COS Weekly Newsletter - Friday, 6 August 2021

COS Weekly Newsletter - Friday, 6 August 2021

COS Weekly Newsletter - Friday, 6 August 2021


Local News

CBSA workers begin job action

The Public Service Alliance of Canada - Customs and Immigration Union (PSAC-CIU) started job action this morning. A statement released by the union indicates that mediation with the Treasury Board continued last night and into this morning. As 90 percent of the workers are deemed essential, the safety and security of Canada border should not be comprised, however the fluidity of people and goods movement may seem some disruption. The Public Interest Commission recommendations released earlier include the need for a streamlined grievance procedure, negotiated increase in shift premium and new protections for employees. A video update from CBSA on the current situation was provided on Global News.

Petronas explores the export of low-carbon ammonia

Petronas Canada is teaming up with Japan-based Itochu Corp. to explore the feasibility of building a new, US$1.3-billion facility just outside Edmonton that would produce low-carbon ammonia, a source of hydrogen fuel, for export to Asian markets. Blue ammonia would be produced by capturing and storing carbon dioxide before it can be emitted into the atmostphere. The two companies are hoping to capitalize on a global surge of interest in hydrogen and are now in the process of studying costs and transportation options to determine if the project is financially viable. If it goes ahead, the companies say, construction would start in 2023 and the plant would come online in 2027.

CP & CN report record year for grain movements

CP has hauled more Canadian grain and grain products in the 2020–2021 crop production year than any other crop year during CP’s 140-year history, moving 30.62 million metric tonnes (MMT) this crop year, exceeding last year’s record of 29.52 MMT by 1.10 MMT, or 3.7 percent. Including grain moved in containers, CP moved a total of 31.21 MMT, up 3.4 percent from last crop year.

CN hauled over 31 MMT of Canadian grain and grain products via carload in the 2020-2021 crop year, an annual record and also an increase from the previous record of 29.4 MMT set in 2019-2020. CN also moved over 1.1 MMT of grain from western Canada via containers in 2020-2021.

Government News

New Federal Economic Development Agency for BC

For the first time in more than three decades, the Government of Canada will enhance its federal economic development presence and services in Western Canada by replacing Western Economic Diversification Canada with two regional development agencies - Pacific Economic Development Canada (PacifiCan) will focus on British Columbia, while the Prairies Economic Development Canada (PrairiesCan), focusses on the interests of Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba interests.  This approach recognizes that economic drivers and conditions are different in each of the two regions, and entrepreneurs, innovators, institutions, and communities have unique needs linked to where they are located. PacifiCan has been provided $553.1 million over five years, starting in 2021-22, and $110.6 million ongoing.

Government launches consultations on border carbon adjustments

The Government of Canada has launched consultations on border carbon adjustments (BCA) that expect to level the playing field for Canadian industry.  The policy is aimed at ensuring imported goods are subject to the same carbon pricing as domestically produced good and that exported goods are not disadvantaged in markets with lower, or no, carbon pricing.  A discussion paper outlines foundational information and key considerations and Finance Canada will begin consultations with provinces, territories and industry associations.

‍US News

FMC expedites inquiry on ocean carrier surcharges

The Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) has expedited an inquiry into the timing and legal sufficiency of ocean carrier practices with respect to certain surcharges. Eight ocean carriers have been asked to provide the FMC's Bureau of Enforcement with details about their congestion surcharges and any related charges. The inquiry gives the carriers until next Friday to provide evidence that their surcharges were put in place in compliance with FMC's regulatory requirements. The Commission will charges were implemented following proper notice; if the purpose of the surcharge was clearly defined; if it is clear what event or condition triggers the surcharge; and is it clear what event or condition has been identified that would terminate the surcharge. The Commission can initiate enforcement actions for improperly established tariffs.

Port of Long Beach considers 24-hour operations to manage volumes

The Port of Long Beach Executive Director Mario Cordero, is saying that the biggest US gateway needs round-the-clock operations to handle future growth.  The port is seeing close to 10 percent growth in container volumes this year with the surge from Asia and this is expected to continue for the remainder of the year. Increasing container dwell and limited chassis and railcar supply indicate that  Long Beach and other US ports will need to consider 24-hour operations in order to keep up with the anticipated growth in cargo. As of Aug. 2nd, 28 container ships were anchored off Los Angeles and Long Beach awaiting berth.

‍International News

Typhoons and COVID in China create further chaos in supply chains

Extreme weather in China is becoming the latest challenge to global supply chains, as a heavy typhoon season threatens to further delay goods stuck at some of the world’s busiest container ports. Yantian port in southern China’s export and industrial hub of Shenzhen stopped drop-off services of containers on Tuesday night due to a typhoon alert.  Just two weeks earlier, Shanghai’s Yangshan mega-terminal facility and nearby ports evacuated ships as Typhoon In-Fa slammed into the coast. Heavy rain, high winds and flooding this year are tying up global trade and now recent outbreaks of the Delta variant in many places across China, are resulting in officials tightening up anti-virus measures at coastal sea ports and airports, and denying shipboard surveys and inspections.

Seaspan forward fixes 10 more containerships

Seaspan Corporation has secured forward fixing contracts for 58 vessels since the start of 2021, representing approximately 50% of its time chartered fleet.  The most recent announcement covers 10 container ships with a major liner customer for five more years, representing approximately 100,000 TEU in aggregate. These new fixtures commence upon expiry of the existing charter agreements.




Aug 11 - Pacific Pilotage Authority Quarterly Operations Meeting @ 1000

Aug 15 - PNWER 30th Annual Summit, Big Sky, Montana 

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

Oct 24 - Association of Pacific Ports Annual Conference, San Diego

‍Ship of the Week

Aug 6 - Westwood Columbia

The Westwood Columbia is a general cargo vessel that calls regularly at Centerm and Lynnterm in the Port of Vancouver usually carrying containerized cargo and forest products.  The vessel is owned and operated by Westwood Shipping Lines that has a history in the Pacific Northwest that goes back to 1892.  This month the vessel will add a stop in Nanaimo as part of its Pacific Northwest rotation before making its ways to Japan.

GRT     32,551
DWT   45,000 MT
LOA     199.9M
Beam    31 M
TEU Capacity 2,048
Gantry Crane Capacity 45 MT

Click to view online