COS Weekly Newsletter - Friday, 31 July 2020


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          COS Weekly Newsletter
          Friday, 31 July 2020

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Local News


Montreal workers strike, terminals close due to violence

The main container terminal operators at the Port of Montreal has served notice of a complete shutdown of their operations for one day in response to violent incidents involving striking dockers. The shut down began this morning at 7:00 am. Normal operations are to resume Saturday, August 1st at 7:00 am. Violence is said to have broken out, reflecting rising tensions at the port. The announcement follows an announcement from the Montreal Longshore Union CUPE 375 earlier this week that a second, 24-hour strike would start immediately after the four-day strike they had earlier this week. The 24-hour strike began at 05:59 today and will end at 05:59 on Saturday. Terminals were planned to be closed for all activity during this separate 24-hour strike.

CIBC exec appointed to lead Crown entity focused on Indigenous project investment in Alberta

The Alberta government has appointed CIBC executive, Alicia Dubois, to lead a Crown corporation that will provide $1-billion in loan guarantees to Indigenous groups seeking to buy into resource and infrastructure projects such as pipelines. Dubois is currently the vice-president for Indigenous markets at CIBC, and will become CEO of the Alberta Indigenous Opportunities Corp., or AIOC, on Sept. 1.

Canada’s rail traffic provides indicators on economic rebound

Rail numbers indicate that while consumers may be bouncing back quickly, producers may not be, especially those that are export-dependent as rail shipments have not shown significant improvement. For the first three weeks of July, CP’s carloads were down 12 per cent from the same period a year earlier; CN’s were down 10 per cent. Revenue ton-miles (RTMs) – a metric that takes into account both shipping volumes and distance transported – were down 12 per cent at CP and 16 per cent at CN. RTMs at both railways are little changed from mid-April, generally regarded as the economic low point of the crisis.




Minister Garneau launches a new call for proposals for abandoned boats projects through Canada's Oceans Protection Plan

The Minister of Transport, the Honourable Marc Garneau, has launched the fifth call for proposals for assessment and removal projects to be funded through the Abandoned Boats Program under the Oceans Protection Plan. Up to $1.6 million is available this year to help assess, remove or dispose of abandoned and wrecked small boats that pose a hazard in Canadian waters. All projects must be completed by March 31, 2022.

Investigation finds maintenance-related issues caused engine room fire on board vessel in Haida Gwaii

Transportation Safety Board of Canada (TSB) has released the finding of their investigation into an engine room fire on board the container vessel MOL Prestige in Haida Gwaii on June 18, 2018. The report indicates that maintenance related issues were the cause of the fire. Specifically, the transferring of cold fuel oil into a high temperature settling tank caused the water in it to boil under the surface of fuel oil, creating an overflow known as frothover. This led to the release of oil and fumes out of an opening at the top of the tank where a level indicator had been previously fitted, resulting in the fire. Additionally, the investigation found that equipment in the engine room was not maintained as required.


US News


Inland ports gaining popularity despite volume slowdown

Indications are showing that beneficial cargo owners (BCOs) have a strong interest in using inland ports, which allow BCOs to transport containers via rail or short-sea rather than moving goods and commodities to and from seaports via trucks, thus reducing costs and emissions. In South Carolina, rail traffic to Inland Port Greer and Inland Port Dillon was flat for the fiscal year ended June 30, despite a 3.4 percent decline in pier containers in the same period. Inland Port Dillon traffic rose 9.7 percent year over year to 32,453 containers, while Inland Port Greer’s volume fell 2.1 percent to 140,155 containers.


International News


Panama Canal resumes seasonal measures to reduce emissions and protect marine life

The Panama Canal is introducing season measures to protect marine life and reduce emissions from August 1 to November 30, 2020. Ships traveling to and from the Canal via the Pacific and Atlantic Ocean during this period must stay within designated navigation areas known as Traffic Separation Schemes (TSS), which decrease the overlap between vessels entering or exiting the Canal and migrating whales. Vessels traveling through these areas on the Pacific side of the Canal should also proceed at a speed of no more than 10 knots, a practice known as Vessel Speed Reduction (VSR).

Australia to inspect all box ships as crackdown on cargo securing begins

Australia is launching a new inspection campaign that will target cargo securing on containerships. The decision is direct response to containers being lost overboard in the waters off the coast of Australia. Lost containers have been responsible for significant marine pollution and the country is seeking to reduce incidents of lost containers in the future.


Upcoming Events


Aug 3 - COS Office Closed Civic Holiday

Aug 5 - COS Board of Directors Meeting

Aug 12 - Pacific Pilotage Authority Annual General Meeting

Sept 30 - PACMAR / NANs Committee Meeting




Ship of the Week



July 31 – MG Kronos

Pinnacle Renewable Energy has broken the world record for the highest quantity of wood pellets carried in a single vessel. The panamax vessel, MG Kronos, was loaded with 64,527 tonnes on for its journey to the UK. The vessel was chartered by Cargill and planned with assistance from Thor E. Brandrud of Simpson Spence Young, was loaded at Fibreco Export Inc. on July 18, 2020. The previous record of 63,907 tonnes was held by Drax Biomass on the Zheng Zhi, loaded in Baton Rouge in March this year.
  • GT: 45252
  • SDW: 84790
  • Length: 229m
  • Beam: 35m