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Port of Savannah is top US port for agricultural goods 

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Port of Savannah is top US port for agricultural goods. Image: Georgia Ports Authority
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The Port of Savannah’s proximity to major producers, direct access via road and rail, broad global network and responsiveness to customer needs have recently made it the top port in the nation for the export of containerized agricultural goods.

“Agriculture is a major driver for Georgia’s economy, contributing $74 billion in annual economic benefit and nearly 400,000 jobs across the state,” said Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp. “As this country’s No. 1 port for the export of agricultural products, Savannah provides vital support for the state and nation, helping our farmers reach overseas buyers efficiently.”

In Calendar Year 2019, agriculture accounted for 60 percent of Savannah’s exports, or more than 843,000 twenty-foot equivalent container units. Forest products such as wood pulp, paper and logs made up the largest category of goods, followed by clay, cotton and poultry.

For the fiscal year to date (July 2019-May 2020), total loaded exports have increased by 15,500 twenty-foot equivalent container units to 1.33 million TEUs.

“The production of raw material and agricultural goods, along with their supply chains, have remained strong throughout the pandemic,” said Georgia Ports Authority Executive Director Griff Lynch. “The powerful commitment by the agricultural sector mirrors that of GPA’s employees, the International Longshoremen’s Association and the rest of our maritime logistics community.”

During the pandemic, GPA has focused on ensuring both chassis and empty containers are available to support the movement of export commodities. Through its association with the South Atlantic Chassis Pool II and the completion of a new on-terminal chassis yard, the Port of Savannah provides customers with access to the largest chassis pool in the Southeast. In addition, GPA’s team has focused on cargo owners and other contacts to ensure a reliable supply of containers.

On-terminal projects to expand export capacity have continued throughout the crisis, including the Mason Mega Rail, with the first nine of 18 new working tracks complete and two new rail-mounted gantry cranes slated to begin work in July.

GPA’s inland terminal, the Appalachian Regional Port, has seen increased volumes and export commodities coming from Northwest Georgia, Tennessee and Alabama. At the Port of Savannah, GPA has increased its on-time performance of vessel operations to achieve its best performance in three years.

“GPA’s laser focus on the seamless flow of export commodities and the impressive growth at the ARP have created new avenues for American farmers to serve international customers,” said GPA Board Chairman Will McKnight.

On Wednesday, June 24, Lynch addressed a webinar of more than 125 ag exporters, members of the Agriculture Transportation Coalition, which advocates on transportation policy as it impacts U.S. farmers. The largest organization of its kind, AgTC members include agriculture exporters and importers, freight forwarders, agriculture trade associations, and the state departments of agriculture.

Peter Friedmann, executive director of AgTC stated, “For our members, the cost-effective movement of goods is a key factor in the profitability of farm and processor operations; working with the leadership of the nation’s international gateways, such as Port of Savannah, serves mutual interests of the port and ag exporters in growing cargo volumes. We look forward to expanding these relationships, and appreciate Mr. Lynch’s most effective  dialogue with our members this week.”

Lynch was joined for the question and answer portion of the webinar by GPA Chief Operating Officer Ed McCarthy and Chief Commercial Officer Cliff Pyron.

“We were pleased to have such a productive discussion with the AgTC members,” Lynch said. “Savannah’s longtime service to commodity exporters and extensive on-terminal infrastructure for refrigerated goods makes GPA a strong partner for the agricultural community.”

 

Port of Savannah is top US port for agricultural goods. Image: Georgia Ports Authority

Port of Savannah is top US port for agricultural goods. Image: Georgia Ports Authority

Maritime

Port of Oakland imports up 1.9 percent in June

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Port of Oakland imports up 1.9 percent in June. Image: Flickr/ Thomas Hawk
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Port of Oakland loaded import volume grew 1.9 percent last month from June 2019, according to data released today. The gain was unexpected given that shipping lines canceled 10 percent of their scheduled Oakland visits due to the trade-related impact of coronavirus.

The Port attributed the uptick in imports to retailers accelerating shipments to the U.S. in light of:

  • Cargo-carrying capacity that dwindles each month as shipping lines continue  to cancel voyages; and
  • An anticipated rise in freight rates.

Oakland’s overall container volume – which includes imports, exports and empty containers – declined 2.3 percent in June from 2019 totals. The Port handled the equivalent of 199,011 twenty-foot containers in June 2020 compared to 203,730 a year ago. The Port said the cargo decrease resulted from a coronavirus pandemic that continues to dampen global trade.

According to the Port, June export volume declined 5.7 percent. The Port said that the weakening export performance was likely due to reduced consumer demand in foreign markets caused by COVID-19 disruptions. Additionally, China instituted new restrictions on wastepaper exports from the United States which further dampened export volumes. The return of empty containers to origins in Asia decreased 14.5 percent.

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Maritime

OneOcean streamlines its voyage solutions for greater transparency and efficiency

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OneOcean streamlines its voyage solutions for greater transparency and efficiency. Image: Pexels
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OneOcean, the global leader in digital compliance and navigation services, has unveiled its latest online voyage solutions for the shipping, cruise line, and superyacht industries. Currently unrivalled in the maritime industry, the restructured solutions have been developed to help fleet owners and managers solve multiple navigation and compliance issues whilst enabling their ship and shoreside teams to communicate much more effectively.

OneOcean’s software covers all aspects of voyage optimisation, drawing on the company’s diverse range of passage planning, compliance, safety and environmental products. The unique solutions can be tailored to customer requirements. The software collates, integrates and analyses marine data in real time, providing both onshore teams and onboard crew accurate and up to date information to help them make the best decisions.

Commenting on the launch of solutions, OneOcean’s CEO, Martin Taylor, said: “We have a rigorous research and development programme, which has enabled us to create enhanced voyage solutions that break down the barriers between ship and shore to deliver more connected, transparent and efficient results for our customers. The breadth of our products is now wider and more integrated so that onboard and onshore teams can truly work as extensions of each other. This aids operational efficiencies at a wider level, across multiple areas of the business. For the first time, the maritime industry has access to compliance and navigation services that are completely tailored to their needs.”

OneOcean’s Chief Strategy Officer, Nicholas Bourque, said: “Traditionally, each of our products served specific functions. We have really focused on broadening our approach by looking at the overlapping problems that affect many operational departments but are all part of the same workflow. Our latest solutions development has focused strongly on improving the connectivity of data allowing crews and teams to access identical information. This offers organisations greater transparency and efficiency.”

To coincide with the announcement of their new voyage solutions, OneOcean has launched a new website showcasing the solutions and highlighting the new direction that the company is taking as part of its recent merger.

Mapped into four core areas – Passage Planning, Compliance, Safety and Environmental – OneOcean’s redesigned website has a fresher look and a more fluid, user-friendly interface, which will enable new and existing customers to easily browse through the breadth of integrated solutions available via the company’s world leading OneOcean platform.

OneOcean solutions solve multiple issues and integrate with existing monitoring and management systems, supplying both onshore and onboard teams with the crucial real-time information they need, when they need it.

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Maritime

DNV GL launch support for new Dynamic Positioning system failure guideline enabling quicker and cost effective implementation

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DNV GL launch support for new Dynamic Positioning system failure guideline enabling quicker and cost effective implementation. Image: DNV GL
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OCIMF, a global voluntary association, providing expertise in the safe and environmentally responsible transport and handling of hydrocarbons, has released an information paper on assurance of dynamic positioning system failure mode and effects analysis. This seeks to improve the process of identifying all possible consequences and failures of DP systems. Entitled ‘Dynamic Positioning Failure Mode and Effects Analysis Assurance Framework, Risk-based Guidance’, it is a long-awaited resource for DP vessel owners.

In 2002 following a series of DP incidents in the UK sector of the North Sea, industry concerns were raised about the safety and reliability of DP vessels. Following a comprehensive review by the UK Health and Safety Executive, it was apparent that guidance was not being implemented or adhered to consistently across the supply chain. The paper aims to improve the assurance of DP FMEA quality by setting out how relevant information should be presented, in a prescribed format.

DNV GL’s Noble Denton marine services worked with a large group of industry stakeholders including, classification societies, vessel owners and DP industry bodies to develop the guidance.

Faisal Rashid, Technical Advisor at OCIMF, says ‘I would like to acknowledge all involved for your efforts, participation and leadership in delivering the OCIMF DP FMEA Assurance information paper. We treasure your contributions and time with us. It has been a solid team effort with positive collaboration across the industry. This information paper on the assurance requirements for FMEAs was a broad industry collaboration and will improve safety in the industry and serve as a means to align the spectrum of diverse stakeholders.’

Steven Cargill, Technical Authority for Dynamic Positioning, DNV GL – Oil & Gas said: “Unlike previous attempts to improve DP FMEA standards, the OCIMF information paper is not intended to provide guidance on the execution of DP system FMEAs. There is already a significant amount of guidance on this already available from recognized bodies. The difference is that the new guidelines seek to gain improvement by providing a detailed set of technical requirements on the presentation of key elements of the DP system for the purposes of vessel audit.”

OCIMF members choosing to implement the information paper will seek to gain compliance with its requirements whilst delivering DP vessel services.

It is anticipated that the task of preparing and submitting the document to OCIMF will not prove to be onerous for vessel owners who already have a DP system FMEA aligned with industry best practice. In some instances, external assistance may be required to meet the requirements and DNV GL can assist those having difficulty following the technical requirements. Using DNV GL’s DP experts will ensure vessel operators a quicker and therefore more cost efficient route to assurance and reduce their company’s risks.

Hari Vamadevan, Regional Manager, UK and West Africa, Oil & Gas says: “Supporting our customers in order to meet industry standards in a transparent and auditable manner is vital for all stakeholders. Having confidence in vessel station keeping capability and reliability during critical offshore operations, can significantly reduce risk.”

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