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The Complete Maritime Workers Guide to Starting a Career in the Oil and Gas Industry

 May 25, 2017

     Starting an oil and gas career can seem intimidating. Would be maritime workers are often left to parse facts in their search and may even find conflicting information. That’s why we’ve taken the time to create The Complete Maritime Workers Guide to Starting a Career in the Oil and Gas Industry. This guide will cover in detail how to apply for oil rig jobs, and the realities of being an oil and gas maritime worker.
     Why Would-be Maritime Workers Struggle to Find Answers Online?
     Because the oil and gas industry is so vast, putting together varied bits of information can be difficult. Especially when there are regional variances between rigs, let alone countries, and companies. There is a literal ocean of information out there and some of it is dated which can unintentionally mislead those interested in the industry.
     Not everyone has the time to work through a fifty page report to find the one piece of information they need. To help make things more convenient, we’ve answered some of the most common questions for those looking to become maritime workers in the oil and gas industry.
     While just a few sections will provide great insights, it’s highly recommended that you continue reading this guide until its conclusion. You’ll be gaining a competitive edge and will gain a wealth of knowledge for starting your career in the oil and gas industry.

To read the full article, please click here

The American Club celebrates its Centenary in marine insurance

 January 4, 2017

     The American P&I Club was founded in New York nearly a century ago. To celebrate its first 100 years, a book entitled The American Club: A Centennial History has just been published.
     The book tells the story of the Club across ten decades of maritime and marine insurance history both within the United States and across the world. Its author is Richard Blodgett, a former Wall Street Journal reporter whose previous credits include histories of the New York Stock Exchange, Kohler and Co. and JPMorgan Chase & Co.
     The Club’s Chairman, Arnold Witte of Donjon Marine Co., Inc., commented:

“P&I clubs are one of the least known, yet significant, niches of the maritime world. The American Club: A Centennial History reveals the rich traditions of the clubs through the spyglass of the only P&I club in the Americas. I am delighted that we have been able to record for posterity the challenges the American Club has faced over the years, and we are very proud of all the achievements and benefits it has brought those who work in the global shipping industry and to marine insurance in general.”
     The American Club was founded in February, 1917. War was raging in Europe when the Club began. At that time, P&I insurance was available primarily from clubs in the United Kingdom and Scandinavia. In consequence of UK government trade-related sanctions which had been imposed on certain US shipowners in 1916, the American Club was established to provide a reliable source of coverage in the United States.
     The Club was the brainchild of W. H. LaBoyteaux, President of Johnson & Higgins, the leading US marine insurance broker in the United States at that time. The Club was an immediate success, enjoying the support of many of the foremost US steamship companies.
     The size of the American merchant marine fluctuated in the 1920s and 1930s. It grew during World War II, but entered a prolonged period of decline thereafter. In the decades from 1950 onward, the worldwide merchant fleet grew steadily. But nearly all that growth was taking place outside the United States.
     Although the Club only admitted its first foreign-flagged member in 1980, it had ambitions of further international growth over the years which followed. These ambitions gained momentum in 1995 when the Club implemented a major strategy for growth and diversification. Entitled Vision 2000, it called for new leadership, the expansion of the Club’s membership internationally, the establishment of overseas offices, the development of new insurance lines and many other initiatives designed to place the Club at the forefront of its industry peers.
     In 1998 the American Club became a full member of the International Group of P&I Clubs. This alliance of leading insurers provides outstanding security and technical resources to the maritime community. It also supports the industry’s broader interests as one of shipping’s most influential voices.
     Today, the American Club is thoroughly international in scope, offers the broadest range of marine insurance products and is larger and more successful than ever. On the threshold of its centennial year, Members domiciled outside North America account for about 85% of the Club’s insured tonnage.
     Joe Hughes, Chairman and CEO of the American Club’s managers, Shipowners Claims Bureau, Inc., also commented:
“Today the American Club is thoroughly international in scope, offers a broad range of marine insurance products and is larger and more successful than ever. At present, members domiciled outside North America account for some 85 percent of the Club’s insured tonnage. What was founded in 1917 as an American Club serving the American steamship industry has successfully recast itself as an American Club serving the global maritime community, building on the enduring values of its long traditions.”

NYMAR has been selected for the 2016 Best of Manhattan Award
in the Freight Transportation category by the Manhattan Award Program

• September 15, 2016

     NYMAR (New York Maritime, Inc.) has been selected for the 2016 Best of Manhattan Award in the Freight Transportation category by the Manhattan Award Program.
     Each year, the Manhattan Award Program identifies companies that we believe have achieved exceptional marketing success in their local community and business category. These are local companies that enhance the positive image of small business through service to their customers and our community. These exceptional companies help make the Manhattan area a great place to live, work and play.
     Various sources of information were gathered and analyzed to choose the winners in each category. The 2016 Manhattan Award Program focuses on quality, not quantity. Winners are determined based on the information gathered both internally by the Manhattan Award Program and data provided by third parties.

About the Manhattan Award Program:
     The Manhattan Award Program is an annual awards program honoring the achievements and accomplishments of local businesses throughout the Manhattan area. Recognition is given to those companies that have shown the ability to use their best practices and implemented programs to generate competitive advantages and long-term value.
     The Manhattan Award Program was established to recognize the best of local businesses in our community. Our organization works exclusively with local business owners, trade groups, professional associations and other business advertising and marketing groups. Our mission is to recognize the small business community's contributions to the U.S. economy.

WATCH Progress On New York Harbor’s Bayonne Bridge

John Konrad •August 23, 2016

     The Bayonne Bridge is the fifth-longest steel arch bridge in the world, and was the longest in the world at the time of its completion. The bridge is also one of four connecting New Jersey with Staten Island, New York.
     The Port Authority of New York & New Jersey has launched a five-year, $1.3 billion project to raise the roadbed within the existing arch to allow larger container ships to pass underneath. The expansion of the Panama Canal was the impetus for the Port Authority’s decision to raise the height of the bridge.
     At the moment, the span presents a difficult obstacle to large container ships passing under it on the way to and from Newark Bay. Its clearance of between 151 to 156 feet (46–48 m) above the Kill Van Kull depending on the tide means that today’s largest ships, which can reach 175 feet (53 m) above the waterline, must fold down antenna masts, take on ballast and/or wait for low tide to pass through. The problem will become more serious now that the Panama Canal expansion project allows larger new-Panamax ships through the canal.

• June 8, 2016

NYMAR launched its book New York IS the Capital for Shipping at a reception hosted by Kyla Shipping in Athens and recognizing the Hellenic-American Chamber of Shipping and NYMAR


Left to right: Nancy Papaioannou, Chairman of Hellenic-American Chamber of Commerce (HACC); Brian Devine, President of HACC; Kalli Livanos of Kyla Shipping; Carleen Lyden-Kluss, Executive Director of NAMEPA, Clay Maitland, Chairman of NYMAR and immediate Past Chairman of HACC.


click here  to view the entire book

click here to view the entire book

NYMAR to Launch Overview of Maritime Center at Posidonia:
New York IS the Capital for Shipping

• June 2, 2016
     New York Maritime Inc. (NYMAR)'s Chairman, Clay Maitland, announced the publication of its book New York IS the Capital for Shipping promoting the benefits of doing maritime business in New York.  It will be launched on June 8th at a reception being sponsored by NYMAR and the Hellenic-American Chamber of Commerce at Kyla Shipping in Athens, on the occasion of the bi-annual Posidonia conference.
     “We are pleased to be publishing this important piece about the extensive capability of the New York maritime center”, stated Chairman Maitland.  “New York is considered the premier place for the shipping industry and reinforces what we know—an industry as global and demanding as shipping can only thrive in the city that never sleeps.  New York truly is the Capital for Shipping!”
     NYMAR, and its partners, has assembled a series of articles to help illuminate the many benefits of New York.  Ranging from the accessibility of capital, to legal support, tax issues, arbitration, insurance and more, the contents of this booklet are intended to provide new insights into the ways in which New York rightly claims pre-eminence as a center for conducting international maritime business. 
     New York Maritime, Inc. (NYMAR) was created over 10 years ago to help promote New York and its environs as the optimal venue for shipping interests to do business.  Unlike other like-minded entities in other global maritime centers, NYMAR is nearly exclusively volunteer driven by maritime professionals who are successfully plying their trade and productively adding value to the international maritime industry from their base in the New York maritime center.


By Clay Maitland

Remarks delivered at A Joint Meeting of The Maritime Law Association Of The United States Committee On Maritime Finance/Comité Maritime International (CMI), May 4, 2016, The Midtown Hilton, New York, New York.

Download the complete PDF here.

NYMAR Annual General MeetinG: A SWOT Analysis of the Port of New York/New Jersey
featuring Roland Lewis as the Keynote Speaker

Hosted by Blank Rome LLP • April 6, 2016

Roland Lewis is President and CEO of the Waterfront Alliance.  A lifetime New Yorker, Roland studied planning and law at Columbia and Rutgers UniversitiesAfter nine years as a partner at a law firm, he became Executive Director of Habitat for Humanity NYC where he guided it to become a national model of Habitat urban success.   In 2007, Roland took the helm of the Waterfront Alliance.  Under his leadership, the Waterfront Alliance has organized a growing constituency for a vibrant, healthy, resilient, and accessible waterfront; instituted programs to provide water access; and become the leading waterfront policy organization in the New York region. 

Download the PDF presentation here.    Review the meeting minutes here.

Brooklyn Working Waterfront Stakeholders Gather to Discuss the Future

“This is going to be an incredible collaboration,” said deputy Brooklyn borough president Diana Reyna, addressing a roomful of maritime industry stakeholders on February 18. More than 50 people from a range of professions—marine transportation company owners, container terminal executives, government agency representatives, union leaders, educators, and many others—had gathered at Brooklyn Borough Hall for a roundtable discussion on how to preserve, support, and expand the maritime industry in Brooklyn. The event was hosted by the Brooklyn Borough President’s office in collaboration with the Waterfront Alliance and Local 1814 of the International Longshoremen’s Association.

     The first half of the discussion examined the state of maritime jobs in Brooklyn. The New York-New Jersey port industry directly employs 191,000 workers and supports a total of 336,000 jobs, though only 18,000 of those workers directly employed are in New York City. In Brooklyn, maritime sites include Red Hook Terminals, Erie Basin Bargeport, Brooklyn Cruise Terminal, South Brooklyn Marine Terminal, 65th Street Float Bridge, Atlantic Basin, Brooklyn Navy Yard, and Gowanus Bay Terminal.
     Bob Hughes of Hughes Marine and Erie Basin Bargeport started off the discussion. “We need help with three things from city and state agencies,” he said. “Zoning, taxes, and permits.”
     With regard to zoning, “it’s imperative that we stay industrial,” he said. As for taxes, “our taxes on the property went up by 122 percent last year. At that rate, I don’t know how much longer we can do what we’re doing. And with both in-water and upland permits, the people in industry need help. We have to drive piles, and maintain or replace our bulkheads. We’ve had projects where the permits cost us more than the project. We’ve been trying to build a 25,000 square-foot building at Erie Basin, but we can’t get an appointment with the Buildings Department to get our permit done.”
     “We’re busy,” he said, concluding on a positive note. “We hope to create another dry dock down the road and hire more people.”
     Others spoke of the need for more marine facilities as port business picked up. John Bowie from Vane Brothers Maritime Services , which transports oil to marine, power, and manufacturing industries, said, “We need more places to dock our equipment.”
     Ms. Reyna noted, “we’re expanding ferry service in New York City and yet we service our vessels outside the city.”
     “Once waterfront property is turned over to commercial or residential interests, we can’t get it back for the maritime industry,” she added.
     “The maritime industry is vital,” said Andrew Genn, senior vice president of the New York City Economic Development Corporation. “There’s a new generation of people that recognize the waterfront is a good place to be employed.”
     Ms. Reyna placed a large part of the responsibility of workforce diversity with the bistate Waterfront Commission. “The Waterfront Commission is not in the room,” she observed. “We’re going to begin challenging the Waterfront Commission.” (please see this week’s Waterfront Q&A with deputy borough president Reyna for more on her plans to challenge the Waterfront Commission.)
     “We need people with skills, and we need access to jobs along the waterfront,” said Jeremy Laufer, district manager of Brooklyn’s Community Board 7.
     “There has to be a long-term investment in creating a workforce,” agreed Juan Camilo Osorio, research director for the New York City Environmental Justice Alliance, urging that the focus expand to include industrial uses as well as maritime uses at the waterfront. Mr. Osorio referred to the updated New York City Waterfront Revitalization Program, which has just been approved by the New York State Department of State, calling it a “robust document that improves the performance of SMIAs [Significant Maritime and Industrial Areas].”
     This segued into the topic of the second half of the morning’s discussion: how to connect Brooklyn residents with waterfront jobs. “They don’t know about these jobs,” commented Ms. Reyna, “or they think they don’t belong because no one is inviting them. How do we build the industrial park to integrate with community?”
     Brendan Malone from the New York Harbor School spoke about the importance of inspiring young people to understand that there are maritime employment options. The high school, based on Governors Island, has forged relationships with maritime industries, such as the Brooklyn Navy Yard, to create student internships.
     “But a kid shouldn’t have to travel to the Harbor School to learn a vocational trade,” said Lou Pernice, president of the ILU Local 1814. “These skills used to be offered in high schools, but they disappeared as the manufacturing jobs left the city. We have an opportunity to bring them back. Skills are needed on the waterfront.”
     Tony diLernia, program director at Kingsborough Community College, chimed in by Skype from Florida. “Workforce development is not a difficult thing to do,” he said. “The obstacle is funding. We ask people in the maritime industry what skills they need, and then we develop curriculum based on the answers. Hands-on instruction, though, requires equipment, facilities, and teachers.”
     From another angle, Teamsters representative Bernadette Kelly told the group that “standards are difficult to maintain. As far as job training is concerned, we’re trying to find ways…it’s time-consuming and expensive to get a Teamsters license.”
     Ms. Reyna zeroed in on this comment, asking why training is provided by the Teamsters on site at other locations but not in Brooklyn. “That’s unacceptable,” she said. “That has to be addressed immediately. CWE [Consortium for Worker Education] provides funding for it. Considering the funding is there, why is the training not happening? I expect we’re going to deal with this issue.”
     Ed Kelly, executive director of the Maritime Association of the Port of New York/New Jersey, had one of the many last words. “Brooklyn has unparalleled opportunity for maritime industry growth,” he said, “but there’s an awful lot more that we need to do.”
     SUNY Maritime’s Christopher Clott had three main suggestions for the group. “First, the freight tunnel is crucial,” he said. “Second, move toward a logistics cluster. Third, decide what you want to be and build around it. You can’t do them all.”
     “This was a terrific exchange of views about the maritime industry in Brooklyn, and, most important, the focus was on tangible steps we can all take to protect and expand this vital industry and better connect people with good-paying jobs,” said Roland Lewis, president and CEO of the Waterfront Alliance. “We look forward to working with the Borough President and the many waterfront stakeholders toward implementation.”

New York, New York, a helluva town to do shipping business
Lambros Papaeconomou  February 18, 2016

Why I believe New York will re-emerge as a prominent shipping capital

Lambros in New York: "The perfect place to live and run a shipping business." Joshua Haviv/

Lambros in New York: "The perfect place to live and run a shipping business." Joshua Haviv/

     IS NEW York a great place to be a shipowner? What are some of the benefits and drawbacks of living in the Big Apple and running a shipping company, whether privately held or publicly traded? These were the main topics of a spirited panel discussion at the annual shipping conference hosted jointly by the Norwegian-American and Hellenic-American chambers of commerce.
The panel included shipowners Robert Burke of Ridgebury Tankers, Philip Shapiro of Liberty Maritime, and Robert Shaw of Sea Trade Holdings; shipbroker Robert Pierot of Jacq. Pierot and Sons; and yours truly. 

To read the full article, please click here

New York- the first arbitration center

Clay Maitland, Managing Partner, International Registries Inc. & Chairman, NYMAR  August 20, 2015

In March 1656, Andrew Kilvert brought suit against Jan Geraerdy in the Court of Burgemeesters of the colony of New Netherland, demanding the release of his vessel, which had been arrested to obtain payment for the sale price of Kilvert’s ship. The Court ruled as follows:  “… the case is found to be somewhat obscure… and, in order then not to be troubled with a long and weary lawsuit at the expense of a stranger, the Court orders… that the matter shall be disposed of by four arbitrators.”

The practice of arbitration of maritime matters in New York, therefore, has its beginnings in Dutch law. Dutch rule in New Netherland (New Amsterdam) lasted less than fifty years. With the English takeover in 1664, most of the Dutch settlers elected to stay in what its new rulers named New York. In 1766, a statute concerning arbitration was enacted in the colony, and shortly after the founding of the New York Chamber of Commerce in 1768, the arbitral system became further embedded in New York. Given the long historical practice of arbitration in New York, it is understandable that the passage of the United States’ Federal Arbitration Act of 1925 originated in New York. By 1920, the Chamber of Commerce and the New York State Bar Association drafted what would become the New York Arbitration Act of 1920. The federal law that followed in 1925 derived directly from the New York Arbitration Act.
     As New York’s importance as a shipping center grew, the need for a specialized body of rules, and reference of commercial disputes to specialized and knowledgeable maritime commercial “men” became commonplace. In the early years of New York, first as a colonial outpost, and later as a thriving mercantile center, maritime knowledge was rather broadly distributed among the general population. The records preserved in the archives of the State and City of New York document the paramount importance of shipping in the trade of the colony.
     With the adoption of a pioneering arbitration act in New York in 1920, it was only a matter of time before the tradition firmly established nearly 300 years before during Dutch rule, gave rise to a modern regime of maritime arbitration.
     The Society of Maritime Arbitrators, Inc. was formally constituted in 1963, and since its formation, the Society has published over 4,200 awards, and currently comprises 63 arbitrator members. The Society (SMA) has adopted a body of Rules, with links to its published awards, and to its newsletter, “The Arbitrator”.
     All of the arbitrator members of SMA have commercial shipping experience; many have legal experience as well.
     Maritime arbitration in New York has a number of inherent strengths:

1.    New York, taken with the adjacent states of New Jersey and Connecticut, is one of the world’s major shipping centers. It is also one of the world’s most diversified shipping regions, embracing skilled and seasoned commercial enterprises ranging from shipbuilding, shipbroking, chartering, design, vessel management and operation, insurance, engineers and lawyers, as well as a wide range of cargo specialists. It is also, of course, one of the world’s great financial places of business. The intellectual resources available to the arbitration process are uniquely broad-based. It can be said that no other commercial center has so many different talents and skills at its disposal, when it comes to dispute resolution.

2. At a time of rising costs, another factor that favors New York maritime arbitration is the availability of the process at a reasonable expense to the parties. The fact that SMA arbitrations are well-known to be often less costly than those conducted in other jurisdictions is a significant attractive quality. For example, there is no appointment fee under SMA procedure.

3. SMA arbitrators may order pre-award security; they may also issue discovery subpoenas.

4.   The process of arbitration is speedy, permitting not only prompt and economical resolution but encouraging the arrival at a result within a reasonable and predictable period of time. Increasingly, an SMA panel will order scheduling and discovery within a fixed period of time. This is far more efficient than the prolonged and often unwieldy process of information-gathering prevalent in courts of law.

5.   One of the distinguishing features of SMA arbitration is the publication of awards, from which the parties can opt out. This assists practitioners, and the parties, to be able to predict outcomes.

6.   Awards made by an SMA panel of arbitrators are final, in virtually all cases. There is no right of appeal, so that while a right exists to petition the Court to have an award set aside, the grounds for doing so are very limited, in contrast to court cases, where there is always a right of appeal.

7.     Proceedings are normally conducted by the SMA tribunal without any formal evidence rules; the panel has broad discretion as to whether it will accept evidence, and what weight and credibility shall be given to such evidence. Under U.S. law, arbitrators have the power to issue subpoenas to third parties, to produce documents, or to testify. The SMA panel therefore has, in addition, the power to order parties themselves, to produce documents or witnesses within their control. Needless to say, the arbitrators will also decide whether testimony, the declaration of witnesses, or documents are themselves credible. The arbitrators may consider evidence that a court of law would exclude, and they will usually decide how much or how little weight to give it. They may consider not only what evidence is submitted to them, but also what has not been submitted – and why. They may draw adverse inferences from what was and was not produced.

8.   It is common for an SMA panel to be convened quite quickly, to conduct an emergency hearing. This is extremely useful where time is of the essence. Panels are promptly available for hearing at all times.

9.  An SMA panel will award fees and expenses in nearly all cases. Nearly every SMA arbitration may entail the assessment of attorneys’ fees, costs and arbitrators’ fees against the losing party. This contrasts with the well-known “American Rule” followed in most court proceedings, in which each side bears its own fees and costs. In maritime arbitrations in New York, the prevailing party will most likely recover the majority of fees and costs disbursed by it.

10.  Awards are issued promptly in nearly all cases, and sealed offers of settlement, and written witness statements are also commonly used.

11. There is no right to pre-trial discovery, as there is in most court cases. The tribunal can order disclosure, of course, but the parties are encouraged to cooperate in an exchange of disclosures to avoid costs. One of the most attractive aspects of SMA arbitration, as I can personally confirm, is that costly and time-consuming adversarial jousting is discouraged. Emphasis is placed, as it was in New York more than 300 years ago, in finding a practical resolution, which helps the parties themselves to reach a fair and commercially reasonable result.

12.   For those not familiar with SMA practice, perhaps the most helpful aspect of this form of dispute resolution is that proceedings are much more transparent to both sides. This encourages settlement, compromise, and fairness. Past awards of SMA can be accessed online through Lexis or Westlaw, many cases, to be sure, are resolved before an award is issued – a sign that the system really works.

The early, Dutch, adopters of arbitration had a vision for a system that was timely, definitive, smooth, transparent and efficient. That vision is alive and well today in New York.

Liz Burrell, Esq., Curtis Mallet-Prevost, Colt & Mosle LLP;   John Kimball, Esq., Blank Rome LLP;  Robert Shaw, Esq., Mystras Ventures

World's most powerful city: NY vs. London -- new ranking

Sorry, London: New York Is the World's Most Economically Powerful City

Richard Florida  March 3, 2015

Our new ranking puts the Big Apple firmly on top.

New York and London are both powerhouse cities, competitive in everything from fashion, music, and finance, to now even start-ups and high tech. In recent years, the long debate over which is the world’s most economically powerful city has reached something of a fever pitch. In 2012, London Mayor Boris Johnson (who was born in New York City and is, for now, still a dual citizen) debated members of the Bloomberg administration on this score. And earlier this month in London, Harvard economist and native New Yorker Edward Glaeser suggested his hometown is fast losing its status to London. Indeed, London should be congratulated for its remarkable run over the past couple of decades, even as the U.K.’s economy has sputtered.

To read the full article, please click here