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Monthly Maritime News Roundup: January, 2017

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The year 2017 is off to a rollercoaster start, and Kemplon Engineering takes a look at some of January’s headlining news and issues in this edition of the Monthly Maritime News Roundup:


Image “Digital News Background” courtesy of hywards at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

E-commerce behemoth Amazon has been coordinating freight shipments from Chinese merchants to its American warehouses – at least 150 containers’ worth since October, according to some reports. Could the new year make it a bigger player in the trillion-dollar business of the movement of goods worldwide, right up there with FedEx and UPS?

Last year, the thawing of relations between the United States and Cuba was big news. The year 2017 is expected to see the practical effects of that diplomatic coup, and January did not disappoint. Governor Rick Scott of Florida has called for state funding cutbacks on ports inking deals with the communist country, and the pressure has put agreements, such as those planned by Port Everglades and the Port of Palm Beach with the National Port Administration of Cuba, temporarily on ice. Still, a high-level Cuban delegation was welcomed at Port Everglades for a tour and business meetings. We shall have to wait and see how they will be moving forward given the unfavorable political reception.

The Philippines is one of the most popular sending countries for men and women working at sea (Royal Caribbean alone, for example, reportedly employs 11,000 Filipino crew members, with a five-year plan of hiring 30,000). It might seem surprising then, that the Asian country has homeported no major cruise ship – until now. The capital of Manila will finally play home to a cruise ship, Star Cruises’ flagship Superstar Virgo – 23 years after the cruise line first started recruiting Filipino talent.

The year is off with a rocky start for plans to curb shipping’s carbon emissions. The Environment Committee of the European Parliament has decided to include shipping within the EU’s Emissions Trading System by the year 2021 if the International Maritime Organization does not come to a carbon agreement by that time– a move criticized by the IMO as potentially detrimental to their own efforts, which will see developments later than the deadline, at 2023. IMO’s position has in turn been criticized by environmental groups under The Clean Shipping Coalition.

The concrete steps forward may be hazy, but the global need to curb emissions wherever it may be reduced is crystal clear. The effects are wide-ranging, from human and animal health hazards to navigational dangers. Consider, for example, the case of a Chinese cruise ship, unable to dock for two days due to limited visibility from heavy smog in Tianjin, earlier this month. Over two thousand people were on board at the time.

Hopefully, changes can be made so that such incidents can be avoided. Cruising, after all, seems to be a big hit with today’s current and emerging travelers. Many agents claim bookings are at least on par with that of the previous year. Furthermore, Cruise Lines International Association’s recently released Cruise Travel Report show a high preference for cruising by Millennial and Generation Y travelers. Optimism is also high for Carnival Corporation, which has come to an agreement with Italy’s famed Fincantieri for two new cruise ships – bringing Carnival’s planned ships scheduled for delivery within the next five years to a grand total of 19!

The end of the month, however, was dampened by a widely-criticized executive order from President Donald Trump, temporarily barring refugees and travelers from seven countries (Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen) from entering the United States in the name of national security. The effects of the ban are extensive. Chaos interrupted in airports in the immediate aftermath, amid confusion on the coverage of the sudden order and specific points of how authorities are to execute it, and as lawyers and protesters took to the premises by the hundreds. Reports indicate the ban may have also affected international cruisers returning to the United States from jaunts abroad, and many prospective travelers both from the named countries and from other nations, have been urged to reconsider their plans of leaving the country for fear of not being allowed to return to the United States. Airlines and cruise lines are seeking clarification on the order, and will be reviewing their options.

Immigration isn’t the only thing that occupied President Trump this month. He had also formally withdrawn from the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a trade deal engaging 11 other countries in the Pacific Rim.

Shortly prior to the release these and other controversial orders, President Trump played host to fellow world leader, the United Kingdom’s Prime Minister Theresa May, in Washington.   Among the goals of the visit are reportedly to reinforce the special relationship between the United States and the United Kingdom, and to come up with a trade deal that could somehow offset the possible negative economic impacts of Brexit.

Aside from the potential loss of business from the divisive move, Brexit is also foreseen as a problem logistically, due to customs delays. Disruption is expected at borders in the absence of a customs union deal with the EU, as staff would have to check products coming in from the EU as thoroughly as they have to check those from outside markets. By one estimate, for example, this translates to 300 million additional checks in the Port of Dover. Disruption could be enormous, according to observers, unless there are significant investments in hiring and training thousands of additional staff.

Is it really just the start of the year? To think, these are just a few of the major happenings in the ever-dynamic maritime industry! Check in with us again next month, for another issue of the Maritime News Roundup. Until then – we at Kemplon Engineering wish everyone a happy and prosperous New Year, and we sincerely hope the months ahead bring good tidings to all.

If you found this article interesting, check out our blog for similar content on the many facets of the maritime industry. We strive to keep it up-to-date with the news of the day, and relevant to our marine and industrial customers. For more information on Kemplon Engineering and the services we are able to provide, explore our website and learn about welding and fabrication, precision machining, pipe fitting, laser cutting, and more. We have a wide range of experience, and a highly motivated team of experts eager to find solutions for your projects and ideas. You may also reach us at info@kemplon.com, or by phone at (877) 522-6526. We would love the opportunity to work with you!



For Further Reading:

Baker-Jordan., Skylar. “None of the US papers put Theresa May’s visit to the White House on their front page. It’s time to face our insignificance.” The Independent, 28 Jan 2017. Web. 03 Feb 2017. http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/theresa-may-trump-visit-newspapers-american-press-insignificance-a7550686.html

“Carnival Orders Two New Cruise Ships.” The Maritime Executive, 19 Jan 2017. Web. 03 Feb 2017. http://www.maritime-executive.com/article/carnival-orders-two-new-cruise-ships

Faust, Chris Gray. “Executive Order on Travel Extends to Ports, May Affect Cruise Passengers.” Cruise Critic, 30 Jan 2017. Web. 03 Feb 2017. http://www.cruisecritic.com/news/news.cfm?ID=7498

Hawkes, Steve. “PORTS FACE CHECK HELL.” The Sun, 26 Jan 2017. Web. 03 Feb 2017. https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/2707697/government-must-hire-thousands-of-staff-to-avoid-post-brexit-customs-collapse-haulage-bosses-warn/

Leposa, Adam. “Friday Briefing: Five Travel Trends to Watch in 2017.” Travel Agent Central, 27 Jan 2017. Web. 03 Feb 2017. http://www.travelagentcentral.com/running-your-business/five-travel-trends-to-watch-2017

“Manila to Homeport its First Cruise Ship.” The Maritime Executive, 15 Jan 2017. Web. 03 Feb 2017. http://www.maritime-executive.com/article/manila-to-homeport-its-first-cruise-ship

“NGOs Criticize IMO for Opposing EU Carbon Plan.” The Maritime Executive, 11 Jan 2017. Web. 02 Feb 2017. http://www.maritime-executive.com/article/ngos-criticize-imo-for-opposing-eu-carbon-plan

Shead, Sam. “Amazon has entered the trillion dollar ocean freight business.” Business Insider, 26 Jan 2017. Web. 02 Feb 2017. http://www.businessinsider.com/amazon-entered-shipping-industry-freight-china-2017-1

Smith, David. “Trump withdraws from Trans-Pacific Partnership amid flurry of orders.” The Guardian, 23 Jan 2017. Web. 03 Feb 2017. https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/jan/23/donald-trump-first-orders-trans-pacific-partnership-tpp

Walker, Jim. “RCCL to Hire 30,000 Filipino Crew Members Over Next Five Years.” Jim Walkers’s Cruise Law News, 27 Jan 2016. Web. 02 Feb 2017. http://www.cruiselawnews.com/2016/01/articles/crew-news/rccl-to-hire-30000-filipino-crew-members-over-next-five-years/

Whitefield, Mimi, Amy Sherman and Patricia Mazzezi. “Cuban delegation arrives amid threats by Gov. Scott to cut funding to ports that sign pacts.” Miami Herald, 26 Jan 2017. Web. 02 Feb 2017. http://www.miamiherald.com/news/local/community/broward/article128866679.html

Ye, Josh. “Chinese cruise ship ‘stuck at sea for two days in smog’.” South China Morning Post, 04 Jan 2017. Web. 03 Feb 2017. http://www.scmp.com/news/china/society/article/2059214/chinese-cruise-ship-stuck-sea-two-days-smog

Zorthian, Julia. “Amazon Has Quietly Ventured Into the Ocean Freight Business.” Fortune.com, 27 Jan 2017. Web. 02 Feb 2017. http://fortune.com/2017/01/26/amazon-ocean-freight-business/


The Peculiarities of Welding Stainless Steels

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^ Stainless Steel used for Industrial Piping
Image Courtesy of momente at http://www.shutterstock.com/pic-233462404/stock-photo-stainless-steel-pipe.html?src=agh3Z0yvSFw9D5oKertNKQ-1-31

Importance & Weldability of Stainless Steel

Contrary to popular belief, stainless steel (SS) is not a single material. It is a broad term that includes five types of steels and there are subdivisions under each of these five. The 304 and 316 grades are among the most popularly used stainless steels.SS is widely used in industry because it resists corrosion and is durable under testing conditions. The fact that you don’t have to replace it repeatedly, saves money, time, and effort. That apart it is strong with 500-1000 MPa strength, maintains its look over time, and is recyclable. Read More

USA Flag

Monthly Maritime News Roundup: July, 2016

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^ Image “USA Flag Background With Fireworks” courtesy of nirots at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Time sure flies in the dynamic maritime industry! As the month of July comes to a close, Kemplon Engineering takes a moment to pause, look back, and round up some of the most attention-grabbing headlines of the past thirty-one days in this edition of, The Monthly Maritime News Roundup: Read More

1 - HMS Hermes Carried Many of the Modern Carrier’s Features

A Century of the Aircraft Carrier

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^ HMS Hermes Carried Many of the Modern Carrier’s Features
Image Courtesy of the United States Navy National Museum of National Aviation
Retrieved From https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:HMS_Hermes_(95)_off_Yantai_China_c1931.jpeg

‘An airplane-carrying vessel is indispensable. These vessels will be constructed on a plan very different from what is currently used. First of all, the deck will be cleared of all obstacles. It will be flat, as wide as possible without jeopardizing the nautical lines of the hull, and it will look like a landing field.’

Clement Ader in L’Aviation Militaire, 1909

War, the Father of Invention

Wars can and usually do spark fantastic innovations because even tiny advancements can define the difference between life and death, triumph and disaster, glory and condemnation. The history of aircraft carriers is inextricably geared to wars and the urge to win through creativity. Read More

1 - The Naval Battle of Gravelines

Aircraft Carriers & the Paramount Importance of Naval Supremacy

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^ The Naval Battle of Gravelines

Image Courtesy of Nicholas Hillard’s Painting: Elizabeth I and the Spanish Armada

Retrieved From https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spanish_Armada

Global Ascendance via Naval Dominance

Wisdom, they say, is timeless. Captain Alfred Thayer Mahan in 1890 penned down one such classic of imperishable permanence. Not many know of it. Perhaps because the towering insights it depicts limit its audience to a few shrewd men.

Be as it may, the book goes around by the name of The Influence of Sea Power upon History, 1660-1783. Captain Mahan was a lecturer in naval history and the president of the United States Naval War College. Read More

1 - July 2014 Launch of the HMS Queen Elizabeth II

HMS Queen Elizabeth: The Largest Ever British Aircraft Carrier

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^ July 2014 Launch of the HMS Queen Elizabeth II (R08) 

Image Courtesy of Photo: HMS Gannet / MOD

Retrieved From https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:HMS_Queen_Elizabeth_in_Rosyth_Dockyard_MOD_45158229.jpg  

Shifting Battlegrounds & the Need for Flexible Military Weapons

Back in 1997, the U.K. government conducted a Strategic Defense Review (SDR) to revaluate the utility of every existing and in-procurement military weapon systems. This did not apply to the Vanguard class ballistic missile submarine and the Eurofighter Typhoon.

With the collapse of the Soviet Union (USSR) in 1991, the Cold War had ended in favor of the United States (U.S.). Any direct military threat to U.S.’ close ally – Britain – had therefore ceased to exist. For the time being, that is. Read More

The Technologies of Metamorphosis in Commercial Shipping

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^Shipping is Poised for Massive Changes. Image Courtesy of Rawpixel.com at ShutterStock.com

Technology: The Agent of Change in Shipping

Wise men say the world is full of contradictions. So is human nature. The human brain and the human thumb set us apart from our co-creatures on this planet. It is these organs that have transformed us from prehistoric cavemen to our present, advanced form.

Read More

Hull Design with Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD), Hydrodynamics, & Aerodynamics

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^ Planing of a War Boat: Note the Rise of the Bow  – Image Courtesy of Royal Navy Official Photographer at the Imperial War Museum Retrieved from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Royal_Navy_MTB_5.jpg

Green Advances on the Blue Frontier

Structurally, technically, and economically, hulls are and have been the most important design parameter for ships. Gobbling up around 20% of a ship’s total cost, hulls demand a lion’s share in the resources allocated for shipbuilding.

With the runaway juggernaut of Global Warming and Climate Change threatening to endanger our planet like none has done before, the eminence of hulls has jumped further. Even as we speak, ship design is getting more and more environment friendly.

It has to. Exhaust emission norms are tightening by the day even as rising fuel costs hike operational expenses and falling charter rates and freights cut down profit margins to a bare minimum. All this add to the already critical importance of ship efficiency. Read More

The Mechanics of Hull Design

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^ Parts of a Ship  – Image Courtesy of A12 at Lod Schema.png  Retrieved From https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Ship_diagram-numbers.svg

Necessity of Better Hull Design

Boat engineering is among the earliest forms of engineering thanks to water covering over 70% of the earth’s surface. Historical evidence points to the use of boats and waterborne vessels as far back as 4000 B.C.

Until 150 years ago when steam propulsion took root, the evolution of water vessels moved at a pace that would have made a snail look like a champion runner. And it was only some 120 years ago that we started to use steel hulls.

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Exxon Valdez: Spared from $92 Million in Additional Oil Spill Damages

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More than 25 years after one of the largest oil spills in US waters of all time, Exxon is released from having to pay an additional $92 million from 1989’s Exxon Valdez oil spill.

On the 24th of March, 1989, tanker Exxon Valdez is grounded on Alaska’s Prince William Sound, with a ruptured hull that would launch about 11 million gallons (or 260,000 barrels) of crude oil into precious waters off Alaska. At the time, the disaster was unprecedented in scale, and demanded an equally unprecedented response from various federal, state, local and private entities. 1,500 miles of coastline, as well as parks, wildlife habitats, refuges and sanctuaries, many marine animals, and local livelihoods would ultimately be adversely affected by the disaster.   Read More