Quebec-born Wendy Williams is set to make history as the first Canadian female captain of a major cruise ship when she takes the helm of Virgin Voyages' newest ship. Williams will be the master of Scarlet Lady, set to sail next spring. Williams has more than 28 years of experience working on ships and started her career on a commercial fishing boat. She has held roles as a deckhand, ferryboat captain, and working on the bridge of other cruise ships. Fewer than 3 percent of the world's mariners are women, and the company announced last year that it plans to bridge the gender gap in leadership roles. Along with Williams, almost a dozen female officers and engineers have been recruited to join Virgin Voyages.
Canadian Pacific has used a strategically placed land holding as the home of its new Vancouver Automotive Compound (VAC). The VAC is in a prime location to handle vehicles made in North America for distribution in British Columbia, northern Washington State and parts of Alberta, as well as vehicles imported through the Port of Vancouver. The facility is built on 19 acres of CP-owned land adjacent to CP's Vancouver Intermodal Terminal. The compound has capacity for 36 multi-level auto racks and has nearly 1,200 bays for vehicles. CP has deployed a new yard logistics system that automates yard processes and supports real-time inventory reporting to give customers better visibility of their shipments. It also strengthens CP's damage prevention processes by enabling immediate uploading of inspection images. This new system was introduced in Vancouver and is being rolled out to all CP automotive compounds.
BC Ferries has launched the Northern Sea Wolf, a newly-acquired and renovated, 246-ft-long vessel that can carry 150 passengers and crew, and 35 vehicles. The vessel, previously known as the Aqua Spirit, was originally constructed in 2000. In 2017, BC Ferries bought the vessel for $12.6 million from its owner in Greece. A complete refit of the vessel was conducted at a facility in Richmond, where modernization work entailed a new galley, bridge, electrical generators, HVAC system, washrooms, elevator, chair lifts, and new cafeteria and passenger accommodation area. The total cost of the vessel is $76 million, including $15.1 million in funding from the federal government. The vessel will service the recently renewed route with non-stop service between Port Hardy on the northern tip of Vancouver Island to Bella Coola.
Algoma Shipping has completed the acquisition of the interest of Oldendorff Carriers in the CSL International Pool, including the three vessels owned by Oldendorff operating in the pool. Algoma’s interest in the pool has now increased to approximately 40%. The three vessels, handysize bulker Alice Oldendorff and panamax bulkers Harmen Oldendorff and Sophie Oldendorff, have brought Algoma’s ocean going self-unloader fleet to eight vessels operating in the pool.
The Honourable Marc Garneau, Minister of Transport has announced the appointment of Rita Carla Andreone as director for a term of 3 years, and Kenneth Bruce Clayton as director for a term of 3 years to the Prince Rupert Port Authority. The appointees come from diverse backgrounds, with experience in a number of fields, and are active members of their communities. They bring a wide array of knowledge and senior executive and corporate governance expertise to their transportation positions.
Transport Canada has issued a new Ship Safety Bulletin on the IMO’s new Guidelines on Fatigue. The revised guidelines can be accessed here: http://www.imo.org/en/OurWork/HumanElement/Documents/MSC.1-Circ.1598.pdf
Royal Caribbean Cruises has lowered its profit outlook following the Trump Administration’s ban on American cruises docking in Cuba. While the affected sailings impact only 3 percent of the company’s 2019 sailings, they have indicated that the regulatory change will lead to a reduction to the adjusted EPS for 2019 in the range of USD 0.25 to USD 0.35 per share.
US Congress has authorized $292.73 million for Port Infrastructure Development Program grants to provide grants for a broad range of improvements within, or around, coastal seaports to improve safety, reliability, or efficiency. The grant funding is broken down into two categories: $200 million is available for infrastructure improvements at all coastal seaports, and $92.73 million is allocated to fund improvements at the 15 coastal seaports that handled the greatest number of loaded foreign and domestic TEUs in 2016.
Two oil tankers were attacked and left adrift on Thursday in the Gulf of Oman, driving up oil prices and leading to fears of a new confrontation between Iran and the US. The crew of the Norwegian-owned Front Altair abandoned ship in waters between Gulf Arab states and Iran after a blast that set the ship was ablaze. The vessel was carrying 75,000 tonnes of petrochemical feedstock naphtha. The second ship, Japanese-owned tanker Kokuka Courageous, was hit twice over a three-hour period. Its crew were also picked up safely. Iranian search and rescue teams picked up 44 sailors from the two damaged tankers and took them to the Iranian port of Jask. There were no immediate statements apportioning blame nor any claims of responsibility.
In February, the Ocean Cooper 2 capsized and sunk off the coast of Singapore. MPA Singapore has since the incident completed a hydrographic survey of the wreck site and determined that the wreck will not affect vessel traffic. The wreck is located 41 meters below the sea surface, significantly deeper than the deepest draught of transiting vessels, which is 22 meters below the sea surface. MPA Singapore will update its nautical charts to indicate the location of the wreck and issue a Notice to Mariners to keep the maritime community updated.
Vard has secured a contract for the design and construction of another passenger ship for Australia’s Coral Expeditions to be named Coral Geographer. The vessel will be the fifth expedition cruise ship in the company’s fleet. The vessel will be developed by Vard Design and delivered by the end of 2020. Along with its sister vessel, Coral Adventurer, Coral Geographer will be designed to meet the growing demand for coral expeditions in the Australian cruise market. Featuring a gross tonnage of 5,599 tons, each of the ships has a capacity for 120 passengers and 48 crew members.
The biggest LNG terminal in the Nordics opened in Röyttä Harbour, Tornio, Finland, earlier this week. The Tornio terminal is equipped with bunkering stations for LNG vessels, regasification equipment for liquefied natural gas, as well as a storage unit that is 50,000 m3 in volume. The new facility will strengthen LNG’s security of supply for shipments to Northern Finland and Sweden.
The expanded voluntary slowdown through Haro Strait and Boundary Pass will being once the southern resident killer whales are confirmed in the area by hydrophone data and/or trusted observers The whale monitoring period began on June 1. Participants will be notified of the slowdown start by email and on the ECHO Program website. Now in its third year, the goal of the trial is to better understand and reduce underwater noise effects on Southern Resident Killer Whales in their key foraging areas. The slowdowns are part of the ECHO Program using research that shows that reducing ship speed effectively reduces the underwater noise in nearby habitats. This in turn, is predicted to benefit the behaviour and feeding success of Southern Resident Killer Whales. The distance of the trial area has been increased by 15.1 nautical miles for a total of 29.6 nautical miles. The slowdown will continue until September 30, 2019 with two-week extensions to no later than October 31 if the whales are still present in the area.
Canadian Pacific Railway and Yang Ming have entered into an agreement to position the railroad to provide better service out of GCT Deltaport. CP will begin handling all of Yang Ming’s cargo moving through Canada in 2020 and will become the largest rail provider to Deltaport. In recent years, CP has intensified its efforts to focus on international intermodal services. Over the next 12 months, the Canadian railroad service contracts with several shipping lines will expire, potentially pitting the two Canadian railroads against each other for the business.
With a new contract in the works between the ILWU and the BCMEA, terminals in Vancouver and Prince Rupert will consider automated or semi-automated operations to accommodate growing container volumes. A very contentious issue facing waterfront employers, there are only two fully automated terminals and five semi-automated terminals in North America. Automation has the potential to help maintain the movement of good through the ports. Longshore unions view automation as a development that can potentially reduce jobs by 40-70 percent. However, automation also creates new jobs that involve computer programming and technology. The unions want to ensure if automation occurs, the jobs that are created fall under their jurisdiction and that union members will be trained to handle the new work.
Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society has issued a report indicating that Canada needs to increase ocean protections. It notes that at least 30 percent of Canadian oceans should be protected to ensure all the habitats are protected and that we’re securing the future for healthy oceans. Protection could come in many forms, including banning oil, gas or mineral projects, not dumping waste and ruling out bottom-trawling fisheries. In the last two years, the percent of Canada’s oceans that are under some form of conservation agreement has risen from one percent to eight percent, a number that is likely to rise above 10 percent by next year. The full report can be found here: https://cpaws.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/06/CPAWS_oceans_report2019_ENG_web.pdf