Port of Vancouver Blue Circle Award Recipients 2023
Earlier this week the Port of Vancouver recognized seven cruise lines, 11 shipping lines and four coastal marine operators, for outstanding efforts to reduce emissions and underwater noise. The port authority’s Blue Circle Awards recognize shipping companies and terminal operators that go above and beyond to reduce underwater noise and emissions, and to conserve energy through the port authority’s EcoAction and Energy Action programs.
RBT2 opposition continues after comment period ends
The International Longshore & Warehouse Union of Canada and the BC General Employees' Union, along with Tsleil-Waututh Nation and a dozen conservation organizations continue to voice their opposition to Roberts Bank Terminal 2 (RBT2). In a recent news conference, the opponents expressed concerns about the environmental impact and potential job losses resulting from the expansion. They argue that the project could endanger salmon and killer whales that rely on the Fraser River estuary and the unions specifically highlight the high level of automation expected at the new terminal, which may put up to 4,000 jobs at risk. On June 8, a public comment period held by the province for people to provide feedback on the project to BC's Environmental Assessment Office ended. The office will now prepare a report for provincial ministers. The province has not said how long that will take.
BCIT offers Ship Brokering and Chartering Courses
BCIT has opened up basic and advanced courses on Ship Brokering and Chartering and these will be virtual sessions on June 24th ( Saturday) and July 22nd (Saturday) from 9:00 am. The basic course will focus on an overview of the customary and regulatory business concepts in the marine industry, including freight markets and market practice; chartering contracts; financial elements of charter parties covering different types of vessels such as dry bulk, tanker, liner, and containers. The course is suitable for a broad range of maritime-related professionals, including ship officers, shore-based management, new entrants to the shipping industry, logistics and supply chain professionals, ship brokers, port agencies, insurance inspectors, banks’ representatives, and similar service organizations. For information visit the BCIT website.
CBSA announces record methamphetamine seizures
The CBSA announced four significant seizures of methamphetamine in British Columbia over the last six months. In a major operation conducted by the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) in Metro Vancouver, over 6,330 kilograms of liquid and crystal methamphetamine were seized. The drugs were hidden in canola oil jugs intended for export to Australia. This marks the largest methamphetamine seizure to date by the CBSA. The agency made four separate busts between December and May, with the help of detection tools at the container examination facilities. The total amount seized is more than triple the methamphetamine confiscated by the CBSA in the Pacific region between 2018 and 2022. Five Australian citizens and one American citizen have been arrested in connection with the operation.
TC Bulletin on 2023 Concentrated Inspection Campaign
Transport Canada has issued Ship Safety Bulletin 12/2023 outlining a Concentrated Inspection Campaign (CIC) from May to mid-September 2023 for certain Canadian vessels, including passenger vessels, tugs, and fishing vessels. Transport Canada Marine Safety and Security (TCMSS) will be conducting scheduled and unscheduled inspections focussed on the safe operations of a vessel. Inspections may include a review of personal flotation devices (PFDs), ensuring that conditions within a vessel’s stability booklet reflect the vessel’s arrangement/operations; and checking life-saving equipment plans and onboard safety equipment.
US West Coast labour negotiations reach tentative deal
The Pacific Maritime Association (PMA) and the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) have reached a tentative agreement in West Coast labour negotiations, putting an end to over a year of uncertainty. The new six-year contract, covering workers at all 29 West Coast ports, awaits ratification from both sides before it becomes official. The agreement was facilitated by Acting US Secretary of Labour Julie Su, who praised the outcome as a demonstration of the effectiveness of collective bargaining. President Biden also congratulated the parties involved and highlighted the importance of the port workers' contributions during the pandemic. Sources have indicated that the ILWU secured a 32% salary increase over the six years, but they did not receive the increased manning for conventional terminals they sought during the 13-month negotiations with employers.
Bunge and Viterra to merge
A US$8.2-billion merger between Bunge Ltd. and Viterra Ltd. is set to create a global agricultural giant. The combination of both the companies’ highly complementary asset footprints and distribution network will connect the world’s largest production regions to areas of fastest-growing demand. Missouri-based Bunge is the world’s largest oilseeds processing company, operating 300 facilities in more than 40 countries worldwide, while Viterra is owned by Swiss commodities giant Glencore, as well as the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board and B.C. Investment Management Corp and operates a network of agricultural storage, processing and transport assets across 37 countries.
Under the terms of the agreement, Viterra’s shareholders will receive 65.6 million Bunge shares, valued at a total of about US$6.2 billion, and about US$2.0 billion in cash. Bunge will also assume US$9.8 billion of Viterra debt. The federal Competition Bureau confirmed it will be reviewing the proposed Viterra-Bunge merger in accordance with the Competition Act and the merger is expected to be finalized in mid-2024.
NTSB releases findings of cruise dock collision in Sitka
The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) released a report on an incident that occurred on May 9, 2022, involving a Royal Caribbean cruise ship, the Radiance of the Seas, striking a cruise terminal pier in Sitka Sound. The NTSB determined that the crew's overreliance on the electronic chart and the master's misunderstanding of the distances were the primary causes of the incident. Additionally, the Sitka Sound Cruise Terminal did not inform the relevant hydrographic authority about the extension of the pier, resulting in an outdated navigational chart. Lessons learned from the investigation emphasized the importance of comprehensive voyage planning, accurate communication of reference points for manoeuvring, and prompt reporting of significant modifications to hydrographic authorities to update navigational charts. Ensuring accurate and up-to-date navigational information and effective communication is crucial for maritime safety.
Capt. Mark McDonnell new COTP 13th District
US Coast Guard Sector Puget Sound held a change of command ceremony Thursday morning at Coast Guard Base Seattle. During the ceremony, Capt. Mark McDonnell relieved Capt. Patrick Hilbert as commander of Sector Puget Sound.
Sector Puget Sound’s area of responsibility extends from the Pacific Coast of Washington State to the eastern boundary of Montana. It includes a 125-mile maritime international boundary with Canada, as well as a multitude of Tribal Nations.
British firm ordered to pay $1 million compensation for 2020 Beirut Port explosion
A UK court has ordered Savaro, a British firm, to pay $1 million GBP in compensation to families affected by the 2020 explosion in the port of Beirut. Savaro had delivered the ammonium nitrate that caused the blast, resulting in over 200 deaths and 6,000 injuries. The families filed a lawsuit against Savaro in 2021, but the identity of the firm's backers remains unknown, casting doubt on the compensation's actual receipt. Efforts for a judicial inquiry in Lebanon have faced obstacles, and a $250 million lawsuit was filed in Texas. The explosion, caused by 2,750 tonnes of ammonium nitrate, caused extensive property damage and left 300,000 people homeless, making it the most powerful accidental artificial non-nuclear explosion in history.
Kremlin urges legislation allowing Foreign vessels on Northern Sea Route to Boost International Logistics
The Russian government is being urged to pass legislation to allow foreign vessels to use the Northern Sea Route (NSR) in order to boost international trade. The NSR is a shipping route that runs from Murmansk in Russia to the Bering Strait near Alaska and has the potential to cut sea transport times between Europe and Asia. The proposal emphasizes the need for new transit routes due to Russia's declining trade with Western countries following its military involvement in Ukraine. The Russian government plans to implement projects that would enable the shipment of around 80 million tonnes of goods per year via the NSR by 2024.
However, the NSR poses challenges as it requires the assistance of icebreakers to navigate through the northern coast of Russia, where sea ice is prevalent. Levitin called for the quick adoption of rules and regulations to govern the passage of foreign vessels through the NSR. The push to open the NSR to foreign vessels aims to enhance international logistics and potentially reduce transport times between Europe and Asia.
M/V COSCO Oceania is a container carrier with a full container carrying capacity of 10,020 TEUs (20-feet equivalent units) that was in the Port of Prince Rupert this week. The vessel has a length overall (LOA) of 348.5m, a breadth of 45.50m with a Gross rate tonnage (GRT) of 115,776 mt. Additionally, the vessel has 10 holds with a container carrying capacity of 4874 TEUs and offers 800 reefer plugs for refrigerated containers.
M/V COSCO Oceania was built in 2008 at Nantong COSCO KHI Ship Engineering CO. in China. On a rotational basis, the vessel operates a liner service between Shanghai, Long Beach, Prince Rupert and Xingang.