Coronavirus-related declines spur Port of Oakland budget decrease

The Port of Oakland said coronavirus-induced business declines forced it to cut back its spending plans.

Port commissioners last week approved a fiscal year 2021 budget with 15.84% less in operating and capital expenditures than the previous year. The California port’s 2021 fiscal year began Wednesday.

“This budget is based on neither unsubstantiated hope nor on speculation of any worst-case scenario,” said Port of Oakland Executive Director Danny Wan. “It is based on best estimates of how our...

Project cargoes keep AAL’s ships calling US Gulf ports

Project cargoes may not be the fastest movers on the high seas, but they have proved much less volatile than the U.S. container trades during the coronavirus pandemic.

Christophe Grammare, commercial director, AAL Shipping (Photo: Courtesy)

Singapore-based AAL Shipping, one of the world’s largest marine project cargo carriers with 25 vessels, has witnessed a steady increase in ship sailings involving the transport of large capital equipment from Asia to U.S. ports during the first half of 2020....

Crew crisis to trigger ship detentions and diversions

ship crew

Around 200,000 seafarers still can’t get home due to COVID-19 travel restrictions. Expired and extended crew contracts are piling up. Now, some port inspectors are beginning to balk and detain arriving vessels. 

“We are not just talking about a humanitarian crisis. This is turning into something that has a real impact on the global supply chain,” warned Belal Ahmed, chairman of the International Maritime Employers Council (IMEC), during a webinar presented by Capital Link on Wednesday.

More port...

MSC launches instant quoting tool

Mediterranean Shipping Co. (MSC) has launched Instant Quote, available online 24 hours a day, seven days a week via the myMSC e-business solution.

MSC said in its announcement Wednesday that Instant Quote complements its existing set of e-business tools, enabling customers to place and manage bookings, check vessel schedules, track shipments, access documents and get notifications.

“At MSC we recognize the importance of digitalization across the shipping industry,” it said. “For that reason we...

Port of Montreal longshore workers to walk off job

Port of Montreal longshore workers are slated to go on strike at 3 p.m. Thursday.

The Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) said its longshore members will stage a 40-hour work stoppage set to conclude at 6:59 a.m. Saturday.

The strike affects union workers at two port terminals, Cast and Racine. Seventeen other terminals will be operational, according to Christine Beaulieu, community relations manager for the Montreal Port Authority.

“These pressure tactics exercised by the longshoremen’s...

Pilot Freight expands corporate umbrella

Pilot Freight Services, a 50-year-old logistics services provider with roots in airfreight, has placed five long-time, franchise-operated offices under its direct management.

The former franchises are located in Texas, Wisconsin and Mexico. Pilot said the acquisition of these offices was attractive due to their “strong historical growth and operational performance” for the overall company.

Financial terms of the acquisitions, effective today, July 1, were not disclosed by either Pilot or its...

Seafarers still stranded at sea — and more test positive


Shipping groups and seafarer unions are desperately trying to convince governments to allow crew the right to transit after work contracts expire. Most governments still haven’t listened. An estimated 200,000 crew remain stranded at sea, unable to get back to their homes after their initial work contracts expired.

It will be even harder to convince governments to allow seafarers passage through their ports and airports if more shipboard outbreaks occur. And while still relatively rare, new...

‘Just-in-time shipping is the smart thing to do’

At the first meeting three years ago of the Global Industry Alliance (GIA), a partnership of the International Maritime Organization (IMO) and 14 companies dedicated to decarbonizing shipping, shipowners complained about their vessels waiting days to weeks at anchorage before being able to call at port.

So said Astrid Dispert, the technical manager of GreenVoyage2050, a joint project of the IMO and the Norwegian government to steer the shipping industry toward a lower-carbon future, during a...