COS Weekly Newsletter - Friday, 20 October 2023

COS Weekly Newsletter - Friday, 20 October 2023

COS Weekly Newsletter - Friday, 20 October 2023

COS Updates 

‍Centennial Gala images now available

‍In case you missed it, the COS Centennial Gala was held last month and it was a night to remember.  So many special moments were captured by our photographer and now the images are available for viewing and download in our gala gallery here.  Thank you to all who came to celebrate 100 years with us. 


West Coast News 

Port of Prince Rupert's $750 million expansion project construction to begin

The Prince Rupert Port Authority (PRPA) is beginning the Ridley Island Export Logistics Project (RIELP) to enhance rail-to-container trans-loading at the Port of Prince Rupert. Ray-Mont Logistics will operate the facilities, which will handle various export products, and the project aims to improve supply chain resiliency and sustainability. It will provide new capacities for Canadian exporters, strengthen container supply chains, and be supported by local Indigenous partners. The total investment is about $750 million, with contributions from various sources, including the Canadian government and British Columbia.

Trans Mountain route change approved

The Canada Energy Regulator (CER) has approved a route change application for the expansion of the Trans Mountain oil pipeline because continuing to use micro-tunnelling construction techniques could delay completion by at least 10 months. The delay would cost an estimated C$2 billion($1.46 billion) of lost revenue for Trans Mountain and cause negative impacts on shippers and other parties. The CER granted the route change that includes a deviation on a 1.3-kilometre section of pipeline near Kamloops, BC.  Talks on the sale of the pipeline continue with more than 120 Western Canadian Indigenous communities wanting a meaningful stake in the utility.

Vancouver Fraser Port Authority joins the International Port Community Systems Association (IPCSA)

The International Port Community Systems Association (IPCSA) has welcomed the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority as its newest member. The Vancouver Fraser Port Authority (VFPA) has joined the IPCSA, introducing its Connect+ digitalization and optimization programs. As the authority responsible for Canada's largest port, VFPA manages diverse types of cargo, including bulk, containers, breakbulk, liquid bulk, automobiles, and cruise. The Connect+ program aims to enhance innovation, data sharing, and collaboration within the port's supply chains.


Canadian News

Unifor Locals issue strike notice to Seaway Management Corp.

Workers at the St. Lawrence Seaway Management Corp. are prepared to strike as of midnight October 21, 2023 . Unifor, the union representing the group issued a 72-hour strike notice, and negotiations are set to continue until an agreement is reached. The strike would affect five local sections in Quebec and Ontario, potentially shutting down transit through the seaway between the Jacques-Cartier Bridge in Montreal and Niagara Falls, Ontario. The 361 employees play a crucial role in transporting ships along the seaway, especially in the locks and navigational points, including those in Montreal, Beauharnois, Iroquois, and the Welland Canal. About 4,000 ships pass through the seaway each year, making it a critical transportation route for goods. The workers have been demanding a "serious wage offer." Last week, the union announced workers had voted 99 percent in favour of a strike mandate.  Unifor locals 4211, 4212, 4323, 4319, and 4320 have been without a contract since March 31, 2023. The main point of contention is salaries, with union members finding the offers to be below market value. If the strike proceeds, it could disrupt the transport of goods along the seaway, impacting various industries, including grain shipments.

US private equity firms to acquire Montreal's Paquin family owned Logistec Corp.

Logistec Corp., a Canadian marine cargo handling and environmental services company, will be acquired by New York private equity firm Blue Wolf Capital Partners LLC and alternative investment firm Stonepeak. The buyers are offering $67 per share for Logistec in a deal that values the company at $1.2 billion, including debt. Logistec operates shipping operations from the Arctic to the Gulf of Mexico and has increased its profits in each of the last five years, with a net income of $54 million in its last fiscal year on sales of $898 million. The deal is at least the third proposed takeover by US-based buyers for a Quebec company this month, reflecting a currency dynamic that has increased the buying power of American businesses for Canadian assets.

Transport Canada awards Montreal Port Authority with $110 million for new boxship terminal

The Montreal Port Authority has received $110 million in funding from Transport Canada for the construction of a new container terminal in Contrecoeur, Quebec. The previous procurement process, which aimed to combine construction and operation of the terminal under a design-build-finance-operate-maintain (DBFOM) model, did not attract bidders due to changing circumstances, such as interest rates and inflation. As a result, the new plan divides the project into two phases: marine works and land site works and operations. The marine works phase will be managed by the port authority as the prime contractor, while the land site works and operations will be carried out in partnership with a private entity, with a request for proposal to be issued in early 2024 to select the private partner. This hybrid approach aims to strengthen Canada's supply chain and boost economic resilience in the St. Lawrence-Great Lakes corridor.

BHP sees Canada as an attractive market aiming to invest beyond potash

BHP is investing $7.5 billion in the Jansen potash mine in Canada, aiming to become a major potash supplier. Despite short-term price fluctuations, Mike Henry, the company’s chief, is optimistic about the long-term demand for potash due to global population growth. The company is also looking to expand its copper and nickel assets while gradually moving away from coal. Henry believes metallurgical coal will be essential for steel production for decades to come, as alternative carbon-reducing technologies are still in the early stages. BHP sees Canada as an attractive investment destination, but there's room for improvement in permitting processes and standards.

Forillon Shipyard to construct CCG's first hybrid-electric vessel

Forillon Shipyard in Gaspé, Quebec, has been selected to build the Canadian Coast Guard's first hybrid vessel, a nearshore fishery research vessel designed to reduce carbon emissions in line with Canada's climate change commitments for 2030 and 2050. This project demonstrates the company's steady growth and job creation. To maintain its quality standards for current and future projects, Forillon Shipyard plans to expand its team by recruiting specialists, front-line employees, engineers, welders, project managers, administrative staff, and production staff. The decision to award the contract was based on various criteria, including the company's experience, shipyard facilities, past experience with similar projects, and the strength of its team.

Canadian National Railway appoint two Chief Operating Officers

The Canadian National Railway (CN) has announced Patrick Whitehead as Executive Vice-President and Chief Networking Operating Officer and Derek Taylor as Executive Vice-President and Chief Field Operating Officer. These changes will be effective November 15, 2023, and they are part of CN's plan to evolve its operational organization to better handle the development of the plan and its execution. Whitehead will focus on leading Network Operations, Mechanical, Engineering, and the corporate safety team. Meanwhile, Taylor will be responsible for system-wide leadership for Transportation and Intermodal Operations. This structural change aims to enhance efficiency and drive profitable growth by balancing the responsibilities of network expansion and day-to-day operations.

Ontario government releases maiden marine transportation strategy

The Ontario government has released a marine transportation strategy aimed at strengthening the province's position as a leader in marine transportation. The strategy outlines more than 14 near and longer-term actions, including establishing an Ontario Marine Partnership and Development Office, strengthening connections between marine and other modes of transportation, and focusing on environmentally sustainable marine transportation. The strategy will create more jobs and economic opportunities for Ontario. The marine industry has responded positively, emphasizing the importance of collaboration between the government and the marine sector to create a world-class inland shipping asset across the Great Lakes.

Government Updates

Labour Minister announces next steps on review of port dispute

Minister O’Regan issued a statement announcing the next step in the process under section 106 of the Canada Labour Code to examine the structural issues underlying the recent ILWU dispute at Canada’s West Coast ports, as well as similar disputes that have occurred in ports across Canada. Anthony Giles and Kevin Banks have been contracted to begin the first part of the review process. Between now and December 31st 2023, they will be tasked with identifying the key questions that need to be answered and proposing the terms of reference for this review. In the New Year, an update will be provided on the next steps in that process.

TC webinar on labour shortages in the marine sector

In April, Transport Canada launched a public consultation to better understand the possible impacts of labour shortages in Canada’s marine transportation sector and hear additional feedback on possible solutions. A "what we heard" report is being consolidated and will be published in the coming weeks. As a follow-up to this consultation, Transport Canada will be hosting an ad-hoc Canadian Marine Advisory Council webinar to further discuss what we heard, the common themes that emerged, and how they informed the next steps Transport Canada will be taking to address the ongoing challenge of labour shortages. This meeting will take place on November 10, 2023 from 13:00-15:00 EST. If you are not on the CMAC distribution list and are interested in participating in the webinar, please email and we will share the details.

TC Ship Safety Bulletin - medical certificates, discharge books & marine counter services

Transport Canada's latest Ship Safety Bulletin SSB #23/2023 replaces SSB #04/2021 from March 19, 2021, and provides information on discharge books, marine medical certificates and counter services offered by the Marine Safety and Security Transport Canada Centres. This latest bulletin is applicable to Canadian seafarers, foreign seafarers employed on Canadian-flagged vessels, and authorized representatives of Canadian-flagged vessels.

Ship-Source Oil Pollution Fund releases annual report for 2022-2023

The Ship-Source Oil Pollution Fund has released and submitted to Parliament their annual report for 2022-2023. Included in the annual report is overview of incidents and claims statistics, recoveries from polluters, preparedness to handle a high volume of claims, communications and outreach efforts, and governance and financial results.

International News

CARB 2020 At Berth Regulation approved by US EPA

The US Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA) has granted California Air Resources Board (CARB)’s authorization request for the Final Regulation Order Control Measure for Ocean-Going Vessels At Berth (2020 Regulation) pursuant to section 209(e) of the Clean Air Act. The authorization has been published in the Federal Register on October 20, 2023. CARB previously issued a March 30, 2023, Enforcement Notice (March 2023 Notice) outlining reporting and enforcement requirements during the "transition period," which spans from January 1, 2023, through 30 days after the US EPA publishes its issuance of authorization for the 2020 Regulation in the Federal Register (November 20, 2023). Once the “transition period” concludes on November 20, 2023, all regulated entities must follow and comply with the requirements set forth in the 2020 Regulation. The two enforcement path options are as follows: (1) achieving the per-visit emission reduction provisions of the 2020 Regulation, or (2) achieving the 80 percent emission or power reduction provisions set forth in the 2007 Regulation. Regardless of which enforcement path is selected, all vessel and terminal operators are required to submit reporting information required by the 2020 Regulation, including vessel visit reports. By affirmatively selecting an enforcement path, regulated entities would designate the enforcement approach to be used during the transition period.

Shipments to Israel declare force majeure

Taiwanese container shipping line Evergreen has declared force majeure on a shipment to the Israeli port of Ashdod due to safety concerns. The Ever Cozy vessel has been diverted to Haifa further north and is one of the first force majeure declared since the recent hostilities between Hamas Islamists and Israel. Evergreen cited the "persisting unsafe situation" at Ashdod port as the reason for the declaration. All cargoes originally destined for Ashdod will now be discharged at the Port of Haifa, and the contract of carriage is terminated. Meanwhile, there have been concerns about escalating hostilities in the region, leading to a significant increase in war risk insurance rates for Israeli ports.

US softens Venezuelan sanctions

The United States is easing sanctions against Venezuela, allowing transactions in the country's oil sector following an agreement between the Venezuelan administration and opposition leaders to ensure fair elections in 2024. This development is expected to lead to an increase in Venezuela's crude oil production by approximately 200,000 barrels per day, a roughly 25% jump in production. While it may have a positive impact on the tanker market due to increased cargo flows, experts anticipate the additional Venezuelan oil will primarily flow to the US Gulf, potentially reducing US Gulf crude imports from Middle Eastern producers like Saudi Arabia.


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 @ 11am

Nov 1-3 - Oceans Protection Plan Dialogue Forum
Nov 2 - VMCC Green Ship 2023 Conference

Nov 13 - 14 - National Canadian Marine Advisory Committee Meetings, Ottawa

Nov 16 - ICS Dry Bulk and Commodities Conference Pinnacle Hotel, Vancouver

Dec 7 - Vancouver Grain Exchange Holiday Lunch - Terminal City Club @ 12 pm 

Ship of the Week

Berge Bulk, a Singapore-based shipping company, has launched the dry bulk carrier Berge Olympus, equipped with steel-and-composite sails known as Wind Wings. The ship is chartered by mining company Vale and will operate between Brazil and China. The Wind Wings are expected to reduce fuel consumption by up to 20% or six tons per day on an average worldwide route, resulting in a reduction of approximately 19.5 tons of carbon emissions per day. The company is exploring alternative technologies to reduce its carbon emissions, with the goal of becoming carbon-neutral by 2025. The maritime industry is under regulatory pressure to reduce carbon intensity by at least 40 percent by 2030 and 70 percent by 2050.