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Showing posts from March 13, 2014

Crisis in Ukraine: Why Merkel matters

Unlike Barack Obama or David Cameron, she is less easy to caricature as a mouthpiece for 'the West.'

By Robert Marquand, Staff writer / March 13, 2014

German Chancellor Angela Merkel addresses the media after talks with Czech Republic's Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka in Berlin March 13, 2014.

Tobias Schwarz/Reuters


For most of the Ukrainian crisis, Germany, the country with perhaps the most strategic depth inRussia in terms of diplomatic and commercial capital, has been silent. 

German Chancellor Angela Merkel counseled “patience” on Ukraine only a few days ago. 

But Ms. Merkel, a pivotal figure in Euro-Russian matters, on Wednesday finally stepped out on the world stage – sharply warning in the German parliament against what she termed Russia’s potential “annexation” of the Crimea and saying Moscow would not “get away” with it.

Pound for pound, Merkel arguably has more strategic significance than most other leaders in what is fast becoming a seminal international moment a…

Allianz: New mega ships coming in a few years


Container ships of up to 24,000 teu will be a reality in 4-5 years, according to a new survey of safety in international shipping, which also features LNG and Arctic sailing as major risks for shipowners and insurance companies.

Published 13.03.14 at 13:09

When Maersk Line in 2013 deployed the first of its Triple-E ships, with a capacity of around 18,000 teu, the vessel represented the largest container ship to ever hit the water. And the development toward even larger ships continues, with the expectation that ships of up to 24,000 will deployed in the global container fleet within the next 4 to 5 years, says Allianz Global Corporate & Specialty SE's (AGCS) in its analysis 'Safety & Shipping Review 2014,' which maps accidents at sea involving ships of more than 100 gross tons.

And carriers as well as insurance companies face significant challenges in the coming years, says Allianz.

"Last year’s deliveries and subsequent entry-into-servi…

Pennsylvania and Veracruz consider maritime trade

March 13th, 2014

The Mexican state of Veracruz and the U.S. state of Pennslyvania could soon shift trade to a long neglected, but possibly more economical trade route.

Maritime and port representatives convened in Philadelphia this week to discuss a move from tradition terrestrial trucking to trade by cargo ship between Veracruz and the Delaware River.

Veracruz is located 1,926 nautical miles from Philadelphia.

Representative group Ship Philly First described the four-day maritime route as cheaper, faster, cleaner and safer than highway trade.

Despite the purported benefits of the route, however, there has been no regular shipping service between the two regions in an estimated 40 years.

Mexico currently participates in a reported US$10 billion in bilateral trade with the region. In 2013, Mexico received US$3.4 billion in exports, up 5% year on year, from Pennsylvania.

Imports to Pennsylvania from Mexico primarily include food and other agricultural products, textiles and fabrics. Pennsylvan…