COS Weekly Newsletter - Friday, 07 February 2020


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          COS Weekly Newsletter
          Friday, 07 February 2020

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Local News


Transport Minister orders trains to slowdown

Federal Transport Minister Marc Garneau has ordered all trains carrying a significant amount of dangerous goods on federal lines to slow down, in the wake of a CP crude oil train derailment in Saskatchewan. In the most recent incident, a freight train derailed in rural Saskatchewan and about 85 residents are being evacuated from the area. The train jumped the tracks about near Guernsey, roughly 115 kilometres southeast of Saskatoon. There are no reports of injuries. In December, about 19 cars of a CP train derailed in the same area, causing a major blaze and spilling 1.5-million litres of oil. The Ministerial order under the Railway Safety Act requires trans with 20 or more cars of dangerous goods to be limited to 20 mph in metropolitan areas and 25 mph outside these areas effective immediately.

Shore power takes priority in Victoria

The Greater Victoria Harbour Authority (GVHA) has applied to the City of Victoria for an extension to its master plan for the Breakwater District at Ogden Point to 2025. The extension will allow GVHA to refocus its immediate attention to establishing shore power for cruise ships at Ogden Point. The GVHA estimates shore power would result in a 51 per cent reduction in greenhouse-gas emissions from ships in port and 47 per cent reduction in all other emissions.

GCT gives $200,000 to support initiatives assessing cumulative effects in South Salish Sea

In response to the calls to action voiced by many Indigenous leaders at the Declaration Conference, GCT has established a $200,000 fund to support Indigenous led initiatives aimed at collaboration and increasing participation in the cumulative effects assessment. Declaration Conference, an initiative which brought together Indigenous, business and other government leaders. The Declaration Conference aimed to build a collective understanding of the principles of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. The conference highlighted potential opportunities and critical issues, including the need for an Indigenous led effort on cumulative effects as discussed by the panel, Sustainable Vision, Cumulative Effects and Long-term Trade in the Salish Sea.

New alert system aims to protect endangered B.C. killer whales

A new artificial intelligence technology that detects orca sounds underwater could help to protect endangered southern resident killer whales in the Salish Sea. The technology recognizes orca calls and sends real-time alerts to marine-mammal managers, who can use the information to try to prevent harmful collisions between whales and vessels. The new alert system is a collaboration between Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Google and California-based non-profit Rainforest Connection. The technology works by picking up signals from dozens of underwater listening stations concentrated in the southern resident killer whales’ critical habitat.

Province appoints special mediators to help end ongoing forestry strike

The provincial government has stepped into the longest coastal forest industry strike in history. Nearly 3,000 Western Forest Products’ employees and contracted workers at six Island manufacturing plants and timberlands around the coast have been on strike since July 1. The Province is bringing back mediators Vince Ready and Amanda Rogers with special powers under the Labour Relations Code to help bring the eight-month dispute between Western Forest Products and the United Steelworkers Local 1-1937 to an end. If an agreement is not achieved, the special mediators will have the authority to write recommendations to both parties and B.C.’s labour minister, and both sides will have five days to accept or decline the recommendations.

Port of Montreal's 1,125 dockworkers vote to strike again

More than a year ago, the Port of Montreal’s dockworkers, members of the Canadian Union of Public Employees, voted 99.5 per cent in favour of a strike, but to date no action had be taken. This week, they voted again, with 99.4% indicating support of a strike. The Canada Industrial Relations Board is in the process of determining which essential services should be maintained during the strike. The workers include heavy equipment operators, signalmen, ship’s helpers, electricians and mechanics. They are members of the Canadian Union of Public Employees, affiliated with the FTQ.

CN Rail workers ratify collective agreement focusing on employee fatigue

Rail workers have approved a three-year collective agreement with Canadian National Railway Co. Conductors and yard workers voted 91 per cent to ratify the deal, which covers roughly 3,200 employees represented by the Teamsters Canada Rail Conference. The new contract follows an agreement in principle reached in late November, which ended an eight-day strike that brought the railway to a near halt. The agreement is retroactive to July 23, 2019.

BC Ferries Orders 6th LNG-Fueled Ship

BC Ferries has placed an order for it 6th LNG-powered vessel from Polish shipbuilder Remontowa Shipbuilding S.A. The vessel is scheduled to go into service in the Southern Gulf Islands in 2022. The vessel will be identical to the three Salish Class vessels built by Remontowa for BC Ferries in 2016. The 107-metre Salish Class vessel will have the capacity to carry at least 138 vehicles and up to 600 passengers and crew. The project cost, including financing and project management costs, is approximately $92.3 million.


New Executive Director for Clear Seas

The Clear Seas Centre for Responsible Marine Shipping has appointed Dr. Paul Blomerus as Executive Director. He will be taking over from Peter Ellis in March of this year.  Dr. Blomerus has built two successful research clusters at UBC in clean energy and marine systems and has led large engineering and product development teams for Westport Innovations in Vancouver.

Jack Cunningham – Dec 1927 – Jan 2020

Jack Cunningham passed away at home on Jan. 28 surrounded by the love of his family and with his sense of humour fully intact. Jack and his wife Shirley had 8 children, 12 grandchildren & 3 great grandchildren. In 1966 he and his family moved from Montreal to Vancouver, where he established the Cunningham Group which included CTL Westrans and Compass Marine. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made In Memory of Jack Cunningham to the Order of St. John Palliative Care Foundation. A celebration of life will be held at 12:30pm on March 1, 2020 at the Shaughnessy Golf & Country Club.




Court Dismisses First Nations’ Challenges to TMX Pipeline

The Federal Court of Appeal has dismissed the legal challenge to Ottawa’s decision to approve the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion a second time. In a unanimous, 3-0 decision, the court dismissed four challenges to the approval filed last summer by First Nations in British Columbia. The decision paves the way for construction to continue on the project, though the First Nations have 60 days to appeal to the Supreme Court. The expansion project would triple the capacity of the existing pipeline between Edmonton and a shipping terminal in Burnaby, B.C., with the new pipeline carrying mainly diluted bitumen for export.

Federal Court supports marine security regulations 

The Canadian Maritime Workers Council, a coalition of unions representing 6,820 dock workers, including BC dockworkers submitted an application arguing that the Charter rights of waterfront employees are being violated by the screening process used to issue security passes. Justice Peter Pamel dismissed the council’s application, noting that there are limits on the scope of the government’s screening measures and that individual workers have the right to appeal if they are denied the passes.


US News


Clean Truck Rate to be debated in LA/LB

The Harbour Commissions from the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach will both consider a resolution to approve a proposed clean truck rate between $5 and $70 per TEU.  Zero and near-zero emission trucks would be exempt as the fee which is expected to be implemented in the latter half of 2020 once the ultra-low NOx engine emission standard and mechanism to collect have been established. The Pacific Merchant Shipping Association (PMSA) says a study on the economic viability of the fee requires significantly more analysis before it is implemented by the ports and that the impact would be felt hardest by the low-value export commodities.  The Clean Air Action Plan (CAAP) has established a goal of zero-emissions for drayage trucks serving the ports by 2035.


International News


Yantian Express Fire now thought to be caused by misdeclared charcoal

Germany's Federal Bureau of Maritime Casualty Investigation (BSU) has released a report indicating that the container fire aboard the Hapag-Lloyd ship Yantian Express last year was likely caused by a misdeclared cargo of charcoal. The fire broke out on January 3, 2019 and resulted in was only extinguished after extensive efforts on January 26, 2019. The vessel was then towed to Freeport in the Bahamas, for inspection.

China reneges on commodity deals, further impacting global trade

Several Chinese companies have walked away from purchase contracts due to the spread of coronavirus. Many are sighting force majeure -- meaning they are reneging on deals as the virus constrains their ability to take deliveries, though many of the claims are being refuted. The cancellations are among the first known cases of the legal clause being invoked in commodity contracts due to the epidemic. China is the world’s biggest consumer of most raw materials, and disruptions in its purchases create havoc across global supply chains. Now, while global markets bounce back from initial fears over the impact of the virus, the fallout in commodity trade is only worsening as Beijing keeps swathes of the country under lockdown and restricts travel.

IMO’s lead on air pollution steps down

Edmund Hughes has stepped down as the head of the International Maritime Organization ’s (IMO) air pollution and energy efficiency division. Hughes had been at the IMO since 2010 and was on hand for some of shipping’s greatest changes in generations including the adoption in 2011 of Chapter 4 of MARPOL Annex VI (EEDI/SEEMP). He was also in the room when the Paris Agreement was adopted in 2015, was instrumental in the adoption of the initial IMO strategy on reduction of greenhouse gas emissions from ships in 2018 and, following five years’ work, he was able to see the entry into force of the global sulphur cap six weeks ago before leaving his post. Hughes will be establishing his own consultancy business called Green Marine Associates.


Upcoming Events


Feb.12 - COS Board of Directors Meeting

Feb.17 - Family Day | COS Office Closed

Feb.19 - VGE Board Meeting

Feb 21 - Liner Committee Meeting

Feb.26 - PACMAR/NANS Committee Meeting

Feb.27 - Vancouver Shipping Lunch

Feb.28 - COS Annual General Meeting

Mar. 4 -  Regional Canadian Marine Advisory Council Meeting

Mar. 5 - VMAA Board of Directors Meeting

Mar. 6 - IIMS Canada Conference Canada

Apr. 3 - IMDG/TDG Dangerous Goods Training Course


Ship of the Week



FEBRUARY 7 2020 - Sakigake

The Sakigake is a tugboat which is owned by NYK and operated by its subsidiary Shin-Nippon Kaiyosha. The vessel is Japan’s first LNG-fueled ship, and she just celebrated the milestone of her 100th bunkering.
Length:    37.2m
Width:     10m
Built:        2015
GT:          272t
SDW:      263t