Hydrofoil Survey Boats Keep Grain Ships Moving on the Columbia River

Hydrofoil Survey Boats Keep Grain Ships Moving on the Columbia River

For the last year, West Coast shipping news has been dominated by the huge assortment of container ships waiting to unload Asian imports in southern California, but the spotlight may eventually turn to a very different cargo—American wheat for export. This vital commodity rarely attracts much attention, but the hostilities between Russia and Ukraine are expected to reduce the world grain supply significantly this year. The USA and Canada each supply around 14% of the wheat on the world market in a typical year, while Russia exports 18% and Ukraine 8%. The loss of any of this grain could have…
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Maritime Construction: 2022 Update

Maritime Construction: 2022 Update

As consumer demands grow, so do the vessels that bring those goods to West Coast ports. Throughout the U.S. and Canadian West Coasts, seaports are in the midst of planning and building for that growth, whether it’s outfitting terminals with the tallest cranes and newest cargo-handling equipment, or dredging harbors to ensure that these mega-ships can safely arrive. The COVID-19 pandemic-driven congestion at larger seaports has only highlighted the need for more capacity. Here’s a look at a number of projects port officials are planning, or in some cases, are already in progress. PORT OF LOS ANGELES The nation’s busiest…
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West Coast Ports Eye  Global Partnerships, Electric Vehicles  to Battle Climate Change

West Coast Ports Eye Global Partnerships, Electric Vehicles to Battle Climate Change

Industrial giants are often the first to be called upon when the nation demands environmental change. West Coast shipping terminals occupy prime waterfront real estate—each of them operating right on the doorstep of a major metropolis. In the regular course of business,  they utilize waterways alongside sensitive marine populations and ecosystems already stressed by human activity. Over the last few decades these ports have made major strides in the move toward greening their operations and being accountable for their impacts on their local environments while servicing goliath cargo ships. The California ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach share San…
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Crowley Maritime’s Newest Assist Tugboat Begins Working Life in Puget Sound

Crowley Maritime’s Newest Assist Tugboat Begins Working Life in Puget Sound

At the time of this writing, Crowley Maritime’s newest chartered assist tugboat, Athena, is being delivered to Puget Sound for its final sea trials and first days of working life. Athena was built by Diversified Marine and joins Crowley Maritime’s Ship Assist and Escort Services Group. The compact 77-foot assist tugboat is hull number 44 for Crowley Maritime and packs 6,386 horsepower thanks to two Caterpillar 3516E engines. The twin screws are direct drive with two 2,700-mm 4-blade props. According to Crowley, Athena delivers 90 short tons of bollard pull, making the new assist tugboat the most powerful for its…
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Seaports and Cybersecurity — An Introduction

For the past six months seaports have been in the news. The stories range from supply-chain disruptions, large numbers of ships waiting to offload their containers, and most recently, a ransomware attack on at least 17 European oil port terminals. Obviously, the news is affecting the day-to-day management of seaports and just adds to the list of “to-dos” for Port leaders and their management teams. This article is intended to offer a high-level introduction to the cybersecurity attack surface offered by today’s modern seaports with some ideas on ways to better prepare your port for future cyber threats and attacks.…
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Southern California Ports: 2022 Update

Southern California Ports: 2022 Update

Southern California ports experienced an eventful 2021. For Los Angeles and Long Beach, headlines were dominated by record cargo volumes and COVID-driven congestion that saw ships stuck at anchor and containers stacked high at marine terminals. For the Port of San Diego, it was seeing an overflow of cargo that doesn’t normally come across local docks. And while the pandemic continues to be a challenge, it has also prompted the three ports to evolve and adapt, whether by advancing cargo visibility technology, expediting efforts toward a 24/7 operations system or making infrastructure upgrades for future demand. The ports also hope…
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Spill Response and Recovery: Past, Present and Future

Spill Response and Recovery: Past, Present and Future

Spill response and recovery are an integral and necessary part of the maritime industry. In spill response we see ghosts of vessels past, consequences of the present and glimpses into the future of industry actions. Understanding how industry experts are managing these situations, as well as how researchers are working to create solutions can better inform planning for future incidents. These three case studies demonstrate adaptation to unconventional spill response and recovery efforts. Thousand Steps Beach, Orange County, California Recent headlines on spill response have focused on the multiple beach closures in Southern California caused by an anchor-dragging incident months…
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California Ports Push for Zero-Emissions Future,  but Lack of Infrastructure, High Costs Raise Concerns

California Ports Push for Zero-Emissions Future, but Lack of Infrastructure, High Costs Raise Concerns

Per their 2017 Clean Air Action Plan (CAAP) pact, the Los Angeles and Long Beach seaports continue their push to establish a zero-emissions platform by 2035. The plan aims to eliminate all carbon-emitting drayage trucks and transition the current fleet servicing the ports to zero-emissions operations by the deadline. While advancements in technology, namely electric and hydrogen fuel-cell technology, are keeping pace in making a zero-emissions future possible, the high cost of transitioning to zero-emission trucks and a lack of charging and fueling infrastructure present genuine concern for the ports and drayage service providers alike. Many truck manufacturers are already…
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Three-Stage Air-Cooled Compressors as First Choice for Large Ships’ Engines

Three-Stage Air-Cooled Compressors as First Choice for Large Ships’ Engines

Container ships, tankers, cruisers – the majority of seagoing vessels with an engine power of at least 20,000 kW are equipped with a three-stage air-cooled starting-air compressor these days. The powerful technology reduces heat and allows for enormous cost savings. Sauer Compressors discovered the potential of three-stage air-cooled compressors for the shipping industry early on and has been a pioneer in developing these compressors for almost 50 years. In 1975, when the Railship I first entered service on the Travemünde, Germany to Hanko, Finland route, it had been the world’s largest railway ferry. While its length of about 180 meters…
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The Emerging Arctic

The Emerging Arctic

The Arctic continues to represent new frontiers for the North American maritime trade, yet these frontiers are also wrought with complexity. Industry in the Arctic involves an intricate web of sentiment, infrastructure, technology, climate change, politics and evolving economic practices. With industrial demands accelerated by COVID, yet also delayed by the pandemic, the Arctic maritime industry aspires to balance current demands while also checking irresponsible growth. Industry leaders must take into account multiple considerations into account when reviewing the potential of the emerging Arctic. For instance, the politics of the Arctic industry are ever-changing. Discussions are as divided as our…
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