The International Chamber of Shipping published a paper this week to coincide with the UN Conference on Climate Change which took place in New York. Green House Gas emissions from global maritime transport are estimated to have been over 20% lower in 2012 than in 2007. View the ICS Press Release.
Royal Caribbean Cruise Line’s latest impressive creation, Quantum of the Seas left the Meyer Werft shipyard this week to make the precarious 26 mile transit down the River Ems to the North Sea where final outfitting and testing will take place. The route is technically known as “the conveyance” and is an ordeal that every ship ever constructed at Meyer Werft has taken since 1795 because of the shipyard’s protected inland location in Papenburg, Germany. With LOA 348 meters and beam 41.4 meters, Quantum of the Seas is the largest vessel ever built by Meyer Werft and her stern first movement downriver at 2-3 knots involved re-routing of power lines and even the temporary lifting of some bridges. She is to be followed by a sister ship Anthem of the Seas. We came across a video of the exercise http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P5vcvvncKKM.
INTERTANKO is to host a Seafarers’ Vetting Seminar on 22 October in Manila. This Seminar is specifically designed for seafarers and will provide guidance on port state control as well as the process and best practice associated with vetting inspections.
On Monday, September 22nd the Celebrity Solstice visited the Port of Nanaimo as one of the ports of call in its 11-day Seattle-Alaska itinerary. With a capacity of 2,850 passengers and 1,400 crew, the Celebrity Solstice is the largest vessel on Alaskan itinerary. This is the second cruise ship to visit Nanaimo this year in addition to two pocket cruise ships that arrived in May. Next season Nanaimo is scheduled to see three large cruise ships, including the return of the Celebrity Solstice, and two pocket cruise ships.
The International Maritime Organisation (IMO) secretary general, Koji Sekimizu, has announced that he will resign at the end of his first term in office ending in December 2015 for family reasons. Mr. Sekimizu's announcement caught many by surprise as it is usual for a newly elected secretary general to continue for a second term and it was anticipated that he would hold the post until 2019.
CN Rail may be fined for failing to meeting the Government of Canada's requirement to deliver 536,250 metric tons of grain weekly. CN is contesting the fine on the basis that the demand for moving the grain has dropped to less than 5,000 railcars a week, which is below the government’s target. CN notes that the grain volumes were also reduced by a roughly week-long closing of the Port of Prince Rupert for maintenance, full capacity at most of the Port Metro Vancouver terminals and a lack of weekend shifts at both ports. There are currently 19 ships in Vancouver and four in Prince Rupert either loading or waiting for grain.
Port Metro Vancouver is expecting high cruise passenger volumes at Canada Place and Ballantyne Pier cruise terminals on September 21st and 28th with up to 15,000 embarking and disembarking passengers are expected between 7:00 am and 5:00 pm at Canada Place and Ballantyne terminals. On these busy cruise days, higher than normal traffic volumes are anticipated in the downtown core, along with increased demand for taxis and the use of public transportation.
CN has recognized CMA-CGM, Cosco, Hapag Lloyd, Kruger Products, Maersk Line, MOL, Mondelēz Canada, NYK, OOCL Canada, Target Canada and Walmart Canada for sustainability practices that align with CN's EcoConnexions program to reduce carbon emissions and increase energy efficiency. CN will plant 110,000 trees next spring in recognition of its customers’ commitment to sustainable business practices.
Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada issued the following information regarding the Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) and the Canadian marine shipping industry.
Natural Resources Canada and the US Department of Energy have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) focussed on achieving shared goals of greater energy security and environmental responsibility. This five year agreement will allow both countries to cooperate and share knowledge on technology, research, training, and best practices. Under proposed regulations issued by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), states must reduce the greenhouse gas emissions in their power sectors and will have a variety of means to achieve that reduction, which is primarily aimed at coal-fired power plants. Canadian utilities are gearing up to sell power from low-emission sources such as hydro, wind and nuclear. Both sides are interested in increasing the use of natural gas in the transportation system and developing an efficient and clean cross-border system.
The National Research Council has announced a program aimed at finding economical and viable business based technology to improve safety and performance of marine vessels. Building on its work under the Marine Vehicles program, the program will focus on technologies and processes for reducing operating costs of vessels, contributing to safe Arctic and offshore oil and gas operations. The end result is to support a sustainable and competitive shipbuilding industry in Canada for military vessels, marine commercial transportation, and offshore resource industries.
Examples of work that will be conducted within the program by NRC will include advanced controls for systems like auto-pilot and roll stabilizers, improved vessel performance monitoring and analysis systems, the development of Arctic station-keeping technology and training simulators, advanced controls for unmanned marine vehicles, and conceptual and preliminary design tools for ice-class and inshore vessels.
Vale SA has achieved a breakthrough in the company’s relations with China that may finally overcome the two year ban on its Very Large Ore Carriers (VLOC) from Chinese ports. The company is to transfer ownership and lease back four VLOC’s to COSCO for 25 years and in the longer term also take on long term charter 10 Capesizes that COSCO is yet to build. Vale’s inability to dock its ships at Chinese ports has frustrated the company’s attempts to reduce freight costs and compete with Australian rivals. Chinese ship owners have long opposed access to Vale’s VLOC’s resulting in the development of expensive transshipment centers in Malaysia and the Philippines.
Note that high risk period continues in most ports in the United States. This week in Journal of Commerce, it was reported that Customs and Border Protection agents in Los Angeles have quarantined 15 ships detected with Asian Gypsy Moth. This is a record season with three month left to go in the AGM high risk period in Southern California.
Earlier this week Port Metro Vancouver unveiled new patrol vessels and other operations and security assets that will help maintain the safe, secure, efficient and reliable movement of marine traffic and cargo within Port Metro Vancouver’s jurisdiction. These assets include two new harbour patrol boats, built by Campbell River's Daigle Weldingine, a refurbished patrol boat, and a new incident response and response vehicle with tactical equipment. Also announced was the completion of the updates to its harbour operations manual, now referred to as the Port Information Guide. More details..
CMA CGM, China Shipping Container Lines and United Arab Shipping Co have unveiled a new alliance to be known as Ocean Three. The alliance is intended to cover east-west trades including five weekly transpacific loops, plus one Asia-US east coast string via the Suez Canal and one service dedicated to the Gulf of Mexico with further expansion planned in due course. With an estimated 13% market share of the transpacific trades and a 20% s in the Asia-Europe trades the new alliance is not expecting undue regulatory hurdles.The three lines will deploy 129 ships between them initially and the plan is for the Alliance to get up and running by the end of this year.
Meanwhile Maersk and Mediterranean Shipping Co have sent senior representatives to Washington to meet with the Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) today amidst concerns that the proposed 2M vessel-sharing agreement is meeting opposition. Two FMC commissioners have recently voiced reservations about the agreement and warned that the FMC is likely to stop the clock on the 45day review in order to gather more information.
The EU also this week gave its blessing to the merger of Hapag Lloyd and CSAV.
The House Subcommittee on Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation convened a hearing today this week to review the status of the US Merchant Marine. The Subcommittee hear that that the American maritime industry, supported by the Jones Act, is strong, vibrant, and growing with the movement of crude, refined petroleum products, and chemicals and has seen dramatic growth as a result of the shale oil revolution which is driving record levels of new vessel construction orders and deliveries in American shipyards. The Committee also heard that in 2012, US shipbuilders delivered 1,260 vessels worth more than $20 billion in revenue, according to a recent study and over the past year, US shipyards have entered into hundreds of contracts for new vessels, including the construction of state-of-the-art oil tankers and the world’s first LNG-powered containership that the White House recently recognized as critical to the future of maritime transportation.
A Marine Accident Report released this week by the Danish Maritime Accident Investigation Board has determined that the loss of 517 containers and damage to 250 more on the 8,160 TEU Svendborg Maersk in the Bay of Biscay in February this year was primarily due the heavy rolling in severe weather. The vessel was on passage from Rotterdam to the Suez Canal at the time. At one point the vessel is recorded to have rolled up to 41 degrees to port which almost inevitably caused a major loss of containers overboard. Following the incident, the vessel tok refuge to restow her remaining deck containers in Malaga, Spain. The company is working with the French government in an effort to recover the missing containers. The Bay of Biscay is renowned by mariners as being a particularly nasty and unpredictable stretch of water in a storm.