COS Weekly News - Friday, 12 January 2024

COS Weekly News - Friday, 12 January 2024

‍‍COS Weekly News - Friday, 12 January 2024

‍In the news...

‍Local News

BCMEA files Notice of Dispute in ILWU 514 Negotiations

The BC Maritime Employers Association advised on January 10th that a notice of dispute under the Canada Labour Code was filed, in an effort, to conclude a negotiated collective agreement with Local 514, which represents approximately 730 longshore Ship and Dock Foremen in Canada's West Coast ports.  The notice of dispute requires the Minister of Labour to appoint a Conciliation Officer from the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Services (FMCS) within 15 days.  BCMEA believes that a negotiated settlement is possible with conciliation.

Trigon Terminals Ltd. submits project proposal for LPG export project

Trigon Pacific Terminals Ltd. has submitted a project proposal for the Trigon Pacific LPG Project to the Prince Rupert Port Authority. The project, aimed at diversifying exports and creating jobs in Canada's northwest, will use existing land and infrastructure for exporting liquid petroleum gas. Trigon is negotiating with potential customers and expects to start operations by late 2027, subject to legal and regulatory approvals. The project features include 98,000 cubic meters of new LPG storage and enhancements to existing rail and vessel loading facilities.

DP World to manage Canpotex's terminal operations in St. John, NB

DP World has secured a five-year contract to manage Canpotex's terminal operations in Saint John, New Brunswick. This partnership emphasizes DP World's role in enhancing logistics and trade, aligning with Canpotex's global potash supply operations. To reliably deliver high-quality Canadian potash to customers in 40 countries, Canpotex operates a highly integrated and sophisticated supply chain, including three marine terminals in North America, a fleet of over 8,000 railcars, and chartering its own vessels. The agreement involves DP World handling the potash supply chain, from railcar management to international shipping, which is crucial for global food production.

Davie Shipyards takes Canadian federal government to court

Quebec-based Davie Shipyards is suing the Canadian federal government to prevent the release of any details from an agreement related to potential federal shipbuilding contracts worth billions. The agreement, essential for contract negotiations including six icebreakers and a polar icebreaker for the Canadian Coast Guard, is considered confidential by Davie. The company argues that releasing any part of it, as requested through an access to information (ATI) request, would disclose sensitive commercial information. Public Services and Procurement Canada (PSPC) plans to release certain parts of the agreement, prompting Davie's legal action to block this disclosure. The case is currently before the courts, and a quick resolution is expected due to existing jurisprudence on ATI Act exemptions.

Prince Rupert Port Authority releases 2022 Sustainability Report

The Prince Rupert Port Authority (PRPA) has unveiled its 2022 Sustainability Report, showcasing its commitment to enhancing Canada's growth through trade expansion and strategic partnerships. The report emphasizes PRPA's dedication to critical aspects of sustainable development, including environmental stewardship, community engagement, economic growth, employment opportunities, and effective governance. The report highlights how the authority balances its objectives of facilitating vital trade with the need for thriving, sustainable communities. This approach reflects PRPA's overarching goal to expand trade and do so in a manner that is responsible and beneficial to all stakeholders involved. In 2022, PRPA awarded 19 contracts to local Indigenous businesses and First Nations joint ventures, worth over $137.7 million. The report also notes that revenues from PRPA's activities make up 40.4% of the City of Prince Rupert's net tax revenue in 2022 and highlights other community investments.

Greater Victoria Harbour Authority welcomes three new board members

The Greater Victoria Harbour Authority (GVHA) has announced the addition of three new members to its board of directors for the year 2024. Xwsepsum (Esquimalt) Nation's Chief, Jerome Thomas, replaces former Chief Rob Thomas. Joining him are Bruce Hallsor and Gail Stephens, independent directors who fill the roles previously held by Doug Crowder and Margaret Lucas. Additionally, the Songhees Nation has re-appointed Florence Dick to continue her role as the Songhees Nation director. Christine Willow, the board's chair, expressed enthusiasm about the new and returning members, highlighting their collective experience as a vital asset for GVHA’s strategic focus on sustainability, reconciliation, and community partnership, aiming to support a vibrant and harmonious harbour.

Safe Bunkering at Port of Nanaimo for an LPG Carrier

BW Messina, a laden export LPG carrier, made its inaugural trip to Port of Nanaimo (NPA) from Prince Rupert to load bunkers (VLFSO and LSMGO) from Marine Petrobulk LP barge, at Nanaimo Anchorage-2. After a smooth and efficient bunkering operation, the vessel departed for Japan. Captain Singh, VP of Operations and Harbour Master at NPA said that he was thankful for the special weather conditions for this bunkering operation. The sheltered anchorage enjoyed zero-knot winds while other ports in the region were shut down due to advisories for strong winds and high tides.  He further added that everyone involved in this operation demonstrated their commitment to safety and prioritized safety protocols to ensure secure handling of the bunkering operation.

Neptune Terminals and UBC collaborate towards Bull Kelp Restoration Program

Neptune has partnered with the University of British Columbia (UBC) and is funding a research project led by Dr. Patrick Martone, focusing on bull kelp restoration in Burrard Inlet. The project, part of the Bull Kelp Restoration Program (BKR Program), aims to enhance the resilience and sustainability of the local bull kelp population, an important marine habitat. Techniques include transplanting and cultivating bull kelp in the laboratory, with promising early results showing high survival rates of transplanted young kelp. This initiative is a key part of Neptune's commitment to environmental stewardship and ecological research, with plans to potentially expand the project to include the Lynn Creek Estuary.

‍Government News

ADM Grain terminal in Port Windsor receives federal funding for expansion

The Canadian Government has allocated $26.3 million for the expansion of the ADM Grain Terminal at Port Windsor, aiming to enhance grain export capacity and alleviate supply chain bottlenecks. This project aims to boost export capacity to markets in Europe, the US, and Latin America, benefiting agricultural production from southwestern Ontario. Key features of the project include new grain drying equipment, increased grain storage capacity, enhanced conveyor loading capacity, and an automated truck kiosk system to improve traffic flow. As part of the National Trade Corridors Fund (NTCF), this project will improve infrastructure for grain transportation, thereby supporting economic growth and efficiency in agricultural exports from southwestern Ontario.

Following Canada's Indigenous coast guard team

Debuting on January 14 on APTN (Aboriginal Peoples Television Network), Ocean Warriors: Mission Ready is a 13-part docuseries following four First Nations who have teamed up to form Canada’s only Indigenous coast guard team. The show is shot in the Ahousaht, Quatsino, Heiltsuk, and ’Namgis nations—four of eight nations that make up the Indigenous Coastal Nations Coast Guard Auxiliary. The series will follow the highly trained men and women who will promote water safety, conduct coastal safety patrols, and respond to marine emergencies in support of the Canadian Coast Guard.

‍US News

APM Terminals dedicates $500 million for new Lousiana Container terminal

APM Terminals, part of A.P. Moller-Maersk, plans to invest $500 million in building a modern container terminal near the Mississippi River's mouth. The project, initiated through an agreement with the Plaquemines Port Harbor and Terminal District, will develop a deepwater port on a 200-acre greenfield site, with potential expansion up to 900 acres. The terminal will feature on-dock rail and a berth for the largest ships compatible with the expanded Panama Canal.

‍International News

ICS issues Red Sea Security Transit Advisory

The International Chamber of Shipping confirmed that US and UK military forces struck Houthi military targets ashore in Yemen t at 23.30 UTC on 11 January 2024, in response to ongoing attacks against merchant shipping in the Southern Red Sea. Consequently, US Naval Forces Central Command Bahrain (NAVCENT) has advised shipping that there is a high degree of threat/risk to transits through the Red Sea, specifically in the areas from 12 to 16 degrees North and West of 46 degrees East in the Southern Red Sea and Bab al Mandab Strait, and therefore vessels should take an operational pause for at least the next 48-72 hours. It is further advised that ships that do continue to transit with AIS turned off should provide position reports to NAVCENT every 2-3 hours. The threat level is severe for vessels specifically linked to Israel, the United States, the United Kingdom and other countries involved in the direct military strikes, including Canada.

Maersk eyes rail trans-shipment as solution to Panama Canal restrictions

Due to drought conditions affecting the Panama Canal, Maersk has altered its shipping routes for freight from Oceania (Australia and New Zealand). Ships will no longer pass through the canal but will instead use a "land bridge" in Panama, involving the Ports of Balboa and Manzanillo. Containers will be transferred by rail across 80 kilometres in Panama and then loaded onto other vessels. Maersk's decision reflects a broader trend of declining cargo volume through the Panama Canal, which saw a decrease in 2023 compared to 2022. However, the Canal Authority reported record revenues due to surcharges and other fees. The Panama Canal Authority views its multimodal transportation system as a response to climate variability and water shortages, pledging continued support for operations like Maersk's.

Key Australian Ports face disruptions as DP World-MUA negotiations fail

Work disruptions are happening at DP World's Sydney, Brisbane, and Fremantle terminals as a result of unsuccessful negotiations between DP World Australia and the Maritime Union of Australia (MUA). Limited work is being performed at the Melbourne terminal according to DP World's news release which also states that "economic modelling shows the Industrial Action taken to date has cost the nation $34 million in lost productivity per day, building on an average impact of $84 million per week since the MUA’s protected industrial action commenced in September 2023. The backlog of containers across Australian ports now exceeds 48,000 and will take months to recover from."  DP World is calling for workplace minister Tony Burke to intervene to end the dispute, a call backed by multiple shipping stakeholders in Australia. 

‍Upcoming Events

Salish Sea Symposium - January 24-25

Transport Canada is hosting the 2024 Salish Sea Strategy Symposium at the Vancouver Convention Centre on January 23 – 24, 2023, with limited in-person and virtual sessions. The Symposium is an event held under the Oceans Protection Plan's Salish Sea Strategy, which aims to establish a shared level of understanding of existing work across the Salish Sea.  The theme of this event is “Building on our past, advancing our future” and discussions include shared priorities to protect the Salish Sea, opportunities to capitalize on, and the challenges we need to overcome. The two-day Symposium will include a session with our VP Policy and Partnerships - Vida Ramin, along with other presentations, panel discussions, fireside chats, workshops, information booths and opportunities for networking. Further details at Salish Sea Symposium Registration (


Jan. 16 - AVTM User Committee Meeting @ 14:00

Jan. 18 - ICS Board Meeting @ 11:00
Jan. 23/24 - Salish Sea Strategy Symposium

Jan. 24 - COS Operations Committee Meeting @ 12:00

Jan. 25 - WCMRC User Group Meeting@ 09:00
Jan. 25 - Institute of Chartered Shipbrokers Young Person in Shipping Event @ 16:30

Jan. 31 - WMCC PACMAR/NANS Meeting @ 10:00
Jan. 31 - Vancouver Grain Exchange Council Meeting @ 13:30


‍Ship of the Week

12 January - Höegh Aurora Class vessels

Höegh Autoliners introduces the Aurora Class, the world's largest and most environmentally friendly Pure Car and Truck Carrier (PCTC) vessel. These state-of-the-art ships are designed to carry up to 9,100 cars and are pioneering in their ability to operate on zero-carbon ammonia. Marking a significant stride in the industry's green transformation, the Aurora Class vessels are aimed at achieving net-zero emissions. The vessel's design includes enhanced features like strengthened decks and improved internal ramp systems, enabling the transportation of Electric Vehicles on all decks and accommodating heavier project cargo. The distinctive "Ö" in Höegh and the characteristic HA colours are now visible, symbolizing the company's commitment to sustainable shipping. In 2019, Höegh Autoliners was the first customer of Vessel Insight, Kongsberg Digital's cloud infrastructure, which helps exploit new ways to reduce emissions, increase predictability, and improve safety.

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