COS Weekly Newsletter - Friday, 24 September 2021

COS Weekly Newsletter - Friday, 24 September 2021

COS Weekly Newsletter - Friday, 24 September 2021

Local News

Record mid-year cargo volumes through the Port of Vancouver in 2021

This week the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority released its 2021 mid-year statistics. From January 1 to June 30, 2021, overall cargo volumes through Canada’s largest port reached a record high of 76.4 million metric tonnes (MMT), up 7% from 2020 mid-year, and 5% above the previous record set in 2019. Sectors that experienced strong growth include grain and containers, both of which hit new records in 2021. Strong overseas demand for Canadian grain products—a main driver of the overall record mid-year cargo volumes—resulted in record mid-year volumes of bulk grain, up 20% to 16.5 MMT compared to mid-year 2020 and up 35% from 2019. Total foreign tonnage and foreign exports resulted in 60.3 and 52.0 MMT, up 4% respectively, compared to mid-year 2020 volumes, due to strong increases in grain and coal. Increases in wheat, up 23%, barley, up 151%, and animal feed, up 30%, contributed to this new bulk grain record. Metallurgical coal increased by 11% while thermal coal remained flat. In fertilizers, potash exports increased by 0.3% from last year and sulphur decreased by 20%. Container quantities (measured by TEUs or twenty-foot equivalents) in the first half of 2021 increased by 24% compared to mid-year 2020 to a record 1.9 million TEUs, and 15% above the previous record set in 2019, as a result of the strengthening economy and continued growth in global demand for Canadian products shipped in containers, and Canadian demand for consumer and manufacturing goods from Asia.

Port of Prince Rupert launches Gateway Council

Port of Prince Rupert employers, industries, and labour organizations have established the Port of Prince Rupert Gateway Council (Gateway Council) and released an economic impact study that revealed strong employment benefits associated with the movement of trade through the Prince Rupert Gateway that helped offset the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. The 2020 Economic Impact Study highlights total economic output from port industry activity as $1.4 billion with direct full-time employment of 3700 with total wages of $360 million. The Gateway Council will work together to identify and advocate for Gateway supply chain improvements to ensure sustainable growth of the gateway that benefits Port partners, their employees, local and Indigenous communities, and all Canadians who rely on the free-flowing movement of trade. Further details of the study can be found here.

Ocean scientists expand research with portable labs

Tucked away on the deck of the offshore supply ship, Atlantic Condor,  is a portable chemistry lab developed by a group of scientists from Dalhousie University through the Modular Ocean Research Infrastructure program largely funded by Irving Shipbuilding and MEOPAR. With limited availability and access to research vessels, portable labs can transform any vessel into a research vessel. Canada's primary East Coast offshore oceanographic science vessel, CCGS Hudson, is 58-years-old vessel and spent three of the last five years in refit. A generator failure earlier this year forced it to curtail one mission, cancel another and raised concerns from onboard scientists about the ship's condition. Completion of the first of five mission was marked Thursday by an event at the Centre for Ocean Ventures and Entrepreneurship in Dartmouth.

New passenger ferry service for Nanaimo

The Nanaimo Port Authority (NPA) and the Snuneymuxw First Nation (SFN) in conjunction with Conqora Capital Partners Inc. (Conqora) have entered into agreements for the purpose of providing a high-speed passenger ferry service that will connect Nanaimo and downtown Vancouver. The NPA has entered into a long-term lease agreement with Conqora which provides access to the Nanaimo Assembly Wharf for vessel berths, welcome terminals, parking and passenger connectivity areas. The agreements signed recognize the SFN rights, lands, and waterways upon which the high-speed passenger ferry service will operate.

Growing BC shipbuilding sector to get boost through new advisory committee

This week the BC Provincial Government announced the appointment of an advisory committee to support the development of a long-term provincial shipbuilding strategy to ensure the continued growth of this vibrant sector and create good, family-supporting jobs. The BC Shipbuilding Advisory Committee will recommend strategic actions for government and industry to support robust, sustainable and innovative shipbuilding, ship repair and related marine industries in British Columbia. The Advisory Committee is composed of two separate bodies: the BC Shipbuilding Industry Working Group and the BC Shipbuilding Innovation Advisory Council. The BC Shipbuilding Industry Working Group, chaired by Robert Allan, president of the Association of BC Marine Industries (ABCMI) will inform the work of the strategy while BC Shipbuilding Innovation Advisory Council, chaired by Brenda Eaton, chair of BC Ferry Services’ board of directors, will provide high-level guidance and objective feedback to the Industry Working Group.


Trudeau's minority government returns

Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau won the 44th general election this week to form another minority government.  Prime Minister Trudeau's election promises included some key items of interest,  including a ban on thermal coal exports by 2030, a plan to introduce 10 new marine conservation areas over the next 5 years, and advancing the Blue Economy Strategy.  Bernandette Jordan, the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans, and the Canadian Coast Guard, who was leading the development of the Blue Economy Strategy was not re-elected. The Chamber of Shipping issued a statement congratulating the Prime Minister on his re-election.


American Seafoods awaits ruling on Jones Act

American Seafoods and others recently fined for Jones Act violations for using the so-called Bayside Program to bring Alaska-sourced seafood to the US East Coast are awaiting a ruling from Alaska's District Court Judge. The Bayside Program has been fined nearly USD 500 million for their use of a 100-foot, dead-end railway in New Brunswick and are seeking a temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction against US Customs and Border Protection, which began issuing fines after determining the railway did not meet the terms of a waiver to the Jones Act which it had previously granted.  Bayside believes it is in full compliance under a long-recognized statutory exception to the Jones Act. 26 million pounds of frozen seafood are tied up in cold storage over the dispute.


Vietnam's lockdowns creating inventory delays

Widespread COVID-19 lockdowns have shut down a significant portion of factory production in southern Vietnam. The manufacturing hub of Ho Chi Minh City has been under Vietnamese army control since Aug. 23. Vessel delays and unstable schedules are also being reported by forwarders, with the Ho Chi Minh City port of Tan Cang Cat Lai the worst affected. Foreign investors in Vietnam have warned the government that its strict lockdown to control Covid-19 in the country’s south has forced some companies to move production to other markets. Before the pandemic, Vietnam had one of Asia’s fastest-growing economies, thanks to investor-friendly tax and other policies, and its network of free trade agreements


Join the shoreline clean up for BC Whales

Sept. 25th - Join the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority's ECHO team and the BC Cetacean Sightings Network at Jericho Beach for a special shoreline clean-up for BC's whales. This event is part of a series of Coastal Cleanups in honour of International Coastal Cleanup Day to help reduce the threat of pollution to BC’s whales and to support ocean conservation!  Sign up here.

Sep 27 - ICS Board of Directors Meeting @ 1200

Sep 29 - WMCC PACMAR / NANS Committee Meeting @ 1000

Sep 29 - WMCC Board of Directors Meeting @ 

Sep 30 - National Day for Truth and Reconciliation - Office Closed
Oct 5 - ISSC Board Meeting

Oct 11 - Thanksgiving - Office Close
Oct 24 - Association of Pacific Ports Annual Conference, San Diego

Oct 27 - Vancouver Island Economic Summit, Nanaimo

Ship of the Week

Sept 24 - MSC Auriga

On Sept. 21 the container vessel, MSC Auriga, arrived and broke all previous records for the largest vessel to berth at DP World's Fairview Container Terminal at the Port of Prince Rupert. With a capacity of 15,000 TEUs, the MSC Auriga operates in the Santana service (SAN) that includes the ports of Yantian, Shanghai, LA-Long Beach, and Busan. The vessel departed Prince Rupert on September 22nd and is currently transiting to the Port of Long Beach.

Year Built:                   2020
Capacity:                      15,000 TEU
Gross Tonnage:          149525
Length:                       366 m
Beam:                          51 m
Flag:                            Portugal

Photo credit Port of Prince Rupert

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