The ECHO Program has released the results of the first week of the vessel slowdown Trial (August 7 to 13) which saw a total vessel participation rate of 59%, with 55 of 94 piloted vessels reporting participation through the Haro Strait vessel slow down area. The primary reason recorded for non-participating vessels this week was a concern of not meeting schedule. In total, agents flagged 59 of 94 transits as potential candidates for participation and 55 of those participated, indicating that pilots were able to successfully carry out agents requests 93% of the time.
More information on the vessel slowdown trial can by found here.
On August 15th The Vancouver Fraser Port Authority released its 2017 mid-year statistics for trade through the Port of Vancouver. Overall cargo through the Port of Vancouver has increased four per cent to 69 million metric tonnes (MMT) over the same time last year with mid-year records in bulk grain and containers.
Container quantities (measured by TEUs or twenty-foot equivalents) increased by 9.6 per cent compared to mid-year 2016 to a record 1.6 million TEUs as a result of the strengthening economy as well as global demand for Canadian products shipped in containers and Canadian demand for consumer and manufacturing goods from Asia. Strong overseas demand for Canadian grain products resulted in a steep increase in wheat, canola and specialty crop exports, which include pulses and lentils (up 55 per cent). This is the Port of Vancouver’s sixth consecutive year of record mid-year volumes of bulk grain at 12.5 MMT in 2017, a 12.9 per cent increase over mid last year.
Schneider Electric Canada, a world leader in shore power technology, has announced the Port of Montreal Shore Power solution for the new Alexandra Pier is now successfully commissioned. On Saturday, August 12, the Holland America Cruise Ship Veendam shut down her diesel engines after docking at the new Alexandra Cruise Terminal in Old Montreal. The ship was connected to the electrical power grid to provide the necessary power to the ship while in port. In doing this, all air pollution caused by the ship's diesel engines was effectively eliminated. The total cost of the project is $11 million with funding coming from the federal government, the provincial government as well as the Montreal Port Authority. The Montreal Port Authority estimates that the shore power project will eliminate upwards of 2,800 tonnes of green house gases annually. Schneider Electric is a world leader in shore power solutions, with over 50 deployments in North America alone. The Port of Montreal shore power solution represents the first cruise terminal deployment in Canada for Schneider Electric and is a significant demonstration of its capabilities to design and build a sophisticated solution incorporating international standards that enforce safety and interoperability for ships calling on the Port of Montreal.
The Federal Government has announced that the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) will lead two projects worth $500,000 that use new DNA-based technologies to reduce the quarantine testing time, helping to boost trade and economic competitiveness in the $240 million Canadian fruit tree industry. The first project will shorten the testing period of seeds, cuttings and bulbs imported into Canada. Scientists will use DNA technology to test for all viruses associated with imported plants which could reduce quarantine testing time by up to two and a half years. The second project streamlines the testing of strawberry plants. Multiple tests for viruses are required before exporting strawberry plants to foreign markets. The project will test for multiple viruses in a single test, dramatically reducing the time and cost to get plants to market. The Canadian strawberry plant industry is valued at 17 million.
On August 16, Ron McKinnon, MP for Coquitlam-Port Coquitlam and Peter Xotta, Vice President, Planning and Operations at the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority (VFPA) announced a federal contribution of $250,000 to the VFPA towards a project to assess real-time information on the supply chain performance for all rail cargo moving to and from the Port of Vancouver. The port authority launched the Supply Chain Visibility Project in 2015. The Government's contribution will fund a concept phase that will focus on measuring the performance of the grain and fertilizer sectors, while also addressing data quality issues. By analyzing railcar activity data in the Lower Mainland, the port authority's Supply Chain Visibility Project contributes to three objectives of the Asia-Pacific Gateway and Corridor Transportation Infrastructure Fund. These include improving the efficiency of the national multimodal transportation network; enhancing transportation infrastructure safety, security and quality of life; and, improving the connectivity of intermodal interfaces.
The captain of a U.S. navy warship that lost seven sailors in a collision with a commercial container ship in June will be relieved of command and nearly a dozen others face punishment, the navy's second-ranking admiral said Thursday. Admiral William Moran, the vice-chief of naval operations, told reporters that the top three leaders aboard the USS Fitzgerald, which was badly damaged in the collision off the coast of Japan, will be removed from duty aboard the ship. They are the commanding officer, Cmdr. Bryce Benson; the executive officer, Cmdr. Sean Babbitt; and Master Chief Petty Officer Brice Baldwin, who as the ship's command master chief is its most senior enlisted sailor. The actions are being taken by Rear Admiral Joseph Aucoin, commander of the Navy's Seventh Fleet, based at Yokosuka, Japan, because he lost confidence in the three, Moran said.
Atlantic Coast Shipping (ACS), a newly-formed shipping company plans to start trading in the near further with a domestic RoRo/container vessel to be deployed on a weekly cabotage route between the Port of Miami and the Port of Newark. The launch of the new service is consistent with the Marine Highway program that considers the movement of goods by sea to reduce road traffic air pollution and congestion on the I-95. The company will also start a regular caribbean container feeder service between Jamaica, the Domincan Republic and the Bahamas. The first sailings are to start in mid to late November.
Rear Adm. Mark Buzby, a retired Navy Officer was sworn in as the administrator of the Maritime Administration by US Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao. Buzby has previously served as president of the National Defense Transportation Association, a global association of transportation and logistics professionals. The agency has been tasked with promoting waterborne transportation and integration with other segments of the system, and the developement and maintenance of a US merchant marine that can carry a portion of the US waterborne commerce and capable of service in time of war or national emergency. Rear Adm Buzby is a career naval officer with more than 34 years of service.
A new speed record for reaching the North Pole has been set by Russia's nuclear icebreaker 50 Let Pobedy, making the journey from Murmansk to the North Pole in just 79 hours. During the transit, the vessel hosted a conference dedicated to Artic issues with a key topic being the economic worth of developing year-round navigation of the Northern Sea Route. In the past 40 years, 124 surface vessels have completed the journey, of which 111 of were done by Russian ships.
The first 6 months of 2017 has seen Global container port throughput grow by an estimated 6.7% and is on track to hit over 6% for the year to reach a 6 year high, its stongest showing since 2011. While all regions recorded postive growth, South Asia ports reported the strongest rate of 9.3%, while the Middle East trailed behind at 3.5%. In the main regions, China and the United States ports had the highest first half growth at 8.4% and 8.2% respectively. Among the top 30 ports, notable gains were reported by Ningbo (14.4%), Guangzhou (11.7%) Hong Kong (10.5%) and Shanghai (9.6%).
The Baltic Exchange's main sea freight index, tracking rates for ships carrying dry bulk commodities, rose on Friday on higher rates across larger vessel segments and supramax. The overal index, which factors in rates for capesize, panamax, supramax and handysize shipping vessels, was up 13 points, or 1.04 percent, the highest in four months.
The Isle of Man registered Supramax bulk carrier Catherine Manx is part of a package of 5 ship purchases announced by Pacific Basin Shipping Ltd. last week. The package include three recently built Supramaxes, one new Supramax to be delivered in 2018 and one recently built handysize.
Built by Tsuneishi Shipbuilding, Zhoushan, PRC, in 2014 Owned and operated by LTU Management, Douglas, Isle of Man, UK LOA 190m Beam 32m GRT 32,360 tons DWT 57,964 MT Class NK Flag: Isle of Man, UK
Privately held Uglands Rederi, headquartered in Grimstad, Norway, was established in 1930 by ship owner Johan Ugland. Following his death in 1960, his sons Johan and Andreas Ugland assumed control and today, his grandson, Knut N.T. Ugland, is the sole owner of the company. The fleet currently comprises 17 bulk carriers, 5 tankers and 2 offshore service vessels supported by business interests in the operation of tugs and barges. Registered owner and manager of Catherine Manx, LTU Management, is a division LT Ugland Shipping based in the Isle of Man.
Situated in the Irish Sea, the Isle of Man is not formally part of the UK but is a self-governing Crown dependency and makes its own laws and sets its own taxes. A full Maritime Convention nation with a Shipping Register that has existed since 1786, the Isle of Man is also a prominent international finance centre and offshore insurance centre with stringent regulatory controls under its own Financial Supervision Commission. The Isle of Man ship register is now the 12th largest in the world and continues to grow with some 60% of its registered tonnage being under Asian control.
The Isle of Man Steam Packet Company Limited claims to be the oldest continuously operating passenger shipping company in the world, celebrating its 187th anniversary this year. The company provides freight, passenger and vehicle services between Douglas in the Isle of Man and five ports in the UK through its subsidiary Manx Ferries.
Under the ownership of Pacific Basin, Catherine Manx will be renamed Pelican Island.
Ship of the Week contributed by Capt. Stephen Brown, West Pacific Marine Ltd.