BC Ferries has postponed its plan to start selling liquor aboard its vessels this month, as it is still waiting for a liquor licence. They had originally planned to pilot alcohol sales on three vessels this June. The three vessels expected to feature wine and beer sales are the Coastal Celebration, the Spirit of British Columbia and the Spirit of Vancouver Island, all travelling between Swartz Bay and Tsawwassen.
At this year's Clean Pacific Conference, Robert Lewis-Manning shared the stage with Michael Moore, the President of the Pacific Merchant Shipping Association, in a keynote address that focussed on the need for continued Federal leadership from both Canada and the United States in managing the Salish Sea. On the heels of the Prime Minister announcing the Government’s approval of the Trans Mountain Expansion Project, the conference attendees were interested in the practical aspects of increasing spill response capability, the future of Indigenous response capabilities, and how the accommodations announced as part of the Government’s approval would be implemented. Both Lewis-Manning and Moore highlighted the successes of the binational relationship at numerous levels over an extensive period of time, and the need to enhance the relationship moving forward, including increasing outreach with Indigenous and coastal communities. The Clean Pacific Conference brings together a tight-knit response community in the Western United States and Canada to address spill prevention and response matters pertinent to the region's environmental and cultural sensitivities. It is attended by spill response professional, federal, provincial, and state governments, non-governmental organizations and academia. Clean Pacific 2020 will be held June 9 – 11 at the Hyatt Regency, Lake Washington.
The Canadian Government has approved by Order in Council for the second time the Trans Mountain Expansion Project, with construction on the $7.4 billion pipeline set to begin as early as fall 2019. The decision follows the National Energy Board’s reconsideration process focused on marine shipping impacts and engagement with Indigenous communities and groups. Supporting the decision are accommodations measures which include Co-Developing Community Response, the Salish Sea Initiative, the Terrestrial Cumulative Effects Initiative and the Quiet Vessel Initiative. The government has committed to directing every dollar the federal government earns from the pipeline to investments in clean energy projects, with proceeds from the eventual sale directed towards helping transition the country away from fossil fuels and towards cleaner sources of energy. When complete, the 1,150-kilometre expansion project would nearly triple the existing pipeline's capacity to 890,000 barrels a day.
The Senate has voted to pass Bill C-48, the Oil Tanker Moratorium Act. The draft legislation passed by a margin of 3 votes after the House of Commons quashed a recommended amendment for a mandatory review of the legislation within 5 years. Alberta has vowed to launch a legal challenge to this bill, claiming that it is discriminatory to Alberta’s ability to access global markets. This legislation does not provide any additional marine safety measures for the BC North Coast and it does not stop a tanker from transiting the area, but it does stop tankers from stopping at ports on the coast of northern BC.
The Tsawwassen Container Examination Facility is now officially open on Tsawwassen First Nations industrial lands in Roberts Bank. The Vancouver Fraser Port Authority’s new $33M facility provides additional space for Canada Border Services Agency to examine and process marine containers more efficiently. The TCEF is the second facility for the Lower Mainland and will be focussed on servicing containers from Deltaport and Fraser Surrey Docks. VFPA selected Tidewater Container Services Inc. (Tidewater), a subsidiary of Harbour Link Container Services Inc. (Harbour Link), to be the operator and drayage provider for the new facility. A blockchain pilot is underway to help measure performance and turnaround times for containers examined at the TCEF. The new fixed large-scale imaging device is still in the works and expected to be installed and operational on the new site in 2020.
The Canadian Space Agency has successful launched the RADARSAT Constellation Mission satellites from the Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. This new generation of earth observation satellites will provide satellite data for safe navigation and help inform decisions around key challenges facing our oceans. The satellites will also help surveillance of activities in Canada’s Marine Protected Areas to ensure that prohibited activities that compromise an area’s conservation objective are not occurring, and will also assist in pollution events by predicting the path of pollution as it drifts along ocean current by using a map of marine wind directions derived from radar images.
The US Navy has presented mine fragments from the attacks on an oil and chemical tanker last week. They claim that the fragments look to be Iranian in origin. Iran has denied involvement in the explosive strikes. War risk premiums that owners pay for each voyage into Persian Gulf have escalated from 50,000 after the attacks last month to at least $185,000 for VLCCs. Some owners are holding on accepting charters from the Middle East while they evaluate the risks as tensions between the two countries remain high.
US federal authorities have seized over $1 billion worth of cocaine from the MSC Gayane at the Packer Marine Terminal at the Port of Philadelphia. The drugs were found in seven different shipping containers and six crew members have charged. The MSC Gayane had last been in the Bahamas and was destined for the Netherlands before federal authorities raided the boat earlier this week. Court documents outline the cocaine was apparently loaded by the bale-full onto the ship, delivered to the MSC Gayane by six separate boats in the middle of the night after leaving Peru. Court documents allege some of the men on those boats were wearing ski masks. US CBP has suspended it C-TPAT certificate as this is the second MSC ships this year found with large volumes of illegal drugs smuggled on board. This was one of the largest drugs busts in U.S. history and the largest drug seizure ever for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.
The Port of Oakland has approved an air quality plan that seeks to reduce diesel and greenhouse gas emissions resulting from the port’s maritime operations. Referred to as the eaport Air Quality 2020 and Beyond Plan’, the document calls for changes in equipment, operations, fuels and infrastructure to be developed over the next 30 years. Projects include converting port fleet vehicles and equipment to zero-emission and installing electric infrastructure at container terminals. The plan also includes tracking yard equipment for fuel consumption, operability and performance as well as identifying cleaner fuels and alternative, renewable power sources.
Truckload rates out of Atlanta have risen double digits in the last few weeks, and more freight appears to be moving inland from the US West Coast, positive signs in a year full of negative economic data and doom-and-gloom warnings of a freight recession. The increase in rates have been attributed to several factors including the annual International Roadcheck program, threats of tariffs, increased demand in one sector pulling capacity from another, and the a number of drivers in the process of converting their vehicles to electronic logging device (ELD).
K Line’s car carrier Diamond Highway has caught fire off the coast of the Philippines. The 25 member crew was rescued by Thailand-bound bulk carrier Canupos Leader. The vessel was on route to Batangas when the fire broke out. The cause of the fire is currently unknown. Owned by Diamond Car Carriers, the 19,100 dwt Diamond Highway was built by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries in 2004. A patrol vessel has been deployed to put out the fire.
Maersk will be piloting a new carbon neutral biofuel with select customers. The biofuel is a blend of used cooking oil and heavy which was been tested and validated by the Dutch Sustainability Growth Coalition and Shell earlier this year. Retailer H&M Group is the first company to trial it as part of the shift towards carbon-neutral transportation.
Hapag-Lloyd’s 8,700 teu containership Nagoya Express briefly grounded and damaged a $5M gantry crane at the Hai Phong terminal in Vietnam hile outbound. The harbour pilot who navigated the ship has been suspended as authorities are investigating the accident. The Hai Phong terminal, which opened in May last year with a ceremony welcoming the Nagoya Express, is the first deep-water port in Vietnam’s northern key economic region. The Nagoya Express is one of the large vessels operated by THE ALLIANCE of Hapag Lloyd, Ocean Network Express and Yang Ming Line on Trans-pacific route with regular call at HICT, which provides direct service from the North of Vietnam to West coast of the USA and Canada.
The Panama Canal has released a proposal to modify its current tolls structure. The release marks the beginning of a 30-day formal consultation period for industry feedback, which will close on July 15, 2019. For dry bulk vessels, the proposal offers matching the tolls charged to Neopanamax vessels carrying iron ore with the tolls assessed for grains and other dry bulk cargoes, as well as a tariff increase for Neopanamax dry bulkers transiting in ballast. For containerships, the proposal offers more attractive rates for customers who benefit from the Panama Canal Loyalty Program by adding new levels with reduced rates in the capacity charge for shipping lines deploying between 2 million to 3 million TEUs, and additional reductions for lines deploying an incremental over 3 million TEUs.
Credit: Nicole Le Baron, June 5, 2019
Since June 1, marine mammal observers working for the ECHO Program have spotted humpback whales almost every day in Boundary Pass. Slow moving humpbacks are highly susceptible to vessel strikes. Mariners are encouraged to report all marine mammal sightings to the Whale Report app and to download the WhaleReport Alert System (WRAS) app to be informed of where whales are in order to reduce the potential for collision and disturbance. The WRAS app will send you a text whenever there is a whale is within 10nm of you. Find out more here.
Green Marine has released their participants’ 2018 sustainability results. The program has 133 participants – up 12% from last year. Participants rank their efforts on a 1-to-5 scale based on the detailed criteria addressing greenhouse gas emissions, community impacts, garbage and waste management, and other prioritized environmental issues. 144 reports were submitted for 2018 with some participants filing for more than one type of business activity or distinct locations, a 17% increase from last year. Read the full report here: https://green-marine.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/06/2018Perfo_Report_WEB.pdf
The Port of Halifax has launched a vessel forecast report that enabling better scheduling of labor and yard preparation leading to improved cargo flow. The report is generated by a tool developed with the port by Copenhagen-based eeSea, which provides forecasts up to 30 days in advance of each vessel scheduled to call. The data, which is posted on the port’s website, enables users to see the scheduled arrival date, the forecast arrival date, and the difference between the two.