How to Cook Steak in the Oven Deep Sleep: The World’s Most Incredible Underwater Hotel Rooms Thailand’s WARchitect Design Studio is Elevating Home Design Navigating in the 21st century is less about tabletop maps as it is built-in apps. However, though turn-by-turn navigation is often baked into the dash of your car, accessing the same set of features while cruising down the road on your bike is far more cumbersome, especially when you consider how vital it is to keep your eyes on the road and hands on the wheel when faced with a smattering of potential pitfalls. Fortunately, that’s where SmrtGRiPS’ connected bike grips ($60) come in.Designed and engineered in Germany, the hands-free smart grips are made to alleviate common problems every cyclist faces on the daily. You can easily swap the rechargeable grips with those on your bike, and once you set your desired destination and route using the accompanying Boréal app, the grips use haptic communication signals to guide you about town. As you approach an upcoming signal, for instance, the right grip will gently vibrate and become more pronounced as you get closer. Same goes for the left.Intuitive navigation is only one part of their appeal, though. The mobile app for Android and iOS devices lets you quickly locate your bike via a distance indicator and a convenient “Ring your ride” button, the latter of which immediately prompts the SmrtGRiPS to signal their location. Moreover, you can even use the app to notify the crowdGPS network if you’re bike goes missing. Afterward, you’ll receive an instant notification whenever another SmrtGRiP user comes within 330 feet of your bike. The fact Boréal utilizes OpenStreetMaps only adds to the equation, providing you with a wealth of crowd-sourced information pertaining to bike lanes, popular routes, nearby friends, and more.It may be some time before the SmrtGRiPS see the light of day given their Indiegogo campaign is set to end in March, but the 3.5-ounce devices will also be waterproof and run for three months on a single charge upon their debut — making them just as perfect for your rainy morning commute as your cross-country venture next summer.Check out SmrtGRiPS on Indiegogo for more information, or to contribute to the company’s crowd-funding campaign. Cigar Humidors 101: What They Are, How They Work, and the Best Picks Editors’ Recommendations The Best Latex Pillows for Neck and Back Pain
It’s a pretty great time to be a vinyl enthusiast. Not only has there been a resurgence in how many new releases are shipping on vinyl, but also in the relative quality of turntables, many of which can be had surprisingly cheap. The Spiral Groove Revolution would never be called cheap by anyone, no matter their income bracket, but with its eye-catching looks and forward-thinking engineering, it’s hard not to stare and dream.Designed to deliver what Spiral Groove calls “ultra-high-end” performance, the Revolution turntable does not spare any expense when it comes to the materials used or the build process. The turntable features a three-layer body made from aluminum and Delrin, which the company says makes for a solid build, but a less resonant platform.Unlike some of the relatively plain designs found in many modern turntables, the Revolution takes a different approach. The look is not retro, nor is it modern. Instead, the look is a combination of both, making it look like some vision of future tech from a 1950s-era sci-fi movie.The platter on which the record sits uses a Delrin top plate and aluminum bottom plate, along with a number of damping technologies used to reduce mechanical vibration. This includes Spiral Groove’s Strange Attractor isolation feet, which help to decouple the turntable from the surface it sits on, protecting against needle jumps from heavy footfalls and other heavy vibrations.When it comes to actually playing the record, a low-voltage / low-torque AC synchronous motor is attached to a one-piece motor mount that is decoupled from the rest of the turntable, making for quiet playback. The platter spins on an inverted sapphire disc / hardened steel bearing, the same used in Spiral Groove’s flagship SG 1.2 turntable. Playback speed is electronically switchable between 33-1/3 and 45 rpm.The Spiral Groove Revolution is available now and sells for a suggested retail price of $18,000. You will still need a tonearm, which is sold separately. The company offers the Centroid universal tonearm, which it says is a perfect match for the Revolution. For more information, visit the Spiral Groove website. Editors’ Recommendations How to Use a Vibrating Foam Roller Like Tom Brady 6 Fastest Cars in the World Right Now How to Cultivate Mid-Century Modern Style in Your Own Home The Evolution and History of the Home Stereo How to Clean a Fish: A Quick Reference Guide
Should Bars Be Kid and Dog-Friendly? We Asked the Experts 15 Best Subscription Boxes for Men Who Love Gifts The Ultimate Pillow Guide: The 6 Best Pillows for All Sleepers Many of us are lucky enough to live in cities where we can find pretty much any type of food we desire. Sometimes, those foods are eclectic options that are really only liked by the locals (here’s looking at you, Cincinnati and Skyline Chili) while others, like a cheesesteak from Pat’s in Philadelphia, you could find elsewhere, but it wouldn’t be the same.If you live in such a city, good for you. You have access to it whenever you want. For others, though, it’s not as simple. Jobs change, love happens, and sometimes you find yourself in a town 2,000 miles from your favorite food. Until recently, you had to rely on friends and family to help you get your fix.“You’re coming into town? Can you pick up a dozen of those bagels I love?”“I swear, if you show up on my stoop without a few links of those jalapeño sausage links from Texas barbecue country, I’m not letting you in the door.”Etcetera.Now, though, online food retailer Goldbelly (which we first introduced in our bacon subscription guide) is working to solve that issue by shipping some of the country’s most iconic foods to your door, sometimes in as little time as 24 hours.Broken up regionally, by state, type of food, and what’s in season, Goldbelly allows anyone in the United States to find a beloved food and gorge themselves on it, even if they are nowhere near where it’s produced.For example: missing that aforementioned cheesesteak from Pat’s? Not a problem. You can order a four-, eight-, or twelve-pack of cheesesteaks online and have them at your door within two days. The cheesesteaks come frozen with directions on how to heat them (as well as the ever-so-important reheating cheese whiz directions). Before ordering, you have the option of getting your sandwiches wit or wit-out (onions), and also the option to order cheese whiz, American, or provolone cheese. (We’re not saying “Whiz Wit” is the only way to go, but let’s be real, it is.)Pat’s King of SteaksIs it exactly as you would have it if you were standing in line at Pat’s? No, the bread is a little crispier and you’ll probably put too much or too little whiz on there, but will you find better or make better on your own? Also no. Obviously, restaurants have a je ne se quoi when it comes to their food — the items made them famous, after all — but this is the closest you’ll come to tasting home when you’re not there.The other benefit to Goldbelly’s selection, we found, is that even if you’ve never tried a specific food — take the original Buffalo wings, for example — now you don’t have to travel all the way to the Anchor Bar in Buffalo to try them. Instead, you can order a 50-pack for $129 and get a bottle of extra wing sauce to boot.It doesn’t matter if you’re looking for Maine lobster rolls from Mcloons Lobster Shack, a dulce de leche cake from Milk Bar in Brooklyn, or to go wild and order food from a place you’ve never been, Goldbelly has you covered.Goldbelly adds new products all the time, so it’s good to check back often to see if what they’ve added to their list of available foods. Editors’ Recommendations How to Cook Steak in the Oven The Best Latex Pillows for Neck and Back Pain
Save Your Eyes from the Scourge of the Screens with the Best Blue-Light-Blocking Glasses for Men Editors’ Recommendations 14 Scandinavian Clothing Brands You Need to Know The Best Men’s Parkas for Braving the Cold The Best Documentaries on Netflix Right Now How to Care for Your Houseplants in the Winter Have you noticed how it’s basically dark all day long right now? You leave for work in the semi-light of a pale gray morning and get home well after the sun has set and gloom has blanketed the land. Fun, right? Did you ever ask yourself, “Hey, why are the days shorter in winter, anyway?” And are you wondering when the days will start to get longer again? Well, that time is upon us, friends.Despite the fact that, in many parts of the world, it has been cold, dark, and snowy for weeks already, the first official day of winter does not occur until December 21, aka the winter solstice, aka the darkest and shortest day of the year.What’s so special about the winter solstice? Why, lots of things. Let’s discuss a few of them because it would be weird to write an article like this otherwise.Why Is the Winter Solstice So Dark?For those of you living in the Northern Hemisphere, the winter solstice is the longest night and shortest day of the entire year. But, why? Long story short, because of the tilt of the earth’s axis. Contrary to popular misconception, it’s not related to the earth’s physical distance from the sun. In fact, the planet is on the perihelion portion of the orbit in the early winter and is actually closer to the sun than at other times of the year. Drop that at a Christmas party and watch the people nod in admiration.Most Americans will see less than nine and a half hours of sunlight on the solstice day, which of course means nearly fourteen hours of darkness. Don’t take it too hard — folks closer to the Arctic Circle don’t see any direct sunlight for weeks during the winter. Total bummer, right? The perpetual daylight of the summer sounds less than ideal, too.Does the Sun Stand Still?No … it doesn’t. During the winter solstice, it appears as if the sun remains unmoving on the horizon, eschewing its standard overhead arc. Thus the word “solstice,” which is derived from the Latin word solstitium, which translates to “sun stands still.” Of course, scientists eventually debunked the notion of an immobile winter sun, but the name stuck.Is Winter Solstice a Holiday?Yes! If you speak to pagans, druids, witches, or any other group of alternative spiritualities/religions/cults/rotary clubs that celebrate the Winter Solstice as an important holiday, you’re going to hear some ire directed toward Christianity. That’s because the forebears of these modern alternative types had been celebrating the solstice for centuries — if not millennia — before Christianized Rome decided to co-opt the dark winter season celebrations and set December 25 as the date on which they would honor the birth of Jesus. No one knows when Jesus was born (this begs the question of historicity, but we’ll leave that alone for now), but it’s pretty damn certain it was not on December 25.However, as that was a time so many heathens were already celebrating heathen things, the church stuck the date there as a way to help usher people over into the “believer” column. If you want to have some pagan fun during the next winter solstice, by the way, Stonehenge is the place to be.You might think that the yule log you burn (or at least talk about burning) each holiday season is a classic Christmas tradition, but not so much. Yule was originally a winter festival celebrated by pre-Christian Germanic tribes and, quite likely, by Norsemen. The etymology of the word “yule” is unclear, though variations seem to pop up in the stories of disparate groups spread across early Europe. What’s certain, though, is that the term referred to a celebration held on or near the darkest day of the year that originally had nothing to do with Christianity.Article originally published December 22, 2016.
Pal AndersonMay 15, 1922 – February 10, 2019 We are deeply saddened to share that Avoya Travel Chairman and Founder Pal Anderson passed away Sunday, February 10 at the age of 96. He is survived by his wife of 69 years, Pat; his sons, Van and Brad; and his eight grandchildren and thirteen great-grandchildren. Pal is remembered as an adventurer, an entrepreneur, a dreamer and pioneer. His zest for life, passion for travel, and appreciation for people and relationships left enduring impressions on all who knew him. Born on May 15, 1922 in Los Angeles, California, and raised in Colorado, Pal valued family above all else and was a traveler at heart. He attended the University of Colorado before serving in the United States Navy during World War II where he participated in the Normandy landings on June 6, 1944. After his service, Pal finished his BA in Economics and moved to Washington to work in his family’s automobile business. In 1950, Pal married his loving and supportive wife Pat. Together they raised their two sons, Van and Brad, and took on life as one great adventure. Always an idea man who embraced change, Pal has had a profound impact on his family’s travel business. Pal and Pat first entered the travel industry in 1964 while living in Hawaii when they purchased and ran a Hawaiian tour company. After moving to California, together they opened a retail travel agency in Escondido, which eventually became Anderson Travel and Cruises with 10 retail locations throughout San Diego. With the changing tide of the Internet, the family’s brick and mortar travel agency chain evolved into the innovative and award-winning travel company known today as Avoya Travel. Pal’s wanderlust and core values have been passed down to his children and grandchildren, who are now at the helm of the travel business that he and Pat created. One of the greatest honors in Pal’s travel career came in 2014 when he welcomed many colleagues and friends to celebrate the 50th anniversary of his family’s business. The entire Avoya Travel family extends our deepest sympathies to Pal’s wife, Pat, and his family. Pal’s life was celebrated at a private service on Valentine’s Day, February 14, 2019. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in his honor to www.Tourism Cares.org. The family fondly notes that aside from a donation, Pal’s wish would be for friends and family to see and experience the world together through travel. Today, Avoya Travel is one of the most awarded travel companies with a longstanding reputation for being one of the world’s most innovative travel brands. With an elite Network of over 1,250 independently owned and operated travel agencies, Avoya provides a better vacation planning experience for travelers by combining modern technologies with the expertise of travel professionals. Cruise lines and travel industry partners continuously recognize Avoya’s ingenuity and success with Travel Partner of the Year awards and accolades for best-in-class innovation and leadership.
The Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management (ODPEM) has received $13 Million from China Harbour Engineering Company Limited (CHEC), towards assisting persons and schools badly affected by Hurricane Sandy. The funds were presented on Friday (November 9) by CHEC’s General Manager for the Caribbean and Latin American region, Zhongdong Tang, at a media briefing held at ODPEM’s head office in Kingston. Director General of ODPEM, Ronald Jackson, in welcoming the donation, expressed delight at the significant gesture to the agency’s Hurricane Sandy Relief and Recovery Fund. Mr. Jackson stated that ODPEM’s focus is on the education sector where some 138 schools have been reported damaged. “What our focus is, is really trying to see if we can find enough partners who can assist in ensuring that our students have a facility to go back into and to continue their learning. We are coming towards the end of a term; but in January the new term starts in earnest. And so it is important to get all our schools back to where they were before Hurricane Sandy hit, and even in better stead,” Mr. Jackson said. The ODPEM head said some schools would have lost roofing simply because they were not properly secured, or the standard was below par, and so “this is an opportunity to build better”. In thanking CHEC, Mr. Jackson expressed a willingness to “continue working with China Harbour, not just in disaster times, but within the work you are currently doing in terms of our infrastructure, and possible opportunities for cooperation and disaster risk management”. CHEC’s Health, Safety and Environmental Engineer, Nadine Tarawali, said the company‘s donation was made in light of the tremendous damage and dislocation suffered by many families during the storm. These, she pointed out, included some of the company’s employees who were unable to turn up for work at the Westmoreland Bridge in St. Mary, where the company has a worksite, after the storm. She stated that the donation is intended to assist in relocating persons, still occupying shelters, back into their homes, as well as facilitate repairs to schools sustaining damage, to enable their re-opening for the resumption of classes for students. She also noted that the company mobilized several pieces of equipment which were utilized clearing and re-opening of the Junction main road that links Kingston and St. Andrew with St. Mary, and so was fully aware of the level of devastation. Ms. Tarawali also expressed pride that the Palisadoes Road in Kingston was not affected by the hurricane and confidently assured that it can withstand up to a category 5 hurricane. China Harbour is the general contractor for the road and bridge building projects under the Jamaica Development Infrastructure Programme (JDIP). The company signed an agreement with the Government of Jamaica in June for the construction of the North-South Highway from Kingston to Ocho Rios that will bypass the problem plagued Bog Walk Gorge and Mount Rosser corridors.
An inter-ministerial group is to be established to engage various at-risk groups on HIV/AIDS awareness matters.Cabinet has given instructions for the setting-up of the group, which will involve the Ministries of Health, Education, and Youth and Culture.Minister with responsibility for Information, Senator the Hon. Sandrea Falconer, who provided details at Wednesday’s (July 3) weekly Jamaica House press briefing at the Office of the Prime Minister, said the move stems from a recent update on HIV/AIDS in Jamaica.The report revealed that HIV is prevalent among select groups of the population, including the 15 to 49 age group; ante-natal clinic attendees; female sex workers; men who have sex with men; inmates; homeless persons; and drug users.Senator Falconer said Cabinet was told that factors driving the epidemic include: persons having multiple sex partners; insufficient condom use; people with HIV who do not know they are infected; early initiation of sexual activity; and transactional sex (exchanging sexfor gifts or goods).Meanwhile, Cabinet approved two contracts valued a little over US$2 million, for the supply of anti-retroviral drugs. One contract is to be awarded to Ranbaxy Laboratories Limited (United States) to provide nine items for US$740,042; while Milan Laboratories Limited (India) will also supply nine items for US$1.45 million.The Ministry of Health, through a grant from the Global Fund, provides anti-retroviral drugs, free of cost, for persons living with HIV/AIDS, at public health facilities and treatment centres islandwide.Contact: Alphea Saunders
Recommendations for amendments to strengthen the Cybercrimes Act are to be tabled in Parliament shortly. Banks, cambios and other financial institutions are showing keen interest in the two-day conference on Cyber Security and Digital Forensics, scheduled to begin at the University of the West Indies (UWI) Mona campus on September 30.“I am very impressed at the speed in which banking and financial institutions became associated with this conference. It is an expression of their own interest and concern for the security of their clients and the public,” says Professor of Communications Policy and Digital Media, and Director of the Mona ICT Policy Centre,Hopeton Dunn.Professor Dunn, who is also Chairman of the two-day conference, says three of these institutions, the National Commercial Bank (NCB), Jamaica National Building Society (JN), and First Global Bank, have committed senior representatives to make presentations and participate in the conference. The Police and the Ministry of National Security are also to play major roles in the conference.“I think that the banking sector is associating themselves with this conference to speak to the kind of concerns they need to critically address in a more wholesome way,” he adds.Minister of State in the Ministry of Science, Technology, Energy and Mining (STEM), Hon. Julian Robinson, addressing a JIS Think Tank, says it is in the best interest of the institutions to participate.“I think it’s important to note that they are playing a very active role, they are partnering with government in many areas because they recognise it is in their best interest. Whatever the field, no-one wants their systems being vulnerable,” Minister Robinson explains.According to Computer Hacking and Forensic Investigator, Georgia Gibson-Henlin, who is also an attorney-at-law, there is a great deal of insecurity in the cyber network and the conference will offer an opportunity to stakeholders to address the issues in a meaningful way.“A lot of reliance has been placed on it (global information network). A lot of our financial information has been put on it and so we have become at risk to hackers and persons with mal-intent,” she explains.“Part of why this conference is important is that we need a structured framework in terms of going forward; a structure within which to create the strategy, with multiple stakeholders,” she contends.Key issues to be addressed include: how to raise public awareness; information sharing; the matter of privacy; the creation of a cyber-security framework; and a cyber security strategy. This will involve arriving at a decision on who is allowed to be involved and it takes on added significance out of the recognition that the networks are privately owned.The conference will also discuss Commercial Cyber Espionage, which is having an impact on financial enterprises in Jamaica.Minister Robinson, in acknowledging the occurrences of corporate espionage in Jamaica, says the conference will definitely address the concern in a fulsome way.“We’re not talking about a man hacking into a website and defacing it. We’re talking about criminals doing this for financial gain, or to prove a point. Imagine for example, the Air Traffic Control system (being hacked). You’ll quickly recognize the (significant) damage that can be done. There are just so many ways someone with a computer can create havoc and we need to be on top of that as a country,” he contends.The organisers of the conference are looking for specific outcomes with Professor Dunn promising that the second day will see the crafting of documents and the setting of actionable strategies.“So it’s not going to be about nice conversations; we’re going to be looking to take strong and specific action in association with different stakeholders,” he explains.In the meantime, Minister Robinson reveals that recommendations for amendments to strengthen the Cybercrimes Act are to be tabled in Parliament shortly. He says the proposed adjustments were made by a Joint Select Committee of Parliament which he chairs.The Cybercrimes Act has sanctions for the misuse of computer systems or data and facilitates the investigation and prosecution of such crimes. Provision has also been made for the Act to be reviewed every five years.The State Minister informs that the issue of cyber security is at the forefront of Government’s agenda and amending this legislation is one of several strategies being put in place to deal with cyber crimes. He further notes that a Cyber Emergency Response team was established with assistance from the International Telecoms Union.The conference will begin at 9:00a.m. each day at the University of the West Indies, Mona. Story Highlights Banks, cambios and other financial institutions are showing keen interest in the two-day conference on Cyber Security and Digital Forensics. There is a great deal of insecurity in the cyber network and the conference will offer an opportunity to stakeholders to address the issues in a meaningful way.
Story Highlights “It is well known that the function of the judiciary is to interpret and apply the law, and the function of the legislative branch is to make the law. I feel confident that your legacy will ensure that the rule of law is maintained as the country moves forward,” Mrs. Malahoo Forte said. Outgoing Chief Justice, Hon. Justice Zaila McCalla, has been praised for her over 40 years of service to the judiciary in Jamaica. Outgoing Chief Justice, Hon. Justice Zaila McCalla, has been praised for her over 40 years of service to the judiciary in Jamaica.She received the accolades from Judges of the Supreme Court and other members of the judiciary during a special sitting of the Supreme Court at Public Building East, King Street, downtown Kingston, today (January 31).In her tribute, Attorney General, Hon. Marlene Malahoo Forte, said she will always remember Mrs. Mc Calla’s quiet strength, and her humble and dignified approach to her role as Chief Justice.“It is well known that the function of the judiciary is to interpret and apply the law, and the function of the legislative branch is to make the law. I feel confident that your legacy will ensure that the rule of law is maintained as the country moves forward,” Mrs. Malahoo Forte said.For his part, Chairman of the General Legal Council, Mr. Allan Wood, said Mrs. McCalla’s judgements will stand the test of times.He further commended the outgoing Chief Justice for implementing measures such as the Case Management System, which he said has improved the administration of justice.Director of Public Prosecutions, Paula Llewellyn, expressed appreciation to Mrs. McCalla for the civility, the grace and the dignity with which she carried out her duties.“It is also said that tact is the knack of making a point without making an enemy. May I say, having to go through many of these meetings with the bureaucrats and, sometimes, members of the political directorate, I have been in awe at the tact that you have displayed,” Ms. Llewellyn said.For his part, Justice Bryan Sykes noted that the outgoing Chief Justice had the ability to build bridges and that her approach to her Office brought a sense of calm amidst upheavals.In her response, Mrs. McCalla expressed appreciation for the very kind words spoken about her.“Simply saying thanks is not enough for every single thing that I have heard, but I thank you most sincerely for everything that you have said. This occasion has afforded me the opportunity to say it has been a wonderful experience working with all the persons that I have come in contact with,” she noted.She also gave special thanks to the judges with whom she has worked. “We have a core group of judges who work tirelessly, and we think of the many innovations that we could implement in our justice system,” Mrs. McCalla added.Chief Justice McCalla has had an extensive legal career in the public service, having been called to the Jamaican Bar in 1976.In August of 1985, she became a Resident Magistrate and was later appointed as Senior Resident Magistrate. In 1996, she became a Master in Chambers, and in 1997, she was appointed Puisne Judge and served until 2006, when she was promoted a Judge of the Court of Appeal.She was appointed Chief Justice on June 27, 2007. Chief Justice McCalla is the first female Chief Justice of Jamaica. She demits office today (January 31). She received the accolades from Judges of the Supreme Court and other members of the judiciary during a special sitting of the Supreme Court at Public Building East, King Street, downtown Kingston, today (January 31).
Work is advancing on the development of a special diaspora bond, being spearheaded by the Economic Growth Council (EGC), which could possibly see it being floated on the market this year. Executive Director of the EGC, Senator Aubyn Hill, who notes that the concept is resonating across the diaspora, says work on the instrument entails studies to determine how the bond should and will be tailored; and putting together a prospectus to inform prospective bondholders on investment dividends. Work is advancing on the development of a special diaspora bond, being spearheaded by the Economic Growth Council (EGC), which could possibly see it being floated on the market this year.The bond will mainly target Jamaicans living in Canada, the United Kingdom and United States, and is part of the EGC’s initiatives to assist with the Government’s undertaking to lobby greater diaspora support for the country’s growth agenda.Executive Director of the EGC, Senator Aubyn Hill, who notes that the concept is resonating across the diaspora, says work on the instrument entails studies to determine how the bond should and will be tailored; and putting together a prospectus to inform prospective bondholders on investment dividends.He tells JIS News that based on the extent of these engagements, “I would say that in about (four) months, we might be able to go to market,” subject to updates from and confirmation by the EGC’s Diaspora Working Group, which is chaired by Council member, Dr. David Panton.Development and floating of the proposed bond was initially announced by EGC Chairman, Michael Lee-Chin, during the Council’s first quarterly report in January 2017.He indicated then that the EGC and, by extension, Government would benefit from the expertise of the Israeli Government’s Bond Director, Gideon Sitterman, whose services were sought by Mr. Lee-Chin during his visit to Jerusalem, where they had discussions.This collaboration was pursued against the background of Israel having what is widely regarded as the most successful diaspora financial services organisation globally, as also sharing similarities with Jamaica, in terms of diaspora community compositions.As such, both gentlemen (Lee-Chin and Sitterman) explored how Mr. Sitterman’s expertise could be best leveraged to assist with Jamaica’s bond development, targeting Jamaicans residing in the United States, Canada and United Kingdom, as obtains for the Jewish State.Mr. Sitterman said in addition to the EGC’s request, he was asked by the Israeli Prime Minister’s Office to assist, “based on mutual respect that both countries have for each other and the good relations that we have with Jamaica”.Israel’s Government first floated bonds in 1950 during the tenure of the Jewish State’s first Prime Minister, David Ben-Gurion, in the aftermath of that country’s War of Independence, which devastated its economy and wiped out more than one per cent of the population.The fledgling nation’s woes were further compounded by dire economic demands unique to the new State, consequent in part on the arrival of hundreds of thousands of immigrants from post-World War II Europe and the Middle East.In light of this, Mr. Ben-Gurion convened a meeting of American Jewish leaders in Jerusalem in September 1950 where he proposed issuing bonds to help in providing Israel with a more secure economic foundation.The proposal’s endorsement yielded US$52 million at the end of the first year of subscription in 1951, more than double the initial projections. Global sales of Israeli Bonds are estimated at approximately US$40 billion.Mr. Sitterman noted that in addition to the economic benefits, the bond concept was intended to build a bridge between Jews in the Diaspora and those in Israel.In this regard, he said development of the bond represents “an opportunity for the diaspora and Jamaica” to further strengthen their relationship, adding that “they will have the chance to come back and be part of the new approach to get growth”.It is estimated that about 20 per cent of Jamaica’s income is comprised of remittances from families and friends overseas. He indicated then that the EGC and, by extension, Government would benefit from the expertise of the Israeli Government’s Bond Director, Gideon Sitterman, whose services were sought by Mr. Lee-Chin during his visit to Jerusalem, where they had discussions. Story Highlights
It highlights the journey of a group of friends as they seek to use the ATI Law to finish a school project. The Access to Information Unit launched its youth information booklet titled, ‘Abby and Friends ATI Adventure’, on March 26, at the Kingston and St. Andrew Parish Library, Tom Redcam Drive, in Kingston. The Access to Information Unit launched its youth information booklet titled, ‘Abby and Friends ATI Adventure’, on March 26, at the Kingston and St. Andrew Parish Library, Tom Redcam Drive, in Kingston.The booklet was designed to inform young people, especially high school students, about the Access to Information Act (ATI), primarily through storytelling.It highlights the journey of a group of friends as they seek to use the ATI Law to finish a school project.The publication takes its readers on a knowledge-filled type of adventure, with an activities section, as well as answers to frequently asked questions about the ATI.In his address, State Minister in the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information, Hon. Floyd Green, welcomed the publication, and encouraged the Unit to partner with the HEART Trust/NTA in creating an animated format of the book.“[Here] we can tell the story through animation. We have a youth digitisation project at the HEART Trust/NTA with some excellent young animators. Why not let us bring Abby to life. So, yes they can read the book, but imagine if we could also pop in a video that we can play,” Mr. Green said.“This is something that the Ministry of Education will be willing to partner on, and that is something I believe we should do as the next step,” he added.Meanwhile, Acting Director, Access to Information Unit, Tomica Daley, said following the implementation of the ATI in 2004, the Government, through the ATI Unit, has sought to create awareness of the Act and encourage the various publics to utilise it.“Consequently, the Unit identified the youth cohort as significant participants as early democratic participation is integral to shaping our future,” Mrs. Daley said.She noted that the idea for the publication came about in 2016 when the team at the Unit recognised that it had little promotional material relating to the youth.“When we conducted school public education outreach, children and youth often had to be provided with materials designated for adults, specifically the adult brochure and copies of the law.Naturally, this affected our ability to generate interest among this very important cohort, our youth, and so we concluded that there must be another way,” the Acting Director said.“We undertook this project to produce a booklet that would resound with the youth population and, more specifically, those attending secondary institutions. I am very proud to see that this project is now a reality as our hard work has been rewarded and today we are able to launch the Access to Information booklet – Abby and Friends, ATI Adventure,” she added.To date, the Access to Information Unit has entered into several partnerships, including the implementation of ATI corners in high schools.“We have forged a partnership with the Jamaica Library Service to have the book placed in their branches islandwide and community mobile units, as well as in the schools where they operate,” Mrs. Daley said.The Unit has also partnered with the Kingston Bookshop in hoisting a banner on their social media pages and websites and, through this initiative, persons will be directed to visit the ATI website where they will be able to download an electronic copy of the booklet.Additionally, the Unit will be entering into a partnership with the Ministry of Education to have the booklet introduced in high schools across the island as students prepare for School Based Assessments or to just undertake general research.“We are very excited about the introduction of this booklet and the impact it will have on our ability to increase not only awareness of the Act, but also its utilisation,” Mrs. Daley said. In his address, State Minister in the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information, Hon. Floyd Green, welcomed the publication, and encouraged the Unit to partner with the HEART Trust/NTA in creating an animated format of the book. Story Highlights
Story Highlights The Housing Agency of Jamaica (HAJ) has announced that work is ongoing for the construction of phase three of the Luana Gardens housing development in St. Elizabeth. “We are continuing the development of Luana Gardens. We just finished developing approximately 189 serviced lots and we’ll be doing the engineering designs for approximately 400 solutions, comprising serviced lots and houses,” Director of Technical Services at the HAJ, Rosemarie Brown, told JIS News. Ms. Brown said that by mid-2019, the agency will be able to recommend an award of contract for the development. The Housing Agency of Jamaica (HAJ) has announced that work is ongoing for the construction of phase three of the Luana Gardens housing development in St. Elizabeth.“We are continuing the development of Luana Gardens. We just finished developing approximately 189 serviced lots and we’ll be doing the engineering designs for approximately 400 solutions, comprising serviced lots and houses,” Director of Technical Services at the HAJ, Rosemarie Brown, told JIS News.Ms. Brown said that by mid-2019, the agency will be able to recommend an award of contract for the development.Meanwhile, she noted that the HAJ is anticipating the development of at least two high-rise housing solutions.“We are actively looking at a project in Kingston where we anticipate that we will be given the approval to do high-rise apartment blocks. Rhyne Park (housing development) in St. James will also have some apartment blocks,” Ms. Brown said.She highlighted that one major benefit of high-rise housing solutions is that it allows for more units to be created while occupying a smaller or equal space as a single-storey housing development.Ms. Brown also noted that the HAJ creates housing solutions that satisfy the housing demand of persons living with disabilities. She listed the agency’s Bernard Lodge housing development as one such housing project.
Under the agreement, Caledonia Medical Laboratory will provide microbiology services to Kingston Public Hospital (KPH), Bustamante Hospital for Children, Victoria Jubilee Hospital, Spanish Town Hospital, National Chest Hospital, Princess Margaret Hospital and Linstead Hospital. Story Highlights The Ministry of Health and Wellness has partnered with Caledonia Medical Laboratory Limited to provide laboratory tests for several public hospitals across the island. The Ministry of Health and Wellness has partnered with Caledonia Medical Laboratory Limited to provide laboratory tests for several public hospitals across the island.Portfolio Minister, Dr. the Hon. Christopher Tufton; and Managing Director of Caledonia Medical Laboratory, Barbara Hendricks, signed the memorandum of understanding (MOU) on Monday (May 13), at the Ministry’s New Kingston offices.Under the agreement, Caledonia Medical Laboratory will provide microbiology services to Kingston Public Hospital (KPH), Bustamante Hospital for Children, Victoria Jubilee Hospital, Spanish Town Hospital, National Chest Hospital, Princess Margaret Hospital and Linstead Hospital.Minister of Health and Wellness, Dr. the Hon. Christopher Tufton (seated, centre), along with Managing Director, Caledonia Medical Laboratory Limited, Barbara Hendricks (seated, right), affix their signatures to a copy of a memorandum of understanding (MOU), which will see the laboratory providing diagnostic tests for several public hospitals across the island. The signing took place during a ceremony at the Ministry’s New Kingston offices on Monday (May 13). Also pictured (seated, at left) is Permanent Secretary in the Health Ministry, Dunstan Bryan. Others (standing from left) are Director, Policy Planning and Development in the Ministry, Howard Lynch; Director, Health Systems Support and Monitoring, Dr. Beverley Wright; Head, Health Promotion and Protection Branch, Dr. Simone Spence; Administrative Manager, Caledonia Medical, June Bryan; and Technical Manager at the lab, Marcia Grant. Portfolio Minister, Dr. the Hon. Christopher Tufton; and Managing Director of Caledonia Medical Laboratory, Barbara Hendricks, signed the memorandum of understanding (MOU) on Monday (May 13), at the Ministry’s New Kingston offices. The tests include ear, eye, throat, nasal, sputum, urine, blood, and sterility.The provision is part of a $1-billion programme being undertaken by the Government to reduce waiting time within the public health system.The programme, which was announced by portfolio Minister, Dr. the Hon. Christopher Tufton, during his Sectoral presentation on May 7, aims to address delays in the provision of diagnostic tests, day and inpatient surgeries, and also shortage in bed space.Caledonia Medical Laboratory is the first entity to sign on to the diagnostic aspect of the programme.Dr. Tufton said that the Government’s objective is to “do away” with the practice of sending public health patients to do diagnostic tests privately, at their expense.As such, he said that the arrangement will enable persons to access diagnostic services in the private space “but we will deal with the cost”.“We want to be able, once we identify limited capacity, to boost our capacity by adding private providers within a transparent governance framework to add to what we do. We really believe in the partnerships and we think Caledonia clearly qualifies for this,” he said.Under the initiative, it is intended that Jamaicans who are examined in the public health system and approved for diagnostic tests will be given the tests free of charge, even if they have to get them done by an approved private provider.These include computerised tomography (CT) scans, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), ultrasound, angiography, endoscopy (colonoscopy and urogenital endoscopy), and histopathology.
Print Close 此页面无法正确加载 Google 地图。您是否拥有此网站？确定 My location zoom With the development and creation of the MPV 500, the maritime engineering specialist HeavyLift@Sea, with headquarters in Hamburg’s HafenCity, has now expanded its design family of extremely versatile heavy lifters.The multi-purpose vessel is based on the HLV 1600 heavy lifter, which was introduced by the team working with company founder, Lars Rolner, and Managing Director, Hendrik Gröne, at the start of this year. As a smaller but equally versatile heavy cargo carrier, the MPV 500 targets an intermediate segment of the market: shipping companies that specialise in smaller-scale heavy cargo loads or are just starting up in the heavy lift segment. The basic design of the MPV 500 is available in three variations and can be individually configured based on customer needs.“We have innovatively combined all of the essential requirements of a mid-sized heavy lifter in the MPV 500. We created a design which covers all the current demands for flexible use and maximum utilisation required by such specialized shipping companies, and which gives a totally new impulse to the market in this combination“, says HeavyLift@Sea Managing Director, Hendrik Gröne. About the MPV 500The MPV 500 has an undivided cargo area which is more than 80 metres long and has a capacity of nearly 20,000 cubic metres. This makes it equally suitable for the transport of particularly long freight items – e.g. wind turbine wings for offshore wind farms – as well as bulk cargo and containers. The cargo area can also be split by an intermediate deck. In addition, the ship can also sail with open hatches.The plans for the heavy lifter include two cranes. The customer can select a lifting capacity which lies between 120 – 250 tonnes, enabling the ship to lift up to 500 tonnes in tandem. It can also make use of its total crane capacity in ballast (empty of cargo). The MPV 500 is 140.50 metres long, and with its width of only 23.20 metres, can pass through the narrow locks of the Saint Lawrence seaway. It has a load-bearing capacity of 12,000 tonnes and a maximum draught of 8.55 metres with a closed hatch, 7.50 metres with an open hatch. The living quarters can accommodate a crew of up to 21 persons.“With this design, we focused on a fuel-optimised ship design with high efficiency“, explains Hendrik Gröne. “This includes the fact that the MPV 500 can be equipped with either a two-stroke or a four-stroke engine.” With its diesel drive, the heavy lifter can sail at 16 knots.The MPV 500 is available in the designs Economy, Economy Extra, and Ice Class.HeavyLift@Sea has moved their headquartersAt the beginning of October, the maritime engineering company moved to a new office space at Kaiserkai 69 in Hamburg’s HafenCity.As well as ship design and ship-building projects, HeavyLift@Sea offers customer liaison and support for fleets on the move, covering all engineering services for the maritime industry, for example, calculations for stability, strength, water-tightness, and performing listing tests. Heavy Lift, October 14, 2013
Palfinger, November 28, 2013 此页面无法正确加载 Google 地图。您是否拥有此网站？确定 Print Close My location zoom The PALFINGER Group finalized the contracts for two acquisitions. The majority takeovers of Palfinger systems GmbH and the Megarme Group will expand PALFINGER’s portfolio for the shipping and offshore industries as the Group will henceforth provide access and working systems meeting the special demands of these sectors. Moreover, through Megarme, PALFINGER will acquire its first value creation structures in the Arab region, which is a core market for these industries.Both companies being acquired offer special systems for accessing and performing repair and maintenance work on ships and oil rigs, including interior and exterior cleaning, rust and paint removal, recoating, inspection and repairs.With a staff of approx. 50, Palfinger systems GmbH develops and produces innovative technologies in engineering and processing as well as tailor-made customer and project solutions. The advantage of these solutions is that they make work processes faster, more efficient, safer and more environmentally friendly than conventional methods. Very recently, in mid-November, a Singapore company placed a major contract for a volume of approx. EUR 10 million with Palfinger systems GmbH.“The solutions have now reached a degree of maturity that makes them an extremely interesting addition to our portfolio. As innovation leader, we will thus consolidate our presence in the marine sector,” explains Herbert Ortner, CEO of PALFINGER AG. “At the same time, Palfinger systems now needs capacities and structures for production and services in order to be able to exploit the additional potential. We have all this available the world over.”Palfinger systems, which is headquartered in Salzburg, Austria, and operates a manufacturing and assembly plant in Weng im Gesäuse (Austrian province of Styria), has so far been owned by the Palfinger family. Now the PALFINGER Group is acquiring 85 percent of the company, which generated revenue of approx. EUR 1 million in 2012, for a symbolic purchase price of EUR 1. The company’s disproportional dividend arrangement will remain in force until 2025.The Megarme Group, composed of three companies in Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Qatar, specializes in the service business and provides rope access technologies applied by rope access professionals. With approx. 500 employees, the company currently generates annual revenue of EUR 15 million. After the closing, PALFINGER will take over full operational and entrepreneurial control over the highly profitable business of Megarme.Rope access professionals are specially trained technicians primarily assigned to particularly difficult tasks. In combination with the products of Palfinger systems, PALFINGER will provide not only innovative special access products but also the required highly qualified service personnel, making the newly available solutions an interesting alternative to the comparatively expensive and time-consuming scaffolding.The takeover of Megarme also marks another step in the internationalization of the PALFINGER Group, which until now has had no value-creation structures in the Arab countries. Given the strong presence of the shipping industry in this region, it is a particularly important one for the marine business. The Group will also benefit from Megarme’s longstanding knowledge of this market.
My location 此页面无法正确加载 Google 地图。您是否拥有此网站？确定 zoom Smit Lamnalco has taken delivery of, and will soon deploy, the ‘SL Kiwi’. It’s their second tug of the Damen STu 2208 type. The 39.4 tonne bollard pull tug will join the sister ship ‘SL Kittiwake’, delivered late 2012, to support Single Point Mooring operations.Built at Damen’s facilities in Gorinchem (the Netherlands), the ‘SL Kiwi’ left Rotterdam on board a Heavy Lift vessel by Christmas 2013. From Smit Lamnalco’s perspective the short lead time was important.“Although short lead times naturally are one key element in our standard design USP, the vessel does have a number of client-specific features, such as an open stern with removable bulwark top plate and Smit Lamnalco corporate colours. In addition, various options from our ‘catalogue of OEM extras’, such as a deck crane and fuel oil separator unit, were selected too”, Jan de Vente project manager for tug newbuilds at the Damen Shipyards Gorinchem head office says.Like its sister ship, the ‘SL Kiwi’ will to a large extent be deployed in marine services to the oil and gas terminal industry, including diving support. Hence the various extras. The Stu 2208 type vessels were dominantly designed for towage and harbour mooring assistance.In keeping with Damen Shipyards’ design and type notation house style, Stu 2208 simply and efficiently means: Standard Tug, 22 metres long, 8 metres wide. Since ‘standard’ does not stand for ‘standstill’ – as with any of Damen’s Standard Design series – there is continuous improvement of standards based on heavy duty technologies and principles. “This is an extra asset when the tugs are deployed for offshore support which includes long or even semi-permanent in-field presence.” Print Close Smit Lamnalco, February 13, 2014
zoom Very large gas carrier (VLGC) owner and operator BW LPG is reaping the fruits of historically high rates on VLGC market during 2014, driven by continuing expansion of US export volumes of LPG mainly to Asia.The company’s business results for the third quarter show that time Charter Equivalent (TCE) earnings increased to USD 159.2 million in Q3 2014 (USD400.5 million YTD September 2014), from USD 75.9 million in Q3 2013 (USD187.0 million YTD September 2013).According to BW LPG, the growth in global supplies of LPG are driven mainly by US shale-gas projects. New outlets of retail and industrial demand are developing as buyers seek to benefit from the expectation that LPG grows as an abundant and competitively priced fuel and petrochemical feedstock.In addition, Asian import growth has been particularly beneficial to the VLGC market due to long transport distances.The company’s net profit after tax reached USD 87.5 million in Q3 2014 (USD190.7 million YTD September 2014) compared with USD 68.9 million in the same period last year, mainly due to stronger TCE earnings, additions to fleet and a write-back of previously recognised impairment charges of USD42.9 million in Q3 2013.“We have not yet seen corresponding increases in VLGC tonnage availability, so the market has been tight through most of 2014, and seems likely to continue to remain tight until significant new VLGC deliveries arrive in late 2015,” the company said.Speaking of the outlook, BW LPG said that the resultant increase in shipping tonnage required is gradually being met by a large orderbook of newbuild VLGCs, many of which will deliver by late 2015.“This expansion in VLGC tonnage creates the prospect of oversupply, albeit potentially temporary, during which time some reduction in rates would be natural. Therefore the market outlook for 2015 remains positive, with potential for rates to retreat somewhat due to oversupply in 2016. Beyond 2016, expanding US production and export capacity provide potential for continued export growth. New demand is essential to realizing these exports which would help to absorb excess tonnage. There is always the prospect of additional newbuild ordering, however, in particular for delivery from early 2017, which could extend or worsen an over-supply situation.”BW added that the market for ethane transportation remains interesting, and forecasting that a small fleet of Very Large Ethane Carriers (‘VLECs’) is likely to be built in the coming years.Press Release
The dry bulk shipping market has been hit hard by the downturn of the Baltic Dry Index (BDI) that fell to unprecedented lows this year. Vessel oversupply and dwindling demand, especially from the world’s top importer China, have caused numerous headaches for the ship owners across the board, some of them even forced to seek bankruptcy protection.Interested in what could be the way forward for the market based on the current development, World Maritime News spoke with Mr Rahul Sharan, an analyst specializing in dry bulk shipping market at shipping consultancy firm Drewry.WMN: Would you say that the worst has passed for the dry bulk shipping market?Sharan: “This is a bit tricky. One thing is for sure, owners cannot survive for long on such low earnings. Increasing demolition – and demolition of young vessels – says it all. Supply is expected to grow at its slowest pace in 10 years. So, a lot will depend on demand this year. To sum it up – this might be the worst time for Dry bulk owners, and we do not expect any recovery before 2016.”WMN: Various market forecasts predicted a recovery of rates in the second quarter of 2015. Are there any signs of that? If so, could you elaborate on that?Sharan: “With a precarious demand outlook and a heavily lopsided oversupply, any recovery before 2016 is highly unexpected. Drewry does not expect any recovery this year – rates might increase in the second half of 2015, but a slight increase, which will not be enough to break even, cannot be termed as a recovery, can it?”WMN: What sector within the dry bulk shipping market has seen the highest and lowest rates in the first quarter of 2015? What are the expectations for average rates in the following period?Sharan: “Though the entire dry bulk market has seen a substantial fall in the earnings in 1Q15, the bigger vessels –especially Capesizes – have seen the biggest fall (35%) from the previous quarter and a fall of more than 40% from the same quarter last year. The Handysize market saw the smallest drop (10%) from the previous quarter, largely because of its more versatile trade and because of its larger backhaul cargo reach.”At least 30% more supply than requiredWMN: What sector could push the market forward?Sharan: “More than two-thirds of the entire dry bulk market is based on iron ore and coal trade. The present sluggishness in the market is because of the slow growth of iron ore trade and an even slower outlook for coal trade. I think a push in the iron ore and coal trade has the potential to reinvigorate the dry bulk market.In the long run, African mineral exploration has a greater potential to give some impetus to the dry bulk trade, which will help total tonne-miles to grow faster than overall seaborne commodity trade.” WMN: How would you describe the current supply-demand balance in the sector, bearing in mind the recent trend of scrapping older vessels and subdued newbuilding orders?Sharan: “At present, there is at least 30% more supply than required. The recent trend of high scrapping and subdued ordering is helping to shrink the oversupply, but the questions remain:1) How long is it going to continue? With an increase in rates, owners might stop scrapping and start ordering2) The rate at which the oversupply is contracting is very slow. It will take years before a more respectable supply-demand balance is achieved.”WMN: We have seen owners switch from bulker newbuilding orders to conversion to tankers, what could be the impact of this trend should it continue?Sharan: “Should the bad market continue, conversions are here to stay. Vessels which are scheduled to get delivered this year and the keels are laid out are difficult to get converted. However, those vessels which are scheduled to get delivered in 2016 or later are fit candidates for conversions. If this continues, the chance of recovery in 2016 becomes stronger.”WMN: Modern, energy-efficient vessels are entering the scene. Can we expect higher demand for these vessels any time soon?Sharan: “Yes, we are already seeing a higher demand for modern vessels. We did a similar analysis in our Dry Bulk Forecaster 1Q15 for Capesize vessels and found that almost 90% of the available fixtures were for modern vessels. Pollution norms, better fuel efficiency and cheaper rates are attracting more modern vessels than older ones. “WMN: What are your predictions in case the glut continues throughout the year? How will the shipowners respond, and are we to witness more bankruptcies?Sharan: “We predict some improvement in the rates later this year. However, these improvements are not going to be good enough for operators to break even. We have already seen many owners going bankrupt over the past couple of years. Sustained low earnings, especially for cash-strapped owners, might force more of them to file for bankruptcy.”WMN: You estimated that the dry bulk shipping trade volumes increased by 8.3% in 2014. Are there any indicators pointing that the rise is continuing in 2015?Sharan: “No, there is a substantial softening in trade volumes in 2015. We expect trade volume growth to be below 4% this year – largely on account of low iron ore and coal trade to China and a low coal trade growth to India.”WMN: How much of an increase in volumes is needed to counteract the vessel oversupply?Sharan: “This could not be done in a year. As already stated above, there is an oversupply to the tune of 30%. And more than fleet growth it is vessel speed that will affect supply over the next couple of years. An increase in speed will directly increase supply. It is difficult to make an estimate, but sustained low supply growth and buoyant demand are the key factors in improving rates.”WMN: What could help the dry bulk shipping sector rebound?Sharan: “Sustained control of supply growth (which is already happening) and sustained growth in demand would help. Stubbornly low iron ore prices are testing Chinese miners’ resolve to remain active – sustained low prices might force many of them to shut down and help create some much-needed import demand. On the other hand, a surge in infrastructure development in Africa will help boost tonne-mile demand. Mozambique has yet not become a major force in coal exports as was expected, as the country’s two main ports, Nacala and Maputo, are not yet developed to handle large volumes and similarly, inland logistics need to get updated.” WMN: Indian coal imports have been seen as a sign of hope for bulk shipping as China’s imports reduced considerably. Are these estimates correct?Sharan: “Indian coal imports are expected to continue supporting the dry bulk market. India’s coal imports have risen by 20-25% annually over past 10 years. However, the Indian government has already re-allocated many coal blocks to end-users and the government is planning to increase efficiency in coal mining to make India self-sufficient. But, given the huge demand for energy in the country, a good pace of 7-8% growth in coal imports is expected.”Indian coal imports are expected to continue supporting the dry bulk marketWMN: What other emerging markets are expected to keep demand flowing?Sharan: “India cannot feed the coking coal demand of its steel industry, which is growing at a fast pace. We expect an increase of more than 8% in coking imports to the country, helping demand for Panamax and Supramax vessels.South Korea’s appetite for iron ore is growing at a good pace. Iron ore imports to Korea increased by 16% in 2014; further growth of 4-5% a year is expected in the next four or five years.Another area for growth would be minor bulk trade. With Indonesia restricting its exports of unprocessed minerals, China is trying to source them from farther locations. The Ebola break-out in Western Africa restricted any shipping activity in the region last year. With the outbreak under control, trade to and from Africa might help the dry bulk trade.”World Maritime News Staff; Images: Diana
zoom Import cargo volume at major US retail container ports has returned to normal levels following ratification of a new West Coast labor agreement, according to the monthly Global Port Tracker report released today by the National Retail Federation and Hackett Associates.Ports covered by Global Port Tracker handled 1.52 million TUEs in April, the latest month for which after-the-fact numbers are available.That was down 12.4 percent from March, when numbers were driven up by a surge of backlogged cargo after the labor dispute ended, but up 6.1 percent from April 2014.May was estimated at 1.56 million TEU, up 5 percent from 2014. June is forecast at 1.52 million TEU, up 2.6 percent; July at 1.57 million TEU, up 4.9 percent; August also at 1.57 million TEU, up 3.3 percent; September at 1.6 million TEU, up 0.6 percent, and October at 1.59 million TEU, up 1.8 percent.The first half of 2015 is forecast at 8.8 million TEU, an increase of 5.4 percent over the same period last year.Hackett Associates Founder Ben Hackett said a ”stubbornly high” inventory-to-sales ratio after last year’s rush to bring in adequate stocks of merchandise will couple with other economic factors to affect cargo volumes through the summer.”The West Coast recovery remains sluggish and the East Coast is not managing to hold on to the growth levels it has experienced over the past few months,” Hackett said.”June is going to be a mixed month for the West Coast with volatility between the ports, but July and August are projected to see growth across the board. On the East Coast, we are projecting growth for most ports.”Image: Port of Long Beach
zoom Taiwanese shipping company Evergreen is ordering ten 2,800 TEU container ships from Japanese shipbuilder Imabari Shipbuilding Co.,Ltd and compatriot CSBC Corporation.Under the deal, announced by Evergreen in a stock exchange filing, the company will order five container vessels at Imabari, assigning up to USD 195 million for the quintet.The other five 2,800 TEU will be ordered at CSBC Corporation, according to Evergreen, for USD 36-39 million per vessel, putting the overall deal price at up to USD 390 million.The company did not disclose any information on potential delivery dates of the ships.Evergreen’s latest ordering spree comes following an agreement with compatriot CSBC Corporation to build ten 2,800 TEU, class B-type feeder ships in August this year.Evergreen did not reveal the value of the contract, but it is speculated that the price tag for these ten feeders could be around USD 400 million.World Maritime News Staff