COS Weekly Newsletter - Sunday, 28 February 2021


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          COS Weekly Newsletter
          Sunday, 28 February 2021

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Local News


ILWU urges more safety measures for small tug operators

The International Longshore Workers Union (ILWU) is demanding that Transport Canada puts formal safety management systems in place for undersized tugs and undermanned fleets along the BC coast and rivers.  This follows the tragic incident of the tug Ingenika that capsized south of Kitimat on Feb. 11, resulting in two fatalities. The union is also requesting regulations for vessels under 15 gross-tons with sufficient oversight, including manpower and an enforcement budget, be established to ensure that operators follow any new regulations and procedures governing hours of work, risk assessment, training, communications and towing arrangements.

50 Year lease signed for Duke Point terminal

The Port of Nanaimo and DP World have finalized a 50-year lease agreement for the Duke Point Terminal. The new agreement will provide a long-term port-to-port solution for short-sea shipping between Nanaimo and Vancouver, as well as expand direct access from Nanaimo to global import/export markets via direct calls to Asia.  The signed agreement is an important first step in the planned terminal expansion, currently estimated at $105 million.  The project includes an extension of the existing berth from 182 metres to 325 metres and the construction of a new truck gate, warehouse and administration and maintenance building. The existing diesel quay crane will be replaced with two 16 container-wide electric quay cranes. The terminal’s container yard storage area will be increased, creating an overall terminal operational capacity of 280,000 TEUs.  The project is funded by a mix of public and private investment, including a $46.2 million federal contribution through the National Trade Corridors Fund (NTCF) and a $15 million provincial contribution as a part of B.C.’s Economic Recovery Plan.

WGEA seeks Vancouver Port governance overhaul

Western Grain Elevator Association (WGEA) has raised concerns the Port of Vancouver's conflict as both a regulator and  operator.  The WGEA is urging the federal government to update the Canada Marine Act that governs port authorities to ensure that the port runs efficiently while keeping costs in check.  Among the WGEA asks are an adequate appeal and independent dispute resolution process.  The WGEA’s members are Canada’s biggest grain companies who handle more than 90 per cent of the nation’s bulk grain exports.

Birth of calf draws 3 SRKW pods to Haro Strait

Three orca pods gathered in the waters off Vancouver Island on Wednesday to celebrate the birth of a new southern resident killer whale (SRKW) calf. Members of the J pod, K pod and L pod were in the waters of the Haro Strait for the calf which marks the fourth calf for 30-year-old L86. The calf, now dubbed L125, is estimated to be between one to one-and-a-half months old, based on its size and the fetal folds still visible in pictures of the animal. This calf is the fourth calf born within the last two years for this endangered species.  It is unusual and exciting for the separate pods of the endangered species to gather in one area, and it is rare for southern resident killer whales to be in this region at all during the winter season. The Center for Whale Research is now monitoring the orcas in the area, and is interested in seeing if the three pods stick together or separate in the near future.

Corvus Energy partners with Seaspan Ferries for new ESS battery system

Corvus Energy has reached an agreement with Seaspan Ferries Corporation for the first delivery of Corvus’ Blue Whale ESS, to be installed onboard one of their cargo ferries. Blue Whale is a new large-scale energy storage system (ESS)—a groundbreaking battery system designed for large ships with high zero-emission energy demand, such as cruise ships, large Ro-Pax and Ro-Ro ferries, and cargo ships. Its unique rack-free design of stacking modular blocks provides the industry’s highest volumetric battery room energy density and, consequently, maximizes a ship owner’s passenger or payload opportunities. With three and a half times the previous energy capacity, Seaspan will be able to expand the use of battery power beyond spinning reserve to also provide fuel-efficient peak shaving, load balancing, and even zero-emission operation on battery power only. For its inaugural field trial, the Blue Whale battery system will be installed on board Seaspan Reliant, a roll-on/roll-off drop-trailer cargo ferry built in 2016 with service between the Lower Mainland and Vancouver Island. VARD Marine, BC Hydro and the University of British Columbia will provide integration design, shore charging from the grid infrastructure, and emissions reduction studies respectively. The Blue Whale field trial and all key maritime authority certifications are expected to be completed by Spring 2022, at which time commercial deliveries will commence.

Western Group acquires BST and forms Interhold

Western Group and BST Transportation Group (BST) have announced that Western has acquired BST’s warehousing and transload business located in Richmond, BC., effective February 16th, 2021. The acquisition serves as the foundation for Western’s newest wholly owned subsidiary, Interhold Distribution Ltd. (Interhold).

Port of Prince Rupert achieves shore power milestone

On February 2nd COSCO Shipping Lines (Canada) Inc. participated in the commissioning test of the shore power installation at DP World's Fairview Terminal in the Port of Prince Rupert.  The CSCL Summer operated off the shore power system for the 24-hour test and appears to have drawn about 27805 kWh (27.805mWh), averaging 1.183MW per hour.  The Port of Prince Rupert thanks all those on the commissioning team and their ability to adapt to various restrictions in place. The team spanned the continent from Prince Rupert to Vancouver to North Carolina, and includes the team at DP World and crew of the CSCL Summer.  Other organizations that participated in the project include BC Hydro, Moffat & Nicol, SEL Schweitzer, Magna IV, Pacific Northwest Electric, Crown, and Schneider Electric. Funding for the project came from the Environment and Climate Change Canada's Low Carbon Challenge Fund and Climate Smart.  Full operation of shore power is expected to start later this year or early 2022.

Fatalities in tug incident near Kitimat

Two men are dead and one man has been rescued after a tugboat capsized while underway with tow from Kitimat to Kemano. The RCMP say at 12:40 a.m. Thursday, the Joint Rescue Co-ordination Centre received an emergency beacon from a tugboat in the Gardner Canal near Kemano, about 75 kilometres southeast of Kitimat. An RCMP West Coast Marine vessel stationed in Hartley Bay responded and recovered found one crew member and Canadian Coast Guard assisted and found the second member, sadly both were unresponsive. The RCMP indicated the third crew member was spotted by a private helicopter on the shore and has been transported to local hospital.

BC waterfront gets new harassment and violence prevention training

The federal Minister of Labour, Filomena Tassi, along with representatives from the BC Maritime Employers Association (BCMEA), the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) Canada, and the Ending Violence Association of BC (EVA BC), has launched a new harassment and violence prevention training program that will benefit British Columbia’s 10,000-person waterfront workforce.  The BCMEA and its partners have co-developed a comprehensive training program bringing employers, unions and anti-violence experts together to provide training and education in support of safer, more respectful workplaces for everyone. This includes an emphasis on supporting populations most at risk of experiencing workplace harassment and violence, including LGBTQ2+ and Indigenous communities.

Pinnacle Renewable Energy to be acquired by Drax Group

Pinnacle Renewable Energy Inc. has announced that it has entered into an arrangement agreement with Drax Group plc and its wholly-owned subsidiary, Drax Canadian Holdings Inc., pursuant to which Drax will acquire all of the issued and outstanding common shares of Pinnacle in an all-cash transaction valued at C$831 million, including the assumption of net debt and Pinnacle's non-controlling interests in its joint ventures. Pinnacle is the second largest producer of industrial wood pellets in the world and the transaction plans to reinforce Drax's position as the worlds' leading sustainable biomass generation and supply company.

Port of Vancouver issues statement on deferral of cruise season

The Vancouver Fraser Port Authority (VFPA) issued a public statement on the Government of Canada's decision to defer the cruise season to February 29, 2022.  The VFPA is working with other Canadian cruise ports through the Association of Canadian Port Authorities (ACPA) to develop consistent national safety protocols for the resumption of cruising across Canada as soon as conditions allow. The Vancouver cruise industry is a key contributor to the local economy, stimulating $3.17 million in direct economic activity for each ship that calls at Canada Place, and $2.2 billion of total economic impact.

Crew fatally injured by large wave off Nova Scotia

A crew member of a bulk carrier, MV Giulia, has died and three others injured after the ship was hit by a large wave several hundred miles off the coast of Nova Scotia. The vessel was about 320 nautical miles southeast of Nova Scotia when it was hit by the wave. The incident comes as NOAA’s Ocean Prediction Center was tracking a strong low pressure system off the northeast coast of the U.S. that was forecasted to produce significant wave heights up to 52 feet. Transport Canada is reportedly investigating the incident, including whether or not it was in compliance with Maritime Labour Convention obligations.

Lafarge's Richmond plant capturing CO2 emissions

Lafarge Canada Inc.’s Richmond plant has reached a milestone in its goal of becoming the first cement plant in the world to have the technology to recycle carbon emissions from its cement production. They have now completed the second phase of its Project CO2MENT, the installation of the Svante CO2 capture unit. While the plant will only be capturing a small percentage of the CO2 it emits daily, the technology is a step in the right direction. The unit uses carbon capture technology to trap the CO2 – produced during the cement production and contained in its cement flue gas that’s connected to the kiln – and clean and filter it. This means the CO2 can be captured and, following the project’s next phase, re-used, creating the world’s first full-cycle solution to capture and reuse CO2 from a cement plant.

Strong wheat exports expected to continue

Canadian wheat exports are expected to remain strong in coming months. Canadian wheat exports excluding durum stood at more than 9.2 million tonnes through the first 24 weeks of the 2020-21 crop year, and increase of nearly 29 percent over last year. Through 24 weeks of the 2019-20 crop year, Canada’s non-durum wheat exports were a hair higher at 7.1 million tonnes. Canadian and American wheat is more competitive in world markets this year, especially with Russia limiting its wheat exports and slower exports from the European Union.

VFPA Add New Criteria for Harbour Due Discounts

Vessels calling the Port of Vancouver can received up to 47% off their harbour due fees through the Eco Action program, which rewards ships for performing above and beyond industry and environmental best practices.  Vessels can receive discounts for voluntary measures such as obtaining third-party environmental designations and using technologies that reduce emissions, underwater noise, or mitigate other environmental impacts.  As of January 1, 2021 there are three new ways that vessels can qualify for harbour due discounts outlined below.  A complete list of EcoAction criteria is also available in the 2021 Brochure.  Shipping companies are encouraged to review the list of criteria to see if their vessels are eligible to apply for additional harbour due fee reductions when calling the Port of Vancouver.

New 2021 EcoAction criteria

Recognition Level Benefits
  1. Environmental Ship Index (ESI) Noise Score
Bronze (23% discount) Reduction of above ground noise
  1. Noise-reducing propellers: Nakashima GPX Propeller, Nakashima Neighbor Duct Nakashima Composite Stator
Bronze (23% discount) Increased efficiency and reduced underwater noise from cavitation
  1. Combination of propeller technologies:Nakashima GPX Propeller & Nakashima Neighbor Duct or Nakashima GPX Propeller & Nakashima Composite Stator
Silver (35% discount)

Increased efficiency and reduced underwater noise from cavitation

Green Marine develops new performance indicator

Green Marine has broadened the scope of its North American environmental certification program for the maritime industry by adding a performance indicator to assess community relations. Green Marine already has an indicator for landside operations involving community impacts, but it primarily focuses on nuisances, such as dust, light, and noise. Developing this particular indicator presented a unique challenge as community relations can be difficult to measure tangibly. Ultimately, the criteria was jointly developed by two workgroups, one holding discussions in English and the other in French, which facilitated a better understanding of the different linguistic, geographical, and societal realities of community relations across North North America. The new community relations performance indicator will be optional during the first year of assessment. It will subsequently be mandatory for ports to obtain Green Marine certification.




Canada launches independent Net-Zero Advisory Body

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

Canada and US align on transportation and climate change

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

New Railway Safety Act measures approved

Transport Canada has announced that the revised Rules Respecting Key Trains and Key Routes, under the Railway Safety Act, have been approved and now:
  • require railway companies to develop a winter operation plan that is specific to each subdivision where higher risk key trains operate, which must be approved by a professional engineer;
  • require use of new technology to detect a broken rail in areas where it is not currently present;
  • strengthen track inspection (increased frequency and improved quality) and track maintenance requirements (i.e., ultrasonically testing replacement rail and improved record-keeping); and,
  • define a ‘higher risk key train’ as a train carrying large quantities of crude oil or liquid petroleum gases and prescribe speed restrictions for these trains.

Auditor General releases report on National Shipbuilding Strategy

The Office of the Auditor General of Canada has published its report on the National Shipbuilding Strategy and has concluded that the Strategy has been slow to deliver ships to meet Canada’s domestic and international obligations.  National Defence and the Canadian Coast Guard have put in place measures to maintain operational capabilities until new ships are delivered, but these interim capabilities are limited and cannot be extended indefinitely.  The impact of the delays and construction costs have been significant and media has reported that some vessels have seen a tenfold increase over original costs.  Public Services and Procurement Canada has responded to the Auditor General's report noting key improvements have been made to place the Strategy on a more viable path.

Minister of Labour issues statement on Port of Montreal negotiations

The Minister of Labour, Filomena Tassi, has issued a statement regarding the collective bargaining negotiations between the Syndicat des débardeurs, the Canadian Union of Public Employees, Local 375 and the Maritime Employers Association. The statement indicates two senior mediators that were recently added to the negotiations concluded after seven days of meetings that the gap between the parties is too significant at this time to conclude a collective agreement.   The mediators will remain in close contact with the parties and will reconvene the parties if positions change.  Read the Minister's statement here.  The 19-day strike in August 2020 ended with a seven month truce to negotiate a new contract by March 20, 2021.  As any strike mandate needs to be renewed every 60 days to ensure working conditions are respected, a strike vote was carried out this week and the results are yet to be announced.  The Port of Montreal states that the strike last summer cost wholesalers $600 million in sales over a two-month period.

Canada takes next step toward construction of offshore oceanographic science vessel for Canadian Coast Guard

Through the National Shipbuilding Strategy (NSS), the Government of Canada has taken steps towards construction of an offshore oceanographic science vessel (OOSV). A contract of $453.8 million has been awarded to Seaspan's Vancouver Shipyards for design to full construction. Construction of the OOSV will begin in spring 2021, with delivery expected in 2024. The OOSV will replace the CCGS Hudson, the Canadian Coast Guard's oldest and largest science vessel. The vessel will be capable of performing multiple tasks, including oceanographic, geological and hydrographic survey missions. This work will contribute to Canada's understanding of oceans and the impacts of climate change.

2021 measures to protect North Atlantic right whales announced

The Government of Canada has announced the 2021 measures to help protect North Atlantic right whales (NARW) from interactions with fishing gear and vessels in Canadian waters. To help prevent entanglements with fishing gear, Fisheries and Oceans Canada is building on last year’s measures by continuing to close fishing areas wherever and whenever North Atlantic right whales are present in the Gulf of St. Lawrence, Bay of Fundy, and Roseway Basin Critical Habitat. The Department will determine if NARW remain present in the closed area before deciding to extend a closure. To help prevent collisions with vessels, Transport Canada will be re-implementing its 2020 measures, including a restriction on vessel speed throughout much of the Gulf of St. Lawrence to protect areas where NARW are detected, and issuing fines to those who are not compliant with these measures. Transport Canada will also introduce a mandatory restricted area in and near the Shediac Valley and expand a speed limit exemption in waters of less than 20 fathoms to all commercial fishing vessels.

Proactive Vessel Management Focus of OPP Forum

This week, the Chamber participated in the 3-day Winter 2021 Oceans Protection Plan Forum. The Chamber’s President joined senior representatives from the Council of the Haida Nation and Transport Canada to speak about the planning, implementation and collaboration associated with the trial Voluntary Protection Zone (VPZ) for shipping. This trial aims to increase the distance commercial ships transit west of Haida Gwaii, providing for an adequate response time to a disabled vessel. The project represents a significant and unprecedented collaboration between the Council of the Haida Nation, the Government of Canada, and the maritime shipping industry, along with other advisors and partners, and supports commitments made by the Government of Canada and the Council of the Haida Nation to advance collaboration in the spirit of reconciliation. The VPZ trial is co-led by the Council of the Haida Nation (CHN) and Transport Canada (TC), operating under the collaborative governance structure established in the Reconciliation Framework Agreement for Bioregional Oceans Management and Protection (RFA) and has been developed as part of the Proactive Vessel Management (PVM) initiative of Canada’s Oceans Protection Plan (OPP). Industry participation includes the Chamber of Shipping, the Shipping Federation of Canada, Cruise Lines International Association, the International Shipowners Alliance of Canada, and the Council of Marine Carriers. For more information, please visit this website.

New directors appointed to the Nanaimo Port Authority Board

The Minister of Transport has appointed two directors to the Board of the Port of Nanaimo filling two outstanding vacancies. Jeet Manhas who has served as Past Chair of the port authority as the Provincial representative, is now appointed as the Federal representative for this term. Shiva Dean, who has 15 years of international and maritime experience with A.P. Moller-Maersk Group and previous board experience as the audit chair of a Federal Crown Corporation in the maritime sector, is appointed from a recommendation from the International Trade Group of Users.

Air Force medevacs injured sailors 450 km off St. John’s coast

Royal Canadian Air Force medevaced two injured sailors from a foreign ship last weekend in a mission that lasted several hours. Tasked by the Joint Rescue Co-ordination Centre (JRCC) in Halifax, the Air Force received information mid-last week that there had been an injury on a vessel coming across the Atlantic. The 184-metre oil tanker was located around 450 km from St. John’s at the time of the mission. The injured sailors were in stable condition when help arrived, but needed to be medivaced to receive medical care.

Minister of Transport announces funding for abandoned boats program

The Minister of Transport, the Honourable Omar Alghabra, announced the most recent initiatives to receive funding for the assessment, removal and disposal of abandoned boats in British Columbia and Newfoundland and Labrador.  In this round of funding under the Abandoned Boats Program, $1,692,079 is being provided and will support the assessment of 44 boat removal projects and the removal of 51 abandoned boats.

TSB releases report on the Golden Cecilie incident

The Government of Canada has released the findings of the Marine Transportation Safety Board's investigation on the dragging anchor of the Golden Cecilie and subsequent collision with Green K-Max 1. On March 19. 2020, high winds caused the Golden Cecilie to drag anchor and collide with Green K-Max 1. The collision damage to both vessels above the waterline, and no pollution. The report can be found here.

Minister Jordan engages on Canada’s Blue Economy Strategy

The Government of Canada is developing a Blue Economy Strategy to grow our ocean sectors through job creation, inclusion and conservation. This strategy will harness opportunities on all three coasts to spur innovative ideas, create more jobs, leading to a more prosperous future for Indigenous and coastal communities. It will also position Canada as a world leader in the global blue economy. In the first week of the Honourable Bernadette Jordan, Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard roundtable discussions, she has heard about the importance of British Colombia's fisheries and coastal tourism from the Pacific region, the level of importance of having reliable, timely, and accessible data on our oceans from ocean scientists and professors and the need for collaboration between communities, first nations and industry to produce a strategy that considers economic, social and environmental factors. Roundtables and online engagement will continue until June 15, 2021.

Bill that would have lifted the ban on west coast Canadian oil tankers defeated 

Last week, the Liberals and NDP defeated Bill C-229, which would have lifted the ban on west coast Canadian oil tankers. The bill was introduced last year, and aimed to repeal Bill C-48, which was passed in 2019 and prohibits tankers carrying more than 12,500 tonnes of crude oil from stopping at B.C. ports between the northern tip of Vancouver Island and the southern tip of the Alaskan Panhandle.

Cruise vessels banned from Canada through to February 2022

The Government of Canada has announced two new Interim Orders, which prohibit pleasure craft in Canadian Arctic waters and cruise vessels in all Canadian waters until February 28, 2022. As a result of the orders, adventure-seeking pleasure craft are still prohibited from entering Arctic waters, passenger vessels carrying more than 12 people are still prohibited from entering Arctic coastal waters, and cruise vessels carrying more than 100 people are still prohibited from operating in Canadian waters. Pleasure craft used by local Arctic residents are not affected.


US News


First Jones Act-compliant wind turbine installation vessel

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

Vaccinations start for dockworkers at LA and Long Beach

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

Alaska lashes out after Canada extends cruise ban until 2022

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

USCG Cruise Ship National Center of Expertise Newsletter

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

Ships waiting at California ports hits record high

Congestion at the Port of Los Angeles and Long Beach has reached record highs, with queues of as many as 41 container ships waiting to go alongside. This does not include the 27 ships already at berth. When striking longshoremen repeatedly closed the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach for 10 days and eight days in 2002 and 2004 respectively, ship queues never exceeded 30 vessels, and today's situation is notably worse. The total container fleet currently in the Los Angeles/Long Beach area represents a capacity of no less than 579,100 TEUs.

FMC urges vaccines for dockworkers to be expedited

Through an open letter, the Federal Maritime Commissioners (FMC) is urging US president Joe Biden and his administration to emphasize the important role the maritime industry plays in maintaining the nation’s supply chain and expedite a vaccination program across the workforce. The letter highlights an upward trend in the number of cases of COVID-19 reported in the maritime sector, indicating that nearly nearly 2,000 US dockworkers have tested positive for Covid-19.  In addition to being prioritized for vaccinations, they also ask the President to ensure that the maritime workforce is given access to rapid testing as another tool to help minimize workplace disruption.


International News


Maersk Tankers and Cargill to join on bunker procurement partnership

Maersk Tankers and Cargill have formed a strategic partnership to combine their bunker volume. While the initial goal is to procure bunker fuel for Cargill and Maersk Tankers’ combined fleet of over 900 vessels representing annual bunker volumes of 3.5 million tons, the partnership will offer a new bunker procurement service to tramp shipping companies and trading houses. Launching April 1st, the increased scale and combined approach will give access to better prices and services, leveraging relationships with key suppliers in the world’s busiest bunkering hubs to ensure optimal service and bunker premiums.

Crew stranded off UAE to be repatriated four years later

The crew of an oil tanker beached off UAE, MT Iba, will be repatriated after being abandoned and stranded at sea for four years.  Alco Shipping, the owner of the vessel, hit financial problems and stopped paying salaries almost three years ago. The seafarers have been given a settlement for wages owed and they hope to be repatriated in March. Two cheques from a new buyer, Shark Power Marine Services, were handed over to the crew via the Mission to Seafarers charity, which has been negotiating on their behalf. They agreed to accept around 65% to 70% of the wages they were owed. Work is under way to assess the damage to the oil tanker when it broke anchor and drifted from the busy port, before beaching two and a half weeks ago. The seafarers have agreed to stay on to do essential work on the ship before it is towed to Dubai, where they will wait for the sale of the vessel to be completed.

Wallenius Wilhelmsen designing wind-propelled ro-ro ship

Wallenius Wilhelmsen has announced that they will be building, Orcelle Wind, the world’s first full-sized wind-powered pure car and truck carrier (PCTC). The vessel will have the capacity to carry 7,000 vehicles or a mix of cars and heavy machinery, and breakbulk cargo. Orcelle Wind could slash vessel emissions by as much as 90 percent compared with conventional vessels. The design is expected to be ready for contracting with a shipyard by mid-2022, with the finished vessel expected to set sail by 2025, subject to a comprehensive viability evaluation. The Orcelle Wind must meet regulatory standards relating to safety and expectations for technical and operational performance.

Maersk accelerates decarbonization strategy

Maersk has announced plans to launch the world’s first carbon-neutral liner vessel in 2023, seven years ahead of the initial 2030-ambition. The vessel will be a methanol feeder with a capacity of around 2,000 TEU and it would be deployed in one of Maersk’s intra-regional networks.  While the vessel will be able to operate on standard VLSFO, the plan is to operate the vessel on carbon neutral e-methanol or sustainable bio-methanol from day one. In line with its decarbonization strategy, Maersk aims to have commercially viable, net-zero vessels on the water by 2030, and to deliver a 60% relative reduction in CO2 emissions by 2030 compared to 2008 levels. However, with the latest announcement, the realization of these plans is likely to come even sooner.

IMO and WISTA launch Women in Maritime Survey

The International Maritime Organization (IMO) and the Women's International Shipping & Trading Association (WISTA International) have launched its first global survey on women in the maritime sector.  The survey will inform and support the implementation of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) that aim to increase the participation of women in maritime careers and promote a more diverse and and inclusive maritime sector.  The survey is to be completed by organizations before June 30, 2021.

ONE containership testing sustainable marine biofuel

Ocean Network Express (ONE) containership, MOL Experience, is trialing the use of sustainable marine biofuel as industry seeks to make supply chains more sustainable by reducing carbon emissions in the container shipping segment. The 4,803 TEU-capacity vessel was refueled with the biofuel at the Port of Rotterdam on November 22, 2020. The trial was organized by the sustainable cargo initiative GoodShipping, which claims the carbon-busting solution can deliver 80-90 percent well-to-exhaust carbon reduction compared to fossil fuel equivalents, and also eliminates virtually all SOx emissions. The biofuel was supplied by GoodShipping’s sister company GoodFuels.

IMO launches a year of action for seafarers

On February 16th the International Maritime Organization announced that it is making 2021 a year of action for seafarers, who are facing unprecedented hardship due to the COVID-19 pandemic, despite their vital role as key workers for global supply chains. The World Maritime Theme for 2021, "Seafarers: at the core of shipping's future" seeks to increase the visibility of seafarers by drawing attention to the invaluable role they play now and will continue to play in the future.  IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim said more Governments must step up to end the crew change crisis.

ZIM signs 12-year agreement with Seaspan

Haifa, Israel, headquartered ZIM Integrated Shipping Services Ltd. (NYSE: ZIM) has entered a 12-year agreement with Seaspan Corporation to charter in ten 15,000 TEU LNG dual-fuel newbuilds from Seaspan Corporation. Seaspan has ordered the vessels at South Korea’s Samsung Heavy Industries. They are anticipated to begin deliveries in the first half of 2023 and the ships will deploy on its Asia – US East Coast trade where it has an estimated market share of 9%.  The value of the agreement is in excess of one billion dollars.

Russia's export ban on logs will be far-reaching

Russia’s president has announced plans to ban the exportation of softwood logs and high-value hardwood logs as of January 1, 2022 and is also considering new regulations aimed at reducing the exportation of green softwood lumber. Reducing log and green lumber exports is hoped to stimulate further value-added processing within Russia and better control illegal logging.  Russia exported 15 million m3 of logs in 2020, which accounted for almost 12% of the global trade.  The changes to trade flows and upward pressure on log prices may pressure China to buy more lumber and value-added forest products.

Global food trade upended by container crisis

The ongoing container crisis has had significant impact on global food trade. Shipping empty containers back to China has become so profitable that many food shippers are having to fight for containers. The core issue is that China, which has recovered faster from COVID-19, has revved up its export economy and is paying premiums for containers, making it far more profitable to send them back empty than to refill them. The high freight rates may now be affecting the cost of some foods, with white sugar prices surging to a three-year high last month as an example.


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


February 26 - Grain de Sail

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

February 19 - Maxima

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

February 12 - Sparky

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

February 5 - Isle of Man Ferry

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