COS Weekly News - Friday, 12 May 2023

COS Weekly News - Friday, 12 May 2023

COS Weekly Newsletter - Friday, 12 May 2023   


VFPA indicates two-phases for Robert Bank 2

The Vancouver Fraser Port Authority plans to select a contractor within the next two years to construct the landfill for the Roberts Bank Terminal 2 (RBT2) project, which is estimated to cost over C$3 billion (US$2.25 billion) and capable of handling 2.4 million TEUs. The landfill work will begin before a terminal operator is chosen given the complexity of constructing a large container terminal on reclaimed ocean property. The Port of Vancouver plans to work with the government and private sector to develop a financing plan and recover its investment through rent paid by the new terminal for a predefined term. The port authority plans to select a terminal operator to construct the above-grade infrastructure several years after selecting a contractor for the landfill, with completion projected between 2030 and 2032.

Canada supplements Ukrainian grain shortage

Canadian wheat is gaining ground in various Asian markets as Ukraine's presence diminishes due to logistical challenges and geopolitical factors. Ukraine's wheat exports have declined significantly, while Canada's market share has been increasing. Indonesia, for instance, has shifted its wheat imports from Ukraine to Australia and Canada. Similarly, Bangladesh has seen a rise in its wheat imports from Canada compared to the previous year. However, experts note that Canada's increased demand is also influenced by its larger wheat production in 2022 and the quality of Canadian wheat. Canadian farmers have experienced a rebound in production, particularly with Hard Red Spring Wheat, which competes in a different quality segment than Ukraine's winter wheat. The reliability of Canada's wheat supply has been appreciated by international customers, leading to discussions about the potential for Canada to grow more wheat. Meanwhile, Ukraine is projected to have another underwhelming harvest, with reduced wheat production and export estimates compared to previous years.


Interim Order for flooding of Ottawa and St. Lawrence Rivers

The Minister of Transport, the Honourable Omar Alghabra, announced an Interim Order temporarily prohibiting navigation in specific areas of the Ottawa River due to flood conditions. The Interim Order is intended to ensure the safety of boaters and shoreline residents, to protect temporary infrastructure in place, to avoid damage to property, and to allow emergency responders to do their jobs. Vessels are temporarily prohibited on the Ottawa River from the MacDonald-Cartier Bridge to Rockland and from Carillon Dam to Pointe-Calumet. Navigation warnings were also issued on May 5, 2023 to impose speed limits of 10 km/h (5.4 knots)  for all recreational vessels in certain areas on the St. Lawrence River.  These restrictions do not apply to emergency and support vessels.

International Plant Health Day - May 12

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) is recognizing International Day of Plant Health, observed annually on May 12 by reminding Canadians of the importance of protecting our forests, gardens, farms, and environment from invasive pests and plants. Learn about the invasive species that are in your area and what they look like and report any suspicious plant pests to the  CFIA online  or by contacting your local office.  Our members take great care in ensuring vessels arriving from international ports comply with CFIA measures to protect Canada's forests and plant health.  Spongy moth spraying activity on Vancouver Island are of the European species that have hitch-hiked from eastern Canada.

TC releases comments on proposed regulation changes to boat noise levels

Transport Canada conducted a consultation in March 2022 to gather public input on noise emissions from small boats. The most popular option among the respondents was to create performance standards for both boat manufacturers and operators. The Decibel Coalition, a lobbying group advocating for stricter regulations on boat noise emissions, welcomed this preference. However, the lobbying process with Transport Canada is lengthy and requires time. Currently, Canadian regulations on boat engine noise lack clarity in defining mufflers, and enforcement is challenging. The goal is to align Canada's regulations with the United States and Europe, which have had decibel limits for boats in place for decades. If new regulations are enacted, manufacturers and operators may need to use approved mufflers, and enforcement agencies would introduce measurement tools. The implementation of new regulations is expected to take a few years, with updated regulations anticipated in 2025.

CCG vessel extension contracts awarded

The Canadian Coast Guard (CCG) announced two contract awards for the vessel life extension of CCGS Martha L. Black and CCGS Leonard J. Cowley, respectively at the value of $31.5 million and $29.7 million. Both vessels will be dry-docked and enter an extended maintenance period designed to increase their operational life. CCG has awarded  the contracts to Verrault Navigation Inc. from Les Méchins, Quebec and Newdock from St John's, Newfoundland and Labrador. While the ships undergo vessel life extension from spring 2023 through summer 2024, the Canadian Coast Guard will reallocate its other maritime resources to ensure Canada’s waterways continue to be safe for all seafarers.

‚ÄćUS News

CPKC launches Mexico Midwest Express service

Canadian Pacific Kansas City announced the launch of the Mexico Midwest Express (MMX) Series premium intermodal service bringing customers the first truck-competitive, single-line rail service option between the Midwest and Mexico.

The MMX Series debuted May 11 with trains MMX-180 and MMX-181 which now link Chicago, Kansas City, Texas markets, Monterrey and San Luis Potosi, providing total transit time of 98 hours from Chicago to San Luis Potosi. Single-line haul efficiencies, combined with seamless cross border service, make CPKC intermodal transit times competitive with over the road trucks. Converting trucks to rail reduces emissions and makes highways safer, realization of the benefits of the CPKC combination.

USCG clarifies maritime migration policy

The US lifted a pandemic border control policy brought in under Title 42. The policy, which is part of the 1944 Public Health Service Act, allows American border authorities to quickly turn back migrants, including asylum seekers, at Ports of Entry (POE) to prevent the spread of disease.  However, US Coast Guard has advised that the termination of Title 42 does not alter US maritime migration policies, and US maritime borders remain closed. Regardless of nationality, anyone who arrives irregularly by sea to the United States, including its territories, will be apprehended by Border Patrol and will be subject to expedited removal. Illegal migration by sea continues to claim lives worldwide and the USCG is emphasizing its dangers.

Carrier to drop per diem fees at closed US marine terminals.

Ocean Network Express (ONE) has joined other ocean carriers in announcing that it will no longer impose detention and demurrage fees when a US marine terminal is closed. The decision, effective from June 1, comes ahead of a final rule on per diem billing by the Federal Maritime Commission (FMC). ONE will not charge fees if the terminal is completely closed or inaccessible, and customers can contact ONE for alternative arrangements. The change applies to certain charges related to import and export detention and demurrage. Similar moves were made by Maersk, HMM, Hapag Lloyd, and Mediterranean Shipping Co. following an FMC ruling that required Evergreen Marine to refund a trucking company for storage fees during a closed terminal period. Marine terminal operators (MTOs) have expressed concerns over potential income loss, prompting some ports to update their tariffs. The Port of Houston, for example, has raised weekday charges to compensate for lost weekend revenue, while some terminals at the Port of New York and New Jersey have opened weekend gates to continue collecting storage fees.

‚ÄćInternational News

Clarksons believes speed reduction insignificant for CII

The operational measure adopted by the IMO, Carbon Intensity Indicator (CII), came into effect at the start of the year. As a result, a large share of the global fleet is expected to reduce sailing speed in order to comply, which would impact asset values. The Clarksons Green Transition team has developed a breakthrough speed-CII modelling tool that, through client projects has demonstrated that many of the traditional methodologies being relied upon for decision-making are inaccurate. Findings indicated that CII improvements through speed reduction have been "grossly overestimated" as calculations have been based on textbook speed-consumption curves which have exponential growth across an entire speed range.  Real-world conditions have proven the curve becomes less exponential (of flatter) at lower speeds.

Tank container production increases

The production of tank containers has recovered after falling by 30% during the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020. The International Tank Container Organisation (ITCO) said that demand has recovered, resulting in tank container production reaching a high of 67,800 units in 2022.

More freight forwarders have also started transporting tank containers, with 240 companies as of January this year, up slightly from 235 a year ago.

Stolt-Nielsen unit Stolt Tank Containers remains the largest tank container operator, with 47,000 units, followed by Hayer Group with 39,900 units, Newport with 38,500 units and China Railway Logistics with 27,500 units.


May 18 - COS Operations Committee Meeting @ 0900 

May 26 - COS Liner Committee Meeting @ 1200 (tbc)

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

Jun 6 - Port of Vancouver Annual General Meeting @ 1515

June 12/14 - Green Marine GreenTech 2023, Seattle, WA
Jun 14 - Vancouver Grain Exchange Golf Tournament @ Northview
Jun 15 - Port of Nanaimo Annual General Meeting @ 1400

Jun 25 - International Day of the Seafarer

Jun 27 - ISSC Day of the Seafarer Peak Challenge @ 3:30 

Sept 27/28 - COS 100th Anniversary Conference and Gala Dinner

‚ÄćShip of the Week

May 12 - Saga Tucano

The Saga Tucano, currently moored at Lynnterm Terminal in Vancouver, is a 200m Bulk Carrier with a deadweight of 46,990 tonnes. A vessel of this length and deadweight is classified as a Handymax bulk carrier. Such vessels are well suited for small ports with length and draft limitations.

At Lynnterm terminal, the vessel will discharge steel from Korea and Taiwan and will load back pulp and other bulk cargoes bound for China. The Saga Tucano is equipped with two 40 MT travelling gantry cranes which enable the vessel to load/discharge cargo quickly. Interestingly, the vessel uses its own semi-automatic cargo frames to load/discharge homogenized Breakbulk cargoes like pulp and lumber and steel products.

Lynnterm terminal is a 95-acre, deep-sea facility specializing in the handling & storage of forest products, steel, project, and other general cargo. The terminal holds 4 berths to accommodate vessels of various LOA’s ranging from 200-240 metres.


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