COS Weekly Newsletter - Sunday, 25 September 2022


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          COS Weekly Newsletter
          Sunday, 25 September 2022

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Local News


Study confirms BC wood pellets responsibly sourced

new study confirms that wood pellets in British Columbia are sourced entirely from sawmill and harvest residuals or from low-quality logs and bush grind rejected by other industries. The study was commissioned by the Wood Pellet Association of Canada and carried out by respected forest experts and registered professional foresters, professor Gary Bull, Dr. Jeremy Williams, Dr. Jim Thrower and Mr. Brad Bennett.  Professor Bull noted,“The findings were clear: 85 per cent of the fibre for pellets comes from the by-products of the sawmills and allied industries, and the remaining 15 per cent comes from bush grind and low-quality logs where the only other option is to burn the low-grade logs and brush piles on site in order to reduce fire risk.” The researchers analyzed government and industry databases, confidential commercial data, and audit reports and conducted personal interviews with individual pellet plant operators and local communities. The study also looked at the impact of pellets in both the broader forest sector and in communities like Burns Lake where the pellet plant has played an important role in addressing the mountain pine beetle epidemic, providing an outlet for local sawmills and low-quality roundwood and strengthening the local economy.

Strike action continues at Westshore Terminals

Local 502 of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (“ILWU”) commenced legal strike action against Westshore Terminals Limited Partnership effective 12:01 a.m. September 17, 2022. The work stoppage has resulted in a complete suspension of operations at Westshore's coal export terminal at Roberts Bank. Labour action is limited to Westshore’s terminal facilities and there are currently no further negotiations scheduled between Westshore and ILWU.

Meanwhile Teck Resources Ltd.’s near-term coal production is suffering from a "structural failure" of a conveyor belt at its Elkview plant in British Columbia that will interrupt production for up to two months. The downtime for maintenance at the plant will reduce its full-year coal production by about 1.5 million tonnes.

Seaspan Shipyards announces new CEO

Seaspan Shipyards has announced that the Board of Directors of The Washington Companies has appointed John McCarthy as CEO of Seaspan Shipyards, effective immediately. He succeeds Mark Lamarre, who assumes a new role as President and CEO of The Washington Companies, following the planned retirement of the previous President and CEO, Larry Simkins. John McCarthy has been an integral part of the senior leadership team with Seaspan Shipyards since 2018 and brings more than 36 years of experience in shipbuilding, repair and overhaul and as a senior leader at American and International shipyards. As Chief Program Officer of Seaspan Shipyards for the past four years, McCarthy oversaw all new construction programs as part of Canada’s National Shipbuilding Strategy.

UBCM pushes for EGCS restrictions

BC municipalities are calling for stronger environmental protections from the federal government to keep harmful cargo and cruise ship pollution out of the ocean. In a motion passed at the Union of BC Municipalities (UBCM)  annual convention in Whistler, BC last Friday, UBCM calls on the BC government "to commit to advocate to the federal government on the issue of exhaust gas cleaning systems' acidic washwater discharge, as part of a comprehensive BC Coast Marine Strategy; pushing for stronger environmental protections, in line with thriving cruise and cargo waters of our US neighbours, to include preventative measures to stop scrubber dumping from ships and require cleaner fuels be used."

SIU and Ocean BC Towing finalize new contract

The Seafarers’ International Union of Canada (SIU) has announced that it members with Ocean BC Towing (OBCT), managed by Groupe Ocean, have reached an agreement on a new contract that was unanimously accepted. The contract sees significant gains in all areas, raising the bar and setting the new standard for seafarers working on tugboats on Canada’s West Coast. The contract includes a 20% wage increase in the first 3 years, a 1.5% increase to pension in 2025, transportation reimbursements, a minimum 6 hour call in during scheduled time off, improvements to the medical plan, and more that were all fought for by the negotiating committee. The tentative agreement was reached on September 7, 2022. All members with Ocean BC Towing voted on the tentative agreement on September 10, 2022, concluding in 100% of members voting in favour of the new contract.

Workers locked out in Port of Quebec

A lockout has been declared at the Port of Quebec, the union and employer confirmed on Thursday. The Syndicat canadien de la fonction publique, which represents 81 dockworkers in the Quebec City seaport, said the move comes after 98.5 percent of the workers voted Aug. 30 in favour of pressure tactics that could include a strike.  The union has been in talks with the Société des arrimeurs de Québec, representing employers, since June 2022 and the main issue appears to be work hours. Meetings between the parties have been scheduled for October.

Strong month for Great Lakes and Seaway

During the month of August, 3.46 million tons of cargo moved through the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence Seaway system, bringing the year-to-date total to nearly 19.2 million tons shipped. While Canadian grain is still down 26 percent, salt, petroleum products, petcoke, and potash continue well ahead of 2021 levels. For the year, shipments of petroleum products are up 40 percent to more than 1.5 million tons, petcoke shipments have increased more than 31 per cent to 1.15 million tons and potash shipments are up more than 267 per cent at 756,000 tons. Year-to-year shipments of windmill equipment is also up and a strong grain crop is expected this season.

Westshore Terminal receives strike notice

Westshore Terminals received 72-hour strike notice from ILWU Local 502 on September 13th with strike action to commence as early as 1200 hours on September 16, 2022. The previous collective agreement and those of the two other ILWU Locals at the terminal expired January 31, 2022. The negotiations with Local 502 are the first of the three and the strike activity would result in the complete suspension of operations at the terminal. Negotiations have involved conciliation/mediation under the Federal Labour Code since March 29, 2022. The terminal advises that while strike notice has been served, the parties remain in contact and continue to have the assistance of the mediator.  As of noon today, no strike activity has been reported.

Strong outlook for grain and canola crops

Grain production in Canada looks set to rebound strongly in 2022 after a severe drought ravaged last year’s harvest. Statistics Canada published its latest Outlook for Principal Field Crops on August 29, stating that vastly improved growing conditions for most of the Prairies are likely to lead to a much larger crop than was previously expected. The production projections in the latest report are derived from predictive modelling based on field conditions at the end of July.  Canada’s second biggest winter crop is canola, and this season’s production is set for a bounce by more than 46 percent, according to StatsCan. Production is pegged at 18.4Mt, up from just 12.6Mt last harvest, once again restabilising Canada as the world’s biggest producer

CMSG picket line shuts down Vancouver Shipyards

Activity at the Vancouver Shipyards in North Vancouver has been impacted by the Canadian Merchant Service Guild strike as an estimated 1,000 unionized trades refused to cross picket lines set up by striking tugboat captains last Friday. A Labour Relations Board decision issued Sept. 1 allowed striking tugboat workers from the marine division to set up picket lines preventing shipyard workers from reporting to work.  The company plans to challenge the labour board ruling, as continuation of the work stoppage for any length of time, could spell further delays for the federal shipbuilding program at Seaspan, which has already been plagued with setbacks. At the end of June, Ottawa announced that the expected delivery date for both joint support ships has been pushed back by two years – the latest of several such timeline revisions. The first ship is now expected to be delivered in 2025, while the second ship won’t be finished until 2027.

Day Sail on a Warship with RCN

Women & girls are invited to test drive a Royal Canadian Navy warship at sea on October 22nd. The Achieve Anything Foundation has organized this event to raise awareness of one of the many opportunities available to women in high technology fields.  The Day Sail event will provide an incredible, hands-on experience of a day in the life of Royal Canadian Navy personnel on board an active duty warship, including a tour of various ship duty stations, crew quarters & mess, operational equipment; RCAF joint search and rescue demonstration, ship firefighting simulation, and scenario demonstrations of the warship’s impressive manoeuvring capabilities. Minimum age requirement 12 years.  The Foundation is always looking for volunteers and has a number of events coming up to inspire females to pursue opportunities in aviation, aerospace, marine & defence and other high-tech stem fields.

Rolling Truck Age Program deferred to April 2023

The Vancouver Fraser Port Authority is deferring the implementation of its Rolling Truck Age Program by a final six months to April 3, 2023.  Transport Canada has intervened suggesting that a final adjustment to the program schedule will provide additional flexibility to better enable operators to comply with the program's requirements.

Seaspan strike update

The Canadian Merchant Service Guild (“CMSG”) commenced legal strike action against Seaspan effective August 25, 2022 at 12:01 pm.  As of August 31st labour action affected the arrival, departure and bunkering of five cruise ships and three bulk vessels. According to the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority all activities with respect to these vessels have now been resolved and all marine cargo terminals and cruise ship facilities are operational. Picketing activity on the waterside affecting vessels at Westshore Terminals has also stopped. Alternate tug operators are now able to service vessels at the terminal.

Bunkering still available during CMSG strike

Minerva Bunkering says its marine refueling operations are still taking place in the Canadian West Coast Port of Vancouver despite the disruption from a strike by the Canadian Merchant Services Guild (CMSG). The strike, which began on August 25, is impacting Seaspan’s marine transportation business and as a result all 30 of the Port’s Seaspan-owned tugs are out of service. Over the last week a number of vessels have seen delays to their arrival, departure or bunkering deliveries, local reports indicate. “Our bunkering operations are not impacted by this strike”, Captain Christopher Roberts, Head of Sales – Americas, Minerva Bunkering told Ship and Bunker. “Minerva Bunkering’s marine fuel deliveries are continuing with delay and we are stepping in the support clients affected by the present disruption in every way possible”

New mobile marine classroom underway

Students at Coast Mountain College will gain hands-on experience with a new mobile marine classroom beginning in September.  The BC government provided $250,000 to Coast Mountain College to purchase a new 7.6-metre (27 foot), 12-passenger, aluminum-hulled boat to serve students and staff in the college’s applied coastal ecology program. The new boat is named Na Malgsa Aks, meaning “the story the water tells” in the La̱xyuubm Ts’msyen language. The combined classroom and field-work experience the boat will enable will prepare students for careers in sustainability, ecology, and fish and wildlife conservation. The technical skills students learn in the program are in demand for more than 111,000 anticipated job openings in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) expected in BC by 2031.

Fairview-Ridley Connector Corridor Project completed

The Prince Rupert Port Authority’s (PRPA) Fairview-Ridley Connector Corridor was officially opened on August 24th with a ribbon-cutting ceremony. Testing on the route is underway with expectations that the Corridor will be fully operational by August 29th. The new road and rail corridor directly links Fairview Terminal, both current and future capacity, with future import and export logistics sites on South Kaien Island and Ridley Island, that will offer new opportunities for Canadian businesses to reach global markets through containerized trade. Furthermore by moving traffic away from urban areas and onto PRPA-owned roads, the Connector Corridor will help cut commercial vehicles emissions by up to 75 percent and reduce truck traffic congestion in the city of Prince Rupert (see video).

Seaspan issues notice of labour disruption

At 12:01 pm on Thursday, August 25th the Canadian Merchant Service Guild's captains and engineers employed by Seaspan ULC commenced strike action after serving 72-hour notice earlier in the week. Efforts to reach an agreement before the strike deadline were unsuccessful. The strike will impact all 30 of the Seaspan tugs operating in British Columbia. Seaspan has made arrangements with other service providers to support its contracted ship-docking customers to minimize disruptions.

CP and KCS merger cleared for foreign investment

Canadian Pacific Railway Limited has received the required regulatory clearance from the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States ("CFIUS") for the proposed combination of CP and Kansas City Southern ("KCS").  CP completed its acquisition of KCS on Dec. 14, 2021. Immediately upon the closing of the acquisition, the shares of KCS were placed into a voting trust which ensures KCS will operate independently of CP while the US. Surface Transportation Board ("STB") completes its regulatory review in early 2023.

CP and TCRC arbitration ends with 2-year agreement




New Transport Canada Ship Safety Bulletins

Transport Canada has issued Ship Safety Bulletin 20/22 announcing that Georgian seafarers can now seek Canadian recognition of their STCW certificates.  Also, Ship Safety Bulletin 19/22 was issued today to remind authorized representatives and masters of vessels of their legal obligation to approve shore leave for seafarers as stated in the Maritime Labour Convention 2006 (MLC 2006).

$40M available for Indigenous-led area-base conservation

The Minister of Environment and Climate Change, the Honourable Steven Guilbeault, announced that the department is now accepting expressions of interest for up to $40 million in Indigenous-led area-based conservation funding. The funding is for Indigenous Peoples to lead or co-lead projects to establish and recognize protected areas. This includes other effective area-based conservation measures across Canada, such as Indigenous Protected and Conserved Areas that can contribute to Canada’s conservation targets. Eligible activities include developing management mechanisms, building infrastructure and implementing legal mechanisms for protection.

Trailer Princess removal underway in Duncan Bay

The Canadian Coast Guard (CCG) is working with contractors to remove the 98-metre sunken barge, Trailer Princess, in Duncan Bay north of Campbell River that was reported to be sinking on February 14th. Following an initial assessment 34,000 L of gasoline, diesel, and jet fuel were removed from the barge’s tanks, and AMIX/Marine Recycling Corporation (MRC) was able to remove another 55,000 L of hydrocarbons and oily water. Drone and National Air Surveillance Program (NASP) overflights since Feb. 20 have confirmed the on-scene reports of minimal non-recoverable product being limited to within the containment boom. Local First Nation Guardians are also assessing the site twice a week to check for potential impacts to sensitive areas. Once all the remaining fuels are removed, the barge will be refloated in preparation for its removal, deconstruction and recycling. Originally a WWII US Navy Landing Craft, the 98m barge Trailer Princess was converted into a rail ferry in the 1960’s and operated by Canadian Pacific. The barge was later sold and converted into a support barge for a logging camp complete with helicopter platform and fueling capabilities. The cost to remove the Trailer Princess from the marine environment is $4.7 million.

Transport Canada seeks input on Green Shipping Corridor framework

The Government of Canada is committed to supporting the marine transportation sector’s transition to net-zero emissions by 2050.  As an early step, Transport Canada is developing a national framework on green shipping corridors to support and facilitate early industry efforts.  A proposed framework has been developed and will be shared in a bilingual webinar on September 20, from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. Eastern Standard Time.  If you are interested in attending, please RSVP to by September 18th.  An invitation with the link to the webinar will be provided to registered participants.

TDG provides update on initiatives

Transport Canada has released its first newsletter highlighting some of its latest achievements in the transportation of dangerous goods program, including its Regulatory Oversight Management application, lessons learned with remote and virtual inspections during COVID-19 limitations, and the regulatory sandbox pilot project on electronic shipping documents for dangerous goods shipments.  Also is the updated Guide for reporting dangerous goods incidents which now has a more streamlined structure with more complete definitions and examples to help cover a variety of scenarios that could lead to confusion in interpretation.

Updated SSB for Cruise Ship Reporting

This is to notify you that an updated Ship Safety Bulletin No. 18/2021: Measures to Support Safe Cruise Travel in Canada has recently been posted to the Transport Canada website. The updated Ship Safety Bulleting Bulletin removes daily reporting requirements, introduces a requirement to report to Transport Canada once per voyage, and specifies that Authorized Representatives should continue to keep onboard daily records reflecting the health status of persons onboard.

Ship Safety Bulletin update - Reporting serious illness on board

As the COVID-19 situation evolves and the reporting requirements related to the marine industry is changing, the Ship Safety Bulletin (SSB 02/2021) was modified in regards to the reporting requirements when any person or crew member on board has a serious illness or any COVID-19 symptoms. The revised SSB: Request for notification of any person or crew member on board that has a serious illness or any COVID-19 symptoms - SSB No.: 02/2021 (modified August 12, 2022).  Foreign flagged vessels and Canadian Flagged vessels, other than cruise ships, arriving in Canada from international voyages are reminded to inform Transport Canada of any illness when submitting the 96 Hour Pre-arrival Information Report (PAIR) and advising Transport Canada of any illness or change in crew health in accordance with the Special Marine Security Notifications in force.

CCG Hardy Bay Base opens with dedication ceremony

The Canadian Coast Guard (CCG) opened its newly constructed CCG Hardy Bay Base in Port Hardy, British Columbia this week. CCG worked closely with the Kwakiutl First Nation and the District of Port Hardy throughout the planning and construction of the new facility funded under the Oceans Protection Plan. The new 16,000 sq. ft. building and property consist of office and meeting spaces; storage space for environmental response, vessels, and aids to navigation equipment; as well as a large drive-on floating dock for easy loading of specialized pollution response vessels and other Canadian Coast Guard ships. A dedication to service ceremony was also held for the Canadian Coast Guard Ship (CCGS) Pachena Bay, a High Endurance Self-Righting lifeboat that has been operating in BC since 2019. The vessel is one of 20 lifeboats that were constructed and delivered under the National Shipbuilding Strategy to provide the Canadian Coast Guard with safe, modern, and Canadian-made equipment needed to deliver all Canadian Coast Guard programs and critical services on behalf of Canadians.

Canada and Germany sign hydrogen deal

The Government of Canada has signed a Joint Declaration of Intent with Germany that commits both countries to collaborate on the export of clean Canadian hydrogen to Germany. The Canada–Germany Hydrogen Alliance will enable investment in hydrogen projects, support the development of secure supply chain, and establish a transatlantic supply corridor in preparation for exports of clean Canadian hydrogen by 2025. This Declaration sends a clear signal to the private sector and to sub-national leaders in both countries that Canada and Germany are committed to a policy and regulatory environment that will facilitate and encourage investment in the hydrogen value chain in both countries.

CCG College installs Wärtsilä training engine

A new, state-of-the-art Wärtsilä training engine has been installed at the Canadian Coast Guard College to enable personnel and trainees to learn hands-on how to operate, repair, and rebuild a Wärtsilä W8L26 diesel engine. Featuring a control room, equipment, and systems layout similar to those on a Canadian Coast Guard ship, the training engine effectively prepares students and personnel for future work in our fleet. There is no other marine training institute that offers training on a Wärtsilä engine, or on medium- and high-speed marine propulsion engines in a fully simulated state.

TSB 2021-22 Annual Report tabled

The Transportation Safety Board of Canada’s (TSB) annual report for fiscal year 2021-22 was tabled in Parliament. The TSB received 1075 reports of marine transportation occurrences in 2021 (220 accidents and 855 incidents), including 11 fatalities. The number of accidents is lower than the 10-year average of 284 and 20% of accidents in 2021 were accidents aboard ship. The annual report discusses key annual statistics on occurrences in the air, marine, pipeline and rail modes of transportation under federal jurisdiction, and how the TSB has worked to advance safety for travellers and industry workers in all four sectors across Canada.

Removal of Mini Fusion wreck completed

As part of its role under the Wrecked, Abandoned or Hazardous Vessel Act, the Canadian Coast Guard has removed and is deconstructing an abandoned vessel.  The M/V Mini Fusion, a 56 metre cargo ship anchored in Doctor Bay, Desolation Sound in British Columbia, has been removed and is currently being deconstructed by Marine Recycling Corporation following a competitive bid process. To minimize the risk to the environment, the vessel was placed on a submersible drydock and the Canadian Coast Guard maintained an on-water presence to monitor the disposition of the vessel during the transit of the MV Mini Fusion to Duncan Bay.  The vessel was previously known as the MV Ocean Lady and at the time was suspected, but not proven, to be employed by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) to transport 76 Tamil migrants to British Columbia in 2009.

Summary report for 2022 cruise season measures

Ship Safety Bulletin 10/2022 has been updated to provide the first summary report of non-mandatory measures taken by cruise ships operating in waters under Canadian jurisdiction during the 2022 cruise season.  These enhanced environmental measures are over and above international standards on vessel discharges and are intended to help restore marine habitats, and further protect Canadian waters.  The bulletin states the intent to implement the environmental measures for cruise ships on a mandatory basis beginning in 2023 and will initiate further engagement with the entire shipping industry and any interested partners to develop and implement further discharge measures for other areas of concern, such as scrubber discharges.

Arctic CCG and CHS to receive funding under Ocean Protection Plan

The Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard, the Honourable Joyce Murray, announced funding under the renewed and expanded Oceans Protection Plan to improve the Canadian Hydrographic Service (CHS) and enhance the Canadian Coast Guard's (CCG) response capabilities in the Arctic. $84 million will enable CHS to continue its work to map the seafloor and provide 72 new Electronic Navigational Charts in priority areas, while $24.7 million will enhance the Arctic search and rescue station with marine response capabilities at Rankin Inlet.  

Funding announced for technologies to reduce underwater noise

The Minister of Transport, the Honourable Omar Alghabra, has announced more than $3.1 million for 22 projects to help reduce the impact of underwater vessel noise.  These projects include workshops to identify safe and practical approaches to reducing underwater noise; developing a tool available to all members of the marine industry to predict and implement effective quiet designs into new vessels being built; developing new, real-time tools to track underwater noise released by marine vessels; and developing a tool to detect marine mammals and alert nearby vessels. Projects are funded through Transport Canada’s Quiet Vessel Initiative and builds on previous actions taken to keep the marine ecosystem safe, such as the Whales Initiative.

OPP consultations on the Canada Shipping Act 2001

As part of the Oceans Protection Plan, the federal government’s 2022 budget announced intentions to update the Canada Shipping Act, 2001. These proposed changes take into account comments from Indigenous peoples, coastal communities, and marine stakeholders in all coastal regions over the past few years as outlined in the discussion paper. A virtual engagement session will be held on September 12th, 2022 from 10:30 – 12:00pm PDT (English) and on September 13th, 2022 from 10:30 – 12:00pm PDT (French). To register complete the form indicating the preferred session by August 31st.

BC funds coastal clean up

New projects funded by the Province of British Columbia in partnership with coastal communities and Indigenous Peoples will clean as much as 1,000 kilometres of BC's coastline, remove as many as 30 derelict vessels and support local jobs.  An additional $3.8 million from the Clean Coast, Clean Waters Initiative Fund will be used this summer to tackle the cleanup and removal of polluting marine debris, and create 440 jobs in coastal and Indigenous communities. Funding will go to Coastal Restoration Society, Ocean Legacy Foundation and Misty Isles Economic Development Society.

Canada to cooperate on global supply chains

Canada, along with Australia, Brazil, Canada, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the European Union, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Mexico, the Netherlands, the Republic of Korea, Singapore, Spain, the United Kingdom, and the United States, has signed a joint statement at the 2022 Supply Chain Ministerial Forum to work together to further strengthen supply chains, to work to reduce and end near-term disruptions, and to build long-term resilience. The global supply chain principles include transparency, diversification, security, and sustainability.  The Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry, signed the statement on behalf of the Government of Canada.

Renewed commitment to Oceans Protection Plan

This week on Bowen Island, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, along with the Minister of Transport Omar Alghabra, and Minister of Fisheries and Oceans and Canadian Coast Guard, Joyce Murray, announced that the Government of Canada is committing another $2 billion to continue and expand the work under the Oceans Protection Plan for another 9 years.  While the announcement stated that there are 15 new initiatives, details are expected to be announced later this month.  However, OPP 2.0 is expected to focus on improving efficiency, safety and sustainability of Canada's "marine supply chains" and mitigate their impacts on the environment.  We expect investment in better tools to manage marine traffic and navigation off the coasts and an initiative focused on proactive emergency response measures.


US News


FMC updates on implementation of OSRA

The Federal Maritime Commission was briefed at its September meeting on substantial progress in implementing many of the requirements established by the Ocean Shipping Reform Act (OSRA).  Since the law’s enactment on June 16, 2022, the Commission has issued the NPRM on unreasonable refusal to deal in regard to vessel space and will soon publish the NPRM on demurrage and detention billing practices.  Additionally, two requests for public comment were issued, seeking feedback on the benefits of issuing an emergency order on information sharing, and secondly, the Commission’s proposed plan for establishing a data collection initiative related to an ocean carrier’s import and export performance in the US trades. The Commission has established a dedicated landing page on its website where interested members of the public can track the status of OSRA implementation.

US West Coast ports losing market share

With port congestion and fears of a potential labour disruption on the US West Coast, East and Gulf coast ports now boast significantly more imports than West Coast ports. Data from McCown Container Volume Observer released Thursday confirms that US imports remain near all-time highs. Imports to the top 10 ports totalled 2,165,939 TEUs in August, the fifth-highest monthly tally on record. August was flat year on year (y/y) and up 3% versus July.  The West Coast ports’ share of the total sank to 45%. That’s a nine-point swing from February 2021, when the West Coast boasted a 54% share. According to John McCown, author of the Container Volume Observer, it’s the West Coast ports’  lowest share of U.S. imports “since at least the early 1980s.” Imports to the top West Coast ports totalled 978,844 TEUs in August, down 11.5% y/y, weighed by a 17% plunge at the Port of Los Angeles while imports to the top East and Gulf coast ports totalled 1,187,095 TEUs last month, up 12% y/y. These ports “had a blowout month with their largest volumes ever,” said McCown.  Import gains were driven by Savannah, Georgia ( up 20.4% y/y), Houston (up 12.7%), Norfolk, Virginia (up 11.4%), and New York/New Jersey (up 10.5%). That being said schedule reliability has improved on the US West Coast, reaching its highest level since congestion hit over the summer months last year at 27.1%. This is 11 percentage points better than last year, with roughly one in four ships arriving on time now compared to one in six. The average delay for late ships has also fallen to 9.6 days. While these numbers are still not impressive, they represent a drop in the average time spent on this trade which means that the total capacity deployed on this trade has fallen by even more than the weekly offered capacity would suggest.

MARAD launches study on low-carbon options

The Maritime Administration (MARAD) announced the launch of a 16-month study exploring low carbon options for shipping on the Great Lakes. The research group, led by the International Council on Clean Transportation (ICCT) in partnership with the American Bureau of Shipping (ABS) and the Conference of Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Governors & Premiers (GSGP) will assess the suitability of alternative fuels and power options for Great Lakes shipping. Researchers will assess alternative fuels and power options in the region and will develop a detailed profile of Great Lakes fleets, ports, and fueling infrastructure.

US expands offshore wind energy

The US is launching coordinated actions to develop new floating offshore wind platforms, an emerging clean energy technology aimed to help the United States lead on offshore wind. The President set a goal of deploying 30 gigawatts (GW) of offshore wind by 2030, enough to power 10 million homes with clean energy, support 77,000 jobs, and spur private investment up and down the supply chain. Conventional offshore wind turbines can be secured directly to the sea floor in shallow waters near the East Coast and the Gulf of Mexico. However, deep-water areas that require floating platforms are home to two-thirds of America’s offshore wind energy potential, including along the West Coast and in the Gulf of Maine. The US initiative dubbed the “Floating Offshore Wind Shot” aims to pare the costs of floating wind technologies by more than 70% -- to $45 per megawatt-hour -- by 2035, said Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm. The initiative builds on separate efforts to accelerate hydrogen, carbon capture and other technology.

Major US rail unions reach tentative agreement

Tentative agreements have been reached with the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen Division of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, the International Association of Sheet Metal, Air, Rail and Transportation Workers – Transportation Division, and the Brotherhood of Railroad Signalmen. Collectively representing approximately 60,000 employees, the tentative agreements reached with these unions avert a potential strike in advance of Friday’s deadline.  The new contracts provide rail employees a 24 percent wage increase during the five-year period from 2020 through 2024, including an immediate payout on average of $11,000 upon ratification. All tentative agreements are subject to ratification by the unions’ membership.

FMC seeking input on refusal to deal rule

The Federal Maritime Commission is seeking input to a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) as required under the new Ocean Shipping Reform Act of 2022 (OSRA) to define unreasonable refusal to deal or negotiate with respect to vessel space accommodation provided by an ocean common carrier. The NPRM outlines the elements which would be necessary to establish a violation and the criteria the Commission would consider in assessing reasonableness if the NPRM is finalized. It would also shift the burden of proving the refusal to deal was reasonable from shippers to ocean common carriers. The NPRM would apply to both import and export shipments.

Tentative agreements reached with five rail unions

The nation’s freight railroads have reached tentative agreements with the Transportation Communications Union/IAM; Brotherhood of Railway Carmen; International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers; the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers; and the American Train Dispatchers Association. A newly released Association of American Railroads (AAR) report found that a nationwide rail service interruption would dramatically impact economic output and could cost more than $2 billion per day of a shutdown. If negotiations remain unsettled with the remaining unions by Friday, September 16 at 12:01 AM, Congress must act to prevent a service interruption that would immediately harm every economic sector served by rail. Failure to act could idle more than 7,000 trains daily and trigger retail product shortages, widespread manufacturing shutdowns, job losses and disruptions to hundreds of thousands of passenger rail customers.

California suspends vessel requirement to use shore power

Today, California Governor Newsom signed a new emergency proclamation in response to the heat wave California is currently experiencing and probable related energy shortages. Auxiliary engines on ocean-going vessels are not required to use shore power starting on Saturday, September 3rd and lasting through Wednesday, September 7th. The Pacific Merchant Shipping Association (PMSA) has confirmed with the Enforcement Staff of the Air Resources Board that all previous Heat Emergency Event protocols followed in 2020 and 2021 events should be followed by vessels during the current event as well. Fleets should note this Emergency Event in their report and keep all supporting documentation.

Puget Sound Pilots implement maternity plan

Puget Sound Pilots (PSP) has established a formal maternity policy. The historic June vote means that PSP is the first pilot association in the US to implement a dedicated maternity plan for member pilots. PSP believes a strong maternity policy will help to achieve its DEI goal of establishing safe, inclusive, and equitable pathways for a career in pilotage. In 2017 Capt. Sandy Bendixen joined the ranks as one of the youngest and the first female pilot trainee with PSP.

PEB makes recommendations in US railway negotiatinos

US railway workers would receive a 22 percent pay increase over the next three years and $5,000 in bonus payments under a wage proposal made by the Presidential Emergency Board (PEB) overseeing contract negotiations between railroads and the 13 unions representing 115,000 workers. PEB’s 124-page report released this week called for retroactive pay hikes and five annual $1,000 payments which, combined with the wage increases, could average more than $11,000 in immediate payout to employees, according to the PEB. Other recommendations by the board include adjustments to health care premiums, retirement benefits, and work rules. The PEB’s recommendation is non-binding. The two sides have 30 days to review and can either use the proposal as a basis for a new deal or reject the recommendation completely. If the parties cannot reach a deal, Congress can step in by Sept. 17 and create legislation to force binding arbitration. If Congress does not act in time, union workers will be legally allowed to strike, picket, or start a lockout when the 30-day review period ends.

Diesel spill from sunken fishing boat in Haro Strait

Concerns for the health of marine and mammal life in the area of western San Juan Island remain where the 15-metre fishing vessel, Aleutian Isle, went down last Saturday with an estimated 9,800 litres of fuel. The oil sheen from a sunken boat appears to have dissipated and the Canadian Coast Guard confirmed no oil or diesel has reached Canadian waters. The vessel now lies in 60 metres of water near San Juan Island in Haro Strait, about 25 kilometres east of Victoria, and the depth is complicating efforts to assess the wreck and pump out remaining fuel. More than 1,100 metres of absorbent boom has been placed throughout the affected area, south to Kanaka Bay and north to the tip of Henry Island. The booms will remain as a precautionary measure. The local salmon fishery opened yesterday amid the response efforts. While a 1,000-yard safety zone remains in effect, there are no additional restrictions as a result of the incident.

FMC seeks input on emergency order under OSRA

The US Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) is seeking public comment on whether supply chain congestion has created conditions warranting the issuance of a 60-day emergency order requiring common carriers and marine terminal operators to share key information with shippers, truckers and railroads.  Under the new Ocean Shipping Reform Act (2022), interested parties can submit their views on whether congestion has had an adverse effect on the competitiveness and reliability of the international ocean transportation supply system; whether an emergency order would alleviate the emergency situation; and what the appropriate scope of an emergency order should be.

Olvera Jr. elected as new APP President

The Association of Pacific Ports (APP) has announced that Bobby Olvera Jr. is its newly elected President. Representing the Port of Long Beach, California, Mr. Olvera assumes the role following the tenure of Kimberlyn King-Hinds from the Commonwealth Ports Authority, Northern Mariana Islands, hosts of the upcoming APP Annual Conference (September 25 to 28, 2022). “I look forward to working with APP members in the coming year,” he said adding that “collaboration and communication between us all are essential as we work to further the best interests of our communities and constituents.”

NY-NJ introduces new tariff to deal with empty containers

As record-breaking container ship queues threaten to tie up ports around the country ahead the of the fall peak shipping season, the Port of New York and New Jersey announced it will be charging ocean carriers a $100 per-container fee on long-dwelling import or export containers, with the goal of freeing up space and improving the balance between imports and exports. Under the new rules, ocean carriers’ total outgoing container volume must equal or exceed 110% of their incoming container volume during the same period. If they fail to achieve this, the ocean carriers will be charged $100 per container of imbalance. Rail volume is not included. The new tariff is effective as of September pending a mandatory 30-day federal notice.  The fee will be reassessed once the container crisis eases and a review by the agency’s board of commissioners is required no later than September 2023.

FMC seeks input on data gathering under the new OSRA

The Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) is seeking public comments on a proposed plan for gathering import and export information from vessel-operating common carriers as required under the Ocean Shipping Reform Act of 2022 (OSRA). The FMC is mandated to collect and publish total import and export tonnage and the total loaded and empty 20-foot equivalent units (TEU) per vessel of vessels calling the United States. Each month the FMC intends to collect information from carriers that transport 1,500 or more TEUs monthly (laden and/or empty) and if necessary additional information may be requested.  A Request for Public Comment will be published in the Federal Register and interested parties will have 60 days to share their views with the Commission.

BNSF offers new intermodal capacity in Tacoma

BNSF Railway and J.B. Hunt will begin serving a new intermodal terminal at the Port of Tacoma next month. BNSF and the Northwest Seaport Alliance said the terminal will meet increased demand for intermodal service in the Seattle region. The new terminal, on 16 acres leased from the port authority, will have a capacity for 50,000 lifts annually. The Tacoma South facility will complement BNSF’s current domestic intermodal facility in Tukwila, serving NWSA’s Seattle Harbor. BNSF will launch a direct container-only joint service with J.B. Hunt between its Tacoma South facility and Chicago. The new service will provide greater network and facility efficiency for BNSF while increasing container capacity and chassis availability for J. B. Hunt.

Port of Oakland reopens after truck protest

The Port of Oakland is back in business this week, after five days of protests against California’s AB5 law hampered and even forced the closure of port operations.  On Monday, July 25, truckers largely returned to work after authorities warned that continuing to block the gates could lead to arrest. Protesters were moved to “Free Speech Zones” away from the terminal gates. The trucking industry is expected to again challenge the law in a California district court, but in the meantime, it’s unclear how AB5 will be enforced. Freight handlers told the Wall Street Journal that it could take weeks to work through the backlog of intermodal containers that stacked up during the blockade.

FMC moves quickly to implement OSRA 2022

The Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) is moving quickly to fulfill the requirements of the new Ocean Shipping Reform Act of 2022.  The most immediate deadline the Commission must meet is initiating and completing a rulemaking on unreasonable refusal to deal or negotiate on vessel space accommodations.  Commission staff initiated this rulemaking effort the day OSRA was enacted and a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking seeking public comment is expected to be published in the immediate future.  The Commission is on track to have a Final Rule in effect by the statutorily mandated deadline of December 2022. Last Friday, the FMC issued and industry advisory to Vessel-Operating Common Carriers (VOCCs) notifying that of the immediate requirement to comply with detention and demurrage billing practices and that there is no-phase-in period.

ILWU and PMA progress on negotiations

In a positive sign that the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) and the Pacific Maritime Association (PMA) are finding common ground, comes the July 26th announcement from the ILWU that the two sides “reached a tentative agreement on health benefits, subject to other issues in the negotiations.”  The previous agreement expired on July 1, 2022 and talks that began on May 10 are continuing. The ILWU has been working with the PMA and the Biden administration, which has intervened heavily in the negotiations, to keep workers on the job and prevent work stoppages.

Port of Oakland behind blockade of truckers

Truck protests, originally intended to last a few days, have swelled since they began Monday, bringing cargo movements at the Port of Oakland almost to a standstill. Truckers say they are prepared to block the West Coast’s third-busiest container port until California Gov. Gavin Newsom listens to concerns about a new state law that will make it harder for them to operate as the state is tightening its definitions of non-employee drivers, upending decades-long practices that have allowed truckers to work as independent contractors. The California law, known as AB5, will force many of the estimated 70,000 independent owner-operators to seek work as employee-drivers or pay more for insurance and permits to remain independent. Container yards are full and already challenged in managing efficient loading and unloading of container vessels.  Port officials said 15 container ships were waiting for berth space by the docks on Wednesday.


International News


Banks and insurers align on emissions benchmarking

30 shipping banks and 17 marine insurance providers and brokers have announced that the Poseidon Principles will add additional trajectories to report climate alignment with a 1.5C future. This new commitment will align the Poseidon Principles with the ambition of the UN and the latest available climate science.  Signatories will benchmark their portfolios against two trajectories: one aligned with the IMO’s 50% reduction by 2050, and one aligned with net-zero by 2050 and a maximum temperature rise of 1.5C above pre-industrial levels by 2100, to meet the temperature goals of the Paris Agreement. For the second trajectory to be consistent with a 1.5C future, the scope will be expanded to include all greenhouse gas species, and to account for well-to-wake emissions. The financial institutions that are signatory to the commitment represent 65 percent of the global ship finance portfolio.

GMF Report shows progress towards 2030 targets

The ”Climate Action in Shipping – Progress towards Shipping’s 2030 Breakthrough” report was launched on 21 September during New York Climate Week, prior to the Global Maritime Forum (GMF) Annual Summit, and in parallel with the Clean Energy Ministerial Global Clean Energy Forum. This report assesses progress to a goal of having scalable zero-emission fuels (SZEF) make up 5% of international shipping fuels by 2030. According to the report, currently there are at least 203 shipping decarbonization pilot and demonstration projects in the pipeline, indicating significant progress, especially in terms of commitments by industry, national governments, and positive developments at the IMO. Current estimates in line with IMO Initial Strategy ambitions put the total additional capital needed for shipping’s decarbonization at US$ 1-1.4 trillion, with over 80% of this figure upstream.

Ford Motor discloses $1B in unexpected supplier costs

Ford Motor is shuffling its leadership positions and restructuring its global supply chain days after disclosing $1 billion in unexpected supplier costs.  The supply chain problems caused Ford's stock to experience its biggest single day drop in 11 years.  The supply chain restructuring aims to support efficient and reliable sourcing of components, internal development of key technologies and capabilities, and world-class cost and quality execution.

Seaspan scraps contract for four newbuilds

Seaspan Corp has ripped up $520m in contracts to build four container ships and has warned that a legal claim may follow. The container ship owner, a subsidiary of US-listed Atlas Corp, said the cancellation involves four 7,700-teu, dual-fuel (LNG) newbuildings. Seaspan did not explain the reason for tearing up the contracts, other than to say that the counterparty failed to live up to some terms of the deal.  The ships were due for delivery reportedly to MSC in the third and fourth quarters of 2024 and were set to enter into long-term charters.

Our condolences to the Royal Family

We express our deepest condolences to the Royal Family on the death of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, Britain’s longest-reigning monarch, who passed away yesterday at the age of 96. It is difficult to think of another leader in modern history who has embodied the ‘duty first’ mindset more than the Queen did during her 70 years of reign.  While the Queen has always seen leadership as an act of service, she was selfless, kind, and led with dignity.  She lived a life of complete and utter devotion to her duty to serve and unite the nation.

ZIM and Shell ink 10-year deal for LNG

ZIM Integrated Shipping Services Ltd. has signed a ten-year liquefied natural gas (LNG) sales and purchase agreement, valued at more than one billion US Dollars, with Shell NA LNG, LLC (Shell) to supply ten LNG-fueled vessels that will be deployed on ZIM's flagship ZIM Container Service Pacific (ZCP), on the Asia to USEC trade. These ten 15,000 TEU vessels are expected to enter into service during 2023-2024 and will be transporting goods from China and South Korea to US East Coast and the Caribbean.  LNG is the lowest carbon fuel available at scale today and it provides ~20% less GHG emissions when compared to conventional marine fuels

Great Pacific Garbage Patch filled with fishing gear

The Ocean Cleanup has revealed that 75% to 86% of plastic debris in the Great Pacific Garbage Patch (GPGP) originates from fishing activities at sea. Plastic emissions from rivers remain the main source of plastic pollution from a global ocean perspective. But plastic lost at sea has a higher chance of accumulating offshore than plastic emitted from rivers, leading to high concentrations of fishing-related debris in the GPGP.  These findings confirm that oceanic garbage patches cannot be cleaned solely through river interception and highlight the potentially vital role of fishing and aquaculture in ridding the world’s oceans of plastic.

WSC encourages steps toward equitable transition to GHG reductions

The World Shipping Council has submitted a paper to the International Maritime Organization's 79th session of the Marine Environment Protection Committee to highlight its views on six critical pathways to achieving the industry's decarbonization targets.  These include a global carbon price, new building standards, fuel life cycle, fuel supply development, green corridors and R&D investment.

Emanuele Grimaldi appointed ICS Chair

The board of the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS), representing 80% of the world’s merchant fleet, today appointed Emanuele Grimaldi, President and Managing Director of Grimaldi Euromed SpA, as Chairman of the Board. Grimaldi, a former president of both Confitarma and European Community Shipowners Association (ECSA), was formally voted in as chair by the ICS Board of Directors, following the announcement of his nomination last year. Alongside ICS Secretary General, Guy Platten, his mandate will include working to find private and public solutions to a range of issues facing the sector, including decarbonization, digitization, diversity, and crew change.  He succeeds current chair, Esben Poulsson, Executive Chairman ENESEL PTE. LTD., who has served as ICS Chair since 2016, and who steps down after serving three terms of office

Robert Allan Ltd. designs new ATB Convoys

Robert Allan Ltd. has been awarded a contract by Rio Maguari Shipyard (Estaleiro Rio Maguari – ERM), located in Belém, Brazil, to develop the design package for an innovative Articulated Tug and Barge (ATB) for shipping containers along the coast of Brazil. These two ATB convoys will be owned and operated by Aliança Navegação e Logística (ANL), a major logistics services provider in Latin America, and part of the Maersk Group. Each barge will measure 130.0 m by 28.0 m, by 8.0 m depth, and will be able to carry approximately 700 TEUs (Twenty-foot Equivalent Unit), including dangerous goods and reefer containers, distributed above and below deck.

Record demand for coal

Based on current economic and market trends, global coal consumption is forecast to rise by 0.7% in 2022 to 8 billion tonnes, assuming the Chinese economy recovers as expected in the second half of the year, the International Energy Agency's (IEA’s) July 2022 Coal Market Update says. This global total would match the annual record set in 2013, and coal demand is likely to increase further next year to a new all-time high. This comes despite projected negligible growth in seaborne imports into both China and India with both countries ramping domestic production a great deal this year.  The price of coal has tripled this year and old mining communities have been resuscitated as Europe in particular seeks alternative energy supplies outside of Russia. The full ban on imports of Russian coal into the European Union is only days away, with the competition for alternative sources set to continue to increase.

Atlas Corp. receives “Take Private” proposal

Asset manager Atlas Corp (ATCO.N) has received a takeover offer from consortium group Poseidon Acquisition Corp in an all-cash deal for $3.64 billion. Poseidon, which comprises Atlas' board chairman David Sokol, affiliates of Canadian investment company Fairfax Financial Holdings Ltd (FFH.TO), the Washington Family, and Japanese shipping company Ocean Network Express Pte Ltd, has made an offer to the asset manager for $14.45 cash per common share. Altas’ wholly-owned subsidiaries includes Seaspan, the largest independent owner and operator of containerships in the world.

RightShip strengthens ESG expertise

RightShip is acquiring Thynk Software’s maritime tech business as it recognizes big data and predictive analytics play a massive role in the ship vetting agency’s business, enabling owners to select greener and safer vessels. The agency is also working with the Australian Marine Environment Protection Association to develop a maritime emissions portal, enabling ports and their stakeholders to measure air quality and changing air patterns throughout the port ecosystem.

China’s military drills disrupts shipping lanes

China's military exercises in the waters around Taiwan have prompted some ships to navigate around the Taiwan Strait and give the island a wide berth, disrupting key trading routes for cargo and commodities sailing around the world. The exercises, China's largest-ever around Taiwan, are a major show of strength after US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi visit. The disruption is a reminder of the severe impact a conflict over Taiwan could have on global trade given the 180-km wide (110-mile) Taiwan Strait and a shipping lane to the island's east are major routes for ships transporting goods from East Asia to the United States and Europe. Nearly half the world's container ships passed through the narrow Taiwan Strait which is also a key artery for natural gas.

LNG bunkering and newbuilds gaining momentum

A total of 147 ports around the globe can bunker LNG to vessels at the moment and this figure is likely to reach 200 by 2024 as demand continues to grow, estimates from Clarksons Research show. Europe is leading the way with LNG bunkering infrastructure, with the majority of its top ports offering the service, including those in the Netherlands, Germany, and Norway, followed by major ports in Asia and the Americas.  The expansion of the global bunkering capacity comes as LNG capable newbuilds reach 37% of all vessel type newbuilding capacity currently under construction. The interest in LNG as fuel has seen a major upswing in the shipping industry over the recent period with dual-fuel technology being the likely choice for newbuilds. The rise in demand has also brought about a record contracting of newbuild LNG carriers, with 104 vessels of 17.4m cbm and $22bn ordered in 2022 as of mid-July.

First ships loaded with Ukrainian exports have departed

Three more ships loaded with grain have left Ukrainian ports today, only days after the first grain-laden vessel left the country since Russia’s invasion. The initial shipment under the deal brokered by the United Nations amid concerns of a global food shortage left Ukraine’s Port of Odesa on Monday on the Razoni.  The vessel was escorted by a tugboat to avoid Ukrainian mines and passed through a Russian-controlled Black Sea corridor and anchored in Turkish waters at the Bosporus for inspection.  On Wednesday the vessel was cleared to sail on to Tripoli, Lebanon. Ukraine hopes to export 20 million tonnes of grain in silos and 40 million from its new harvest and Ukraine's Seaport Authority said on Monday there were 68 ships in Ukrainian ports with 1.2 million tonnes of cargo on board, two-thirds of it being food.

European Shippers’ Council to adopt DCSA standards

The Digital Container Shipping Association (DCSA) and European Shippers’ Council (ESC) will now collaborate to accelerate the adoption of the DCSA standards. The two associations will leverage DCSA’s open-source, vendor-neutral standards to help their members and other business partners make data exchange more timely, accurate, and interoperable. Standardizing documents such as the bill of lading to enable paperless trade is also a key topic for the collaboration. By working together, DCSA and the ESC will carry out structured, cross-member engagement activities to ensure DCSA standards meet shipper needs and facilitate adoption. During recent supply chain disruptions, it has become increasingly apparent how important it is to improve cargo visibility and data communication between ocean carriers and cargo owners.

First grain ship set to depart from Ukraine following MOU

The first shipment of grain from the Odesa region following the agreement by Russia and Ukraine mediated by Turkey, is set to depart from the Odesa region.  Officials from the UN, Turkey, Ukraine and Russia have established a Joint Coordination Centre and are finalizing details on how to safely transport ships through the Black Sea as Russian forces continue to pummel Ukraine’s coastline.  Russian forces launched a series of missile strikes on Ukrainian port cities after agreeing to a limited cease-fire. Both Ukraine and Russia have agreed not to attack any vessels involved in the initiative for 120 days.

Meanwhile, in the northern Lebanese port of Tripoli, authorities are investigating a Ukrainian claim that a Syrian-flagged ship, Laodicea, under US sanctions at the port is carrying Ukrainian grain stolen by Russia.  Nearly 10 tons of wheat and barley are on board.

UK dockworkers voted to strike

Workers at the port of Felixstowe in Suffolk balloted 92% in favour of a strike next month, rejecting a 5% pay rise offer from the Felixstowe Dock and Railway Company, which their union, Unite, pointed out would be a real-terms pay cut with retail price inflation standing at 11.8%.  Unite’s 1,900 Felixstowe members are responsible for all aspects of operations at the UK's largest container port, handling about 45,000 containers a week, i.e. 40% of containers entering and leaving the UK. Simon Weller, the assistant general secretary of the train drivers union Aslef and a national council member of the Trades Union Congress, said strike ballots planned by civil servants and teachers alongside more strikes already planned by college staff and across the rail network – starting with train drivers walking out at seven operators on Saturday – would increase “organic momentum”.

The Ocean Cleanup reaches a milestone

The Ocean Cleanup has now officially removed more than 100,000 kg of plastic from the Great Pacific Garbage Patch (GPGP).  Since deployment in August 2021, System 002 has now collected 101,353 kg of plastic over 45 extractions, sweeping an area of ocean of over 3000km2 – comparable to the size of Luxembourg or Rhode Island.  Added to the 7,173 kg of plastic captured by our previous prototype systems, The Ocean Cleanup has now collected 108,526 kg of plastic from the GPGP – more than the combined weight of two and a half Boeing 737-800s, or the dry weight of a space shuttle!  According to their 2018 study, the total amount of accumulated plastic is 79,000,000 kg, or 100,000,000 kg including the Outer GPGP. Thus, if the 100,000 kg haul is repeated 1,000 times – the Great Pacific Garbage Patch will be gone.


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


Sept 22 - Scenic Eclipse

Spotted at Canada Place and at Ogden Point this week is the luxury river cruise ship, Scenic Eclipse.  The 168-metre Scenic Eclipse is small in size and is designed to deliver the ultimate 6-star ultra-luxury cruise experience of a lifetime for up to 228 guests, with only 200 guests in the Polar regions. Scenic Eclipse’s state-of-the-art technology allows for smooth navigation through all waters due to its Polar Class 6 rating, electronic Azipod propulsion system and oversized stabilisers. Its GPS Dynamic Positioning also allows the Discovery Yacht to maintain location without dropping anchor. Underneath the ship's sleek exterior are a slew of amenities. They include a central lounge and bar serving 130 different whiskies (all of them free), a theater with cushy leather lounge chairs instead of standard seating, a high-end spa, a specially designed kitchen space for cooking classes and even a submarine and pair of helicopters for passengers who want to take their excursions to the next level. The sister of Scenic Eclipse, the company’s first oceangoing ship that was christened by Dame Helen Mirren in New York in 2019 and billed as ‘the world’s first discovery yacht,’ was expected to enter service this year but will now debut sometime in Q2 2023.

Sept 16 - Sonne

The German research vessel, R/V Sonne, is currently in the Port of Vancouver picking up equipment this week to continue with its exploration off Vancouver Island.  Researchers are gathering seismic data to better understand the behavior of the Cascadia seismogenic zone or the tectonic structure along the deformation front off Vancouver Island. The focus of  Project SO294 is to determine the delineation of the seismogenic zone, particularly the seaward limit. The research vessel is used for German world-wide marine scientific research and cooperation with other nations in this field.  R/V Sonne is owned by the Federal Republic of Germany, represented by the Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), which financed 90 % of the construction of the vessel and its running costs. The North German coastal states contributed 10 % to the building costs. Gross tonnage: 8554 Length: 118.42 m Breadth: 23.82 m Endurance: 52 days Crew accommodations: 35 berths Scientist accommodations: 40 berths

Sept 9 - George III

When the Port of Long Beach welcomed Pasha Hawaii’s MV George III recently, it was the first time a container ship powered by liquefied natural gas (LNG) refueled on the West Coast. Pasha Hawaii marked three generations of service to Hawaii, with the arrival of MV George III, the first of two new 774-foot Liquified Natural Gas (LNG)-powered containerships scheduled to be completed this year as part of the company’s ‘Ohana Class vessels. Operating fully on natural gas from day one, the new Jones Act vessel surpasses the International Maritime Organization (IMO) 2030 emission standards for ocean vessels, representing the most technologically advanced and environmentally friendly vessel to serve Hawaii. Energy efficiencies are also achieved with a state-of-the-art engine, an optimized hull form, and an underwater propulsion system with a high-efficiency rudder and propeller. George Pasha, III played an integral role in building the company’s foundation, which led to the transformation of Pasha Hawaii into a world-class transportation company. Under the direction of George Pasha, III, the company entered the Hawaii/Mainland trade lane in 2005 with the introduction of the first and only domestic Jones Act qualified pure car truck carrier called MV Jean Anne, named after his mother. George Pasha, III served as Chairman of the company until his passing in 2014. Honolulu will serve as the home port for George III. In conjunction with the arrival of George III, Pasha Hawaii also announced an alliance with the Hawaiian Legacy Reforestation Initiative (HLRI), with an initial $20,000 donation and the launch of a tree planting carbon offset program involving personal-owned vehicles (POV) shipped to Hawaii on the Jean Anne. For every POV shipped, Pasha Hawaii will make a donation to HLRI to offset the carbon footprint of shipping a vehicle.  

Sept 2 - De Hong

The Ocean going tug, De Hong, was in Prince Rupert to tow a disabled and laden bulk carrier across to China to effect repairs. Flag: China LOA: 96.37 M Breadth:  16.40 M GRT:  3170 Bollard Pull : 1813 kn Ship Bullder : Donghai Shipyard Shanghai P.R.C Power of Main Engine : 5760kw X 2 (BHP 15680) Ship’s owner:  Shanghai Salvage Company.

Aug 26 - Verila

Arriving in Montreal this week for her first trip on the Great Lakes/Seaway was the MV Verila.  Launched in June 2022, the MV Verila is the 4th from the series of eight 32,150 tonne bulk carriers contracted by Navigation Maritime Bulgare, and built at the Chinese shipyard Jiangsu Yangzijiang Shipbuilding Co. She is the third vessel in Navibulgar history to be name Verila.  The first m/v Verila (ІМО 7016711) was built in “Georgi Dimitrov” Shipyrad in Varna. She was serving in Navibulgar fleet from 1969 to 2003. On May 11, 2007, the flag of the second m/v Verila (IMO 9136931) was raised in the port of Algeciras. She was serving in Navibulgar fleet till 2018.

Aug 19 - National Geographic Resolution

The 124 m Bahamian cruise ship National Geographic Resolution, currently at Vancouver Drydock, was the first ship of the 2022 season to transit Northwest Passage. The ship departed Kangerlussuag, Greenland July 17.  Arrived in Nome, Alaska August 7 and then sailed directly to Vancouver, arriving August 16th. A sister ship to the National Geographic Endurance, the National Geographic Resolution accommodates 126 guests in 69 spacious cabins. The ship carries a fleet of Zodiac motorized landing craft, kayaks, snowshoes, and cross-country skis; as well as a sophisticated equipment that allows for  unique access to the underwater world.

Aug 12 - Amore Mio

The 300,000 DWT newbuilding vessel M/T Amore Mio is an eco-type crude oil carrier fitted with a scrubber in compliance with the IMO 2020 sulphur cap.  The Amore Mio is one of two VLCC's owned by Capital Ship Management Corp. that are ammonia and LNG fuel ready. The $110 million vessel was built by Hyundai Samho Heavy Industries, South Korea and are Tier III compliant for reduced Nox emissions, and assigned with ABS ENVIRO notation as well as ABS Ammonia Fuel Ready and LNG Fuel Ready notations. They also feature IHM notation for safe recycling. Capital currently operating a fleet of 37 tankers with a total dwt of 5.72 million tons approx. It also manages various vessel types and sizes in the dry bulk and containership segment.

Aug 5 - ONE Parana

Ocean Network Express’ new 11,800 TEU container vessel, ONE Parana, has been deployed to the Asia- North America trade on the Pacific North 2 service.  The vessel’s maiden voyage to the Pacific Northwest is underway and we should see her in Vancouver around August 24th after her first North American stop in Tacoma. Flag: Hong Kong Length: 330m Beam: 48m DWT: 132,736 Gross Tonnage: 114,643 Ocean Network Express (ONE) was established on July 7, 2017 by the integration of three Japanese shipping companies, 'K' Line, MOL and NYK.  The fleet with its cherry blossom colour is representative of Japan’s spring season, as the trees blooming is a common sight across the country. ONE is one of the partners in the US $3.64 billion Atlas Corp takeover offer.

July 29 - Mark W. Baker

The M/V Mark Baker is a new River-Class, self-unloading bulk carrier and is believed to be the first ship for US Great Lakes service built on the Great Lakes since 1983. Measuring 639 feet in length (78 feet W, 45 feet H, 28,000 DWT), the ship will transport raw materials such as salt, iron ore, and stone to support manufacturing throughout the Great Lakes region.  The "laker" is named for Interlake’s President and second-generation leader of the family-owned and -operated Interlake Steamship fleet. Constructed at Fincantieri Bay Shipbuilding in Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin specifically to navigate the freshwater lakes and river systems, the Mark W. Baker is the first ship on the Great Lakes with engines that meet EPA Tier 4 emissions standards. She is powered by twin EMD main engines generating 8,000 total horsepower that will turn a single four-blade, controllable-pitch propeller through a Lufkin twin-input, single-output gearbox. She is outfitted with 1,000-hp Kongsberg bow and stern thrusters. Her hull has been optimized for efficiency and all systems have been designed to ensure low energy consumption. A Kongsberg high-lift rudder optimizes the wake through the propeller. The combination of larger hatch openings and additional cargo hold space was designed with future cargoes in mind to include non-free-flowing bulk material such as wind-turbine blades and project cargo.

July 22 - Happy Dover

Last week the Happy Dover, a heavy load carrier departed Seaspan’s Vancouver Drydock after a quick clean up that included removal of marine growth, painting the underwater hull and hull sides, ballast tank inspections and replacing the seals on the propeller blades and stern tube. The 157m long vessel features two large holds, which can accommodate anything from shipping containers to smaller vessels. The aft hold alone measures in at about half the length of the vessel and can accommodate up to seven large shipping containers. After a 14-day docking period in #NorthVan, the Happy Dover is headed across the Pacific Ocean to return to its regularly scheduled mission of transporting heavy loads all over the world. It’s not every day we get to see a bright yellow vessel at the Drydock. Great job and photos from the VDC crew.

July 8 - Emerald Ace

Mitsui O.S.K. Lines, Ltd. and Miura Co., Ltd. have announced the development of new centrifugal-type microplastic (MP) collection device, which can continuously collect MPs while a vessel is underway, by leveraging their technology and knowledge of an earlier MP collection device they co-developed. The new device was installed on the MOL-operated car carrier Emerald Ace last month for a demonstration test. The addition of a centrifuge allows the new device to efficiently separate floating microplastics from concentrated seawater with a high density of floating debris, without closed plumbing. Microplastics can be continuously collected while sailing, by connecting the system to the cooling seawater line, which always draws in seawater. This is said to give the system an annual seawater treatment capacity of about 70 times that of the previous device. Miura is moving ahead with the development of the product, which has a larger treatment capacity, and a full treatment system for ballast discharge water by combining a ballast water treatment system and microplastic collection device and cooling seawater. The Emerald Ace was built as world's first newly built hybrid car carrier in 2012, and is equipped with a hybrid electric power supply system that combines a 160kW solar generation system(*) - jointly developed by MHI, Energy Company of Panasonic Group), and MOL - with lithium-ion batteries that can store some 2.2MWh of electricity. Conventional power generation systems use diesel-powered generators to supply onboard electricity while berthed. On the Emerald Ace, electricity is generated by the solar power generation system while the vessel is underway and stored in the lithium-ion batteries. The diesel-powered generator is completely shut down when the ship is in berth, and the batteries provide all the electricity it needs, resulting in zero emissions at the pier. Capacity: 6,400 vehicles (standard passenger cars) LOA: 199.99m Beam: 32.26m Depth: 34.52m Draft: 9.725m

Jun 24 - Le Commandant Charcot

Le Commandant Charcot is a luxury polar exploration vessel designed to sail in extreme polar regions with minimal environmental impact with its hybrid electric/LNG-powered engine. When in battery mode, the ship can sail for up to eight hours at a time without producing any emissions and with very low noise levels. With eight departures for the summer 2022 and 2023 Arctic season beginning at $35,960 per person, Ponant's North Pole sailings will take tourists to the farthest corners of the region.   Off-ship excursions range from outings in Zodiacs, kayaks, snowshoes, or by foot. There will also be opportunities to practice ice fishing and go ice floating. Year built:  2021 Builder: VARD shipyards (Tulcea Romania and Soviknes-Alesund Norway) Class: PC2-Polar Class 2 icebreaker cruise ship Building cost:  USD 324 million (EUR 274 million) Propulsion Power:  34 MW / 45595 hp Speed:  15 kn / 28 kph / 17 mph Length: 150 m / 492 ft Beam: 28 m / 92 ft Gross Tonnage: 31757 gt Passengers: 245 Crew: 235 Owner: Groupe Artemis (Financiere Pinault) Operator: Compagnie du Ponant Cruises

Jun 17 - Havila Castor

On June 2nd Havila Kystruten's passenger ship, Havila Castor, proved it could sail in and out of the Geiranger fjord silently with zero-emission with help from the largest battery pack installed onboard a commercial vessel. The entire trip from the city of Ålesund and back took 9 hours where more than three hours were on battery only. Feedback from Havila technical personnel on board was that the battery performed beyond expectations. After three hours on battery only, they had close to 40% of the battery capacity left which means four hours is no problem. Corvus Energy's energy storage systems along with all other environmental technologies on the ship reduce CO2 emissions by around 30% and NOx emissions by 90%. With the gradual blending of biogas, emissions of CO2 will be reduced to 50% in 2023 and 80% in 2024. Havila Castor is one out of four identical ships built for Havila Kystruten to operate on the coastal route between Bergen and Kirkenes in the North of Norway. The full roundtrip takes 11 days and is an epic journey through some of the most scenic and unspoiled nature. Corvus has delivered a complete 6.1 MWh Orca battery system for each of the vessels. The propulsion system onboard all four sister vessels are also prepared for the installation of next-generation technology using hydrogen and fuel cells by HAV Hydrogen Havila Capella, Castor`s identical sister ship, won “the Next Generation Ship Award” during Nor-Shipping in Oslo earlier this year due to its groundbreaking design. Read about the 7 reasons why here. Built 2021 Passengers: 640 Cabins: 170 Length: 124 m Beam: 22 m

Jun 10 - Seapeak Vancouver

Seapeak LLC  based in Vancouver, BC is one of the world’s largest owner-operators of LNG/ LPG carriers, with 74 vessels (47 LNG and 27 LPG).  The company has been rebranded as Seapeak following the acquisition of Teekay LNG Partners LP by investment vehicles managed by Stonepeak, a leading alternative investment firm. Teekay was established nearly 50 years ago and became a world leader in the LNG tanker market. The Seapeak Vancouver is an LNG tanker built in 2017 with carrying capacity of 173,000 cbm.
Gross Tonnage: 113263
Summer DWT: 95253 t
Length Overall x Breadth Extreme: 294.9 x 46.44 m
Year Built: 2017
Home Port: NASSAU

June 3 - Prism Courage

In a world first, the 180,000 cu.m LNG carrier Prism Courage arrived at the Boryeong LNG Terminal in South Korea after completing a 33-day voyage from the Freeport LNG terminal, Texas, using autonomous navigation..The Prism Courage left Freeport in the Gulf of Mexico on May 1st, and used Avikus' AI-powered HiNAS 2.0 system to steer the vessel for half of its roughly 20,000 km journey to the Boryeong LNG Terminal in South Korea's western Chungcheong Province. The Level 2 self-steering tech was good enough to account for other ships, the weather and differing wave heights.  Avikus claims HiNAS' optimal route planning improved the Prism Courage's fuel efficiency by about seven percent, and reduced emissions by five percent. This voyage was conducted under real-time monitoring by American Bureau of Shipping (ABS) and the Korea Register of Shipping (KR) to verify the performance and stability of the technology. After receiving ABS certification of the voyage results, Avikus has plans to commercialize HiNAS 2.0 during the current year

May 27 - Atlantic Tiger

IMO: 9874612 Name: ATLANTIC TIGER Vessel Type - Generic: Cargo Vessel Type - Detailed: Bulk Carrier Flag: Marshall Is [MH] Gross Tonnage: 109731 Summer DWT: 209338 t Length Overall x Breadth Extreme: 299.88 x 50 m Year Built: 2020

May 20 - Hydrotug

Demonstrating that fuel cells are not the only way to use hydrogen is a marine fuel, the world’s first hydrogen-powered tugboat, the Hydrotug was launched at the Navia, Spain, shipyard of Astilleros Armón on May 16. The 65-tons bollard pull vessel is powered by two BeHydro hydrogen dual-fuel medium speed V12 engines and is being built for the Port of Antwerp-Bruges and CMB Tech, an offshoot of Compagnie Maritime Belge (CMB). The BeHydro engine is a joint venture between CMB and engine manufacturer ABC. The Hydrotug is the first vessel to be powered by the new BeHydro engines, which have passed Lloyd’s Register factory acceptance tests (FAT) and are each rated at 2 MW. They incorporate the latest EU Stage V emissions after treatment. Following the launch, outfitting of the vessel is continuing with sea trials set to follow later this year. The goal is to deliver the Hydrotug by the end of this year and to have it fully operational in the first quarter of 2023 in Antwerp.

May 13 - Botnia Enabler

Chinese shipyard CIMC Raffles today delivered Botnia Enabler, the first of two multi-fuel Knud E. Hansen designed ConRo ships, to Gothenburg, Sweden, based Wallenius SOL. With a length of 242 meters, a beam of 35.2 meters and a cargo capacity of 5,800 lane meters, the ship is the world’s largest ice-rated multi-fuel ConRo.  The ship will operate in Europe and the Gulf of Bothnia on the Zeebrugge-Antwerp-Kokkola-Skellefteå-Oulu-Kemi-Travemünde route. Container carrying capacity on the route will increase by almost 300 percent from 336 TEU to 1000 TEU compared to the ship currently serving the route, and RO/RO capacity will increase by almost 100 percent. The multi-fuel (LNG, LBG, diesel or synthetic diesel) Botnia Enabler is significantly more energy-efficient per transported unit than older vessels, and according to Swedish Environmental Research Institute IVL’s calculations, will not only reduce greenhouse gas emissions on her route by 63 percent per transported unit, but also NOx (96 percent), SOx (99 percent) and particulates (99 percent).

May 6 - Suzaku

The Nippon Foundation has successfully deployed the Suzaku, a 95-meter, 749 metric ton container ship on a 790-kilometer round-trip autonomous voyage between Tokyo Bay and Matsusaka port in the city of Tsu, Mie.  The Suzaku successfully automatically departed from Tokyo Bay on February 26 and crossed to a stretch of water out from the port of Matsusaka, a 20-hour one-way journey, before returning to Tokyo Bay on the morning of March 1. While the crew did engage manual override on a few occasions, the automated collision avoidance system activated 97.4% of the time on the outbound journey and 99.7% of the time on the return journey. One significant feature of the trial was the utilization of a ground support station in Chiba. Described as being “like an airport control tower” and “an essential element in making autonomous shipping a commercial reality,” the station gathers meteorological and marine data, as well information on traffic volumes, and monitors operational status and engine room status, enabling control of the ship to be overridden remotely in an emergency. This was a truly comprehensive trial, complete with sea-to-ground communication links. Around 500 ships traverse Tokyo Bay every day, making it 50% busier than the Singapore Strait and 10 times busier than the Panama Canal.

April 29 - Ulstein Thor

Ulstein has launched 'Ulstein Thor', a 149m 3R (Replenishment, Research and Rescue) design that will feature a Thorium Molten Salt Reactor (MSR) to generate vast amounts of clean, safe electricity. This enables the vessel to operate as a mobile power/charging station for a new breed of battery-driven cruise ships. The vessel concept is capable of making the vision of zero-emission cruise operations a reality. MSRs are safe, efficient and operationally proven solutions that work by dissolving Thorium – an abundant, naturally occurring metal with low radioactivity – in liquid salt. The ensuing chain reaction heats the salt, producing steam to drive a turbine and create electricity. Although developments on land are well documented, its potential for delivering clean maritime power has yet to be incorporated into a vessel design. ‘Thor’s’ charging capacity has been scaled to satisfy the power needs of four expedition cruise ships simultaneously. ‘Thor' itself would never need to refuel. As such, ‘Thor’ is intended to provide a blueprint for entirely self-sufficient vessels of the future.