COS Weekly Newsletter - Friday, 30 July 2021
Rio Tinto workers on strike
About 900 Rio Tinto Plc workers represented by Unifor Local 2301 went on strike at 12:01 am on July 25th at its t smelter in Kitimat and power operations in Kemano following expiry of the collective agreement. According to a news bulletin released by Unifor Local 2301, it is the first 100 per sent strike vote in the history of the union. The union concerns are job security and a backlog of more than 300 grievances from the company's use of contractors and refusal to hire full-time workers. Production at the Kitimat smelter is said to at 35 percent of normal.
Port of Vancouver operations update
The CN and CP rail lines from Kamloops to Vancouver are currently operating under Ministerial Order (MO) 21-06 requirements, which include targeted speed restrictions, increased equipment inspections, and fire prevention measures. Temperatures in the high 30s across southern BC remain throughout the weekend, keeping the risk of wildfires high. The evolving fire situation may result in temporary stoppages to rail operations.
The Port of Vancouver continues to experience a high level of on-dock cargo. Last week, import rail footage was at the highest level since rail closures began in early July. Processed railcar volumes to-and-from the coast remain lower than average, but consistent.
The provincial state of emergency effective July 21, 2021 will remain in place until August 4, 2021 and applies to the entire province of B.C. The initial 14-day period may be extended or rescinded as conditions require.
All anchorage class assignments continue to experience heightened demand and there is sufficient supply to accommodate existing requests.
Westshore Terminals to export BHP potash
Westshore Terminals Limited Partnership has executed an agreement with BHP Canada Inc., a subsidiary of BHP
Group, to provide port services to BHP’s proposed Jansen Potash Mine in Saskatchewan. The agreement is conditional on BHP making a final investment decision on Stage 1 of the Jansen Project. If the Jansen Project does proceed, the agreement requires Westshore to handle potash for BHP for a term to 2051, subject to extension. It also requires Westshore to construct the necessary infrastructure to handle potash at Westshore’s Roberts Bank Terminal by 2026, with BHP funding the construction. If BHP announces a final decision to proceed with the Jansen Stage 1 Project, the BHP-Westshore agreement will become binding on BHP, at which time Westshore will provide further details concerning the agreement.
BC clinics open Wednesday for walk-ins
On Wednesday, August 4, all vaccination clinics are offering Pfizer and Moderna vaccines to those eligible for their first or second doses without an appointment. Walk-ins generally should have a personal health number (PHN), but those without a PHN, including international seafarers, will be given a number. Most mass vaccination clinics are set to wind down at the end of August. Contact us for further details on how to vaccinate seafarers.
CBSA workers return to bargaining table
Earlier this week it was announced that 9,000 Canadian Border Services Agency (CBSA) workers gave the Public Service Alliance of Canada and its Customs and Immigration Union (PSAC-CIU) a strike mandate that could see action as early as August 6th, just days before Canada opens its land border to vaccinated travellers. Yesterday, PSAC-CIU resumed negotiations with CBSA and Treasury Board Secretariat. CBSA has indicated that ninety percent (90%) of Border Services Officers have been identified as essential, meaning that they will continue to offer essential services if there is a strike and that they will respond quickly to any job action or work disruption in order to maintain the safety and security of our border, ensure compliance with our laws, and keep the border open to facilitate the flow of legitimate goods and travel. PSAC-CIU represents 5,500 border services officers, 2,000 headquarters staff and other workers at Canada Post facilities and in inland enforcement jobs that have been without a contract for more than three years.
Transport Canada has issued Ship Safety Bulletin #11/2021 on Updated guidelines respecting the mobility of asymptomatic, presumed non-COVID-19-carrying seafarers in the marine sector during the COVID-19 pandemic. This bulletin replaces Ship Safety Bulletin No. 28/2020 and is focused on expanding shore leave provisions for symptomatic, presumed non-COVID-19 carrying crew members from four hours to six hours in length and has removed the restrictive definition of “controlled shore leave.”
US CBP sees increase in pests with breakbulk recovery
With breakbulk cargo volumes on the upswing, US Customs Border Protection (CBP) notes that discoveries of dangerous wood-boring pests in the dunnage and wood packaging material (WPM) that protect many breakbulk and project imports are increasing. The discovery of these harmful wood-boring pests in imported WPM triggers harsh remedies. With few regional locations where dunnage can be incinerated under strict controls, global ISPM 15 violations can lead to hefty fines and the re-exporting, i.e. the rapid removal from US waters, of anything from simple dunnage to steel coils on skids to part and full charters of high-value, schedule-sensitive project cargo. Even if only one piece of project cargo is encased in infested WPM, typically everything on that shipment’s bill of lading must be re-exported. The WPM-Dunnage Coalition has met with CBP to ask for additional training to help catch infested materials prior to loading as ISPM 15 stamped wood appears to be insufficient. The Chamber of Shipping has reached out to CFIA for further guidance.
FMC hears proposal on supply chain congestion
Recommendations to address ongoing port and supply chain congestion was address at a recent of a Federal Maritime Commission meeting. Commissioner Rebecca F. Dye provided the Commission with a set of eight Interim Recommendations
aimed at minimizing barriers to private party enforcement of the Shipping Act, clarifying Commission and industry processes, encouraging shippers, truckers, and other stakeholders to assist Commission enforcement efforts, and bolstering the ability of the Office of Consumer Affairs and Dispute Resolution Services to facilitate fair and fast dispute resolution. Commissioner Dye plans to hold meetings of Supply Chain Innovation Teams in Memphis and the Port of Los Angeles to address supply chain disruptions and increase supply chain visibility.
Florida ports receive $250M in financial aid
The Florida Department of Transportation on Thursday announced how it will divvy up $250 million that state lawmakers set aside this spring for ports out of money Florida is receiving from the federal American Rescue Plan Act. The largest chunks will go to Port Canaveral, $72.2 million; PortMiami, $66.9 million; and Port Everglades, $58.26 million. Last year, the Florida Ports Council estimated the pandemic caused the loss of about $23 billion in economic activity tied to ports, affecting some 169,000 port-related jobs.
US sailor charged for USS Bonhomme Richard fire
A US Navy sailor was charged with starting a fire last year that burned for four days on the amphibious assault ship USS Bonhomme Richard
, injuring more than 60 people and destroying the vessel. The Navy did not say if the sailor was accused of intentionally setting the blaze, which broke out July 12, 2020, in the lower cargo hold. The Navy is decommissioning the Bonhomme Richard
, which was commissioned in 1998 and designed to carry US Marine Corps attack helicopters and ground troops into battle. Repairs to the Wasp-class ship would have taken years and cost more than $3 billion, according to the Navy.
South African ports hit by cyberattack
South Africa's state-owned logistics firm said Tuesday it was working to restore systems following a major cyber-attack last week that hit the country's key port terminals. The company declared a force majeure after an attack that started on July 22nd forced Transnet to switch to manual systems. The attack has affected ports in Durban -- the busiest in sub-Saharan Africa -- as well as Cape Town, Port Elizabeth and Ngqura. The outage came on the heels of civil unrest sparked by the jailing of ex-president Jacob Zuma that halted operations for several days and at the peak of the citrus export season.
Nutrien partners with Exmar on ammonia fuels
Antwerp, Belgium, headquartered gas carrier operator Exmar is partnering with Canadian fertilizer producer Nutrien to deploy an ammonia-fueled vessel by as early as 2025. The vessel would be fueled by low-carbon ammonia produced at Nutrien’s Geismar, La., facility that employs carbon capture and sequestration technology to reduce the carbon intensity of the ammonia it produces. The two companies have been partners in transporting ammonia globally for over 30 years. Both support the decarbonization of shipping and IMO’s Green House Gas (GHG) strategy to reduce emissions. Their new collaboration aims to significantly reduce Nutrien’s maritime transportation emissions and enable the commercial development of an ammonia-fueled vessel.
Nutrien is one of 15 organizations involved in the U.S. Department of Energy-funded Renewable Energy to Fuels through Utilization of Energy-Dense Liquids (REFUEL) integration and testing program, which is working to create a carbon-free process for creating low- and zero-carbon ammonia for use in agriculture, electricity generation and/or as a fuel.
Aug 2 - BC Day - Statutory Holiday - Office Closed
Aug 11 - Pacific Pilotage Authority Quarterly Operations Meeting @ 1000
Aug 17 - Clean Pacific Conference, Seattle WA
Sep 2 - Vancouver Grain Exchange Golf Tournament @ 1300
Sep 6 - Labour Day - Statutory Holiday - Office Closed
Sep 7 - COS Board of Directors Meeting @ 1200
Sep 9 - VMAA Board of Directors Meeting @ 1200
Sep 9 - COS Northern Committee Meeting @ 0930
Ship of the Week
July 30 - Pacific Guardian
On July 28th, the Pacific Pilotage Authority's chair Lorraine Cunningham (pictured above with Ocean Pacific Marine President Bruce Kempling) christened, the Pacific Guardian at the naming ceremony in Campbell River, BC. The Pacific Guardian, built by Ocean Pacific Marine and designed by Camarc, is the most advanced pilot launch in Canada with features such as with two fully compliant IMO tier III engines, a resiliently mounted super structure, and a highly efficient hull. Weight reduction features include carbon fibre tail shafts and composite cooling water piping.
Length (overall): 19.95m
Length (hull): 18.0m
Length waterline: 17.7m
Beam (hull): 4.8m
Beam (overall): 5.6m
Draught (approx.): 1.1m
Fuel capacity: 5000 litres
DEF capacity 2 x 250 liters
Water capacity: 250 litres
Complement: 3 Crew & 6 Pilots
Speed: 25 Knots @ 85% MCR, 28 Knots @ 100% MCR
Range: 400nm @ 25 Knots
The Pacific Pilotage Authority thanks all of its industry partners for supporting this project.