COS Weekly Newsletter - Friday, 24 July 2020


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          COS Weekly Newsletter
          Friday, 24 July 2020

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Local News


Port of Montreal dock workers set for 4-day strike starting Monday

Port of Montreal dock workers are set to walk off the job for four days next week as negotiations over a new labour contract drag on. Dockers have been without a labour agreement since Dec. 31, 2018. Negotiations had resumed recently after a ruling by the Canada Industrial Relations Board on essential services to maintain in the event of a strike. Work will cease Monday at 7 a.m. and resume Friday at 6:59 a.m. Union officials have sent a 72-hour notice confirming their intention to strike. The walkout will also affect operations at the port’s Contrecoeur terminal.

Prince Rupert receives approval on DP World terminal expansion

The Port of Prince Rupert has received final regulatory approval required for DP World to expand the Fairview container terminal to an annual capacity of 1.6 million TEU, up from the current 1.35 million TEU. The project is expected to be completed in late 2021 or early 2022. A second expansion project to boost Fairview’s capacity to 1.8 million TEU is planned for late 2022. The projects include an expanded container yard, additional on-dock rail capacity, and the purchase of an eighth gantry crane.

CN Rail’s second-quarter revenue falls 19%

CN Rail’s revenue fell by 19 per cent in the second quarter, due to the negative impact of covid-19 on industrial activity and consumer demand. Q2 revenues dropped by 59 per cent to $545-million, or 77 cents a share, from $1.36-billion or $1.88 in the same period a year ago. Revenue slumped to $3.2-billion, from $4-billion. CN’s operating ratio, a measure of cost versus sales, deteriorated to 75.5 per cent. Volumes of cargo fell by 16 per cent on average across all categories, with automotive shipments taking the biggest hit with a 72 per cent drop, and grain being the least affected with carloads declining by 3 per cent. CN has responded to the economic slump by laying off 20 per cent of its work force, making idle 700 locomotives and 20,000 rail cars, and closing freight yards and repair shops, and by opting to run longer and heavier trains to boost efficiency.

Port of Montreal embraces artificial intelligence to optimize logistics operations

The Port of Montreal is using artificial intelligence (AI) in the form of a new predictive tool that optimizes port logistics, letting the Port improve its operational planning and positively impact the transit times for containerized cargo in the supply chain, especially for rail freight. This AI solution aims to optimize freight train planning based on variables such as ship arrivals, rail car deliveries, storage capacity, workforce availability and more to achieve optimal fluidity. The project is headed by the MPA in partnership with terminal operators Montreal Gateway Terminals Partnership and Termont Montreal Inc., EI Systems and Canscan.

BCMEA and ILWU Canada Urge Continued Vigilance During COVID-19

The International Longshore Warehouse Union (ILWU) Canada and BC Maritime Employers Association (BCMEA) are urging continued vigilance on the waterfront in light of the recent increase in COVID-19 cases. The organizations are seeking to ensure the health and safety of waterfront workers, while ensuring that vital cargo continues to move through BC Ports.

Prince Rupert Port Authority Announces 2019 Green Wave Award Recipients

The Prince Rupert Port Authority (PRPA) has announce that five companies are being honoured for their outstanding participation in its Green Wave environmental incentive program in 2019. They include past recipients COSCO, Maersk, and BC Ferries, as well as two new recipients – Ocean Network Express and Pacific Basin. PRPA’s Green Wave program rewards shippers by offering discounted harbour fees to vessel owners who voluntarily invest in sustainable practices. Vessels are scored on air emission control and underwater noise reduction measures and allotted savings through a three-tier system.

Hub for ocean innovation pitched for Victoria

A business hub for the marine sector has been pitched as an anchor property for an under-used part of downtown, to be the launch point for a new innovation district. The Ocean Futures Innovation Hub would allow marine companies to share resources, provide mentorship to marine start-ups and act as an incubator for growth, according to proponents of the project. The project is a partnership between the City of Victoria, South Island Prosperity Partnership and marine sector companies, which have issued a request for proposals on the development of the plan.

Robert Allan Ltd. hits milestone: 90 years in business

Naval architecture firm, Robert Allan Ltd. Is celebrating 90 years as an active and growing business. Three generations of family ownership succeeded by 12 years of employee ownership and management has firmly established the company as a major force in the world of ship design consultancy. Although best known for the extensive work on high-performance tugboats, the company continues to be actively involved in many diverse design projects, including research vessels, fireboats, barges, crew boats, wind farm vessels, and shallow-draft push boats and barges.




Canadian Government highlights recent contract for construction of Joint Support Ships for the Royal Canadian Navy

The Government of Canada is calling attention to the importance of two recent contracts awarded for the full construction of Canada’s two new Joint Support Ships (JSS) to both the RCN and to the Canadian economy. Valued at $2.4 billion. This contract supports the ongoing construction of the ship’s early blocks, which began in June 2018, as well as construction of the newly designed blocks for the remainder of the ships. Work on these ships will create an estimated 1,000 jobs across Canada. The vessels will ensure that the RCN is well equipped for the future by being able to provide at-sea replenishment and supporting critical humanitarian and disaster-relief missions, both at home and abroad. The first new JSS, the future HMCS Protecteur, is expected to be delivered in 2023, followed by the second JSS, HMCS Preserver, in 2025.


US News


US port funding, project authorization bill moves forward

Congress is moving forward on passing legislation that would fund major navigational projects at the ports of Houston and New York and New Jersey. The new water resources legislation could also give ports back a larger share of the import taxes they collect on containers so they can use it for infrastructure maintenance. Assuming the legislation is approved by the full chambers, Senate and House leaders could begin hashing out a final bill to send to the president as soon as this fall.


International News


New sulfur detecting drone to patrol Danish waters

A new sulfur sniffing drone has started checking the emissions from ships operating in Danish waters. By flying into the ship’s exhaust gas plume, the drone can use its “sniffer technology” to register the sulfur content in the ship’s fuel. These data are immediately available to the Danish Environmental Protection Agency, which can then follow up if a ship is emitting too much sulfur. Provided by the European Maritime Safety Agency, the drone will operate in a specific area north of the Great Belt strait. Several Danish authorities have cooperated to get the drone from EMSA in action above Danish waters. The test project is being carried out in a collaboration between the Ministry of Environment and Food of Denmark, the Danish Environmental Protection Agency and the Danish Maritime Authority. The drone began operations over Denmark from July 1 and will remain in the area through October 31.

Chinese government and China State Shipbuilding teams up on smart ships

China’s Maritime Safety Administration of the Ministry of Transport has signed a deal with the Corporation (CSSC) to cooperate in the field of smart shipping and environmental protection. The agreement seeks to accelerate the development of smart ships, smart transport management systems, and technologies as well as marine environmental protection technology, maritime policy, technical regulations research and training. They will also work on designing maritime policies and strategies promoting decarbonization of the shipping industry.

EU supports 19 green maritime projects

The European Union is supporting Member States’ shift to greener fuels for transport with new funding commitments. They have allocated almost €142 million for a total of nineteen environmentally friendly projects. A number of projects involve converting vessels so they may run on liquefied natural gas (LNG), as well as installing the corresponding infrastructure in ports. The funding is part of the plan aimed at boosting the EU’s economic recovery.


Upcoming Events


July 29 - COS Operations Committee Meeting

Aug 3 - COS Office Closed Civic Holiday

Aug 5 - COS Board of Directors Meeting



Ship of the Week



The construction of the new Oasis-class cruise ship, Wonder of the Seas, by French shipbuilder Chantiers de l’Atlantique has been delayed due to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the shipbuilder’s operation. Delivery of the ship is expected to take place once the pandemic is brought under control. The vessel was originally scheduled to debut in 2021 in Shanghai, China, as the world’s largest cruise ship. Wonder of the Seas is the third ship from the class to be built by Chantiers de l’Atlantique following the delivery of the Harmony of the Seas and Symphony of the Seas in 2016 and 2018 respectively. It is the fifth Oasis-class ship in total.
  • Length: 362m
  • Width: 66m
  • Capacity: 2,732 crew members, 6,780 passengers