The union that represents the pilots that guide ships from the Gulf of Mexico along the Lower Mississippi River to New Orleans has filed a formal request for a 28 percent pay increase along with improvements in their working conditions. The more than 100-year-old Crescent River Port Pilots Association represents the 122 pilots who guide everything from cargo ships and tankers to cruise ships on the more than 100 miles upriver to New Orleans.
According to documents obtained by The Advocate newspaper in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, the pilot’s union is petitioning the Louisiana Pilotage Fee Commission, which oversees pilotage on the rivers and set fees, for the wage increase along with an annual cost of living adjustment. The union also seeks to increase its membership to 150 pilots to manage increased traffic, stress, and fatigue. The newspaper reports that the average pilot’s annual wage is more than $525,000 and the union wants the average to increase to nearly $700,000 annually.
According to the Advocate newspaper report, the Lower Mississippi pilots earn as much as a quarter less than the pilots responsible for navigating the river between New Orleans and Baton Rouge. The union says that its members are entitled to wage parity with their colleagues, as they have the same experience and skills and work on an extremely challenging section of the river vital to commerce.
Crescent Pilots on their website discuss the challenges that their members face, citing the fact that they guide vessels of varying shapes and sizes, each with different handling characteristics. They say that piloting ships on the Mississippi River is always challenging, and additional factors like fog, thunderstorms, swift currents, and the volume of traffic add to the challenges of supervising a safe passage on the river. The river, the pilots say, is rated as one of the most difficult and treacherous routes in North America, requiring knowledge of the local currents, tides, shoals, aids-to-navigation, landmarks, and weather conditions. On average, Crescent Pilots say the members log over 16,000 turns and transport nearly 560 million tons of cargo on the Mississippi River each year.
The primary groups the pilots serve are the broad range of commercial vessels transporting oil, gas, and chemical cargoes as well as other commercial freight. Normally, the river is also busy with a broad range of cruise ships and passenger vessels, which however are currently not operating due to the pandemic.
According to the newspaper’s report, the commercial shippers as well as the cruise industry are all opposing the raise citing the current economic challenges. The Advocate quotes the head of the Chemical Association as reporting more than an eight percent decline in river traffic in 2019 and early indications of a further seven percent decline this year. The union counters citing its own numbers showing substantial increases over the past seven years. The state’s lieutenant governor however told the newspaper that he supports the pay increase as both reasonable and necessary.
The commission overseeing the pilot’s activities will begin a process of review and taking testimony before an opinion is given to the commissions on the validity of the pilot’s request. A final decision could take more than a year.
Go to Source
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
Qatar Airways Cargo transported 56 SkyCell containers with vaccines from one of the largest vaccine manufacturers worldwide on its scheduled freighter and belly-hold cargo flights for its customer, CEVA Logistics. The 54-tonne shipment consisting of pneumococcal and varicella vaccines were flown from Brussels to Mumbai via the carrier’s hub in Doha on two separate flights. […]