Both of Huntington Ingalls Industries’ major shipyards – Newport News Shipbuilding in Virginia and Ingalls Shipbuilding in Mississippi – are reporting significant spikes in new COVID-19 cases. NNS announced 44 new cases over the past two days, bringing its total to 340. Ingalls Shipbuilding reported 28 new cases on Wednesday, bringing its cumulative total to 230.
The yards are critical to the U.S. Navy. Ingalls supplies amphibs and Arleigh Burke-class destroyers, the workhorses of the surface fleet. NNS is the world’s only builder of nuclear-powered carriers, and it is currently working on delivering the next-generation Ford class. They have remained open despite the challenges of the COVID-19 era, and NNS president Jennifer Boykin said Wednesday that that will not change.
“At the beginning of the pandemic, we made a lot of changes in a relatively short period of time . . . we’ve since learned that COVID-19 will likely be with us until a vaccine changes the spread. This is the hard reality we are all dealing with,” said Boykin. “The only way to totally stop exposure to the virus in the shipyard would be to close our doors for the foreseeable future. With that comes unemployment for 25,000 shipbuilders, a delay in Navy ship production, and the potential loss of future work. The ramifications of doing something so extreme will impact our community and our nation longer than this virus ever could. My responsibility is to balance how to keep the business operational while doing all we can to slow the spread of the virus.”
In keeping with input from the workforce and guidelines from the CDC, she said, NNS will resume its three-shift schedule instead of its temporary two-shift arrangement effective August 16. “Our operations will appropriately evolve as we learn more about the virus,” she said in a message to the yard’s workforce.
The outbreak at Ingalls Shipbuilding – one of Mississippi’s largest employers – has drawn high level attention from the state’s government. “You know, it only takes an outbreak of that magnitude and that size, if you have 100 new patients and 17 of them need to be hospitalized, it can take up all the ICU beds in a county . . . very very quickly, so I am concerned by it, and we are continuing to monitor the situation,” said Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves at a press conference Wednesday.
Fire at Newport News Shipbuilding
On Monday, Newport News also had a shipboard fire to contend with. A blaze broke out in one compartment aboard the new aircraft carrier John F. Kennedy at the yard’s Pier 3. The fire was put out quickly and was contained to the single compartment where it originated, but it did produce heavy smoke, NNS president Jennifer Boykin said.
“I want to thank everyone who responded [Monday]. Your quick thinking and prompt actions kept people safe, prevented injuries and minimized damage to the ship. You have my commitment that we will learn from this, and we will share our lessons learned – not just at NNS – but across all Navy shipyards,” she said.
The incident follows shortly after the devastating fire aboard the USS Bonhomme Richard at Naval Base San Diego, which left the vessel so damaged that it is uncertain whether it will be economical to repair. The Navy has ordered commanders across the fleet to review their firefighting preparedness and fire safety protocols.
The USS Kennedy was christened in December and is in pre-commissioning with a Navy crew.
A massive fire broke out at the Port of Beirut on Thursday, incinerating a warehouse full of tires and oil within the port’s free zone. The same area was heavily damaged in the ammonium nitrate explosion that leveled the central port area and the adjacent waterfront on August 4. According to Lebanon’s civil defense agency, […]
Over the course of the past five days, the Australian Maritime Safety Authority arranged a medical intervention for an injured aboard a freighter in the Indian Ocean. On Saturday evening, the Spliethoff tweendecker Dolfijngracht called for assistance while under way about 1,000 nauical miles off the coast of Western Australia. A crewmember had sustained serious […]
The naval forces of the US and Bahrain recently staged a joint force training exercise which showcased the interoperability between coalition warships operating I the Arabian Gulf. Coalition Task Force Sentinel executed combined exercise Sentinel Shield supporting Sentry and Sentinel patrols in the coalition’s area of operations. The guided-missile destroyer USS John Paul Jones and […]
DSV Belgium has solid experience in the transport of pharmaceutical products for different customers. With a pharma hub based at Brussels Airport a lot of experience and know-how has been built up over the years. Last weekend, the forwarder handled one hundred million mouth masks, an important milestone for its Belgian organisation that has put […]
The U-Freight Group (UFL), with its considerable involvement in eCommerce logistics, says that the latest statistics showing that global e-commerce sales hit $25.6 trillion in 2018 are a further vindication of its decision to enter this sector of the international freight market several years ago. The latest available estimates, up 8% from 2017, were recently […]
The UK government’s new post-Brexit tariff regime will result in both winners and losers. The new regime is set to replace the European Union’s Common External Tariff from the end of the Brexit Transition Period on December 31, 2020. The UK’s commitment to the ongoing Brexit process and ending the UK’s transition from EU membership […]
Astral Aviation has increased its intra-African network with cargo freighters during the pandemic. While there has been a reduction in capacity to, from, and within Africa, which has been caused by a stoppage of passenger flights and limited frequencies on freighter aircraft, Astral Aviation continues to operate cargo freighters from its Nairobi hub to 13 destinations […]
The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has released a Marine Accident Brief about an accident that occurred on April 15, 2019, involving the towing vessel DeJeanne Maria which struck the end of a submerged dredge pipeline while pushing two spud barges to the Gulf of Mexico. The incident occurred on the Mississippi River in Pass […]
With close to 100 daily cargo flights operated to a destination network spanning more than 65 cities across six continents, Emirates SkyCargo is delivering essential supplies and commodities to people around the world. The air cargo carrier is currently operating 11 Boeing 777 freighter aircraft, each with a capacity to transport about 100 tonnes of […]
Best known as a leading passenger airport serving Germany’s most populated federal state North Rhine-Westphalia, Düsseldorf has become transformed into a vital distribution point, during the COVID 19 pandemic, for medical equipment and other life-saving goods, mostly from China. Gerton Hulsman, managing director of cargo operations, reports that the handling teams are working hard to […]
Operators can continue to use pilots and other crew members who have unable to comply with certain training, recent experience, testing, and checking requirements due to the COVID-19 outbreak in support of essential operations. Additionally, this Special Federal Aviation Regulation (SFAR) provides regulatory relief to certain persons and pilot schools unable to meet duration and […]
Emirates SkyCargo has expanded its weekly scheduled cargo flight operations to cover 75 destinations across six continents. Through its wider reach, Emirates SkyCargo is able to transport essential commodities and other urgently needed cargo more rapidly across the world, allowing exporters and importers across markets to benefit from direct access to widebody cargo capacity. Some […]
Global commercial aviation charter company Albion Aviation Group is reporting that it is seeing a considerable uptake in its professional cargo broker training courses from the current global pandemic crisis and surge in charter demand. “We have completed a number webinar courses for a whole of host of companies, looking to manage their own cargo […]
The First DP2, Twin-Hulled SOV in the World, NB72 Groene Wind met the Sea on September 29. 2020 in Yalova, Turkey. The Groene Wind will be directly chartered to Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy for the maintenance of the Rentel and Mermaid & Seastar (known as SeaMade) offshore wind farms in Belgium. This is the first DP2, […]
Callan Marine is serving as the prime contractor to the Texas Department of Transportation for a maintenance dredging project located at the Bolivar Ferry Terminal, in Galveston, Texas. Work began in May and is estimated to be complete in late July 2020. The project consists of the removal of 600,000 cubic yards of material and […]
Network Airline Management and TAAG Angola Airlines are pleased to announce the renewal of their long-term freighter aircraft contract by an additional 12 months, sealing an ongoing partnership for the foreseeable future. Operating a regular weekly scheduled service from Liege, Belgium, to the capital of Angola, Luanda, Network Airline Management provides a Boeing 747-400F aircraft […]