COS Weekly News - Friday, 15 January 2021

COS Weekly News - Friday, 15 January 2021

‍COS Weekly Newsletter - Friday, 15 January 2021  

‍Local News

Province of BC invests $25M in Port of Prince Rupert

The Port of Prince Rupert will benefit from a provincial investment of $25 million provincial investment that is earmarked to help improve and expand operations at the Port. The investment will support regional businesses and expand infrastructure at the Ridley Island Export Logistics Platform. The project, spanning more than 28 hectares (70 acres), will create a platform to enhance the port’s capacity for transloading BC and western Canadian natural resource products for containerized export by sea to international markets. Once built, this new platform will increase the port’s export transloading capacity from 75,000 twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs) to over 400,000 TEUs annually. The completed project will come with new and updated rail tracks and dedicated roadways to and from the Fairview Container Terminal. It will also feature new offloading and storage facilities plus related large-scale equipment. The project is expected to provide substantive economic benefits, including supporting regional businesses and creating 200 jobs in transloading, plus an additional 2,000 jobs in areas such as warehousing, longshore work and trucking.

SS Master to be Restored for 100th birthday

British Columbia's last wooden, steam-powered tug boat, SS Master, is getting a boat-lift at Seaspan's Vancouver Shipyards in North Vancouver. Seaspan has offered 10 of its workers to help restore the 85-foot long tug that weighs 225 tons over a two week period and this will complete about 20 per cent of the work that is needed.  Built in 1922, she contributed to BC's economic development first in the logging industry and later in the coal trade until retiring from service in 1959.  The SS Master still bears the Marpole Towing Co. colours that consist of black diamonds on a white band on an orange stack.  The World Ship Society of Western Canada bought her in 1985 for $500, with the idea of rescuing and restoring the Master “as a tribute to the tug boat industry of B.C.,” said the S.S. Master Society.  The Society is fundraising $2.5 million to complete the restoration and once she has been restore she will be towed back to the Britannia Shipyards National Historical Site in Steveston.

Survey finds Canadians Support Decreasing Trade with China

A survey conducted by Nanos Research and commissioned by CTV News suggests that Canadians are four times more likely to support decreasing trade ties with China, compared to those who support increased trade with the country. The survey asked 1,048 Canadian adults what Canada’s future trade relationship with China should be and 45 per cent responded that they believe Canada should decrease trade, while just 10 per cent said Canada should increase it. Additionally, 28 per cent of respondents said trade ties should remain the same, while another 17 per cent were unsure. When broken down by region, those in Ontario (46.6 per cent) and British Columbia (46.6 per cent) were most likely to suggest a decrease in trade with China, while 36.4 per cent of people in Quebec believe trade should remain at the current level.

Pinnacle Renewable Energy Extends Pellet Contract with Mitsubishi through 2023

Pinnacle Renewable Energy has extended its industrial pellet contract with Mitsubishi Corp., to supply a biomass power plant in Japan until at least 2023. Mitsubishi is expected to buy 80,000 to 90,000 tonnes a year. With its export terminal at Prince Rupert, Pinnacle has become the second largest pellet producer in the world, and has nine pellet production facilities.

Government News

Transport Canada issues Ship Safety Bulletin on MLC obligations

Transport Canada has issued Ship Safety Bulletin #01/2021 - Maximum period of service on board and repatriating seafarers during COVID-19 to remind ship owners and operators of the obligations under the Maritime Labour Convention, 2006 (MLC 2006) and Transport Canada's responsibilities for enforcing these requirements through its Port State Control inspection regime.  MLC 2006 requires foreign vessels operating in Canadian waters to ensure that each crew member holds a valid Seafarer Employment Agreement and that the term of agreement is no longer than 11 months from the date of joining the vessel.  However, recognizing the global challenges effecting crew changes, the Ship Safety Bulletin outlines what will be required during an inspection in view of the exceptional circumstances attributed to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Transport Canada Adding New Surveillance Drone to its Fleet

Transport Canada has purchased a new surveillance drone, which is set to enter service in 2023. The drone will act as part of Transport Canada’s National Aerial Surveillance Program, and will have the ability to detect oil spills, survey ice and marine habitats, monitor shipping and help with search and rescue, humanitarian efforts and illegal fishing enforcement. The $36.1 million contract also includes communication links, ground control stations, sensor packages, training and the optional purchase of spare parts. The Hermes 900 StarLiner is a medium-altitude, long-endurance drone capable of operations as far as 72 degrees north, roughly the same latitude as Pond Inlet, and has a flying range of approximately 2,600 kilometers. The unmanned aircraft has a 17-meter wingspan, making it a bit smaller than a Twin Otter. The funds used to purchase the drone come from the Oceans Protection Plan.

Cabinet Shuffle Brings Change to Transport Portfolio

Today, the Prime Minister announced changes to Cabinet positions in response to the planned departure of the Honourable Navdeep Bains and the potential for a Federal election in 2021. After a long tenure as the Minister of Transport, Minister Marc Garneau becomes the Minister of Foreign Affairs, while Minister François-Philippe Champagne shifts to the Innovation, Science and Industry portfolio. Omar Alghabra is appointed the Minister of Transport having served as the Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister and to the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs. He is widely regarded as capable and astute at dealing with complex files without fanfare. While the political staff of Ministers often move with their Minister during a shuffle, we understand that some of the political staff will remain in the transportation portfolio.

Federal carbon tax system could hit Saskatchewan farmers hard

The Agricultural Producers Association of Saskatchewan (APAS), Saskatchewan’s largest farm group, has indicated that the recently announced increases to the federal carbon tax will take hundreds of millions of dollars out of farmers' pockets by 2030. The impact could be serious enough to put some of them out of business. The new carbon levy, announced in December, would see the cost gradually rise to $170 per tonne on fossil fuels, up from the current $40 per tonne, as part of the federal government's goal of gradually reducing the country’s greenhouse gas emissions. While farmers get some exemptions on fuels they use, a lot is not covered and weather changes from year to year could have a significant impact on the amount of propane and natural gas required to ensure a good harvest with little waste. APAS indicated that the farmers cannot pass the higher costs onto their customers because most of their crops are sold in international markets where their competitors will not face a similar tax.

US News

Ships Experiencing Long Wait Times Due to Cargo Delays

Port delays have resulted in more than 40 cargo ships lined up waiting to get into the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, an indication that backlogs that are hampering U.S. importers at the country’s main trade gateways. A surge in shipping volumes that began in late summer and rose during the holiday season has continued  as retailers and manufacturers try to rebuild inventories that were depleted at the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic. The backlogs have left many retailers waiting weeks for goods stuck on ships at sea or at the port, hitting small and medium-size companies with lean operations particularly hard. While port employees are working as hard as possible to clear the delays, they are also finding time to undergo testing for COVID-19, disinfecting equipment between shifts, and a growing number of employees are calling in sick. The import surge is expected to continue this year amid shortages of shipping capacity and equipment, including chassis and empty containers.

International News

Maersk and The Ocean Cleanup Extend Partnership

Maersk and The Ocean Cleanup have extended their partnership by three more years. The Ocean Cleanup's mission is to develop advanced technologies to rid the world’s oceans of plastic. To achieve this goal, they aim to stop the inflow via rivers and clean up that has already accumulated in the ocean. Its ultimate goal is reaching a 90% reduction of floating ocean plastic by 2040. The extended partnership will see Maersk continue to provide support with vessel operations and offshore project management, and Maersk will now support The Ocean Cleanup with logistics end-to-end handling services, ranging from worldwide shipment from different locations to airfreight, container & special transport, customs clearance and warehouse and storage management.

Australia implements Emergency Measures for Khapra Beetle

On December 21, 2020, Australia notified the World Trade Organization of details for Phase 6 emergency measures that add to existing safeguards against the entry, establishment, and spread of the Khapra beetle and apply to sea containers.  The measures will be implemented in two steps and the initial step would require FCL/FCX containers from targeted risk countries to be treated offshore using fumigation with methyl bromide, heat treatment, or insecticide spray.  Canada is not a target risk country and will not be impacted by Phase 6A.  The next phase will commence in late 2021 and will include measures for a broader range of containers.

LNG charter sets record

In a record-breaking deal, BP has chartered the ship LNG Abalamabie for $350,000 per day. It is the most expensive cargo-ship charter in history, surpassing the $300,000-per-day peak previously recorded in the very large crude carrier (VLCC) segment.  The price of liquefied natural gas (LNG) and shipping rates have hit record highs because of the bottleneck, supply constraints and heavy demand from Asia, where freezing weather has placed the energy supply system under strain. The spike in prices and demand is the culmination of a deeper trend as China, India and other Asian nations have bought LNG as part of efforts to diversify from coal. Congestion delaying LNG shipments via the Panama Canal is expected to last through the peak demand winter months with ships carrying LNG from the United States to Asian markets waiting for up to two weeks in December to navigate the canal.


‍Jan. 19 - COS Operations Committee Meeting @ 12:00

Jan. 21 - COS Northern Committee Meeting @ 11:30

Jan. 26 - ISSC Board of Directors Meeting @ 12:00

Jan. 26 - ISC Board of Directors Meeting @ 12:00

Jan. 27 - WMCC PACMAR/NANS Meeting @ 10:00
Jan 29 - COS Liner Committee Meeting @ 09:00

Feb. 3 - COS Board of Directors Meeting @ 13:00

Feb. 15 - Office Closed - Family Day

Feb. 17 - COS Owners Committee Meeting @ 12:00

Ship of the Week

January 15 - American Courage

American Steamship Company and Wärtsilä are breaking new ground with a hands-off, self-driving, self-docking navigation system installed on a 42 year old traditional lake freighter. According to Wärtsilä, the 24,300 gross tonnage American Courage is the largest ship ever to perform automatic dock-to-dock operation and is equipped with its SmartMove Suite, a unique pairing of sensor tech with navigation systems for semi-autonomous movement. The Great Lakes self-discharging vessel is 194 metres long and operates on Ohio's winding Cuyahoga River. This waterway can be very congested, and Wärtsilä says that it is easily the most challenging route for any vessel using automated sailing and docking technology today.


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