14 Scandinavian Clothing Brands You Need to Know The Mission Workshop Khyte Sets a New Standard for Messenger Bags 12 Best Seiko Watches for Men, From Flashy to Functional Since its Kickstarter-based launch in 2014, the New York-based cycling company Priority Bicycles has cemented itself as a purveyor of low-maintenance, high-quality commuter bikes. After raising an astounding $550k and selling more than 1,200 bikes during its 30-day campaign, CEO and founder David Weiner remained focused on aggressively expanding the company, adding global delivery, creating relationships with publications, and establishing fleet partnerships. To continue this rapid expansion, Priority looked to its consumer base to help it launch the limited-time-only Priority EIGHT; a version of its flagship capable of supporting more miles than its predecessor, aggressive ride postures, and higher performance.Related: Seattle’s Beyond Clothing has layering, and survival, down to a scienceConsidering Priority’s crowdfunding inception into the biking community is unique in itself, it should come as no surprise the company continues to eschew traditional company practices by embracing a consumer-direct business model. Because of this, it’s not only able to offer its products at a fraction of the cost of larger bicycle brands but is able to listen and work directly with customers to assure it continues to provide what they desire. Creation of the EIGHT is due entirely to this production/relationship model, something Weiner says is “important” for the brand.“The endless requests that we received for this bike had been overwhelming, we couldn’t ignore the call,” says Weiner in a recent press release. “Riders wanted what we stand for — hassle free, great quality, unmatched value — in a package that could support performance, more miles, and increased agility.”At first, the Priority EIGHT was only offered to existing customers and community members (where it promptly sold out), so the company decided to opt for a re-release. This time around, the company manufactured yet another limited run yet allow non-Priority members a chance at buying one via a sign-up only campaign. Concerning the bike itself, the EIGHT features an 8-speed Shimano hub powered by a Gates Carbon Belt-Drive system, aggressive geometry, dual-piston hydraulic Tekto disc brakes, and a lightweight and rust-proof aluminum frame. All told, the bike weighs roughly 26 pounds, is compatible for performance-oriented riders up to 6’5,” and costs just $799.“With competitive products featuring similar components being sold for well over $1,400, we know we have the best value for a low hassle commuter of this caliber and quality,” Weiner continues. “We are honored that our existing customers agreed and our first round sold out so quickly.”Not often do you find a company who not only manufactures and produces high-quality merchandise, but one also committed to listening intently to its customer base’s wants and needs. Due in large part to this effort from Priority, it likely wasn’t a flash in the pan that allowed it to enjoy such wild Kickstarter success, but rather a business model (and product line) that’s built to last. Hardworking Gentlemen Offers American-Made Grooming Goods for the Everyday Man Editors’ Recommendations How to Choose the Best Organic Mattress for Greener Sleep
The 12 Best Laptop Bags for Men “Well, at least it can’t get any worse.”These days, that seems to be the mantra for most air travelers just before the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) enacts some new program that does just that. In an effort to keep us safe — or at least provide some semblance of the illusion of safety — the agency is further clamping down at airport security checkpoints around the U.S. Here’s what you need to know about — and how to prepare for — the new TSA screening.Think about the good ol’ days (read: yesterday) when you were only required to remove your laptop and liquids from your carry-on baggage. No more. The TSA now requires air travelers to remove not just laptops, but all electronics larger than a cell phone, which must be placed in a bin with nothing on top or below them. This essentially means that passenger will be required to remove anything with a battery for extra screening. The previous method often required two or three bins per person to accommodate the bevy of laptops, tablets, and liquids, even for non-tech-heads. The new method adds things like digital cameras, Bluetooth speakers, Kindles, spare batteries, and a whole lot more. Just pray you don’t get stuck behind a travel photographer.The TSA has stated that disrupting commercial aviation remains a clear target for terrorists. They continue to seek new and innovative ways to accomplish that goal, including smuggling explosive devices into smaller and smaller electronics. The ubiquity of mobile technology has created a real problem for the TSA who often struggle to adequately screen baggage with so much hardware clutter crammed into each carry-on bag.After an 18-month trial run, the new security measures are slowly rolling out in all U.S. airports; New York was added to the growing list in October. The TSA is recommending travelers arrive at least 90 minutes ahead of the scheduled departure time for domestic flights. Bank on three hours or more for international departures. For many, the only solution is to be prepared and organized before you get to the airport and to be very, very patient once there.If you’re a frequent traveler, it’s also worth looking into one of these three trusted traveler programs. Bottom line: A frequent domestic-only flyer should opt for TSA Precheck ($85 for five years). International travelers should go for Global Entry ($100 for five years), which includes all the benefits of TSA Precheck and more.Once you finally make it through airport security, treat yourself to this travel playlist: Editors’ Recommendations The MNML Leather Highlander Travel Bag Makes Short-Term Trips a Breeze Will You Need a Passport to Fly Within the U.S. Next Year? Sprint Through Airport Security With These TSA-Approved Men’s Grooming Kits What to Wear on a Red-Eye Flight: Fashionably Comfortable Apparel for the Long Haul
How to Shave With a Straight Razor The Ultimate Guide on How to Shape a Beard No one likes warm beer or warm wine. More than that, no one likes showing up to a party with a bottle that warmed up on the way over. You, frankly, look like a jerk—here is this six-pack of craft beer, now wait a half hour while it chills so you can actually drink it. No one wants to be that guy (wars have been started over less, we’re pretty sure). Thankfully, engineers at the Pittsburgh-based innovation company Deeplocal have been hard at work on a solution: Blitzen, the roof hooch chiller.The Blitzen was originally conceived of by Matthew Pegula after a trip to the liquor store. He was picking up some Prosecco for his wife, but, unfortunately, the only bottles they had were warm.“I thought, ‘Man, if I could just hang this out the window somehow, I’d have it cool by the time I got home.”The next day, he brought the idea to the other engineers at Deeplocal, describing it as a Thule with the capability to hold your booze. He even brought in his own roof rack for the engineers to look at and base a design off of.They ran with it “in the most ridiculous, over the top way possible,” and Blitzen was born.After a series of tests, they came up with the current design. The rail-like holder is attached to the top of the car through a magnet system and can hold up to a sixty-four-ounce growler. After rigorous testing, Pegula says, they found a design that is safe at all legal speeds.Speaking of speed, Pegula says this — along with the temperature outside and the temperature of the bottle — all contribute to just how fast your bottle will chill. With that in mind, Pegula says they’re already working on a plugin that could work with Google Maps to create optimal driving routes for cooling your beverages.“It might take you three miles longer to get somewhere, but it’ll ensure your wine is chilled when you arrive,” Pegula said.The Blitzen is not currently available on the market, but Deeplocal is exploring ways to open source the design so that it can be on shelves across the country soon. (If you don’t want to wait, you can always check out this backpack cooler or spend your time learning about how brands send coolers to be mauled by bears.) The Best CBD Oil and Skincare Creams for Managing Pain The Best Leg Exercises for Sculpted Calves, Quads, and More Portion Control: The Best Meal Prep Containers on the Market Editors’ Recommendations
Do You Want Your Home to Smell Like Scotch Country? How Does a Vasectomy Work: Your No-Frills Guide to Getting Snipped Editors’ Recommendations The Hypervolt massager is a cordless, hand-held massaging gun that feels as powerful as an industrial-strength jackhammer. Basically, it will unknot your tight muscles and then some.This “first-ever high intensity vibrating roller” made by Hyperice was created with the goal of allowing a cutting-edge portable massager device to be available for recreational athletes, not just Olympic studs.However, the intense power of the Hypervolt makes one wonder if the device really should be left to the pros.A high-torque motor powered by a rechargeable lithium-ion battery is set to three changeable speed settings, which might as well be labeled insane, mega-insane, and mind-altering. Whether using the Hypervolt on yourself or someone else, the power will make your arms, muscles, teeth, and brain vibrate … sometimes to the point of lethargy. In fact, the massager packs so much buzz, it’s not recommended for those with epilepsy, migraines, recent surgeries, herniated disks, or those wearing a pace-maker.So, yeah, this is a legitimate piece of massaging tech. Hyperice recommends it for professionals in the health and wellness space, including “personal trainers, massage therapists, and sports performance professionals who are constantly on the go,” but also say wellness-minded consumers can grab this Terminator gun and use it. The Best Drinks to Pair With Your Favorite Food Shows How to Support the Teachers in Your Life How to Pick the Right Suit for Your Body Type The weight of the Hypervolt (2.5 pounds, according to Hyperice) feels quite heavy and is comparable to holding an electric drill. Four interchangeable heads are provided, depending on the place you’re massaging and the type of focused pressure you like.Yes, the Hypervolt does look and feel a bit like a torture device, but you’ll get that “good pain” associated with deep tissue massage and foam rolling.“We have acquired substantial knowledge relative to vibration technology. We put all of that knowledge into the development of the Hypervolt,” says Hyperice Founder Anthony Katz. “Recovery and mobility tools are no longer used only by athletes, they have become essential for everyone from fitness enthusiasts to personal trainers and physical therapists. This was top of mind when developing this new product.”Hypervolt is even used by athletic stars like Olympic Track and Field athlete Charles Jock, CrossFit Games competitor Dave Castro, and LeBron James, who spends roughly seven figures on body care per year.Hypervolt is a fraction of that price at $350, but still a substantial chunk of cash. Using the Hypervolt can increase your range of motion, relieve stiff, painful, and sore muscles, increase circulation, and allows you to massage yourself — not an easy feat when you’re looking for intense pressure.Then again, are you really training as hard as LeBron James or just whining as much?
Avoya Recognized for Superior Sales and Innovative Consumer Travel Planning ExperienceView Avoya Travel’s Host Agency Profile Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. – January 16, 2019– Avoya Travel®, one of the world’s most innovative travel brands, has been honored with Norwegian Cruise Line’s esteemed 2018 Online Partner of the Year award. The award acknowledges Avoya’s top sales achievements and its innovative customer experience that combines cutting-edge website technology and online search with the personalized service of expert travel professionals in the Avoya Network™. This is the sixth time Norwegian Cruise Linehas named Avoya a Partner of the Year and the second time Avoya has received the Online Partner of the Year honor. The Online Partner of the Year award is one of the top travel partner distinctions given by Norwegian Cruise Line. It recognizes Avoya’s superior ability to generate customer demand for Norwegian Cruise Line through its leading marketing, technology, and Live Leads™ program that uses proprietary patented technology to successfully connect new customers with travel experts in the Avoya Network. In 2018, Avoya launched enhancements to its partnership with Norwegian Cruise Line that successfully created even more cruise bookings for Norwegian Cruise Line. Implementing new personalized, data-driven marketing campaigns; partnering on greater exclusive amenities; and promoting personalized interaction between Avoya Network members and Norwegian Cruise Line created stronger synergies. Ultimately, this helped Avoya deliver even better customer experiences and higher value to Norwegian Cruise Line guests. Avoya continues to leverage Norwegian Cruise Line’s strong brand and strengthen its partnership by supporting the company’s new collection of products. Avoya looks forward to introducing travelers to the highly anticipated Norwegian Encore in Miami and the newly refurbished Norwegian Joy that will join the popular Norwegian Bliss in offering more cruise vacations in Alaska. “Norwegian Cruise Line is pleased to recognize Avoya Travel and the elite Independent Agencies in the Avoya Network with our Online Partner of the Year award. Avoya Travel is truly best-in-class with their lead generation strategy and online innovation, technology and data intelligence,” said Camille Olivere, Senior Vice President, Norwegian Cruise Line. “We are delighted with the continued success of our partnership with Avoya Travel and look forward to strategically growing our businesses together while delivering extraordinary cruise experiences to our mutual guests.” Avoya and Norwegian Cruise Line both celebrated outstanding sales in 2018. When commending their travel Partners of the Year, Olivere credited the instrumental role Avoya had in contributing to Norwegian Cruise Line’s record year and continued success. “Avoya Travel is honored to earn Norwegian Cruise Line’s Online Partner of the Year and be acknowledged once again for providing the best vacation planning service and value to travelers,” said Jeff Anderson, Executive Vice President, Avoya Travel. “We are excited for the future of our partnership with Norwegian Cruise Line and look forward to sharing their new itineraries and ships with more travelers than ever before in 2019 and beyond.” Travel professionals who want to learn more about Avoya and joining the award-winning Avoya Network can visit: www.JoinAvoya.com. About Avoya TravelAvoya Travel is a family-owned company with a longstanding reputation for being one of the world’s most innovative marketing and travel technology companies. As an American Express Travel Representative for more than 30 years, and one of their largest sellers of cruises and tours, Avoya is deeply committed to Integrity and Professionalism™, service, and value in every aspect of planning cruises and vacations. Through an elite network of independently owned and operated travel agencies, Avoya provides exclusive discounts, amenities, and first-class customer service to travelers worldwide. Cruise lines and travel partners recognize this, as Avoya has received numerous accolades, including being repeatedly named Travel Partner of the Year by Norwegian Cruise Line, Royal Caribbean, Celebrity Cruises, Carnival Cruises, American Express, Oceania Cruises, MSC Cruises, and more. Today, Avoya is headquartered in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, with support offices throughout the United States. Travel agency owners, travel professionals, and others interested in owning and operating their own travel business should contact Avoya Travel at 800-521-2597 or visitwww.JoinAvoya.com. Travelers interested in booking their next vacation with Avoya Travel, should call 800-753-1463 or visit www.AvoyaTravel.com.
Story Highlights She said the visit, which took place in the context of the 30th Meeting of the Conference of Heads of CARICOM, “provided a wonderful opportunity to engage at the highest level on a variety of areas of strategic importance.” Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Senator the Hon. Kamina Johnson Smith, has extended condolences to those who lost loved ones in Cuba, following a tornado that hit the country on Sunday (January 27).“The Government and people of Jamaica express our deepest condolences to those who are mourning and wish a speedy recovery to the many who were in this tornado,” she said.In a speech read by the President of the Senate, Tom Tavares-Finson, Minister Johnson Smith said the tragic loss of lives, injuries and damage to the infrastructure throughout Cuba are a reminder of the vulnerability of small island states.“It is a stark reminder of the vulnerability that we share as Small Island Developing States and demonstrates the importance of the assistance granted by Cuba to countries like Jamaica in this area,” the Minister said, adding that Cuba has provided invaluable support to the region in the area of Disaster Risk Reduction and Management.The Minister’s message was read at a reception on January 31, at the Spanish Court Hotel, in Kingston, to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the Cuban Revolution National Day.Senator Johnson Smith highlighted the friendship between Jamaica and Cuba since the establishment of diplomatic relations in 1972.“Both countries have shared multiple technical cooperation initiatives over the years, in pursuance of our respective development priorities which span the areas of healthcare, education, security, sports, agriculture and culture,” she said.The Minister mentioned the visit to the island by the President of the Councils of Ministers and President of the Republic of Cuba, His Excellency Miguel Diaz-Canel, at the invitation of Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness.She said the visit, which took place in the context of the 30th Meeting of the Conference of Heads of CARICOM, “provided a wonderful opportunity to engage at the highest level on a variety of areas of strategic importance.”The Minister said that Cuba’s support to the process of nation-building across the region has been demonstrated in various other fora, such as the Association of Caribbean States, the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States and the United Nations.At the United Nations, she said that Jamaica and other CARICOM countries continue to advocate for the ending of the economic, commercial and financial embargo imposed against Cuba.“Jamaica is committed to strengthening our partnership with the beautiful and culturally rich neighbour, the Republic of Cuba, through meaningful dialogue and mutually beneficial cooperation in the years ahead,” the Minister added. “Jamaica is committed to strengthening our partnership with the beautiful and culturally rich neighbour, the Republic of Cuba, through meaningful dialogue and mutually beneficial cooperation in the years ahead,” the Minister added. Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Senator the Hon. Kamina Johnson Smith, has extended condolences to those who lost loved ones in Cuba, following a tornado that hit the country on Sunday (January 27).
Thousands of students from schools across the island are expected to converge at the Trelawny Multi-purpose Stadium in Trelawny on Friday (February 22) for the first national Jamaica Day celebration. The national activity will be a celebration of Jamaica’s culture and will feature a parade, reading of the Jamaica Day Proclamation, drumming, performances by gospel choirs, among others. Speaking at a recent JIS Think, Director of the Culture in Education Programme in the Ministry of Education, Amina Blackwood-Meeks, informed that within the stadium, “a gala will be mounted that will centre the students in the experiences that some of us had in 1962. ” “We want to build a generation that will be centered in memories that will drive their understanding of their citizenship,” she stated. Ms. Blackwood-Meeks told JIS News that the six education regions will be asked to mount displays depicting their interpretation of the Jamaica Day theme: ‘Celebrating Jamaica: I’m On It’ This interpretation, she explained, should be centered on their uniqueness, for example, “the region in which Trelawny falls, which has yam and Usain Bolt, they would have a different interpretation from the region in which St. Thomas Technical High School falls, being the place in Jamaica where the sun rises first, hence the name Golden Grove.” Agencies such as the African Caribbean Institute of Jamaica (ACIJ)/Jamaica Memory Bank; Social Development Commission (SDC); Jamaica National Heritage Trust (JNHT), Jamaica Cultural Development Commission (JCDC); National Library of Jamaica; and the Jamaica Library Service (JLS), are expected to participate. Education Outreach Officer at the ACIJ, Tracian Meikle, told JIS News that“on Jamaica Day, we will be putting on a display showcasing Jamaica’s culture.” “It will focus on persons or groups that have really fought to make Jamaica what it is today. For example, we will have a display showcasing Maroon artefacts, the period of slavery, and abolitionists, who actually fought to make us free”. The event is scheduled to start at 9:00 a.m. Aspects of the extravaganza will be transmitted live on CVM Television, which is one of the event partners. Ms. Blackwood-Meeks said that in addition to the national event, schools will be required to celebrate Jamaica Day in their own way. “But whatever we do, we want to make sure we involve our communities, the Parent-Teacher Associations (PTA) our police, our youth clubs, our churches, and so,” she stated.
Over $1 billion has been spent to improve the delivery of potable water to several communities in south eastern St. Catherine and its environs, says Minister of State in the Ministry of Local Government and Community Development, Hon. Colin Fagan.The improvements, which were completed in May 2013, fall under the Portmore Pipeline Project implemented by the National Water Commission (NWC).Mr. Fagan, who provided details during his recent Sectoral presentation in the House of Representatives, said the project involved the construction of 10 kilometres of 30-inch transmission main from the Rio Cobre pipeline in Caymanas, across Mandela Highway, along Municipal Boulevard, and to the existing Marley Hill Reservoir at Braeton.It also included reinforcement of the distribution network in Passage Fort Drive, Germaine Road, Port Henderson Drive, and Portmore Parkway.“While the inconsistent water supply has not been fully resolved, it has certainly improved. The residents in areas of Cumberland, Edgewater, Independence City, Passage Fort and Waterford, to name a few, are already experiencing the benefits of this work which was completed…two months ahead of schedule,” he said.Mr. Fagan informed that phase two of the water supply improvement exercise is underway and will see the replacement of the transmission line from Flat Bridge to Mandela Highway.“This will then be interconnected with the transmission line that was recently completed. This phase is expected to take 18 months, after which, the residents of Portmore will have consistent and reliable high-pressured quality water,” he said.Contact: Chris Patterson
Story Highlights Mr. Shaw pointed out that he commissioned the new Tax Reform Working Group, comprising representatives from major private-sector organisations and key Ministries, with the mandate to review and recommend tax policy reforms for both Customs and Tax Administration Jamaica, with a particular focus on tax compliance. The Minister was opening the 2018/19 Budget Debate in the House of Representatives, today (March 8), under the theme ‘Stability, Growth and Prosperity – Our Goal, Our Responsibility’. Minister of Finance and the Public Service, Hon. Audley Shaw, has announced that 15,106 new taxpayers were registered during the period April to December 2017, due to a compliance drive conducted by Tax Administration Jamaica (TAJ). Minister of Finance and the Public Service, Hon. Audley Shaw, has announced that 15,106 new taxpayers were registered during the period April to December 2017, due to a compliance drive conducted by Tax Administration Jamaica (TAJ).Mr. Shaw said the Tax Reform Working Group, which began under his leadership, should be praised for this number of new registered taxpayers.The Minister was opening the 2018/19 Budget Debate in the House of Representatives, today (March 8), under the theme ‘Stability, Growth and Prosperity – Our Goal, Our Responsibility’.Mr. Shaw pointed out that he commissioned the new Tax Reform Working Group, comprising representatives from major private-sector organisations and key Ministries, with the mandate to review and recommend tax policy reforms for both Customs and Tax Administration Jamaica, with a particular focus on tax compliance.He said that for the new fiscal year, the TAJ will be focusing on assisting persons who are unable to pay their taxes on time.“We are also aware of the difficulties and bureaucracy associated with paying taxes. As such, Tax Administration Jamaica has developed flexitime with staff to implement a policy of opening the most heavily trafficked offices earlier. In addition, the TAJ is in advanced stages of introducing an automated queuing system in its offices that will involve tracking of service demand and provide real-time information to allow for improved queue management,” Mr. Shaw said.He added that some other initiatives will include introducing an online banking option to make payments, integrating the National Identification System (NIDS) into the TAJ when it comes on stream, and producing interest withholding tax certificates online to facilitate easier refunds processing for pension contributions.“We also plan to implement scanners with advanced technology in Customs at our various ports of entry to reduce revenue leakage and also to increase the protection of our borders,” he said.The Minister told the House that tax arrears now stand at approximately $234 billion, inclusive of interest and penalties. Property tax arrears are also estimated at almost $14 billion.
Story Highlights “Our teachers have asked for an increase of $60,000 per annum in the book and software allowance. If this is granted, it would cost $1.7 billion,” State Minister in the Ministry of Finance and the Public Service, Hon. Rudyard Spencer, said. The Government is reiterating that in order to maintain the targeted wage to gross domestic product (GDP) ratio and remain fiscally responsible, it is unable to accede to the requests of the nation’s teachers. Mr. Spencer noted that while the Government acknowledges the need for more resources for the teachers, “there is simply no room to absorb any further increase at this time, given the imperative to get nine per cent wage to GDP”. The Government is reiterating that in order to maintain the targeted wage to gross domestic product (GDP) ratio and remain fiscally responsible, it is unable to accede to the requests of the nation’s teachers.“Our teachers have asked for an increase of $60,000 per annum in the book and software allowance. If this is granted, it would cost $1.7 billion,” State Minister in the Ministry of Finance and the Public Service, Hon. Rudyard Spencer, said.He was making a Statement during the sitting of the House of Representatives on Wednesday (March 14).Mr. Spencer noted that while the Government acknowledges the need for more resources for the teachers, “there is simply no room to absorb any further increase at this time, given the imperative to get nine per cent wage to GDP”.“We are asking our teachers to exercise patience and tolerance of the Government’s current position as we work to build a stronger, more robust and resilient economy. This would allow us to provide more in the future,” he said.“We are urging our teachers to hold strain. We know the hard work that is involved, we know the conditions under which they work. Most of all, we know their value. We truly do. We would love to grant all that our teachers ask, but we must meet the wage to GDP of nine per cent as part of our fiscal responsibility framework,” the State Minister said.Regarding the wage negotiations cycle, Mr. Spencer said all unions came up for review at the same time.He noted that given the current negotiations cycle, it is simply impossible for the Government to satisfy all the requests of each group, adding that this would derail the Government’s economic reform efforts.Mr. Spencer further argued that despite the unique set of circumstances faced by teachers, to accede to their requests at this time would mean that similar consideration would have to be given to all public-sector groups.“This forms part of the reason that a review of the negotiations schedule is necessary at this time. The current two-year cycle, with one year already gone, does not allow for the Government to do all the things that are necessary to address the unions’ claims,” Mr. Spencer said.He explained that streamlining the cycles into a four-year term would allow room for the Government to complete talks with each group independently and allow better and deeper consideration to be paid to the issues of each group of workers.Additionally, he said it would allow for better planning on both sides and for implementation of the reforms.Meanwhile, Mr Spencer said the Government is strategically trying to craft a more efficient system by which it can effectively handle the claims of each group.
Story Highlights The Government has reopened the Queen’s Warehouse at 230 Spanish Town Road, in St. Andrew, with more space added to facilitate importers. “With the reopening of this building, we can accommodate more imports, increase the Customs Agency’s storage capacity, and go into higher gear to maximise revenue for the (agency) and the Government,” said Minister without Portfolio in the Ministry of Finance and the Public Service, Hon. Fayval Williams. In a message read at the reopening on March 28 by Special Adviser at the Ministry, Viralee Lattibeaudiere, the Minister urged importers to collect their goods that have been on the port for some time. The Government has reopened the Queen’s Warehouse at 230 Spanish Town Road, in St. Andrew, with more space added to facilitate importers.The complex was closed in 2015 due to concerns by the St. Andrew Public Health Department. It has since been upgraded and cleaned for the benefit of staff and persons who use the facility.“With the reopening of this building, we can accommodate more imports, increase the Customs Agency’s storage capacity, and go into higher gear to maximise revenue for the (agency) and the Government,” said Minister without Portfolio in the Ministry of Finance and the Public Service, Hon. Fayval Williams.In a message read at the reopening on March 28 by Special Adviser at the Ministry, Viralee Lattibeaudiere, the Minister urged importers to collect their goods that have been on the port for some time.She said the Jamaica Customs Agency (JCA) is moving to become a “world-class” entity by leveraging technologies, overhauling legislation, and improving customer and employee satisfaction.Meanwhile, Commissioner of Customs, Velma Ricketts Walker, said the JCA is ranked at number five in Latin America and the Caribbean, and a competitive spirit must be part of its culture, so that it can be a global leader.The Commissioner said during the 2018/2019 financial year, the JCA will be “intensifying our border protection capabilities, driving our operational efficiencies in all areas, improving technological advancement, and expanding our stakeholder engagement.”
zoom The Port Equipment Manufacturers Association (PEMA) has published an information paper on container weighing technologies – a timely resource for the ports industry following the IMO’s recent decision on a mandatory worldwide system for verifying container weights.“Container weighing is an increasingly hot topic in the global shipping industry and recent legislation passed by the IMO indicates that ports worldwide will have an increasingly critical role to play in checking and verifying container weights,” notes Ottonel Popesco, PEMA President.Following much international debate on the best approach to reduce the incidence of misdeclared and overweight containers, on September 20 the International Maritime Organization (IMO) finally approved a compromise proposal for verifying the weight of containers before they are loaded onto ships. The new regulations will make container weighing compulsory, or to have their weight otherwise calculated.PEMA’s new report, entitled Weighing Containers in Ports and Terminals, provides ports, terminal operators and other interested parties with information about the port-based container weighing technologies and systems that are currently available and their relative capabilities to accurately verify container weights.The paper covers both weighbridges and weighing systems for use on various container handling equipment, including ship-to-shore container cranes, mobile harbour cranes, RTGs, RMGs, straddle carriers, reach stackers and container handling forklift trucks. The document includes a table summarising the various technologies and their accuracy.Weighing Containers in Ports and Terminals is the fifth information paper to be published by PEMA, following previous papers covering topics such as RFID, Environmental Technologies, Container Yard Automation and OCR.A sixth information paper on electrification of RTG cranes is due for imminent publication.PEMA, October 9, 2013
zoom Nordic American Tankers (NAT) announced today that it is coordinating the establishment of Nordic American Offshore Ltd. (NAO), a new company that plans to purchase, on certain conditions, six platform supply vessels (PSVs). These ships were built in 2012 and 2013 by the Ulstein Group in Norway. The strategy of NAO is expected to be essentially the same as for NAT with dividend as an important element.Nordic American Offshore is expected to undertake a private equity placement to finance at least 80% of the acquisition price of these vessels. 20% or less of the cost is expected to be financed via debt.NAT and Ulstein Shipping AS will participate in the private placement with 15%/20% and 5% respectively. The NAT investment is planned to be about $50 million.The establishment of Nordic American Offshore and the NAT investment in the new company do not in any way constitute a departure from NAT’s commitment to a homogenous Suezmax tanker fleet. There will be no change as to how NAT operates its business, including how it determines quarterly dividends from its fleet of Suezmax tankers. Nordic American Offshore will seek listing on the New York Stock Exchange as soon as possible.Because of the investment in NAO and as Manager of Nordic American Offshore, the objective for Nordic American Tankers is to pay a higher dividend to NAT shareholders than otherwise would be the case. The new company will have existing contracts in place for several of these vessels and spot charters for the remainder. As with NAT, NAO can be expected to operate on a cash break-even basis that is highly competitive within the industry.“The establishment of Nordic American Offshore with a capital contribution from NAT is a move with the objective to increase the dividend payments to shareholders of Nordic American Tankers,” said NAT Chairman and CEO Herbjørn Hansson. “We have significant expertise in the offshore sector, and we think this new offshore business venture will help maximize total return to NAT shareholders. We wish to extract cost synergies and to leverage the NAT customer relationship in the energy business. Our presence in the US capital market will also help us to achieve our objectives for this new project.”Nordic American Tankers, November 1, 2013; Image: Ulstein
zoom Inmarsat, a provider of global mobile satellite communications services, appointed Addvalue Technologies and Cobham SATCOM as manufacturing partners for Fleet One, the company’s new voice and data satellite service designed specifically for the maritime leisure and fishing community.Addvalue and Cobham will each manufacture a terminal for Fleet One, which is due to enter commercial serviceduring the second quarter of 2014.“Addvalue and Cobham are long-standing, trusted partners of Inmarsat and today’s appointment represents an expansion of the partnership between our respective companies,” said Frank Coles, President, Inmarsat Maritime. “Both companies have a proven history of manufacturing highly reliable terminals, supporting a range of Inmarsat services and we are pleased to have them join us as we prepare to unveil Fleet Onein Q2.”Fleet One will be the latest addition to Inmarsat’s L-band portfolio. The new service has been designed to meet the particular communications needs of leisure mariners, day boaters and sport and coastal fisherman, providing uninterrupted, near-shore voice and data connectivity. 此页面无法正确加载 Google 地图。您是否拥有此网站？确定 Print Close My location Inmarsat, February 18, 2014
zoom Japanese shipping company Mitsui O.S.K. Lines has today taken delivery of the coal carrier Shin Yahagi Maru at Imari Shipyard and Works of Namura Shipbuilding.The vessel, which was jointly developed by Namura Shipbuilding and MOL, will serve Chubu Electric Power’s thermal power plants under a new long-term consecutive voyage service contract.According to MOL, the vessel is a state-of-the-art coal carrier with a wide-beam/shallow-draft configuration and wide range of advanced safety and energy-saving features.The vessel is so-called “Hekinan MAX”, featuring 250 meters length to maximize transport volume to the discharging port, Chubu Electric Power’s Hekinan Thermal Power Plant.The new vessel succeeds the Yahagi Maru, a coal carrier that served Chubu Electric Power for 21 years starting in 1992.
zoom The Long Beach Board of Harbor Commissioners has approved an USD 829 million budget for the Harbor Department’s next fiscal year, including more than a half a billion dollars for capital improvements at the Port of Long Beach, one of the busiest ports on the US Pacific coast.The budget, which will be presented to the Long Beach City Council for its consideration, designates USD 555 million for capital investments including the port’s major terminal redevelopment and bridge replacement projects.For the fiscal year starting October 1, 2015, the budget anticipates a 6.1 percent increase in operating revenue over the current fiscal year’s income.Also, the newly approved budget includes the anticipated transfer of USD 17.74 million to the City of Long Beach’s Tidelands Operating Fund, which is used for beachfront improvements in Long Beach.”Our goal is to build upon the success of the Port of Long Beach by attracting new trade, and with that, new jobs, to Long Beach and the region,” said Harbor Commission President Doug Drummond. ”We are moving forward with important improvements that will help this community, by building a greener, more efficient Port of Long Beach.”The biggest pieces of the capital improvement budget are the ongoing Gerald Desmond Bridge Replacement Project and the Middle Harbor Redevelopment. Other improvements include sewer and street projects, dredging and rail improvements.The budget also includes funds for planning activities for the Port’s ‘Energy Island’ concept of enhancing energy security and sustainability, and for ongoing improvements as part of the ”supply chain optimization” efforts to boost efficiency at the San Pedro Bay ports.
zoom Greece-based gas carrier operator TMS Cardiff Gas Ltd. has signed a contract with Hyundai Heavy Industries of Korea for the construction of two 78,700 cbm LPG carriers with the option to build another two. The vessels are scheduled for delivery in Q2 and Q3 2017, when they will enter into timecharter contracts with Shell International Trading and Shipping Company, Limited, the company said.The vessels will be able to transit the new and old Panama canal, providing for increased flexibility compared to the market’s current VLGC fleet and will be built to the highest industry specifications.“These orders mark the group’s successful entry into the LPG sector, which further grows its already significantly diversified global shipping fleet,” the company added.TMS Cardiff Gas Ltd. was established in 2011 as part of the TMS Group of related shipping companies to manage the group’s gas fleet and operations. The company manages a fleet of five in the water LNG carriers and two VLGC newbuilds.
zoom Danish shipping company J. Lauritzen has completed the sale of its stake in Hafnia Tankers Ltd. as the company decided to abandon the product tanker and offshore service segments during the first quarter of 2016.The company also sold its stake in Axis Offshore Pte. Ltd., which is scheduled to be completed in the third quarter of 2016.The shares owned in the two companies were sold to LF Investment, a company fully-owned by Lauritzen Fonden, the company said, adding that these were “non-strategic assets” for J. Lauritzen.In February 2016, the Oslo-listed company secured a cash injection of some USD 19 million from Lauritzen Fonden in order to strengthen J. Lauritzen’s balance sheet and improve its cash position.The transactions provided J. Lauritzen with additional cash of USD 125 million during 2016 as the assets have a combined book value of USD 105.9 million.“Previously advised transfers of certain non-strategic assets and obligations to LF Investment ApS were largely completed during Q1. These transactions have together with a capital injection strengthened our balance sheet and improved our cash position,” Jan Kastrup-Nielsen, President and CEO said.“Dry cargo markets remained under severe pressure and on average Q1 reached an unprecedented low level, whereas the gas carriers performed largely as expected,” he added.During the first quarter of 2016, J. Lauritzen reported a net loss of USD 8.3 million against a net loss of USD 27 million seen in the same period a year earlier.EBITDA for the first three months amounted to USD 17.2 million against USD 9.5 million in the first quarter of 2015, mainly attributed to dry bulk market developments.Total operating loss for the quarter amounted to USD 25.6 million compared to a loss of USD 20.3 million in same period in 2015.Regarding the outlook for 2016, the company said that “the full year estimate is unchanged. For the remainder of the year there is still a high degree of uncertainty related mainly to the development in the dry bulk segment and hence to the global economy in general. Currency and interest rate fluctuations as well as effects from sale of assets, if any, may impact the result.”J. Lauritzen held a 5.3 percent stake in Hafnia Tankers, which operates a fleet of some 35 tankers, ten of which were bought from J. Lauritzen in October 2013.
zoom Italian shipbuilding major Fincantieri has marked a turning point in the first quarter of 2016, returning to the black from losses that were pressuring the shipbuilder’s results from the second half of 2015.Profit before extraordinary and non-recurring income and expenses was EUR 5 million (USD 5.7 million), improving from a net loss of EUR 21 million in the first quarter of 2015. EBITDA was EUR 51 million against EUR 59 million in the corresponding quarter of 2015, with an EBITDA margin of 4.9% compared to 5.3% in Q1 2015.“Today we are presenting a solid set of quarterly results that mark a turning point from the second half of 2015, with which Fincantieri left behind the industry’s longest period of crisis, showing a clear recovery in operating and economic performance,” said Giuseppe Bono, Fincantieri’s Chief Executive Officer.Profit for the period was EUR 0.3 million against a net loss of EUR 27 million at 31 March 2015.During the first three months of 2016, the group was awarded EUR 713 million in new orders, compared to EUR 85 million in the corresponding period of 2015, with a book-to-bill ratio (order intake/revenue) of 0.7 (0.1 at 31 March 2015).The shipbuilding segment accounted for 90% of the quarter’s order intake before consolidation adjustments (53% in the first quarter of 2015), the offshore segment for 10% (35% in the first quarter of 2015) and the equipment, systems and services segment for 28% (29% in the first quarter of 2015). “We have managed and developed our business with determination in the first few months of 2016, finalizing major agreements, including those with Carnival Corporation and Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings for the Regent Seven Seas Cruises brand. The backlog at 31 March demonstrates the group’s ability to continuously transform into firm contracts the major commercial negotiations that a year ago, being still in progress, were included in the soft backlog. The total backlog remains at record levels, having exceeded EUR 19 billion at the end of the first quarter,” Bono added.“The important operational and economic objectives achieved in the first few months of 2016 allow us to confirm the Business Plan’s targets in terms of revenue growth, increased profitability, cash generation and shareholder remuneration.”Since the beginning of the year, Fincantieri delivered three cruise ships, including two prototypes, namely the Koningsdam for Holland America Line and the Carnival Vista for Carnival Cruise Lines, which were delivered in the same week at two different yards. Several naval and offshore vessels were also delivered during the quarter. Overall, the deliveries in the first four months of 2016 generated cash inflows totaling some EUR 1.9 billion.For the remainder of 2016, the group confirmed the guidance for 2016 outlined in the Business Plan 2016-2020, i.e. revenue growth of 4-6%, an EBITDA margin of around 5% and a positive net result.As for the shipbuilding segment, the solid results for the first quarter of 2016 support the company’s expectation of margins recovery in the remainder of the year from the levels seen in the final quarters of 2015.As for the offshore segment, 2016 is still characterized by a widespread and protracted market crisis entailing problems for all industry players, with a significant number of OSV owners embarking on restructuring processes with a consequent rise in counterparty risk. To confront this market situation, the subsidiary VARD is carrying on the actions to diversify and reorganize itself and is now working with clients and financial institutions to secure the current order book, Fincantieri said.Finally, the company’s equipment, systems and services segment is expected not only to see further growth in volumes in 2016, but also to confirm the positive margins recorded in the previous year.
zoom Singapore-based shipbuilder Keppel Offshore and Marine Limited (KOM) has been served with a summons within a civil action lawsuit filed by the eight funds managed by EIG Management Company (EIG) before the New York District Court for alleged racketeering.“This new lawsuit comes after an earlier civil action commenced by EIG and eight of its managed funds in the United States District Court, District of Columbia against, among others, the company and KOM was dismissed on March 30, 2017,” Keppel Corporation said on Wednesday.EIG launched the first legal case in 2016 on the grounds of an alleged conspiracy that led to EIG’s investment of USD 221 million in Sete Brasil Participacoes SA, a drillship contractor from Brazil which was involved in a bribery scheme with Petrobras and Keppel.The new lawsuit was filed pursuant to the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) and is said to be targeting USD 660 million in compensation claims.The case is linked to the bribery scheme KOM was embroiled in related to the Brazilian failed drillship venture.In order to settle the bribery charges in the United States, Brazil and Singapore, Keppel Offshore & Marine agreed to pay a penalty of over USD 422 million in December 2017.The settlement brought closure to the investigations into one decade-long corrupt payments made by a former Brazil-based agent of KOM.As disclosed by the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) in December, KOM and its US subsidiary KOM USA paid over USD 50 million in bribes to Brazilian officials, which secured the companies USD 350 million of profit.Specifically, payments were made to officials of Brazilian state-run oil company, Petroleo Brasileiro S.A. (Petrobras), and other parties, in order to win contracts with Petrobras and/or its related companies, the DOJ investigation found.Keppel Corporation said that the new lawsuit was without merit and that KOM would “vigorously defend itself”.Further updates on the matter would be provided when available, the company added.World Maritime News Staff