COS Weekly Newsletter - Tuesday, 07 February 2023


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          COS Weekly Newsletter
          Tuesday, 07 February 2023

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Local News


Leadership Transition underway at COS

We are excited to advise that our leadership transition is underway. Earlier this week the Board of Directors announced to the membership that Bonnie Gee will be stepping into the President's role in March following Robert Lewis-Manning's departure in March.  An organizational review is underway and formal announcement of the new leadership team will be issued soon. Robert, who has served as President with the Chamber of Shipping for the last seven years, will be joining the Greater Victoria Harbour Authority as the new CEO, replacing Ian Robertson who has served in the role for nearly eight years.

Group Ocean acquires new tug

Ocean Group is adding a new tug to its fleet in British Columbia. The Ocean Cypress is a 28-metre vessel built by Damen at the Damen SongCam shipyard in Haipong, Vietnam. She has the same technical specifications as the Ocean Granville and the Ocean Kitsilano. The vessel will be based mainly in North Vancouver for the next few months, but will also be able to support operations in other locations, including Delta Port and the Fraser River. Ocean Group has been offering towing services in the Vancouver area since 2020 and in 2021 acquired Samson Tugboat, which offers port towing services in the Fraser River. The Ocean Group fleet now consists of nine (9) tugs.

CP and KCS merger decision imminent

A ruling by the US Surface Transportation Board (STB) is expected sometime this quarter on the proposed merger between Canadian Pacific Railway (CP) and Kansas City Southern (KCS). This is the final hurdle CP must clear in its bid to purchase KCS for US$31 billion — a deal which would create the only single-line railroad linking the United States, Mexico and Canada. If the merger is approved, Calgary will serve as global headquarters for CPKC.  CP has been growing its workforce over the last year possibly in anticipation of a favourable decision. Despite a historically tight labour market, more than 1,600 conductors were hired in 2022. 

Port of Nanaimo Proposed Tariff Changes

The Nanaimo Port Authority has published its proposed tariff increase effective April 1, 2023.  The proposal includes a 5% increase to harbour dues, wharfage and berthage fees. Details on the fee proposal can be found on the NPA website.

Next step for Roberts Bank T2 Project

On January 23, 2023 the Minister of Environment and Climate Change determined that the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority has provided sufficient detail in response to questions posed in the August 2020 information request regarding effects of the Roberts Bank Terminal 2 Project on fish habitat, salinity, and Indigenous people in sufficient detail. The federal timeline for decision-making has resumed.

New container exam rates for TCEF

Tidewater Container Services Inc. has released the 2023 Tsawwassen Container Examination Facility (TCEF) Tariff and Fee Schedule for Marine Container Examination Services (MCEF).  This is the first fee structure adjustment since the start up of operations in 2019 and reflect actual operational and labour costs increases experienced year over year for the past 3 years associated directly to the container examination process. The new fees outlined go into effect March 1, 2023.

New trucking group seeking a voice

New trucking group vows to ‘disrupt the status quo,’ wanting more input on policy and regulations affecting the trucking industry. The Canada Truck Operators Association (CTOA) was created over the last two months, and recently brought together at its inaugural gala more than 1,000 people representing about 200 carriers. The CTOA feels the growing segment of drivers are being left out and “targeted” by “legacy” associations who’ve led a high-profile fight against the controversial Driver Inc. business model, which improperly classifies employees as independent contractors.

First Nation holds veto power on BC mining project

A coal company and a First Nation in British Columbia have struck a rare deal to give the community the power to veto a proposed mining project, which could set a precedent for how natural resources projects are developed in Canada. NWP Coal Canada and the Yaq̓it ʔa·knuqⱡi'it (YQT), also known as the Tobacco Plains Indian Band, describe the agreement as one of a kind and say it will give the First Nation the power to act as a "regulator and reviewer" of the company's proposed $400-million Crown Mountain coal mine near Elkford, in the southeast part of the province. The mine would produce coking coal, which is predominantly used for making steel. The project was first proposed in 2010, and construction could begin in 2025. Federal and provincial regulators are currently reviewing the possible environmental impacts of the project.  For the mine to proceed, the project will not only need federal and provincial approval, but it will now require the YQT's permission. Natural resources companies are required to consult Indigenous communities about large-scale development projects, but this deal could be ground-breaking as it gives the local community veto power to completely reject the proposal.

Saskatchewan seeks to intervene in gateway infrastructure fees

Saskatchewan, along with Manitoba, appeared virtually before the Federal Court on Wednesday to seek leave to intervene in a judicial review of the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority’s new gateway infrastructure fees. The fees range from eight to 40 cents per tonne for bulk, non-containerized cargo, including potash and grain, depending on the terminal through which the export is being processed. In response to this increase, a number of companies, including Viterra Canada Inc., are seeking a judicial review of the decision. Saskatchewan will provide a public interest perspective on the interpretation of what constitutes a fair and reasonable fee, based on a provision under the Canada Marine Act, which requires that the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority Board have representation from the prairie provinces, and the large amount of Saskatchewan exports processed through the Port of Vancouver. The Port of Vancouver is critical for Saskatchewan exports. In 2020, approximately 44 percent of all Saskatchewan exports went through it, which represents a total value of $12.2 billion. This includes over $8 billion in agriculture and agri-food products and $2.9 billion in potash and potassium-based fertilizers. Approximately 22 percent of the collective metric tonnage of goods that went through the Port of Vancouver in 2020 were made up of Saskatchewan exports.

Prince Rupert cargo volumes down again

The Prince Rupert Port Authority (PRPA) has reported that 24.6 million tonnes of cargo moved through the Port of Prince Rupert in 2022, two percent behind 2021 volumes. Growth at DP World's Fairview terminal saw a 2 percent decrease in its intermodal volumes due to congestion at inland ports that impacted operations and fluidity. Demand for western Canadian energy products remained strong in 2022, with AltaGas’ Ridley Island Propane Export Terminal shipping 1.7 million tonnes, a 17 percent increase over 2021. Pembina’s Watson Island LPG Bulk Terminal entered its second year of operations, handling over 538,000 tonnes, a 45 percent jump year-over-year. Drax’s Westview Wood Pellet Terminal saw a 6 percent increase in volumes, with over 1.5 million tonnes sent to markets in Europe and Asia.

BC Ferries appoints CEO and President

The British Columbia Ferry Services Board has announced that Nicolas Jimenez will be the next President and Chief Executive Officer of BC Ferries, effective March 6, 2023.  Mr. Jimenez, who is currently the President and CEO of the Insurance Corporation of B.C., was selected following an international executive search. Interim CEO Jill Sharland will return to her previous executive position as Vice President and Chief Financial Officer at BC Ferries. Mr. Jimenez is a strong, strategic leader who led structural reforms at ICBC in recent years, returning the auto insurer to financial health and delivering more affordable insurance to customers. He has a Master's Degree in Public Administration from both Harvard University and the University of Victoria as well as a Bachelor's Degree in Political Science from Wilfrid Laurier University.  Over the last 20 years, Mr. Jimenez has held a number of senior roles at ICBC, taking over as President and CEO five years ago.

CP and Unifor reach tentative agreement

Canadian Pacific Railway Ltd. and Unifor have reached a tentative collective agreement for 1,200 workers who are responsible for maintaining rail cars and locomotives. Negotiations have been ongoing since September. The details of the tentative contract will not be released publicly until the agreement has been ratified. The contract covers workers at 18 locations from British Columbia to Quebec.

NTCF funds improvements in the Welland Canal

The Government of Canada has announced an investment of up to $22.7 million to support improvements for the Welland Canal under the National Trade Corridors Fund. The $45.3 million project will support the St. Lawrence Seaway Management Corporation in the reconstruction and rehabilitation of three wharves, currently out-of-service, located at the Welland Canal in Port Colborne, Ontario.

Short-Sea Shipping Update

The Vancouver Fraser Port Authority (VFPA) and DP World are developing a conceptual terminal design and operating model for a common-user short-sea shipping terminal within the Richmond Properties on the Fraser River.  The site could accommodate up to two barge berths, container storage and staging, a truck gate, and a rail spur.  This design phase comes after the initial engagement, with industry, Indigenous groups, and local governments during a viability analysis conducted with funding received from the National Trade Corridors Fund. The VFPA is exploring other potential options for short-sea shipping within the Vancouver gateway.

MSC presented the Gold-headed Cane

On January 1, 2023, at 0:05 a.m., the MSC Donata was the first ocean-going vessel of the year 2023 to cross the Port of Montreal’s downstream limit at Sorel without a stopover. True to a tradition that dates back more than 180 years, the Montreal Port Authority (MPA) is awarding the Gold-headed Cane to its Captain, Singh Ranjit Kumar. To learn more about this great Port of Montreal tradition click here.

CN traffic controllers ratify agreement

Canadian National announced that the Teamsters Canada Rail Conference has ratified a new contract agreement covering approximately 160 CN rail traffic controllers in Canada. The agreement, ratified on Dec. 23, is effective through Dec. 31, 2025 and includes wage increases of 3% in 2023, 3% in 2024, and 2.5% in 2025, as well as other benefits.

Prince Rupert Port Information Guide Revisions

The Prince Rupert Port Authority (PRPA) has published proposed revisions to its Port Information Guide for comments.  The most notable change for carriers and agents is the prohibition on the use of open-loop Exhaust Gas Cleaning Systems within the port authority's jurisdiction.  Comments are due by Feburary 5th.

Sukunka Coal Mine Project denied

The Government of Canada has determined the significant adverse environmental effects of Glencore's proposed Sukunka Coal Mine Project, an open-pit metallurgical coal mine located near Tumbler Ridge, BC, cannot be mitigated and therefore will not proceed.  The project had planned to produce 3 million tonnes of hard coking coal per year for export to overseas markets for at least the next 20 years.  The British Columbia’s Environmental Assessment Office conducted the environmental assessment and the Decision Statement was issued by the federal Minister of Environment and Climate Change Canada to this effect under the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, 2012.  The Assessment Report concluded that the project would have adverse impacts on species at risk, and on the physical and cultural heritage, current use of lands and resources for traditional purposes and health and socio-economic conditions of Indigenous peoples due to the potential discharge of mercury and selenium into local waterbodies.

ITB rebrands to Tidewater Canada

Effective January 1st, 2023, the “ITB” name, including “Island Tug and Barge”, “ITB Subsea” and “ITB Marine Group” will rebrand to “Tidewater Canada” under the new Tidewater Canada logo. As such, Island Tug and Barge will formally become “Tidewater Transportation Canada Inc.” and ITB Subsea will become “Tidewater Subsea Ltd.”  The change represents the strengthening integration of the Canadian enterprise with its US group of companies. The new website will be at ITB email address domains will become




New NMCAs with new policy direction announced

At the opening of IMPAC5 in Vancouver today, the Minister of Environment and Climate Change announced a new policy to guide the establishment and management of national marine conservation areas (NMCAs) to help advance the  Government of Canada's goal to create 10 new NMCAs to achieve its target of protecting 30 percent of lands and water by 2030.  The new NMCA Policy Framework emphasizes the importance of collaboration and co-management with Indigenous peoples and sets direction for all current and future NMCAs. The new Policy articulates eight interconnected, mutually reinforcing management goals for the NMCA program.  The new policy is intended to bring clarity on the management of NMCAs, along with a new zoning framework that is more responsive to both protection and ecologically sustainable use objectives. It identifies a suite of management tools for NMCAs, including regulatory tools to be developed under the Canada National Marine Conservation Areas Act.

CCUS Expressions of Interest Opportunity

Canada's Energy Innovation Program has opened its intake for expressions of interest for carbon capture, utilization and storage (CCUS) research, development and demonstration (RD&D) projects and related science activities focused on carbon storage and transportation. Funded under the Energy Innovation Program, RD&D projects and related science activities selected through this intake will help develop permanent geological storage of carbon and technologies that support the safe and efficient transportation of CO2.  The intake for expressions of interest for storage and transportation RD&D projects and related science activities will remain open until April 17, 2023. Successful applicants will then be invited to submit a full project proposal.

2022 Annual Report from Net-Zero Advisory Body

The first annual report from the Net-Zero Advisory Body, an independent group of nine experts from across Canada with a range of experience and expertise, was released by the Minister of Environment and Climate Change Canada. Following the Body's substantive submission to the Government’s 2030 Emissions Reduction Plan last March, they have been engaging with governments, Indigenous peoples, youth, businesses, environmental groups, and other interested Canadians to develop advice and, in accordance with the Canadian Net-Zero Emissions Accountability Act. The Net-Zero Advisory Body’s 2022 Annual Report contains 25 pieces of advice that encourage collective commitment and shared leadership. Fostering and securing widespread commitment to net-zero should be a priority of all governments in the first half of the current decade.

Updated CBSA Memorandum D-3-5-1

Canada Border Services Agency has released a long-awaited update to its Memorandum D3-5-1 - Marine Pre-load/Pre-arrival and Reporting Requirements.  Among other revisions, the new Memorandum incorporates policy decisions that have been made over recent years with respect to vessels arriving at anchorages and the reporting practices in place.

CBSA marks International Customs Day and anniversary

On January 26, the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) joined other customs agencies around the world in marking International Customs Day. This year’s international theme is “nurturing the next generation by promoting a culture of knowledge-sharing and professional pride in customs”, one that resonates well with the CBSA in their 20th anniversary year. Key CBSA enforcement highlights, between January 1 and December 31, 2022, include keeping over 1,100 firearms and 24,400 prohibited weapons off our streets, intercepting over 409,714 kg of tobacco preventing revenue evasion, 46,907 seizures, removing 41,475.5 kg of illegal drugs, including 3,084 kg of Cocaine, 398 kg of Heroin, and 4 kg Fentanyl.

Survey on SRKW Management Measures for 2023

On January 19 the Government of Canada launched an online survey was launched to seek feedback on the potential management measures to help the recovery of the Southern Resident Killer Whales. Your ideas and feedback will help refine the potential management measures and provide an understanding of potential implications of the options being considered. The public survey is available on the Fisheries and Oceans Canada website until February 19, 2023. Please use this link to access the survey.

Crofton Mill gets a new life

More than 100 jobs will resume at Paper Excellence’s Crofton Mill facility as the mill retools to manufacture new pulp products that reduce the need for single-use plastics. The Government of British Columbia and the Government of Canada are contributing a combined $18.8 million to join with Paper Excellence’s investment that will result in more than 100 people getting back to work at Crofton’s paper line. This funding supports a clean, innovative economy, while supporting jobs for people in the resource sector. It will aid in the production of water-resistant paper packaging to replace single-use plastics, increase the competitiveness of the Crofton mill, reduce waste from production, use fewer trees for the same volume of product, all while reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

Canada keen to partner with Japan on energy security

The Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson, Minister of Natural Resources, concluded a trade mission which sought to position Canada as a key partner to Japan on energy security in the context of the global energy transition. The Minister highlighted opportunities for enhanced cooperation on hydrogen and critical minerals, while highlighting the progress on LNG Canada and underscoring the $30B in bilateral trade between the two countries in 2021. The Minister also commended Japanese leaders for their ongoing efforts to establish hydrogen and ammonia supply chains and infrastructure, as both countries work towards becoming carbon neutral by 2050. The trade mission featured 16 Canadian companies and organizations, including Indigenous businesses and representatives seeking to pursue commercial opportunities in the natural resource sector with a focus on clean energy. It also provided an opportunity to promote the mutual benefits that can be realized through strong partnerships between Japanese industry and Indigenous communities on major resource development projects.

More freight rail data demanded

The Minister of Transport, the Honourable Omar Alghabra, announced amendments to the Transportation Information Regulations to increase supply chain transparency and create a better understanding of the performance of Canada’s freight rail sector for the benefit of all rail users.  Additional data will also be required by Transport Canada to support targeted public policy and other regulatory purposes, including waybill information (such as origin, destination, weight) and traffic data (such as number of carloads, goods, and car types). These changes will come into force on April 4, 2023 and will enhance the data currently available on the Government of Canada’s Transportation Data and Information Hub. and provide Canadians with a better picture of end-to-end freight rail performance.

Treasury Board on PSAC negotiations status

The Government of Canada has filed a complaint with the Federal Public Sector Labour Relations and Employment Board (FPSLREB) against the Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC) for breaching its duty to bargain in good faith.  PSAC is moving forward with conducting strike votes ahead of recommendations still to be tabled by the Public Interest Commission.

Coordinated system for marine response and recovery

The Government of Canada is working to improve its ability to work together with Indigenous communities, the marine industry, regional, municipal, provincial and territorial governments to respond to marine pollution incidents that involve oil and/or hazardous and noxious substances. Recognizing there is room for improvement, a Marine Pollution Preparedness, Response and Recovery Discussion Paper outlining a proposal to develop a coordinated system to respond to all such marine pollution incidents.  Comments are due by May 31, 2023.

Negative COVID tests required for certain travellers

The Government of Canada’s has introduced temporary negative COVID-19 test requirement for air travellers arriving from the People’s Republic of China, Hong Kong or Macao (Government of Canada announces a temporary negative COVID-19 test requirement for travellers arriving from the People’s Republic of China, Hong Kong or Macao - Please note, the requirement is focused on air travellers and is not applicable to crew and passengers arriving in the marine mode.  Currently, we are unaware of any exemptions for crew joining vessels in Canada.

CFIA release new wood dunnage directive

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency has just published this morning the revised directive D-98-08 Entry requirements for wood packaging material into Canada that includes the new shipborne dunnage program. The new directive will be fully applicable as of July 6th, 2023. The Chamber of Shipping will be discussing the new directive at our upcoming Operations Committee meeting on January 18th.

CFIA releases Plant Health survey results

The CFIA has published the results of the annual Plant Health Surveillance Program for 2021-2022. The report includes a provincial breakdown of the detections or spread of plant pests of concern and how the CFIA responds to these findings.  Canada is considered free of the Asian longhorned beetle and the Emerald ash borer, while Spongy moth (aka European Gypsy Moth) was detected in BC at a record number of sites. The high numbers are believed to be the result of vehicle movement from Eastern Canada where this pest is currently at outbreak levels. Two moths of the flight capable Asian Gypsy Moth were found in Langley and eradication aerial sprays were conducted after this detection.

Federal workers challenge return to office

Last Thursday, the Treasury Board announced plans to roll out a one-size-fits-all approach to return federal public servants to their offices for 2-3 days per week starting in January. While some exceptions apply, the Professional Institute of the Public Service of Canada (PIPSC) demands a halt to the Treasury Board’s plans to mandate employees back to the office as they feel the plan does not take into account the unique circumstances of federal public servants. Thousands of PIPSC members have already started bargaining their next collective agreements with the Treasury Board, where telework is on the table.

Canada commits $227.5M for marine conservation at COP15

At the United Nation’s Convention on Biological Diversity (COP15), the Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard, the Honourable Joyce Murray, announced new support for ocean restoration, conservation, and research across Canada, backed up by $227.5 million in funding. Initiatives in the funding envelope will further Canada’s efforts on marine conservation by improving our understanding of the marine environment, restoring aquatic habitats and contributing towards conservation initiatives.  Canada has gone from less than one percent of its waters protected in 2015, to over 14 percent todayCanada will continue to take bold action at home to protect 25 percent of our oceans by 2025, and 30 percent by 2030. The work needed to help meet these targets will continue during the Fifth International Marine Protected Areas Congress (IMPAC5) hosted by Canada alongside Host First Nations – the Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Waututh – in partnership with the Province of British Columbia, the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society (CPAWS) from February 3-9 2023 in Vancouver, British Columbia. The congress will bring together marine conservation experts to exchange knowledge, experience and best practices to strengthen the conservation of marine biodiversity.

New name for Asian Gypsy Moth

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency has announced that the common name for AGM (formerly known as Asian gypsy moth and comprising Lymantria dispar asiatica, L. d. japonica,L. albescens, L. postalba and L. umbrosa) has been changed to “flighted spongy moth complex” or FSMC. This name change will be consistent among all countries that regulate or are regulated for this group of organisms as part of a vessel inspection and certification program.  Updates to web material to reflect the new common name will follow in the coming months. The name change has no bearing on program requirements or regulations.

BC publishes intentions paper for a Coastal Marine Strategy

The province of British Columbia is developing a Coastal Marine Strategy with First Nations that will lay out a plan for addressing priorities for coastal-marine ecosystem health and community well-being. The Policy Intentions Paper was developed and published by the Ministry of Water, Land and Resource Stewardship this week as part of the province's engagement with communities and stakeholders. The Coastal Marine Strategy will concentrate on activities, uses, and values that the province of British Columbia is accountable for, while recognizing that it needs strong collaboration and cooperation with other orders of government who share responsibility. The Intentions Paper acknowledges the important role of commercial shipping and that it is regulated federally, and also refers to the shared risk that shipping may impose to the province. Interestingly, it also highlights the needs to "build a diverse coastal workforce," especially in traditionally male-dominated industries, including marine shipping.

IMO adopts new ECA for Mediterranean Sea

At this week's meeting of the IMO's Marine Environment Protection Committee, it was agreed to implement the Sulphur oxides emission control area (ECA). The establishment of a Mediterranean ECA has been debated for over 10 years and supported by a number of large coastal cities. The Mediterranean region is home to approximately 250 million residents and has consistently endured high ambient concentrations of particulate matter. This new ECA will come into effect May 1st, 2025 and be the fifth of its type in the world to demand the use of lower Sulphur fuels. Canadian waters have been subject to an emission control area regulation since 2012, with further restrictions implemented in 2015.


US News


Transportation industry attacks funding choices

Transportation officials representing trucking, rail and seaports took aim at priorities touted by Democrats over the past two years — including the $1.2 trillion Infrastructure, Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) — at the opening hearing of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee on Wednesday. Issues raised centred on the lack of strategic infrastructure funding and inflation and its effect on fuel prices and the industry representatives urged that the money from IIJA is spent on making the nation's transportation supply chain more efficient and resilient.

CARB Interim Evaluation Workshop

On February 14th California Air Resources Board (CARB) staff will hold a virtual workshop to discuss the findings and recommendations included in the Interim Evaluation Report (“Report”) that was released to the public on December 1, 2022. The Report is designed to provide an implementation status update for the Control Measure for Ocean-Going Vessels (OGVs) At Berth (2020 At Berth Regulation) which was approved by CARB in August 2020. The virtual workshop is open to the public and participation by all parties is encouraged.

BNSF announces capital investment plans

BNSF Railway Company has revealed its plan to invest $3.96 billion this year to improve its operations. The largest component of this year's capital plan, $2.85 billion, is devoted to maintaining BNSF's core network and related assets. Investing in BNSF's existing infrastructure ensures the railroad is in top condition, which results in less unscheduled service outages that can slow down the rail network and reduce capacity. In the Pacific Northwest, BNSF will begin a multi-year project to add double track near Spokane, Washington, including over the Spokane River and by constructing a siding near Pasco, Washington.

US National Blueprint for Transportation Decarbonization

The Biden administration released its US National Blueprint for Transportation Decarbonization outlining plans to eliminate all greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from the sector by 2050. A whole-of-government approach is being taken starting with the blueprint developed collaboratively by the US Departments of Energy, Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The maritime sector represents 3% of transportation emissions. The US will continue to support the Zero-Emission Shipping Mission (ZESM) goals to ensure that 5% of the global deep-sea fleet are capable of using zero-emission fuels by 2030, and support the domestic maritime sector with more research into sustainable fuels and technologies and incentives.

PMSA and WSC challenge FMC framework

The Pacific Merchant Shipping Association and the World Shipping Council have filed a Petition for Review of the Commission’s Environmental Assessment (EA) and Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) regarding Docket No. 2022-0066.  The petition suggests that the Federal Maritime Commission’s proposal to create an entirely new demurrage and detention billing framework will undermine and deviate from the “Incentive Principle” in existing law that creates financial incentives to move cargo promptly and efficiently. Undermining the Incentive Principle would have an adverse impact on port congestion and air quality.

Cruise lines to appeal US decision on Havana Docks

A Florida Judge awarded more than $440M in damages to the Havana Docks Corp., a decision that Royal Caribbean and Carnival will appeal.  US District Judge Beth Bloom ruled that the use of the Havana Cruise Port Terminal constitutes trafficking in confiscated property owned by the plaintiff. This Delaware-registered company is owned by two individuals said to be direct descendants of the original owners of the docks in Havana, Cuba. The lawsuit, brought under the Helms-Burton Act, allows U.S. nationals to sue over the use of property seized in Cuba after 1959.

Arizona to remove container wall

Arizona will take down a makeshift wall made of shipping containers at the Mexico border, settling a lawsuit and political tussle with the US government over trespassing on federal lands. The Biden administration and the Republican governor entered into an agreement that Arizona will cease installing the containers in the Coronado National Forest — the only national forest along the border — according to court documents filed Wednesday in US District Court in Phoenix.  The 7km wall comprised of 915 containers must be removed by Jan. 4 without damaging any natural resources. The state’s Republican Governor Doug Ducey spent US$90 million of taxpayers’ money lining up rusting boxes in what he said was a bid to stem the flow of people crossing into the country.  The resolution comes two weeks before Democrat Katie Hobbs, who opposes the construction, takes over as governor.

FMC probing anti-retaliation compliance

The Federal Maritime Commission is asking the top 20 shipping lines calling the United States to provide information on how they are adapting to the increased prohibitions on retaliatory and discriminatory behaviour under the Ocean Shipping Reform Act of 2022. The The FMC's Vessel-Operating Common Carrier (VOCC) Audit Team will specifically focus on how companies are training personnel at all levels to act legally, and how those same employees are being made aware of the consequences for violating the law. The examination began earlier this week via correspondence and all recipients will have until mid-January to provide their initial responses. Additionally, the VOCC Audit Team will discuss this topic in person and in deeper detail with the 11 largest carriers participating in the next round of meetings through the VOCC Audit Program.

Ever Forward grounding due to distracted pilot

A pilot was distracted by his phone for a minute at a critical turn in a shipping channel just before the mammoth Ever Forward container vessel became stuck on the muddy bottom of the Chesapeake Bay earlier this year, according to a US Coast Guard investigation into the incident. The ship’s crew appeared to be aware that something was amiss but failed to get the pilot’s attention before the ship went aground on March 13, the report found. The Ever Forward remained stationary for about five weeks. Finding of Concern 1 reiterates the original warnings and emphasizes the additional dangers associated with fixation on electronic devices as well as over -reliance on a singular piece of equipment while navigating or performing safety-sensitive functions.  Vessel owners and marine operators are recommended to develop and implement effective policies outlining when the use of cell phones and other portable electronic devices is appropriate or prohibited.

GCT selling US terminals to CMA CGM

GCT Global Container Terminals Inc. has entered into an agreement to sell its US-based terminal assets to CMA CGM Group, a global player in sea, land, air and logistics solutions.  GCT currently operates two U.S. terminals: GCT New York on Staten Island, NY and GCT Bayonne in Bayonne, NJ, in the Port of New York and New Jersey. CMA CGM, part of the Ocean Alliance, currently calls the Maher Terminal at NY-NJ, with one service calling the APMT facility, while GCT Bayonne is used by THE Alliance and GCT New York by Mediterranean Shipping Co. and Wan Hai. New York–New Jersey is CMA CGM’s largest gateway on the US East Coast, and the carrier intends to further develop calls in the New York area for which the newly acquired terminals will provide future capacity.  The addition of the GCT facilities brings the carrier’s terminal network in the US to seven, and 52 terminals globally in 28 countries through CMA Terminals’ joint venture with Terminal Link. GCT will retain full ownership of GCT Canada and its terminals, GCT Deltaport and GCT Vanterm operating in the Port of Vancouver. The transaction is subject to customary and required regulatory approvals and consents.

FMC reports jump in complaints

The US Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) is reporting a strong rise in charge complaints as shippers respond positively to the Ocean Shipping Reform Act of 2022. This comes as the FMC continues to take steps to define the processes and fulfill the mandate from the US Congress requiring key milestones in the enactment and enforcement of the changes governing ocean shipping. Today, the FMC announced its interim procedures to review, investigate, and adjudicate Charge Complaints. Since the law’s enactment in June, the FMC reports it has received more than 175 filings in less than six months. Ultimately the FMC will decide if the charge is in compliance, if a refund or waiver is due and if a separate civil penalty proceeding is appropriate.

US rail strike averted

US President Joe Biden signed into law on Friday a bill forcing labour unions and companies to accept a compromise agreement he brokered over the summer, averting a looming nationwide rail shutdown. For the first time in 30 years, Congress intervened to avert a rail strike. Biden had implored lawmakers to quickly pass the measure, emphasizing that the economic fallout that would result from a rail strike would be catastrophic and would cost hundreds of thousands of jobs. The House of Representatives passed the bill on Wednesday, followed by the Senate on Thursday. Both chambers lent overwhelming support.

CARB publishes interim evaluation for OGV

The California Air Resources Board (CARB) has published the Interim Evaluation Report as required by the Control Measure for Ocean-Going Vessels At Berth. This Report assesses the current state of at berth emissions control technologies for OGVs and the status of any landside infrastructure improvements needed to support emissions control technologies at berth; evaluates the progress being made towards complying with the emissions control requirements of the Regulation; and serves as a tool to help guide potential future CARB actions for reducing emissions from OGVs (including the feasibility of potential control requirements for bulk/general cargo vessels and vessels at anchor). Additionally, the Report includes recommendations for CARB Board consideration about future amendments or rulemakings based on staff’s findings. Container, reefer, and cruise vessels/terminals have the earliest compliance deadline, with emissions reductions beginning on January 1, 2023. The Report indicates that these vessel types will continue to primarily use shore power for compliance with the Regulation, while ro-ro and tanker vessels plan to utilize shore power in addition to other technologies such as capture and control.

US rail disruption looming

On Monday this week, one of the biggest rail unions joined three other unions that have rejected the deal facilitated by the Presidential Emergency Board.  Train conductors represented by the Sheet Metal, Air, Rail and Transportation Workers-Transportation Division, or SMART-TD, narrowly rejected the proposed deal. The vote drew record turnout among the union’s membership of more than 28,000 conductors and other workers. SMART-TD is one of four freight rail unions that have rejected the deal, while eight other unions have approved it. This raises the risk of a strike, which could start as soon as Dec. 9 under a deadline that was pushed back Tuesday.  The dependence on the already-suffering rail system would be tested, especially with other circumstances affecting the supply chain, like a Mississippi River drought affecting much of the midwest. United States Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg said the Biden administration’s goal is to make sure a strike doesn’t happen.  

Port of Seattle proposes historic investment

Port of Seattle Executive Director Steve Metruck introduced the Port’s 2023 budget and five-year capital plan proposing historic investments in facilities and organization.  Included in the $5.3 billion plan  Featured in the $5.3 billion plan which includes the airport, are maritime and economic development projects such as berth replacements at Terminal 91, electrification at Pier 66, and the development of new maritime industrial space at Terminal 106 and Terminal 91.  The total capital budget proposed for 2023 is $725.8 million. The Port will also contribute $276.4 million to the Northwest Seaport Alliance for container terminal modernization and expansion in both harbors such as the completion of Terminal 5, as well as operational upgrades and environmental sustainability projects.  The Ports of Seattle and Tacoma each contribute 50 percent of the costs to fund the NWSA five-year capital improvement plan.

US railroad agreement rejection continues

On Monday the national railroad agreement brokered by the White House was rejected by members of the International Brotherhood of Boilermakers (IBB) representing the smallest of the 12 craft unions in the industry. Although with only 500 members, this is the third union consecutively to reject the deal, following workers in the Brotherhood of Maintenance of Way Employes (BMWED) and the Brotherhood of Railroad Signalmen (BRS) late last month. Momentum is clearly building for the defeat of the deal, with less than a week left in voting by 60,000 engineers and conductors, who have been the center of opposition. Moreover, a strike even by the 500 IBB members would be the equivalent of a national strike of 120,000 railroaders, because workers in other crafts would honor the picket line.

Jurisdiction at centre of West Coast ILWU negotiations

Mediterranean Shipping Co. filed a motion last week with the National Labor Relations Board urging SSA Marine Inc. to assign cold-ironing tasks at the Port of Seattle’s Terminal 5 to the International Longshore and Warehouse Union. The International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers has claimed it’s responsible for those tasks. The dispute in Seattle is among the main reasons that contract negotiations for all West Coast dockworkers have dragged on for months, and the filing is noteworthy because it lays out what’s at stake for MSC. ILWU negotiations representing 22,000 dockworkers began on May 10 and workers have been without a contract now since July 1.

Congestion at LA-LB terminals over

The queue of ships waiting to unload at the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach fell from a peak of 109 ships in January to four vessels this week, according to the Marine Exchange of Southern California. Shipping specialists say fewer ships than normal are heading to the main US gateway complex for imports from Asia in coming days and that cargo volumes that had long swamped the ports now are receding. Bottlenecks continue to delay cargo at other major US seaports and at inland freight hubs, but the end of the backup at the big ports in California signals broader supply-chain tangles that have been troubling retailers and manufacturers are unwinding.  Maersk is reporting that the Port of Vancouver now has the longest dwell time among North American ports due to persistent congestion in Toronto and Montreal.

US rail strike possible but not probable

The Brotherhood of Maintenance of Way Employes Division (BMWED) announced last week that its rank-and-file membership had rejected a tentative labour deal reached in September, setting the stage for a possible strike as soon as Nov. 19 if a new deal cannot be reached.  Six of the 12 railroad unions that represent 115,000 workers nationwide have approved their tentative agreements with the railroads so far, but all of them have to ratify their contracts to avoid a strike. The unions have agreed to put any strike on hold until at least mid-November while the BMWED negotiates a new deal and the other unions vote on their proposed contracts.

California allocates $1.2 billion to improve LA-LB infrastructure

California is calling for project proposals that would be financed in part by $1.2 billion the state has allocated for supply chain infrastructure improvements. Gov. Gavin Newsom signed an executive order a year ago vowing to address the crippling congestion at the state’s ports, particularly Los Angeles and Long Beach.  70 percent of the funding for the new Port and Freight Infrastructure Program will support projects to help move goods through Los Angeles-Long Beach, with the other 30 percent earmarked for elsewhere in the state. Project applications are due Jan. 13, with the winning projects to be announced in March.


International News


Offshore wind farms outpacing available ships

Asian nations counting on offshore wind farms to meet clean energy goals are facing an increasing shortage of ships for installing massive turbines in the sea. As countries embark on a rapid build-out of wind power in the next decade, builders are having difficulty keeping up with the demand.  The situation is only going to get worse as blades get longer and require bigger ships to handle them. Excluding China, there are currently only about 10 turbine installing ships and a few dozen commissioning service operation vessels (CSOVs ) operating worldwide, according to shipbroker Clarksons. By 2030, demand for turbine installers will outpace supply by about 15 vessels, while the gap for CSOVs will widen to more than 145 CSOVs from 30 currently, it estimates.

CMA CGM official partner for 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Gaems

The CMA CGM Group will make its expertise available to Paris 2024, by handling the transport and logistics for all the goods, equipment, and materials required for the event’s success at the Olympic and Paralympic venues.  The company will organize all the international transport and customs brokerage activities and provide and operate the requisite logistics facilities for Paris 2024 via its CEVA and CMA CGM Air cargo subsidiaries. Moreover, the French shipping line will operate road and river transport and logistics services at Olympic and Paralympic Games venues, in metropolitan France and French overseas territories.

Mandatory Maritime Single Window - one year to go

From 1 January 2024 it will be compulsory for ports around the world to operate Maritime Single Windows (MSWs) for the electronic exchange of information required on ships’ arrival at a port, their stay and their departure. This mandatory change follows the adoption by IMO's Facilitation Committee of amendments to the FAL Convention.  IMO hosted "Maritime Single Window 2024 – A window of opportunities", a two-day Symposium in January that was supported by international organizations and experts across the shipping and ports sectors. Participants explored how maritime single windows can achieve maritime trade facilitation and support decarbonization efforts. Many agree that technology is available and that cultural change is hindering progress.  Maritime stakeholders, including governments, should see this an opportunity and move away from seeing it as a compliance issue.

IMO revises guidelines to reduce underwater noise

The International Maritime Organization (IMO) is moving forward with revisions to the 2014 guidelines for commercial ships in order to reduce underwater noise that threatens some marine species. The draft revisions, which still need to be approved by the IMO’s Marine Environment Protection Committee this summer. The revised guidelines detail best practices for commercial ships to reduce noise, including optimizing propeller and hull design, reducing speed, adjusting routes to minimize travel through sensitive areas and proper maintenance. While they apply to global shipping, the revisions note the potential for noise-sensitive species in the Arctic to be affected, along with the Inuit who live there.

UK consults on shipping alliance regulation

The UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has published, for consultation, its proposed recommendations to the Secretary of State on its Consortia Block Exemption Regulation (CBER) for shipping retained from the EU. Industry views on a UK shipping line alliance regulation are due by February 23rd. The CMA’s proposed recommendation to the secretary of state is to replace the CBER, when it expires on 25 April 2024, with a Liner Shipping Consortia Block Exemption Order (CBEO) tailored to the needs of businesses operating in the UK and UK consumers.

Maersk announces intent to move to a singular brand

Over its nearly 120-year history Maersk has made many acquisitions that operate under different brand names due to differentiated business models. These include APM Terminals, Maersk Container Industry (MCI), Svitzer, Maersk Supply Service (MSS), Maersk Training, and Maersk Line Limited (MLL). Maersk has announced its intent to begin moving the companies to one unified Maersk brand, signalling a truly integrated logistics to its customers.

Australian state considering cap on coal exports

Major coal producers are in talks with the government of New South Wales, Australia's most populous state, over its surprise plan to have miners reserve up to 10% of production for domestic supply, as part of efforts to curb soaring energy costs. Australia is seeking to drive down costs for households by capping gas and coal prices, which soared last year partly due to the Ukraine war and domestic factors. The New South Wales government is trying to boost the effort on the coal front by beefing up domestic supply of coal, most of which gets exported.

IAPH releases risk and resilience guidelines for ports

The International Association of Port and Harbour (IAPH) has issued newly-created risk and resilience guidelines for ports, together with a new risk inventory portal aimed at sharing best practices on risk mitigation and management for ports. Applying the same pragmatic approach by the IAPH-WPSP COVID19 Taskforce, the newly issued guidelines are the first IAPH tool produced by expert regular and associate members from the IAPH Risk and Resilience Committee which aims to support ports in establishing a structured approach towards risk management, business continuity and organizational preparedness. To assist in this, IAPH has also established an online risk inventory portal which will act as a central hub for mutual learning from ports which have dealt with or which are proactively preparing for specific events and incidents. In addition to containing the three crucial infographics that form the backbone of the guidelines, it offers the first two examples on how ports deal with specific threats, with illustrative case studies from member ports. Effectively managing business continuity during the next crisis has become an essential port requirement.

40Seas a possible fintech disruptor for SMEs

40Seas, an innovative fintech startup is hoping to close the $1.7 trillion global trade finance gap, providing a solution that enables digital B2B payment functionality while facilitating cross-border trade between SMEs. While SMEs account for 43% of cross-border trade volume but are more likely to be denied access to trade financing than multinational companies. 40Seas' $11 million seed funding round, led by Team8 with participation from ZIM Integrated Shipping Services Ltd., is complemented by a $100 million credit facility for exporters and importers. The fintech platform leverages AI and data-driven technology, offering flexible payment options that are primed to disrupt legacy trade-financing solutions by extending the accessibility of working capital for SME importers, exporters, freight forwarders and sourcing agencies. Since going live with a soft launch in October 2022, 40Seas has already financed transactions for dozens of SMEs and is slated to finance tens of millions of dollars in the coming months. 40Seas is available as an API or stand-alone platform, both of which can be seamlessly embedded into checkout portals to improve business flow and deliver more convenience to customers. In addition to helping businesses streamline communications around order tracking, the platform utilizes data-driven technology to automate decision-making processes and verify creditworthiness.

Green methanol evolving as fuel of choice

Ending the "chicken and egg debate" Cargill has teamed up with Mitsu & Co to place an order for two methanol-fuelled Kamsarmax carriers in Japan. The order was reportedly signed last month and the ships are scheduled for delivery at the end of 2025 and in the first quarter of 2026 respectively.  Other carriers signalling the adoption of green methanol fuel in their operations include Maersk, Pacific Basin Shipping, HMM, and MSC.  While LNG is the most popular marine fuel for newbuilds currently, DNV data notes there are 82 methanol-powered ships in operation and on order. Maersk has 19 green methanol vessels with dual-fuel engines on order, which are at the center of the company’s plans to meet its net-zero emissions target by 2040 across the entire business.  Its venture Maersk Growth has just revealed an investment in Berlin-based startup C1 Green Chemicals AG which specializes in the production of green methanol. C1 has invented new ultra-efficient catalysis for green methanol to be produced from waste biomass or CO2 and H2 and due to the containerized design of the C1-reactor, currently, in the pilot stage, production is possible where sustainable feedstocks are available or close to harbours where green methanol is needed to fuel the vessels.

China faces disruptions with easing COVID policy

Declining world supply chain pressures are being challenged by new disruptions in China tied to the coronavirus pandemic, the New York Federal Reserve reported on Friday. The easing of China's restrictions has resulted in a massive wave of coronavirus infections, which threaten to keep pressure on the ability to ship goods out of China. Freight booking cancellations are increasing at the ports of Shanghai and Shenzhen as "factories cannot operate properly due to a lot of workers getting COVID."  Congestion is also building off of the Ports of Ningbo and Qingdao as well, per Chinese logistics company HLS.  Qingdao, the sixth-largest port in the world, is reported as having factories with only "1/4 labor force and can not ensure normal production." Logistics managers are warning of very soft volume after the Lunar New Year with cancelled or delayed bookings for the 2nd half of January and early February.

Royal Thai Navy ship navy capsizes

The HTMS Sukhothai, a US-built corvette carrying approximately 70 crew and 35 other naval and military personnel, including marines, sank a day after it left Sattahip Naval base in Chonburi last Saturday heading for Chumphon for a naval ceremony to celebrate the founder or ‘father’ of the service Krom Luang Chumphon Khet-Radomska whose birthday was the 19th December 1880. The warship capsized after it suffered an engine malfunction and encountered high winds and strong waves, which led to a power failure and quickly flooded the deck, during the incident. A submersible vehicle launched on Wednesday aimed to tell naval chiefs the extent of the damage done and the viability of key systems as a technical committee considers bringing in the private sector to help refloat and salvage the Sukhothai lying capsized at a depth of 40 metres off Prachuap Khiri Khan.   The Royal Thai Navy has confirmed that 82 people have been recovered, of which six were found deceased, leaving 23 sailors still unaccounted for.

Vessel charterers refuse BIMCO's CII clause

On Tuesday, a group of the world’s largest vessel charterers sent a letter to BIMCO stating that they will refuse to use the Carbon Intensity Indicator (CII) clause because “it places the obligation to comply with CII disproportionately on charterers. 23 signatories included shipping lines Maersk, MSC, CMA CGM and Hapag-Lloyd; agricultural shipping giants ADM, Bunge and Louis Dreyfus; and top trading houses Trafigura and Vitol, among other big names (letter from charterers here).  The group feels the approach taken is imbalanced and removes incentives for owners to do their fair share in the decarbonization efforts, resulting in a wide range of customized CII clauses or possibly no clause being agreed to. In circumstances where charterers’ employment orders are only partly responsible for the CII rating, this group does not accept taking wholesale responsibility for compliance with the regulations.  Consequently, the signatories of this statement wish to continue to collaborate to develop alternative CII clauses that fairly share the responsibility for the journey towards decarbonization between owners and charterers.

MEPC 79 progresses on mid-term measures

At the Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC) 79th session concluded earlier today, International Maritime Organization member nations pushed forward in the development of proposals, which include a GHG levy or feebate mechanism, a GHG fuel standard, emissions trading, and a funding/reward system tied to a specific benchmark. This week’s discussions bode well for an agreement on an ambitious and effective basket of measures in future sessions of the MEPC that will seek to adopt measures that align with the Paris agreement and enable decarbonization of shipping by 2050 with possible intermediate targets at 2030 and 2040. Good progress was also made to reduce the impact of GHGs and black carbon emissions from shipping on the Arctic. However, proposals to review and adjust short-term measures including CII, EEXI, and correction factors was deferred to MEPC 80.

Maersk inks deal for strategic green methanol partnership

A.P. Moller-Maersk has entered into a partnership with SunGas Renewables, which is based in the United States and a leader in providing technology systems for large-scale production of green methanol. The Letter of Intent covers the production of green methanol from multiple facilities to be developed by SunGas in the United States from which Maersk intends to offtake full volumes of green methanol. The first facility is expected to begin operations in 2026 and have an annual production capacity of approximately 390,000 tonnes. The SunGas facilities will utilize its flagship platform to convert sustainably sourced residues from the forestry and wood products industries into green methanol. SunGas joins eight other strategic partners working to supply the green fuel needed for the 19 methanol enabled container vessels Maersk currently has on order. The other partners are Carbon Sink, CIMC ENRIC, Debo, European Energy, Green Technology Bank, Orsted, Proman, and Wastefuel.

Maritime unions and industry renew pact

Unions representing seafarers and maritime employer groups have come together to sign a new memorandum of understanding (MOU) to take forward the ‘spirit of cooperation’ that marked the shipping industry’s joint efforts throughout the pandemic. Signatories include the International Transport Workers' Federation (ITF), the International Chamber of Shipping, and the International Maritime Employers' Council. Priorities for the group include lobbying governments on improving training and career pathways, pushing for better recognition of seafarers, and securing support for the proposals put out recently in the Maritime Just Transition Task Force’s action plan. The plan will be showcased at the upcoming IMO MEPC environment meeting taking place next week.

Blue World Technologies to focus on maritime sector

Aalborg, Denmark-based Blue World Technologies, a developer and manufacturer of methanol fuel cells as an alternative to non-renewable fuels, announced on Tuesday that it has raised €37M in a Series B round of funding from the Danish sovereign wealth fund, Vækstfonden ((The Sovereign Investment Fund of Denmark),  the German engine manufacturer DEUTZ as main investors, and the Bill Gates-founded Breakthrough Energy Ventures (BEV).  BEV's recent investment will help the company to scale its fuel cell production as well as invest in the development of methanol-driven fuel cell applications for the maritime sector. With a methanol fuel cell-powered auxiliary power unit (APU), Blue World wants to provide modular APU solutions in the megawatt range for direct integration in new builds as well as retrofits in existing ships.

International Chamber of Shipping statement following ISWG-GHG

Following the Intersessional Working Group on Reduction of GHG Emissions from Ships and ahead of the Marine Environmental Protection Committee meeting 79, the International Chamber of Shipping's Secretary General, Guy Platten, made a statement reiterating the marine industry's commitment to reaching net-zero carbon by 2050. He stressed that "zero-emission fuels must be available in significant quantities before 20230 if industry is to have any hope of hitting the 2050 target." He remained optimistic that consensus is growing for a proposal to support a flat rate contribution per tonne of CO2 emitted by ships on a global basis to accelerate the production and uptake of these fuels. The full statement is available here.

IMO commemorates 40 years of UNCLOS

The International Maritime Organization held an event to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).  The event addressed topics related to the forty years of cooperation between IMO and UNCLOS, and IMO’s contribution to the implementation of the Convention. Gillian Grant, Canada's Alternate Representative to the IMO and Chair of the Legal Committee recognized UNCLOS as a living instrument that needs to evolve to better address fraudulent registrations and Maritime Autonomous Surface Ships (MASS).

EU sanctions on Russian oil from Monday

The European Union's sanctions on Russian oil will take effect on Monday, and energy markets are headed for uncharted waters in the months ahead. Meanwhile, EU officials have agreed to set a price cap on Russian oil at $60 a barrel as OPEC+ meets Sunday to discuss crude production, adding more uncertainty to the immediate future. Shipping costs for Russian crude are skyrocketing as more tanker owners shun the trade days before the sanction take effect. Owners who are still willing to load Russian crude are attempting to charge more for the risk. Baltic Sea-to-India rates are being discussed at about $15 million -- or $20 a barrel --- for loadings after Dec. 5 when new EU restrictions kick in, said shipbrokers. That’s a sharp increase from $9 million to $11.5 million before. The US has said ships loaded with Russian oil before December 5 and unloaded at destinations before January 19 won't be subject to the price cap. The lack of clarity surrounding exemptions is paving the way for a shift to the so-called dark fleet, or tankers held by undisclosed owners who are willing to continue handling Russian oil despite the threat of sanctions. These ships mostly comprise of older vessels and many with a track record of dealing with sanctioned regimes.


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


Feb 3 - Forte

The MV Forte is a semi-submersible heavy-lift vessel operated by Boskalis and transporting huge processing modules for LNG Canada in Kitimat. In 2019 Boskalis announced plans to convert the MV Forte into a crane vessel capable of lifting 4000 tonnes. The decision to go ahead with the conversion follows a new contract for the Taiwanese Changfang and Xidao offshore wind farm project owned by Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners. The MV Forte will have installed a 4000-tonne revolving crane capable of lifting structures more than 100 metres high. It will boast 7500 square metres of free deck space. Once completed, it will be renamed Bokalift 2. Flag: Malta Built by: Guangzhou Shipyard Int. Co. LOA: 216.75 m Breadth: 43 m Depth: 13 m Deck space: 177.60 x 43 m Deadweight: 50,000 t

Jan 27 - Polarstern

A research-based icebreaker, the RV Polarstern was first commissioned in 1982 and has been underway in the Arctic and Antarctic for 40 years now, giving experts from around the globe the opportunity to safely and effectively conduct research in two of the most extreme regions on our planet. Primarily used by the Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research in Bremerhaven, she has a double-hull design and a length of 387 feet (118 meters). The RV Polarstern is powered by four engines, each producing 20,000 HP and enabling the ship to reach 16 knots in open water. She can operate in temperatures as low as -58 degrees Fahrenheit (-50 degrees Celsius) and is capable of breaking through 5-foot (1.5 meters) thick ice.

Jan 20 - Cypress Sun

A ceremony for the naming and delivery of the Cypress Sun, a dual-fuel methanol carrier that can run on either methanol or conventional heavy fuel oil, was held at Hyundai Mipo Dockyard on Tuesday (17 January). The 49,999 DWT vessel will be chartered by MOL from Osaka Shipping Co. and Waterfront Shipping Company will charter the vessel from MOL under a long-term contract. The Cypress Sun is a sister ship to the Capilano Sun, which was delivered in 2021 and also chartered by MOL to Waterfront Shipping Company.  The delivery of Cypress Sun brings the number of methanol carriers in MOL’s fleet to 19. MOL has been expanding the number of dual-fuel vessels, which can run on methanol, since 2016. The company currently operates five of the 23 methanol dual-fuel tankers in service worldwide, including the Cypress Sun. It is estimated that methanol fuel can reduce sulphur oxide (SOx) emissions by up to 99%, particulate matter (PM) emissions by up to 95%, nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions by up to 80%, and carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions by up to 15% in comparison to burning conventional marine fuel.

Jan 13 - Orient Express Silenseas

Pioneers of luxury train travel since the 19th century, Orient Express, a brand synonymous with fabulous, opulent and expensive slow travel, has revealed plans to launch the world's largest sailing ship - Orient Express Silenseas.  At 220 meters long with a tonnage of 22,300 UMS, Orient Express Silenseas has room for 54 suites measuring on average 70 square meters, but those with deeper pockets may want to splash out on the monumental 1,415-square-meter Presidential Suite complete with 530-square-meter private terrace. Guests will also enjoy two swimming pools including a lap pool, two restaurants and a speakeasy bar. More extravagant perhaps are the state-of-the-art amphitheater and private recording studio, should guests be feeling musical. Orient Express Silenseas is a result of a partnership between hospitality giant and Orient Express owner Accor and Chantiers de l’Atlantique, a French shipbuilder. Powered by a unique ‘solid-sail’ wind propulsion system combined with a hybrid propulsion system powered by liquified gas, she is expected to set sail in 2026 with stops in the Mediterranean and the Caribbean.

Jan 6 - Ever Acme

Chinese shipbuilder Hudong-Zhonghua Shipbuilding delivered Evergreen’s giant 24,000 TEU containership Ever Acme at the end of 2022 - four months ahead of schedule according to the shipbuilder This is the third 24,000 -TEU container ship to be delivered to Evergreen in 2022. The three ships - Ever Alot, Ever Aria, and Ever Acme - are among the world’s largest containerships based on their capacity. The trio is part of a total of nine vessels being built and designed by Hudong-Zhonghua Shipbuilding for the shipowner to ABS class.  The ships are  fitted with a myriad of green features including high efficiency, energy-saving, and safety solutions in line with Tier III emission requirements. The ships have a bulbous bow design, large-diameter propellers, and energy-saving ducts to ensure low energy consumption. They are also fitted with hybrid scrubbers.  

Dec 23 - Voltaire

The Voltaire is a self-elevating and self-propelled vessel designed for installation of offshore wind turbines. Recently launched at the COSCO Shipping Shipyard in Nantong, China this vessel will be the second and largest jack-up vessel in Jan De Nul’s fleet, and able to support the renewable energy industry to build next generation offshore wind farms. Designed in-house, and pushing engineering boundaries, Voltaire is built to transport, lift and install offshore wind turbines, transition pieces and foundations. The main crane with a capacity of over 3,000 tonnes will enable it to construct the current and future generation of wind farms at sea. Voltaire is ready for the future of offshore renewables, and will also be available to the oil and gas industry for the decommissioning of offshore structures. With four approximately 130 m long truss-type legs and a high-speed rack-and-pinion jacking system, the vessel is able to operate on up to 80 m water depth, and with 7000 m2 cargo deck, a 3,000 t main crane and a jacking deadweight of 14,000 t, it is able to carry and install even the largest wind turbines. The vessel is equipped with a DP-2 diesel-electric propulsion system consisting of 8 gen sets, 4 stern thrusters, 2 bow thrusters and 2 retractable bow thrusters. The accommodation block, which holds 100 crew single cabins, is unique in that it is divided into two separate blocks – one in each side – which allows long cargo items to be stowed in the CL between the two blocks. The vessel is further equipped with a helicopter deck. Voltaire is able to run on second-generation biodiesel that reduces the fuel carbon footprint by up to 90%.  She is also equipped with a highly advanced dual exhaust filter system, removing up to 99% of nanoparticles from emissions using a diesel particulate filter (DPF) and reducing the NOx emissions and other pollutants by means of a selective catalytic reduction system (SCR) to levels in accordance with EU Stage V regulation.

Dec 16 - Seasurfer

Seasurfer, an LPG carrier managed by Athens-based Thenamaris LNG is believed to be the first to deliver certified blue ammonia.  The midsize gas carrier, built by Hyundai Mipo in 2017, loaded the cargo at King Fahad Industrial Port at Jubail, Saudi Arabia to Ulsan, South Korea.  The 25,000 metric tonne ship received the cargo from SABIC AGRI-Nutrients and Saudi Aramco who are eager to be part of the country's ambition to become the world's largest supplier of clean hydrogen products by 2030 enabling the production of blue ammonia at a competitive rate. Earlier this year, SABIC AN and Aramco received the world’s first independent certifications recognizing blue ammonia and blue hydrogen production from TÜV Rheinland, a leading independent testing, inspection and certification agency, based in Germany. The shipment of blue ammonia to South Korea is the first to capitalize on this major certification achievement.

Dec 9 - SS Pacific

A Seattle-based company, Rockfish Inc., has been granted salvage rights to a ship believed to contain nearly $5 million worth of gold that sank near the BC coast during the gold rush. Also members of the Northwest Shipwreck Alliance, Matthew McCauley and Jeff Hummel, now believe they have found the SS Pacific which sank in November 1875 following a collision with the Orpheus when she veered into the SS Pacific's path after its second mate mistook her lights for those of the Cape Flattery lighthouse.  The sailing vessel Orpheus sank later that night but her crew made it ashore while SS Pacific lost roughly 275 people, many of them gold miners. Rockfish based its search off old records that showed the vessel went down southwest of Cape Flattery, as well as information from fishermen who found coal in their nets. After 12 expeditions with sonar and a towed camera sled, Jeff Hummel, President of Rockfish, is feeling confident in his discovery. Two circular depressions in the seabed, a short distance from the rest of the wreck are believed to be the steamer's paddle wheels and a piece of coal found near the wreck was tested in a lab in Alberta. The results ended up matching the chemical analysis of coal from a mine owned by the owners of the SS Pacific. Rockfish is obliged to present everything found through the federal court system so people can come forward with any claims they may have on the artifacts, meaning anyone who can prove a family connection to an owner of the gold or any other item can come forward to attempt to claim it.

Dec 2 - Shofu Maru

Next week the MV Shofu Maru will be calling in at Trigon Pacific Terminal in Prince Rupert.  The MV Shofu Maru is the world's first vessel equipped with Wind Challenger - a system, developed mainly by MOL and Oshima Shipbuilding that uses a telescoping hard sail that harnesses wind power to propel the vessel.  The vessel will transport coal mainly from Australia, Indonesia, and North America as a dedicated vessel for Tohoku Electric Power Co.  The introduction of the Wind Challenger is expected to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions about 5% on a Japan-Australia voyage and about 8% on a Japan-North America West Coast voyage, compared to a conventional vessel of the same type, and contribute to curbing GHG emissions during fuel transportation. MOL and Tohoku Electric Power Co. will continue to work toward both stable transport of energy resources and reduction of their environmental impact. SHO FU means "pine (matsu in Japanese)" and "wind (kaze in Japanese)". The vessel name is derived from ‘Kaze no Matsubara’, the black pine trees planted for the purpose of erosion control in Noshiro, Akita Prefecture, and Wind from Wind Challenger, with the hope that the vessel will operate powerfully even under harsh conditions.
Call Sign: 7KMV Flag: Japan [JP] Gross Tonnage: 58209 Summer DWT: 100422 t Length Overall x Breadth Extreme: 235 x 43 m Year Built: 2022

Nov 25 - Fengtien

On November 7th the MV Fengtien responded to a call for assistance at Port Kembla anchorage in Australia and launched the rescue boat to rescue two persons who had fallen overboard a pleasure craft. They received a commendation from the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) for the swift action that prevented a potential loss of life. The MV Fengtien was built in 2015 and is the Dry bulk / Handysize segment. Its IMO number is 9690896 and the current MMSI number is 566288000. The vessel has callsign 9V2174. Summer deadweight is 39782 DWT. FENGTIEN is sailing under the flag of Singapore.  She is owned and operated by Swire Bulk, whose parent company The China Navigation Company marked its 150th anniversary this year.

Nov 18 - Mayne Queen

November 19th is the last official full-time run for BC Ferries’ Mayne Queen, ending more than half a century of service for residents and visitors of the Southern Gulf Islands. It’s the kind of legacy that deserves a “victory lap” and in true rock star fashion the ship will perform an encore on Sunday, November 20th to its familiar ports of call so the Islanders can say thank you one last time. The vessel first entered service 57 years ago in 1965 and for the vast majority of that time has served the same run through the Southern Gulf Islands. Insiders know it as Route 5, a tentacular connection between Vancouver Island, Pender, Mayne, Galiano and Saturna islands. Crew are family, quick to jump a car that won’t start or return to work in emergency situations. Urban legend suggests the Mayne Queen may have even reversed course a time or two for a backpack - accidentally left behind by children rushing to school.

Nov 4 - Siem Symphony

Norway’s Siem Offshore has won a contract from BP Canada for its large platform supply vessel Siem Symphony. The contract will start in the second quarter of 2023 and is expected to keep the 5,500 dwt dual-fuel ship utilized for four to six months. The Siem Symphony was the first ship in the company’s fleet fitted with a battery pack. The 2014-built PSV features a 565 kWh chargeable Corvus Orca Energy unit. The Oslo-listed Siem Offshore has a fleet of 28 vessels, of which six are PSV. The company logged third-quarter average fleet utilization of 93%, excluding three vessels in lay-up. Built:     2014 Design:  VS 4411 DF Class Notation:   1A1 Fire fighter(II) Offshore service vessel(Supply) Standby vessel(S) BIS Clean(Design) COAT-PSPC COMF(C-3, V-3) DK(+) DYNPOS(AUTR) E0 Gas fuelled HL(2.8) LFL(*) NAUT(OSV(A)) OILREC SF Dp Class:   2 LOA:           89.20 m Breadth:     19.00 m Draught:      7.40 m Dwt:           5,500 t Accommodation:  25 Cargo Deck Area:   980 m2

Oct 28 - His Majesty's Canadian Ship Margaret Brooke

Today, the Royal Canadian Navy (RCN) officially welcomed His Majesty’s Canadian Ship (HMCS) Margaret Brooke into naval service with a commissioning ceremony. This ceremony marks a significant achievement for both the RCN and the Canadian shipbuilding industry. The introduction of a second Arctic and Offshore Patrol Ship (AOPS) delivered under the National Shipbuilding Strategy, which sustains thousands of jobs annually in Canada, will enhance the RCN’s ability to enforce sovereignty and meet the future defence challenges in Canada’s offshore and Arctic waters. A ship’s commissioning ceremony is both a long-standing naval tradition, and, a special event for the ship’s company – proud sailors who – have just returned from the ship’s first deployment where they assisted communities in Atlantic Canada affected by Hurricane Fiona. The commissioning of HMCS Margaret Brooke included a symbolic presentation of the commissioning pennant, as well as the symbolic presentation of the “keys to the ship” to the Commanding Officer, Commander Nicole Robichaud.

Oct 21 - Orion Leader

Orion Leader, a pure car and truck carrier owned by NYK, rescued eight sailors at approximately 0:30 a.m. (local time) on October 6, 2022 from a container ship that had caught fire.   Orion Leader was sailing in the Red Sea from Laem Chabang, Thailand, to Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, when she received a distress call concerning a container ship on fire.   The NYK vessel immediately headed to the area and rescued the eight crew members by launching its own lifeboat. Following instructions from the Rescue Coordination Center in Jeddah, Orion Leader then transferred the rescued sailors to the bulk carrier St. Dimitrios, which was also engaged in the rescue operation. A total of 25 crew were rescued from a 2,000 teu containership TSS Pearl which caught fire in the Red Sea after it sailed from Jeddah on 4 October.
The Orion Leader is managed by NYK Ship Management in Singapore and was built in 1999.

Oct 14 - Mari Jone

In April 2016, Vancouver-based Waterfront Shipping Company Ltd. (WFS) took delivery of the Mari Jone, the first-of-its kind MAN B&W ME-LGI 2-stroke dual-fuel engines that can run on methanol, fuel oil, marine diesel oil, or gas oil.  WFS had invited three shipping companies, Marinvest/Skagerack Invest (Marinvest), Mitsui O.S.K. Lines, Ltd. (MOL), and Westfal-Larsen Management (WL) to collaborate on the project and in December 2013 announced plans to commission three dual-fuel vessels - Mari Jone, Mari Boyle and Taranaki Sun. The Mari Jone was named in honour of Jone Hognestad who at the time had served as Waterfront's President for 17 years. We are very sad to report that Jone Hognestad died in a tragic accident in Pender Harbour this past weekend at the age of 67.  Our condolences go out to his family, friends and colleagues.

Oct 7 - CCGS Caribou Isle

CCG has taken important steps in reducing its emission output, starting with a biodiesel testing project and the launch of the next phase in the construction of the Government of Canada’s first hybrid electric vessel. Earlier this month, following the award of a contract to procure biodiesel from Windsor, Ontario based Sterling Fuels, CCG broke historic ground for the Government of Canada, becoming the first Government agency to trial a 20% biodiesel blend in one of its vessels, the CCGS Caribou Isle. Over the next months, various biodiesel ratios will be tested in order to enable the CCG to assess operational feasibility and technological compatibility of higher blend rates across various operational settings. This biodiesel test project will assist in advancing solutions to decrease emissions in the immediate term. In addition to testing greener fuels, the CCG is preparing for construction of a new hybrid electric Near-Shore Fishery Research Vessel (NSFRV) to reduces consumption of diesel. Following the design and engineering work for a vessel class fitted with a battery energy storage system, the CCG has issued a request for proposal to Canadian shipbuilders to start construction of one vessel. Canadian shipbuilders are welcome to learn more about this opportunity, by visiting the NSFRV Build Request for Proposal on CanadaBuys. The CCGS Caribou Isle operates out of Ontario and is a five-person crewed ship launched in 1985. It consumes 2,400 litres of fuel per day according to government documents.

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.