Friday, 27 July 2018 12:28

ILWU fatality at Fraser Surrey Docks

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Last Saturday, a workplace accident at Fraser Surrey Docks tragically claimed the life a mechanic and member of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union Local 502, and injured one other. Few details have been released but it has been reported that  mechanic was working on a piece of equipment, a lift truck, and was crushed by a part of the machine.  An investigation into what led to the accident is underway. 

Friday, 27 July 2018 12:19

WCMRC secures new base locations

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Western Canada Marine Response Corporation has signed a 25-year lease agreement for 6.225 acres of land in Port Alberni. The Port Alberni response base, which is part of a larger $150 million expansion plan, will work with vessels forward-stationed in Ucluelet to respond to spills on the west coast of Vancouver Island. Construction of the response base in Port Alberni is expected to cost $8 million. When complete, it will be home to 20 full-time response personnel.  Also this week a lease agreement covering waterlot areas and land on Shelter Island in Richmond was signed. 

Friday, 27 July 2018 12:15

Steel products under investigation

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The Canadian International Trade Tribunal says it has found there is a reasonable indication that dumping and subsidizing of some steel products by several Asian countries have harmed or could harm Canadian steel producers. The tribunal says it found the People’s Republic of China, the Republic of Korea and the Socialist Republic of Vietnam all likely interfered in the market for cold-rolled steel in coils and strips. The tribunal’s inquiry follows investigations by the Canada Border Services Agency on dumping and subsidies. The agency’s investigation continues and it will issue preliminary determinations by August 20.  On July 18, 2018, the CBSA issued assessments of anti-dumping duty against two importations of steel rebar from Turkey that arrived in Canada in 2017. The total amount of anti-dumping duty retroactively assessed by the CBSA was over $1.8 million.

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The Government of Canada has granted $25,000 for a University of Alberta project called “A genetic algorithm approach towards optimizing container placement in intermodal trains for reduced aerodynamic drag.” The project will help develop a computerized method to optimize the loading of trains in order to reduce wind drag.  Canadian National Railway estimates that each aerodynamic gap greater than 10 feet between containers can increase the train’s fuel consumption by up to 1%.

Friday, 27 July 2018 11:56

BC consults on GHG reductions

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The BC government has released the first three intentions papers for consultation on sectoral strategies for reaching the government's greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction targets. These papers which cover Clean Transportation, Clean, Efficient Buildings and a Clean Growth Program for Industry will be integrated into the energy roadmap, economic development strategy, tech strategy and the new emerging economy taskforce.  The intentions paper for Clean Transportation include integrating transportation and land use planning; supporting electric or hybrid ferries; increasing use of clean electricity and technologies in ports; integrating cleaner and more efficient shipping corridors; examining ways to shift modes of transportation, such as moving more goods by rail; and, increasing engagement with stakeholders to make trade and shipping more efficient in BC. 

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On April 30, 2018 the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) introduced a six-month pilot that encourages L1 visa applicants to file in advance a Form I-129 petition, plus supporting evidence for Canadian citizens seeking to enter the US as L1 executives or managers to the California Service Center.  The Blaine, WA border crossing is the first pilot site and US CBP officers will not be validating L1 applications on-the-spot during the pilot period at that particular border crossing during the pilot which ends October 31, 2018.  Those wishing to avoid the advance adjudication process can use an alternate border crossing where the on-the-spot processing remains.

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Trucking shortages continue to drive the hottest freight market in years with rates 20 to 30 percent higher than last year.  Truckload carriers are becoming more selective and chosing the most profitable loads and lanes. US manufacturers and retailers are concerned and looking for supply chain efficiencies to counter higher logistics costs.  Also this week container lessors, manufacturers, and intermodal providers lobbied against a proposed tariff of 25 percent on shipping containers before the US Congress Section 301 Committee.  Fears of this tariff in addition to higher surface costs would be a double whammy to US shippers. About 97 percent of marine containers are made in China. 

Friday, 27 July 2018 10:56

Scrubbers pick up steam

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A survey of Exhaust Gas Cleaning Systems Association (EGCSA) members has revealed that scrubber uptake is rapidly accelerating with the number of ships with exhaust gas cleaning systems installed or on order standing at 983 as of 31 May 2018. This follows a slew of recent reports that major ship operators, including Spliethoff, Frontline, DHT and Star Bulk have opted for scrubbers. One of the ‘big’ container companies has confirmed it will use scrubbing as part of its 2020 compliance portfolio and there are rumours that others will do likewise. EGCSA believes that although there has been a surge in demand, yard capacity is not an issue going forward, however other constraints such as the availability of laser scanning specialists and experienced installation teams mean that it may not be possible to pick and choose an installation slot nor coincide a scrubber installation with an already scheduled drydock in the near future.

Friday, 27 July 2018 10:37

NOAA releases US Coast Pilot

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The first edition of National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s US Coast Pilot (Vol. 1, 48th Edition, 2018) that includes both the Navigation Rules as well as the amalgamated International Regulations for the Prevention of Collisions at Sea is now available.  The US Coast Pilot is issued in nine volumes that contain supplemental information difficult to portray on a nautical chart but that is important to navigators of coastal and intracoastal waters and the Great Lakes. To access the various editions visit the US Coast Pilot website. All US Coast Pilot books are free to download from NOAA’s Office of Coast Survey website.

Friday, 27 July 2018 10:20

COSCO Shipping cyber-attacked

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Cosco Shipping offices were hit by a cyber-attack earlier this week that has affected its email and telephone networks in North America.  The container line was able to isolate the incident and minimize the disruption. The suspected ransomware attack is believed to have started at COSCO Shipping’s Pier J terminal at the Port of Long Beach. Once COSCO detected the attack, it shut down connections to its global networks as a precaution as it investigated the incident. 

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The Wilhelmsen group is abandoning its planned acquisition of Drew Marine Group following a July 21 decision by the US District Court for the District of Columbia to grant the Federal Trade Commission's (FTC) motion for an injunction to block the acquisition.  The Federal Trade Commission had charged that Wilhelmsen Maritime Services' $400 million acquisition would violate the antitrust laws by significantly reducing competition in an important market for marine water treatment chemicals and services used by global fleets and that customers for these products, owners and operators of global fleets of these vessels, will be harmed by the proposed acquisition.

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A whopping 108 vessels operated by Teekay Corporation were presented the Jones F. Devlin Award, by the Chamber of Shipping of America. The award publicly recognizes the skills and dedication of the men and women who are responsible for safe vessel operations and is awarded to all manned merchant vessels that have operated for two full years or more without a crew member losing a full turn at watch because of an occupational injury. 

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