Friday, November 7, 2014

Carnival Cruise Lines CEO Retiring

By Mark Edward Nero

Carnival Cruise Lines president and CEO Gerry Cahill said Oct. 30 that after 20 years with the company, he’s retiring as of Nov. 30.

Cahill, 63, joined Carnival in 1994 as vice president of finance, and in January 1998 was promoted to senior vice president of finance and chief financial officer. He became president and CEO in 2007.

“It has been an honor and a privilege to lead Carnival Cruise Lines for the past seven years and to work for this great company for 20 years,” Cahill said. “Deciding when to retire is not easy, especially when you love what you do. I feel the time is good for me personally and the company and brand are in a good place.”

Carnival said no replacement for Cahill is being named at this point, and that he’s agreed to stay on in an advisory capacity for an unspecified time to provide advice and counsel to the leadership team through the transition period.

Cahill’s tenure was marred in recent years by a handful of incidents, including a fire aboard the Carnival Triumph in February that left the ship without power and forced passengers to endure the stench of backed up sewage systems. The fire followed a handful of other incidents, including one that saw the Carnival Splendor lose power in 2010 after an engine room fire.

However, also during his tenure, Cahill helped the cruise line grow to 24 ships – the largest ever in the company’s fleet. He and his team launched four new vessels and introduced a new class of ships, the Dream class. Four of the company’s ships are based on the West Coast: the Carnival Legend, which departs on voyages from Seattle and Vancouver, British Columbia on trips to Alaska and Hawaii; the Carnival Miracle, which is homeported at the Port of Los Angeles and sails to Hawaii and Mexico; and the Carnival Inspiration and Carnival Imagination, both of which sail to Mexico out of the Port of LA.

PMA Accuses ILWU of Work Slowdown

By Mark Edward Nero

The Pacific Maritime Association is accusing the International Longshore & Warehouse Union of reneging on an agreement to continue normal operations while the two sides are engaged in contract negotiations, and orchestrating work slowdowns at two Pacific Northwest seaports.

“The International Longshore & Warehouse Union has initiated orchestrated slowdowns at the Pacific Northwest ports of Seattle and Tacoma, severely impacting many of the largest terminals during the peak holiday shipping season,” the PMA wrote in a Nov. 3 news release sent to media outlets.

Seattle and Tacoma together handle an estimated 16 percent of containerized cargo on the West Coast.

The PMA, which represents more than 70 multinational ocean carriers and maritime companies, and the ILWU, which bargains for nearly 13,600 workers at 29 ports along the West Coast from Washington to California, are in the sixth month of negotiations for a new contract.

Initially, the PMA and ILWU set a July goal of reaching a new agreement, and after the previous six-year contract expired July 1, the two sides agreed to continue operations under the language of the expired deal, according to the PMA. The ILWU, however, denies this.

“This is a bold-faced lie,” the union said in its own Nov. 3 statement regarding the situation. “No such agreement was ever made, nor could it be made given the parties’ historic disagreement regarding the definition of ‘normal operations’ – a disagreement that has been the subject of arbitrations for decades.”

The PMA says it has found that the slowdowns at two Pacific Northwest ports have resulted in terminal productivity being reduced by an average of 40 to 60 percent. For example, the Association contends, terminals that typically move 25-35 containers per hour were moving only 10 to 18 containers, according to statistics compiled by PMA, which tracks historical productivity based on the number of containers moved per hour for each vessel at the same terminal.

The union contends that the PMA’s accusations are merely an attempt to deflect responsibility from a growing congestion problem at major West Coast ports and that they delay progress in negotiations.

Rapp Marine Unifies Divisions

By Mark Edward Nero

Rapp Marine Group, which engineers, manufactures, and sells winches and cranes for fishing, research and offshore vessels, has unified its subsidiaries under the Rapp Marine name. The new brand promotes the activities of Rapp Hydema, Rapp Hydema US, Rapp Zastava, Rapp Statech, Rapp Ecosse and parent company Rapp Marine.

“This is a strategic move to strengthen all worldwide activities,” the company explained in a news release announcing the move. “With the new branding, Rapp Marine brings together the expertise and know-how from all the different segments, with the combined sales offices and agent network giving global coverage for the company.”

Rapp Marine will continue to be headquartered in Norway, and its recently opened main production facility will stay in Serbia, while service and sales offices will continue to be located in Seattle and Scotland.

In addition, Rapp Hydema Syd, based in Fredrikstad, will continue to provide products for coastal fisheries and fish farmers, while Rapp Statech provides engineering design and support to all companies in the group.

“Our new corporate branding is a reflection of who we are, and what our corporate values are,” Rapp Marine Senior Vice President Sales and Marketing Tove Pettersen explained. “Our main goal is to be the preferred supplier for our customers. The new brand gives the company a strong profile, and the company structure allows us to present a wide range of products for the fishing, research and oil and gas industry.”

Shipco CEO Named ‘Person of Year’

By Mark Edward Nero

Klaus Jepsen, Group CEO of Shipco Transport, has been named Person of the Year by the New York/New Jersey Foreign Freight Forwarders and Brokers Association and will be honored at the Association’s 98th annual dinner, planned for Feb. 5, 2015 in New York.

Shipco Transport, founded in 1988, is a wholly owned subsidiary of Scan-Group, an international shipping and transportation company, headquartered in Copenhagen, Denmark. It’s one of the world’s leading neutral non-vessel operating common carriers and has more than 70 offices worldwide, including in Seattle, San Francisco and Long Beach, Calif.

In 2007, led by Jepsen, Shipco launched the WorldWide Alliance, an association of the world’s top NVOCCs.

“This is the first time in 98 years that our association has honored one of our own members,” New York/ New Jersey Foreign Freight Forwarders and Brokers Association President Charles Riley said. “NVOCCs are among the leading shipping sectors and in many cases, the largest customers of the ocean carriers. It is time for us to honor the contributions to world trade by the leaders of the forwarding, brokerage and NVO industries and Klaus Jepsen is a credible way to begin.”

Jepsen has been with the Scan-Group since 1975. Shipco Transport - spearheaded by Jepsen - was established in New York in 1988.

Monday, November 3, 2014

Sally Ride's Legacy Lives On in AGOR 28

By Kathleen Gleaves 

Auxiliary General Oceanographic Research vessel (AGOR 28) began its life as the R/V Sally Ride on August 9th, 2014, with the traditional crack of the champagne bottle. But that's where its comparison to "traditional" ends. The R/V Sally Ride is the latest high-tech vessel constructed for the Office of Naval Research at Dakota Creek Industries (DCI) shipyard in Anacortes, Washington. The Sally Ride is the first research vessel named after a woman, a fitting tribute to the first American woman in space.

Outfitted with the latest in sonar, over-the-side winches, triple mapping capability, and a host of other innovations designed to improve deep sea exploration; the vessel will join the research fleet at Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) in 2016. Dr. Sally Ride served on the faculty of UCSD from 1989 to 2007.

There remains a lot of work to be done before the first scientists step onboard, fire up the computer lab, and begin the first of thousands of research projects that will be hosted aboard the vessel over its expected 20- to 30-year lifespan. Dakota Creek will work with Siemens Marine to install the automation equipment and complete the outfitting required in Phase 3 of the project.

The christening marks a milestone in the Navy's Fleet Renewal Plan that began 14 years ago. The Navy's commitment to maintaining six research vessels means two ships will be retired to make room for the R/V Sally Ride and its twin-sister ship theR/V Neil Armstrong launched in March. For Scripps, that means decommissioning the R/V Melville over the next two years. It also means building a $25M pier to accommodate the newest member of the fleet.

Dick Nelson, owner of DCI, and Guido Perla, Chairmen of Guido Perla Associates (GPA) and the designer of the vessel, reminisced about their partnership in the design competition, Phase 1 of the project, held by the Navy to select the design and construction shipyard for the vessels.

Kathryn Sullivan, Undersecretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere, and NOAA administrator delivered the principal address. Sullivan served with Ride onboard the space shuttle Challenger and was the first woman to walk in space. In her address to the crowd, she pointed out "...we currently have better maps of the moon and Mars and Venus than we have of our own oceans." And that an estimated 60 to 80 percent of marine species remain undiscovered. She felt the R/V Sally Ride with its state of the art computer and research labs will undoubtedly advance our knowledge of our oceans. She closed by wishing the vessel and her crew, "...great adventures, grand discoveries, and safe passage home."

Representatives from NOAA, NASA and the Navy joined together with Ride's family and her lifetime partner, Tam O'Shaughnessy, to officially welcome the ship to the Scripps fleet. Dr. O'Shaughnessy, head of the Sally Ride Science organization, is the ship's sponsor and hopes to maintain a professional connection to the vessel as it serves the scientific community.

Dr. O'Shaughnessy expressed her appreciation for the honor. She hoped the ship would instill Sally's "...adventurous spirit and quest for knowledge in all who are privileged to sail on her."

Stewardship of the vessel was determined through a bid process with several research organizations competing for the right to operate the new AGOR ships. Scripps was chosen for AGOR 28 with AGOR 27 going to Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. Captain Tom DesJardins and Sr. Chief Engineer, Paul Bueren, of Scripps, will likely take command of the vessel in mid-2015. Bueren has been onsite at DCI for the construction and will stay on through commissioning and sea trials.

NAVSEA funded the $145M, two-ship project and will retain ownership. Scripps will operate, crew, and maintain the vessel, as well as manage the scheduling of research projects. Shipboard time will be available to students and researchers from UCSD as well as other universities.

Design Specifications
In addition to its scientific mission, the vessel is also intended for global operations in support of national security interests in the marine field. As such, the design specifications were demanding. The ship had to be an efficient, fully-integrated and highly-resilient blue-water laboratory capable of exploring the undersea environment anywhere in the world. Most of all, it had to be quiet. Since a great deal of ocean research involves listening, excessive ship noise was unacceptable.

GPA's unique hull design met the "bubble sweepdown" performance requirement by diverting bubbles away from the sensitive sonar area. To complete the noise-dampening goal, engineers chose systems, defined equipment locations, and designed special installation methods with acoustics as a priority.

Working deck space is a premium commodity in oceanographic work. The AGOR vessels have 2,557 square feet of clear deck space, with 1,873 square feet of that space on the open aft deck.

Housing the most modern scientific laboratory afloat gives scientists the ability to analyze specimens and data in real time onboard instead of simply collecting materials and bringing it back to a landside lab for later analysis. With analysis occurring onboard, electrical power quality, sample purity, and vessel stability were strong considerations. Thanks to Kongsberg and Siemens propulsion controls and capabilities, the ship can remain fully operational in Sea State 4, and can handle dynamic positioning relative to a fixed position in Sea State 5 with a 2-knot current and 35-knot winds.

DCI called upon a multitude of local, national and international vendors to outfit the ship with the best equipment available. Siemens will begin installing their new Blue Drive™ system by late summer. This advanced, multi-drive, low-voltage system manages the speed of the AC propulsion motors controlling the propellers, stern thruster, and bow thruster. The system provides enhanced reliability and efficiency, multiple failsafe features, reduced fuel consumption, lower maintenance costs, and increased ease of operation for the crew. Siemens is also supplying the majority of the electrical switchgear, the ACCU automation, and their custom, condition-based equipment monitoring system.

Four vibration-isolated Cummins QSK38-DM main engines provide more than 3,900 kW integrated electric power for propulsion and all other ship functions. The integrated diesel-electric plant allows for multiple generator configurations, ensuring the diesel engines operate at peak efficiency in all modes.

Siemens uses a "combinator" style control function to integrate motor speed and propeller pitch, which allows the operator to set the propeller at its most efficient setting throughout the entire range of operations, from cruising to heavy towing. While the combinator is fairly common in ships with controllable pitch propellers with direct drive diesels, it is unusual in a variable-speed electric drive system.

Specifications for the deck equipment were stringent. Cranes and winches load equipment and deploy ROVs and buoys weighing in excess of 20,000 pounds. Allied Marine supplied the stern frame with its 12-foot inboard and outboard reach, along with the TK4-30 portable crane and the TK 70-70 aft-deck main crane. They also supplied the motion-compensated CTD handling system and the starboard side handling device, both of which extend to the waterline for improved safety and load control.

Markey Machinery of Seattle supplied two electric motor-driven CAST-6-125 hydrographic winches, and the DETW-9-11 traction winch, both with AC variable frequency drives for precise control.

As production moves into Phase 3 of the project, Kongsberg will supply a SONAR synchronization system along with their advanced multi-beam SONAR units, a HiPAP gantry with a Sonardyne single beam survey system, and a sub-bottom profiler SONAR. Additional equipment plans include a transducer array, a mid-water echo sounder, and three current profilers operating at different frequencies. This system provides scientists a greatly expanded mapping capability over existing vessels.

The ship's design is compliant with 46CFR Subchapter U (Oceanographic Vessels) and built to ABS Under 90 Meter rules. It will be certified as A1, Circle E, AMS, ACCU, NIBS, Ice Class D0, and UWILD.

According to Hollie Anthonysz, Program Manager of Vessel Construction, the DCI team is looking forward to completing Phase 3 of both ships over the next year. Scripps and Woods Hole are both eager to see the vessels at sea.

Vigor Christens New Drydock

By Mark Edward Nero

More than a thousand employees, customers and their families were hosted by Vigor Industrial in Portland on Oct. 25 as the company christened its new drydock, dubbed the Vigorous.

“This is a momentous day for us,” Vigor Chief Operating Officer Dave Whitcomb said during a speech at the christening. “Vigorous is here to support family-wage jobs for the men and women of Vigor as well as the marine community here in Portland.”

The 960-foot vessel, which cost $50 million to build and deliver, is now among the largest floating drydocks in North America and is expected to open Portland to new markets such as cruise ships and post-Panamax vessels.

Two Maritime Administration cargo ships are expected to be the first vessels in the dock this month, creating 130 jobs for Vigor workers. The company also has a cruise ship booked for repairs in March 2015.

The christening drew local dignitaries such as Portland Mayor Charlie Hales who has advocated the key importance of industrial jobs.

“Portlanders sometimes forget that there is a strong industrial sector in our economy,” Hales said in a news release.

The Vigorous is about the same size as a drydock that Vigor CEO Frank Foti was forced to sell in 2001 in order to repay millions of dollars that the company owed lenders. The sale of the shipyard’s largest asset led some to speculate at the time that it signaled the end of shipbuilding in Portland. But since then, Vigor has grown from the single shipyard to nine locations from Portland to Alaska.

“Over a decade ago many people here probably never thought a day like this would come for Portland or Vigor again,” Whitcomb said.

During the christening, Foti said that the choice to sell the original drydock in 2001 was a difficult decision, but that now, 13 years later, he was proud to welcome the Vigorous, which joins 11 other drydocks at locations across the Pacific Northwest, from Portland to Ketchikan.

The massive drydock, which will be used to lift vessels as large as cruise ships out of the water, was built in China by Shanghai Zhenhua Heavy Industries. It arrived at the mouth of the Columbia on Aug. 25 and made its way up to Vigor Industrial’s Portland shipyard on the Willamette River.

In addition of a length of 960 feet, the Vigorous has a lifting capacity of 80,000 long tons; an inside width: 186 feet; and a total width of 228 feet. It has a height of 70 feet and weighs 24,000 long tons, according to Vigor.

POLA Data Shows Continued Air Emissions Reductions

By Mark Edward Nero

The Port of Los Angeles continues to make strides in cutting pollution from ships, trucks, trains, cargo-handling equipment and harbor craft, according to the latest annual inventory of emissions from port-related mobile sources.

The port’s 2013 Inventory of Air Emissions shows the port has set new records with diesel particulate matter down 80 percent, nitrogen oxides (NOx) down 57 percent and sulfur oxides (SOx) down 90 percent over eight years of clean air measures. The findings also reflect progress in curbing greenhouse gases, which are down 23 percent since 2005.

The Inventory of Air Emissions tracks the progress of a comprehensive suite of clean air measures, requirements and incentives to reduce harmful emissions from mobile sources associated with port operations that was passed under the name Clean Air Action Plan in 2006.

The latest findings are based on data from the 2013 calendar year and compared with data collected annually since the baseline year of 2005.

The clean air plan incorporates 2014 and 2023 regional goals for reducing emissions, and the port says it met both diesel particulate matter reduction goals two years ahead of schedule and, as of the 2013 inventory, exceeded the 2023 target of 79 percent. The port surpassed its 2014 NOx reduction goal of 22 percent in 2009 and is two percentage points shy of its 2023 target – 59 percent – for NOx.
The Port of LA also says it’s within three percentage points of its 93 percent SOx reduction target, the same for 2014 and 2023. With two new vessel requirements that took effect Jan. 1, 2014, the port’s expected to meet the goal.

The first requirement is California’s shore power regulation, which establishes rules for container, refrigerated and cruise vessels to run on shore-side electricity while at berth in Los Angeles and five other ports. Plugging into shore power reduces ship engine emissions by up to 95 percent per vessel call.

The second regulation requires ships within 24 nautical miles of California to run on the cleanest available marine fuel whose sulfur content is at or below 0.1 percent. The mandate represents a significant drop from 2012 sulfur content limits of 1.0 percent for marine gas oil and 0.5 percent for marine diesel oil. Effective Jan. 1, 2015, the requirement extends to waters within 200 nautical miles of all of North America.

Currently, only 6.1 percent of all SOx emissions throughout the area surrounding the San Pedro Bay ports are attributable to port operations – down sharply from 25 percent in 2005, according to the air emissions inventory data. Likewise, port-related diesel emissions are now at 4.8 percent, compared with 10 percent; and NOx emissions have shrunk to 3.5 percent from five percent.

The full 200-plus pages of the 2013 air emissions report can be read at

POLB Adds Four More Execs

By Mark Edward Nero

Less than two weeks after announcing that four vacant executive positions had been filled, the Port of Long Beach has now named four more people to upper management roles.

The four professionals all have long experience in the fields of engineering, maintenance and finance, and come from outside the Port of Long Beach. Two of the positions are newly created and two were vacated earlier this year.

Duane Kenagy has been appointed to the new position of Capital Programs Executive to oversee the port’s capital improvement program. He’ll report directly to the port’s chief executive, Jon Slangerup. Kenagy has 30 years of experience in engineering and management and had been with the Moffatt & Nichol engineering consulting firm since 1994, where he rose to Senior Vice President.

Also appointed to a newly created engineering leadership position is Diane Pierson, the new Director of Project Controls. The port says the new Project Controls Division is part of Engineering’s Program Delivery Group, and will focus on cost and schedule oversight of development programs.

Pierson comes to the port from City of Hope medical center in Duarte, Calif., where she was Project Controls Manager from 2011 to 2014. Previously, she was Chief of Project Controls for the Los Angeles District of the US Army Corps of Engineers from 2000-2011, where her work included oversight of project controls for Army Corps dredging projects at the Port of Long Beach.

Betsy Christie, who was Chief Financial Officer for container terminal company NYK Terminals from 2008 to 2013, has been appointed the port’s new Director of Finance. Before NYK, Christie worked for LifeMasters Supported SelfCare, where she held various positions – CEO, VP Finance/Controller, and Accounting Manager.

The port’s new Director of Maintenance, Fred Greco, has 29 years of maintenance management experience with airports, cargo operations, surface transportation, rail and public works. He has been the Public Works Operations Superintendent with the City of Anaheim since February 2013 and prior to that, he was the Deputy Director of Operations and Maintenance for the Sacramento County Airport System from 2002-2012.

In mid-October, the port announced it had appointed people to four other executive positions: Managing Director of Commercial Operations/Chief Commercial Officer, Chief Harbor Engineer, Assistant Director of Business Development and Assistant Director of Real Estate.

The new appointments have largely filled a leadership void that emerged at the port after the exits of more than half a dozen upper managers from mid-2013 to mid-2014, including those in the positions of Deputy Executive Director/Chief Operating Officer, Managing Director of Trade Development & Port Operations, Director of Construction Management, Managing Director of Environmental Affairs, Chief Finance Officer and Director of Information Management.

Oakland Port Has Busiest Traffic Month in a Year

By Mark Edward Nero

September 2014 was the busiest month at the Port of Oakland in more than a year, according to data released in late October.

The port, which is the third largest in California, said Oct. 23 that it handled 207,412 TEUs at its marine terminals last month, which was the most since August 2013, when 209,138 TEUs were moved.

Imports traversing the port’s marine terminals were up 7.1 percent in September to 72,284 TEUs compared to a year ago, with the port attributing the rise to the tail end of the peak shipping season in September and October, when retailers finalize holiday merchandise orders.

The port also said that although the total September cargo volume increased 2.87 percent from the same period in 2013, the number of full exports dipped 7.27 percent compared to 2013. Full exports have been weak at the port all year.

For the calendar year to date, Oakland’s terminals moved nearly 1.8 million containers during the nine months of 2014, a modest 1.6 percent jump over the same period last year, according to port data.

Also, unlike some other major seaports, the Port of Oakland reported no chassis shortages in September. A shortage of the skeleton trailers, which are used to haul containers on the road, has been reported at numerous other US West Coast ports, most significantly those in Los Angeles and Long Beach, Calif.