Season’s Greetings, Many Happy Returns?

The holidays are upon us.  Lights are going up all over town and the local sandlot now has trees for sale.   Holiday buying and giving is in full swing and the stores are looking to increase profits through the New Year.  There is however another side to it all.  For the retailer a season forgiving it’s not!  Please take a look at my latest blog on the art of the return.  I think you’ll enjoy it

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The Jones Act: a New Face or New Fate


On September 20th Hurricane Maria slammed into Puerto Rico with Category 5 winds, knocking out power and devastating much of the island’s roads and infrastructure. Two weeks earlier, Hurricane Irma passing just north of the island also created significant damage. These storms dealt Puerto Rico a devastating blow. Fuel Oil and Natural Gas reserves were hardest hit, making it extremely difficult to restore power and electricity. As food, water and medical supplies become depleted, Puerto Rico faces a resupply problem. How to get the ports and infrastructure up and running so that relief can reach the people? To read the entire article please follow the link to:

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Reflagging America

In 1960 Amelgl-liberty-passion-us-flagrica held 16.9 percent of the world’s tonnage with 2,926 cargo vessels and tankers, against a total capacity of 17,317 vessels worldwide. At the turn of the century that number had dropped to 282 vessels registered under the U.S. Flag. It represented only 1.0 percent of the world fleet. By 2016 according to the D.O.T. that number had dropped again to 169 ships representing only 0.4 percent of world tonnage. Container carriers and general cargo vessels were down to a total of 108 bottoms and the roll on roll off sector was down to 28 ships. Under current conditions America’s merchant marine capability would be sorely tested in times of need. Fortunately, many U.S. companies are stepping up to the plate to build or re-flag ships under the Stars and Stripes.
To view the whole article please visit:


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In the Wake of the Titanic – Icebergs in the North Atlantic

On the evening of April 14th, 1912, the HMS Titanic was making her way from Southampton to New York. Steaming off the coast of Nova Scotia she collided with an Iceberg at 11:40 pm. By 2:20 am after taking on water along her starboard side, the “unsinkable” vessel foundered, broke apart, and sank with over a thousand souls on board. In response to this tragedy, the International Ice Patrol (IIP) was set up to monitor the flow of icebergs within shipping lanes between Europe, Canada, and the United States.

A full account of the International Ice Patrol and current threats posed by this year’s heavy ice flows can be found on  Please visit my blog at

How will ocean-borne commerce be affected? I think you will find this article interesting.

Enjoy – Matt

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The Age of Sail Reborn

Launched in 1851 the “Flying Cloud” was the fastest clipper ship under sail. Making the run from New York to San Francisco in 89 days 8 hours, she set the record as the fastest Packet ship afloat, a record which would stand for 100 years. In 1838 the SS Great Western became the first trans-Atlantic passenger liner to integrate steam with sail. By the mid-1800s, the Peninsular and Oriental Steam Navigation Company (P&O) was challenging the idea of long distance sailing routes with service to and from the Far East. The age of the commercial steamship was born.

A New Twist in Sail Technology

Marine architects, however, remained fascinated with commercial wind propulsion through the early 20thcentury. In 1924 German engineer Anton Flettner combined cylindrical “sails” with a rotary turbine which not only produces power to the generators but also forward drive. The rotation of the cylinder creates a force known as the Magnus effect which is similar to the spin on a baseball. The resulting force pulls the ship ahead adding speed and motion. Recently this technology has been refined and incorporated into a modern design from Norsepower Corporation of Finland. Under favorable conditions the sail allows the vessel to maintain speed while reducing power to her main engines. The net effect is both a savings in fuel and a reduction of carbon emissions. Norsepower Rotor Sails incorporate computer sensors which continually monitor wind across the sail, adjusting them as needed. They can be installed on new builds or retrofitted to existing vessels. Offering a total solution to auxiliary propulsion, Norsepower provides delivery, installation, and maintenance of their rotors.


“The Age of Sail Reborn” appears in the current issue of  In it,  I look at the current technology being tested by Maersk Tankers and other wind power solutions which hold the promise of reducing our reliance on fossil fuels while cutting harmful emissions.   You can read it at   

I think you’ll find it interesting!


Please check out other articles on my website at

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U.S. Trade Policy a Delicate Balance

Happening Now

As we usher in a new administration, there is much speculation about the direction our trade policies will take. Campaign rhetoric leaned heavily toward abrupt change in dealing with our trading partners and talk of high import tariffs to protect American workers had been bandied about. The simple fact is “less may be more”.

If you would like to read the full blog please follow the link below:


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