International Relations Archives - Kemplon Engineering

Monthly Maritime News Roundup: January, 2017

By | Uncategorized | No Comments

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/

 

Maritime Industry News 2016: The Year in Review

By | Article, Marine News | No Comments

Kemplon Engineering looks back at the whirlwind year that was 2016 – which was, for all its strokes of bad luck and bold brilliance, certainly a year for the history books. Here are a few of the news and major issues that grabbed maritime industry headlines over the last twelve months:

Image “Old Clock” courtesy of Witthaya Phonsawat at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS.2016 had started off with a proverbial bang, with January seeing the apprehension of American sailors who had inadvertently strayed into Iranian territorial waters. The situation was rapidly diffused amid improvements in U.S. – Iran relations.

Diplomacy is not faring very well on the other side of the world too, with China’s Territorial Ambitions running afoul of its neighbors’ economic and sovereign interests. Just like the previous years (territorial disputes in Asia is no stranger to our Year in Review lists), rightful ownership of small islands is contested by various country claimants, with incredible stakes – national pride, for one, but also exclusive economic zones for fishing, control over crucial shipping routes, strategic military outposts, and a potential wealth in untapped natural resource deposits.Far less rosy is the picture of United States – Russia relations. The tumultuous year saw a number of tense, Cold War era-type interactions between the two superpowers, among them a June encounter between Russian Navy frigate Yaroslav Mudry and the United States’ USS Gravely and USS Harry S. Truman, on top of failed efforts to cooperate and help end the civil war in Syria. 2016 ends with sanctions and the expulsion of Russian diplomats, amid allegations of interference in the United States’ November elections. This situation is still developing.

Read More

Monthly Maritime News Roundup: November, 2016

By | Article, Marine News | No Comments

^ Image “News Map Shows Worldwide Journalism Or Media Information” courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

November, 2016 may have already come and gone, but this month’s dramatic events signal changes that have just begun. Kemplon Engineering takes a look back at some of the industry’s major news and developments, in this edition of the Monthly Maritime News Roundup:

November kicked off with the surprise victory of Donal Trump as president-elect of the United States of America. With his campaign promises slanted toward protectionism – championing local manufacturing, railing against the outsourcing of jobs to cheaper foreign markets, criticizing international trade agreements like the NAFTA, calling for China to be labeled as a currency manipulator, etc. – there may be some uncertainties on the horizon for the maritime industry, notably with shipping which is impacted by trade, as well as in defense which is impacted by foreign policy. Read More

Monthly Maritime News Roundup: October, 2016

By | Article, Events, Marine News | No Comments

^ Image “News Dice Show Coverage Of Current Events” courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

October might be known for festive frights, but a number of events in the maritime industry gave us some real world scares. Hurricane Matthew kicked off the month, weaving its way from the Caribbean to the Southeastern United States. Its destructive path ushered in 100 mph winds, storm surges as high as 9 feet, with rainfall and flooding. The price tag for damages is estimated to be in the billions of dollars. Read More

Maritime Industry News 2015: The Year in Review

By | Article, Marine News, Technology | No Comments

^As 2015 comes to a close, Kemplon Engineering looks back at some of the news and issues that captured maritime industry headlines this year.

The Migration Crisis is one of the most pressing issues of 2015… and a defining one for global humanitarian aid. The year saw a particularly large number of migrant fatalities at sea. Thousands of people from Africa and the Middle East lost their lives while crossing treacherous waters to European entry points like Italy and Greece, all in a desperate attempt to flee war or hardship.
Read More

Monthly Maritime News Roundup: October, 2015

By | Article, Marine News, Technology | No Comments

One month goes by so quickly in the ever-dynamic maritime industry, and yet the days are packed with so many news and developments! Here is a lookback at a few of the topics gracing media headlines this October, 2015:

Hurricane Joaquin swept through parts of the United States, bearing winds, waves and flooding, and leaving damages to both land and sea. Tragically, it also took the lives of 33 crew aboard RO/RO cargo ship El Faro, hit by harsh weather en route from Florida to Puerto Rico (see related article, “Search and Rescue Ops After Hurricane Joaquin”). Since the loss of the vessel and presumed loss of its crew, the NTSB has released a preliminary report on the ensuing investigation; salvage and diving teams from the Navy have been contracted to search for the missing ship; a relief fund has been established for the family by the ship owners; and lawsuits – one to the tune of $100 million – have been filed on behalf of the grieving families.

Read More

The New Chief of Naval Operations: Admiral John Richardson

By | Article, Marine News, Technology | No Comments

One of the most important posts in national defense, international relations and maritime security changed hands this September, with Admiral John Richardson relieving Admiral Jonathan W. Greenert as the new U.S. Chief of Naval Operations.

The US Chief of Naval Operations is the most senior officer in the Navy. As such, the CNO is a member of the Joints Chiefs of Staff, serving as advisor to no less than the Secretary of the Navy, the Secretary of Defense, and yes, even the President himself. Read More

September in the Arctic

By | Article, Marine News, Technology | No Comments

The Arctic has been one of the biggest points of interest in the maritime industry over the last few years. With climate change creating massive changes in the once forbidding region, more and more actors are entering the picture – governments establishing stronger footholds; natural resource companies angling for opportunities to explore and extract; shipping companies exploring more efficient routes to their destinations; conservationists advocating for the environment and the livelihoods of local communities; and travel operators and their clientele hoping for tourism revenues and adventure; just to name a few. It’s a complex and dynamic time for the Arctic, and this September saw a particularly heavy load of news for the region. Kemplon Engineering runs down some of these developments. Read More

Costa Drops Calls in Turkey Amid Terrorist Scare

By | Article, Marine News, Technology | No Comments

Terrorist attacks on the US consulate and other parts of Turkey lead to dropped cruise calls.

Italy-based cruise line Costa Crociere is suspending its remaining stopovers in Turkey this 2015 – to Istanbul and Izmir – in favor of alternatives in Greece, Italy and Malta. The affected vessels are the Costa Deliziosa, the Costa neoClassica, and the Costa Pacifica. The announcement follows safety concerns stemming from an attack on the U.S. Consulate in Istanbul, and other terrorist activities against the country’s security forces that resulted in 11 injured and the deaths of 9 people in different parts of Turkey over the course of a single, tragic August day. Read More