Subscribe to our free, weekly email newsletter!



Whale struck by cargo ship

When a container vessel arrived at the Port of Oakland late last week, the local mainstream media feasted on news that the body of a dead whale was draped across the ship’s bow.
By Patrick Burnson, Executive Editor
September 20, 2010

According to reports, the ship had been steaming in at such a high rate of speed that the creature was unable to move out of the way.

And who provided this “fact”? None other than a marine biologist working for the National Marine Fisheries Service. The biologist, it should be noted, was unable to even identify what kind of whale had been dragged in.

No member of the commercial shipping community was interviewed, and no evidence as to just how fast the ship was traveling was reported.

Instead, readers were told that “a whale was hit with such force that its body was wedged into the bow for miles, even as the vessel docked.”

Then the reporter admits: “No one is quite sure how it happened.”

The article concludes by having the same biologist suggest that vessels reduce their speed. He then states that this is unlikely since, for ship operators, “time is money.”

Had the reporter bothered to do more research he would have known that the trend today is for cargo vessels to reduce their speed to save money. Indeed, “slow steaming” is in such vogue now, that it is unlikely ships will ever return to speeds greater than 22 knots.

This is not only good for the bottom line, but also saves energy and reduces CO2 emissions.

Of course, this story won’t support a sensationalized headline or produce dramatic photo ops. And the general public won’t read a piece of news related to ocean-borne commerce again until there’s another act of fate to be blamed on shipping companies.

About the Author

image
Patrick Burnson
Executive Editor

Patrick Burnson is executive editor for Logistics Management and Supply Chain Management Review magazines and web sites. Patrick is a widely-published writer and editor who has spent most of his career covering international trade, global logistics, and supply chain management. He lives and works in San Francisco, providing readers with a Pacific Rim perspective on industry trends and forecasts. You can reach him directly at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).


Subscribe to Logistics Management magazine

Subscribe today. It's FREE!
Get timely insider information that you can use to better manage your
entire logistics operation.
Start your FREE subscription today!

Recent Entries

A mixed bag may be the most appropriate way to characterize the current state of manufacturing based on the most recent edition of the April edition of the Manufacturing Report on Business issued by the Institute for Supply Management today.

The Department of Transportation’s Federal Railroad Administration and Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (FRA) issued its long-awaited Final Rulemaking for “Enhanced Tank Car Standards and Operational Controls for High-Hazard Flammable Trains.”

U.S. carloads were down 1.6 percent at 278,294 carloads, and intermodal volume was up 5.6 percent at 279,0123 containers and trailers.

Even though the immediate prospects of a long-term federal surface transportation authorization remain dim, various media reports suggest that at least short-term help could be on the way.

For anyone not sold on the ongoing impacts of e-commerce on logistics and supply chain operations, comments by some influential industry executives at the recent National Shippers Strategic Transportation Council (NASSTRAC) Conference and Transportation Expo definitely would help change that train of thought.

Article Topics

Blogs · Slideshow · Container · Shipping · All topics

Comments

Post a comment
Commenting is not available in this channel entry.


© Copyright 2015 Peerless Media LLC, a division of EH Publishing, Inc • 111 Speen Street, Ste 200, Framingham, MA 01701 USA