COS Weekly Newsletter - Friday, 21 August 2020


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          COS Weekly Newsletter
          Friday, 21 August 2020

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The Chamber of Shipping is moving offices!


Effective August 31, we will be located at:


Marine Building

640 - 355 Burrard Street

Vancouver, BC 

V6C 2G8




Local News


Longshore workers to return to work in Montreal

The Montreal Port Authority and the Longshoremen Union CUPE Local 375 have announced a truce, bringing an end to the strike. The 1,125 longshore workers at the Port of Montreal will be back at work at 7:00 a.m. on Sunday, August 23 to provide berthage and cargo handling services in all Port of Montreal terminals. The MEA and the Longshoremen Union have agreed to a seven-month truce during which no pressure tactics will be used, a period that will allow both parties to continue negotiating while fully maintaining port operations.

Voluntary shipping protection zone trial for Haida Gwaii set for fall

The Haida Nation, federal government and shipping industry will be launching a voluntary shipping protection zone trial for the west coast of Haida Gwaii this fall. Vessels weighing 500 tonnes or more will be asked to observe minimum distance of 50 miles from west coast. Vessels going between Pacific Northwest ports will be asked to observe a 25 nautical mile distance and cruise vessels will be asked to observe a 12 nautical mile distance. Tugs and barges will be exempt. The trial will start in September and run for a period of one year.

Swiftsure Bank voluntary slowdown off to a strong start

Detailed vessel tracking analysis to determine participation rates of large commercial vessels during the first two weeks of the Swiftsure Bank slowdown has shown that over 80 per cent of vessels have indicated that they intended to participate in the slowdown during this timeframe.

Halifax port sees jump in cargo traffic due to strike at Port of Montreal

The Port of Halifax has seen an increase in cargo traffic in recent weeks, as they try to accommodate shipments originally intended to route through the Port of Montreal. Halifax has seen the dramatic increase because it is one of the few ports on Canada's East Coast that has the equipment, crews, and access to rail lines to handle the extra cargo. The port authority is using all its available space to house the additional cargo and the Port is prioritizing its regular customers who move cargo through the port continue to receive reliable, efficient service.

Seaspan Shipyards starts sea trials for CCGS John Cabot

On August 18th, the future Coast Guard vessel the CCGS John Cabot began sea trials, marking a major milestone for this third Offshore Fisheries Science Vessel (OFSV) built by Seaspan Shipyards under Canada’s National Shipbuilding Strategy (NSS). The vessel was officially launched just 6 weeks ago at Seaspan’s North Vancouver shipyard. The time span between launch and sea trials is considered best-in-class in the shipbuilding industry and echoes the ship’s 97 per cent complete status at launch. On completion of sea trials, the future CCGS John Cabot will be prepared for an anticipated delivery to the Canadian Coast Guard in September before sailing to her home port St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador where she will take her place in the Coast Guard fleet alongside sister ships CCGS Sir John Franklin and CCGS Capt Jacques Cartier.

BC Ferries add more than 750 sailings above contract, makes face masks mandatory on all sailings, and reports first quarter net loss of $62 million

The BC Ferries has reported a first-quarter net loss of $62 million dollars as they deal with significant impacts from the COVID-19 pandemic. In comparison, the company reported net earnings of $12.2 million over the same period in 2019. The decrease in revenue was partially offset by reductions in operating expenses of $36.7 million compared to 2019’s first quarter. As a result of travel restrictions and a significant drop in ridership, BC Ferries cut down its service on many of its sailing routes. At the onset of the pandemic ridership reduced by 75 to 80 per cent in a matter of days. The organization has also announced that they will be adding 769 sailings above contract on its minor and northern routes, with the new schedule matching pre-COVID-19 service levels. These extra sailings seek to benefit many coastal communities while also serving the interests of the general public. Effective August 24, BC Ferries passengers will be required to wear face masks at all times while aboard a ferry and when inside a ferry terminal. Previously, passengers were only required to wear a face covering when in a situation where it was difficult to maintain physical distancing.




Canada-US border to remain closed through Sept. 21

The federal government has announced that they will extend the Canada-US land border closure for another 30 days until Sept. 21. The closure to non-essential travel has been in place for months, but with Covid-19 caseloads still high in many US states, the two governments have mutually agreed to continue restricting movement across the border. Essential workers will still be able to cross by land despite the restrictions. The Canadian government is also seeking to reduce the movement of Americans through Canada. US travellers headed for Alaska have been limited to five crossings in Western Canada and they must commit to taking a direct route.  

CBSA Guidance amid Port of Montreal Labour Disruption

The Government of Canada has issued a notice to provide guidance for vessels during the ongoing labour dispute in Montreal. The notice indicates that the following options are available until further notice:
  • Vessels wishing to discharge containers must report and present to the Port of Halifax, NS or Port of Saint John, NB or
  • Vessels may wait at anchor at the Port of Montreal until the port reopens for normal operations
See the full notice here:


US News


US aluminum tariff on Canada now in effect

US President Donald Trump's 10-per-cent tariff on Canadian aluminum imports has officially taken effect, despite Canada's plan to hit back with significant countermeasures. Trump claimed that the American aluminum business has been "decimated" by Canada, a claim that has been disputed by companies on both sides of the border. Canada plans to impose $3.6 billion in countermeasures on a large number of aluminum products, though the specifics have not yet been announced.


International News


Wakashio breaks apart with 166 tons of fuel oil aboard

Japanese bulk carrier, Wakashio, ran aground on a reef in Mauritius last month and has now broken apart with 166 tons of fuel oil still on board. The vessel struck a coral reef on July 25, spilling about 1,000 tonnes of fuel oil and endangering corals, fish, and other marine life in what some scientists have called the country’s worst ecological disaster. Authorities have deployed booms to help with oil absorption around the vessel. Most of the oil from the vessel has been pumped out, and authorities were working on removing the final 166 tonnes.


Upcoming Events


Aug 27 - Institute of Chartered Shipbrokers Speaking Seminar – Crewing Crisis

Sept 7 - COS Office Closed – Labour Day

Sept 10 - VMAA Board of Directors Meeting

Sept 30 - PACMAR / NANs Committee Meeting



Ship of the Week



AUGUST 21 – MV Starnes

MV Starnes, the first of two CSL-Hartmann joint venture ships built at Chengxi Shipyard was delivered on August 10, 2020. The self-unloading ship successfully completed all dockside and sea trials and is now sailing to Hamburg via the Suez Canal. The vessel can self-discharge at a rate of 5,500 tph and is equipped with a 90.5 m boom, which is one of longest and largest ever built for a self-unloader. The self-unloading system can handle lump sizes up to 300 mm and free flowing materials with a bulk density in the range of 1.2-3.5t/m3.
  • Speed: 14 knots
  • DWT: 40,000