Interview: ABC Global Shares What’s to Come with an All-New ezBookPro

first_imgAn Interview By: Joanie Ogg, Co-Founder and Editor – Travel Professional NEWSInterviewing: Eric Altschul, Chief Executive Officer – ABC Global Services / ezBookPro.com  First and foremost, thank you for your time and insight! Can you share some background and company information about ABC Global Services?ABC Global Services is a leading supplier of services and technology for travel management companies, advisors and professionals. Founded in 1978, ABC now provides services for nearly 11,000 agency locations of all sizes, covering 76 countries around the world. Through decades of cultivating relationships with hotels and other industry suppliers, ABC offers an ever-growing roster of services, including the ABC Premier Hotel Program™, the leading hotel consortia program featuring nearly 50,000 hotels around the world, all commissionable and many with deep discounts off BAR. ezBookPro is our award-winning hotel booking engine exclusively for travel professionals, which aggregates inventory across multiple distribution sources to consolidate rates and commission levels for more than 800,000 hotels worldwide. We also have two wholly-owned subsidiaries: GMI – Global Meetings & Incentives – a leading provider of end-to-end meeting solutions and logistic services; and hotelCONNEX which provides customized strategic hotel sourcing for corporations. With 2019 in full swing, is there anything new and noteworthy on the radar with ABC Global Services?Yes, we are very excited to announce the launch of an upgraded and enhanced version of ezBOOK using the latest technology, “ezBookPro.com”. Why a new version?We are always evolving and upgrading to meet and exceed the needs and expectations of travel professionals. We pro-actively sought their input and listened to their feedback on what they liked, what they didn’t like, as well as what features and enhancements they wanted to see. We then designed ezBookPro around them. How many advisors does ezBookPro have?We currently have tens of thousands of registered travel advisors. Please tell us more about ezBookPro?ezBookPro has a completely new user-friendly intuitive design that we believe is the easiest in the industry to navigate and book hotels. With great features and functionalities that make the travel advisors job even easier, saving them time and giving them the ability to offer their clients the best hotel options and rates – including rates their clients can’t get anywhere else. The new site design is completely responsive to view and book on any device, including mobile. Highlights of the features and functionality include:More Choices – Over 800,000 hotels worldwide including apartments, homes and villasMore Rate Options – GDS rates, Web Rates, Booking.com and Net RatesezSEARCH – ezBookPro aggregates all rate inventories in one single displayEasy navigation and intuitive design to display properties and pricing optionsAbility to book up to 8 persons per roomAbility to have Multiple bookings/destinations on one reservationEasy Add-ons – Ability to add bookings to an existing reservationComparison Tool – compare multiple properties in one displayGroup Booking Tool – 9 or more roomsSave Your Favorites – save your favorite hotels for easy access in future bookingsDisplay and book multiple currencies (USD, CAD, GBP, EUR) – no credit card foreign transaction fees in those currenciesCustomize vouchers with agency or agent logoNew reporting features to view and manage bookings at agency and agent levelSend client proposals, comparing hotels – coming soon!  Do all bookings have to be prepaid?No. Payment varies by rate type. One of the great benefits of ezBookPro is by aggregating multiple rate types we are offer both pay-at-hotel and prepaid options. Are prepaid rates refundable?Yes, most of our prepaid rates are refundable, typically up to a week or so before arrival. What Commission can travel advisors earn?Commission levels are based on the rate type. “Set Your Own” agent add their own commission mark-up on our Net Rates. Often Net Rates are much lower than retail, providing agents the opportunity to maximize their commission, while at the same time providing their clients with the lowest rate available.GDS rates pay up to 8% Web rates 10% Booking.com 3% – provides agents the ability to remain competitive with consumer site pricing and not risk losing clients to book direct Service Fees can be always added to any booking. Our ezCOMMISSION Guarantee pays commission twice monthly Does ezBookPro offer any booking incentives or rewards program for advisors?Yes, we frequently run booking promotions and incentives and will be announcing a new loyalty program in the near future. What kind of support or training does ezbookpro offer to agents?We are very committed to supporting our travel advisors. Our goal is to help agents do their job more efficiently and succeed in growing their business. We recognize that experience and skill levels vary greatly across our members, so we make sure to provide as much support as needed for new travel advisors or the seasoned professional by offering several types of support and training. LIVE AGENT PHONE SUPPORT is available 24/7 to handle any questions or provide assistance when needed.Live Weekly Training Webinars – on how to use ezBookPro and get the most out of our powerful booking tool – these live webinars also provide an opportunity for Q&A.ezTIPs – these are short 10-15 minute live webinars that are destination focused on how to select the ideal location in popular cities like, Rome, Venice, London, Paris, Greek Islands, New York and more.Partner Webinar series, these are live webinars each featuring one of our preferred hotel partners and our agents love these as they provide agents with in-depth product knowledge on the various brands and hotel chains.Video Tutorials will be available soon on the site. These are brief “How-To” video snippets demonstrating all the different features and functionalities of ezBookPro.UpClose with ABC – live events giving agents the opportunity to meet and network with over 30 of our preferred hotel suppliers. This year we are hosting UpClose in Chicago, Boston and San Francisco. Details of all our training and webinar programs are posted on ezBookPro.com. What makes ezBookPro different than other hotel booking tools available to travel professionals?The aggregation of multiple rate types viewed in a single display, the overall ease-of-use, the ability to earn more commission and our outstanding agent support which is unmatched in the industry. How does a Travel Professional join ezBookPro?Just go to ezBookPro.com if you are a member of a host agency or an employee of a travel agency, then click to “Register as an Agent”. Owner/Managers, need to register their agency. Simply go to ezBookPro.com and click “Register as an Agency”. Do you require an Agency ID# such as CLIA, ARC etc.Yes, all agents must be registered under their agency using a valid, CLIA, ARC/IATA or TRUE ID. Is there any cost or fee to Join ezBookPro?No, it is completely free to join! We can’t thank you enough for your time, expertise and information about what’s new with ezBookPro! Do you have any last words you may like to share with the readers of Travel Professional NEWS?Thanks Joanie. We would like to invite all travel professionals to join ezBookPro and experience the fastest, easiest way to book hotels and earn more commission.last_img read more

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Students Must Be Fluent In English Language

first_imgEducation Minister, Hon. Rev. Ronald Thwaites, has underscored the critical need for Jamaican students to be fluent in English Language, noting that this is critical for the country’s progress. He said that the English is the language of professionalism, scientific discovery, and commerce, and the Ministry in promoting literacy in the language. “There can absolutely be no compromise about this, and teachers… and those of us who are engaged in promoting education, must learn to be fluent in English and we must instruct in English in order that even if we use our own native language, it must be used as a tool to the English Language and not as a substitute therefore,” he stated. The Education Minister was addressing the official launch of the Jamaica Reading Association’s Literacy Conference yesterday (Nov. 9) at the Mico University College in Kingston. He commended the organization of staging the event, and urged the members to continue dedicating their time and efforts to the advancement to literacy in the island. He said that renewed focus must be placed on literacy in an effort to ensure greater advancement of the nation’s future leaders. “The deficit in literacy and the decline of the habit of reading are, in fact, the major cramps to the outcomes and advances of education in Jamaica and by derivation the development both of the human capital and indeed, the economic fortunes of our nation”. Let us get it clear, education is the number one investment that any nation can undertake,” he stated. “We believe that if we can only ‘buss’ a tune or if we can wiggle down a catwalk or sometimes people believe that if they can figure out the intricacies of the lottery scam then, somehow you can get ahead in life and it doesn’t really matter if you can read or write,” he lamented. The Education Minister further encouraged parents and teachers “to get it right from the earliest stages,” noting that too much money is being spent on remedial education. He informed that some $20 billion of the education budget every year goes to remedial work. The conference was held under the theme: ‘Jamaica is Fifty – Get into High Gear with Literacy’. Representatives from literacy groups across the island and the wider Caribbean attended the function.last_img read more

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Land Identified for Building Remand Facility for Girls

first_imgMinister of Youth and Culture, Hon. Lisa Hanna, has informed that land has been identified for the construction of a Best Practice Correctional and Remand Facility for Girls. Miss Hanna made the disclosure at a press conference, held at the Office of the Prime Minister on December 18, to provide an update on plans to improve conditions for children in conflict with the law. The Minister informed that in the interim, the South Camp Road Rehabilitation Centre is being upgraded with improved facilities to house girls now accommodated at Fort Augusta Prison, in separate facilities from adults. “Discussions are underway with international organisations to provide additional funding,” she said. Ms. Hanna argued that sufficient physical correctional and remand facilities do not exist to properly accommodate the large number of children who are now coming into the system. “That is why legal provisions have been promulgated and gazetted for juvenile facilities to exist inside some Correctional and Remand Centres intended for adults, such as at Horizon and Fort Augusta. The problem will not be solved entirely by building more facilities for juveniles. If we don’t deal with the root causes we will never be able to build institutions fast enough,” she stressed. Meanwhile, Ms. Hanna noted that the Rio Cobre Correctional Facility for boys is to be upgraded, and that estimates have been completed and discussions are taking place with the Secretariat of the Jamaica Emergency Employment Programme (JEEP) to undertake the rehabilitation. “The JEEP Secretariat is now completing estimates for self-contained facilities as Best Practice Police Holding Centres designated for children to be built at selected police stations, with the ideal objective being to have one per parish, so that children in lockups will be accommodated separately from adults,” she said. On another matter, the Youth Minister noted that the Child Development Agency (CDA) is continuing to monitor the situation of children in lockups and to advocate that this provision of the Child Care and Protection Act is observed.  “Police personnel islandwide are being sensitised to the fact that children can be taken before any Resident Magistrate when the Children Court is not in session. The Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) advises that this has been included in the Jamaica Constabulary Force Orders and is to be the subject of seminars within the force,” she said. As at August 13, 2012 there were 452 children in juvenile remand and correctional centres, while there were 5,226 children in State care as at September 30, 2012.last_img read more

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Coconut Industry Board Targeting Property Acquisitions in St. Mary

first_img These, he says, are: the 1,028-acre Water Valley Farm; the 700-acre Unity Valley Farm; and the Richmond cocoa fermentery. Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries Minister, Hon. Audley Shaw, says Cabinet approval is being sought for the Coconut Industry Board’s (CIB) acquisition of two properties and one facility in St. Mary, to enable further expansion of the entity’s commercial activities.These, he says, are: the 1,028-acre Water Valley Farm; the 700-acre Unity Valley Farm; and the Richmond cocoa fermentery.It is expected, among other things, that a nursery and factory will be established at Water Valley to facilitate value added coconut processing, while trees will also be planted on the property.“The Board, through these acquisitions and along with their existing properties, will be demonstrating on a mother/satellite farm basis, best practices in the growing of coconuts, intercropped with cocoa and banana, along with the processing of coconut water and other coconut products,” Mr. Shaw explained.He was speaking at the Coconut Growers Association’s Annual General Meeting at the Jamaica Conference Centre, downtown Kingston on Saturday (May 5).Meanwhile, Mr. Shaw said Cabinet approval is also being sought for the CIB to establish a subsidiary to spearhead the properties’ commercial development.This is part of measures to be jointly implemented by the Ministry and CIB to position Jamaica to tap into the US$2 billion global coconut industry.Mr. Shaw said that as part of the industry’s capacity building and expansion, greater emphasis will be placed on increased production of seedlings, developing a strong research programme and extension activities. These inputs, he argued, are vital, particularly for smaller growers.Meanwhile, the Minister said the Government welcomes and continues to court significant local and overseas stakeholder investments in the cultivation and value added aspects of the coconut industry.“Already we are engaging a large investor who has acquired some 2,000 acres of land to grow coconuts in Jamaica to support a major processing facility here, which will also receive raw material from the Caribbean to support it. This is a game changer,” he stated.Mr. Shaw also advised that he will be seeking Cabinet approval to have the CIB remain a statutory body of the Ministry, with its primary and immediate mandate being the development of nurseries, expansion of research and development activities and extension services to drive the industry’s expansion.Cabinet approval is also being sought for the Jamaica Agricultural Commodities Regulatory Authority (JACRA) to retain responsibility for the industry’s regulation.JACRA provides oversight for the development, regulation, and standardization of the agricultural commodities industry primarily incorporating coffee, cocoa, coconut and spices. Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries Minister, Hon. Audley Shaw, says Cabinet approval is being sought for the Coconut Industry Board’s (CIB) acquisition of two properties and one facility in St. Mary, to enable further expansion of the entity’s commercial activities. Story Highlights “The Board, through these acquisitions and along with their existing properties, will be demonstrating on a mother/satellite farm basis, best practices in the growing of coconuts, intercropped with cocoa and banana, along with the processing of coconut water and other coconut products,” Mr. Shaw explained.last_img read more

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Bridgeport High Vice Principal Elated to Receive PM’s Medal of Appreciation

first_img Recipient of the Prime Minister’s Medal of Appreciation for service to Education, Vice Principal at Bridgeport High School, in Portmore, Paula Taylor, says she is elated about the award, having spent 30 years as an educator at the school. Recipient of the Prime Minister’s Medal of Appreciation for service to Education, Vice Principal at Bridgeport High School, in Portmore, Paula Taylor, says she is elated about the award, having spent 30 years as an educator at the school.Mrs. Taylor, who began her career as a Physical Education and Remedial English Language teacher, tells JIS News that teaching was not her first choice, but she was encouraged to pursue that career by her mother.She has excelled at the profession during her years at the school, having been appointed House Leader, Grade Supervisor, Dean of Academics and Student Council Advisor.Known as a strict disciplinarian, Mrs. Taylor was instrumental in establishing numerous initiatives to treat disorderly students.Three of the major initiatives implemented by her are the establishment and coordination of a voluntary service programme for problematic students; a mentorship programme; as well as the organisation and implementation of a behavioural modification workshop.She says that many of the students participating in these programmes have behavioural problems, as most of them have little or no help at home.Mrs. Taylor implores parents to be more supportive of their children. “You just need to work with your children, and you need to monitor them,” she advises.Another programme she spearheads with the aim of motivating students include the annual grade awards function for Child Month, where students are recognised for their strengths and improvements.Through these programmes, Mrs. Taylor says she has seen amazing transformation over the years, even noting that one student who had missed an entire year of school, and was performing badly, received a scholarship after his exceptional improvement following his participation.Mrs. Taylor also played a key role in implementing interventions to improve the performance of students.These include the summer academic intervention programme for students who fall below a certain average; the establishment of a homework centre, and introduction of the Caribbean School Examination Certification (CSEC) Religious Education syllabus at the Bridgeport High School.She says inclusion of Religious Education in the syllabus was important to her, in an effort to ensure that the students learn other religions and to practise tolerance.Mrs. Taylor says she is very strict; however, “they [the students]can rap with me, they can run jokes and I run jokes with them, but when it is serious time, it is serious time.”“I push school work because that is very important, but I also have my light moments when I sit with them, and speak their language. If they say they want a hug, I give them a hug, but when it’s time for work, I get serious with them,” she tells JIS News.In addition to teaching, Mrs. Taylor is an active community member as part of the Manchester High and Church Teachers’ College Alumni.The Vice Principal highlights that she has also made a second career out of assisting students outside the classroom by helping school leavers considered to be at risk in the community, to pursue skills training courses.Mrs. Taylor says she assists students with school based assessments (SBAs), explaining that even her family gets involved.She notes that her two sons, who are in sixth form and at university, help with these assessments, as well as with the homework centre.The educator carries her love for children even further by extending her home to foster children, having fostered two girls, and assisted two boys in finding homes.She says that in the 30 years in the classroom, she has tried many innovative ways to stay motivated and to keep the children motivated.Mrs. Taylor is encouraging teachers to “find ways and means to motivate yourselves, because there were times when I had a hard time. Now everyone has to beg me to take a day, because if I do I just worry that the children will fall behind.”The Vice Principal says she lives by the mantra: ‘Doing what I do best, serving the nation’s children”.Mrs. Taylor is among 40 distinguished educators who will receive the Prime Minister’s Medal of Appreciation on Wednesday, June 27. Mrs. Taylor, who began her career as a Physical Education and Remedial English Language teacher, tells JIS News that teaching was not her first choice, but she was encouraged to pursue that career by her mother. Story Highlights She has excelled at the profession during her years at the school, having been appointed House Leader, Grade Supervisor, Dean of Academics and Student Council Advisor.last_img read more

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Contracts Awarded for Kingston Logistics Park and Road Improvement Works

first_imgTwo contracts valued at US$50.7 million have been awarded to China Harbour Engineering Company (CHEC) Limited for phase-one development of the Kingston Logistics Park, and road improvement works in Hanover and Westmoreland.This was disclosed by Minister of Education, Youth and Information, Senator the Hon. Ruel Reid, during yesterday’s (July 11) post-Cabinet press briefing at Jamaica House.Of the sum, Senator Reid said US$25.8 million will be used for phase one of the multiphase development of a near-port logistics park as a strategic project on lands adjacent to the Kingston Freeport Terminal Limited.He said the contract was awarded on the recommendation of the National Contracts Commission.The remaining US$24.9 million has been approved for delivery of contracted work to upgrade the Ferris Cross to Mackfield road across the parishes of Hanover and Westmoreland.This, he said, is in keeping with the Major Infrastructure Development Project (MIDP).The MIDP is a US$352.941-million programme jointly financed by the China Ex-Im Bank and the Government of Jamaica.last_img read more

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‘Time to Bring Dementia Out of the Shadows’ – Dr. Govia

first_img “Persons living with dementia are not crazy, senile, or gone off… . People living with dementia and their carers are not to be shunned or regarded as second-class citizens. We need more safe spaces,” she said. Story Highlights Dr. Govia was addressing the launch of Senior Citizens’ Week by the National Council for Senior Citizens (NCSC) on September 21 at The Jamaica Pegasus hotel. Executive Director of Alzheimer’s Jamaica, Dr. Ishtar Govia, says it is time to “bring dementia out of the shadows” in order to eliminate the stigma associated with the condition. Executive Director of Alzheimer’s Jamaica, Dr. Ishtar Govia, says it is time to “bring dementia out of the shadows” in order to eliminate the stigma associated with the condition.“Persons living with dementia are not crazy, senile, or gone off… . People living with dementia and their carers are not to be shunned or regarded as second-class citizens. We need more safe spaces,” she said.Dr. Govia was addressing the launch of Senior Citizens’ Week by the National Council for Senior Citizens (NCSC) on September 21 at The Jamaica Pegasus hotel.Dementia is an overall term that describes a group of symptoms associated with a decline in memory or other thinking skills severe enough to reduce a person’s ability to perform everyday activities. Alzheimer’s disease accounts for 60 to 80 per cent of dementia cases globally.Dr. Govia explained that the brain functioning of persons living with dementia, such as those living with Alzheimer’s disease, gets progressively worse, causing them to have problems with memory, thinking, reasoning skills, behaviours, and mood.She said that a coordinated national response to dementia is critical for Jamaica, given the projected exponential increase in persons living with the condition in the Caribbean region.She said studies suggest that there may be up to 41,000 Jamaicans living with dementia, an increase from an estimated 19,000 in 2010.She noted that a stakeholder workshop held in July, which focused on mapping the dementia care landscape in Jamaica, highlighted the need for increased national research, awareness and training around dementia.The session was organised by Alzheimer’s Jamaica, in collaboration with the Strengthening Responses to Dementia in Developing Countries (STRiDE) research project, and involved more than 50 stakeholders, including persons living with dementia and their carers, and representatives from the public and private sectors, and civil society.Dr. Govia said data from the stakeholder workshop and dementia care mapping exercise found that stigma reduction, multisectoral collaboration, protective policies, increased access to care and affordable medication are considered key for improving the lives of persons living with dementia in Jamaica.Also highlighted was the need for greater sensitisation and increased services in sectors such as banking, law enforcement and the health sector.Dr. Govia said Alzheimer’s Jamaica will be continuing its work with the STRiDE project to develop and deliver stigma-reduction programmes; and will also commence qualitative data collection focused on the cost of care provided by family members.The organisation will also, in early 2019, launch its intergenerational innovations competition, which will target schools and encourage young persons to apply their creativity to the challenges facing people living with dementia and their carers.last_img read more

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Dr. Chang Welcomes Additional Immigration Kiosks at Sangster Airport

first_imgMinister of National Security, Hon. Dr. Horace Chang, has welcomed the installation of 20 additional automated border crossing kiosks at the Sangster International Airport in Montego Bay, which are expected to further reduce the processing time for airline passengers.The new additions have increased the processing points at the facility to 66, inclusive of 30 automated border crossing kiosks and 36 regular immigration officers.Dr. Chang, in a message delivered by Chief Technical Director in the Ministry, Rohan Richards, at a graduation ceremony for 20 immigration officers at the Terra Nova All-Suite Hotel in St. Andrew on December 6, said the kiosks will further reduce wait times in the immigration hall.“The figures show that wait time within the immigration hall has dropped from a three- to four-hour (timeline) to under 80 minutes during peak times…I am equally pleased to know that the introduction of these additional 20 kiosks will result in a 15 to 20 per cent reduction in wait times in immigration hall time during peak hours,” he said.During peak time, the immigration officers process between 1,800 and 2,500 passengers per hour.Chief Executive Officer, Passport, Immigration and Citizenship Agency (PICA), Andrew Wynter, said additional supporting technology will be implemented to assist border security personnel to do their jobs more efficiently and effectively.A release from PICA said that the machines will ensure speedier and efficient processing of passengers through immigration, with traveller interaction with the system to average approximately 60 seconds.“This represents a significant reduction in the average processing time of two minutes when passengers interact directly with an immigration officer,” the release said.It said the kiosks will automate the processing of incoming passengers at the Montego Bay airport where an average of two million arrivals occur on an annual basis.The provision of kiosks at the airport form part of PICA’s overall strategic objective of satisfying cross-border travellers, through enhanced travel facilitation.The Sangster International Airport is operated by MBJ Airports Limited.last_img read more

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GAC Opens New Office in Louisiana, USA

zoom GAC has strengthened its ship agency services in the US with the opening of a new office in Galliano, Louisiana, in response to the increase of offshore oil & gas activity in the region.The new GAC Shipping USA office near Port Fourchon, Morgan City and Amelia enables the leading provider of shipping, logistics and marine services to better serve the needs of customers with vessels calling at the ports.Port Fourchon is the region’s main port supporting offshore oil & gas activity, whilst Morgan City is considered the birthplace of the US offshore oil exploration industry and most tonnage handled at the ports is related to the oil & gas sector. The Galliano office is therefore well placed at the heart of the action to attend GAC’s customers’ offshore construction, cargo and supply vessels calling at either port.Office space is available for Principals, if required for hands-on support during projects, mobilizations or demobilizations of their vessels at Fourchon. The base also has a warehouse and outside storage to cater for the staging or storage of equipment or supplies, rather than trucking the material at short notice from Houston or New Orleans.“This is an important new addition to our network of bases serving our customers,” says Darren Martin, GAC Shipping USA General Manager. “We are working closely with GAC Logistics in Houston to offer all our oil & gas customers our full range of services to support their offshore activities in the Gulf.”In addition to the new base in Galliano, GAC Shipping USA’s extensive network of offices includes port agents at Houston, New Orleans, Mobile, Port Arthur, Pascagoula, Corpus Christi, Freeport TX and Tampa. Print  Close GAC, November 19, 2013 此页面无法正确加载 Google 地图。您是否拥有此网站?确定 My location read more

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Hull of P-66 Platform Leaves Rio Grande Shipyard, Brazil

first_img My location 此页面无法正确加载 Google 地图。您是否拥有此网站?确定 LUSCHI, April 8, 2014 Print  Close zoom Petrobras has commenced the removal of the hull of P-66 platform in the Rio Grande Shipyard, Brazil. The operation required dredging to open the gate, which was conducted by LUSCHI.“About 30,000 cubic meters of sediment were dredged in less than 20 days using a hopper dredge and a very powerful submersible pump for inaccessible places,” says Roberto Britto, director of logistics LUSCHI.The dredging activities started in March, alongside the works of partial flooding of the dry dock and inspection of the hull. The complete filling of the dock was taken on April 4, when the climatic conditions presented adequate. The operation will last until it reaches about 14 meters depth needed to open the door-boat.This platform is the first of eight replicant FPSOs (Floating Production Storage and Offloading) to be built for the development of the pre-salt projects, in the prolific Santos basin. This unit will have a processing capacity of 150,000 bpd of oil and 6 million m³/day of natural gas.last_img read more

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Southampton Port Sets Stage for Heavyweights

first_imgzoom Associated British Ports’ Port of Southampton is ready to handle the biggest ships in the world after the dredgers have completed a GBP 40 million (USD 63.7m) project to deepen and widen the approach channel linking international shipping lanes to the Port.The dredging project ensures ships with a draught of up to 15.5 metres – the biggest container vessels currently in service – will be able to access the Port’s container terminal. The dredging is the final piece of the project to enhance capability at the container terminal that is operated by DP World.The SCT 5 berth has a 500 metres deep-water quay and is purpose built to cater for the largest ships in the world. As well as deep-water access, it is also equipped with the cranes capable of reaching across vessels 24 containers wide.Chris Lewis, Managing Director, DP World Southampton, said: “The main channel dredging will enable container vessels to depart the terminal at 15.5 metres draught which is very important to our shipping line customers where Southampton is last port of call out of Europe. Our new SCT 5 berth, which is dredged to 16 metres can also be further deepened to 17 metres to meet future demand.”Press Releaselast_img read more

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Update 2: Baltic Dry Index Plummets Further

first_imgzoom The Baltic Dry Index has fallen to 540 points February 12, marking a further 13 point (-2.35%) slide compared to the previous record low of 553 points reached just a day earlier.Dry bulk owners have seen their earnings slashed as a result of the index fall, some of them even forced to resort to bankruptcy, as it was the case with Copenship.What is more, it is feared that the continued decline may have a ripple effect on bulk owners causing more bankruptcies as shipping rates plunge even further.The Baltic Dry Index has fallen around 50% over the past 12 months.One of the main reasons for the costs of shipping bulk commodities declining to a record low is China’s weakened demand for coal, with the country’s seaborne coal imports sliding by 10% in 2014.Another crucial reason is overcapacity within the market, triggered by ship-owners ordering three times more bulk carriers in 2013 than in 2012, on the back on China’s growing demand for coal. These newbuilds are entering the market now, and by competing for commodities, are pushing the rates down.The cost of shipping one tonne of iron ore from Western Australia to China has fallen from USD 8 to USD 10 in 2014, to USD 4 to USD 5 today, UBS commodity analyst Daniel Morgan told The Sydney Morning Herald.World Maritime News Stafflast_img read more

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Harvey Gulf Blazes Trail with Industry Firsts

first_imgzoom Harvey Gulf International Marine LLC is on a roll with industry’s firsts as it received today the first ABS Classification Certificate and the first USCG Certificate of Inspection for a vessel powered by LNG. The M/V Harvey Energy is the first LNG powered vessel in service in North America.Last week, Harvey Gulf marked the first truck to vessel transfer of LNG, the first vessel to bunker LNG and was the first U.S. Flagged LNG powered vessel to enter into port while being powered by LNG.The vessel will be based out of Port Fourchon, LA and will immediately begin its long term charter role.The M/V Harvey Energy built at GCSG in Gulfport, MS is based on the Vard Marine 1 311 design and is 310x64x24.5 ft powered by 3 Wartsila 6L34DF dual fuel gensets providing 7.5MW of power fueled by Wartsila’s LNGPac system.last_img read more

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Spotted New Deck Carrier Joins the Service

first_imgImage Courtesy: United Heavy LiftIn today’s spotted we bring you the newly built deck carrier, the MV Vir Varenya, that has been added to the charter fleet of Hamburg-based heavy-lift shipping company United Heavy Lift.Owned by J.M. Baxi Group, the maritime logistics and port infrastructure company, the MV Vir Varenya was completed in China in June 2016.On its almost 2,700 m² deck, this special-purpose vessel can transport large components for the wind energy and offshore industries.The 10,000 dwt Vir Varenya features a length of 130 meters and a width of 25 meters. In addition, the vessel has a design draught of only 5.3 meters, which means “it can be deployed anywhere in the world,” United Heavy Lift said. “At the moment, we see that customers for chartering the deck carrier are primarily in the northern European market. At the same time, the markets in Africa and the Near East are developing strongly. For the waters and ports there, a shallow draught is of crucial importance for a deck carrier,” Lars Rolner, founder and managing director of United Heavy Lift, said.last_img read more

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Ethiopia Takes 19 Pct Stake in DP World Berbera Port

first_imgzoom Ethiopia has signed an agreement with Dubai-based port operator DP World and the Somaliland Port Authority to acquire a 19% stake in the Port of Berbera.Following the deal, which was signed in Dubai on March 1, DP World will hold a 51% stake in the project, Somaliland 30% and Ethiopia the remaining 19%.The government of Ethiopia will invest in infrastructure to develop the Berbera Corridor as a trade gateway for the inland country, and there are also plans to construct an additional berth at the Port of Berbera.The berth would be built in line with the Berbera master plan, which DP World has already started implementing, while adding new equipment to further improve efficiencies and productivity. The first cranes are scheduled to arrive later this year.“After a year of serious negotiations, Ethiopia has concluded an agreement with the Somaliland Ports Authority and DP World that will give the Government of Ethiopia 19% stake in the joint venture developing the Port of Berbera,” Ahmed Shide, Ethiopian Transport Minister, said.The Minister explained that the agreement will help Ethiopia secure an additional logistical gateway for its import and export trade.Ethiopia will continue to further invest in and develop the Djibouti corridor and further consolidate the use of existing ports in Djibouti. According to Shide, it will also look for other opportunities to develop additional ports and logistics corridors in the region.“The ports of Berbera and Doraleh will provide significant capacity to the region. Both these ports and more capacity will be needed to serve the region’s growth potential in the future,” Ahmed Bin Sulayem, DP World Group Chairman and CEO, said.last_img read more

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Global Ship Lease to Expand Fleet with 2005Built Boxship

first_imgzoom UK-based containership charter owner Global Ship Lease has agreed to acquire a 2,800 TEU containership to service a time charter with French shipping major CMA CGM.The company said it would pay a price of USD 11.3 million for the 2005-built high-specification vessel.Following delivery, which is expected to be during the second quarter of 2018 once the existing charter terminates, the containership will be renamed and will commence charter employment with CMA CGM for a period of 12 months at a fixed rate of 9,000 per day.With this addition, Global Ship Lease’s fleet will comprise 19 vessels with a total capacity of 85,112 TEU.“We are pleased to have expanded our fleet in a strengthening market with the acquisition of this high-specification vessel at an attractive price,” Ian Webber, Chief Executive Officer of Global Ship Lease, said.“We remain optimistic for the continued tightening of the supply/demand balance for mid-sized and smaller vessels, and we will continue to pursue attractive, immediately accretive acquisition opportunities for the benefit of shareholders,” Webber added.Global Ship Lease currently owns 18 vessels with an average age of 13 years. All 18 vessels are currently fixed on time charters, 16 of which are with CMA CGM.last_img read more

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Ship Finance International Buys Four 14000 TEU Boxships

first_imgzoom Ship Finance International Limited has inked a deal to acquire four 14,000 TEU containerships in combination with long-term time-charters to an unrevealed container line.The eco-design boxships are set for delivery in the near term, the company said, adding that the purchase price remains confidential.The time-charters to an Asia-based container line run until 2024, with options to extend the charters by 18 additional months.“Our fixed-rate charter backlog will increase by nearly USD 450 million and the EBITDA contribution from these new vessels is estimated to approximately USD 60 million per year,” SFL said.The consideration to the sellers will be cash plus approximately 4 million newly issued shares in Ship Finance. The company said that it would finance the cash portion of the transaction with cash on the balance sheet and a USD 320 million unsecured loan facility provided by an affiliate of Hemen Holding Ltd., the company’s largest shareholder.SFL added that it was exploring long-term financing alternatives for these vessels in the Asian capital market. “This acquisition highlights Ship Finance’s strength and ability to achieve sustained growth and continued diversification. We are deploying a part of the recently raised capital, but still have capacity for new accretive opportunities. Over the last two months we have added nearly USD 600 million to our charter backlog and expect to continue increasing our fleet of vessels and charter backlog in 2018,” Ole B. Hjertaker, CEO of Ship Finance Management AS, said.last_img read more

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NeedALift Transportation Services Applies for Licence Amendment

first_imgNeed-A-Lift Transportation Services of Halifax has applied to the Nova Scotia Utility and Review Board regarding two new service routes. The first includes a general passenger and express parcel service from Halifax to Sherbrooke — via the Angus L. MacDonald Bridge, Wyse Road, Alderney Drive, Ochterloney Street, Prince Albert Road and Highway 7 and 107. The second proposed service — a specialty charter public passenger service — will operate from Halifax Regional Municipality and the County of Guysborough. Round trips only will be offered to various destinations within the province. Fees for this charter service start at $90 per hour, increasing to $225 for three hours of service. Full day service, up to 10 hours, is $750. A public hearing concerning the proposed services, is scheduled for Friday, Oct. 28, beginning at 10:30 a.m. The hearing will be held at the Sheet Harbour Lions Club, 183 West Side East River Rd., Sheet Harbour. Public presentations or cross-examination of witnesses requires advance notice to the Utility and Review Board on or before Friday, Oct. 21. Comments on the proposed amendments will be accepted by mail to the Utility and Review Board, Box 1692, Unit M, Halifax, N.S., B3J 3S3; by e-mail to uarb.board@gov.ns.ca; by fax to 902-424-3919; or by calling 902-424-4448.last_img read more

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Bridgewater Gets Investment for Sport Recreation Facilities

first_imgPeople on the South Shore will soon have access to a new sport and recreation facility thanks to a $830,000 investment by the province. Barry Barnet, Minister of Health Promotion and Protection, announced today, April 24, that the money will be used to build a $2.5-million multi-sport fieldhouse and outdoor track in Bridgewater. The investment was the first in a series of announcements planned across the province over the next two weeks as part of a $50-million, 10-year infrastructure investment plan. “As we continue to promote the benefits of being physically active, we have a responsibility to help support communities to construct new facilities across the province that are safe and accessible to everyone,” said Mr. Barnet. “I am most proud of the overwhelming dedication this community has shown to develop and build this facility in Bridgewater. We are proud to support their hard work and invest in such a worthwhile project.” The fieldhouse will accommodate a number of activities such as soccer, track and field, baseball, cheerleading, lacrosse, golf, archery and gymnastics. The planning and development of the fieldhouse has been the primary project of the South Shore Fieldhouse Society. They will also be responsible for running the facility. “It’s a wonderful day for our region,” said Doug Quinn, president of the fieldhouse society. “We are thrilled with Minister Barnet’s announcement. We are now a giant step closer to having a top-notch, year-round facility for our community to play and train in. “It is our goal to maximize the facility and make sure everyone has a chance to participate in sport and recreation.” The province’s $50-million, 10-year sport and recreation infrastructure investment plan is in addition to the $3 million invested annually in recreation facility development grants.last_img read more

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Coastal Consultation Deadline Extension

first_imgThere is still time to have a say about the future of Nova Scotia’s coast. Residents can still make their views known on issues affecting Nova Scotia’s coastline by providing feedback on the State of Nova Scotia’s Coast report and the development of Nova Scotia’s Coastal Strategy. The province has extended the deadline to Sunday, July 18. Since the consultations were announced in May, the Department of Fisheries and Aquaculture has engaged with more than 350 residents at eight open houses held across the province. Coastal co-ordinators also met with community groups and municipal governments and received 130 questionnaires and written responses through the coastal website and by mail. A telephone survey is being conducted across the province as part of the consultative process. “I would like to thank every Nova Scotian who took the time to share their views on coastal issues,” said Fisheries and Aquaculture Minister Sterling Belliveau. “I want to encourage Nova Scotians who have yet to provide feedback to please take a few minutes to make their views known so our provincial coastal strategy can make life better for families in every region.” The extension means residents will have eighteen additional days to provide written submissions either online at www.gov.ns.ca/coast/views.htm or by mail. At the end of the consultative period, the department will compile a document detailing what was heard that will be shared with the public online in the fall. The coastal consultations used the six priority areas identified in the State of Nova Scotia’s Coast Report as a starting point for discussions. The report was released in December 2009 and highlighted six priority coastal issues: coastal development, working waterfronts, public coastal access, sea level rise and storm events, coastal water quality, and sensitive coastal ecosystems and habitat. Visit the website for the report at www.gov.ns.ca/coast and to access the online questionnaire.last_img read more

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