COS Weekly Newsletter - Friday, 21 April 2023

COS Weekly Newsletter - Friday, 21 April 2023

‍COS Weekly Newsletter - Friday, 20 April 2023

‍Local News

Government of Canada approves Roberts Bank Terminal 2

Yesterday the Government of Canada announced the Government of Canada's decision to approve the Roberts Bank Terminal 2 Project that includes building new land and a new three-berth marine container terminal near existing port terminals at Roberts Bank in Delta, BC. The project will incrementally deliver an additional 2.4 million twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs) of capacity, ultimately increasing Canada's west coast container capacity by approximately one-third. Besides enabling Canada's growing trade, additional container terminal capacity at the Port of Vancouver will strengthen national supply-chain resilience, by creating additional "buffer" to handle cargo surges, such as those experienced through the pandemic, and support recovery from weather-related disruptions, such as the severe flooding that B.C. experienced in late 2021 that contributed to port cargo backlogs well into 2022. The project will deliver substantial economic benefits, including more than 18,000 jobs during construction; more than 17,300 ongoing jobs; an estimated $3 billion in GDP annually once built; and $631 million in tax revenue to support services for Canadians.

New Nanaimo-Vancouver ferries revealed

The ferry line, called Hullo, is being launched by the Vancouver Island Ferry Company (VIFC) and is set to begin sailings in late summer 2023. Two high-speed catamaran ferries will offer up to seven round-trip sailings a day between downtown Nanaimo and Vancouver. Each trip on the 354-passenger walk-on ferries will take 70 minutes and sailing schedules and fares will be released in early June.  Hullo's two ferries are undergoing final sea trials at the Damen Group shipyard in Vietnam and are scheduled to sail to Vancouver Island in May.

Harris Road underpass in jeopardy

On April 18th, the City of Pitt Meadows council voted unanimously not to be a funding partner in the Harris Road underpass project. Construction costs for the new underpass to deal with persistent train delays on Harris Road, the city's main north-south route, have more than tripled from $63 million to $195 million and the City was asked to pay a quarter of the construction costs. Without the underpass, the city is looking at significantly longer wait times on Harris Road, especially as CP Rail continues to move forward with its new logistics park. The Vancouver Fraser Port Authority said that without that money, the underpass wouldn't be built in light of the higher cost.

Seaspan announces $2.6M in contracts to advance digital twin

Seaspan Shipyards (Seaspan) has awarded three contracts totaling approximately $2.6 million to enable four leading Canadian companies in the marine industry to advance digitalization and further modernize shipbuilding and fleet maintenance. These agreements represent Seaspan’s commitment to innovation and in providing growth opportunities across the pan-Canadian supply chain, enabling companies to sustain and grow over the long term and better position Canadian technology in the export market.

In March 2022, Seaspan launched its HoloShip platform, an immersive visualization system that allows designers, engineers, production teams, and customers to virtually experience a fully detailed, three-dimensional, and accurate digital model of a vessel, using an integrated 5.6-metre-wide display wall and virtual reality headset. The HoloShip platform and the projects being announced today are part of Seaspan Shipyards’ value proposition commitments under Canada’s National Shipbuilding Strategy. In addition to providing funding, Seaspan will give Gastops, BCS Automation, 3GA Marine and Kognitiv Spark access to its HoloShip platform – along with decades of shipbuilding expertise and use cases.

Tour of BCIT Marine Campus

A big thank you to the new BCIT Marine Campus Associate Dean, Dhaval Shah, for this week's tour of the facilities in North Vancouver.  Our team thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity to learn some new skills on the various simulators and meet the school's dedicated instructors and students.

This week we also co-sponsored CILTNA's event on "The Changing Face of the BC Marine Industry: The Evolution from Forests to Fuels" aimed at highlighting the demand for mariners to support the west coast marine industry.  We were pleasantly surprised by the high level of participation and engagement from the student attendees from BCIT, Capilano University and UBC.  Speakers included Alex Ruben- Association of BC Marine Industries, Paul Hilder - Council of Marine Carriers, Nathan Boutilier - BC Coast Pilots and Michael Lowry -Western Canada Marine Response Corporation who highlighted the opportunities and new vessel designs coming to the west coast to support major projects.



PSAC negotiations to continue

The federal labour board has found low turnout and irregularities of “significant concern” with the strike vote that led more than 100,000 public workers to walk off the job this week. The board found in a decision released Thursday that the Public Service Alliance of Canada failed to properly let members know it had shortened the voting period by eight days, moving the deadline from April 19 to April 11. Only about 35 per cent of members of the bargaining unit, or 38,207 people, actually cast a ballot — and 80 per cent of them were in favour of a strike mandate.  The labour board decided against overturning the vote, finding it was unlikely there would have been a different result even if the union had been more forthcoming with its members. As the third day of the strike came to a close, Mona Fortier, the president of the Treasury Board, said in a tweet this afternoon that negotiations between the union and the federal government would continue into the weekend.

CBSA seizes opium in Halifax

The Canada Border Services Agency announced the significant seizure of over 95 kilograms of opium at the Port of Halifax in Nova Scotia. On March 21, 2023, border services officers at the Halifax Container Examination Facility completed an examination of a shipping container. Using detection tools and technology, the examination revealed over 900 packages of suspected opium concealed within a single shipping container arriving from the United Arab Emirates. The total weight of the suspected narcotics was over 95 kilograms. After undergoing laboratory testing, the narcotics were confirmed to be opium.

Transport Canada seeks input on labour shortages in marine transportation

Transport Canada wants to better understand the possible impacts of labour shortages in Canada’s marine transportation sector and is seeking feedback on possible solutions. With 43% of the marine workforce retiring over the next 10 years, including 52% of engineering officers and 47% of deck officers, there will be a need to hire roughly 19,000 new workers over the next 10 years, which represents 68% of the workforce.  Vacancy rates for deck officers are around 7%, followed by 6% for engineering officers – higher than the national average of 4%.  A Let’s Talk Transportation consultation has been launched to continue engaging Canadians. The consultation is available until April 30, 2023.


US West Coast ILWU and PMA reach deal on key issues

The International Longshore and Warehouse Union announced Thursday that it reached a tentative agreement with the Pacific Maritime Association on certain key issues. Still, negotiations remain ongoing until an agreement is reached. The news marks the first deal publicly announced since July 26, when the two sides said they had reached a tentative agreement on the maintenance of health benefits. However, the PMA also said “several key issues remain unresolved” in negotiations. Last week the ILWU leaders dismissed fears of disruption related to upcoming contract negotiations in a pre-recorded interview last week.  However, PMA noted a local chapter of the longshore union, ILWU Local 13, continued to disrupt operations at key marine terminals at the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach on Thursday.

US Port State Control 2022 Annual Report

The Coast Guard’s Office of Commercial Vessel Compliance has released the US Port State Control Annual Report for 2022.PSC activities verify compliance with US and international regulations such as the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) and the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships (MARPOL).  In 2022, the Coast Guard conducted 8,706 SOLAS safety exams with a total of 78 detentions. Data this year shows the number of detentions related to fire safety increased while those related to lifesaving systems decreased over last year.

CPKC and Schneider ink intermodal deal

The newly-formed railroad Canadian Pacific Kansas City will rely on Schneider National for intermodal service under a deal announced today. Schneider will act as the “strategic intermodal carrier” for CPKC’s north-south corridor between Chicago and all major points in Mexico, according to a release. The trucking carrier will start moving freight on CPKC’s network by mid-May. The carrier also touted the deal as a sustainable solution for shippers as it saves 700 million pounds of CO2 annually by working with railroads that can move a ton of freight up to 500 miles on a gallon of fuel. In January, Schneider began a new West Coast intermodal arrangement with Union Pacific and has an existing relationship with CSX on the East Coast. Its intermodal fleet consists of 28,000 containers, and Schneider hopes to double its intermodal business by 2030.


Draft Adjustment in the Neopanamax Locks in Panama Canal

Despite the Panama Canal Authority's (ACP’) continuous efforts to minimize draft restrictions by implementing water-saving measures in the transit operation, the level of Gatun Lake has been falling faster than originally predicted due to severe drought.  The ACP finds it necessary to update the maximum drafts and in its latest Advisory to Shipping A-17-2023 it notes effective April 19, 2023, the maximum authorized draft for vessels transiting the Neopanamax locks will be 14.48 m (47.5 feet) TFW and gradually reduces to 14.02 m (46.0 feet) TFW on May 12th. The ACP advises that waiting periods should be considered when scheduling transit near or at the highest authorized draft when arriving. The ACP has stated that it will continue to closely monitor the water level in Gatun Lake and provide timely updates on future changes in the draft.



Apr 25 - WMCC CMAC Debrief Meeting @ 1000
Apr 26 - WMCC PACMAR/NANS Meeting
Apr 27 - ICS Pub Night @ 16:30
May 4-5 - WESTAC Spring Forum - Winnipeg 

May 9 - COS Board of Directors Meeting @ 1200

May 10 - Quarterly Pilotage Operations Meeting @ 1000

May 11 - The Plimsoll Club Golf Tournament @ Mayfair Lakes

May 11 - Vancouver Maritime Centre for Climate 2nd Anniversary Celebration 

Jun 2 - The Plimsoll Club Nooner at the Nat @ 11:30 

June 12/14 - Green Marine GreenTech 2023, Seattle, WA
Jun 14 - Vancouver Grain Exchange Golf Tournament @ Northview


Ship of the Week

Apr 21 - MSC Tessa

The Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC) recently took delivery of the MSC Tessa megaship from the China State Shipbuilding Corporation (CSSC). This enormous vessel has a deck space equivalent to four football fields and can carry as many as 24,116 TEU containers, stacked as high as 26 units.

The MSC Tessa places a strong emphasis on efficiency, which is expected given its massive size. One of its primary advancements in this area is the implementation of an air lubrication system that utilizes bubbles to decrease drag. The China State Shipbuilding Corporation asserts that this system can lower energy usage and resulting emissions by up to 4%. However, it should be noted that despite this technological enhancement, the ship still runs on marine diesel.

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