COS Weekly Newsletter - Friday, 10 March 2023

COS Weekly Newsletter - Friday, 10 March 2023

‍COS Weekly Newsletter - Friday, 10 March 2023

‍Local News

HaiSea Marine announces names of green fleet

HaiSea Marine, majority owned by Haisla Nation in partnership with Seaspan ULC, celebrated the official naming and blessing of its tugboat fleet which includes three fully electric harbour tug boats, and two dual fuel (LNG and Diesel) escort tug boats. Members of the Haisla Nation joined representatives from Seaspan, HaiSea Marine and LNG Canada for the naming ceremony at Sanmar Shipyards in Istanbul, Turkiye. The naming ceremony marks a significant moment for HaiSea Marine as each of the five tug boats were named by the Haisla, Gitxaala and Gitga’at Nations.  The names are HaiSea Wee’git (Raven), HaiSea Wamis, HaiSea Brave, HaiSea Warrior, and HaiSea Kermode.

BC Ferries highlights staffing challenges

BC Ferries has submitted an update to its estimates and plans due to the elevated risk of recession, coupled with higher inflation and cost pressures. The supplemental filing outlines challenges including a forecasted mild recession in 2024, an expected decline in ferry traffic, staffing issues and increased maintenance costs.  BC Ferries has experienced steadily increasing turnover amongst its casual, regular and exempt employees over the last two years: approximately 15.5 percent in total, with 7.9 percent amongst its licensed deck and engineering positions and 20 percent (15 percent excluding retirements) amongst exempt personnel. This is a 52 percent increase in turnover across all employees and a 65 percent increase in turnover for licensed roles.  Over 15 projects have been cancelled as part of the update, totalling approximately $24 million.  The update comes on the heels of the Province's $500 million commitment to BC Ferries to mitigate fare increases for people who rely upon the coastal ferry service.

CN Unifor workers vote in favour of strike action

After five bargaining sessions, approximately 3600 employees across clerical, mechanical, intermodal and facility management departments have voted overwhelmingly in support of strike action with Unifor Local 100 and Unifor Council 4000 voting 98 percent and 97 percent, respectively in favour. The earliest possible date of job action would be March 21, 2023, following a 72-hour notice.  Unifor has five collective agreements with CN Rail – four of which will be negotiated during this current round of bargaining. The bargaining committees are set to meet with the employer again during the week of March 13. A Unifor spokesperson has indicated that one of the main points of tension with this contract include pensions and CN Rail’s proposal to change the age for early retirement, which is 55 with minimum 30 years of service, to 65 by the end of this year.


TSB releases findings on sinking of tug Ingenika

The Transportation Safety Board of Canada (TSB) is issuing four recommendations aimed at enhancing the safety of tugs 15 gross tonnage (GT) or less. They are issued as part of the investigation (M21P0030) into the 10 February 2021 sinking of the tug Ingenika in British Columbia (BC), which resulted in the death of two crew members. Since 2015, the TSB has investigated six occurrences involving tugs of 15 GT or less operating on the west coast of Canada that have raised concerns around the adequacy of regulatory surveillance, a systemic safety issue that has been on the TSB Watchlist since 2010. TSB recommendations include Transport Canada expanding its surveillance program for tugs of 15 GT or less and requiring a risk assessment process for the suitability of these tugs to the tow and for the Pacific Pilotage Authority to revisit pilotage waivers and their eligibility requirements and to implement an ongoing process for verifying compliance.

Marine Security Operations Bulletin on Shore Leave

Transport Canada has issued Marine Security Operations Bulletin 2023-110 Shore leave and access to vessels subject to the Marine Transportation Security Regulations for seafarers, seafarers' welfare and labour organizations. Subject to the provisions of the Marine Transportation Security Regulations (MTSR) this Bulletin serves as a reminder with respect to shore leave and access to vessels subject to the MTSR to obtain a proper balance between the needs of security and the protection of the rights of seafarers.


USCG amends ATB manning requirements

The US Coast Guard published a notice regarding the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2023 Sec 11058: ATB Manning, which was signed into law on December 23, 2022. The act permits the Coast Guard to issue an amended certificate of inspection that does not require engine room watch setting to inspected towing vessels that form part of an articulated tub-barge unit and that were certified prior to July 19, 2022. To be eligible for the amended certificate, the vessels must also be equipped with engineering control and monitoring systems of a type accepted for no engine room watch setting under a previously approved minimum-safe-manning document or certificate of inspection for articulated tug-barge units.

LA and Gothenburg sign MOU on digitalization and decarbonization

The Port of Los Angeles and the Port of Gothenburg have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to strengthen their cooperation in a range of areas including sustainability, digital and physical infrastructure, and potential trade opportunities. The MOU will focus on sharing best practices, exchanging ideas, and consultation on issues critical to both ports, such as supply chain efficiency and digital technology.  The two ports said that through data-driven insights in real-time for load planning, forecasts and tracking, the tool creates room for streamlining traffic, and thus reducing carbon dioxide emissions. The two ports will also collaborate on alternative fuels, as well as on strategies to incorporate new and emerging green technologies to minimize the impact of port operations on local communities and the overall environment.

The Port of Los Angeles, Port of Long Beach, and C40 Cities have also begun discussions with the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) to establish a green and digital shipping corridor between Singapore and the San Pedro Bay port complex.


Wärtsilä to deliver its first CCS-ready scrubber systems

Wärtsilä has announced that it has received its first order for carbon capture and storage-ready scrubber systems – CCS-Ready scrubbers. The order was booked in Wärtsilä’s order intake in November 2022 and the delivery is expected to take place in 2023. Four 8,200 TEU container vessels, being built at undisclosed Asian based yard, will be fitted with Wärtsilä’s CCS-Ready 35MW scrubber in an open loop configuration. The scrubbers are termed CCS-Ready because, as part of their installation, Wärtsilä will perform additional design and engineering work to ensure that future retrofits for a full CCS system on the vessels have already been accounted for during the newbuilding construction stage.

Wärtsilä is currently testing its CCS system at 70% capture rate and a pilot installation will take place within the next twelve months.

Uncertainty in grain trades

Shipowners are seeing mixed signals on the grain trades with the existing agreement, brokered by the United Nations and Turkey in July last year and renewed in November, is due to run until 18 March. An extension of the Black Sea Grain Initiative (BSGI) is by no means certain as Russia has indicated that it wants restrictions on its own grain exports to be lifted for the BSGI to be extended. Also, the end of China’s long-drawn-out lockdown has stimulated demand for grain restocking, brokers report, and South America’s grain harvests are exceeding expectations. Meanwhile, buyers are lining up for relatively cheap Russian produce and there are unsold stocks of grain in the US.  The fleet of smaller bulkers most frequently deployed in the shipment of grain cargoes consists of many older ships. These are expected to fare badly under the IMO’s new carbon regulations, in place since 1 January. Many are expected to use engine power limitation, reducing ship speed, as a compliance strategy, but a significant number of older ships are thought likely to be phased out.


Mar 15 – COS Board of Directors Meeting @ 12:00 

Mar 16 – Chamber of Shipping Annual General Meeting & Reception @ 16:00
Mar 27 - AVTM Industry Townhall @ 14:00
Mar 28 - ISSC Board of Directors Meeting @ 12:00
Mar 29 - WMCC/NANS PACMAR Meeting @ 10:00
Mar 30 - Western Marine Community Coalition Meeting @ 10:00
Apr 7 - Good Friday - Office Closed
Apr 10 - Easter Monday - Office Closed

Apr 12-13 - Canadian Marine Advisory Committee Meetings - Ottawa
May 4-5 - WESTAC Spring Forum - Winnipeg 

May 11 - Plimsoll Club Golf Tournament


Ship of the Week

Mar 10 - USS Gerald R. Ford

The US Navy's newest supercarrier, USS Gerald R. Ford,  is underway with all of its available airpower for the first time. The ship is underway for a composite training unit exercise known as COMPTUEX. The exercise "assesses a carrier strike group's abilities to conduct military operations at sea and project power ashore through joint planning and execution of challenging and realistic training scenarios.

The first-in-class Ford is the Navy's most advanced aircraft carrier and has a price tag of around $13 billion. The ship, which was launched in 2013, commissioned in 2017 and first deployed in 2022, has suffered delays and setbacks, and other issues like cost overruns. It has a litany of new technologies, including advanced elevators that can move missiles and bombs to the flight deck and electromagnetic catapults that are supposed to be capable of launching planes more effectively than the steam catapults on the Nimitz-class carriers.

The Ford Carrier Strike Group is expected to deploy on its first full-length deployment sometime later this year.

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