COS Weekly News - Friday, 16 February 2024

COS Weekly News - Friday, 16 February 2024

‍‍COS Weekly News - Friday, 16 February 2024

‍In the news...

‍Local News

CPKC and TCRC Labour Negotiations Update

Canadian Pacific Kansas City (CPKC) has filed a Notice of Dispute with the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service requesting the appointment of a Federal Conciliation Officer to assist CPKC and both the Teamsters Canada Rail Conference (TCRC) – Train & Engine (T&E) division and the TCRC - Rail Canada Traffic Controllers (RCTC) division in reaching negotiated collective agreements. This is a process available under the Canada Labour Code to help employers and unions achieve negotiated collective agreements and it was noted that Federal Conciliation has been required in nine of the 10 collective bargaining rounds of negotiations between the TCRC - T&E and CPKC since 1993. The latest collective bargaining negotiation session took place the week of January 29, 2024. Both CPKC and Union leadership remain far apart on the issues.

The TCRC - T&E represents CPKC's roughly 3,200 locomotive engineers, conductors and train and yard workers, and the TCRC - RCTC represents approximately 80 rail traffic controllers, all in Canada. While the two TCRC collective agreements expired on December 31, 2023, they remain in effect under Canadian labour law until the parties reach new agreements.

Global customers impressed with Canadian Wheat quality

Canadian farmers, following Cereals Canada's New Crop Trade and Technical Missions, returned with a strong sense of pride in the unique quality of Canadian grain, highlighted during visits to countries including Algeria, Italy, Morocco, and the United Kingdom. They received positive feedback on the quality and reliability of Canadian wheat, often referred to as the "gold standard" and praised for its exceptional quality across various wheat classes. The missions facilitated discussions on environmental sustainability, the use of pesticides, and the challenge of traceability within Canada's bulk handling system. While there was an overwhelming appreciation for Canadian wheat, some concerns were raised regarding the strength of CWRS for bread making and moisture content in hot, humid climates.

Port Montreal releases technology program to counter stolen vehicle exports

The Montreal Port Authority (MPA) has introduced a new program to combat vehicle theft, aiming to prevent vehicles from being illegally exported through the Port of Montreal. This initiative, announced during the National Summit on Combatting Auto Theft, involves collaboration with the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA), law enforcement, and the private sector. The program offers support and expertise to companies providing tracking systems approved by the Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC), assisting with the installation of antennas and maintenance of their technology on port territory. The MPA emphasizes its commitment to port security and the collective effort required to achieve tangible results against criminal activities. The port is equipped with extensive surveillance and access control measures to assist investigations and ensure a secure environment.

St. Lawrence Seaway to commence operations on March 22, 2024

The 2024 navigation season for the Montreal / Lake Ontario Section and the Welland Canal is set to open on March 22, 2024, at 0800 hours (D.S.T.). Ship transits will depend on the prevailing weather and ice conditions, and there might be restrictions in certain areas until navigation aids are in place. The Sault Ste. Marie Locks in the US is scheduled to open on March 25, 2024, as announced by the US Army Corps of Engineers.

‍Government News

DFO investing more into prevention of invasive aquatic species on West Coast

Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) has pledged $8.75 million over five years to the Aquatic Invasive Species Prevention Fund (AISPF) to combat the spread of invasive species like Zebra and Quagga Mussels. The fund supports projects across Canada aimed at preventing these species' introduction and spread. Additionally, DFO has allocated up to $540,000 to the Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation (HCTF) for 2023-2025 to bolster British Columbia’s Invasive Mussel Defense Program (IMDP). To further aid the prevention efforts, DFO is investing $90,000 in two new decontamination trailers in British Columbia, enhancing public education on watercraft cleanliness and supporting the IMDP in decontaminating watercraft.

Government of Canada shores up Lax Kw'alaams protection

The Government of Canada is putting measures in place to stabilize the shoreline in Lax Kw’alaams with an investment of $5 million from the Disaster Mitigation and Adaptation Fund. This project will protect the community’s critical infrastructure and preserve the precious habitats of important fish species, such as surf smelt and herring. Located on the northwest coast, and accessible only by ferry or water taxi, Lax Kw’alaams is experiencing a consistently high rate of erosion along its shoreline, caused by a rise in sea level, storm surges, and strong winds. This has resulted in the loss of a considerable amount of land, putting the community’s power, roads, water and sanitary sewer assets at risk. Funding will go towards the construction of new rock revetments along the shoreline to create a barrier to absorb and dissipate the wave energy of the water, which will in turn protect Lax Kw’alaams against further erosion.

‍US News

USCG to increase Great Lakes pilotage charges by 7%

The US Coast Guard has announced an adjustment to the Great Lakes pilotage rates for the 2024 season, resulting in a 7% net increase in pilotage costs from 2023. This change, published in the Federal Register, aims to cover rising district operating expenses, an increased pilot count, and expected inflation, pushing total costs from $37.6 million in 2023 to an estimated $40.2 million in 2024. The new rates will introduce hourly charges for pilotage services, varying between $430 to $927 across different service areas. The 2024 season will see a workforce of 58 fully registered pilots and 6 apprentice pilots, with individual pilot compensation rising by 3.8% to $440,658. The American Great Lakes Ports Association has expressed concerns over the high pilotage costs impacting the competitiveness of maritime commerce in the Great Lakes St. Lawrence Seaway system.

Teck receives Zink Mark for its Red Dog mining operations

Teck Resources Limited announced its Red Dog Operations, the United States' largest critical mineral mine, has received the Zinc Mark for its environmentally and socially responsible production practices. This certification means all of Teck’s base metals operations are now recognized for their strong environmental and social performance. The Zinc Mark, part of the Copper Mark’s multi-metals approach which also includes Molybdenum and Nickel Marks, verifies operations against 32 responsible production criteria. Teck, a leading global zinc producer, emphasizes its commitment to responsible production and sustainability, with its Trail Operations being the first smelting and refining facility to receive the Zinc Mark and its other operations awarded the Copper Mark.

‍International News

BIMCO and ITPCO publish Just in Time arrival procedures for Bulkers and Tankers

Shipping companies are adopting Just In Time (JIT) procedures to enhance energy efficiency and reduce emissions, in line with International Maritime Organization's (IMO) guidelines. JIT allows ships to adjust speed for environmental benefits, but its implementation varies across sectors. In the liner sector, ships can freely adjust speed, whereas bulk shipping often requires ships to maximize speed due to contractual obligations. "Virtual Arrival" clauses and partnerships between owners, charterers, and terminals facilitate JIT by allowing adjustments in ship speed without affecting port schedules. Ports are introducing Waiting Areas and Port-passage Planning Areas (PPA) to support JIT, enabling ships to optimize speed while maintaining their scheduled port operations. This approach aims to reduce emissions, improve safety, and enhance supply chain visibility.

Seafarers granted right to refuse Red Sea transit

Seafarers now have the right to refuse sailing through the Red Sea amid escalating attacks by Yemen's Iran-aligned Houthis, as per a new industry agreement highlighted by a labor union and industry groups. The attacks, which began in mid-November, have targeted commercial ships as acts of solidarity with Palestinians. Seafarers entering high-risk zones are entitled to double pay, with recent agreements extending these zones into the southern Red Sea. The International Bargaining Forum (IBF) stipulates that seafarers must give seven days' notice before entering such areas and can opt for repatriation at the company's expense, including compensation equal to two months' basic wage. This decision underscores the importance of seafarer safety over global trade implications.

Maersk to demerge from its towage unit Svitzer

A.P. Møller - Mærsk A/S is advancing its strategy towards integrated logistics by separating its towage and marine services activities into a new entity, Svitzer Group A/S. This demerger will see Svitzer A/S and its subsidiaries, along with certain assets and liabilities, transferred to Svitzer Group. The process is scheduled for shareholder approval at an extraordinary general meeting on 26 April 2024, with the shares of Svitzer Group expected to be listed on Nasdaq Copenhagen on 30 April 2024. This demerger is designed to be tax-exempt for Danish tax purposes. A.P. Møller Holding A/S, owning 41.5% of APMM, has agreed to a 360-day lockup period for its shares in Svitzer Group, with some exemptions.

New study by Gard recognizes severe weather as major contributor to container losses at sea

A study by the Norwegian marine insurance group Gard has analyzed the impact of weather, specifically wave height, on container stack collapses. With the global container shipping fleet growing and incidents like stack collapses becoming more prevalent, Gard examined weather data related to these incidents from 2016 to 2021. The study found a correlation between increasing wave heights over a seven-day period leading up to an incident and the frequency of stack collapses, particularly highlighting that vessels often experience these incidents after being exposed to high waves, not necessarily at the peak of wave height. Vessels involved in stack collapse incidents spent a significant portion of their time in calmer waters, yet the risk of incidents spikes dramatically in rougher conditions. The study also noted a higher exposure to dangerous wave heights among larger vessels and certain size segments, suggesting the need for improved weather routing, maintenance of securing equipment, and better risk evaluation tools to mitigate these risks.

Latest wind optimized Aquilo hull design further enhances fuel savings

Deltamarin, based in Turku, Finland, and BAR Technologies have introduced the Aquilo, a wind-optimized Aframax/LRIII hull design featuring WindWings technology, aimed at significantly enhancing fuel savings through wind assistance. This innovation follows the successful retrofitting of WindWings on two vessels last year, marking advancements in wind-assisted shipping. The Aquilo design combines advanced hull design with WindWings, focusing on aerodynamic efficiency through the placement of four WindWings and an AeroBridge deck house design. Optimized for substantial wind assistance, Aquilo's design promises unprecedented fuel efficiency, with simulations showing remarkably low fuel consumption rates, setting a new standard in sustainable ship design.

‍Upcoming Events

Feb. 19 - Family Day - Office Closed
Feb. 27 - COS Spill Preparedness and Response Workshop 0900-1200

Feb. 28 - WMCC PACMAR / NANS Meeting @ 10:00

Feb. 29 - WMCC Workforce Recruitment and Retention Committee @ 10:00
Feb. 29 - COS Operations Committee Meeting @ 12:00

Feb. 29 - The Plimsoll Club Pub Night

Mar. 5 - Regional Canadian Marine Advisory Committee Meetings

Mar. 6  COS Board of Directors Meeting @ 12:00
Mar. 7 - VMAA Board Meeting @ 12:00
Mar. 12 - ISSC Board Meeting @ 10:00 

Mar. 14 - COS Annual General Meeting @ 15:00



‍Ship of the Week

February 16 - CMA CGM Mermaid

Asian shipyards are launching a new generation of environmentally friendlier containerships, with Hyundai Heavy Industries in South Korea recently delivering the LNG dual-fuel CMA CGM Mermaid, a 2,000 TEU vessel. This ship, the first among 10 sisterships, represents a partnership between CMA CGM, Chantiers de l’Atlantique, and HHI, boasting up to 20% lower CO2 emissions. Designed for operation in the Mediterranean and northern Europe, these vessels feature an innovative design to enhance hydrodynamic and aerodynamic performance, including front superstructures for improved aerodynamics and loading capacity, and a distinctive straight bow with an integrated bulb. The final ship in this series will also incorporate a 1 MW hydrogen fuel cell for zero emissions at berth, marking a significant step towards greener maritime operations.

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