World’s largest container ship being delivered to ABS class. The Ever Alot, Evergreen’s giant container vessel, has received classification from the American Bureau of Shipping (ABS). It’s currently the largest container ship in the world, with a capacity of over 24,000 TEU. “We are proud to support the design, construction and successful delivery of such a remarkable vessel through the challenges of the pandemic,” said John McDonald, ABS executive vice president and COO. The vessel is the latest in a series of five being built by Hudong-Zhonghua Shipbuilding in China to ABS class, according to Container News.
Seafarers’ happiness levels rising according to report. The Mission to Seafarers “Seafarers Happiness Index report” indicates that seafarers’ happiness levels are recovering, following a record low last quarter. “It is great to see seafarer happiness increase after such low satisfaction in the last Seafarers Happiness Index report. As always, there is much to be learned from hearing directly from seafarers on how they feel about life at sea – the positives and negatives. By listening, we can better understand, empathize and make the necessary changes to improve seafarers’ lives and experiences,” said Revd Canon Andrew Wright, secretary general of The Mission to Seafarers. Overall happiness has increased from 5.85 to 7.21/10, with levels rising in all categories, Container News reports.
Port of Long Beach to remove free-time weekend exemption. Last week, Port of Long Beach Executive Director Mario Cordero announced that the Southern California port authority will take steps to end the weekend exemption for free time “to incentivize the use of weekend gates by our marine terminal operators and to incentivize our shippers to take advantage of these expanded weekend gate hours.” The removal of the weekend exemption for free time will become effective Sept. 1, according to NCBFAA.
The Port of New York and New Jersey to implement container fee and mandatory export levels. The Port of New York and New Jersey will implement a container fee on any long-dwelling import or export containers in anticipation of a busy peak season. The tariff is expected to free up space for container pickup and reduce excesses of empty containers dwelling at the port. The quarterly container imbalance fee will be effective as of September, pending a mandatory 30-day federal notice. The port is also setting mandatory container export levels. Ocean carriers’ total outgoing container volume must equal or exceed 110% of their incoming container volume during the same period under the new rules.
Tariff increases on Russian imports go into effect. Following the removal of permanent normal trade relations status for Russian imports, which increased tariffs on Russian imports, the U.S. has now increased import tariffs on more than 570 types of Russian goods to 35%. The tariff increases went into effect on July 27. Click here for a list of the impacted items.
FMC establishes a new enforcement structure. The U.S. Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) announced on July 29 the formation of the Bureau of Enforcement, Investigations, and Compliance (BEIC), which would take effect immediately. The new Bureau is a combination of the FMC’s investigation and prosecution activities, and it is intended to enhance the FMC’s implementation of the Ocean Shipping Reform Act of 2022.
BP’s Q2 profit skyrockets to highest in 14 years. BP garnered $8.45 billion profit in the second quarter, its highest in 14 years. Strong refining margins and trading prompted it to “boost its dividend and spending on new oil and gas production,” Reuters reports. BP shares were up by the highest levels since June: 4.3% by 1315 GMT. This was leagues above the European energy index, which was only up 0.7%. BP shares have gained 23% this year but still remain 10% below pre-pandemic levels.
Oakland judge seeks more time to review AB5 granting truckers small victory. Alameda County Superior Court Judge Delbert Gee didn’t immediately grant the temporary restraining order port officials were seeking on Monday, granting truckers being sued by the city of Oakland and port commissioners following a protest over AB5 a small victory. “The court needed more time to review before they made their final decision,” Robert Bernardo, director of communications for the Port of Oakland, confirmed to FreightWaves. “Instead of ruling in favor of the city and the port, which have unlimited resources and power, the judge is taking a closer look, which is a small victory for the owner-operators who don’t have any money to hire a legal team,” said Miguel Silva, who owns an intermodal company in Oakland.
U.S. Class I rail headcount remains flat amidst attempted hiring boosts. Data submitted by the Class I railroads to the Surface Transportation Board suggests that the six-month average accounting for all categories of employees has barely moved from the first six months of 2021, despite headcount gains over the first six months of 2022 for train and engine employees working for the U.S. operations of the Class I railroads. See a detailed report from FreightWaves here.
BNSF and NWSA to develop Tacoma South rail hub. Rail carrier BNSF and the Northwest Seaport Alliance (NWSA) are working together to develop a rail hub at the Port of Tacoma that will be known as Tacoma South. According to a new release, the rail hub will serve the greater Seattle region’s domestic intermodal needs and “unlock capacity” through accommodating more than 50,000 annual container lifts. Tom Williams, BNSF group vice president for consumer products, said in the release: “our collaboration with the NWSA will help support greater warehousing and distribution needs in the fast-growing greater Seattle area.” The new rail hub will “reduce truck emissions associated with moving cargo to inland markets,” Don Meyer, NWSA co-chair and Port of Tacoma Commission president, said.
Airline passenger fined over undeclared McMuffins. A passenger traveling from Bali, Indonesia to Australia was awarded a hefty fine over a McDonald’s breakfast. The passenger was fined 2,664 Australian dollars ($1,874) after two undeclared egg and beef sausage McMuffins and a ham croissant were found in their luggage on arriving at Darwin Airport last week. The incident came after Australian authorities announced new biosecurity rules after a Foot and Mouth disease (FMD) outbreak in Indonesia spread to Bali, a popular destination for Australian tourists.
Pelosi may have been on most tracked plane in the world this week. The most-tracked aircraft in the world this week was a U.S. Air Force jet that took off from Kuala Lumpur. It seems as though many internet users believed that U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi was on the jet, headed on a trip to Taiwan. On Tuesday, almost 300,000 users followed every move of “SPAR19,” a US Air Force-operated Boeing C-40C, according to FlightRadar24. There is no official confirmation that Pelosi was on the plane. Her trip to Taiwan angered the Chinese government, which views the island as its territory and warned of consequences if the trip went ahead.
New Zealand reopens cruises. New Zealand has become one of the last countries to drop its restrictions on travelers and reopen ports for cruise ships and recreational yachts. New Zealand closed its borders in 2020 to stop the spread of covid, and maintained restrictions for 28 months or nearly 900 days, long after other destinations relaxed restrictions.
First grain-carrying ship sails out of Ukraine. Under an internationally brokered deal to unblock Ukraine’s agricultural exports and ease the global food crisis, the first ship carrying Ukrainian grain set out Monday from the port of Odesa. The cargo ship Razoni departed the port with over 26,000 tons of corn destined for Lebanon. More ships are expected to leave from Ukraine’s ports through the safe corridors in the coming weeks.
Severe temperatures cause droughts across North America and Europe. Sweltering temperatures have been recorded across Europe and North America over the last few weeks, resulting in major droughts across the continents. The declining water level of major rivers, lakes and inland seas across the globe has become a major issue– these water bodies are a link to transportation, power, shipping and recreational activities for millions of people. The Maritime Executive goes into more specifics about the decline of major rivers here.
PFAS found in rainwater exceed safe levels. Rainwater in most locations on Earth contains levels of chemicals that “greatly exceed” safety levels, according to new research. These synthetic substances, called poly- and perfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), are used in things like non-stick pans, fire-fighting foam and water-repellent clothes. They stay in the environment for years and have been duly called “forever chemicals.” Researchers from Stockholm University say it is “vitally important” that the use of these substances is “rapidly restricted.”Research suggests that PFAS may pose health risks including cancer, though results have so far been inconclusive.