COS Weekly Newsletter - Friday, 03 April 2020


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          COS Weekly Newsletter
          Friday, 03 April 2020

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Local News


Tonight, give a hoot! Ships to sound 7pm whistle in Support of Key Health Care and Transportation Workers

In solidarity with the movement to thank health care workers in British Columbia who are on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic and key marine transportation workers who continue to safely deliver people and goods, the ships at anchor in British Columbia will be sounding their whistles tonight at 7pm.

International demand for Canadian grain shipments on the rise

Canadian grain is in high demand as shippers try to feed a growing appetite from mills and governments seeking to shore up staple reserves amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Grain shipments at the Port of Thunder Bay doubled year over year in March, with vessels loading 200,000 tonnes last week and higher volumes expected to continue. Demand for wheat and durum at flour mills and pasta plants around the world is on the rise as customers stock up on staples, partly in preparation for extended lockdowns triggered by steps taken to contain the novel coronavirus. Shipments are expected to remain high through the May. Containerized grain, which includes chickpeas, beans, lentils and other "specialty crops" bound largely for India and China, are dropping along with other container shipments, however.

China to allow some Canadian canola seed exports to continue

China has said it will allow some Canadian canola seed exports to continue, provided the amount of foreign material in those shipments is limited. The decision comes in the wake of a year long trade dispute in which Beijing blocked canola seed shipments from Richardson International and Viterra Inc citing pest concerns. China will allow imports to continue for shipments containing less than 1% foreign material such as straw or chaff, though no agreement has formally been announced.

Review Panel submits report of Roberts Bank Terminal 2

The Review Panel established to conduct an environmental assessment of the proposed Roberts Bank Terminal 2 Project has submitted their report to the Minister of Environment and Climate Change Canada. The report is a culmination of several years of extensive assessment, including public and indigenous consultation. The report has been posted to the Canadian Impact Assessment Registry, available here:  

Two cargo carrier’s anchors entangle in Plumper Sound windstorm

Two ships’ bumped in Plumper Sound after one was reported to have dragged anchor and struck the other. No injuries or pollution has been reported from either vessel. Transport Canada is conducting follow-up inspections.




Cargo ship denied entry into Halifax port over COVID-19 concerns

Cargo ship, Siem Cicero, has been denied entry into Halifax's port by the Public Health Agency of Canada after crew members showed symptoms of COVID-19. The ship was denied entry under the Quarantine Act to prevent the potential spread of the virus or any disruption of the supply chain at the port. The vessel came from Germany and is carrying automobiles. Public Health of Canada is monitoring the situation and has advised that the vessel will not be allowed to enter port until 14 days after the last date symptoms appeared in the crew.


US News


Non-essential cargo piles up at US ports

The US port system may be facing a major backload of containers, with some of the largest ports along the US East Coast now searching for available land to boost temporary storage capacity on or off terminal grounds. The demand for storage space is growing as some retailers and manufacturers fail to pick up containers because warehouses are full or closed due to not being deemed essential service providers responding to COVID-19, or because retailers have requested delayed deliveries at distribution centers.


FMC Investigating supply chain impacts of COVID-19

The Federal Maritime Commission has issued an order authorizing Commissioner Rebecca Dye to identify operational solutions to cargo delivery system challenges related to Coronavirus-19. The Order allows her to form one or more FMC Supply Chain Innovation Teams to support the efforts. The Commission’s mandate is to ensure an efficient and economic transportation system for ocean commerce, and they are now seeking to convene new Supply Chain Innovation Teams to address current challenges.


US Navy Relieves Commander of USS Theodore Roosevelt following Letter Leak

The Commander of the US Navy aircraft carrier, USS Theodore Roosevelt has been relieved from his post after a letter asking the Navy for stronger measures to control a coronavirus outbreak onb0oard the ship was leaked to the public. In the letter, Captain Brett Crozier urged the navy to take decisive action by removing over 4,000 sailors from the ship and placing them in isolation. Over 100 individuals on the ship have tested positive for the virus so far. The letter was reportedly sent through the chain of command but Crozier did not safeguard it from being released outside the chain, leading to his removal.


US Customs and Border Patrol no longer granting import duty extensions

US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has indicated that it is no longer considering requests from importers to delay paying duties, which would have helped cargo owners’ cash flow through the COVID-19 pandemic. After notifying the trade community that they would be accepting requests last Friday, the decision was abruptly reversed yesterday.


International News


Wilhelmsen group gets new CFO

Torbjørn Wist will join the Wallenius Wilhelmsen group as CFO in October 2020, replacing current CFO Rebekka Glasser Herlofsen. Wist is leaving Scandinavian Airlines (SAS), where he is currently CFO, to join the ro-ro carrier. Before joining SAS, Wist held leadership positions at Telenor ASA, Greenhill, Merrill Lynch, and Salomon Brothers.

Singapore eases up on crew change restrictions

Singapore had suspended crew changes during the COVID-19 pandemic, amid a heightened risk of imported cases resulting in increasing infections within the country. The suspension is being lifted for those crew members that have completed their work contract on the ships and no further extension of the contract on board is offered. A crew change may also be permitted if any of the crew members is found to be medically unfit to perform tasks on the vessels or for compassionate reasons, such as the death of a family member, necessitating the crew member to catch a flight out of Singapore.


Seafarers on Maersk Ship Test Positive for COVID-19 in China

Seven crew members on board a Gjertrud Maersk containership have tested positive for COVID-19 in China. The crew members who were feeling unwell on board the were evacuated after the vessel berthed at Ningbo, China on March 26, 2020. Five of the seafarers have been confirmed with COVID-19, including four who were reported to be asymptomatic, the spokesperson said. The other two have tested negative. The affected seafarers are all reported to be in stable condition.


Holland America Cruise Ships to dock in Florida

Two Holland America cruise ships will be docking at Fort Lauderdale in Florida, where most of the 2,500 passengers will disembark. 45 severely sick passengers will remain on board; nine people suspected to have COVID-19 will go to a Broward Health hospital while foreign nationals will board buses directly to an airport before flying by charter planes back to their home countries. 97 The nearly 250 Canadians aboard to vessels will be repatriated to Canada.



Upcoming Events


Apr 10 - Easter Friday - Office Closed
Apr 13 - Easter Monday - Office Closed

Apr 14 - ICS Board of Directors Meeting
Jun  8 - VGE Golf Tournament


Ship of the Week


APRIL 3 – Arrow Park III

The Arrow Park III, a new cable ferry vessel will enter service this week. It will operate on an inland ferry route across the junction of Upper and Lower Arrow Lakes at Arrow Park, about 22 km south of Nakusp on Highway 6 in southeastern BC. The vessel has completed its final testing and is part of a $27.9 million contract with Waterbridge Steel of Nakusp to design and build four new cable ferries for inland routes.
These vessels are used on services operated by the BC Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure, not BC Ferries. Cable ferries coupled with electrification can reduce the total operating and maintenance costs of a service over the lifespan of the vessel. No propellers are used to navigate the vessel as it utilizes cables — one drive cable and two guiding cables — that pulls the ferry in and out of the terminals.