Ashcroft Terminals received a major investment of $9.2M under the National Transportation Corridor Fund towards rail and road infrastructure improvements. The investment will support a new rail link to Canadian National Railway’s main rail line, an extra rail track for the assembly of longer trains, and an internal road network under the rail line. Other works will include increasing electrical capacity, installing water treatment infrastructure, and installing lighting and security enhancements to provide safe and secure operations. The project is expected to have significant economic and employment benefits by creating over 250 jobs during construction.
The Honourable Marc Garneau, Minister of Transport, announced this week a major investment of $55.8 million for four projects led by the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority that will help local businesses compete by moving local goods to market, and by making improvements to port infrastructure.
These projects are expected to have significant economic and employment benefits by creating an estimated 550 jobs during construction and include the following:
The Government of Canada has announced that over $80,000 will be granted to remove two boats and assess 29 boats that litter the shores of British Columbia. Recipients receiving funding to remove abandoned boats:
Recipients receiving funding to assess abandoned boats:
Assessments help identify safety issues, environmental impact, recycling value and costs associated with removing an abandoned boat. Once an assessment is completed, applicants may apply for funding under the Abandoned Boats Program to have a boat removed and disposed. The Abandoned Boats Program will be allocated a total of $6.85 million in funding under the Oceans Protection Plan.
The Government of Canada has awarded at $3.7 million contract to ABS Americas, Houston, TX, to provide inspection and certification services to the Canadian Coast Guard fleet. The contract provides ABS with the authority to inspect and provide certification to ensure the Canadian Coast Guard fleet continues to comply with Canadian regulations. It also simplifies access to vessel inspections by having a single point of contact, as well as providing access to strong technical resources, such as computer modelling, advanced engineering and research, electronic databases and software.
The US Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA), within the Office of Management and Budget is seeking public input on how the Federal government may prudently manage regulatory costs imposed on the maritime sector. Multiple Federal agencies regulate the US maritime sector consistent with their statutory authorities. OIRA seeks public comment on how existing agency requirements affecting the maritime sector can be modified or repealed to increase efficiency, reduce or eliminate unnecessary or unjustified regulatory burdens, or simplify regulatory compliance while continuing to meet statutory missions. The request for information is meant to inform agencies’ development of regulatory reform proposals. All submissions will be made publicly available.
All-inclusive eastbound Trans-Pacific service contracts between ocean carriers and US importers to inland destinations are seeing increase of 5 to 25 percent, due to the higher trucking and fuel costs. The US trucking industry continues to grapple with increased volumes, more congestion resulting in fewer turn times, a severe driver shortage and the impact of the new electronic logging devices (ELD) impacting mid-range hauls of 200 to 300 miles. It cost US retailers up to 30% more to ship something via truck in April than it did last year.
Over the last few weeks China’s General Administration of Customs has stepped up inspection of everying from US vehicles, pork, fruits to logs. Chinese officials have not cited bilateral trade friction for any of the delays, but the timing of more rigorous environmental checks and quarantine procedures would say otherwise. China has denied rumours that it has offered a package of trade concessions and increased purchases of American goods aimed at cutting the US trade deficit with China by up to $200 billion a year. The second round of US-China trade talks continue today.
The US Coast Guard Marine Safety Center received its 14th application for Ballast Water Management System (BWMS) type approval for the OceanGuard Ballast Water Management System manufactured by Headway Technology Co., Ltd. USCG has only approved six of the 14 systems that have applied and have not approved a BWMS since May 2017.
In an effort to end the reporting burden for ships, the European Commission has adopted a proposal from 13 member states to increase the harmonization of ship reporting requirements when calling at ports within the EU. The initiative led by Denmark plans to reduce the administrative burden on the industry by establishing a common IT interface and limiting the reporting of the same information and sharing data between member states. This has been part of our advocacy. Canada needs to reduce this administrative burden to stay competitive and implementation would be much easier.
Star Bulk Carriers has purchased 34 ships in less than one month and now has the biggest fleet of dry bulk ships among the New York-listed shipping companies. While the latest $328M transaction is yet to be approved by shareholders, the acquisition of 15 operating vessels from Songa Bulk ASA will bring Star Bulk's total fleet to 108 vessels with an aggregate cargo-carrying capacity of 12.26 million DWT. Star Bulk is also acquiring three newcastlemax newbuilds from Oceanbulk Container Carriers (OCC), a company owned by Oaktree Capital Management. “The combined Songa and OCC fleet is on average two years younger than our existing fleet with a similar fleet composition. Star Bulk will continue to be a consolidator in the dry bulk industry and expect that the acquisitions will provide Star Bulk with further synergies and economies of scale,” said Star Bulk CEO Petro Pappas.
During the 51st Committee meeting of the Paris Memorandum of Understanding on Port State Control (Paris MoU) in Cascais, Portugal, from the 7-11 May 2018, it was agreed that the signatories would start an information campaign starting January 2019 to encourage timely compliance of the new maximum limits for sulphur in ships fuel oil, entering into force on 1 January 2020 through the issuance of issuing warning letters. A new concentrated inspection campaign (CIC) will be also be carried out jointly with the Tokyo MOU from September to November 2018.
Also note, high importance was given to the report of the Concentrated Inspection Campaign (CIC) on Safety of Navigation, including ECDIS1. The CIC was carried out from September to November 2017. The general conclusion was that the results show a good overall implementation of the requirements on board the ships inspected, although voyage planning remains an area of concern.
The Maersk Honam is scheduled to berth at the Port of Jebel Ali on May 22nd to finally begin the discharge of the intact containers nearly three months after the giant containership was hit by a major fire in the Indian Ocean. Operations are expected to take 4 to 7 days and the vessel salvor has asked for a salvage security in the amount of 42.5% of the cargo value plus an additional 11.5% required as a general average deposit. This means a shipper with goods worth $100,000 in a container faces a combined general average and salvage security bond bill of $54,000 to have the cargo released. Also MSC, Maersk Line's 2M partner, is requesting an amount of $750 per TEU to cover all additional transhipment, storage and on-carriage costs.
Western Stevedoring Company Limited and Grieg Star AS are pleased to announce that Western Stevedoring has purchased 100 percent of Squamish Terminals Ltd. from Grieg Star effective May 10, 2018. Squamish Terminals is a major break-bulk terminal situated at the north end of Howe Sound in the District of Squamish, British Columbia providing cargo handling services to market globally.
"This acquisition strengthens Western Stevedoring's continued commitment to the break-bulk sector in British Columbia's Gateway and expands the service options currently provided to our customers with greater capacity for the coordination of efficent service and consolidation of cargo," said Western Stevedoring's President, Brad Eshleman. "We have full confidence in the team at Squamish Terminals and look forward to building on their long-standing relationships with customers, partners and the community"
"Grieg Star has been the owner of Squamish Terminals for almost half a century. The hard work and dedication of the organization over these years have impressed us more than once. We are proud of what has been achieved over these years, but now is the right time for the temrinal to continue under new ownership. Western Stevedoring has the right focus and expertise to further strengthen the terminal, and we are confident it is in the right hands going forward" said Squamish Terminals Chair, Rune Birkeland.
CN Rail is buying 350 centrebeam cars to serve the growing demand from lumber producing customers across its North American network. The new-build, 73-foot riserless centrebeams, with a maximum load capacity of 286,000 pounds, are expected to be delivered starting in September. CN is also looking at an option to purchase or lease an additional 300 cars.
Ocean Networks Canada (ONC) and the Tsleil-Waututh Nation have formed a new partnership to monitor and improve the health of Burrard Inlet. The objective is to better understand the cumulative effects of climate change, industry, and development on environmental conditions in and around the inlet. The new partnership is supported by a $1.5 million investment by the federal government in scientific observing systems and training for Tsleil-Waututh community members. The systems include a state-of-the-art Internet-connected seafloor observatory and a mobile application that allows vessel operators to collect ocean data.
US sanctions on the direct or indirect sale, supply, or transfer to or from Iran of graphite, raw, or semi-finished metals such as aluminum and steel, coal, and software for integrating industrial processes are requiring carriers to review their services, operations and business relationships with Iran. Shipping lines serving Iran have a six-month window to leave or cease their operations in the country, following the announcement that the US is withdrawing from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), which in 2015 agreed to lift economic sanctions on Iran in return for the country ending its nuclear weapons programme. Some containers lines have already stopped taking bookings for certain cargoes that would be impacted by the sanctions program. Iran relies on seaborne trade for both imports as well as for sales of its goods apart from oil and the country had struggled with logistical difficulties before international sanctions were lifted in 2016. Iran’s port operators and shipping sectors, including top cargo operator the Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping Lines (IRISL) and oil tanker group NITC, will once again be blacklisted on Nov. 4. The US will separately re-impose sanctions on the provision of insurance and reinsurance, which had been another challenge for Iran in the past.