Hanjin Shipping bankruptcy unlikely to ease glut of vessels

Costas Paris and In-Soo Nam, September 6, 2016, The Wall Street Journal

The increasingly likely demise of one of the world’s biggest container-shipping companies may offer some short-term relief to a sector battered by a global downturn in trade. It also could hasten further industry consolidation.

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Hanjin bankrupt:  Shippers, retailers, Northwest ports struggle to keep goods moving

September 3, 2016, Your Niskayuna

Korean Air loaned funds to Hanjin Shipping and bought shares in the container line in 2014 to become the biggest shareholder with 33 per cent.

But the failure of the firm, which ranks as the world’s seventh-largest shipper of containers, is unlikely to have a significant impact on operations at the Port of Felxistowe, with none of Hanjin’s own ships now operating on routes calling at the port.

Another Hanjin container ship, the 255-metre, Panamanian-registered Hanjin Scarlet, remains at anchor in the Port of Prince Rupert, having been declined by operators of the Fairview container terminal. Your Niskayuna

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Skilled construction workers in short supply

Kevin G. Hall, September 5, 2016, The Seattle Times

Construction companies no longer fret over finding work. They increasingly worry about finding enough skilled workers.

“The industry’s workforce challenge is primarily a craft-worker shortage,” said Stephen Sandherr, the CEO of the Associated General Contractors of America, adding that skilled hourly workers represent “the bulk of construction workers.”

The worker shortage, highlighted in the group’s new survey of members, is all the more pronounced because of indications that demand will grow for roofers, plumbers, electricians, carpenters and concrete masons — the very positions in shortest supply.

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Public records:  an essential cost of democracy

Seattle Times Editorial Board, September 5, 2016, The Seattle Times

A RECENT report from the state Auditor’s Office says state and local governments spent $60 million to fill more than 285,000 public-records requests during a recent 12-month period. While the cost may sound alarming, the report should not be used to shut down public access to government records.

In fact, the state of Washington should be celebrating this important way of helping citizens keep track of their governments. Any changes to the state Public Records Act should make information easier to access, not more difficult.

The $60 million cost is a relative bargain, representing about one-tenth of 1 percent of the cost to run Washington’s state and local governments. (The total cost is likely higher because not every government agency responded to the auditor’s request for information for the report.)

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Arctic Ocean shipping routes “to open for months’

Jonathan Amos, September 6, 2016, BBC News

Shipping routes across the Arctic are going to open up significantly this century even with a best-case reduction in CO2 emissions, a new study suggests.

University of Reading, UK, researchers have investigated how the decline in sea-ice, driven by warmer temperatures, will make the region more accessible.

They find that by 2050, opportunities to transit the Arctic will double for non ice-strengthened vessels.

These open-water ships will even be going right over the top at times.

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Fishing boat sinks in Westport marina; cleanup under way

Vernal Coleman, September 6, 2016, The Seattle Times

A sheen could be seen on the surface of the water at a Westport, Grays Harbor County, marina after a 77-foot fishing vessel sank there on Monday, according to the U.S. Coast Guard.

State and federal officials deployed a containment boom and cleanup pads to prevent spillage of the boat’s stores of oil and diesel fuel.

Reports that the Lady Lillian had partially sunk while docked at the marina trickled into the Coast Guard station in Grays Harbor about 6:40 a.m. Monday, officials said.

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