Thursday, June 11, 2020

Carnival Vessels to be Fitted With Bubbles

A “carpet of micro-bubbles”, developed by UK tech firm Silverstream Technologies, improves fuel efficiency in the shipping industry and has landed the business a £1 million deal with US shipping giant, Carnival Cruises.

The Silverstream System, a type of Air Lubrication System (ALS), pumps tiny bubbles through vents on the hull to reduce friction between the vessel and the water, helping it glide through the ocean. The technology has been independently proven to reduce fuel consumption by 5 to 12 percent, which in turn cuts running costs.

Silverstream Technologies Founder & CEO Noah Silberschmidt, said: "Shipping is one of the 'hard to decarbonize' global industries so we have spent the last few years independently testing our system to support our claims. We want to become a standard on newbuild vessels in the industry and to be the ‘new normal’ for sustainable shipping.

Silberschmidt said, “By working with the best partners to help shipping improve its efficiency standards, Silverstream wants to have a positive and progressive impact on the industry and in doing so, the wider world.” The business has been operating at full capacity in line with Government guidelines throughout the Coronavirus pandemic and is finalizing deals to supply an additional 15 ships in Europe and Asia by the end of the year.

RINA Performs Class Surveys Via Remote Live Streaming

Italian classification society RINA has successfully carried out the world first statutory and associated class intermediate surveys with the use of remote technologies on the bulk carrier Cielo di Gaspesie, owned by the d’Amico Group. On completion, the Liberian International Ship & Corporate Registry (LISCR), who attended the survey remotely, authorized RINA to certify the Cielo di Gaspesie.

The survey included an inspection of the hull and machinery. The ship is subject to the enhanced program of inspections set by the international ESP Code; close-up surveys of ballast tanks and cargo holds were carried out accordingly, through drones.

The recent approval of RINA’s remote inspection technology for Liberian flagged vessels is expected to be followed soon by other Flag Administrations.

Following the completion of the survey, the Cielo di Gaspesie was assigned the new class notation “REMOTE” by RINA. This new notation identifies the ships deemed by the Society to be eligible to be surveyed remotely for the largest scope of class surveys as well as periodical ones.

Port of Los Angeles Cargo Down

The Port of Los Angeles moved 581,665 TEUs in May, a 29.8 percent decrease compared to last year’s record-setting May. Five months into 2020, overall cargo volumes have decreased 18.6 percent compared to 2019. Port Executive Director Gene Seroka announced the May volumes in a news briefing today.

“Compared to last May’s historic volumes, the surge in canceled sailings due to COVID-19 and the trade war, along with shifts in liner services, all contributed to significantly softer volumes,” said Port of Los Angeles Executive Director Gene Seroka. “As the US economy begins to recover, we expect fewer canceled sailings and an uptick in cargo compared to previous months. We continue to invest through this global economic downturn in the infrastructure and technology that will assist us in driving our competitive advantage now and in the future.”

May loaded imports decreased 28.4 percent to 306,323 TEUs compared to the previous year. Loaded exports dropped 37.6 percent to 104,382 TEUs. Empty containers declined 26.8 percent to 170,960 TEUs. In total, May volumes totaled 581,665 TEUs.

Port of Long Beach Sees Cargo Increase

Cargo shipments rose at the Port of Long Beach in May as the economic effects of COVID-19 started to subside.

Dockworkers and terminal operators moved 628,205 TEUs of container cargo last month, a 9.5 percent increase from May 2019. Imports grew 7.6 percent to 312,590 TEUs, while exports climbed 11.6 percent to 134,556 TEUs. Empty containers headed back overseas jumped 11.4 percent to 181,060 TEUs.

The Port has moved 2,830,855 TEUs during the first five months of 2020, down 5.9 percent from the same period in 2019.

“Our strong numbers reflect the efforts of our Business Recovery Task Force, which is setting the path for efficient cargo movement and growth,” said Mario Cordero, Executive Director of the Port of Long Beach. “Our focus on operational excellence and world-class customer service will continue as we prioritize our industry-leading infrastructure development projects.”

“We aren’t out of the woods, but this is the gradual growth we have anticipated as the United States starts to rebound from the devastating economic impacts of COVID-19 and the trade war with China,” said Long Beach Harbor Commission President Bonnie Lowenthal.

As part of its recovery efforts, the Port of Long Beach has activated an internal Business Recovery Task Force that works with customers, industry partners, labor and government agencies to ensure terminal and supply chain operations continue without disruption, along with expediting shipments of crucial personal protective equipment.

May marked the first month in 2020 that cargo shipments rose at the nation’s second-busiest port, and followed seven consecutive months of declines attributed to the U.S.-China trade dispute and the COVID-19 epidemic.

Tuesday, June 9, 2020

Heavylift Ship Transports 38 Yachts from USA to Europe

Multipurpose and project heavy lift carrier AAL Shipping, in partnership with Peters & May, has successfully transported 38 private yachts – the largest of which was 32 meters long – on deck in a single sailing from Fort Lauderdale, Florida to Southampton, UK, and Antwerp, Belgium.

The cargo covered an area of 2,500 square meters – about half the size of a football field – and was carried aboard the ‘mega size’ 31,000 dwt AAL Melbourne, with her 39,500-cubic meter intake capacity and weather deck space of 3,000 square meters.

Marc Willim, General Manager of AAL’s Chartering Department, commented: “With 25-years’ experience delivering tramp chartering solutions and operating scheduled liner services on busy trades around the world, we have carried our fair share of pleasure craft.

“Only a few months ago, we transported an 86-meter long aluminum superyacht hull from China to Australia, the largest single floating cargo piece that we have ever carried.

“Similarly, 38 yachts with an average length of 16 meters on deck requires well-planned stowage engineering and lashing, a first-class crew and a very special ship.”

He added: “At a time when the global shipping community is concerned about the ability of multipurpose and project (MPP) carriers to deliver service and schedule integrity, this sailing is an example of AAL’s own increased frequency through the US.

“In a boost to the region’s shippers, in June we have multiple MPP vessels calling US West Coast, Gulf and East Coast Ports and ready to serve market needs.”

Dave Holley, Chief Executive Officer of Peters & May, concluded by saying: “Moving this many yachts in one go is always full of challenges and we are very careful which carrier we choose for such a voyage.

“AAL provided us with a timely solution and the whole operation went extremely smoothly. We are now looking forward to our next transatlantic voyage.”

The AAL Melbourne recently transported two giant jib cranes, each weighing 900 metric tons from Taicang, China, to Jebel Ali, United Arab Emirates.

WETA Adopts Safety Plan, Increases Ferry Service

The San Francisco Bay Area Water Emergency Transportation Authority (WETA) will resume San Francisco Bay Ferry service on the Richmond route and double service on the Vallejo route beginning on Monday, June 15. WETA has also adopted a six-point Passenger and Crew Safety Plan, formalizing safety measures put into effect to help prevent spread of COVID-19 in the Bay Area.

“As the region gets back to work, San Francisco Bay Ferry provides a safe, clean and comfortable way to cross the Bay,” said Jim Wunderman, chair of the WETA Board of Directors. “WETA’s safety plan is geared toward protecting passengers and crews while helping as many commuters as possible avoid the traffic congestion that's already beginning to return.”

The safety plan includes:

• Enhanced cleaning

• All ferries and terminals are being cleaned thoroughly and frequently using coronavirus-killing products. Social distancing

• Maximum capacity restrictions on ferries are in place to allow plenty of space for passengers. Social distancing is required at terminals.

• Face coverings

• All crews and passengers are required to wear masks or face coverings on the ferry and at terminals.

• Hand sanitizer and clean, stocked bathrooms are available on every ferry.
• Healthy crews

• Vessel crews' temperatures are checked before reporting to work. All ferry and facility staff are provided personal protective equipment.

• Touchless payment

• Clipper, Hopthru and the Vallejo monthly pass are highly recommended for fare payment.

Service on three San Francisco Bay Ferry routes was suspended on March 17 in response to regional shelter-in-place orders. The Richmond ferry service will resume on Monday, June 15. Richmond ferry service is funded under an agreement between WETA and the Contra Costa Transportation Authority using Contra Costa County Measure J transportation sales tax dollars. The Harbor Bay and South San Francisco routes remain suspended. WETA reduced service on the Vallejo and Alameda/Oakland routes on March 17. Due to ridership increases on the Vallejo route, service increases will go into effect on June 15. Decisions on further service enhancements and resumption of suspended routes will be made in the coming months as the economy opens up and travel and ridership demand increases.

Additional details on WETA’s Passenger and Crew Safety Plan, as well as Richmond, Vallejo and Alameda/Oakland ferry schedules, can be found at

LA/LB Ports to Host CAAP Update Meeting June 24

The ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles will update the public on progress toward the goals of the San Pedro Bay Ports Clean Air Action Plan during a Wednesday, June 24, meeting.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the meeting will be held via WebEx, from 10 a.m. to noon. To participate in the meeting, click here to register and you will receive instructions on participating via computer or phone.

Regular advisory meetings were called for as part of the CAAP Update approved by the Long Beach and Los Angeles boards of Harbor Commissioners in November 2017. Records of prior meetings can be found here. This is the second meeting of 2020 and the ninth under the CAAP 2017 Update.

The CAAP 2017 Update is a comprehensive strategy for accelerating progress toward a zero-emission future while protecting and strengthening the ports’ competitive position in the global economy. Since 2005, port-related air pollution emissions in San Pedro Bay have dropped 87% for diesel particulate matter, 58% for nitrogen oxides, and 97% for sulfur oxides. Targets for reducing greenhouse gases from port-related sources were introduced as part of the 2017 CAAP. The document calls for the ports to reduce GHGs 40% below 1990 levels by 2030 and 80% below 1990 levels by 2050. The Clean Air Action Plan was originally approved in 2006.

The ports will take public comments at the advisory meeting to receive input on CAAP implementation issues. The agenda will be posted on the CAAP website's Stakeholder Advisory Group page prior to the meeting. For more information, visit

First Full Crew Change Under COVID-19 Protocols in Singapore

Genco Shipping & Trading Limited, a US-headquartered drybulk shipowner, announced the successful full crew change of the Genco Liberty, a 180,032-DWT Capesize vessel, marking the first full crew change under new COVID-19 protocols in Singapore. A total of 37 seafarers were involved in this crew change, which was completed on June 6, 2020 and executed in accordance with protocols established by Genco, Singapore’s Maritime and Port Authority (MPA) and the Synergy Group.

John C. Wobensmith, Chief Executive Officer, commented, “Amid the outbreak of COVID-19, many individuals have been onboard oceangoing vessels in excess of the duration of their contracts, keeping them away from their families. Port restrictions, difficulty arranging travel and ensuring the health of the on-signing crew members have all posed unique challenges that have prevented many shipowners from being able to undertake crew rotations in a safe and effective manner. For the Genco Liberty, we identified an opportunity to undertake a crew rotation in Singapore, as many of the dedicated 21 crewmembers have been onboard this vessel for longer than their original contract timeline due to COVID-19.”

The protocols developed by Genco, the MPA and the Synergy Group established quarantine and repatriation procedures for seafarers to protect health and safety, taking into account factors such as testing, the availability of personal protective equipment, travel and logistical issues, and the safety of the local community.

These protocols included a quarantine of all arriving crewmembers for 14 days prior to boarding the vessel, the distribution of personal protective equipment kits, and the administration of Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) tests prior to travel. Genco continues to work on conducting crew changes where permissible by regulations of the ports and origin of the mariners, in addition to strict protocols to safeguard their crews against COVID-19 exposure.

Captain Rajesh Unni, Founder & Chief Executive Officer of Synergy Group, the Singapore-based ship manager appointed to the Genco Liberty, commented, “At Synergy Group, we have been working diligently to conduct crew changes since the outbreak of COVID-19 and we are grateful to Genco for taking the lead together with the MPA and the Singaporean government. We would like to continue to see more crew rotations occur globally as other countries can now look to the successful Genco Liberty crew rotation as the blueprint to help return these seafarers to their families.”