Archive for the ‘maritime and shipping’ Category

CFR Backgrounder: Nicaragua’s Grand Canal

May 12, 2015 Comments off

CFR Backgrounder: Nicaragua’s Grand Canal
Source: Council on Foreign Relations

In December 2014, workers broke ground on the Nicaragua Grand Canal, a planned 175-mile-long canal through Nicaragua. Three times the length of the Panama Canal, engineers say Nicaragua’s canal could eventually serve 5 percent of the world’s cargo traffic. Proponents of the canal argue that it will bring much-needed jobs and commerce to the country. However, critics charge that few details of the deal have been made public and say that the environmental and social costs of constructing the canal could be catastrophic.

No End to the Perfect Storm Hitting Container Shippers: It’s Time to Transform and Collaborate in Radically New Ways

March 20, 2015 Comments off

No End to the Perfect Storm Hitting Container Shippers: It’s Time to Transform and Collaborate in Radically New Ways
Source: Boston Consulting Group

Container lines must accelerate their internal-transformation efforts and extract more value from their alliances in order to restore profitability, according to a new report by The Boston Consulting Group (BCG). The report, titled The Transformation Imperative in Container Shipping: Mastering the Next Big Wave, is being released today.

Drawing on analysis of data from proprietary benchmarking databases and other tools, BCG anticipates continued overcapacity in the container-shipping industry, with no market recovery in sight. Carriers—especially midsize global players—are struggling to generate returns sufficient to cover the cost of capital. Their attempts to turn the situation around by investing in new, ultralarge vessels is creating only temporary competitive advantage. Worse, such moves are accelerating the vicious cycle that initially spawned the excess capacity and low returns plaguing the industry.

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CBO — Preserving the Navy’s Forward Presence With a Smaller Fleet

March 17, 2015 Comments off

Preserving the Navy’s Forward Presence With a Smaller Fleet
Source: Congressional Budget Office

In support of its mission to deter conflict or fight in wars if necessary, the Navy considers it a core responsibility to maintain a forward presence—to keep some of its fleet far from U.S. shores at all times in areas that are important to national interests. Toward that end, at any given time, about one-third of the fleet is deployed overseas. The rest of the Navy’s ships are in or near their home ports in the United States for maintenance, training, or sustainment (a period in which a ship is in port but ready to deploy quickly). Most of the ships that contribute to the Navy’s current forward presence of about 100 ships sail from ports in the United States; 31 others are now stationed permanently in foreign countries or at overseas U.S. military bases. In the future, the Navy expects to boost the proportion of ships that it bases abroad.

CBO estimates that, for the next 30 years, the Navy’s 2015 shipbuilding plan (which aims to increase the fleet from 281 ships in 2014 to 306 ships by 2022) would cost about $21 billion annually, on average, in constant 2014 dollars. The Navy’s estimates set the figure somewhat lower—at about $19 billion per year. Both estimates are greater than the annual average of almost $16 billion that the Navy has spent for the past three decades, which suggests that the Navy may have difficulty affording its plans. The Chief of Naval Operations’ emphasis on forward operations indicates that the Navy has committed to maintaining the largest possible forward presence under any given budget plan.

CRS — Navy Force Structure and Shipbuilding Plans: Background and Issues for Congress (March 3, 2015)

March 6, 2015 Comments off

Navy Force Structure and Shipbuilding Plans: Background and Issues for Congress (PDF)
Source: Congressional Research Service (via Federation of American Scientists)

The Navy’s proposed FY2016 budget requests funding for the procurement of nine new battle force ships (i.e., ships that count against the Navy’s goal for achieving and maintaining a fleet of 306 ships). The nine ships include two Virginia-class attack submarines, two DDG-51 class Aegis destroyers, three Littoral Combat Ships (LCSs), one LPD-17 class amphibious ship, and one TAO(X) class oiler. The Navy’s proposed FY2016-FY2020 five-year shipbuilding plan includes a total of 48 ships, compared to a total of 44 ships in the FY2015-FY2019 five-year shipbuilding plan.

In Focus: European Shipping Week 2015

March 3, 2015 Comments off

In Focus: European Shipping Week 2015
Source: European Parliamentary Research Service

Our focus this week is on shipping, with EU policy makers and stakeholders meeting in Brussels for EU Shipping Week. The shipping industry is a solid pillar of the EU economy, with almost 90% of EU external freight trade carried by sea, and short-sea shipping representing 40% of intra-EU exchanges in terms of ton-kilometers. EPRS has a number of publications available to help keep you up-to-date with the different economic, social, environmental and technological issues facing EU shipping.

New From the GAO

January 27, 2015 Comments off

New GAO Reports
Source: Government Accountability Office

1. Defense Logistics: DOD Has a Strategy and Has Taken Steps to Improve Its Asset Visibility, but Further Actions Are Needed. GAO-15-148, January 27.
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2. Depot Maintenance: Status of the Public-Private Partnership for Repair of the Dual-Mode Transmitter in the F-16 Fire-Control Radar. GAO-15-249R, January 27.

3. Supply Chain Security: CBP Needs to Enhance Its Guidance and Oversight of High-Risk Maritime Cargo Shipments. GAO-15-294, January 27.
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CA — Despite dramatic increase in oil tanker traffic, number of oil spills has significantly decreased

January 21, 2015 Comments off