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Port Vs Starboard

To navigate the open ocean safely, it is important to understand a ship’s location and orientation in relation to other objects (especially other ships). Thus, mariners use terms like “port” and “starboard” to communicate with each other and other vessels. These two terms have a long history in the maritime industry, but their meanings and […]

Free Trade Zone Vs Foreign Trade Zone

Cargo ships at a large port (Free Trade vs Foreign Trade Zone)

The terms “foreign trade zone” and “free trade zone” are often used interchangeably in the logistics industry, but they are not the same. The most significant difference between a foreign-trade zone and a free-trade zone lies in the location and the manufacturing process. Knowing the difference between the two can mean reduced costs, minimized bureaucratic […]

How Do Heavy-Lift Ships Work?

heavy lift ship (How do heavy lift ships work)

What is a Heavy-lift Ship? The heavy-lift ship is a cargo vessel that is designed to load and transport heavy, non-standardized cargoes that cannot be disassembled into smaller parts. There are several types of heavy-lift ships: semi-submersible ships, project cargo ships, open-deck cargo ships, and dock ships. The concept of heavy-lift ships (also known as […]

C1-D Visa: Who Needs It, and How Long Does It Last?


The C1-D is a combination visa for people who need to board a ship as a crew member and must travel through the U.S. to get to the vessel. The visa permits temporary stays, up to 29 days, in the United States as part of their employment. What is a C1-D Visa? ​The C1-D visa […]

Understanding Levelized Cost of Energy

Graphic titled "Understanding Levelized Cost of Energy" with a person pointing to a paper with graphs on it

There’s a term that you are sure to hear around the renewable energy industry- Levelized cost of energy (LCOE). Whether you read it in a magazine article or hear about it on the news, the LCOE is one of the most commonly used power generation metrics. Still, while this phrase is used all over the […]

Show ‘em Your Larboard Side: How Your Favorite Nautical Term Went Out of Fashion

Overhead image of a ship indicated the larboard and starboard sides

Show ’em Yer Larboard Side! ​Perhaps you’ve heard the term “larboard” shouted at the top of the old seafarer’s lungs in your favorite historical drama film. Maybe, like many other tourists from around the world, you know it from the now-defunct scene inside Disneyland’s “Pirates of the Caribbean” ride. For 51 years an animatronic auctioneer […]

Understanding Navigation Permits and Cabotage Law in Mexico


What is Cabotage? ​Cabotage refers to the transportation of goods or passengers between two places in the same country by a transport operator from another country. Cabotage law applies to merchant ships in most countries that have a coastline. It’s a way for countries to protect their domestic shipping industries from foreign competition, preserve domestically […]

An Overview on B1 OCS Visas

Cargo ship arriving at port (B1 OCS VISAS)

B1 OCS Visas and the OCS ​The Outer Continental Shelf (OCS), which spans the area that lies between North America and the deep ocean, is a critical location when it comes to the production of natural resources. With the OCS divided into four regions (Gulf of Mexico, Atlantic, Pacific, and Alaska), there are thousands of […]

Why FIRMS Codes Are Crucial During Your Cargo Importation Process

Overhead view of a port (FIRMS codes)

What Are FIRMS Codes?​ Facilities Information and Resources Management System (FIRMS) codes are four-digit identifiers consisting of both numbers and alphabetical letters, assigned by the United States Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to manage customs bonded facilities. The alpha-numeric code represents the exact location of imported cargo in the United States. How Are FIRMS Codes […]

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