Friday, 02 March 2018 14:24

Rail service continues to suffer

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CN and CP rail services continue to struggle this winter causing a significant backlog of cargo throughout the supply chain and creating a heavy demand on anchorages throughout the west coast.  The excessive delays to shipments is preventing prairie growers from getting their crops to market.  The current Ag Transport Coalition reports indicate that CN and CP combined only supplied 32 percent of the hopper cars ordered last week.  CN supplied 17% while CP supplied 50%.  All commodities and container movements are impacted and fluidity of the gateway is challenged. CN is hopeful that an additional130 short-term leased locomotives and a 400 qualified conductors to be hired and trained during the first quarter will provide some relief.

Friday, 02 March 2018 14:15

HMCS Calgary spills fuel

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Last weekend the HMCS Calgary spilled 30,000 litres of fuel in the Strait of Georgia between Nanaimo and Parksville. The spill happened while crews aboard the vessel were transferring F-76 fuel internally. F-76 is a naval fuel used in compression ignition engines, naval gas turbines and ships' boilers for steam raising and is similar to kerosene, lighter than water and quickly evaporates.  Canadian Coast Guard has conducted air, sea and land-based searches and have found no evidence of the fuel on the shorelines. The spill was likely caused by human error, but a full investigation is underway.

Friday, 02 March 2018 14:08

Victoria approves new dry dock

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Victoria city council has given unanimous final approval for a new graving dock that will be capable of servicing vessels up to 170 metres in length. The $50-plus million project at Victoria Harbour's Point Hope Maritime shipyards still requires a lengthy federal review.  The economic spinoffs expect to bring 200 new jobs at wages that start near $100,000. 

Friday, 02 March 2018 13:59

Reach Foundation honours Norman Stark

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Lois E. Jackson Kinsmen Centre for Children was officially opened this week with Reach Foundation chair Dennis Horgan, who served as master of ceremonies.  The three-storey, 20,000-square-foot-centre on 47th Avenue adjacent to the Ladner Pioneer Library will allow the Reach Child and Youth Development Society to help even more children and their families. An inclusive playground was officially opened and a special memorial plaque was unveiled in the community room in honour of late Reach Foundation director Norman Stark.


The memorial plaque includes a carved oar. Painted on the oar is an orca whale with abalone inset by
Tsawwassen First Nation Chief Bryce Williams. The paddle signifies Stark’s extensive involvement in the port and the shipping community. The paddle also represents both a journey and moving forward towards a common goal. A paddle goes hand-in-hand with a canoe, which symbolizes teamwork. In addition, the painted captain’s wheel signifies the skipper or in this case Stark’s leadership. The orca symbolizes family, community and protection and his connection to Reach.

Friday, 02 March 2018 13:49

Capt. Marshall appointed to PPA Board

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The Honourable Marc Garneau, Minister of Transport has filled the last position on the Pacific Pilotage Authority Board of Directors.  We are pleased to announce that Captain Jamie Marshall, Vice President of Business Developent & Innovation for BC Ferries, has been appointed for a four year term.

Friday, 02 March 2018 13:35

Federal Budget 2018

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The federal budget released this week saw more than $1 billion dedicated to buying up and protecting private land over the next five years, alongside other conservation efforts. The Government of Canada has committed $500 million to a nature fund to protect sensitive ecosystems, expand species protection and help Indigenous groups play a role in conservation efforts. An additional $167 million over five years will go toward the research and preservation of endangered whale species, including Southern Resident Killer Whales, North Atlantic right whales and belugas in the St. Lawrence estuary.


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The US has announced hefty new tariffs for imports of steel, at 25 per cent, and 10 per cent for aluminum that are to be implemented next week in his attempt to boost US manufacturers.  Details on whether all countries, including Canada, will face the steep tariffs on steel and aluminum have not yet been released. The European Union could be ready to present a response next week to the US' planned tariffs on aluminum and steel. Steel manufacturers expect that exports to the US could be cut in half. Transport stocks such as Maersk and DSV are down following the announcement.

Friday, 02 March 2018 13:18

Tacoma installs four new cranes

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The first set of four cranes arrived from China earlier in the week and have been offloaded at the Port of Tacoma’s Pier 4 terminal on the Blair Waterway. The 295-foot tall cranes along with changes along South Harbour will create one contiguous berth that could simultaneously serve two, super-post-Panamax container ships that have the capacity of 18,000 containers each. The new cranes can lift containers 165 feet above the pier and reach out to a span of 24 containers. The current cranes only have an outreach of 18 containers.

Friday, 02 March 2018 13:08

First TOTE LNG conversion completed

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TOTE Maritime Alaska has completed the first of four conversion periods that will see its two Orca class vessels equipped to use liquefied natural gas (LNG) as fuel. TOTE Maritime's North Star arrived in Anchorage last Sunday, completing her first voyage from Victoria Shipyards that outfitted her with two LNG tanks immediately behind the bridge. In addition to the LNG tanks and accompanying infrastructure, the ship received critical engine updates necessary to utilize LNG as a fuel and underwent a standard regulatory dry-dock.  TOTE Maritime was the first maritime shipping company in the world to announce its intention to convert their fleet, enabling the engines to use both LNG and diesel and drastically reduce air emissions.

Friday, 02 March 2018 12:42

Taipei to implement sulphur cap early

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Chinese Taipei will be implementing a 0.5% sulphur cap on fuels used by internationally trading ships visiting their ports from 1 January 2019, one year earlier than the entry into force of the international Global Sulphur Cap in 2020.  Foreign vessels and flag ships sailing in international routes shall utilize the low sulphur fuel oil, or equipment or alternative fuels that achieve the equivalent effect of emission reduction when entering into the ports and offshore terminals under the jurisdiction of the Republic of China. The Ministry of Transportation and Communications has issued a notice to commence a period of public comments for drafting the adoption based on Article 14.1.3 and 4 of Annex VI "Regulations for the Prevention of Air Pollution from Ships" under "International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships (MARPOL)." 

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Indonesia has postponed indefinitely the application of new rules that would limit shipments of coal and palm oil exports to only national shipping companies. The rules that were due to take effect in April were intended to boost the role of Indonesia's shipping industry but had raised concerns among the coal and palm oil industries.  Indonesia is the world's biggest exporter of thermal coal and top producer of palm oil, and it is estimated that 95% of coal exports are transported by foreign-owned vessels. The Indonesian government has reportedly decided to delay the regulation by one year to give the Trade Ministry the necessary time to revisit the regulations.


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On 26 February, Japanese carrier MOL signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Russia's Far East Investment and Export Agency to cooperate in the development of the Northern Sea Route and the Russian Far East.  MOL has been participating in the Yamal LNG Project, world's first large scale energy project that exports cargoes through the Northern Sea Route, and its first ice-breaking LNG carrier for the project is to go into service at the end of March.  In a recent appearance before the Federal Assembly, President Vladimir Putin stressed that Russia’s Arctic fleet is and will remain the strongest in the world, as the country has been strengthening the military infrastructure in the region to secure its interests there.  He anticipates traffic through the Northern Sea Route past Russia will increase tenfold.

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