Shipping & Maritime Removed from Paris Agreement 

Date Published: December 9, 2015

Exhaust smoke from a ship smoke stackAfter many in the maritime industry held their breath waiting for a CO2 emission regulation to be announced at the COP21 talks in Paris this month, there is now no mention of maritime in the final draft.  Experts mentioned before the meeting they felt it might be removed due to pressure from developing nations.

Read the original article here: http://www.lloydslist.com/ll/sector/regulation/article475261.ece


Building Greener Ships at High Sea

Published: December 8, 2015

Container ShipWhile CO2 emissions from shipping weighs in at 2.6% of total global emissions, many say that too little has been done to control their carbon footprint.  TOTE, in San Diego is determined to do their part in reducing emissions from vessels.  

The Perla del Caribe is no ordinary cargo ship, this 730 foot vessel is powered with Liquefied Natural Gas. Once it is completed the Perla del Caribe will be the second cargo ships in the world to use L.N.G to power its massive engines. L.N.G. has been used before in smaller vessels and ferries but this is the first time it is used to power a ship of this size. 90 feet bulbous tanks will carry half a million gallons of L.N.G chilled to -260 degrees to be used as the main power to propel the vessel and its cargo from Jacksonville, FL to San Juan Puerto Rico. The maiden voyage for the Perla is scheduled for early 2016. 

Why L.N.G? L.N.G. Burns cleaner than conventional fuels due to its high content of methane. Carbo dioxide emissions are reduced by roughly 15 to 20 percent. According to a report released by the European Parliament the amount of CO2 released by shipping vessels will account for about one-sixth of all the CO2 generated by human activity by the year 2050. This is why is so important to start looking at new fuels that will reduce maritime emissions which account for about one billion tons of CO2 per year. 

TOTE, the company that built the two vessels, is committed to do their part in helping to reduce the production of greenhouse gas emissions from shipping vessels and with a price tag of $350 million dollars invested in the two ships no one can deny it.

Original Article: http://www.nytimes.com/2015/12/08/science/carbon-emissions-shipping-container-ships.html?_r=0


Driver Coercion Rule Finalized 

Date Published: November 27, 2015

speed yellow semi-truck on highwayThe Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) released the final version of the driver coercion rule that allows for the government to take legal action against motor carriers, shippers, receivers and transportation intermediaries if they coerce a trucker into violating road safety standards.

While some feel that driver coercion is not a common issue, penalties for those that are reported and found guilty include fines of up to $10,000 per offense and removal of operating license and authority. 

Read the original article here: http://www.joc.com/trucking-logistics/labor/fmcsa-publishes-finalized-driver-coercion-rule_20151127.html


Is America too dependent on Chinese ships?  

Date Published: November 19, 2015

Cargo ship on Huangpu river in Shanghai, ChinaA new study entitled “Sea Strangulation: How the United States Has Become Vulnerable to Chinese Maritime Coercion,” expresses the need to improve American fleet capabilities and the defense risks of smaller merchant fleets.

This study comes just in time as Congress recently voted to increase Maritime Security Program funding for the support of militarily useful U.S. flagged vessels, and the bill is currently awaiting the President’s signature.

Events in Australia show what can happen with limited government support for a domestic fleet. In the last year, the Australian-flagged fleet has lost three coastal tankers and one bulker to other countries. Analysts predict that if all of the current laws remain, the number of Australian merchant mariners will be reduced to less than 100 people.

Read the original article and more about the study here: http://maritime-executive.com/editorials/new-study-america-too-dependent-on-chinese-ships


Online Shopping on Black Friday is the Perfect Storm for Cyber Criminals
Date Published: November 25, 2015
woman hands holding credit card and using computerAn estimated $3 billion will be spent on Cyber Monday alone and with more shopping online for Black Friday deals, it is easier for criminals to scam buyers or hack accounts in cyberspace.  
Some tips for online retailers and shoppers from the FBI include thinking before clicking.  “If a deal looks too good to be true, it probably is,” emphasized cybersecurity experts. Also, be aware of unsolicited emails and if you really want a deal, go to the website directly.  
Fake delivery emails are one of the most common schemes according the Kevin Haley, the director of Symantec.  Don’t click on links to determine if they are malicious.  If you do visit retailer’s addresses, make sure they are secure.  You can also easily look up domains on sites such as DomainTools, and look up the ‘who is?’ record.
For more tips and to view the original source, click here.

Cyber Crime Costing the Global Economy Nearly $ 4.5 Billion 

Date Published: November 23, 2016

 Depositphotos_59197839_s-2015Cyber crime is costing the global economy nearly $ 4.5 billion a year and shows no signs of reducing.  The recent spate of Cyber attacks, including Talk Talk and British Gas, only serve to highlight the current climate. You would be mistaken in thinking that this is an area of crime restricted to the large Companies and conglomerates.  It is a very real and increasing threat and is affecting greater numbers of SMEs, as criminals target what they perceive to be a more relaxed approach to IT security measures in smaller business concerns.

Cyber crime is wide-reaching and can affect the fraudulent taking of funds, as well as the misappropriation of both customer and staff data.  A growing reliance on business technology is enabling crime to be committed in increasingly subtle ways, which can go undetected for long periods of time.  Any crime, which is computer or information technology dependent, falls into the definition of Cyber crime and insurers are having to provide increasingly sophisticated cover to ensure businesses are protected.  This exposure has largely been ignored by most UK businesses until the last 6 months, despite it being something which, with good planning and appropriate IT security monitoring and controls in place, can be managed but is unlikely to every be eliminated.  It is essential that businesses ensure that a ‘Crime Policyforms part of its’ risk management process and mitigate the impact of a cyber crime attack. 

Cybercriminals often penetrate a company’s computer and email systems, and for a year or more watch and plan their attack. Then they strike.

Theft via on-line banking is on the rise and Crime insurers are having to deal with more and more claims.  A recent claim paid involved two members of staff in a Company’s Finance Department had password protected responsibility for the on-line electronic fund transfers from the company’s bank accounts. One morning, an attempt to make a payment to the companys suppliers is greeted with an error message. The staff contact the banks technical support and are informed that the bank is unable to make payment, as the company accounts are showing almost zero balances. An urgent investigation was launched and it transpired that earlier that day an individual had hacked the on-line system and emptied the company accounts. The monies were transferred to off-shore bank accounts with the amounts being quickly removed and deposited elsewhere. The money was unrecoverable from the bank.

There are many more examples of this nature and as you may appreciate, it is a wide and complex area for insurers to tackle, let alone most businesses. However, the good news is that within the insurance industry, there is recognition that this area of risk protection has to be developed to deal with this emerging Crime exposure.  It is also imperative that businesses look seriously at Crime and Cyber cover, before it’s too late.

If you have any concerns or questions on how exposed your company may be then please contact A&B American Risks for Cyber Crime advice.

Volkswagen Executive Places Blame on ‘Rogue Engineers’
Date Published: October 11, 2015

After Volkswagen’s confession to software in cars that conceal true emission levels, they are placing the blame on rogue software engineers and have since fired 4 employees.

Michael Horn, Chief Executive of VW repeatedly stated before a US Congressional Committee that he was unaware of any ‘defeat devices’ installed in their vehicles until a few days before a meeting with environmental regulators early in September.

He committed to a full investigation and reiterated that the manipulation was not a decision made by corporate but something done by software engineers. German prosecutors have launched an investigation to determine who is responsible for the fraudulent act searching for files and storage devices that may contain data that points to those involved and how the manipulation was carried out.

Source: http://www.independent.co.uk/news/business/news/volkswagen-emissions-scandal-a-few-rogue-engineers-are-to-blame-says-vw-chief-executive-a6687201.html
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Trucker Coercion Rule
Date Published: September 24, 2015

New regulation protecting truck drivers from coercion to be on the books before November. An FMCSA official and at least two shipping executives say it’s a resolution to what may never have been a significant problem in the industry to begin with.

“We did estimates in the rulemaking that talk about coercion and the number of complaints that we had was minimal,” Van Steenburg told attendees at the 2015 Intermodal EXPO hosted by the Intermodal Association of North America in Fort Lauderdale, Florida this week. “Maybe about 100 times a year we’d get some type of complaint.” The agency, he said, does expect the number of reported cases to go up once the new rule is in place. How much, he did not say.


Author: Reynolds Hutchins, JOC.com


North-South Routes – The Next Big Challenge for Ocean Carriers
Date Published: September 24, 2015
With a vessel size increase of 24% over the last three years in north-south routes, the industry faces an ever-growing concern of oversupply of capacity. Future estimates set it to reach 10% of the total world fleet in 2016, the highest since the global financial crisis in 2009.

The director of Drewry Supply Chain Advisors told the JOC Container Trade Europe Conference that carriers are transferring vessels made redundant by the arrival of larger ships to routes running from Asia, North America and Europe to South America and Africa at a time of rising overcapacity, slowing traffic growth.

Original Source: http://www.joc.com/maritime-news/container-lines/ocean-carriers%E2%80%99-next-big-challenge-north-south-routes_20150924.html

Author: Bruce Barnard, JOC.com

GM to Pay $900 Million to Avoid Criminal Charges
Date Published: September 17, 2015

After being criminally charged with scheming to conceal a deadly safety defect from its U.S. Regulator and wire fraud, GM will pay $900 million to avoid these charges. The CEO has   “cleaned house” and set up a fund last year to compensate victims of the faulty ignition switches.  Also, under a three-year deferred prosecution agreement, GM must hire an independent monitor to oversee its safety practices, including its ability to fix defects and handle recalls.
Original Source: http://www.insurancejournal.com/news/national/2015/09/17/381886.htm
Why Shippers Should Worry About Cyber Criminals 
Date Published: August 1, 2015 

A new era of truck thieves are here and they are not using guns or stealing loads at roadside rest-stops. They are portraying workers from other companies with their thefts going unnoticed for days. These “fictitious pickups” typically start with loadboards such as Dat.com and Truckstop.com

Cyber criminals pick out valuable loads through details on the sites which include insurance minimums or requirement of a team of drivers.  Impersonation becomes a simple task when they can easily get logos, addresses and most often the DOT issued Interstate Authority number from company websites. If the DOT number is not available online, they can  register for a new one with a prepaid credit card and due to deregulation, not all applicants go through a review process.

The number of fictitious pickups did decline in 2014 thanks to security technology such as GPS trackers and RFID readers. However, thieves can use this technology to track valuable loads as well.  It’s difficult to measure cargo theft as a lot is not on record.  The average truckload stolen last year that was reported averaged more than $140,000.  

A&B American Risks’ corporate liability products includes cyber coverage.  Most companies think they are already covered for this type of business interruption, but only 10% of companies actually have cyber coverage. Contact us today to discuss your options. 

Original Source: http://fortune.com/2015/07/29/cargo-freight-thieves-cybercriminals/


National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says December PTC Deadline will not be met by Majority of Small Railroads.
Date Published: August 16, 2015

With just four months to go before the December 2015 deadline imposed by congress in 2008, only 11 railroads have told regulators they expect to have the Positive Train Control (PTC) in service by the deadline.  Other railroads have projected their ability to demonstrate the PTC as late as 2020.  The technology is an automating braking system relying on sensors that can be extremely expensive to implement, with costs potentially running into billions of dollars.  Failure to meet the deadline results in fines or suspension of service.  While the US Senate passed a three year extension, the House of Representatives is not expected to take up the bill.
National Transportation Safety Board Cites Driver Fatigue as Major Factor in Crash Involving Comedian Tracy Morgan 
Date Published: August 17, 2015

In a statement released by NTSB Chairman Christopher Hart, driver fatigue was cited as a major factor in the June 7, 2014 accident when a Wal-Mart owned tractor-trailer struck a limousine van carrying comedian Tracy Morgan and his friend and fellow comedian James McNair.  James McNair was killed in the accident.  Tracy Morgan, best known for his tenure on “Saturday Night Live”, suffered multiple injuries including brain trauma that put him into a coma for two weeks. The driver for Wal-Mart had been awake for 28 hours and was approaching the end of his maximum 14 hour shift when the accident occurred.  The accident drew attention to truck safety nation-wide and spurred increased scrutiny into highway regulators.

A&B American Risks’ corporate liability products includes Directors & Officers’ Liability. This is the area of insurance would protect the drivers’ employer, who could be held liable for the actions of their employee.

Panama Canal Labor Dispute
Date Published: August 14, 2015
Two Labor unions representing Panama Canal workers, the Grupo Unidos por el Canal (GUPC) and the National Union of Workers of Construction and Similar Industries (SUNTRACS), have been negotiating with the Panama Canal Authority sincle June for higher pay.  On August 10, the unions threatened to go on strike unless they were given an 8.9% pay increase with retroactive payment.  A pay increase of 5% was agreed upon with retroactive payment going back to July 1.

New Container Weight Requirements Effective July 2016

Date Published: 07/01/2015

Stacked Shipping Containers on DockShippers should be prepared for new container weight requirements approved by the United Nations and its International Maritime Organization last year . “One year from today, global containerized maritime commerce will need to comply with new international regulations that require every packed container to have a verified container weight as a condition for vessel loading,” the World Shipping Council said in a statement on June, 30. “All parties should use the next 12 months to plan for the efficient and effective implementation of this requirement,” they added.

Although there was pushback by Asian and European shipper groups due to extra costs and inadequate infrastructure in developing countries, recent international incidents provided proof that enforcing container weight is much needed.

Original Source: http://www.joc.com/maritime-news/international-freight-shipping/shippers-told-prepare-global-container-weight-verification-rule_20150630.html


Panama Canal to Open New Locks in April 2016

Ships Entering Panama CanalExpect increases in tolls when the new locks open at the Panama Canal in April next year.  Although this project is a year and a half behind the original schedule and $100 million over budget, administrators expect to fully recuperate from the loss time and additional expenses by gaining back much of the traffic lost to the Suez Canal.   They plan to introduce loyalty programs for frequent users and charge less for ships that aren’t fully loaded.  Administrators also point out that the round trip transit time from Asia to the U.S. East coast through the canal is 10 days shorter, which translates to a lot of saved fuel, crew costs, capital and less emissions.

Original Source: http://www.joc.com/maritime-news/international-freight-shipping/panama-canal-track-open-its-expanded-locks-april_20150703.html 


Investigation Shows Shifting Cargo to be the Cause of the Boeing 747 Freighter Crash

Date published: 07/15/205

shifting cargoThe US National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) investigative report reveals that shifting cargo was the cause of the National Airlines (NAL) April 2013 crash in Bagram Airbase, Afghanistan, killing all seven crew members.  Five large military vehicles on board were “inadequately restrained” resulting in at least one vehicle moving rearward, crippling key hydraulic systems and damaging the horizontal stabilizer components, which rendered the airplane “uncontrollable.”

“The crew took on an important mission to support American forces abroad and lost their lives not to enemy fire, but to an accident,’’ said NTSB chairman Christopher A. Hart, adding: “We cannot change what happened, but in fully investigating this accident, we hope to find ways to prevent such an accident from happening again.”

Original Source: http://www.aircargonews.net/news/single-view/news/shifting-cargo-caused-bagram-b747-freighter-crash.html


The Trucking Employment Crisis Continues

July 2015

Truck on the asphalt road in the eveningAs many truck drivers are retiring, companies to fill their void with school leavers entering the workforce.  The Managing Director of MAN Truck & Bus UK, Simon Elliot, believes the industry needs to find solutions to improve their poor image amongst youngsters as well as work closely with the Government and “shake-up” HGV training. 

In a recent MAN study of 1,000 young people, only 3.4% were advised to follow a career in road transport/logistics.  As many as 88% said they were never introduced to the idea of driving a truck as a career by a career counsellor, however 25% said they would consider it.

A report, Barriers to Youth Employment in the Freight Transport Sector, issued by the all-party Parliamentary group for freight transport claims there are deep-rooted obstacles that cause great difficulties in attracting  16 to 24 year-olds into the logistics industry.

Original Source: http://www.exportandfreight.com/?p=436



New Rules from IACS

Date Published: 06/11/2015

iacs rulesNew Unified Requirements (UR) were announced at IMO on June 11, 2015, two years after the break-up of the container ship, MOL Comfort. New safety precautions address the bi-axial stresses and the whipping effect on container ships.

Source: http://www.maritime-executive.com/article/iacs-update-after-mol-comfort-investigation


$300M Container Fund

Date Published: 06/16/2015

Shipping Container RowsMitsubishi introduces the MC Seamax Shipping Opportunities Fund to generate income through buying and leasing container vessels. Investors from North America, Europe and Japan have committed $300 million to the fund. With more than 45,000 TEUs capacity offered to the world’s leading liner companies, the private equity fund will be managed between MC Asset Management Holdings and Seamax Parners.

Source: http://www.cargobusinessnews.com/news/061615/news3.html


AAR Files Appeal

Date Published: 06/16/2015

court rulingsThe Association of American Railroads (AAR) filed an appeal last Friday with the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) after new braking system requirements. This is among five other appeals and the DOT now has 90 days to respond. The AAR wants the DOT to remove the braking system rule and add improved thermal protection for tank cars in addition to removing older tank cars on the rails.

Source: http://www.cargobusinessnews.com/news/061615/news2.html



Transportation Officials Issue Emergency Oil Train Safety Measures

Date Published: 04/23/2015

Black tanker railroad carsThe Department of Transportation announced an emergency order requiring trains hauling crude oil and other flammable liquids to decrease their speed when passing through urban areas. This is just one of many new regulations addressed including one that requires the highest qualified inspectors to conduct brake and mechanical inspections before trains carrying these materials depart. These safety measures come after a recent series of fiery oil train explosions in both the US and Canada, including one in Quebec that killed 47.

Source: http://www.claimsjournal.com/news/national/2015/04/23/262977.htm


U.S. Ports see Costly Delays as Cargo Ships, Volumes Grow

Date Published: 04/29/2015

Large container shipCongested ports are likely to get worse as container volume increases. Jock O’Connell, international trade adviser at Beacon Economics LLC, says there needs to be a “concentrated effort to rethink and redesign the ports to accommodate these larger vessels and the additional cargo they’re generating.”

Forecasters predict $7 billion in shipping delay costs this year with it more than quadrupling by 2016. These costs are likely to get passed along to the consumers. Lower fuel costs may offset the expense but whether carriers will pass along these savings to consumers is questionable.

Original Source: http://www.wsj.com/articles/u-s-ports-see-costly-delays-as-cargo-ships-volumes-grow-1430340113


Border Patrol Requests Truck Drivers to Check Air Flow Vents for Unauthorized Immigrants

Date Published: 04/03/15

Illegal workersAveraging 2 to 3 of these instances a day at the Falfurrias checkpoint, the Border Patrol is urging truck drivers to check the air flow vents for people hiding inside. Although in many of these cases the drivers are unaware of immigrants hiding out, they are still cited. One driver, who was cited for unsuspected passengers said he now has a smear on his record. “Now, when I go to Mexico with my passport, they check me. They put me there like I’m a criminal or something. They check my record….”

Source: www.valleycentral.com/news/story.aspx?id=1187000#/VUeWf_lVik


Exit Ramp Rollovers Kill Hundreds of Truckers a Year

Date Published: 03/31/2015

A truckOutdated roadways in addition to overworked, sleepy drivers cause up to 300 truck occupant deaths every year. There is one solution that could save up to 60 and prevent 2,329 crashes a year, however industry opposition has held up the regulation. While regulators in Europe already mandate electronic stability control in big trucks, only 70% of new rigs come with some form of stability control in the US. “The delay is costing us lives,” said Woodrooffee, who conducted research for the NHTSA for the regulation.

Original Post: http://www.insurancejournal.com/news/national/2015/03/31/362618.htm


An Oversized Load Involved in Deadly Central Texas Wreck Lacked Proper Permit

Date Published: 03/30/2015

18 Wheeler AccidentThe 18-Wheeler traveling along I35 did not have the legally required permit to carry an overweight load. After striking a newly constructed bridge beam, the truck wrecked resulting in one fatality and injuring three others. No citations were immediately issued to Lares Trucking. The owner of the company, Julian Lares claimed that he didn’t know the bridge couldn’t be passed. The DMV provides safe routes for oversized loads with permits.

Original Source: http://www.insurancejournal.com/news/southcentral/2015/03/30/362523.htm


Unique Letter from Freight Forwarder Causes Quite a Stir on Social Media

Freight Containers

Date Retrieved: 03/20/2015 

“We are capable of calculating quotations for three major projects, make bookings for 5 different shipments and answering 12 totally unnecessary calls per hour, all simultaneously. We do not require sleep and are at your service 25 hours a day, 8 days a week. Our home numbers are your numbers….”

View the original source to see what else this freight forwarder has to say.

Original Source: http://elite-league.com/social-post/post-111130?dm_t=0,0,0,0,0

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