COS Weekly Newsletter - Friday, 6 October 2023

COS Weekly Newsletter - Friday, 6 October 2023

COS Weekly Newsletter - Friday, 6 October 2023

West Coast News

BC Government issues environmental assessment certificate for Roberts Bank Terminal 2

The British Columbia government has granted an environmental assessment certificate for the Roberts Bank Terminal 2 (RBT2) project that will create three new berths, capable of handling 2.4 million TEUs annually. Environmental groups and Indigenous nations have expressed strong opposition to the project, citing concerns about its impact on wildlife, salmon habitat, and Indigenous food security. The federal government approved the project in April but imposed 370 conditions to address environmental concerns. The provincial certificate includes 16 conditions, such as wetland and wildlife management plans and a greenhouse gas reduction plan for emissions. The expansion is seen as necessary to prevent capacity bottlenecks at the Canada Pacific Gateway, a crucial trade corridor. However, opponents argue that the expansion poses a significant risk to the environment and Indigenous rights.

BCMEA celebrates 10 years of Waterfront training centre

The British Columbia Marine Employers Association (BCMEA) celebrates 10 years of the Waterfront Training Center. BCMEA's commitment to waterfront safety and training has been instrumental in driving innovation and enhancing the productivity of the waterfront workforce. Their state-of-the-art facility, designed to provide a safe and controlled training environment, not only contributes to the development of skilled professionals but also ensures minimal disruption to ongoing operations – a commendable approach to balancing safety and efficiency. Acknowledging the contributions of their Board of Directors, member companies, and labor partners is a testament to the collaborative effort that has made the Waterfront Training Centre's success possible.

200 kg opium concealed in shipping containers seized by CBSA

The Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) recently seized a total of 196 kg of opium from inbound shipping containers in Metro Vancouver District. On August 15, CBSA officers at the Burnaby Container Examination Facility discovered 150 kg of opium concealed within the interior structure of a piece of steel machinery. On August 28, another 46 kg of opium was found inside a piece of furniture at the Tsawwassen Container Examination Facility. Both seizures have been referred to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police in British Columbia for investigation. CBSA is dedicated to preventing drugs from entering Canadian communities.

City of Delta seeks return of port police

The Delta Police Department has called for action to address security challenges at the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority's Deltaport container terminal. A report commissioned by the City of Delta highlighted issues with port policing and the need for dedicated resources to enhance security. The report found that transnational organized crime groups are active within the ports, using them to export illicit commodities. It emphasized the importance of a dedicated police force for port security and adequate funding for policing resources to address these challenges.

BC Ferries organizational changes focus on improving operations

BC Ferries’ has realigned its executive team to support a renewed focus on meeting customers’ current needs and planning for the kind of generational change required of an affordable, safe, and reliable modern ferry service in the future, announced President and CEO Nicolas Jimenez. Changes include three new Operating Divisions - Engineering, Marine Operations and Customer  Experience, a new Strategy and Planning Division, People and Safety Division and a Public Affairs and Marketing Division. Darren Johnston, formerly Executive Director Fleet Operations, is now Vice President of Marine Operations.

Canadian News

Montreal's uncertain expansion plans opens horizons for Halifax and Saint John

The ports of Halifax and Saint John are expanding their container handling capacity due to growing cargo volumes and commitments from ocean carriers. Halifax is enhancing its infrastructure to facilitate increased cargo movement, particularly to the US Midwest, offering a congestion-free alternative to larger West Coast ports. Meanwhile, Saint John is working on an expansion project that will enable it to handle 800,000 TEUs annually, with a focus on intermodal connections.

The Port of Montreal has also proposed a significant expansion plan for the Contrecoeur Terminal, but the project faces challenges, including financial constraints. Despite this, the expansion aims to provide access to markets in Quebec, Ontario, and the American Midwest. Overall, these expansion efforts highlight Canada's commitment to improving its port infrastructure and capacity to meet growing trade demands. The Minister of Transport is expected to make a funding announcement regarding this project on Tuesday.


FMC dismisses MSC's congestion surcharge case

The Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) in the United States has dismissed a case against the Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC) involving a congestion fee charged to SOFi Paper Products. This case was the first of its kind since the passage of the Ocean Shipping Reform Act (OSRA) last year. In a four-to-one ruling among its commissioners, the FMC determined that the $1,000 charge was not an unreasonable detention and demurrage fee. Commissioner Louis Sola noted that while he agreed with the ruling, there is a need to address concerns regarding auxiliary charges in the shipping industry and establish frameworks to ensure these fees serve the industry's best interests.

Rail dwell increasing in US west coast ports

A shortage of rail cars is causing rail container dwells to rise at the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach and in the Pacific Northwest, with operators unable to move inbound rail boxes off their marine terminals in a timely manner. While rail dwells have been slowly increasing since June, the problem worsened in September. The delays appear to be highest at Tacoma-area terminals, according to the advisory, which said Husky Terminal is seeing import dwells of just over seven days due to the railcar imbalance. The neighbouring Washington United Terminal is seeing delays of three to seven days, while Seattle’s T18 terminal is experiencing one- to three-day dwells.

Maximum vessel transits via Panama Canal capped at 31

The Panama Canal is reducing the maximum number of ships transiting the waterway each day from 32 to 31 due to a drought that has led to a shortage of freshwater needed to operate the locks. Under normal conditions, the canal can handle an average of 36 to 38 ships daily. Nine ships per day will be allowed to use the NeoPanamax locks, while 22 will use the older Panamax locks. The canal's authority has guaranteed a draft of 44 feet for ships, as 70% of ships using the waterway require at least that depth. Insufficient rainfall in the watershed system supplying water to the canal and Panama City is causing the issue.

AMSA bans Greek-owned container vessel for 90 days

The Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) has banned the Marshall Islands-flagged containership Big Lilly from Australian waters for 90 days due to serious safety and maintenance issues. AMSA identified significant defects in the ship's cargo hatches, main engine, and safety equipment. This is the second detention this year for the operator, V.Ships Greece. AMSA's decision emphasizes the importance of vessel maintenance and safety, sending a strong message that they have a zero-tolerance approach to neglecting these responsibilities. AMSA has also issued guidance for vessel operators on planned maintenance, highlighting the critical role of shipping in Australia's economy.

CLIA welcomes Quark Expeditions as its newest member

Quark Expeditions, a leader in polar adventures, has become a global member of the Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) in celebration of World Tourism Day. CLIA is the world's largest cruise industry trade association, representing 95% of ocean-going cruise capacity worldwide. Quark Expeditions joins CLIA to support policies and practices that promote a secure, healthy, and sustainable cruise environment while aligning with their commitment to providing exceptional travel experiences. CLIA's President and CEO, Kelly Craighead, sees Quark Expeditions' membership as highlighting the growing significance of small-ship expedition cruising within the industry.


Oct 11 - COS Meeting with Transport Canada - Grain Stability @ 11am

Oct 13 - Port of Vancouver AVTM Industry Town Hall @ 11am
Oct 15-16 - ABMCI Business Opportunities Conference and Trade Show
Oct 19 - ICS Lunch & Learn - Wind-Powered Vessels @ 12pm

Oct 25-26 - Vancouver Island Economic Summit

O‍ct 25 - WMCC PACMAR/NANS Meeting @ 10am

Oct 26 - Plimsoll Club - One Under Golf, Vancouver @ 5pm

Nov 1 - Pacific Pilotage Authority Quarterly Operations Meeting @ 11 am

Nov 13-14 - National Canadian Marine Advisory Committee Meetings, Ottawa
Nov 16 - ICS Dry Bulk and Commodities Conference Pinnacle Hotel, Vancouver

Ship of the Week

The SS Chusan, a British ocean liner and cruise ship, was constructed in 1950 for the Peninsular and Oriental Steam Navigation Company's Indian and Far East Service. Its name was derived from Chusan, a small island near China. The Chusan had a gross register tonnage of 24,215 and could accommodate 1,565 passengers and crew members. Measuring 646.5 feet (197.1 m) in length, the Chusan is credited with introducing higher levels of onboard luxury for voyages to India and the Far East. Notably, it was the final passenger liner built for P & O by Vickers-Armstrongs.

In 1950, the Chusan commenced its service, embarking on its maiden voyage from London, England to Bombay, India. Prior to this, it undertook two "shake-down" trips, both exclusively for first-class passengers, with one lasting a week and the other a fortnight, visiting Lisbon, Casablanca, and Madeira. Throughout most of its operational years, the Chusan transported passengers between London, Bombay, and Japan, and starting in 1963, it also included routes to Sydney, Australia. Its service came to an end in 1973, at which point it was sold for scrap to Chou's Iron and Steel Company Ltd. in Kaohsiung, Taiwan.