COS Weekly Newsletter - Friday, 16 September 2022
Westshore Terminal receives strike notice
Westshore Terminals received 72-hour strike notice from ILWU Local 502 on September 13th with strike action to commence as early as 1200 hours on September 16, 2022. The previous collective agreement and those of the two other ILWU Locals at the terminal expired January 31, 2022. The negotiations with Local 502 are the first of the three and the strike activity would result in the complete suspension of operations at the terminal. Negotiations have involved conciliation/mediation under the Federal Labour Code since March 29, 2022. The terminal advises that while strike notice has been served, the parties remain in contact and continue to have the assistance of the mediator. As of noon today, no strike activity has been reported.
Workers locked out in Port of Quebec
A lockout has been declared at the Port of Quebec, the union and employer confirmed on Thursday. The Syndicat canadien de la fonction publique, which represents 81 dockworkers in the Quebec City seaport, said the move comes after 98.5 percent of the workers voted Aug. 30 in favour of pressure tactics that could include a strike. The union has been in talks with the Société des arrimeurs de Québec, representing employers, since June 2022 and the main issue appears to be work hours. Meetings between the parties have been scheduled for October.
Strong month for Great Lakes and Seaway
During the month of August, 3.46 million tons of cargo moved through the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence Seaway system, bringing the year-to-date total to nearly 19.2 million tons shipped. While Canadian grain is still down 26 percent, salt, petroleum products, petcoke, and potash continue well ahead of 2021 levels. For the year, shipments of petroleum products are up 40 percent to more than 1.5 million tons, petcoke shipments have increased more than 31 per cent to 1.15 million tons and potash shipments are up more than 267 per cent at 756,000 tons. Year-to-year shipments of windmill equipment is also up and a strong grain crop is expected this season.
Major US rail unions reach tentative agreement
Tentative agreements have been reached with the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen Division of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, the International Association of Sheet Metal, Air, Rail and Transportation Workers – Transportation Division, and the Brotherhood of Railroad Signalmen. Collectively representing approximately 60,000 employees, the tentative agreements reached with these unions avert a potential strike in advance of Friday’s deadline. The new contracts provide rail employees a 24 percent wage increase during the five-year period from 2020 through 2024, including an immediate payout on average of $11,000 upon ratification. All tentative agreements are subject to ratification by the unions’ membership.
FMC seeking input on refusal to deal rule
The Federal Maritime Commission is seeking input to a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM)
as required under the new Ocean Shipping Reform Act of 2022
(OSRA) to define unreasonable refusal to deal or negotiate with respect to vessel space accommodation provided by an ocean common carrier. The NPRM outlines the elements which would be necessary to establish a violation and the criteria the Commission would consider in assessing reasonableness if the NPRM is finalized. It would also shift the burden of proving the refusal to deal was reasonable from shippers to ocean common carriers. The NPRM would apply to both import and export shipments.
US expands offshore wind energy
The US is launching coordinated actions to develop new floating offshore wind platforms, an emerging clean energy technology aimed to help the United States lead on offshore wind. The President set a goal of deploying 30 gigawatts (GW) of offshore wind by 2030, enough to power 10 million homes with clean energy, support 77,000 jobs, and spur private investment up and down the supply chain. Conventional offshore wind turbines can be secured directly to the sea floor in shallow waters near the East Coast and the Gulf of Mexico. However, deep-water areas that require floating platforms are home to two-thirds of America’s offshore wind energy potential, including along the West Coast and in the Gulf of Maine. The US initiative dubbed the “Floating Offshore Wind Shot” aims to pare the costs of floating wind technologies by more than 70% -- to $45 per megawatt-hour -- by 2035, said Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm. The initiative builds on separate efforts to accelerate hydrogen, carbon capture and other technology.
Seaspan scraps contract for four newbuilds
Seaspan Corp has ripped up $520m in contracts to build four container ships and has warned that a legal claim may follow. The container ship owner, a subsidiary of US-listed Atlas Corp, said the cancellation involves four 7,700-teu, dual-fuel (LNG) newbuildings. Seaspan did not explain the reason for tearing up the contracts, other than to say that the counterparty failed to live up to some terms of the deal. The ships were due for delivery reportedly to MSC in the third and fourth quarters of 2024 and were set to enter into long-term charters.
Sept 19 - Office Closed - National Day of Mourning
Sep 20 - Vancouver Grain Exchange Council Meeting @ 0930
Sep 21/23 - Coal Association of Canada Conference
Sep 28 - WMCC PACMAR/NANS Meeting @ 1000
Sep 29 - COS Liner Committee Meeting @ 1100
Oct 1/5 - 46th Annual Interferry Conference, Seattle
Oct 6 - The Plimsoll Club Pub Night @ One Under
Nov 17 - ICS 8th Annual Dry Bulk Conference, Vancouver
Sept 16 - Sonne
The German research vessel, R/V Sonne, is currently in the Port of Vancouver picking up equipment this week to continue with its exploration off Vancouver Island. Researchers are gathering seismic data to better understand the behavior of the Cascadia seismogenic zone or the tectonic structure along the deformation front off Vancouver Island. The focus of Project SO294 is to determine the delineation of the seismogenic zone, particularly the seaward limit.
The research vessel is used for German world-wide marine scientific research and cooperation with other nations in this field. R/V Sonne is owned by the Federal Republic of Germany, represented by the Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), which financed 90 % of the construction of the vessel and its running costs. The North German coastal states contributed 10 % to the building costs.
Gross tonnage: 8554
Length: 118.42 m
Breadth: 23.82 m
Endurance: 52 days
Crew accommodations: 35 berths
Scientist accommodations: 40 berths