International Day of Mourning or Workers’ Memorial Day is recognized every year on April 28. The day’s purpose is to remember and honour those who’ve lost their lives in work-related incidents or to occupational disease. Although progress has been made in making workplaces safer for workers, more still needs to be done. For example, according to the most recent statistics from the Association of Workers’ Compensation Boards of Canada, in 2015, there were 852 workplace deaths in Canada. This is also a day to renew the commitment to improve health and safety in the workplace and prevent further injuries, illnesses and deaths. The Canadian flag will fly at half-mast on Parliament Hill and on all federal government buildings. Employers and workers will observe Day of Mourning in a variety of ways. Some light candles, lay wreaths, wear commemorative pins, ribbons or black armbands, and pause for a moment of silence at 11:00 a.m.
The salvaged wreck of South Korea's Sewol ferry finally made it to land, and was moved by module transporters at a port in Mokpo 410km south-west of Seoul. This came almost three weeks after the sunken ferry was raised from the depths. The Sewol sank on April 16, 2014, killing more than 300 people, most of them high school students on a school excursion. Inspectors will start searching for any remains of the nine victims who are still unaccounted for.
Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC) believes that a shipper's misdeclaration of hazardous cargo resulted in the fire that broke out on the MSC Daniela early this month while she was en route to Port Said from Singapore. The 13,800 TEU vessel was forced to re-route to Colombo where Sri Lankan and Indian vessels spent more than 12 hours extinguishing the blaze.
The Port of Seattle has kicked off its biggest cruise season yet with more than one million revenue passengers on 218 vessels, making Seattle the biggest cruise port on the West Coast. The Port of Seattle's renovated Pier 66 cruise facility opens this year and will serve as the homeport for Norwegian Cruise Line. This 15-year lease is estimated to generate $2.3 billion in total business revenue for the region, nearly 900 jobs and more tham $65 million in state and local taxes.
The federal and provincial government have reacted strongly to the Trump Administration's 20% tariff on Canada's softwood lumber exports to the US. The Honourable Jim Carr, Minister of Natural Resources, and the Honourable Chrystia Freeland, Minister of Foreign Affairs, released a joint statement that "the Government of Canada will vigorously defend the interests of the Canadian softwood lumber industry, including through litigation. In ruling after ruling since 1983, international tribunals have disproved the unfounded subsidy and injury allegations from the US industry. We have prevailed in the past and we will do so again." There is a commitment to working with the US to achieve a mutually beneficial solution. BC Premier Christy Clark who is currently in the midst of an election campaign, has retaliated by encouraging Prime Minister Trudeau to ban the export of US thermal coal through Canadian ports. Billionaire Jim Pattison, the biggest investor in Westshore Terminals Investment and major shareholder in Canfor has a lot to lose in this trade war.
We are pleased to announce that our President, Robert Lewis-Manning has been appointed to the Species at Risk Advisory Committee, which is a multi-stakeholder advisory body, established under subsection 9(1) of the Species at Risk Act with a mandate to provide advice on the administration of the Act. The first meeting of the Committee was held this week and included a ministerial round table with the Environment and Climate Change Minister, the Honourable Catherine McKenna. Pursuant to Section 127 of the Species at Risk Act, the Minister of the Environment and Climate Change must, at least once every two years, convene a round table of persons interested in matters respecting the protection of wildlife species at risk in Canada to advise the Minister on those matters.
Canadian Pacific (CP), and senior officials from the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority, the Montreal Port Authority, Global Container Terminals Canada, Montreal Gateway Terminals Partnership, DP World Canada, Logistec Corp. and Fraser Surrey Docks yesterday met at CP's head office in Calgary to discuss their commitment to working together in promoting Canada's largest and two most important gateways to the international supply chain. In February of this year, CP made significant changes to its international intermodal bench including the appointment of Jonathan Wahba as Vice-President Sales and Marketing, Intermodal and Grain.
The US Customs and Border Protection has published comments received to its notice of proposed modification and revocation of ruling letters relating to CBP’s application of the Jones Acton its trade website. The deadline for comments was April 18, 2017. As reported previously the key item of debate is the definition of vessel equipment that CBP has used in its coastwide trade rulings since the 1930s. Lobbyists for the maritime industry point to early statements by Trump cabinet officials, including Treasury Secretary Elaine Chao, in support of strengthening the Jones Act, but it remains unclear if the administration is willing to push forward a change opposed by American Petroleum Institute and others in the oil and gas sector.
Cruise ships, together with their passengers and crew, make a significant annual contribution to the Canadian economy – and cruise industry spending is increasing at a healthy rate in all three of Canada’s major coastal cruise regions – BC, Quebec and Atlantic Canada. The study, entitled The Economic Contribution of the International Cruise Industry in Canada 2016, prepared by Business Research & Economic Advisors (BREA) finds that the industry's total economic impact of $3.2 billion – including direct and indirect spending – increased 34% since 2012, attributed to gains in cruise line, passenger and crew spending, along with increases in business taxes such as those on food, fuel and retail items, and a favourable Canadian exchange rate. The 9% increase in passenger visits between 2012 and 2016 is about to be eclipsed by a 14% single-year growth forecast for 2017, ensuring further gains in cruise industry spending in the coming year.
Twelve shipping lines and two cruise lines are the recipients of the eighth annual Blue Circle Awards presented by the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority. The Blue Circle Awards recognize marine carriers that excel in environmental stewardship and attain the highest participation rates in the port authority’s EcoAction program. The program recognizes vessels that exceed the environmental standards for marine air emissions and underwater noise. This year's recipients are:
In celebration of Earth Day on April 21st, Global Container Terminals announced that preserving the planet is its priority in everything they do, from operating procedures to equipment deployed. A new Global Commitment seal serves as a visible pledge for a sustainable future. Eight new, electric cantilevered rail mounted gantry cranes and two ship-to-shore Megamax cranes at GCT Deltaport are among the first to bear the seal but moving forward, it will be placed on all new heavy iron GCT equipment that meets its environmentally friendly standards.
This week a video was shared of a crew member on board the Cheikh El Mokrani LNG tanker jumped from the deck of the ship to help a fellow seafarer in a lifeboat rescue a large whale entangled in a fishing net. It was happy ending thanks to the determined efforts of the crew. (Thanks to Lucky H. for sharing this story.)
The US Coast Guard's 2016 Annual Report on Port State Control (PSC) for the United States provides key statistics related to the enforcement of regulations under the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS), the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships (MARPOL), and the International Ship and Port Facility Security Code (ISPS). The 2016 report shows that despite seeing an increase in PSC activity in the US by 125 safety exams over 2015 figures, total detentions decreased significantly from 202 to 103 ships - the lowest in five years.
The Coast Guard Marine Safety Center received its fifth application for Ballast Water Management System type approval for the Ecochlor Ballast Water Treatment System manufactured by Echochlor, Inc. MSC will review the application for compliance with US Coast Guard regulations in 46 CFR 162.060. Still only three systems have been approved - Optimarin (Norway), Alfa Laval (Sweden), and OceanSaver AS (Norway). A decision on Sunrui's (China) application submitted on January 20, 2017 is still pending.
Ships calling Shanghai's Yangshan deepwater port are encountering significant delays as a result of several factors, including the alliance re-shuffle, bad weather and terminal capacity mismanagement. The average delay per ship is now up to 53 hours. A logistics operator has indicated that mainly the Asia-Europe, trans-Pacific, and Asia-Australia trade lanes have been affected resulting at one point this week over 100 vessels waiting outside Shanghai port. Changes to the vessel sharing agreements is expected to see two percent more vessel capacity and significant increases in ships size. Adding to congestion on the docks, many shippers are trying to load containers before an anticipated May 1st general rate increase.
The Canadian Marine Pilots' Association has released a report titled, "Marine Pilotage in Canada: A Cost Benefit Analysis." In 2014, Canada’s four not-for-profit regional pilotage authorities collected approximately $208 million in pilotage fees, a figure which effectively represents the total annual cost for the provision of pilotage services. For the first time since the Pilotage Act was enacted in 1972, this study provides a cost-benefit analysis of pilotage services in Canada. The combined safety and efficiency benefits result in an overall cost benefit ratio for Canadian pilotage of 21.9 to 1. This means that the $208 million spent on Canadian pilotage buys at least $4.56 billion in economic benefit to Canada. As such, it makes a net contribution of $4.3 billion every year to the economic well-being of Canada’s citizens –an average of $120 per person every year for each of Canada’s 32.6 million people.
Clear Seas has released a study of governance systems and practices for oil spill response in leading ports of other countries to identify possible options for improvement of the regimes in Canadian ports. Led by Dr. Trevor Heaver, Professor Emeritus at the University of British Columbia Centre for Transportation Studies, this research examines spill response policies and practices in seven ports in five countries including Seattle, Los Angeles and Houston in the U.S., and Southampton, Antwerp, Rotterdam and Hamburg in Europe.