COS Weekly News - Friday, 26 January 2024

COS Weekly News - Friday, 26 January 2024

‍‍COS Weekly News - Friday, 26 January 2024

In the news...

‍Local News

Transmountain expansion expected to be completed in the coming weeks.

The Trans Mountain expansion project, nearly complete at 98%, is set to start operating soon, significantly boosting Canada's oil export capacity. This project will triple the pipeline's capacity to 890,000 barrels per day, facilitating oil movement from Edmonton to Westridge.  The completion marks a significant achievement after a decade of planning and cost increases from $5.4 billion to $30.9 billion. Bought by the federal government in 2018, the project has faced numerous challenges, including environmental opposition. Its operation is expected to enhance market access and reduce the price differential of Western Canadian oil, potentially encouraging further investment in the oil sector.

North American port expansion plans not deterred by declining volumes

Despite decreased container volumes on the US Gulf and east coasts and in northern Canada, port expansion efforts continue. The Port of New Orleans is advancing a $1.8 billion Louisiana International Terminal project, facing local opposition and alternative site suggestions. Additionally, the Port of Prince Rupert plans a new container terminal and export facility, aiming to double its capacity despite recent traffic declines. Both ports are moving forward with their expansion plans to increase capacity and services, despite the current challenges in container traffic.

HaiSea's LNG fueled tugs to escort Canadian gas carriers

Two LNG-fueled tugs, HaiSea Kermode and HaiSea Warrior, will escort gas carriers along the world's longest-piloted route (159 km) from the Pacific coast to LNG Canada’s terminal in Kitimat. Built by Sanmar Shipyards in Turkey, these tugs are among the most advanced, featuring dual-fuel engines and innovative design for powerful and environmentally friendly operations. They are scheduled to arrive in British Columbia in February 2024. These vessels, with azimuth stern drive propulsion, can achieve over 14 knots, a bollard pull of 105 tonnes, and are capable of maneuvering large gas carriers in various conditions. Their engines, compliant with IMO Tier III standards, significantly reduce emissions. Additionally, Sanmar Shipyards has delivered three all-electric harbour tugs to the Kitimat export hub, further showcasing the commitment to sustainable maritime operations. The LNG Canada project in Kitimat aims to export 18 million tonnes of LNG annually.

ZIM introduces first solo Asia<->West Coast Canada express service

Zim Integrated Shipping has initiated its first independent express container service, named Pacific Northwest Xpress (ZPX), between Asia and the Port of Vancouver. This new service, which began on January 21 with the GSL Valerie departing from Vietnam's Port of Cai Mep, enhances Zim's existing slot-sharing arrangement with Mediterranean Shipping Co. (MSC) for West Coast Canada service. The ZPX, consisting of seven ships with an average capacity of 3,500 TEUs, will follow an eastbound route including Cai Mep, Yantian, Kaohsiung, Xiamen, Ningbo, Shanghai, and Vancouver, and will also call at Busan on the westbound journey. This launch comes despite Zim's recent challenges with weak freight demand. However, the company is expanding capacity in specific markets, including restarting an Asia-US West Coast express service for e-commerce shippers and introducing a north-south express service for refrigerated produce to US Southeast ports.

Port of Sept-Îles becomes Canada's second largest port based on 2023 cargo volume

The Port of Sept-Îles celebrated a record year in 2023, handling 36.6 million metric tons of cargo. This achievement positions it as the second-largest port in Canada and the largest mineral port in North America. The port has undergone a strategic overhaul, including updating its mission, vision, and values. It also engaged in community consultations, notably through an online public consultation project "Ré-imaginez le cœur de Sept-Îles," which saw significant participation.  This development is crucial as the maritime activities in this zone constitute a significant portion of Québec's export value. The region is attracting interest for its high-purity iron resources, positioning it as a key player in green steel production and the broader iron industry's decarbonization efforts.

Port Saint John, NB successfully completes $205 million modernization project

The $205 million West Side Terminals Modernization Project at Port Saint John has been completed on time and within budget, enhancing the port's capacity and infrastructure. This project, funded by the Federal Government, Province of New Brunswick, and the Port, has notably increased the port's laydown capacity by 160% and made significant improvements like a longer berth and upgraded facilities. Since 2016, these upgrades have attracted $560 million in private sector investments. The port, now better connected with expanded rail links and partnerships, has seen a significant increase in terminal throughput, even amidst global trade challenges.

Nanaimo Port Authority conducts harbour-side tour

The Port of Nanaimo's recent harbour-side tour on video offered a unique perspective of its properties and waterways. This experience provided a glimpse into the bustling activities, meticulous operations, and vast expanse of the Port's properties, showcasing its vibrant life and intricate workings in a way only visible from the water.  The Patrol Division of the Port of Nanaimo plays a critical role in ensuring the safety and security of the area.

CSL earns prestigious title again as top employer for young people

Canada Steamship Lines Group, a leader in marine transportation, has been named one of Canada's Top Employers for Young People for the third consecutive year. This recognition highlights CSL's dedication to creating a supportive and dynamic workplace for young maritime professionals. The company offers various opportunities, including paid internships, summer jobs, and a cadet program. CSL's commitment to excellence, diversity, and innovation attracts and retains young talent, helping them develop and make a significant impact in the maritime industry.

Past President Richard Bryant Feb 1941 - Jan 2024

Our former President, Rick Bryant, passed away peacefully on January 11th surrounded by his loving family on Vancouver Island.  He was appointed as President in January 2002 and retired in 2008 on Vancouver Island. Before joining the organization, Rick spent over 30 years in public service with the Royal Canadian Air Force, the Canadian Hydrographic Service, and completed his service as the Pacific Regional Director for the Canadian Coast Guard.  During his time with the Chamber, he played an active role in Canada's implementation of the ISPS Code, and 2004 led the development of the first inventory of emissions from ships in collaboration with our members, Environment Canada and Metro Vancouver.  Our thoughts and prayers are with the family and friends of Rick during this difficult time.

‍US News

Westwood rebrands to Swire Shipping

Westwood Shipping Lines will be integrated into the Swire Shipping brand effective 1 February 2024. The integration follows J-WeSco Ltd. sale of the US-based company to Swire Shipping which was approved in June 2022.  This change of name will not involve any modifications to the nature and structure of the line's services, nor will it affect existing relations with customers, partners, suppliers, financial management, manufacturing, contracts, personnel and shareholders. The rebrand expects to be seamless and there should not be any disruption to relationships or services.

FMC hearings on the Red Sea Gulf of Aden impacts

The Federal Maritime Commission will be holding hearings on February 7th to examine impacts to shipping and supply chains resulting from current conditions in the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden Regions. The instructions were published in the Federal Register and address requirements for attending in-person and presenting testimony, as well as how to submit written comments or testimony for the record. The hearing will be live-streamed on the Commission’s YouTube channel. If technical issues prevent the Commission from streaming live, the Commission will post a recording of the meeting as soon as possible on the Commission’s YouTube channel. Registration is not required to view the live stream.

‍International News

Crews under immense stress amid Red Sea attacks

As stated by the new IMO secretary general, Arsenio Dominguez, "the wellbeing of seafarers is paramount" as these unsung heroes have faced the threat of ongoing Houthi attacks on commercial ships in the Red Sea area since November. "We need to remember that they are actually victims, innocent victims, of this particular case and we have to remember that they are just as human as you and I."  The Galaxy Leader, the first vessel attacked and its crew are still being held by Houthi rebels in Yemen and they have turned the vessel into a tourist attraction. Onboard the Galaxy Leader were 25 crew members, including 17 from the Philippines; other crew members came from Bulgaria (including the captain and first mate), Ukraine, Mexico, and Romania. Mr. Dominguez called for the release of the crew at this first IMO meeting. Earlier today, the Marlin Luanda, a petroleum products tanker vessel operated on behalf of Trafigura, was struck by a missile as it transited the Red Sea. Operator Trafigura told the BBC the strike caused a fire in one of the ship's cargo tanks and firefighting equipment was being used to contain it.

All Starlink equipped vessels to get free internet for 2 months

In 2023, Elon Musk's Starlink internet service saw rapid adoption in the maritime industry, offering high-speed internet onboard ships. Starlink, launched to maritime customers in 2022, is now used by many major shipping companies. To increase adoption, resellers are offering a two-month free trial of a five terabyte-per-month service for ships with an IMO number, excluding the cost of the $2,500 user terminal. This promotion is expected to further boost Starlink's presence in the shipping sector, transforming onboard connectivity and operations.

‍Upcoming Events

Jan. 31 - WMCC PACMAR/NANS Meeting @ 10:00

Jan. 31 - Vancouver Grain Exchange Council Meeting @ 13:30

Feb. 8 - Vancouver Maritime Arbitrators Association Meeting @ 12:00
Feb. 14 - Quarterly Pilotage Operations Meeting @ 10:00

Feb. 29 - The Plimsoll Club Pub Night 

Mar. 6  COS Board of Directors Meeting @ 12:00

Mar. 14 - COS Annual General Meeting - Save the Date


‍Ship of the Week

26 January - Crowley eWolf

Crowley has received the eWolf, the first all-electric harbour tugboat in the US, showcasing a major step in sustainable maritime operations. Designed by Crowley and built by Master Boat Builders, the eWolf will operate with zero emissions in the Port of San Diego starting in spring 2024. The tugboat is part of a collaborative project aimed at reducing environmental impact, involving various government and environmental partners. The tug will generate 178 tons less of nitrogen oxide (NOx), 2.5 tons less of diesel particulate matter and 3,100 metric tons less of carbon dioxide (CO2) over the first 10 years of its operations – the equivalent of removing 350,000 gallons of gas from use, according to EPA calculations. The vessel uses ABB's innovative, integrated electrical propulsion system.

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