COS Weekly Newsletter - Tuesday, 11 May 2021


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          COS Weekly Newsletter
          Tuesday, 11 May 2021

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Local News


Dennis and Phyllis Washington Foundation gifts Lions Gate Hospital

A $2.65 million gift from Seaspan ULC and the Dennis and Phyllis Washington Foundation to Lions Gate Hospital will have a major impact on critical and virtual care services across the North Shore and beyond.  $1.5 million of the donation has been directed to the Lions Gate Hospital Foundation’s Critical Care Campaign. With this significant gift, the Foundation has surpassed its goal to raise $9.4 million to build the specialist unit which is expected to treat up to 1,400 seriously ill patients a year.  The remaining $1.15 million investment in virtual care will enable LGH to improve access to services for patients across the North Shore, the Sea-to-Sky communities of Squamish, Whistler, and Pemberton, the Sunshine Coast communities of Sechelt, Powell River and the rural communities of Bella Bella and Bella Coola, through video visits, home health monitoring, and secure messaging as well as the adoption of new virtual health platforms.

Proposed Vancouver Port Information Guide revisions published

The Vancouver Fraser Port Authority has published a Notice of Amendment to its Port Information Guide on May 5, 2021.  The amendments define procedures for Traffic Control Zone 3 (Eastern Burrard Inlet), include Fraser River bridge transit procedures, and introduce new pre-arrival declaration requirement for vessels equipped with exhaust gas cleaning systems.  These items will be discussed in our upcoming meetings as the deadline for comments is June 5, 2021.

Albion Zero - a true zero-emission ferry

With interest on the rise for electric and hybrid technologies, Albion Marine recently highlighted their concept design for an actual zero-emission cable ferry, the Albion Zero. The concept utilizes solar power and the power of river streams to generate sufficient charge for ferry operation. The ferry carries eight vehicles or two large trucks and capable of operating in shallow waters. The vessel does not need an electric grid, and it does not utilize engines during the regular process. Director of Albion Marine Mr. Yakovenko says: “It is an elegant engineering concept specifically designed for a river crossing in remote Northern location with limited or non-existing infrastructure. Our modular design makes it suitable for a large range of ferry designs. The conversion payback period only a few years.”

Canada makes commitment for two heavy icebreakers

On Thursday, the Federal Government announced its commitment to building two heavy icebreakers for operations in the Arctic. The ships will be constructed at Seaspan Shipyards in North Vancouver and by Davie Shipbuilding in Levi, Quebec. These new ships will to replace the coast guard’s principal heavy icebreaker, the CCGS Louis S. St-Laurent, which is almost 55 years old. In a press release, Seaspan states that construction of an icebreaker will sustain approximately 1,400 jobs at Seaspan’s Vancouver shipyard and 1,400 additional jobs in the marine industry across the country. The icebreaker, Seaspan’s fourth class of vessel for the National Shipbuilding Strategy, will be constructed at the company’s North Vancouver shipyard, a high-capacity multi-program yard that is one of the most modern and efficient in North America and was purpose-built to deliver Canada’s largest and most complex ships. The Polar Icebreaker will be built concurrently with the second Joint Support Ship for the Royal Canadian Navy, the largest naval vessel by length ever to be built in Canada, and the largest and most advanced ocean science research ship for the Canadian Coast Guard.

Vancouver Maritime Centre for Climate Launched

On Friday, the Vancouver Maritime Centre for Climate (VMCC) held its kick-off celebration, which included over 140 guests and two Federal Ministers. The VMCC mission is focused on reducing the carbon footprint of the maritime and shipping community. Its membership and partners already includes a broad reaching cross section of local and regional industry players that have national and global reach. They include ship owners, energy providers, ship design and engineering organizations, classification and regulatory bodies, innovators, ports and terminals (both Port of Vancouver and Port of Prince Rupert), academia, inland ferry operators, industry associations, as well as maritime service providers supporting both the domestic captive and transient fleets. The Chamber of Shipping is part of VMCC's Steering Committee and is a signatory to the VMCC's Memorandum of Understanding.  Learn more at

Feds move to end strike at Port of Montreal

This week the Liberal Government, with the support of the Conservative Opposition, tabled and passed back-to-work legislation in the House of Commons. Bill C-29 now proceeds to the Senate before it can receive Royal Assent and force 1,150 dockworkers to resume work. Labour leaders across Canada and even internationally were quick to criticize the Federal Government, with some international labour leaders claiming that Canada's approach flies in the face of international treaties. The Government claims that supplies critical to fighting the pandemic are being prohibited from entry into Canada as a result of the strike, while some labour leaders claim that the pandemic should not be used as an excuse to ignore the collective bargaining process. With the Port of Montreal normally handling $275 million of goods daily, the continued disruption is having significant impacts for importers and exporters on top of an unpredictable trading market.

Port of Montreal receives strike notice

Longshoremen at the Port of Montreal plan to begin an indefinite general strike on Monday after their union issued a 72-hour notice to employers. The Canadian Union of Public Employees Local (CUPE) 375 announced the move on Friday, less than two weeks after beginning a partial strike after the Maritime Employers Association issued notice that it was suspending guaranteed minimum pay.

CN makes rival bid for Kansas City Southern

On Tuesday, CN Rail announced a cash-and-stock bid valued at US$33.7 billion for Kansas City Southern (KCS), topping one made last month by Canadian Pacific (CP) Railway valued at US$25 billion.  The offer is said to represent a 21 per cent premium to CP's offer and more than double the cash per shares, giving KCS shareholders potentially greater value.  However, the regulatory risk may be higher for KCS with CN as CP's network does not overlap with the KCS system. Any takeover of KCS will face close scrutiny by the US Surface Transportation Board (STB). It requires that rail takeovers foster competition and do not reduce choices for the companies that rely on the rails to reach markets. However, KCS is the smallest of the big railways that operate in the United States, and the STB has not said if it will apply this standard to any deal involving KCS.

New short-sea shipping service underway

The first short-sea service between DP World's Fraser Surrey and Nanaimo terminal in Duke Point started this week as part of the new 50-year lease agreement finalized in February 2021 between the Port of Nanaimo and DP World.  The Duke Point agreement provides a long-term port-to-port solution for short-sea shipping and expands direct access from Nanaimo to global import/export markets via direct calls to Asia.  The signed agreement is an important first step in the planned terminal expansion, currently estimated at $105 million. It is funded through a mix of public and private investment, including a $46.2 million federal contribution through the National Trade Corridors Fund (NTCF) and a $15 million provincial contribution as a part of British Columbia’s Economic Recovery Plan.

Paper Excellence investing in Port Alberni and Crofton

After a decade reviving the Mackenzie pulp mill with new investment, Paper Excellence is closing it permanently and putting its investment focus on other operations in British Columbia with better economic prospects. The company is making a $13 million capital investment in its Port Alberni mill to produce higher-value paper products, and is “working towards making a significant capital investment in its Crofton facility,” Paper Excellence said in a statement April 15. It is also restarting one of two paper machines at its Powell River mill in early May. Paper Excellence has extensive holdings in Canada and Brazil, where it grows and processes eucalyptus pulp. Its BC operations include a distribution centre in Surrey and mills at Skookumchuck in the East Kootenay as well as Port Alberni, Crofton, Powell River and Howe Sound, which has operated since 1909.

Seaspan Marine announces new leadership team

Frank Butzelaar, who most recently served as Chief Executive Officer of Seaspan Marine Transportation (a Washington Company), has assumed the role of Chief Operating Officer of the Washington Companies. Frank will work closely with Larry Simkins, CEO of the Washington Companies, and oversee the strategic direction of Montana Rail Link (MRL), Seaspan Marine Transportation (SMT) and Southern Railway of British Columbia (SRY). Ian McIver has been appointed President, Seaspan Marine Transportation and will be accountable for the overall operations and performance of SMT, with a strong focus on safety, stakeholder relations and customer service excellence. Gord Miller will move from his current role of Vice President, Seaspan Ferries to become Chief Operating Officer, SMT. Gord will be responsible for the safety and management of the day-to-day operations of Seaspan Ferries and Seaspan Marine. He will focus on establishing long-term plans for the business in line with the company’s strategic plan, fulfilling revenue targets and maintaining stakeholder relationships.

Prince Rupert Port supports local cancer care unit

The Prince Rupert Port Authority (PRPA) is supporting the North Coast Health Improvement Society’s (NCHIS) Cancer Care Unit Upgrade Project in the amount of $100,000. The $200,000 project includes an increase in space and capacity, improved privacy and comfort for patients and their families, and enhanced treatment technology and tools. The upgrade project will address limitations of the previous space like poor sight lines, isolation of physician from patients and staff, an unwelcoming chemotherapy room, and limited space to accommodate accompanying family and friends. With the number of cancer patients increasing each year, the need for access to local primary care is a priority in the region.

Pembina celebrates new LPG export facility

A virtual ribbon-cutting ceremony was held by Pembina Prince Rupert Terminal on April 12 to celebrate the opening of operations and the inaugural shipment of liquified petroleum gas from the Watson Island terminal. Pembina spent approximately $12 million on the remediation process that was instrumental in transforming Watson Island to a new industrial development site. President and CEO of Pembina, Mick Dilger indicated that the terminal with the potential to load 25,000 barrels a day using 100 car-unit trains will be a key export location for propane in Western Canada. The first load of liquified petroleum gas was exported out of the facility on April 9.

Labour negotiations deteriorate in the Port of Montreal

The Port of Montreal has noted that it has suffered a substantial 11%-volume drop in March as a result of uncertainty and anxiety triggered by the on-going labour negotiations. On Saturday, the Maritime Employers Association (MEA) exercised its right and gave 72-hour notice to the union executive of the longshoremen that they would be removing the income guarantee and stop paying the hours that are not worked in order to mitigate the adverse effects of this volume drop.  CUPE Local  has responded with its own notice advising that employees will no longer work overtime or participate in training activities. Martin Imbleau, President and CEO for the Port of Montreal, issued a statement expressing concern with the resulting drop in capacity by close to 30% and noted that current volumes pale in comparison to its competitors on the US East Coast who are enjoying significant growth.  Despite this latest development, both parties indicated that they will continue to work with the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service.

Sustainability of wood pellets questioned

Environmental groups and the Public and Private Workers of Canada union have called for an immediate halt to the practice of turning trees directly into pellets following the release of an independent review of industry practices.  A new report from the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives (CCPA) think-tank has caught the attention of environmental groups and a forestry workers' union, who are concerned about companies chipping whole trees into pellets and exporting them for biofuel.  The BC Ministry responded to  inquiries indicating approximately 1.2 per cent of the provincial timber harvest went directly to a pellet plant in 2020 and that the province monitors the quality of the logs consumed by all timber processing facilities. A proportion of the harvest, 540,000 cubic metres was delivered from the bush to pellet plants in BC and 200,000 cubic metres was pine beetle wood.  The Wood Pellets Association confirms that BC’s wood pellets are made entirely from the residuals from sawmilling, harvesting or low-grade logs rejected by the sawmills and pulp mills. Every year nearly 10 million cubic metres – or roughly 10 million telephone poles worth of wood is wasted in BC, and literally goes “up in smoke” in slash pile burns or is left to rot in the forest, becoming a significant wildfire hazard. Pellet manufacturers in BC are proud to contribute to the sustainability of BC’s forest sector, improving utilization and creating renewable green energy, jobs and economic investment in the province. At the same time, wood pellets from BC are making a significant contribution to the global fight against climate change, displacing large volumes of dirty coal and fossil fuels in power production in key markets.

Northwest Ports Strategy aims for net-zero emissions by 2050

The Northwest Ports of Vancouver, BC, Seattle, Tacoma, and the combined container operations of The Northwest Seaport Alliance, are jointly committing to a new vision to phase out emissions from seaport-related activities by 2050. In a collaboration among the four ports, the Northwest Ports Clean Air Strategy seeks to meet this target through changes in equipment, fuels, and infrastructure, supporting cleaner air for local communities and fulfilling the ports’ shared responsibility to help limit global temperature rise to 1.5°C. Building upon the partnerships and successes of the last decade, the ports’ commitment recognizes the urgency of the climate crisis and the need to reduce diesel emissions, especially in areas where air quality is poor while ensuring the continuity and competitiveness of the ports. Engagement across the ports, industry, government, and communities shaped the Strategy vision and objectives. The Strategy covers six sectors of port activity: oceangoing vessels, cargo-handling equipment, trucks, harbor vessels, rail, and port administration and tenant facilities.

HaiSea Marine orders LNG and electric tugs for Kitimat

HaiSea Marine, a partnership formed between the Haisla Nation and Seaspan ULC, will provide ship-assist and escort services to LNG carriers navigating Douglas Channel and approaches in Kitimat Harbour. The escort and harbour tugs are being designed by Robert Allan Ltd. (RAL) and will feature leading edge technology. The harbour tugs will be battery electric powered, while the larger escort tugs will be LNG dual-fueled. The ElectRA 2800 battery-electric harbour tugs will be 28 metres in length, with approximately 70 tonnes bollard pull and 5,240 kWh of battery capacity each. The tugs will  recharge from dedicated shore charging facilities at their berths between jobs, effectively reducing emissions to near-zero. Because of their battery propulsion, they are also expected to be exceptionally quiet, both onboard and underwater. The LNG dual-fueled RAstar 4000 tugs will be the most powerful Azimuth Stern Drive (ASD) escort tugs on Canada’s west coast, and will rank among the world’s highest-performing escort tugs. At 40 meters in length and with over 95 tonnes of bollard pull, they will generate indirect forces of approximately 200 tonnes. In addition to the escort work, the tugs will be capable of pollution response/oil spill recovery, fire fighting of marine terminal fires, person overboard response, and emergency towage of vessels.

Groupe Ocean adds fourth tug in Vancouver

Groupe Ocean has added a fourth tug to its fleet in Vancouver.  Arriving by cargo ship, the Ocean Georgie Bain, a 24-meter compact tugboat, built in 2009 at Industries Océan Inc., joins the three Québec company tugs already present in the port of Vancouver since March 2020.  The first three tugs have been approved by the Pacific Pilotage Authority for tug escort work through Haro and Boundary Pass and at First and Second Narrows.

COS welcomes two new directors

At the Chamber of Shipping's Annual General Meeting held on March 24th, we were pleased to welcome two new members to the Board of Directors - Clifford Faliero, North America Senior Operations Manager for Saga Welco AS, and Lorri Stewart, Manager, Ship Assist & Harbour Operations, Seaspan ULC. Following the AGM, the Board has re-appointed the following officers for 2021: Chair - Garth Mitcham, Regional Director, Commercial, CSL Americas, Vice Chair - Peter Amat, General Manager - Vancouver, Pacific Basin Shipping (Canada) Ltd, and Treasurer - Oscar Pinto, Director of Business Development and Director of Security and Marine, Valles Steamship (Canada) Ltd. Our 2020 Annual Report is available online at:




RCN sets new CMF heroin record seizure

The Royal Canadian Navy (RCN) ship HMCS Calgary has made the largest ever heroin bust in Combined Maritime Forces history, operating under the command of the Canadian-led Combined Task Force (CTF) 150. The record-setting haul of 2,835 lbs (1,286 kg) of heroin on 23 April was achieved seven years to the day since HMAS Darwin interdicted 2,275 lbs (1,032kg) of the drug in 2014. In addition to their record-breaking success, Calgary struck again less than 24 hours later with a second interdiction capturing 794 lbs (360 kg) of methamphetamine. Whilst operating off the coast of Oman, the RCN frigate intercepted two vessels suspected of smuggling. The ship’s boarding team conducted subsequent searches, uncovering the high value contraband with a combined total worth of over $23.22 million, making a salient impact to drug trafficking, often used to finance terrorism in the region. These interdictions come less than ten days after Calgary began operations in the region, increasing the total number of successful counter-narcotics operations under CTF-150 to 14 since the RCN took command of the task force on 27 January.

Trial Haida Gwaii Voluntary Protection Zone for shipping reporting changes

Starting May 1, Transport Canada will be contacting ship operators directly if they sail through the Voluntary Protection Zone (VPZ) extending west of Haida Gwaii. During the trial, commercial vessels greater than 500 gross tonnage are asked to transit a minimum distance of 50 nautical miles from the west coast of Haida Gwaii, with the following exceptions:
  • Cruise vessels are asked to observe a minimum 12 nm distance from shore;
  • Vessels transiting between Pacific Northwest ports (Washington, BC and Alaska) are asked to observe a minimum 25 nm distance from shore;
  • Tugs and barges (including pushing and towing alongside), no minimum distance; and
  • Fishing vessels, no minimum distance.
Observing the VPZ is voluntary and only when it does not jeopardize the safety of navigation, the vessel, the persons aboard, and the cargo. Transport Canada Ship Safety Bulleting #26/2020  and the the Canadian Coast Guard's monthly Notice to Mariner - Western Edition include additional details.

Canada suspends flights from India and Pakistan

In an effort to help manage the elevated risk of imported cases of COVID-19 and variants of concern into Canada during a time of increasing pressure on our health care system, Transport Canada has issued a Notice to Airmen (NOTAM) to suspend all commercial and private passenger flights from India and Pakistan for 30 days, effective 23:30 EDT April 22, 2021. The Minister of Transport will also amend the Interim Order Respecting Certain Requirements for Civil Aviation Due to COVID-19, which means for passengers who depart India or Pakistan to Canada after 23:30 EDT April 22, 2021, via an indirect route, they will need to obtain a negative COVID-19 pre-departure test from a third country before continuing their journey to Canada.

North Atlantic right whale updates speed restrictions for 2021

Transport Canada has issued Ship Safety Bulletin 05/2021 with updated speed restriction measures in the Gulf of St. Lawrence to reduce the risk of vessel colliding with North Atlantic right whales (NARW).  Changes to the speed restriction zones will be effective from April 28, 2021 while the restricted areas described in the bulletin will be implemented based on whale presence that will mark the beginning and end of the NARW season.

Transport Canada new fees published

Transport Canada has issued Ship Safety Bulletin 06/2021 to cover new fees for Marine Cargo, Port State Control, Prewash and Marine Insurance Certification Services that have been implemented as part of the department's Fee Modernization Initiative .  While the fees came into effect April 1, 2021 the regulatory amendments to the Canada Shipping Act, 2001 were just published in the Canada Gazette Part II - April 14, 2021 to amend the Cargo, Fumigation and Tackle Regulations, Administrative Monetary Penalties and Notices Regulations, Vessel Pollution and Dangerous Chemicals Regulations.  

SRKW measures for 2021 announced

Building on actions taken in 2019 and 2020, the Government of Canada has announced the suite of 2021 management measures to further protect the Southern Resident Killer Whale (SRKW) population, including a minimum 400 metre approach distance (effective until May 31, 2022) in southern coastal waters, implementation of Interim Sanctuary Zones again off Pender Island, Saturna Island and at Swiftsure Bank (effective June 1 - November 30, 2021), and scheduled and dynamic fishery closures possibly as early as June 1st.  For details on the management measures, visit 2021 management measures to protect Southern Resident killer whales.

Latest Provincial Health Order announced for workplaces

Yesterday BC's Provincial Health Officer, Dr. Bonnie Henry, announced the creation of a new Expedited Workplace Closure Order that would enable WorkSafeBC inspectors to shut down a worksite for 10 days or longer where there has been a transmission or outbreak of the coronavirus. The potential implications for the marine sector is unknown at this time as the the province is working to define exceptions in those workplaces that serve the public interest.  The latest order will come into effect on April 12th and further details are expected to be released over the weekend.  Note the BC Government is seeking input on COVID-19 has affected you, and what tools and supports you need as we look ahead to our pandemic recovery. The new survey is available at:

TC Review of Marine Transportation Security Regulations

Transport Canada has launched a review and survey of the Marine Transportation Security Regulations on its Let's Talk Transportation consultation platform.  The primary purpose of the review and proposed amendments are to address the new preclearance agreement with the United States that allows US Customs and Border Patrol to clear passengers bound for the US before they cross the border.  The initial implementation focusses on passenger and ferry terminals on the west coast.  The Chamber will be developing its input to the regulatory modernization effort and encourages all members of the port community to provide input through Transport Canada's online Marine Transportation Security Survey (on

CBSA seizes opium packages at TCEF

Earlier this year Canada Border Services Agency and the RCMP's Federal Serious & Organized Crime (FSOC) unit discovered and seized 2,500 individual packages of suspected opium, totaling 1,000 kilograms.  In early February after several months of investigation, officers executed search warrants on two containers at the Tsawwassen container exam facility to locate a shipment of drugs from overseas.  Once found, the packages were replaced with a placebo to allow the investigation to continue and for the shipment to be tracked to the intended warehouse in Surrey.  Five men were arrested, one from BC and four from Ontario.  In unrelated seizure, a Laval resident pleaded guilty to being in possession of more than 60 kilograms of brown sugar that police had swapped in place of 64 kilograms of cocaine in March 2019.  This shipment also discovered by CBSA in plastic drawers stacked on 22 pallets at the Port of Montreal's container exam facility.

CFIA updates Shipborne Dunnage Program

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency launched an international and national consultation in December 2020 with a risk management document (RMD 20-02) that outlined 4 shipborne dunnage management options. The recommended option, which received the majority of the support during the consultation, is the selected option. It combines robust forest pest mitigation measures with a flexible and easy-to-apply approach that also promotes and encourages the use of ISPM 15 compliant material. The CFIA will be implementing option 4, as proposed with some improvements that were received during the consultation. The implementation of option 4 will require the relevant plant health directive (D-98-08) be amended to incorporate the new shipborne dunnage program, which will include a national and international consultation period.  The effectiveness of the selected option will be assessed over the next several years. The CFIA is moving in a graduated direction that will permit ISPM 15 compliant dunnage to enter Canada without restrictions.  The Chamber of Shipping has organized a meeting with CFIA on April 15th at 09:00 PT - register online.

Transport Canada's Notices

This week Transport Canada has issued the following: MSOB 2021-001– Reporting Requirements concerning Cyber Security Threats, Breaches, Incidents and Voluntary reporting of Cyber-related Suspicious Activity SSB 04/2021 - Revised Temporary Measures regarding Marine Personnel Certificates, Discharge Books, Marine Medical Certificates & Marine Counter Services for Canadian seafarers and authorized representatives of Canadian flagged vessels.   This replaces Ship Safety Bulletin (SSB) 21/2020 issued in October 2, 2020.

BC announce priority vaccines for front-line workers

The Province of British Columbia has announced that more than 300,000 front-line workers will be eligible for the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccinations starting in April.  The priority groups announced include cross-border transport staff and the presentation provided with the press release indicates that further discussion with the Port of Vancouver stakeholders will follow to determine priority with this group.  Details are expected to follow in the coming weeks.  Meanwhile vaccinations are open to all 12,000 residents of Prince Rupert and the surrounding communities.

The Chamber joins the Minister's Blue Economy Round Table

This week, the Chamber's President participated in a Round Table hosted by Minister Bernadette Jordan of the Department of Fisheries, Oceans, and the Canadian Coast Guard. The meeting brought together International and Canadian experts on marine spatial planning, which is expected to be an important component of the developing Blue Economy Strategy.  Robert Lewis-Manning expressed the importance of reviewing the current governance associated with managing shipping in Canada, as the coordination between numerous Federal departments and agencies has become inefficient and onerous. Many of the delegates expressed a need for transparency and for strong scientific data. In the context of Western Canada, there was also a discussion about the need to address reconciliation agreements with coastal First Nations so that there could be a productive involvement of First Nations. The Blue Economy Strategy is focused on protecting Canada’s important coastal waters and leveraging their prosperity in a sustainable manner. It is expected to be a key pillar of the Government’s strategy post-pandemic.

Passenger Vessel Restrictions due to COVID-19 pre-published

Transport Canada has published the details of Interim Order No. 5 Respecting Passenger Vessel Restrictions due to the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) in the Canada Gazette Part I, 13 March 2021. The Order outlines the prohibition for passenger vessels in Canada and exemptions for those that provide essential services. Included is the Order are details on a minimum 60 day application process for operators wishing to seek an exemption under the Interim Order.

Coast Guard vessel taken out of service due to engine failure

The eight-year-old Canadian Coast Guard vessel, CCGS G. Peddle, has been out of service for months due to complete engine failure. The 42-metre, mid-shore patrol vessel, based in Halifax, has been out of service since June 2020 and is expected back in service later this year. It is one of nine mid-shore patrol vessels built by the Irving Shipyard in Halifax at a cost of $227 million. The two main diesel-propulsion engines will be replaced when the vessel is lifted from the water this spring for maintenance in dry dock. As the engines are beyond warranty, the repair cost will be covered by the Canadian Coast Guard.

Government of Canada celebrates UN's Decade of Ocean Science

The Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard, the Honourable Bernadette Jordan, has officially launched the Ocean Decade in Canada at a virtual event. At the event, Minister Jordan reaffirmed the Government of Canada’s commitment to ocean health and science to support a sustainable and prosperous blue economy. The Minister also released Canada’s Oceans Now, 2020, which provides information on the current state of Canada’s oceans and highlights some of the key challenges facing our oceans. The Ocean Decade initiative will help inform the Government of Canada’s Blue Economy Strategy and draw attention to the importance of ocean science.

Minister of Transport Announces Appointments Transportation Sector

The Minister of Transport, the Honourable Omar Alghabra, has announced appointments and reappointments in the transportation sector. The appointees come from diverse backgrounds and bring a wide array of knowledge and senior executive and corporate governance expertise to their transportation positions.
  • Canadian Transportation Agency: Inge Marian Green (Orleans, Ontario), appointed to the temporary member roster of candidates for a period of eight years; and Toby Charles Douglas Lennox (Toronto, Ontario), appointed to the temporary member roster of candidates for a period of eight years.
  • Marine Atlantic Inc.: Craig Priddle (Corner Brook, Newfoundland and Labrador), reappointed as a Director for a term of four years; Ann-Margret White (St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador), reappointed as a Director for a term of four years; and Owen Fitzgerald (Sydney, Nova Scotia), reappointed as a Director for a term of four years.
  • Nanaimo Port Authority: Shiva Dean (St. Albert, Alberta), appointed as a User Director for a term of three years; and Charanjit Manhas (Nanaimo, British Columbia), appointed as the Federal Director for a term of three years.
  • Halifax Port Authority: Carol Anne Miller (Halifax, Nova Scotia) reappointed as a User Director for a term of three years; and Deanna Loren Furlotte (Halifax, Nova Scotia) appointed as a User Director for a term of three years.

Canada launches independent Net-Zero Advisory Body

The Minister of Environment and Climate Change, the Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson, has launched the Net-Zero Advisory Body to help deliver on the Canadian Net-Zero Emissions Accountability Act that enshrines Canada's goal of net-zero emissions by 2050 into law. Initial work by the independent group of 14 experts from across the country will include a focus on identifying actions that set a strong foundation for achieving net-zero emissions while also growing the economy and enabling a strong and resilient economic recovery following the pandemic.

Canada and US align on transportation and climate change

Transport Canada and United States Department of Transportation have issued a joint statement that recognizes that the transportation sector constitutes one of the largest sources of greenhouse gas emissions for both nations. In light of the integrated nature of the countries' transportation networks, both are committed to reinvigorate bilateral cooperation to fight climate change and limit the environmental impacts from transportation networks on land, air and sea. They plan to work together to accelerate policy actions that help our transport sectors grapple effectively with the climate challenge.  


US News


Long Beach approves SpaceX marine terminal

The Port of Long Beach has approved a new sublease agreement with Space Explorations Technologies Corp. – known widely as SpaceX – to provide the company with a marine terminal for its West Coast rocket recovery operations. On Saturday, May 1, the pioneering space technology company took over part of a waterfront, wharf-equipped Long Beach facility vacated just over one year ago by Sea Launch, a commercial satellite launching company that had been based at the Port for 20 years. SpaceX will occupy about 6.5 acres on the Port’s Pier T, which was once the site of a US Navy complex.

LNG bunkering set for Puget Sound

Puget LNG, LLC and GAC Bunker Fuels Limited have signed a Memorandum of Understanding to cooperate in the supply and sale of clean-burning LNG marine fuel from Puget LNG’s terminal to GAC’s customers in the Pacific Northwest. When the Tacoma LNG Terminal becomes operational in the second quarter of 2021, it will be the first such terminal on North America’s west coast providing direct shoreside loading access for a bunker barge. GAC Bunker Fuels is planning to issue a Request for Proposal for a Jones Act-compliant LNG bunker barge to be constructed, owned, and operated by a third party.  Loading from Puget LNG’s terminal in Tacoma, the barge will be able to bunker vessels in port in 2023.  In April SeaspanLNG announced its Approval in Principle with Bureau Veritas to design a 7600cbm bunker vessel to provided ship-to-ship LNG transfers.

USCG and CDC issue guidance for the resumption of cruise

The US Coast Guard's Cruise Ship National Centre of Expertise (NCOE) has issued Industry Notice 21-01 to provide information to owners and operators within the cruise industry regarding new requirements established with the passage of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). All cruise ships with 250 passenger or more on international and coastwise voyages must meet new requirements that include having a physician always present and available, compliance with health care guidelines, and safety briefings for all passengers on appropriate steps during a medical emergency. The USCG Office of Commercial Vessel Compliance also issued Policy Letter 21-02 “Foreign Passenger Vessel Examination COVID-19 Guidance” to provide guidance to the NCOE and Officers in Charge, Marine Inspection on Coast Guard examination requirements for all foreign cruise ships seeking to resume suspended operations within US ports due to the COVID- 19 pandemic.  The Center for Disease Control and Prevention has also issued a lengthy COVID-19 Operations Manual for voyages under the Conditional Sailing Order.

US CDC more optimistic about resumption of cruises by summer

This week, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued a letter to the cruise industry responding to many of the industry's concerns and reiterating that cruises from US ports may be feasible by mid-summer. In the letter, the CDC outlines pathways for restoring cruises, including minimum levels of crew and passenger immunization levels in addition to other elements of the existing Conditional Sailing Order, including enhanced medical facilities, protocols, and arrangements for medical care and quarantine. The shift in approach by the CDC was generally viewed positively and an effort to deescalate tensions associated with lawsuits filed by the states of Florida and Alaska. On Thursday, the US Senate blocked consideration of a waiver that would allow foreign-flagged ships to call on Alaskan ports this summer. The Passenger Vessel Services Act aims to protect the domestic shipping industry and requires Alaska-bound foreign-flagged cruise ships to stop in Canada. With Canada’s ports closed to cruise ships though to next February due to COVID-19 concerns, the law effectively prevents Alaska’s cruise season from going forward. Many cruise and tourism industry interests in Canada remain concerned that Canada is not doing enough to plan for the eventual resumption of cruises when it is safe to do so, especially in light of the recent developments in the US.

Cruise lines moving ships to other markets

Cruise lines are slowly moving ship after ship abroad after more than a year without sailing in US waters due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's "conditional sailing order" is keeping ships from sailing without a clear timeline for resumption, though the CDC has said that midsummer cruising could be feasible if cruise lines adhere to the agency's order and meet its requirements. Following the lawsuit brought by Florida and Alaska against the CDC, Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., and Rep. Doris Matsui, D-Calif., sent a letter urging the CDC to maintain current restrictions on cruising.

Bold commitments on emission targets announced on Earth Day

The United States and other countries hiked their targets for slashing greenhouse gas emissions at a global leaders' climate summit hosted by President Joe Biden, an event meant to resurrect US leadership in the fight against global warming. Biden unveiled the goal to cut emissions by 50%-52% from 2005 levels at the start of a two-day climate summit kicked off on Earth Day and attended virtually by leaders of 40 countries. The new US target nearly doubles former President Barack Obama's pledge of an emissions cut of 26%-28% below 2005 levels by 2025. Canada's Prime Minster Justin Trudeau, announced that Canada's goal will be to cut 40%-45% by 2030 below 2005 levels, up from 30%.  Other countries include the UK 78% (by 2035), Japan 46%, and the EU 40%.  The US confirmed it will be pushing for the International Maritime Organization to ensure shipping is a zero emissions industry by 2050.

Tragic losses in capsized vessel in Gulf of Mexico

Coast Guard ships and a fleet of volunteer vessels were deployed to search for survivors after the commercial lift vessel, Seacor Power, capsized on Tuesday in an unexpectedly strong storm near Port Fourchon, about 160km (100 miles) south of New Orleans. Six survivors of the crew of 19 have been rescued, and two bodies have not been recovered while the search for the remaining 11 continues. US Coast Guard Capt. Will Watson said winds were 80 to 90 mph when the vessel overturned and seas were 7 to 9 feet. The Seacor Power had three extendible legs, and was equipped with two cranes and a helicopter pad and had a maximum working depth of 195 feet.

Florida files suit against CDC orders for cruise

The state of Florida sued President Joe Biden’s administration in federal court on Thursday seeking to block the Centers for Disease Control's (CDC) decision to prevent the US cruise industry from immediately resuming operations paused for a year because of the coronavirus pandemic. The suit asks the court to issue an injunction barring enforcement of the CDC’s order and to quickly lift a “nationwide lockdown” on the industry in place since March 2020. Florida's ports have suffered a decline in operating revenue of almost $300 million since the pandemic started.  CDC has issued new guidance to the cruise industry, a necessary step before passenger voyages can resume, but did not set a date for resuming cruises.

FMC demands details on demurrage and detention

In response to complaints by US exporters and Democratic and Republican Congressional representatives, the US Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) announced that it was ordering 10 ocean carriers and 17 marine terminals to report on demurrage and detention practices and penalties assessed on shippers as well as the availability of empty containers for US exporters to ship their goods. The responses to this compulsory order will inform FMC Commissioner Dye’s next steps to address this critical issue and determine if there were any violations.  According to a CNBC analysis, the US saw at least $1.3 billion in potential agricultural exports rejected at major ports on the East and West coasts, from July to December last year.

Tensions high in US as cruise sector "Grounded"

Governor Ron DeSantis and state Attorney General Ashley Moody inferred that Florida would consider filing a lawsuit against the US Federal government over its ongoing restriction on the cruise industry. In October, the US Centers for Disease Control (CDC) announced a new framework for sailing that requires cruises to have onboard testing and carry out mock voyages and many other requirements before they are allowed to restart in US ports. The industry was shut down a year ago after several coronavirus outbreaks erupted on cruise ships. Moody said the state was weighing its legal options against the Biden Administration and the CDC for keeping the cruise industry idled amid the coronavirus pandemic. Cruise lines in several countries have resumed trips and industry advocates say cruising doesn't pose a greater risk of transmitting the coronavirus than flying. A statement by the Florida governor's office last week said the US government failed to provide relief funding to seaports "while airports and transit agencies have received assistance through relief packages." Florida is home to some of the world's busiest cruise ports including Miami, Port Canaveral near Kennedy Space Center, and Port Everglades near Fort Lauderdale.

US Congress investigates supply chain congestion

This week the US House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee heard testimony from US  Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg relating to supply chain infrastructure and recent congestion in US ports. Buttigieg was asked by lawmakers what he could do to expedite a solution to the congestion that has been most severe for West Coast ports. He acknowledged the significant impact the congestion is having on the US economy and confirmed that an all-of-government approach was necessary to resolve it.  Legislators have been particularly concerned that high-value cargos were being prioritized over agricultural exports and the congressional committee wrote the Federal Maritime Committee seeking immediate resolution. The attention of the Committee on supply chain congestion is partly the result of positioning in advance of an expected multi trillion-dollar infrastructure package to support economic recovery.

FMC issues economic impact of COVID-19 on cruise industry

Commissioner Louis E. Sola of the Federal Maritime Commission released Economic Impact of COVID-19 on the Cruise Industry on California, Hawaii, and the Pacific, the latest in a series of interim reports being issued as part of the ongoing Fact Finding 30 investigation. The report examines direct and indirect economic impacts to ports and cities in California, Hawaii, American Samoa, Guam, and Saipan.  The report notes that the passenger cruise industry is an important part of the tourism sectors for both California and Hawaii.  Furthermore, while cruise calls to American territories in the Pacific are infrequent, the services that stop at those islands create tourism revenues without the need for investment in physical infrastructure necessary to attract tourists.  This is the fourth in a series of Interim Reports issued by Commissioner Sola examining economic impacts to cities and states as a result of the cessation of cruise ship operations.  Previous reports have focused on FloridaAlaska/Pacific Northwest, and Texas/Gulf of Mexico.  Further reports are planned.

USCG issues bulletin supporting crew changes

The US Coast Guard has issued Marine Safety Information Bulletin 04-21 to summarize available resources for those experiencing issues with crew changes during the COVID-19 pandemic. On January 25, 2021, the U.S. joined 53 other International Maritime Organization (IMO) member states in Circular Letter No.4204/Add.35/Rev.3 in pledging to facilitate crew changes and achieve key worker designation for seafarers

US takes steps to advance offshore wind farm near Martha’s Vineyard

The Biden administration is moving closer to a final approval of Vineyard Wind LLC’s $2.8 billion offshore wind farm planned near the coast of Massachusetts. The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management is has published a favorable final environmental review of the 800-megawatt project. The project could be formally authorized as soon as April. The venture is poised to become the first major offshore wind farm in federal waters. President Joe Biden, who is aggressively pursuing a clean-energy agenda, signed an executive order to double wind generation in U.S. waters by 2030. The Vineyard project alone would satisfy that commitment. The project is a joint venture of Avangrid Inc. and Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners, and would ship power to Massachusetts and have enough capacity to supply about 400,000 homes. Expected to go into service in late 2023, it would be the first of several massive wind farms planned off the East Coast, as states such as Massachusetts, New York, Maine and New Jersey count on power from offshore renewable projects to help them satisfy clean-energy mandates.

FMC asked to probe denial of US agricultural exports

Members of Congress are getting involved in a dispute between US agriculture exporters and container carriers over an alleged denial of service during the second half of last year, when a sudden and sustained surge in volumes sent spot trans-Pacific freight rates through the roof.  US exporters, particularly those moving agricultural products, claim carriers have been systematically refusing bookings since last fall in an attempt to speed the return of empty containers to Asia, where they can be filled with higher-paying import cargo.  The inability to access containers, along with widespread port congestion, vessel delays, equipment shortages, and other logistical breakdowns caused by near-record US import volumes, is resulting in significantly higher costs for exporters and even lost business overseas.

US Congress looks for solutions to Canada’s cruise ban

The top-ranking members of the US House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure have issued a letter asking Canada to find a way to allow cruise ships to call at Canadian ports, suggesting they consider permitting stops without disembarking passengers, to enable an Alaska cruise season this year. The letter indicates that Canada's decision to ban cruising through 2022 will effectively kill the Alaska cruise season and pile onto the economic devastation that is already being experienced.

First Jones Act-compliant wind turbine installation vessel

New details have been released on the United States’ first Jones Act-compliant offshore wind turbine installation vessel (WTIV), which is seen as critical to developing the nation’s offshore wind industry. The newbuild vessel is currently under construction at the Keppel AmFELS shipyard in Brownsville. The 472-foot vessel is designed by GustoMSC to handle turbines of 12 megawatt or greater. It will also be capable of the installation of foundations for turbines and other heavy lifts. Dominion Energy is in the process of developing the Coastal Virginia Offshore Wind project, a 2,600 megawatt commercial offshore wind farm that is set to become the largest in the United States. Part of the project includes a 12MW pilot project, 27 miles off the coast of Virginia Beach, that is expected to become the first in US federal waters.

Vaccinations start for dockworkers at LA and Long Beach

About 800 longshoremen from the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach received the first COVID-19 vaccinations for dockworkers last week. The inoculations have brought peace of mind for those who received it, especially considering that many dockworkers jobs require interacting with dozens of people every day. The Long Beach Department of Health and Human Services organized Friday’s clinic, the first of a series. It came as mass inoculation sites in other parts of Los Angeles County – including at Dodger Stadium – are temporarily closed due to a lack of vaccine doses.

Alaska lashes out after Canada extends cruise ban until 2022

Alaskan Senators, Lisa Murkowski and Dan Sullivan and Representative Don Young have released a statement over concerns for the consequences of Canada’s cruise ban extension through Feb 1, 2022. The letter notes that Canada’s announcement came as a surprise, and the move did not take Alaska, or their economy into consideration. The extension effectively kills the Seattle-Alaska cruise season for foreign-flagged ships, as ships that sail between Alaska and continental US ports under foreign flag must call enroute at a Canadian port. To circumvent Canada’s ban, the delegation may to an exemption under the Passenger Vessel Services Act which may result in long-term consequences to the BC's cruise industry.

USCG Cruise Ship National Center of Expertise Newsletter

The US Coast Guard’s Cruise Ship National Center of Expertise (CSNCOE) has just published its winter edition of its newsletter and outlines the CDC Conditional Sail Order and details on how the USCG will enforce the Certification of Compliance.   Other notable articles in the newsletter includes how US ports and the USCG are preparing for duel-fueled cruise ships and CSNCOE's scorecard noting continuous improvement on cruise ship safety.  The Office of Commercial Vessel Compliance has been working closely with LNG carriers and field subject matters to create the training framework for LNG and other Low Flash-point Fuels (LFF).


International News


BIMCO, ICS, INTERCARGO and INTERTANKO launch new fuel oil survey

The International Maritime Organisation’s 2020 global sulphur limit for marine fuel oil has been in force for more than a year. BIMCO, The International Chamber of Shipping (ICS), INTERCARGO and INTERTANKO are calling on Fleet Managers, Vessel Managers, Technical Superintendents, Masters and Chief Engineers to share their insight and experiences with marine fuels in a new survey aimed at identifying potential quality and quantity issues. The purpose of the survey is to gain a better understanding of issues encountered by the industry, particularly issues related to the bunkering and use of marine fuel oil. This Survey will run for a year until 1 May 2022 and the information gathered will help identify specific areas in the fuel supply and management chain that need improvement.  The questionnaire can be downloaded here.

Wärtsilä co-developing next generation Port Management Information System

Wärtsilä Voyage and Vancouver-based PortLink have partnered with Tanger Med Port Authority, the largest Mediterranean and African container port, to take a new step forward in global port efficiency by co-developing a new cutting-edge Port Management Information System. The smart port upgrade will include the new Wärtsilä Navi-Harbour VTS System which enables Just-in-Time arrival, helping to reduce greenhouse gas emissions as well as PortLink's Port Management Information System that digitalizes the entire port-call process, reducing chances of human error and increasing efficiencies.

International shipping leader calls for governments to prioritize seafarers for vaccines

The looming crisis in India is highlighting the desperate need for seafarers to be a priority for immunization. India supplies 14 per cent of the world's global seafarer workforce. Seafarers have endured significant hardships during the pandemic, including prolonged periods in ships extending well beyond one year and the impossibility of crew changes due to border closures, while their families suffered the effects of the pandemic in their home countries. Esben Poulsson, the chairman of the International Chamber of Shipping, urged all trading nations to prioritize the immunization of seafarers who have facilitated the movement of critical goods during the pandemic. In Canada, a working group of the National Seafarer Welfare Board is examining this situation ahead of making formal recommendations to the Federal Government. With an abundance of vaccines, the United States is already vaccinating foreign seafarers.

Maritime industry urged to support Indian seafarers

The Seafarers International Relief Fund has issued an urgent call to action in support of seafarers and their families devastated by the COVID-19 pandemic in India and other countries. Seafarers have been the invisible victims of COVID-19, with hundreds of thousands marooned on vessels for months beyond agreed contracts, in some cases. Despite suggestions that the crew change crisis was near its end, the escalation of COVID-19 cases in India to more than 400,000 per day has prompted some major ports to prohibit ship crew changes for seafarers with recent travel history to India, Bangladesh, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka. With your help, the Seafarers International Relief Fund is aiming to raise US$1 million to assist in delivering critical aid and support for seafarers and their families in India. To donate, please visit:

ENGOs pressure marine industry to abandon IMO R & D proposal

In response to the International Chamber of Shipping's call to examine the role of market-based measures (MBM) to ensure decarbonization targets are met for the global shipping industry, a coalition of environmental organizations has demanded that global shipping organizations withdraw their proposal to establish an International Maritime Research and Development Board through the International Maritime Organization (IMO). There is concern that the R & D proposal could stall international dialogue on MBMs, which are believed to be a much quicker and fairer market approach to meet greenhouse gas emission reduction targets. Notwithstanding, many industry experts, including the International Chamber of Shipping, assert that MBMs can only affect change if there are viable alternatives to fossil fuels, and that the development of alternative technologies can be enabled by a massive acceleration of IMO coordinated R & D, to be financed by the shipping industry. The IMO's Maritime Environment Protection Committee convenes in June and this is likely to be a hotly debated topic.

Indonesian submarine exercise results in tragedy

A missing Indonesian submarine has been found, broken into at least three parts, at the bottom of the Bali Sea, army and navy officials said on Sunday, as the president sent condolences to relatives of the 53 crew.  Rescuers also found new objects, including a life vest, that they believe belong to those aboard the 44-year old KRI Nanggala-402, which lost contact last week as it prepared to conduct a torpedo drill. The German-built vessel was delivered in 1981, and she underwent an overhaul and modernization period at DSME in 2012.  A sonar scan on Saturday detected the submarine at 850 metres (2,790 feet), far beyond the Nanggala's diving range. The cause of the sinking is not yet known, but Indonesian officials have ruled out an explosion.

Shipping groups urge discussion on global market-based measures

Ahead of President Biden’s climate summit, shipping industry bodies representing the majority of maritime trade have called on world leaders to quickly commence deliberations on how mandatory market-based measures (MBMs) could be implemented for international shipping. BIMCO, CLIA, International Chamber of Shipping, World Shipping Council, along with other industry groups, have submitted a proposal to the International Maritime Organization (IMO), calling for the UN’s regulatory body to bring forward discussions around MBMs by several years. These measures will be critical to incentivize the transition of the global fleet to new fuels and technologies, which will be more expensive than those in use today. MBMs put a price on CO2 emissions to provide an economic incentive for a sector to reduce its emissions by narrowing the price gap between fossil fuels and zero-carbon fuels.

Wärtsilä CSS technology sees strong interest

Wärtsilä has reported overwhelming response on its carbon capture and storage (CCS) technology that has the potential to upgrade current scrubber systems to tackle maritime carbon dioxide emissions.  Initial findings by the company show that CCS on ships is technically viable for the sector to pursue. Last month Wärtsilä  invested €1m in Soletair Power Oy, a Finnish CO2 direct air capture technology company that has developed a breakthrough solution for capturing CO2 from air in buildings that can be used when creating synthetic renewable fuel. Wärtsilä is installing a 1MW pilot plant at its test facility in Moss, Norway.

Industry partners with MPA for decarbonization centre in Singapore

The Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) has signed a memorandum of cooperation (MoC) with BW Group, Sembcorp Marine, Eastern Pacific Shipping, Ocean Network Express, Foundation Det Norske Veritas and BHP to establish a fund for a maritime decarbonization centre to be set up in Singapore.  Under the MoC, each private sector partner will contribute S$10 million to support the establishment of the centre, fund maritime-decarbonization-related research and technology development projects and collaborate with institutes of higher learning and research institutes.  MPA will add S$60 million R&D funding to these contributions, bringing the fund to a total of S$120 million.

BIMCO supports ship-shore data exchange

At present there is no single global format for exchanging information between ships and ports/terminals such as arrival and departure times. A common platform where all the key stakeholders such as port authorities, pilots, agents and terminal operators can share information using a common format on ship arrivals and departures will help improve berth utilisation and port call optimization. The BIMCO Port Call Data Exchange Clause 2021 complements the recently published BIMCO Just in Time Arrivals Clause. The two clauses should be used together. However, where Just in Time Arrivals cannot be implemented for commercial reasons, the Port Call Data Exchange Clause can still be used if the relevant port is using the IMO data model framework. BIMCO is hosting a webinar on Just in Time Arrivals during Singapore Maritime Week on 22 April.

DP World seeks damages from Djibouti

Dubai’s DP World, one of the world’s largest port operators, is seeking $210.2 million in damages from Djibouti’s government in an ongoing legal battle over port concession rights.  DP World and Djibouti have since 2012 been locked in the dispute over DP World’s concession to operate the Doraleh Container Terminal, which is located in the Horn of Africa along key trade routes at the southern entrance to the Red Sea. Djibouti seized the terminal from state-owned DP World in 2018. DP World said it remained the legal holder of the concession and alleged that Djibouti had acted illegally in seizing the terminal from the Dubai state-owned company. DP World is now seeking damages for the estimated loss of revenue and management fees from 2018 to March 31 this year through the same court while still seeking to restore the concession.  If the concession is not restored, DP World estimates losses in excess of $1 billion, including future profits, one of the documents showed. A decision on DP World’s claim by the London court is expected on June 29.

China's coal dispute with Australia shifts trade

China is paying a high price for its unofficial ban on coal imports from Australia, with the cost of domestic and alternative foreign supplies rising for both thermal and coking grades of the fuel. China, the world’s biggest importer, producer and consumer of coal, has effectively ended imports from Australia, the biggest shipper of coking coal used to make steel and number two in thermal coal used to produce electricity, as part of an ongoing political dispute between the two nations.  China has turned to Indonesia, Russia and South Africa, to plug some of the gap. At least 1,500 seafarers on an estimated 70 ships carrying over 8 million tons were stranded off China late last year following the ban. While the situation has eased, roughly 35 still carriers remained stranded and unavailable to take on new trips as of earlier this week.

Investigators analyzing Ever Given's black box

Osama Rabie, chairman of the Suez Canal Authority, said an analysis of the ship's data is underway and should provide crucial details surrounding the grounding. An initial report on the costly accident could be released this week. The Ever Given is docked in a canal holding lake while the investigation takes place. Rabie suggested that failure of the ship's owners to reach an accord on damages could trigger court proceedings and delay for a year or more release of the cargo – almost 20,000, 20-foot long containers carrying goods valued at more than $3 billion. Lloyd’s of London last week said the incident would likely result in a “large loss” for the commercial insurance and reinsurance market of at least $100 million. The Ever Given was freed six days after wedging itself sideways into a single-lane section of the canal. Around-the-clock dredging, high tides helped by a full moon, and tugs pushing and pulling the ship managed to free the ship from the canal walls. Robert Allan Ltd. Naval Architects and Marine Engineers of North Vancouver designed six of the 14 tugboats that assisted in the effort.

Eemslift Hendrika salvaged following crew rescue

The Eemslift Hendrika had been adrift since Monday after its crew sent a distress signal that the vessel lost stability in the Norwegian Sea approximately 60 nautical miles west of Ålesund. In a dramatic helicopter rescue captured by video, all twelve crew members were evacuated. Earlier on Wednesday, the Norwegian Coast Administration reported that drift calculations indicated the risk of the ship running aground was low, but the situation seemed to change as the day wore on and forced the administration to invoke a government mandate to intervene.  A salvage team was successful in securing a tow line to the Eemslift Hendrika and the vessel is now under tow to Ålesund, the Norwegian Coastal Administration has confirmed. At the moment, there is no longer a risk of grounding. Built in 2015, Eemslift Hendrika is a yacht transport ship operated by Monaco-based Starclass Yacht Transport.

Record ULCSs ordered last month

In March a record 45 ultra-large containership (ULCS) were ordered, reflecting the confidence of shipowners and investors amid continued strong demand in the container shipping sector.  In addition to the 15,000 TEU ships, 27 additional "smaller" box ships were also ordered, bringing the total order capacity to 866,060 TEU, marking a turnaround for the sector after record low order levels at certain points of 2020. Total container shipping capacity ordered in the first quarter of 2021 has already reached 1,398,000 TEU, a six-year-high compared to previous full years, and up from 995,000 TEU.

Venice bans large cruise and container ships

A new decree enacted 31 March 2021 by the Italian government prohibits passenger ships over 40,000 tons and container ships from passing close to Venice’s historic city centre.  While €2.2 million has been sanctioned for construction of berths outside Venice lagoon, the proposed interim passenger terminal at Marghera, an industrial hub within the lagoon, is already controversial as it requires the Canale dei Petroli to be deepened and widened to accommodate these ships.  Campaign group No Grandi Navi who has fought for the prohibition of cruise ships and other large ships transiting and docking in the lagoon are pleased with the announcement but now have new concerns re the temporary passenger terminal and adverse environmental impact.  In 2019, the MSC Opera experienced an engine failure and collided with the dockside and a tourist boat with its siren blaring. The incident injured five people.

Vaccinations for seafarers will pose significant challenges

The International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) has issued a news release seeking prioritizations of seafarers for COVID-19 vaccinations as the lack of access to vaccinations for seafarers is placing shipping in a "legal minefield," leaving global supply chains vulnerable.  As vaccinations could soon be a compulsory requirement for work at sea and a pre-condition for entering ports, reports estimate that developing nations will not achieve mass immunization until 2024, with some 90% of people in 67 low-income countries standing little chance of vaccination in 2021. ICS calculates that 900,000 of the world’s seafarers (well over half the global workforce) are from developing nations.  Delays into ports caused by unvaccinated crew would open up legal liabilities and costs for owners, which would not be recoverable from charterers. Furthermore, while owners would be able to address the need for seafarer vaccines in new contracts, owners attempting to change existing contracts or asking crew to receive a specific vaccine requested by a port could open themselves up to legal liabilities.

Will the Ever Given give soon?

Up to 20,000 cubic meters of sand in the Suez Canal needs to be removed to free the 20,000 TEU Ever Given that has been stuck there since Tuesday when 40-knot winds and a sandstorm creating low visibility and poor navigation caused the ship to run aground.  Canal authorities are hoping that Saturday's high tide might help dislodge the vessel, but failing this, efforts underway may take a few more weeks.  Each day that passes comes at a high cost to companies and countries whose trade has been held up by the gridlock. About 12% of the world trade volume passes through the Suez Canal, and it usually handles about $10 billion a day in cargo. Over 200 ships carrying vital fuel and cargo have been in the queue and some are now weighing the decision to wait or incur an extra 3,800 miles and up to 12 days extra sailing time to divert around Cape Horn.  The International Chamber of Shipping has issued security guidance for vessels diverting around Cape Horn.

Maritime Single Window Project looking for port partnership

The IMO issued a news release calling for  expressions of interest from countries with a medium-sized port willing to take part in a pilot project to establish an efficient digitalized system for electronic exchange of information in ports for ship clearance. The "Single Window for Facilitation of Trade (SWiFT) Project" will develop a Maritime Single Window system in partnership with Singapore and the pilot port.  We vote that Canada sign on to the SWiFT project as there is an obligation and strong need to make ship clearance more streamlined and efficient.

Getting to Zero Coalition mapping shows trends for alternate fuels

The uptake of zero emission pilots and demonstration projects is a fundamental component of the maritime industry’s transition to zero emission fuels. The Getting to Zero Coalition’s biannual Mapping of Zero Emission Pilots and Demonstration Projects outlines the spread and scope of existing zero emission projects, encompassing the full value chain of technologies needed to facilitate shipping’s transition to zero emission fuels. The second edition sees a significant increase in the number of identified projects – up from 66 to 106 – focusing on ship technologies, fuel production as well as bunkering and recharging facilities.


Upcoming Events


Dec 25 - Office Closed – Christmas

January 1 - Office Closed – New Years Day


The Chamber of Shipping offices will be not be issuing port passes for the Port of Vancouver between December 23, 2020 to January 10, 2021. Arrangement for passes expiring during this period should be made before or after the closure period through the normal on-line process.  Staff will still be available remotely during this period.


Ship of the Week


May 7 - ONEX Peace

ONEX Peace, an Aframax tanker built by Hyundai Samho Heavy Industries (HHI) is the world’s first merchant ship to receive DNV’s SILENT-E notation. The SILENT-E notation ensures ships do not exceed average-to-moderate Underwater Radiation Noise (URN) levels. Vessels with this notation can minimize their impact on marine life and document noise performance for authorities, or those requiring proof of noise emissions for transit through vulnerable areas. DNV, HHI and the Korea Research Institute of Ships & Ocean Engineering are conducting a joint research project on measuring and evaluating underwater radiation noise. As part of the study, the parties carried out the underwater noise measurement and analysis of the ONEX Peace. Following verification of his ability to meet the requirement DNV granted the SILENT-E notation. Flag:  Panama Gross Tonnage:  62,500 Summer Deadweight: 115,000 Length x Breadth: 250 x 44 m

April 30 - Arvik I

Fednav Limited has taken delivery of its latest Polar Class 4 icebreaking bulk carrier—the MV Arvik I. This new state-of-the-art vessel will replace the 43-year old MV Arctic. The Canadian-flag, Arvik I will trade between St. Lawrence River ports and Deception Bay, servicing Glencore’s Raglan Mine, commencing mid-May 2021. Ordered through Sumitomo Corporation and built by Japan Marine United Corporation (JMU) shipyards Japan, the 31,000-DWT mine resupply vessel is a sister ship to Fednav’s two other Polar Class 4 icebreaking bulk carriers, the MV Nunavik, delivered in 2014 and the Canadian-flagged MV Umiak I delivered in 2006, currently the most powerful icebreaking bulk carriers in the world. This new vessel is equipped with the latest technology, which includes Tier III main and auxiliary engines, and compliant with the latest stringent IMO nitrogen oxide (NOx) emission regulations. The MV Arctic made its final voyage in April and is being recycled in Turkey following strict green recycling protocols. The vessel had an impressive career and will be remembered by generations of Canadian seafarers for its role in opening the Canadian Arctic to year-round shipping. Fednav is a privately owned shipping company and is the largest international dry-bulk shipping group in Canada. It operates a most modern fleet of about 120 bulk carriers trading worldwide, of which 60 are owned. The company employs 300 office staff worldwide—195 in its Montreal headquarters—and maintains commercial offices in Antwerp, Charlotte, Hamburg, Rio de Janeiro, Singapore, St. John’s, and Tokyo.

April 23 - Manta

Meet Manta, a giant, plastic-eating catamaran powered by renewable energy. The 185-foot hybrid sailboat will be the world’s first sea-cleaning vessel capable of collecting plastic waste on an industrial scale. Operating autonomously 75 percent of the time, it’s also a state-of-the-art scientific laboratory. World-record sailor Yvan Bourgnon is the mastermind behind the venture. During 20 years of transatlantic competitions and various solo world tours (including the first person to sail solo from Alaska to Greenland), he witnessed a sharp increase in ocean pollution. In 2015, he was forced to abandon the Transat Jacques Vabre yacht race after his sailboat struck plastic debris in the Bay of Gascogne. Bourgnon’s response was to set up The SeaCleaners NGO in 2016, a consortium of over 58 engineers, technicians and researchers comprising five research laboratories and 17 external partners to build a solution: The Manta. Built from low-carbon steel, the Manta is a virtuous energy recovery unit wrapped up in a 185-foot sailboat design. It features a custom electric hybrid propulsion system enabling it to travel at controlled speeds of between two and three knots, the optimum speed for waste collection. Around 500kW of onboard renewable energy is generated via two wind turbines located at the stern, 500 square meters of photovoltaic solar panels at the bow, two hydro-generators under the boat and a Waste-to-Electricity Conversion Unit (WECU) used to power the hotel load, or what the captain and crew consume. The Manta gets its name from a pair of retractable wings used to hold a third of the solar panels that mimic the shape of a manta ray. Despite being an oceangoing vessel, the Manta will primarily focus on coastal areas in and around the estuaries or mouths of the 10 most polluting rivers in the world. These include the Yangtze (the longest river in Asia), the Yellow River, which feeds into China’s Bohai Sea, and the Ganges, which runs through India and Bangladesh. Three floatable collection systems give the Manta a plastic-eating span of 151 feet and a collection depth of three feet. Two cranes are used to extract large debris. Up to three tons of waste will be collected per hour and sorted on board by a crew of 22 working in two 12-hour shifts. Metal and glass are sent to shoreside recycling units, organic matter is returned to the sea, and plastic waste is fed into the WECU which vaporizes the plastic turning “syngas” into electricity. Operating for 300 days a year, the aim is to collect up to 10,000 tons per year. Two multi-purpose decontamination boats stored onboard—Mobula 8 and Mobula 10—will be deployed to access narrow and shallow areas. Both models will also be sold individually to encourage public and private initiatives. A shipyard is yet to be confirmed, but Bourgnon anticipates a two year-build for the first model, with delivery scheduled for the end of 2024. Sea trials will take place in Europe before heading to southeast Asia in 2025 to begin the first clean-up. Up to 10 scientists are also accommodated on board. All the scientific research and data collected by the Manta will be made available on an open-source platform.

April 16 - Kira Oldendorff

Global resources company BHP, German shipping company Oldendorff Carriers, and Dutch advanced biofuels pioneer GoodFuels, with the support of the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA), conducted the first marine biofuel trial involving an ocean-going vessel bunkered in Singapore on April 4, 2021. The key objectives of the biofuel bunkering trial include understanding the behaviour of the fuel (such as emissions), assessing engine and vessel operational performance during the trial as well as exploring the technical and commercial merits and challenges of biofuels as a marine fuel. The 2020-built 81,290 deadweight tonne (DWT) dry bulk carrier Kira Oldendorff was bunkered with “drop-in” advanced biofuel blended with conventional fossil fuels. The advanced biofuel, supplied by GoodFuels, reduces carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions by 80-90 percent on a “well-to-exhaust” compared with conventional heavy fuel oil (HFO) and very low sulphur fuel oil (VLSFO) and uses sustainable waste and residue streams as feedstock. Expansion of biofuel into Singapore represents a key step for the emerging alternative. Singapore is the world’s largest bunker market with the MPA reporting sales of more than 4.5 million metric tons per month at the beginning of 2021 used to fuel the more than 3,500 vessels calling in Singapore to bunker. Last year over 49 million metric tons of fuel were sold nearing the port’s record of over 50.6 million metric tons in 2017. If the pace of bunker sales in the first two months of 2021 continues for the year, Singapore could exceed its previous record by nearly 10 percent.

April 9 - RSV Nuyina

Australia’s new Antarctic icebreaker, RSV Nuyina, will be the main lifeline to Australia’s Antarctic and sub-Antarctic research stations and the central platform of our Antarctic and Southern Ocean scientific research. Construction of the ship at Damen Shipyards in Romania commenced in May 2017, with a steel cutting ceremony, while a keel laying ceremony in August saw the first building-block of the ship consolidated in the drydock. In September 2018 the ship was floated from the dry dock to the wet dock, for the next phase of construction. As of July 2020, construction of the ship is 98% complete, but final harbour testing, and sea and ice trials, have been delayed by the COVID-19 pandemic. However, the ship is expected to arrive in Hobart in 2021. Watch fore and aft time-lapse videos ( of the ship’s construction in the drydock, on our webcam page, and follow the links for videos, images and more information about the ship at ( Replacing the Aurora Australis, the RSV Nuyina will be faster, larger, stronger and offer increased endurance. At 160.3 metres long and 25,500 tonnes, the vessel will be powerful enough to break 1.65 metres of ice at a continuous speed of three knots, quiet enough to allow researchers to use acoustic instruments, and large enough to resupply two of Australia’s four Antarctic and sub-Antarctic stations in one voyage. The vessel will accommodate 34 Serco crew and up to 116 AAD scientific personnel, and has the ability to embark up to four helicopters, two landing craft and a dedicated science tender. The icebreaker is currently undergoing Harbour Acceptance Testing in Vlissingen in the Netherlands, and is expected to arrive in Hobart in 2021.   Ship of the Week courtesy of Capt. Stan Bowles, BowTech Maritime Inc.

March 26 - Candela P-30

The all-new foiling Candela P-30 is expected to be the world’s fastest all-electric passenger ship when it arrives on Stockholm’s waterways in 2022 to shuttle passengers to and from the archipelago above the waves without wakes, noise and CO2 emissions. The Swedish tech company Candela will introduce fast all-electric commuter ferries that soar above the waves on foils, quietly and efficiently carrying passengers at speeds up to 30 knots and will the city’s aging fleet of 60 diesel boats. Computer-controlled hydrofoils which reduce energy consumption by 80 percent at 3 kWh per nautical mile, which is one tenth of a conventional ship and comparable to the energy consumption of a modern electric-hybrid bus.  The P-3o will be able to service even the longest routes because it can travel more than three hours at 20 knot cruise speeds before recharging. Length:  12 meters Capacity:  30 passengers Top speed:  30 knots Service speed:  20-25 knots Range:  60+ nautical miles at 20 knots (2 hours run time) Motor:   2 x 60 kW electric pod drives Battery:  180 kWh lithium ion

March 19 - Christophe de Margerie

To transport liquefied natural gas from Yamal LNG, which is located in the Arctic and constitutes one of the world’s biggest LNG projects, 15 ice-class LNG carrier were commissioned between December 2016 and December 2019. This innovative solution allows large shipments of LNG to be transported efficiently and at a steady pace throughout the year, without the assistance of icebreakers. The ship, which is 300 meters long and has a capacity of 172,600 cubic meters, can sail in temperatures as low as -52° C and through ice as thick as 2.1 meters. The SCF Group’s Christophe de Margerie is the world’s first icebreaking LNG carrier and the lead ship in the series of ice class Arc7 vessels, purpose designed for serving the Yamal LNG project in the Russian Arctic all year round Built Date:  November 2016 Delivery Date:  27 March 2017 Flag:    Cyprus Class:  Russian Maritime Register/Bureau Veritas LOA (m):  299.00 Breadth (m):  50.00 Depth (m):  26.50 Deadweight (t):  96778.90 GRT:   128806 NRT:   38641 Draught (Loaded) (m):  11.80 Speed (knots):  19.50 Ship of the week courtesy of Capt. Stan Bowles, BowTech Marine

March 12 – MT Swarna Krishna

For the first time in maritime history, A tanker commanded and managed by an all-women crew has set sail. The vessel, the MT Swarna Krishna left from the Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust (JNPT), the biggest container handling port in India. The journey coincides with International Women’s Day 2021 and marks SCI’s diamond jubilee as India works to encourage more women to seafaring career. The 2010-built LR1 tanker named MT Swarna Krishna is owned by the Shipping Corporation of India (SCI). Length: 227m Beam: 32m GT: 42845 DWT: 73655 Built: 2010

March 5 - Southern Ace

The Southern Ace, a new wood-chip carrier for the Hokuetsu Corporation was delivered earlier this week at Oshima Shipbuilding Co., Ltd. in Saikai city, Nagasaki, Japan. The ship will transport wood chips made from logs that have been confirmed to have been legally obtained through sustainable plantations in the Southern Hemisphere. The vessel is an eco-ship that uses approximately 15 percent less fuel compared to conventional wood-chip carriers. These advancements have been made through improvements to the hull form while maintaining transportation capacity and the use of a larger propeller that improves propulsion. The carrier is also equipped with ladder fins that improve water flow generated at the aft-end of the vessel. Length overall: 209.96 meters Breadth: 37.00 meters Deadweight tonnage: 60,222 metric tons Cargo tank capacity: approx. 4,300,000 cubic feet Builder: Oshima Shipbuilding Co., Ltd. Port of registry: Shingu, Japan

February 26 - Grain de Sail

A unique cargo ship set sail this week from France. Called Grain de Sail, the company is combining the production and sale of chocolates with the operation of an ecological cargo ship, primarily driven by sail power. The 72-foot long aluminum hull cargo ship set sail on November 18 from St Malmo on the Brittany Coast of France bound for New York. Using a schooner-type rigging and with a crew of four, the vessel has a capacity of up to 50 tons of cargo.  They can load 28 pallets into the refrigerated hold cooled with green energy. Loaded on board for this first sailing the sailing ship is 14,000 bottles of French organic wine. The wine will be delivered to a distributor in New York. After off-loading the wine in the United States, they will sail to South America where they will load cocoa and coffee for the return voyage to France.

February 19 - Maxima

The second EasyMax multipurpose cargo vessel has been delivered to Royal Wagenborg and affiliated owners and taken into service under her official name Máxima.  With an installed power of less than 3,000 kilowatts, this ship has low fuel consumption and due to her design, she has an excellent sea keeping performance, according to Wagenborg. The ship is said to deliver more than 60% savings in CO2-emissions compared to her peer group. The EasyMax design features a limited amount of equipment in the hold. For example, there are no tweendecks, container fittings, securing eyes, or girders in the hatch package. For most of the cargoes that Wagenborg transports, these options are unnecessary. There are, however, separation bulkheads, dehumidifiers and hold lighting. It has a total cargo capacity of more than 14,000 tonnes and a hold capacity of 625,000 cubic feet. Built at the Royal Niestern Sander shipyard, the vessel is 149.95 meters long, with 15.9-meter beam and 8.6-meter draft. The ship has two large rectangular holds – 13.5 meters wide, 12.1 meters high, and 47.36 meters and 64.38 meters long, respectively.  The ship left for her maiden voyage to Antwerp from homeport Delfzijl, where the Delfsail 2021 event was planned to take place before being postponed due to COVID-19.

February 12 - Sparky

On 4th December, at Song Cam Shipyard in Vietnam, the world’s first fully-electric ship-handling tug of 70 tonnes bollard pull – the Damen RSD-E Tug 2513 – was launched into the water. Damen is building the vessel to support its customer, New Zealand’s Ports of Auckland, in achieving its ambitious sustainability targets. The RSD-E Tug 2513 takes an already efficient design and optimises it for maximum maritime sustainability. Ports of Auckland has the goal of being a zero emissions organisation by 2040. With this is mind, the organisation approached Damen with the question – was a fully-electric, zero emissions tug a possibility? Damen, with its own goal to become the world’s most sustainable shipbuilder, was keen to take up the challenge. With Ports of Auckland already operating a Damen ASD Tug 2411, the shipbuilder was able to assess the potential for a fully electric tug. The idea proved not only to be possible, but economically viable. Sjoerd de Bruin, Damen sales manager Asia Pacific, said “With 40% of New Zealand’s energy being generated from sustainable sources – including 80% of electricity – Sparky offers the chance to complete the sustainable circle in Ports of Auckland’s tug operation. “Since receiving the order for this historic vessel, we have been working towards this moment – the introduction of the first fully-electric tug of this capability to the water. We are looking forward to continuing in our task and completing the vessel in the coming months.” The next stages of construction will see Damen install the vessel’s innovative hardware. The RSD-E Tug 2513 is scheduled to be delivered to Ports of Auckland at the end of 2021. Following a naming competition, Ports of Auckland is planning to name the vessel ‘Sparky’.

February 5 - Isle of Man Ferry

A new ferry for the Isle of Man is set to feature Wärtsilä’s hybrid solution. Wärtsilä will supply a range of solutions for a new diesel-electric hybrid roll-on/roll-off passenger (RoPax) ferry ordered by the Isle of Man Steam Packet Company (IOMSPC). The vessel will be built at Hyundai Mipo Dockyard in South Korea and will serve the Heysham to Douglas, Isle of Man route. Houlder, a London-based design & engineering consultancy, will act as a technical advisor in the design and build of the ship. Construction is due to start in the middle of next year, with delivery scheduled for spring 2023. The vessel will be 132m in length, with Wärtsilä 31 engines, electrical and automation including Wärtsilä’s Low Loss Concept (LLC), the energy storage system, and propulsion machinery including the transverse thrusters.