Industry News and Updates:
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Story 1) U.S. West Coast Congestion - Anchorages And Labor - Update 2/18/21

Story 2) U.S. Dept. of Transportation Maritime Administration Alert 2021-002A Upcoming Mariner Travel Requirements Changes - January 19, 2021

Story 3) Largest Container Cranes Ever arrive to the port of oakland - December 23, 2020

Story 4) U.S. EPA Publishes VIDA PROPOSED RULE for Vessel Discharges Including Ballast Water - Oct 26, 2020

Story 5) California Doubles Penalties for Oil Spills - October 02, 2020
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1) U.S. West Coast congestion - anchorages and labor - Update 2/18/21
  • by  Vince Addington


TO: CHARTERERS, VESSEL OWNERS & OPERATORS WITH VESSELS CALLING ON U.S. WEST COAST PORTS (For those reading this on a smart phone, this message has NO attachments with content.)

As follow-up to our message on February 04, vessel anchorage at most U.S. west coast ports continues to be extremely congested as container terminals, particularly in southern California, struggle to keep up with the current traffic loads.
Below is a quick survey of U.S. West Coast ports as of the afternoon of February 18th.

LAX/Long Beach:
Vessels at anchor = approximately 49 vessels total – 29 container ships; 1 reefer vessel; 16 tank vessels and 3 cruise ships. Drift areas are being utilized.
Labor: No shortages reported so far but this may change as the container terminals are at full capacity.

San Francisco Bay area:
Vessels at anchor in Anchorage Nine = approximately 25 vessels total – 14 container ships, 8 dry bulk and 3 tankers/ATB Vessels at anchor off Richmond = 2 tankers
Anchorages are “first come; first serve”
Labor: spot shortages of labor are a regular occurrence.
Stockton/Sacramento labor: Normal (Note: longshore labor is currently not allowed to travel from one port to another due to COVID 19 concerns)

Columbia River:
Portland has only one active container service so congestion is no more than usual for this time of year with with some rain delayed grain vessels waiting for berth.
As of Tuesday, Feb 16...
Anchorages available for Panamax vessels at Astoria: 1 (However, 8 inbound vessels were due to arrive Feb 16-19)
Upstream anchor buoys available: 3
Labor: Normal, but not traveling to other locations.

Puget Sound: Vessels at anchor: 16 total --- 7 container ships; 7 dry bulk and 2 tankers.
Anchorages: Anchorages are available for short term stays, but longer term stays are very difficult to reserve. Most of the containerships at anchor are waiting to go to Vancouver B.C. which is also very congested at present. Most of the anchored bulkers are for grain.
Labor: No shortages reported.

In general, container ships are taking anchorage spaces in all areas except the Columbia River at unprecedented levels although Puget Sound is not experiencing quite the same congestion as the California ports.
So far, the labor situation for non-containerized cargo has remained manageable. However, please be aware that this situation is subject to change at any time depending on COVID 19 and the continuing expected crush of container cargo.

REMINDER: This is just a snapshot of current conditions. The situation could improve or deteriorate quickly so please check with your local agent for updates. For up-to-date information from our West Coast offices, please contact the following:

LAX/Long Beach: laxops@gensteam.com
San Francisco Bay area: sfo@gensteam.com
Columbia River area: pdxops@gensteam.com
Puget Sound: seaops@gensteam.com


Story 2) U.S. Dept. Of Transportation Maritime Administration Alert 2021-002A Upcoming Mariner Travel Requirements Changes - January 19, 2021
  • by  Evan Jones

Retransmittal of State Department COVID-19 Traveler Information dated January 12, 2021:

For all air passengers entering the United States:

“Effective January 26, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) will require all air passengers arriving in the United States (including U.S. citizens and Legal Permanent Residents) to present a negative COVID-19 test, taken within three calendar days of departure, or proof of recovery from the virus within the last 90 days.”

Additional information is available at: https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/traveladvisories/ea/covid-19-information.html.

For any questions about this CDC order, please utilize the CDC contact info at: https://wwwn.cdc.gov/dcs/contactus/form.

For emergency State Department assistance, please contact the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate or call the following numbers: 1 (888) 407-4747 (toll-free in the United States and Canada) or 1 (202) 501-4444 from other countries or jurisdictions.

This Alert will automatically expire on January 26, 2021. For more information about U.S. Maritime Alerts and Advisories, including subscription details, please visit http://maritime.dot.gov/MSCI.

3) Largest Container Cranes Ever Arrive to the Port of Oakland
  • by  Evan Jones

With General Steamship's San Francisco office acting as agents, the largest container cranes ever have arrived to the Port of Oakland, California. Thank you to Gensteam SF for handling this impressive move!

The Maritime Executive Reports:

[Quote]

Stevedoring Services of America (SSA) is investing in the three giant cranes for its marine terminal at Oakland (Oakland International Container Terminal - OICT). The huge container cranes are coming on a ship that is designed to accommodate these enormous workhorses of the maritime industry.

“These cranes will keep the Port of Oakland competitive so that we can continue to attract the largest vessels calling North America,” said Port of Oakland Executive Director Danny Wan.

“Ultimately, bigger cranes at our waterfront translate into maritime and related jobs for the region.”

SSA ordered the cranes from Shanghai-based ZPMC. They are expected to arrive at the end of this month.

“Taller cranes are needed for efficiently handling cargo that arrives on ultra-large container ships,” said SSA Containers President Edward DeNike. “This new infrastructure is a commitment to the Port that we will continue our maritime business at Oakland well into the future.”

According to SSA, its new cranes would have a lift height of 174 feet above the dock. They would be able to reach 225 feet across a ship’s deck. When the crane booms are in the raised position, they will soar more than 400 feet above the wharf. SSA operates 10 cranes at Oakland International Container Terminal. The Port said it would remove three older cranes from the terminal when the new ones arrive.

“There’s no better demonstration of our maritime partner’s faith in the Port of Oakland, than investing in these huge ship-to-shore cranes,” said Port of Oakland Maritime Director Bryan Brandes. SSA's investment in the three new cranes is valued at $30 million.

Port of Oakland’s three revenue divisions, maritime, aviation and commercial real estate, support more than 84,000 jobs in the region (pre-COVID-19 stats).

[End Quote]

4) U.S. EPA Publishes VIDA PROPOSED RULE for Vessel Discharges Including Ballast Water - October 26, 2020
  • by  Vince Addington

On September 24, 2020, the Governor of California signed into law an amendment to California Code 8670.64 which doubles the penalty per day for certain acts relating to the spilling of oil in California waters.

QUOTE
Existing law makes it a felony to, among other things, knowingly engage in or cause the discharge or spill of oil into waters of the state, or knowingly fail to begin cleanup, abatement, or removal of spilled oil, as specified. Existing law makes this crime punishable by a fine of not less than $5,000 or more than $500,000 for each day or partial day a violation occurs. Existing law additionally makes it a felony to, among other things, fail to notify the Office of Emergency Services regarding an oil spill or to knowingly fail to follow the material provisions of an applicable oil spill contingency plan. Existing law makes this crime punishable by a fine of not less than $2,500 or more than $250,000 for each day or partial day a violation occurs for a first conviction, and by a fine of not less than $5,000 or more than $500,000 for each day or partial day a violation occurs for a 2nd conviction.

This bill would double the minimum and maximum amounts of the fines described above. The bill would authorize the court to also impose upon a person convicted of, among other things, knowingly engaging in or causing the discharge or spill of oil into waters of the state, or knowingly failing to begin cleanup, abatement, or removal of spilled oil, as specified, a fine of up to $1,000 per gallon spilled in excess of 1,000 gallons of oil.
UNQUOTE

5) California Doubles Penalties for Oil Spills
  • by  Vince Addington

On September 24, 2020, the Governor of California signed into law an amendment to California Code 8670.64 which doubles the penalty per day for certain acts relating to the spilling of oil in California waters.

QUOTE
Existing law makes it a felony to, among other things, knowingly engage in or cause the discharge or spill of oil into waters of the state, or knowingly fail to begin cleanup, abatement, or removal of spilled oil, as specified. Existing law makes this crime punishable by a fine of not less than $5,000 or more than $500,000 for each day or partial day a violation occurs. Existing law additionally makes it a felony to, among other things, fail to notify the Office of Emergency Services regarding an oil spill or to knowingly fail to follow the material provisions of an applicable oil spill contingency plan. Existing law makes this crime punishable by a fine of not less than $2,500 or more than $250,000 for each day or partial day a violation occurs for a first conviction, and by a fine of not less than $5,000 or more than $500,000 for each day or partial day a violation occurs for a 2nd conviction.

This bill would double the minimum and maximum amounts of the fines described above. The bill would authorize the court to also impose upon a person convicted of, among other things, knowingly engaging in or causing the discharge or spill of oil into waters of the state, or knowingly failing to begin cleanup, abatement, or removal of spilled oil, as specified, a fine of up to $1,000 per gallon spilled in excess of 1,000 gallons of oil.
UNQUOTE

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