CN Rail and the Teamster’s Canada Rail Conference union representing 3000 CN’s conductors in Canada have been in negotiations and CN has advised that TCRC may announce the results of a strike vote in the next week. The union cannot initiate strike action unless 72 hour’s advance notice is given to the Company. Based on our discussions to date, CN is optimistic that the company and union still have time to reach a mutually satisfactory collective agreement without a labour disruption. Nonetheless, if the union does provide such a 72 hour notice, the TCRC will be in a legal strike position as of 00:01 hours on Tuesday May 30, 2017.
Construction has been underway at our North Vancouver G3 Terminal Vancouver site at Lynnterm West Gate since March 7, 2017. Peter Kiewit Sons ULC has been selected as the design-build construction contractor for the project. Activities since the start have included the demolition of old buildings/structures, site clean-up, relocating underground utilities, digging foundations, and dock panel removal (involving no in water works). We will manage dust on site using water trucks and expect minimal traffic impacts in the non-industrial area during this time. Regular updates can be found www.g3terminalvancouver.ca.
Industrial traffic requiring access to Lynnterm West Gate will be rerouted to a temporary detour starting in June this year. The temporary detour will be on the east side of Lynn Creek accessed via Mountain Highway, Dominion road and Harbour avenue, then along a temporary road built over the rail line and bridge to the G3 and Vancouver Pile Driving sites. We will monitor traffic and adjust to minimize traffic disruptions to local businesses located in the industrial area. There will be a small and temporary realignment of access to the Harbourview Dog Park and while we have made considerable efforts to ensure a safe and timely route be maintained to the parking lot, we suggest that dog owners may wish to access the park via the trail via access points to the north.
The Prince Rupert Port Authority has welcomed to its Board of Directors Frans Tjallingii, MSc, MBA, co-founder of Global Data Chain and past president of Saam Smit Towage. Mr. Tjallingii was appointed on the recommendation of the Minister of Transport in consultation with the Coast Tsimshian First Nations. Mr. Tjallingii is the co-founder and Chairman of the New Leaf Project, a not-for-profit that is pioneering new approaches to homelessness. Mr. Tjallingii also chairs the First Nations Housing Foundation, which strives to develop innovative housing solutions through a global incentive prize.
Last week Desgagnés christened and launched the M/T Damia Desgagnés, the first dual-fuel asphalt bitumen-chemical tanker in the world and the first Canadian-flagged dual-fuel tanker vessel and the only Canadian-flagged asphalt tanker. The vessel was named Damia Desgagnés, in honour of Mr. Louis-Marie Beaulieu's younger brother, Mr. Damien Beaulieu, who died prematurely in 2015.
With tanks offering a capacity of nearly 15,000 m³, and able to carry more than 13,500 tons of asphalt, this next-generation and state-of-the-art vessel was built at the Besiktas shipyard in Turkey, according to an original concept and specifications elaborated by Desgagnés in order to optimize its characteristics in terms of safety, environmental performance and operational efficiency. Built with a double-hull and Polar 7 certification confirming its capability to navigate in ice-laden waters, she is equipped with a variable pitch propeller as well as bow and stern thrusters, guaranteeing an exceptional manoeuvrability and an optimum safety level. Her generators' power output of more than 3 megawatts allows her, through her propulsion shaft generator/motor, to reach a speed of up to 7 knots without the use of the main engine. This operational capabilities and flexibility further and tangibly improve safety for the crewmembers, the environment and for the ship itself.
Following the christening ceremony Gaz Métro and the Port of Montreal also announced that an LNG supply solution for marine fuel will now be available at the Port of Montreal. Groupe Desgagnés, Gaz Métro and the Port of Montreal joined efforts in developing an LNG supply system that will be operated by a Gaz Métro subsidiary. This system will be available to all shipowners in Quebec, including the fleets passing through the Port of Montreal. In short, this is an important milestone for the entire maritime transport sector.
Transport Canada has issued Ship Safety Bulletin 06/2017 Unmanned Air Vehicles / Drones in the Vicinity of Port Facilities and Marine Vessels in response to unauthorized drones recently spotted above our waters. Last year Transport Canada lauched 118 investigations into the illegal use of drones, 18 of which were in BC.The purpose of the ship safety bulletin is to make the rules and regulations that apply to drones. In most cases, commercial drones should not fly closer than 30 metres from any building, structure, vehicle, vessel, animal or person. Restrictions increase for larger drones and recreational drones. To report a drone of concern, complete a submit on line the Drone Incident Report Form.
The Government of Canada has identified a portion of the Offshore Pacific Bioregion as an Area of Interest (AOI) for consideration as a Marine Protected Area (MPA) under Canada's Oceans Act. The Offshore Pacific AOI is located in the southern portion of the OPB extending from the continental shelf break, west of Vancouver Island, to the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) boundary with an area of approximately 140,000 km2. At its closest point, the AOI is approximately 80 km from the west coast of Vancouver Island, but on average is 100-150 km off the coast and extends south to the Canada-United States border. The AOI aims to protect ecologically and biologically significant areas, including underwater seamounts and a series of hydrothermal vents. Designation of this area will contribute to Canada's commitment to protect 10% of Canada marine and coastal areas by 2020. Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) will establish an Advisory Committee and as this process moves forward DFO will finalize the conservation objectives, determine the appropriate site boundaries and develop a management approach for the proposed Offshore Pacific MPA in consultation with partners and stakeholders.
The Honourable Patty Hajdu, Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour met with industry and business leaders in Vancouver this week to discuss the June 12th launch of the Global Talent Stream. The Global Talent Stream is a key part of the Global Skills Strategy and the Innovation Agenda, one of the ways in which the Government is positioning Canada at the leading edge of a changing economy. The initiative will help Canadian firms fill in-demand occupations where there is a demonstrated gap in the Canadian labour force by making the process to access global talent more responsive to their needs. The new Global Talent Occupations List of eligible high-demand occupations, developed in consultation with labour market experts and industry stakeholders, identifies existing shortages and allows for a faster application process that is reflective of the realities of the Canadian workforce.
Scorpio Tankers announced that it has entered into definitive agreements to merge with Navig8 Product Tankers and acquire Navig8’s 27 operating (15 LR2 and 12 LR1) product tankers. The consolidated entity will have a fleet of 105 vessels and will compete directly with carriers such as Torm, Ardmore, and Hafnia Tankers. NYSE-listed Scorpio also announced the launch of an underwritten public offering of up to $200 million of its shares of common stock. Completion of the deal is scheduled for the second or third quarter of 2017.
The merger between Hapag-Lloyd and United Arab Shipping Company (UASC) completed on May 23rd. With 230 vessels and a shared fleet capacity of approximately 1.6 million TEU, Hapag-Lloyd is the fifth-largest liner shipping company in the world. UASC’s brings 58 vessels into the fleet and the combined fleet will be one of the youngest in the industry, with an average ship age of only 7.2 years. The average size of the combined fleet will be 6,840 TEU/vessel, approximately 30 percent larger than the average of the top 15 in the industry (5,280 TEU/vessel). Hapag-Lloyd will remain a publicly traded company registered in Germany with its headquarters in Hamburg and within six months Hapag-Lloyd plans to raise $400 million through a share issue in order to strengthen the company.
The OOCL France now holds the mantle for the largest capacity vessel to transit the Expanded Canal since it was inaugurated in June 2016. The OOCL France containership, which measures 366.47 meters in length and 48.23 meters in beam with 13,926 total TEU allowance transited northbound from the Pacific to the Atlantic Ocean. The previous record was set last month by COSCO Development, which measures 366.45 meters in length and 48.26 meters in beam and has a 13,345 TEU allowance.
To date, a total of 1,360 Neopanamax vessels have transited the Expanded Canal since it first opened. Of this total, containerships have represented approximately 43.8 percent of traffic, followed by liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) carriers and liquefied natural gas (LNG) carriers, which represent approximately 29 and 8.1 percent, respectively.
The Government of Québec is providing $ 40 million in financial assistance to the Montreal Port Authority to upgrade its infrastructure, which will increase productivity and maintain the competitiveness of the port, the second largest in Canada. This financial assistance will enable Québec and Canadian shippers to benefit, in particular, from gains in terms of terminal capacity and fluidity and, generally speaking, from a better quality-price ratio offered by the Port facilities. This financial support is granted under Component 1 of the support program fro marine transportation infrastructure which seeks to ensure rapid and concrete implementation of the Maritime Strategy of the Government of Quebec.
The International Maritime Organization has release a new film to demonstrate how the IMO Polar Code supports safe and environmentally-friendly shipping in the Arctic and Antarctic waters. Onboard the Ocean Diamond expedition ship, eco-tourists gaze at the breath-taking beauty of the Antarctic landscape. This is the chance to encounter some unique wildlife, and marvel at the sheer majesty of the glaciers and the icebergs. The Polar Code goes above and beyond existing IMO requirements such as those governing prevention of pollution from ships (MARPOL) and safety of life at sea (SOLAS). All the extensive safety and environmental regulations included in these and other IMO conventions still apply to shipping in polar waters.
The Danish Shipowners' Association, The Shipowners' Association of 2010 and the Danish Car Ferry Association representing all areas of the shipping industry in Denmark have come together to create a visual identity under a new brand, Danish Shipping. The new visual identity gives three organizations a unified appearance in all interactions with stakeholders. The new logo is based on the international Morse code, which for many years was the globally approved, principal method for communication within global shipping. The juxtaposition of the two Morse letters in the logo – D and K – also evokes the image of the Danish flag. The logo thus combines solid Danish roots with an international outlook – two elements that characterises today’s shipping industry in Denmark.
Saam Smit hosted a Christening and Squamish First Nation blessing ceremony this week for its newest addition to the fleet, the SST Salish. Kim Stegeman-Lowe, President of Squamish Terminals had the honour of christening the SST Salish.
Uber Freight introduced its app and officially launched its brokerage business in the US after months of testing. "Uber Freight is the Uber for trucking," Eric Berdinis, senior product manager for Uber Freight confirmed. The app is designed to match trucking companies with cargo to haul, determine fees based on demand and pay drivers within seven days, rather than 30 or more, which is common right now. It remains to be seen if drivers will be satisfied with the pay they manage to take home when working for Uber.
US Senator Fischer introduced the Federal Maritime Commission Authorization Act of 2017 (S. 1119) to authorize appropriations for fiscal years 2018 and 2019 for the Federal Maritime Commission, and for other purposes. Included in the appropriations bill is a international ocean shipping supply chain information portal demonstration project. The vision for the portal is that it will collect and disseminate inforamtion to increase overall supply chain visibility, reliability, and resilience with respect to international ocean shipping. This would encompass information needs of key elements of the import-shipping and export-shipping supply chains, including those regarding container availability, chassis availability, trucking, seaport and marine terminals operations.
On May 16, 2017, Minister Garneau introduced the Transportation Modernization Act (Bill C-49) in the House of Commons. Bill C-49 proposes amendments to the Canada Transportation Act (and other related Acts), as a first legislative step to deliver on key commitments made in support of Transportation 2030 - A Strategic Plan for the Future of Transportation in Canada, announced last November 2016. The Act puts in place clear measures to support fairness and transparency, efficiency, and strong private sector investment in our freight rail system for the long-term, and key measures include:
Amendments to the Coasting Trade Act and the Canada Marine Act are also included in Bill C-49. The Coasting Trade Act amendments will allow vessel owners to reposition their owned or leased empty containers between locations in Canada on a non-revenue basis, using vessels of any registry without a coasting trade license. While amendments to the Canada Marine Act intend to provide authority to Canada Port Authorities to access additional financing arrangements, namely loans and loan guarantees, through the Canada Infrastructure Bank.