Two executives from freight forwarding company, Dip Shipping Co, have been sentenced to prison for fixing the prices of freight forwarding services. Their conduct is reported to have raised freight-forwarding prices by as much as 20 percent. Roberto Dip, CEO, was sentenced to 18 months while Jason Handal, Sales Manager, was sentenced to 15 months for fixing the prices of freight forwarding from about 2010 to 2015.
With the Trump administration considering an additional 25 percent tariff on goods imported from China to the US, the Port of Los Angeles has spoken out about a number of unintended consequences, including higher consumer prices, lower profitability for American firms, and uncertainty in the maritime supply chain. As the largest single gateway for marine containerized cargo entering and leaving the United States, handling approximately 40 percent of all containerized imports, the amount of Chinese cargo exposed to the tariffs would be more pronounced than at other gateways.
The IMO has approved an initial set of guidelines for the conduct of autonomous ship trials. The guidelines state that trials should be conducted in a manner that provides at least the same degree of safety, security and protection of the environment as provided by the relevant instruments. Risks associated with the trials should be appropriately identified and measures to reduce the risks should be put in place. Additionally, the guidelines specify that onboard or remote operators of MASS should be appropriately qualified for operating MASS subject to the trial.
Caroline Yang, the CEO of Hong Lam Marine, has been elected president of the Singapore Shipping Association. Yang succeeds ICS chairman Esben Poulsson, who has led the 460-member association since July 2015. She will be the association’s first female president. Yang started her career with Hong Lam Marine as in-house counsel in 1991 and was appointed executive director in 2002.
Cruise operator Hurtigruten has agreed a long-term LNG supply deal for its ships with Gasnor, part of Royal Dutch Shell. Gasnor will supply the company’s ships along the Norwegian coast with LNG until 2030. Hurtigruten is scheduled to start upgrading six of its vessels from this winter to run on a combination of LNG, battery packs and liquid biogas.
Europe’s first inland-waterway LNG bunker vessel has officially begun its bunkering operations in Rotterdam with the LNG-powered Containerships Polar and Containerships Nord. The LNG London, which is owned by LNG Shipping, is on long-term charter to Shell and will be used for LNG bunkering in the ports of Amsterdam, Rotterdam and Antwerp. The vessel measures 110 meters long and 15 meters wide, with a cargo capacity of 3,000 cubic meters of LNG.
Maersk is launching a new product, Maersk Spot which will see penalties to shippers for failing to produce containers associated with the slots they book, while Maersk would pay a penalty if it fails to load cargo booked through its online platform. Maersk Spot is currently offered globally on all global trades except those regulated by the US Federal Maritime Commission, but they are hoping to get regulatory approval I the US later this year. The product is currently being offered through a beta website but will roll out to the wider Maersk.com website in August.
Moroccan port TangerMed and Danish shipping major A.P. Moller-Maersk celebrated the opening the first automated container terminal in Africa. The terminal has a capacity of 5 million TEU and is expected to be one of the most important transshipment locations in the world. APM Terminals MedPort Tangier investment of USD 800 million will raise the port’s annual throughput capacity to 9 million TEU with its ability to handle ultra large container vessels.
Capt. Shri Madiwal has been announced as the new Director, Marine Operations and Safety, and Harbour Master with the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority. Capt. Madiwal joins the port authority with more than 20 years combined experience at sea and in senior management. He is leaving his role as Director of Fleet Operations for Marine Atlantic and is known to many in the local community from when he held a senior operating role at Valles Steamship (Canada) Ltd. Capt. Madiwal assumes his responsibilities with Vancouver Fraser Port Authority July 15.
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.