Container shipping lines have begun the slow work of repairing their networks as U.S. West Coast congestion difficulties ease. At the same time, forward bookings suggest that post-Lunar New Year cargo demand will resume after the week-long Asia holidays and continue to pick up pace. Restoring service levels and further ramping up to meet sustained and rising demand will, in turn, entail significant operational costs, carriers are forecasting.

Member carriers in the Transpacific Stabilization Agreement (TSA) say that overall freight revenues must rise to levels that will address higher long-term rail, truck, equipment management and cargo handling costs, as a ‘new normal’ in shoreside and inland operations grows out of recent congestion difficulties and the new longshore labor agreement. Toward that end TSA has reaffirmed its March 9 general rate increase (GRI) of US$600 per 40-foot container (FEU) for all shipments, and lines have also filed a previously announced April 9 GRI in the same amount.

“Carriers are mindful that all affected parties face higher operating costs as well as lost revenue and business opportunities amid the current situation,” Conrad said. “But it is also a reality that we are all not simply returning to business as usual. To the extent the U.S. economy is showing sustained recovery and the dollar is likely to remain strong against Asian currencies for some time, carriers need to step up their game, reverse some of the retrenchment seen since 2011 and complete the service integration necessary to fulfill scale and efficiency objective in the market. The limited improvement in freight rates to date neither addresses costs accrued since last September nor the network investment necessary through 2016 to meet customers’ needs.”


PMA, ILWU Announce West Coast Waterfront Contract

PMA, ILWU Announce West Coast Waterfront Contract

By: AJOT | Feb 23 2015 at 05:59 AM | Ports & Terminals  

FMCS, Cabinet Secretaries Played Key Roles

The Pacific Maritime Association and the International Longshore and Warehouse Union today announced a tentative agreement on a new five-year contract covering workers at all 29 West Coast ports. The deal was reached with assistance from U.S. Secretary of Labor Tom Perez and Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service Deputy Director Scot Beckenbaugh. The parties will not be releasing details of the agreement at this time. The agreement is subject to ratification by both parties.

 

“After more than nine months of negotiations, we are pleased to have reached an agreement that is good for workers and for the industry,” said PMA President James McKenna and ILWU President Bob McEllrath in a joint statement. “We are also pleased that our ports can now resume full operations.”


Pressure begins on shippers, union to settle U.S. West Coast ports dispute

 

BY STEVE GORMAN

 

(Reuters) - Two U.S. Cabinet secretaries joined congressional leaders, three governors and a big-city mayor on Wednesday in pushing shipping lines and the dockworkers' union to settle a contract dispute that has led to months of turmoil and cargo backups at 29 West Coast ports.

Labor Secretary Tom Perez and Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker weighed in as emissaries of President Barack Obama, who has come under rising political pressure to intervene in a conflict that has reverberated through the trans-Pacific commercial supply chain and could, by some estimates, cost the U.S. economy billions of dollars.

Worsening cargo congestion that the union and shippers blame on each other has slowed freight traffic since October at the ports, which handle nearly half of all U.S. maritime trade and more than 70 percent of the country's imports from Asia.

More recently, the shipping companies have sharply curtailed operations at the terminals, suspending the loading and unloading of cargo vessels for night shifts, holidays and weekends at the five busiest ports.

Work has continued around the clock in the dockyards, rail yards and terminal gates for most of the ports. Some smaller ports remained open to nighttime vessel operations as well.

The union and shipping companies each accuse the other side of instigating the disruptions to gain leverage in contract negotiations that have dragged on for nine months, appearing to hit a roadblock in the last two weeks.

ARBITRATION CITED IN SNAGGED TALKS

The bargaining agent for the shippers and terminal operators, the Pacific Maritime Association, has said talks hit a snag over a union demand for changes in the system of binding arbitration of contract disputes.

The International Longshore and Warehouse Union, representing 20,000 dockworkers, has insisted that an accord was near in the negotiations, which a federal mediator was assigned to oversee last month.

Perez joined the San Francisco talks for the first time on Tuesday, according to his spokeswoman, Xochitl Hinojosa, urging the parties to "come to an immediate agreement to prevent further damage to our economy."

He was joined for another round of talks on Wednesday, she said, by Pritzker and Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, whose city encompasses the nation's busiest cargo port and lies adjacent to the No. 2 cargo hub at Long Beach.

Sources familiar with the situation said Perez huddled with each party separately, then briefly together on Tuesday, and met with both sides again on Wednesday as negotiations and "sidebars" stretched into the evening.

Meanwhile, the governors of the three West Coast states - California, Oregon and Washington - all Democrats, issued a statement on Wednesday welcoming Perez' involvement and calling for a quick resolution to the dispute.

Separately, eight congressional Republicans who chair House or Senate panels with jurisdiction over transportation and labor sent a letter to Obama on Wednesday urging him to take further unspecified action if a settlement is not reached by March 2 - two months from the date the federal mediator was appointed.

A Senate Commerce Committee spokeswoman, Lauren Hammond, said the letter's reference to "exercising additional leadership to resolve the situation" could be interpreted to mean invoking the 1947 Taft-Hartley Act.

Under that law, a president can seek a federal court order compelling the end to a work stoppage in a labor dispute if it poses a national emergency. But labor law experts have said it would be difficult to make such a case to a judge under current circumstances.

The union and the PMA have declined public comment since a federal mediator called for a news blackout last Friday.

The last time contract talks led to a full shutdown of the West Coast ports was in 2002, when the companies imposed a lockout that was lifted 10 days later under a court order sought by President George W. Bush under Taft-Hartley.

 


MCA rules for crew service on yachts

The MCA requires that all yacht service be documented in the form of either (a) yacht service testimonials supported by a discharge book or (b) an MCA-approved logbook. Both of these documents must include an exact breakdown of the actual sea service, stand-by service, and yard time. For the purposes of the MIN, the MCA service definitions are:

  • Actual Sea Service is time spent at sea, which may include time at anchor or river and canal transits associated with a passage.
  • Stand-by Service is time immediately following a voyage while the vessel is under preparation for a subsequent voyage.
  • Yard Time is time when standing by a build, refit or repair.
  • Watchkeeping Service is actual sea service spent as a watchkeeping officer in full charge of a navigational watch for at least four out of every 24 hours while the vessel is engaged on voyage.

The MCA states that seagoing service on yachts will be counted as a combination of actual sea-service, standby service and yard service. There are a few restrictions:

  • Stand-by Service cannot exceed the number of days performed on the previous voyage and in no case exceeds a maximum of 14 days in each period.
  • Yard Service cannot exceed a maximum total of 90 days for Officer of the Watch (OOW) and 30 days for Chief Mate or Master.

As a result of the above definitions, under no circumstance can stand-by service exceed actual sea service.

Now that the MCA has defined what type of sea service is required, let us review the requirements for the three levels of unlimited tonnage licenses.

To qualify for the issue of an OOW unlimited Certificate of Competency, the candidate must, from the age of 16, have completed 36 months seagoing service. Of that total, it must include at least six months engaged in bridge watchkeeping duties on vessels (including yachts) of more than 24m in length or more than 80 GT.

To qualify for the issue of a Chief Mate unlimited Certificate of Competency, one must have completed 18 months seagoing service as a deck officer while holding an OOW unlimited license. Sea service must be attained on vessels (including yachts) of more than 24m in length or more than 80 GT.

To qualify for the issue of a Master unlimited Certificate of Competency, the candidate must have completed 18 months seagoing service as a deck officer while holding a Chief Mate unlimited license. The sea service must be attained on vessels (including yachts) of more than 24m in length or more than 80 GT.

If an officer already possesses an OOW unlimited or a Chief Mate unlimited Certificate of Competency, and is serving on a yacht, there are additional stipulations to complete before raising to a higher Certificate of Competency. The license holder’s seagoing service requirements listed above must include the completion of:

  • At least six months on yachts of 500 GT or more operating beyond UK-categorized waters, or if outside the UK, beyond the harbor limits; OR
  • At least six months on vessels of at least 24m, made up of voyages of more than 300 nautical miles.

If a candidate has sea service on a yacht of over 3,000 GT that has spent more than 2/3 of its time proceeding to sea, then that sea service can be counted as per MGN 92 (M), i.e. at the full rate. A breakdown of the vessel’s movements must be provided with the application. This will be assessed by the MCA on a case-by-case basis.

If an officer already holds an MCA OOW for yachts less than 3,000 GT and the officer is applying for an OOW unlimited Certificate of Competency, it is not required to show evidence for six months of watchkeeping duties.  If the candidate does not hold an MCA OOW for yachts less than 3,000 GT, one will need a letter from the captain stating that the candidate has been engaged in watchkeeping duties under the supervision of a qualified officer for at least six months.

If one holds an OOW, Chief Mate, or Masters Certificate of Competency limited to yachts of less than 3,000 GT, the officer must first obtain an OOW unlimited license before progressing to a Chief Mate unlimited Certificate of Competency. It is not possible to skip over any of the unlimited licenses.

And finally, the MCA clearly states in the MIN that completing more than four hours watchkeeping within a 24-hour period cannot be counted as more than one day watchkeeping time. For example, if an officer completes a 12-hour watch within a 24-hour period, the officer can only count this as one day of watchkeeping service. Additionally, if the same officer completes two separate six-hour watches within a 24-hour period, the officer can only count this as one day of watchkeeping service.

Capt. Jake DesVergers is chief surveyor for International Yacht Bureau (IYB), an organization that provides flag-state inspection services to yachts on behalf of several administrations. A deck officer graduate of the U.S.MerchantMarineAcademy at Kings Point, he previously sailed as master on merchant ships, acted as designated person for a shipping company, and served as regional manager for an international classification society. Contact him at +1 954-596-2728 or www.yachtbureau.org. Comments on this column are welcome at editorial@the-triton.com.