The articles excerpted on this site report on the state of the industry as seen by mainstream media, and do not necessarily reflect the opinion of the officers of the ILWU Coast Longshore Division.

Former ship captains tell of megaship risks, importance of container weight

In June 2013, the container vessel MOL Comfort couldn’t continue sailing under its own power because the vessel’s hull suffered a serious crack while sailing on the Indian Ocean. The container ship was fractured in 2 parts, fore and aft, according to Vessel Finder.

Excerpts from a Vessel Finder article titled ‘Mega-ships bring mega-risks, […]


Port of San Diego, Scripps Institution continue studying climate change impact

From The Log:

The Port of San Diego has partnered with Scripps Institution to study, through the newly created center, how San Diego can best prepare for rising sea levels. Port officials must submit to the State Lands Commission an assessment addressing sea level rise by July 1, 2019.

The Board of Port Commissioners agreed […]


Study raises doubt about viability of Northwest Passage as shipping route

The Northwest Passage connects the Beaufort Sea in the west with Baffin Bay in the east. It is a shorter route to move goods between the Pacific and Atlantic regions than the Panama and Suez Canals.

For years, scientists have obsessively monitored Arctic sea ice: how it expands in the winter months and how […]


Study raises doubt about viability of Northwest Passage as shipping route

For years, scientists have obsessively monitored Arctic sea ice: how it expands in the winter months and how much of it shrinks in the summer. Now, a study that zeroed in on a big chunk of the Northwest Passage, says sea ice there remains too thick and treacherous to be a regular commercial shipping route […]


Vancouver BC to install shore power for container ships

Funding for the installation of shore power facilities for container vessels at two Port Metro Vancouver container terminals has been announced by the Canadian government and Port Metro Vancouver officials.

Shore power reduces emissions by allowing vessels to draw power from the local electrical grid and thereby turn off their diesel engines while in port. […]


Wyoming governor pushes coal ports on Northwest trip

Faced with sliding domestic demand for coal, the governor of Wyoming has kept pressing for access to deep-water ports in the Northwest that would allow exports to Asian markets.

Wyoming Gov. Matt Mead met Monday with Washington Gov. Jay Inslee in Olympia and plans to meet Tuesday with Oregon Gov. Kate Brown.

Many in the […]


Kerry to visit Arctic amid concern over ice melt

Secretary of State John Kerry will visit the Arctic Circle next week for key ministerial talks on climate change amid global concerns about rising seas and accelerating ice melt.

America’s priorities as the incoming chairman of the body “include addressing the impacts of climate change, Arctic Ocean safety, security and stewardship and improving economic and […]


Police risk protester’s life to end 9-hour oil train blockade

Authorities incrementally shorten the legs of the tripod used in the blockade. Protesters were critical of the tremendous mobilization of public resources to dismantle the blockade—there were approximately 40 combined fire, police, and medical personnel on site—saying it amounted to essentially another subsidy for the fossil fuel industry. Photo provided by Rising Tide.

From a […]


Push to ban fossil fuels at S.F. Port clears hurdle

San Francisco’s once-busy Port hasn’t handled fossil fuels — like coal and crude oil — since the 1960s. And if environmentalists have their way, the Port of San Francisco will never see a fossil fuel again.

The City’s Environment Commission passed a resolution Thursday urging the Port to close its docks to the future possibility […]


First ship plugged-in to new Port of Hueneme AMP system

The Port informs that it has conducted its first operational and safety vessel test of its recently installed Auxiliary Maritime Power (AMP) system. Port crews were on hand to view this first vessel ‘plug in’ by Hamburg Sud’s ‘M/V Cap Pasley’, carrying fresh fruit for Chiquita Brands of Charlotte, North Carolina.

The Port of Hueneme […]


There’s more behind Arctic shipping than climate change

Excerpts from the Globe and Mail:

Is there a strong relationship between sea ice loss and increased ship activity? Findings from the U of Ottawa study reveal that some relationship between sea ice reductions and shipping volume increases do exist, but the linkage was not as strong as might be expected. This suggests that other […]


Greenpeace cites Singapore’s Arctic ‘icebreaking’ business

Melting Arctic ice has opened up possibilities for alternative Arctic trade routes that can potentially shorten shipping journeys, posing a threat on the importance of Singapore in maritime industry and forcing the island nation to get involved in the icebreaking industry.

“Icebreaking is Singapore’s alternative business should the new route eventually out-compete the old route,” […]


Shipping through Russian Arctic has quadrupled in past year

Tanker off the coast of Siberia

For years people have been speculating that the melting of Arctic sea ice due to climate change would open new shipping lanes. In fact, it’s happening now.

The Financial Times reports that, as of last week, 204 ships had received permits this year to ply the Northern Sea Route, […]


As Arctic ice melts, full steam ahead for shipping?

Two additional late-summer shipping routes across the Arctic Ocean could be possible by midcentury (2040-2059) due to less summer ice. The black line represents the existing shipping route; the red represents potential new routes. Source: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences

The earliest that sea routes would be taken directly over the North […]


Alaska outlines Arctic deep sea port ambitions

The state of Alaska is planning to create an Arctic Port Authority to cater for a boom in Arctic shipping in the future. It is also working with the US Army Corps of Engineers to locate a site for a deep water port.

Alaska Senator Mark Begich confirmed that the move is part of […]