Captain’s Corner: Off to Sea

Captain’s Corner: Off to Sea

Off to Sea Considering the limited pool of qualified and experienced U.S. mariners to fill job vacancies as of late, I felt there would be no better time than the present to write this piece. The result of this shortage has given way to some incredible employment opportunities for brand new, entry-level sailors. With that being noted, recently I have encountered some very basic, yet valid questions by these “greenhorns,” and it made me think back to my very first trip to sea. I had absolutely no idea what I was doing or what to expect, what to do once…
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Singapore-based Keppel O&M Completes Autonomous Vessel Development

Singapore-based Keppel O&M Completes Autonomous Vessel Development

Singapore-based Keppel Offshore & Marine announced in April that it has achieved several industry ‘firsts’ with the successful completion of its maiden autonomous vessel project. Capable of autonomous vessel navigation as well as collision detection and avoidance, the Maju 510 tug, owned and operated by Keppel Smit Towage, is the first vessel in the world to receive the Autonomous Notation from ABS classification society, according to Keppel O&M. “The tug is the first in South Asia that can be remotely operated by joystick control,” Keppel said in a statement. “It can be controlled from the shore command center with a…
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Port of Grays Harbor Tenant to Expand Export Facility

Port of Grays Harbor Tenant to Expand Export Facility

The Port of Grays Harbor’s biggest marine terminal customer, Nebraska-based U.S. soybean processor/refiner AGP, is making expansion plans for its Washington Coast facility, the port revealed in late March. AGP’s Board of Directors recently approved plans to expand and enhance its facilities at the port, including more storage at its current export facility at Terminal 2 and a new, modern ship loader at Terminal 4. “The port’s strategic location and access to rail have once again presented us with an incredible opportunity with a committed, strong private partner willing to further invest in our community,” POGH Executive Director Gary Nelson…
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Shaver Transportation Joins Green Marine Program

Shaver Transportation Joins Green Marine Program

Portland, Oregon-based inland water freight company Shaver Transportation has become the first tug and barge operator on the U.S. West Coast to participate in Green Marine, the leading voluntary environmental certification program for North America’s maritime industry. Shaver announced the news in late March. “We want to be proactive and believe that Green Marine will be able to guide us toward continual improvement in the environmental performance of each of our vessels through the program’s detailed framework,” Shaver Transportation President Steve Shaver said. “It is important to us that our fleet operates in the most safe and sustainable manner possible.”…
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Panama Canal Looks to Simplify Toll Structure

Panama Canal Looks to Simplify Toll Structure

As part of what it says is its commitment to improve customer experience and reflect the growing value of the waterway, the Panama Canal Authority in April issued a proposal for a new simplified toll structure that the Authority says would “provide price stability for customers in years to come.” It would also, the Authority said, offer customers “predictability, establishing tariffs well in advance allowing them to plan their business decisions accordingly.” The proposed toll structure will reduce the number of tariffs from 430 to less than 60, with the simplified system minimizing unnecessary complexity and facilitate transactions by eliminating…
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Russian Tankers Turning Off Tracking to Evade Sanctions: Reports

Russian Tankers Turning Off Tracking to Evade Sanctions: Reports

Russian tankers carrying chemicals and oil products have been concealing their movements since the invasion of Ukraine, which maritime experts say could be in attempt to evade sanctions imposed after the invasion. Various reports, including by business news outlet Bloomberg, say that Russian oil tankers have averaged 12 “dark activities” a week since the invasion of Ukraine, which is more than double the usual rate, according to predictive intelligence company Windward AI. “Going dark” is a term used to describe when vessels turn off their tracking systems. By turning off its location data, a ship can obscure its final destination…
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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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