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An international search for a new CEO of Canadian National is underway following the news that Luc Jobin (left) is leaving the railroad effective immediately.  In the interim Jean-Jacques Ruest (right) has been appointed by the board to serve as interim president and CEO.  Ruest has been with the company for 22 years, the past eight as executive vice-president and chief marketing officer. Since Jobin's departure, CN has apologized for failing to keep grain shipments moving reliably by rail, and says it’s taking immediate steps to clear the backlog—including mobilizing more train cars and workers. The Chamber of Shipping has issued a statement on the backlog of all shipments and the need for improved fluidity and reliablity. 

Friday, 09 March 2018 13:49

SSB on STCW Requirements in Polar Waters

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Ship Safety Bulletin SSB No: 01/2018: How to Meet STCW Requirements for Masters, Deck Officers and Other Crew Members of Certain Canadian Ships Operating in Polar Waters was issued by Transport Canada this week.  The bulletin explains how masters, deck officers and any other crew member can meet certification and familiarization training requirements for those on certain ships operating in polar waters.

Friday, 09 March 2018 13:33

Provocative speech by Transas CEO

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At the Transas Global Conference held earlier this week in Vancouver, Transas CEO Frank J. Coles delivered a very forward-looking and thought-provoking opening speech envisioning a world with fewer middlemen and more standardized solutions. He also reminded the conference delegates of the need to address the Human Factor.  He states, "Until we change the attitudes to the business and the current maritime culture, technology remains just a patch, not a solution." The full video can be found at: https://www.youtube.com/embed/KWzYbTghcP8.

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Oceana Canada, Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO), Heiltsuk and Kitasoo/Xai’Xais Nations, Central Coast Indigenous Resource Alliance (CCIRA) and Ocean Networks Canada are partnering to explore areas of high ecological, cultural and economic significance – joined by Alexandra Cousteau, filmmaker, Oceana Senior Advisor and granddaughter of Jacques-Yves Cousteau – in the Central Coast of British Columbia from March 7-14, 2018. To watch live go to: http://protectoceans.ca/.

Friday, 09 March 2018 12:55

TMEP protests this weekend

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On Saturday starting at 10 am the Protect the Inlet protest is expected to be the largest demonstration so far against TransMountain starting at Burnaby's Lake City Way SkyTrain station and followed by a 2.5km march.  If you're a supporter of the pipeline, more info at the project's website, or sign the Independent Contractors and Businesses Association of B.C.'s ongoing pro-pipeline petition.  In the latest development, Alberta has threaten to cut off oil exports if obstruction to the project continues along with the debate on whether diluted bitumen floats despite studies that have already proved that it does but clean up would need to be much faster than a conventional spill.  

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The Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) has voted to launch a formal investigation focused on practices of vessel operating common carriers and marine terminal operators related to detention, demurrage, and per diem charges.  As the designated Investigative Officer, Commissioner Rebecca Dye will have broad authority to conduct Fact Finding 28, including the power to issue subpoenas, to hold public and non-public sessions, and to require reports. Under this Order, she is charged with making recommendations for Commission action including investigations of prohibited acts; enforcement priorities; policies; rulemaking proceedings; or other actions warranted by the record developed in the proceeding.  The final report of Commissioner Dye's findings and recommendations is due on December 2, 2018.


The US Coast Guard issued a bulletin to clarify NVIC 01-18 and Ballast Water Management System (BWMS) compliance date extensions. No extensions will be granted to a vessel with an installed alternate management system (AMS) and no extensions will be granted to install an AMS. However, the Coast Guard will consider granting extensions to vessels that intend to install a BWMS that is expected to receive type approval in the near future. There are six Coast Guard type approved BWMS at this time and USCG has received its ninth application for type approval for the BALPURE BWMS.

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The Singapore Transport Safety Investigation Bureau has now issued its report on the August 21, 2017 collision between the USS John S McCain and the Liberian flag tanker Alnic MC. The safety investigation determined that the USS John S McCain made a sudden turn to Port (left) into the path of Alnic MC because of a series of missteps that took place after propulsion controls were transferred. The collision happened within three minutes of the USS John S McCain turning to Port, and the actions taken by Alnic MC were insufficient to avoid the collision.

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Led by Denmark, 13 EU Member States have called on the Commission to revise it Reporting Formalities Directive to eliminate the huge administrative burdens created as a result of the failure to harmonize data and transmission requirements among the Member States.  The current directive introduced the concept of National Single Windows as a way to harmonize reporting obligations from ships to a single electronic system.  Not unlike here in Canada, masters and maritime carriers are required to report variations of the same data over and over and in different formats for every EU-port or sometimes even differently in ports in the same country.

Friday, 09 March 2018 12:07

New Super Eco Fuel being developed

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Oshima Shipbuilding is developing a new fuel which aims to meet all air emission regulations while simplifying the fuel system and reducing investment costs. The fuel would be compliant with SOx and NOx regulations without requiring spacious and costly equipment to be installed on board and can be blended to meet the 2020 0.5% global sulphur cap. The new fuel type Super Eco Fuel is produced by mixing lightcycle oil (LCO), a secondary refinery product, with gas-to-liquid (GTL), a liquid fuel made from natural gas, and water.  DNV GL has estimated the costs of the new fuel to be higher than standard HFO but lower than other LFSO options.

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At this week’s TPM conference in Long Beach, World Shipping Council (WSC) vice president Bryan Wood-Thomas noted that the IMO Marine Environment Protection Committee meets next month to discuss curbs on greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from shipping and expects mandatory speed reductions to be in the spotlight.  It has been suggested by some that the impact of a 10 to 30 percent reduction in speed could result in freight rate increases of 25 to 30 percent and bunker adjustment factors rising 50%. The ability to quickly implement a speed reduction in an effort to reach GHG reduction targets appeals to key governments. A recent article in the Lancet Planetary Health journal projected it would cost US$22.1 trillion to US$41.6 trillion between 2020 and 2050 for the world to hold average global warming under two degrees Celsius.

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The provincial government has released its intentions paper and is seeking input from British Columbians on its next steps to defend BC’s land, coast and waters from oil spills at http://engage.gov.bc.ca/spillsregulation. The Province is looking for feedback in four policy areas:

  • Response times, which ensure timely responses following a spill;
  • Geographic response plans, which ensure resources are available to support an immediate response, which consider the unique characteristics of a given sensitive area;
  • Compensation for loss of public use from spills, including economic, cultural and recreational impacts; and
  • Maximizing application of regulations to marine spills.

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