The World Cup Final last Sunday between Germany and Argentina broke all social media records thereby underlining the huge world wide audience for the match. The winning goal scorer Mario Gotze and Golden Ball winner Lionel Messi were most talked about. As the German team claimed victory, it celebrated on its official social media pages with a photograph of the team with the German Chancellor Angela Merkel and her husband (above) which was collectively liked more than 250,000 times on Facebook. Germany is to issue a stamp celebrating its team's victory in the Football World Cup – it was revealed that five million were printed before the final match was even held – now that’s confidence.
Despite Lionel Messi’s entreaties to Pope Francis, Pope Emeritus Benedict had the last laugh even though he is reported never to have attended a football game in his life. However, speaking of Pope Francis, he surprised everyone during his address from the Vatican last Sunday by expressing his support for seafarers worldwide. "Today we celebrate Sea Sunday. I turn my thoughts to seafarers, fishermen and their families. I urge Christian communities, particularly the coastal ones, to be attentive and sensitive towards them," Pope Francis said during his address. "I call on the chaplains and volunteers of the Apostleship of the Sea to continue with their commitment to the pastoral care of these brothers and sisters. I entrust all, especially those who are in trouble and away from home, to the maternal protection of Mary, Star of the Sea." He also called on those who work for the well-being of seafarers and their families to "be the voice of those workers who live far from their loved ones and face dangerous and difficult situations."
The National Energy Board announced this week that it has deferred the deadline for its final report to cabinet until Jan. 25, 2016, a delay of seven months, to allow Kinder Morgan complete further studies into the routing of the proposed new pipeline through Burnaby Mountain. The City of Burnaby continues to refuse to meet with Kinder Morgan or to provide site access or permits. Oral hearings on the project are now scheduled to begin in July 2015. Under the original schedule, the board’s report was due July 2, 2015.
The Port of Prince Rupert issued a press release following the grounding of the Japanese Panamax bulk carrier Amakusa Island on Monday evening off Prince Rupert. The vessel was shifting under pilotage from Ridley terminals to anchorage at the time of the incident and was refloated some four hours after the grounding with the assistance of a high tide and tugs before being safely anchored. The Transportation Safety Board is investigating the incident in which two ballast tanks were ruptured.
The PMA and ILWU were back to the business of trying to negotiate a contract this week as pressure on BC’s container terminals remains particularly heavy as a consequence of cargo diversions and the beginning of peak season for imports. The Mayor of Los Angeles brokered a cooling off period last weekend with three harbour trucking companies and their striking drivers while the LA Harbor Commission looks into allegations related to worker safety, poor working conditions and unfair labor practices. The drivers are actually attempting to affiliate with the Teamsters union who continue their attempts to “organize” trucking companies across the US. Of some concern is a ratcheting up of pressure by ILWU locals related to local disputes on the Columbia River where it remains to be seen how far they will use the big picture negotiations to exert leverage on grain terminals from where they remain locked out.
In statistical terms, intermodal traffic into North America increased by over 8% year over year in Q2 2014, after expanding only 2.6% in Q1, at least in part due to an acceleration of imports ahead of the west coast contract negotiations. CN Rail intermodal volume is up 15% year over year with U.S. bound cargo through PMV and Prince Rupert so strong that CN has resorted to issuing strict equipment allocations to ocean carriers.
The Long Beach Board of Harbor Commissioners has approved a $858 fiscal year 2014-15 budget that includes $579 million in capital expenditures. The major cost items are the replacement of the Gerald Desmond Bridge to allow the biggest container ships to gain access along with redevelopment of the Middle Harbor container terminal.The budget also includes plans to spend a further $30 million on environmental projects.
Effective 7:00 am Monday, July 21st, 2014, the Clark Drive Overpass will open to inbound container drayage truck traffic destined for CENTERM ONLY. Container drayage trucks bound for other destinations will be directed to exit at Commissioner Street.
Outbound vehicles may continue to exit port property via any of the Vehicle Access Control System (“VACS”) gates at Commissioner Street, Clark Drive and/or Heatley Avenue.
Transport Canada will be undertaking a review of the Canada Transportation Act and has appointed a six-member advisory group that will be led by the Honourable David Emerson. The purpose of the review will include a focus on Canada's rail-based supply chain for all commodities and review governance and services delivery models for port and pilotage authorities. Recommendations from the review expect to be directed towards achieving a "commercially based, market-driven multi-modal transportation system." The outcome of the review must be provided to the Minister of Transport within 18 months. A discussion paper is available at: http://www.tc.gc.ca/eng/ctareview2014/discussion-paper.html.
Ms. Marcella Szel has agreed to serve as one of the Advisors and has subsequently resigned from Port Metro Vancouver's Board of Directors.
The Province of British Columbia has released its conclusion on the airshed assessment conducted in Kitimat in October 2013. The study looked at the potential cumulative impact of the various projects planned for the region together with the anticipated increase in marine traffic in the Douglas Channel. The study shows that the industrial growth will not compromise the airshed provided that emission standards are adhered to.
The wreck of the Costa Concordia was successfully lifted this week from the under-sea platform it has been resting on for the past year in one of the biggest maritime salvage operations in history. If all goes to plan, next week she will be towed to Genoa for razor blades. After striking a reef off the Italian island of Giglio in January 2012 and subsequently capsizing with the loss of 32 people, the wreck was hauled upright in September 2013 and left to rest on a bed of six platforms since. Taking advantage of calm summer weather, the vessel was refloated by pumping air into purpose built and positioned sponson tanks attached to the port and starboard sides of the vessel – see the tank arrangement above right). We will cover the voyage to Genoa next week.
A consortium led by Royal Boskalis Westminster has won a $768 million reclamation project to develop a new Port of Singapore 65m TEU “megahub”container terminal in Tuas on the west coast of Singapore. In addition to Boskalis, the successful consortium comprises Van Oord, Hyundai, Samsung and Penta Ocean. Singapore plans to ultimately relocate the current terminals in Brani, Keppel, Tanjong Pagar, Pasir Panjang Terminal 1 and Pasir Panjang Terminal 2 to the new site, which is expected to open in 2027. Reclamation is expected to complete in 2018.
Holding symbolic yellow umbrellas and accompanied by their parents, more than 30 student survivors of April's ferry disaster this week marched 30 kms to the South Korean parliament to press demands by victims' relatives for an independent inquiry into the tragedy. Of the total passengers, 325 were teenaged students from the same Danwon High School in Ansan and only 75 survived. The march was primarily in support of the swift passage of legislation that would set up an independent inquiry into the causes of the tragedy but this is now stuck in parliament because of a split over the legal foundation of the proposed investigation. Some family members have embarked on symbolic hunger strikes to push their demands and have collected a petition with 3.5 million signatures calling for the bill to be adopted. A report by the state auditor published just last week said the sinking was a "man-made disaster created by negligence, corruption and greed.” Just this week, a helicopter participating in the search for those still missing from the Sewol crashed into a residential area of the city of Gwangju killing five firefighters on board.
The mishandling of a container in the port of Laem Chabang, Malaysia, this week resulted in dozens of people being hospitalized with nausea, eye and nose problems and in one case unconsciousness. Butyl acrylate is reported to have leaked from a dropped container on the Pearl River Bridge resulting in the vessel being ordered out of the port and away from the coast.
As the refugee crisis in the Mediterranean grows worse by the day, the 43m Phoenix 1 has been pressed into service by a Malta based philanthropist couple to rescue migrants from numerous overcrowded and hopelessly unseaworthy boats trying to make it to Malta or Italy. Phoenix 1 is manned by a professional crew, paramedics, rescue dinghies and drones to “provide an eye in the sky”. So far this year, more than illegal 63,000 migrants have arrived in Italy alone thereby adding to the major humanitarian crisis in that part of the world.
In a bid to show serious intent in dealing with the recent upsurge in Indonesian piracy, Malaysia has announced the deployment of the auxiliary warship Bunga Mas Lima in the east coast of Sabah Province (shown in green above far right). The vessel was previously assigned to anti-piracy patrols in supports of anti-Somalian pirate operations in the Indian Ocean. Over 2,000 tons of marine gasoil was hijacked from the tanker Moresby 9 off the coast of Malaysia just two weeks ago and just this week, pirates hijacked the Malaysian tanker Oriental Glory in the South China Sea, stealing its gasoil cargo before setting it adrift with a damaged engine.
After eight months of dithering, it has taken a new government in India to get that country’s High Court to bow to the inevitable and drop all charges against the 35 crew and guards from the US-based private security vessel Seaman Guard Ohio which was converted for commercial anti-piracy duties. The Indian Attorney General had filed a “First Information Report” against the crew and guards of the vessel for unauthorized entrance into Indian waters while being in the possession of firearms on October 13 2013.
Even after a senior court has annulled its formal blacklisted status in the ports of the European Union earlier this month, the National Iranian Tanker Corporation (NITC) seems set to continue its struggle with restrictions on shipping and insurance. NITC has always denied any links with the government of Iran but has relentlessly attempted to hide ownership by changing the names of its vessels and their flags to conceal true vessel identities. Under the interim agreement with the world’s major powers signed in November 2013, Iran’s exports should average one million barrels/day through to July 20 but in reality they have been well above that level for several months. The International Group of insurance clubs has also not been providing P&I cover to shipowners engaging in the temporarily permitted Iranian trade due to the lack of confirmation from the EU/US that cover will be able to respond beyond the expiry of the six-month temporary suspension measures on 20 July. (NITC is a subsidiary of the National Iranian Oil Company, which was privatized in 2009. As of 2011, NITC was owned by funds managing pensions for 5 million Iranians, is the biggest tanker company in the Middle East and 4th in the world.
If owners are not trading ships for free, they are getting pretty close to it. The Baltic Dry index closed down for the week on Thursday on 738 points compared to 836 points last week and 890 points the week previously.
Spot time charter
One week ago
Containers: Members of the Transpacific Stabilization Agreement (TSA) have been encouraged this week to implement a further General Rate Increase (GRI) and raise Asia-U.S. freight rates by at least $600 per FEU with effect from Aug. 1.
The BC Maritime Employers Association (BCMEA) will be host its inaugural BC Waterfront Games on September 13th at their Waterfront Training Centre located on Mitchell Island. This will be community event to showcase waterfront activity using heavy lift equipment in a competitive spirit. For more information visit: www.bcmea.com.
On the evening of September 13th the Royal Canadian Marine Search & Rescue will host a "Dinner & Dancing at the Seine Net Loft" event at the Britannia Shipyard. Tickets are $75 per person and include cocktails, buffet dinner and dancing. Proceeds will benefit the Richmond Marine Rescue Society, Station 10. For more information visit: www.rcmsar10.org. View Flyer
On September 17th the Chartered Institute of Transport in North America (CILTNA) will host a half-day session on "The Rewards and Risks of Western Resource Trade - Towards a Meeting of the Minds." The conference will bring together a broad range of perspectives with the goal of establishing a path forward to address legitimate concerns with growing trade in Western Canada.
The World Maritime Day fundraising dinner will be held this year on Wednesday, September 24th at the Royal Vancouver Yacht Club. Guest speaker will be well-known local marine artist and founding member of the Canadian Lifeboat Institution, John Horton. Proceeds from this event will benefit the Mission to Seafarers. See the attached flyer and registration form for more information. View: World Maritime Day 2014 Flyer and Registration Form.
The Cereals North America 2014 conference will be heldin Winnipeg from October 28-30 with focus on key topics in North American and global agriculture, including grain market outlooks, grain transportation, and key expanding agricultural regions such as the Black Sea and Brazil. Last year over 200 people attended the conference from a broad range of backgrounds. Early-bird sign-up for the conference ends September 5 – see the registration link http://www.cerealsnorthamerica.com/register
The Nautical Institute of British Columbia has published advance notification of its May 2015 Conference whose theme will be Energy Transport by Sea. See the flyer with program and sponsorship opportunity details (NIBC 2015 Conference Details).
The Nautical Institute’s London HQ is also seeking assistance in reaching a wider audience with its “Navigator” publication. The magazine is available for downloading free of charge via the link www.nautinst.org/navigator. The Chamber has also ordered a limited number of hard copies for monthly circulation.
Being a conservative European coastal shipping company operating a fleet of modern single deck, box hold and container fitted vessels, Arklow Shipping took an out of character plunge in 2011 when it entered the big league with an order for a pair of handysize bulk carriers. The second of these is Arctic Spray which was delivered to her owners earlier this year.
Built by Daesun Shipbuilding and Engineering, Pusan, South Korea Delivered in February 2014 Owned and operated by Arklow Shipping, Wicklow, Ireland LOA 182.0m Beam 30.0m GRT 22,868 tons DWT 34,905 MT 5 holds/hatches Cranes: 4 x SWL 30 tons Grab fitted Main engine: MAN B&W 5S50ME-B9.2 (Tier II) Speed 14 knots on HFO 22 tons/day Sister ship: Arklow Spirit delivered in 2013
The company’s origins go back to 1966 since when the company has ridden out good times and bad but always managing to maintain steady expansion. The fleet currently stands at 45 ships with a combined carrying capacity of some 6 million tons annually. The company is an acknowledged leader within the European dry bulk trades, with chartering teams based in Arklow, Rotterdam and Liverpool. Arklow itself is a town in County Wicklow on the east coast of Ireland just outside of Dublin. Today it is a thriving commuter town with a population of 13,000 people.