Thursday, 06 April 2017 13:13

USCG cautions against counterfeit items


The US Coast Guard has issued Safety Alert 03-17 following a recent investigation of a ferry propulsion failure where investigators discovered evidence of falsely identified fasteners being used as part of the drive train system. Several installed bolt heads separated from their shanks and, as a result, a splined hub coupling loosened and disconnected from the reduction gear / transmission. This then overstressed the stern tube seal, allowing water to leak into the engine room.  Bolt heads generally include markings that indicate grade and manufacturer. The grade is associated with a bolt’s mechanical properties and composition. In this instance one fastener was marked with a manufacturer listed on the Department of Energy’s Suspect / Counterfeit Part Headmark List and not listed in the Department of Commerce’s Fastener Quality Act Register of Active Fastener Insignias.

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The Review Panel for the proposed Roberts Bank Terminal 2 Project has requested additional information from the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority (VFPA).  The Panel’s requests (now Package 4) contains 39 items that require additional information or clarification from VFPA and included in these items are requests for further clarification on the projected size of vessels that will call Terminal 2, further information on the findings from the ECHO (Enhancing Cetacean Habitat and Observation) Program, and modelling of the underwater noise while berthing a 398 m container ship with three tugs and a line boat.  

The Review Panel continues to collect the information that it needs to proceed to a public hearing for the Project. The Panel’s consideration and analysis of the environmental assessment information, including the submissions received during the comment period, is ongoing. The Panel expects to issue additional information requests to the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority and will also require information and advice from other parties that are participating in the environmental assessment.

Wednesday, 05 April 2017 09:35

Management changes at Western Stevedoring

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Western Stevedoring's President, Brad Eshleman, has announced that changes to its senior management will take effect on October 1, 2017.  Dave Lucas will assume the role of Senior Vice President and will have an increased role in the management of the overall business with increased oversight of all profit centres within the Western Group of Companies and the many projects underway currently.  Kelly Williams, past COS director and General Manager of Gearbulk Shipping Canada, will return to the Lower Mainland and assume the role of Vice President, Operations. 

Friday, 31 March 2017 14:18

COS welcomes ICS Chair Poulsson

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The Chamber of Shipping had the distinct pleasure of hosting the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) Chair, Esben Poulsson in Vancouver last Friday.  Mr. Poulsson spoke to members on the importance of supporting the International Maritime Organization efforts to address greenhouse gas emissions in a cohesive and practical manner.   If the global shipping industry fails to develop a strategy, port states including Canada are likely to be implement their own requirements. Mr. Poulsson stated that the ICS does not support a carbon trading system, and would prefer a bunker fuel levy that could be used for environmental innnovation and initiatives.  The establishment of alternative cleaner fuels is essential to any significant reductions in CO2. 

Friday, 31 March 2017 13:01

Charges laid against M/V Marathassa

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Following a lengthy investigation by Transport Canada, the Public Prosecution Service quietly laid charges against Alassia NewShips Management Inc. and the M/V Marathassa in BC’s Provincial Court.  Alassia NewShips Management Inc. based in Greece has been charged with 10 pollution-related offences - six charges have been laid under the Canada Shipping Act,  two offences under the Fisheries Act and one count each under the Canadian Environmental Protection Act and the Migratory Bird Convention Act.  A provincial court date has been set for next Wednesday, but Alassia's legal team has applied for a judicial review in Federal Court on the basis that the summonses were not sent to the appropriate parties, arguing that Canadian law requires these to be delivered to an executive officer of a corporation or a branch. 

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The Government of Canada has announced that it will be contributing up to $60.7 million towards three BC Ferries projects estimated at $201 million.  The projects include:  

  • Purchase of two minor vessels to serve the Powell River – Texada Island and Port McNeill – Alert Bay – Sointula routes to replace aging vessels,
  • Investment in the newly established seasonal direct ferry route between Port Hardy and Bella Coola which is anticipated to start in the summer of 2018 and replace the 44-year old MV Nimpkish for continued service to the mid-coast ports. This project will include procurement and refurbishment of a used vessel, as well as improvements to several passenger terminals including a major renovation of the Ocean Falls terminal.
  • Upgrades to the Langdale Terminal, which was originally constructed in the mid-1950s. Main components include the construction of a new terminal building, a waiting lounge, an overhead passenger walkway, a toll booth plaza, a seaside pavilion, and a customer service plaza.

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The Government of Canada has confirmed that India has granted a three month extension to the current exemption that requires mandatory fumigation of imported crops that was set to expire on March 31, 2017.  The latest extension means that Canadian pulse exports leaving Canada on or before June 30, 2017, will not require fumigation in Canada.  During the three month period both governments will continue to work towards a long-term, science-based solution to pest control.  At stake is a Canadian industry that has an annual trade of $1.1 billion in exports of peas and lentils to India.

Earlier this week, New Delhi imposed a 10 per cent import tax on wheat, seeking to curb imports at a time when Indian farmers are starting to harvest crops.

Friday, 31 March 2017 11:28

New transload facility for Prince Rupert

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The Port of Prince Rupert has announced an expansion project for containerized cargo on Ridley Island that will help crops from the Canadian agricultural industry reach international markets while expanding intermodal logistics capacities at the Port of Prince Rupert. Ray-Mont Logistics is developing an integrated logistics and container loading operation at the south end of the Ridley Island Industrial Site on the recently-constructed Road, Rail and Utility Corridor. The operation will involve pulses and cereals (such as lentils, peas, beans, soybeans, flax, and wheat) as well as other specialty agricultural crops transported in hopper cars by rail from Western and Central Canada and the US Midwest. The cargo will be transferred to ocean containers for export via the Fairview Container Terminal, which is currently undergoing expansion


Operation of the completed facility will employ an estimated 40 people. The ten-acre facility will include a rail loop corridor in excess of 100 railcars, a grain dumper pit, and a state-of-the-art conveyance system. The Ray-Mont facility will utilize rail tracks on the Ridley Island Corridor to take delivery of agricultural commodities and meet market demand for port-loaded export containers on the West Coast.  Agricultural products from Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and further inland will unload at the facility via a conveyor system. IDL Projects, on behalf of Coast Tsimshian Northern Contractor Alliance, will begin clearing the site this week and the new transloading facility will be operational in time for the 2017/18 crop year this fall. 

Friday, 31 March 2017 11:23

FMC updates service arrangements



final rule by the Federal Maritime Commission amending requirements for Service Contracts and NVOCC Service Arrangements (NSAs), announced earlier this month, will become effective on Friday, May 5, 2017. The amendments ease regulatory burdens and reduce the costs of compliance with the agency’s regulations. Carriers and NVOCCs will have additional time under the new rule to correct technical data transmission errors from 48 hours to 30 days and service contract errors from 45 days to 180 days.  The final rule in Docket No. 16-05 is now available on the Commission’s website and will be published in the Federal Register on Tuesday, April 4, 2017. 

The Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) also recently launched a redesigned, more user-friendly Agreements Library. This online library of carrier agreements makes it easier for the ocean transportation industry and members of the public to search for, identify, and review vessel-operating common carrier agreements directly through the Commission’s website.

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The International Maritime Organization (IMO),  the International Tanker Owners Pollution Federation Ltd (ITOPF) and the International Oil Pollution Compensation Funds (IOPC Funds) have launched an exhibition to mark 50 years of successful cooperation between government and industry to achieve a dramatic and sustained reduction in major oil spills from ships; to establish effective systems for preparedness and response if there is an incident and to create a comprehensive mechanism for providing compensation to those affected. It is a story to be proud of. 

A timeline from pre-1967 to the present day covers prevention – including improved safety of navigation, ship construction, training and risk reduction; preparedness and response – an area which has continued to evolve as both awareness and technology have advanced and practical experience has led to a better response to spills when they occur; and liability and compensation regimes, which have been developed to ensure  that a robust system of compensation and liability for ship-source oil spills is now in place and that appropriate funding mechanisms exist to finance an immediate and efficient response and compensate those affected.

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In cooperation with the Technical University of Denmark (DTU), the Danish Maritime Authority has developed a pre-analysis that is intended to inspire other projects that may support the development of autonomous ships.  The pre-analysis briefly summarizes how to define various levels of autonomy. From the lowest level with full manual operation, where the navigating officer gets his information from electronic charts and where he gets information about his own position, course and speed as well as an overview from radar that also presents other ships' course and speed; over increasing levels where automated decision-support takes over; to levels of actual autonomy. This part is based on the experience and knowledge gained from autonomous cars and unmanned aircraft and refers to ongoing reflections from similar ship-related projects.  The report concludes with proposals for specific research and innovation projects that are expected to be of benefit to the Danish maritime industry and Blue Denmark.

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At the opening of the St. Lawrence Seaway this week, CSL unveiled a unique contribution of artwork commemorating Canada’s 150th birthday. Between mid-February and early March of 2017, four urban Montreal artists worked together to create the mural on the forward façade of the accommodations block of the bulk carrier CSL St-Laurent that depicts a Canada goose with its powerful wings spread in flight, its forward motion a tribute to Montreal and to Canada. The Sea Keeper/Gardien des eaux is an original work of art conceived by Montreal urban artist Bryan Beyung and created by Beyung with artists FONKi, Ankh One, and Benny Wilding of the Ashop art collective. The monumental mural was created over a few weeks – a feat which is in itself is worth noting – and required the ingenuity of CSL's Technical Team to make it a success. Painting an original work-of-art of this scale on a ship was a first for the artists, a first for CSL and a first for a Canadian commercial vessel. CSL has also produced a video depicting the making of the mural, which is available at here.



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