Friday, 06 July 2018 10:42

UK takes Women in Maritime Pledge

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The UK Chamber of Shipping is among the 38 maritime organizations that have signed the Women in Maritime Pledge in the UK which demonstrates commitment to supporting gender diversity and inclusion across the industry. Signatory organizations will be encouraged to take practical steps and set themselves measurable and ambitious goals towards meeting the pledge's aims. They will also be invited to engage with the development of the Women in Maritime Charter, which is due to be launched in autumn 2018.

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The International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) has released a new publication to endorse the recent adoption by the UN International Maritime Organization (IMO) of its ambitious strategy for phasing-out CO2 emissions from the international shipping sector – a historic agreement which the global industry, as represented by ICS, fully supports. “Reducing CO2 Emissions to Zero” explains what the high levels of ambition agreed by IMO Member States could mean for international shipping. These targets include an efficiency improvement of least 40% - as an average across – the fleet compared to 2008, and a 50% cut of the sector’s total greenhouse emissions by 2050, regardless of future trade growth.  The publication also explores possibilities for the development of zero CO2 fuels that will almost certainly be required if a 50% total cut in GHG emissions is going to be delivered before 2050, as well as investigating policy options for short and medium term regulatory measures.

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The International Sailors Society of Canada (ISSC) and the Prince Rupert Port Authority (PRPA) marked the Day of the Seafarer on Monday with outdoor hiking events.  The ISSC held its second annual Peak Challenge where individuals and company teams race to the top of Grouse Mountain while the Prince Rupert Port Authority organized a hike that ended at the local seafarer centre and invited visiting seafarers to join in the barbeque.  Funds raised from these two events will be distributed by the ISSC to seafarer centres across Canada.  Drew Hemmingson of Tymac Launch was the fastest individual up the Grouse Grind© at 37 minutes and a team of comprised of Chris Cooper, Jennifer Kerr and Sean Hennessey from Teekay was fastest team with a combined time of 2hrs 14 mins.  Photos and results are available at

This year's International Maritime Organization's Day of the Seafarer campaign focussed on seafarers' well-being and mental health. The Minister of Transport Canada, the Honourable Marc Garneau, released the following statement, "Today we honour the hard work of seafarers, often under difficult circumstances, that plays a critical role in the global economy. I know firsthand that the life of a seafarer can be challenging and I am pleased to see the International Maritime Organization is highlighting well-being and mental health for this year’s Day of the Seafarer.”

Friday, 29 June 2018 14:44

ECHO Program 2018 Initiative

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The voluntary vessel slowdown is planned to start as early as July 1 as members of southern resident killer whale J and L pods have been spotted recently in Haro Strait.  54 organization have confirmed their intention to participate in the program designed to reduce underwater noise - see the full list.  Ship owners and agents are strongly encouraged to sign up for this year's trial.

Friday, 29 June 2018 14:39

Ajax Mine Project denied

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The Government of Canada has rejected the proposed Ajax Mine project in British Columbia because it was determined that the project will likely cause significant adverse environmental effects that cannot be justified in the circumstances. The Ajax mine proposal would have involved the construction and operation of a conventional open-pit copper and gold mine located adjacent to Kamloops, BC with an approximate lifespan of 23 years. The Government of Canada's decision follows an earlier decision by British Columbia to decline to issue the project a provincial environmental assessment certificate.

Friday, 29 June 2018 14:29

Canadian wheat under scrutiny

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Japan’s farm ministry has suspended its tender and sale of wheat from Canada after grain containing a genetically modified trait was discovered last summer in Canada’s Alberta province. The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) has indicated that the wheat containing a genetically modified trait, developed by Monsanto Co to tolerate the Roundup weed-killer, was discovered in Alberta.  Government and industry officials have said that this has been an isolated situation and believe it will be a short-lived hiatus. South Korea which took similar action has since resumed imports of Canadian wheat.

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In a victory for the coal industry, a federal judge struck down the City of Oakland’s ban on the operation of a coal terminal, clearing the way for coal to be exported from the West Coast port. US District Judge Vince Chhabria ruled Oakland city officials violated a contract with developer Phil Tagami and his Oakland Bulk and Oversized Terminal when they prohibited the handling and storage of coal within the city limits in 2016 and retroactively applied the ban to his previously approved marine terminal  project. Human health arguments previously put forth were dismissed as the evidence was insufficient and failed to consider mitigation technologies the company planned to deploy.  Estimates are the terminal will handle five million metric tons of coal per year.


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China’s regulatory approval of Cosco Shipping Holdings Co. Ltd.'s $6.3 billion takeover of Orient Overseas (International)  Ltd. (OOIL) brings the latest step in shipping consolidation a step closer to completion. The buyout includes the OOIL-run Long Beach Container Terminal and Cosco will put this in trust pending a sale within a year's time to satisfy the Committee on Foreign Investment in the US, a federal panel that vets foreign purchases of American companies on national security grounds. The Long Beach terminal is one of the few in the U.S. that is almost fully automated and can handle some of the largest container vessels. The terminal is expanding to facilitate ships carrying more than 20,000 boxes each. Global port operators estimate the terminal is worth up to $1.5 billion.

Friday, 29 June 2018 13:34

EU reaches agreement on migrant crisis

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European Union leaders, after marathon talks overnight, announced that they had reached a compromise deal on migration, an issue that has created a political crisis and threatens to undermine the bloc. International shipping groups have been calling for greater cooperation on a policy for migrants rescued at sea following Italy’s move to refuse ships carrying migrants from entering its ports. The Alexander Maersk which picked up 108 migrants off the coast of southern Italy last Friday was finally given permission to dock in the southern port of Pozzallo in Sicily on Tuesday. A second rescue ship, the Lifeline,  was stuck in international waters for five days with more than 230 migrants aboard and was only allowed to dock after eight EU states agreed to take a share of those on board. 

Friday, 29 June 2018 13:29

Antigua and Barbuda test single window

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Antigua and Barbuda are testing a new maritime single window system that allows for the streamlining of procedures, via electronic systems, for provision of information related to the arrival, stay and departure of the ship itself, and data on its crew, passengers and cargo, according with the requirements of IMO’s FAL Convention. Amendments to this Convention make it mandatory for countries to establish systems for the electronic exchange of ship-related information by April 2019. 

New versions of the system will be released every three-four weeks, based on the feedback of the users in Antigua and Barbuda, including Customs, Immigration, Port Authority, Health, the Maritime Administration, and shipping agencies.  While IMO is the project coordinator and provides administrative assistance to the parties during the project timeline. The project is funded by the Norwegian Ministry of Trade, Industries and Fisheries, with technical expertise provided by the Norwegian Coastal Administration.

Friday, 29 June 2018 11:52

Cargill time-charters 4 new vessels

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Cargill will be time-chartering four new baby-cape vessels through an agreement with CSSC Leasing, a division of China State Shipbuilding Corp. (CSSC). The agreement includes an option for two more vessels in the 100,000-120,000 DWT range.  The ships will be built by CSSC’s Huangpu Wenchong Shipbuilding and delivered throughout 2020. The Wah Kwong Group, will oversee the technical management and crewing of the vessels.

Friday, 29 June 2018 11:47

Pacific Basin secures financing

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Pacific Basin Shipping Limited has closed a $325 million seven-year reducing revolving credit facility secured over 50 of the company's owned ships.   The new facility raises fresh capital on previously un-mortgaged vessels and extends the company’s overall amortization profile and enhance its financial flexibility. The average age of these 50 ships is 11 years and the facility will effectively extend their repayment profile by an additional 11 years to an average age of 22 years.

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