A new 24-hour nine-language seafarer helpline, iCall, has been launched by The Synergy Marine Group, in collaboration with the Tata Institute of Social Sciences and iCall. The helpline is intended to address growing industry concerns around seafarer wellbeing. The service hopes to reduce seafarer suicides, raise awareness of mental health and gender, and equip participants with self-help coping mechanisms for addressing their own distress and/or help them offer support to others at sea. The service is available free-of-charge via phone, email, and the chat-based nULTA App.
Dubai's DP World has expanded its shipping portfolio with the $1.079bn takeover of Middle East offshore support vessel operator Topaz Energy & Marine. It has bought the company from Oman's Renaissance Services and Standard Chartered Private Equity/Affirma Capital. Topaz has a fleet of 117 vessels, predominantly in the Caspian Sea, Middle East and North Africa, and West Africa regions.
IMO has proposed a review of the in-water performance of Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) lifejackets after the UK’s Marine Accident Investigation Branch reported on the deaths of three fishing vessel crew members who had drowned while wearing SOLAS lifejackets. Although sea and environmental conditions were calm, these seafarers were found by the rescue services in a face-down position. Evidence has shown that the organisation’s requirements for the design and testing of lifejackets may not provide the necessary safety assurances.
HMM has joined THE Alliance, becoming the fourth member of the liner grouping set up by Hapag-Lloyd, Ocean Network Express and Yang Ming in 2016. HMM will join the alliance as a full member, with a new contract between the four lines set to officially start on April 1, 2020. Additionally, all four members have agreed to extend the partnership for 10 years through to 2030. Previously, HMM was aligned to the Maersk and MSC alliance 2M, but was only able to negotiate a vessel sharing agreement which was due for renewal next April.
France-based Neoline has selected Neopolina shipyard to construct its first two sail-powered roll-on/roll-off cargo ships, which will operate between France and the US as early as 2021. Neoline was established in 2015 with the intention of the becoming the world’s first shipowner specializing in modern sailing cargo ships. The company has partnered with French automaker Renault to develop the ships, which will be 136-meter long and equipped with 4,200 square meters of sail area. The ships will initially operate on a pilot route joining Saint-Nazaire, France with the U.S. East Coast and Saint-Pierre & Miquelon off the coast of Newfoundland.
Hurtigruten’s cruise ship MS Roald Amundsen is the worlds first battery powered cruise ship, due to set sail on its maiden voyage from Norway to the arctic early next week. The Roald Amundsen is a hybrid expedition cruise ship, can take 500 passengers and is designed to sail in harsh climate waters. While the engines run mainly on marine gasoil, the ship’s battery pack enables it to run solely on batteries for around 45 to 60 minutes under ideal conditions. The company estimates that the battery pack will reduce fuel consumption and save about 20% in carbon dioxide emissions, compared to if the ship was operating on marine gasoil alone.
As part of the 2019 Canada Day celebrations, on-water fireworks displays will occur on the evening of July 1st, commencing at 21:00. Locations of the barges include Coal Harbour and Dundarave.
The Vancouver Fraser Port Authority anticipates greater than normal volumes of recreational traffic in these areas both during and transiting through the port after these events. To promote safe navigation during this event, no deep sea vessel traffic movement (including those vessels operated under pilotage waiver) or commercial towing activity is to occur between the western boundary of TCZ1 (First Narrows) and the eastern boundary of TCZ2 (Second Narrows) between the hours of 21:00 and 24:00 of July 1st, 2019. Pilotage assignments and commercial towing activity should be coordinated accordingly.
The new collective agreement between ILWU Canada and the BC Maritime Employers Association has been ratified. The 5-year agreement is effective retroactively from April 1, 2018 – March 31, 2023 with an average increase to the ILWU of 2.8% per year. Bargaining between the ILWU Local 514 Ship and Dock Foremen is now set to resume with the assistance of the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service.
Canada has been asked to suspend meat exports to China over "forged certificates.” In response, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency has ceased issuing export certificates to China for all beef and pork products. The Chinese embassy has said that customs authorities detected ractopamine in a batch of pork products that Canada had sent to China. Ractopamine is a feed additive that’s banned in certain countries, but it can be used in Canada. About 388% more beef was exported to China as of April 2019 compared with the same timeframe last year, and nearly 53% more pork, according to Statistics Canada.
Dozens of grain silos on the port industrial waterfront in East Vancouver have been found to be contaminated with rat and bird droppings. Built in 1918, they are now in the process of being demolished. The facility was permanently shut down in 2010 due to its poor condition, and it has been completely unoccupied for the last two years. A hazard materials assessment report conducted for the site found dangerous substances including PCB’s, mercury, and asbestos, which is present in both within the structure and on the exterior. Demolition work began earlier this month and is scheduled to continue through May 2020.
The International Sailors’ Society Canada’s third annual Day of the Seafarer Peak Challenge took place on Tuesday, June 25th up the Grouse Grind®. This year’s event saw tremendous support from the marine community with 34 teams of three registered in the challenge. Proceeds from this event will benefit seafarer centres across Canada. Final results and photos from the 2019 Peak Challenge and have been posted to: http://sailorssociety.ca/index.php/news-events/peak-challenge
The BC government announced that as of Monday, July 1, the container trucking commissioner will have authority to set rates and fuel surcharges. The decision is designed to help maintain stability, fairness and competitiveness in the sector. In setting rates, the commissioner will be guided by the principles of balancing fair compensation for drivers and ensuring the ongoing competitiveness of the sector. This action supports the commissioner’s implementation of a new $25 positioning rate to compensate drivers for trips without containers, which currently are unpaid.
The Honourable Marc Garneau, Minister of Transport has issued a statement on the deaths of several North Atlantic right whales in Canadian waters. With six deaths reported in the month of June, Transport Canada is implementing an interim precautionary speed restriction of 10 knots, for vessels of 20 metres or more in length travelling in the western the Gulf of St. Lawrence and in the two designated shipping lanes north and south of Anticosti Island, effective immediately. The penalty for non-compliance is $25,000.
Seaspan Shipyards is celebrating the official handover of the CCGS Sir John Franklin, the first Offshore Fisheries Science Vessel, to the Canadian Coast Guard. As the first large vessel to be built and delivered to the Government of Canada under the National Shipbuilding Strategy, the delivery of the vessel marks a significant milestone in the revitalization of the Canadian marine industrial sector.
The Honourable Marc Garneau, Minister of Transport, has announced the reappointment of Lorraine Cunningham as the Chairperson of the Pacific Pilotage Authority for a term of eight months, commencing on October 4, 2019. Cunningham has been Chairperson of the PPA since 2012 and prior to that she served as a director between 1999 and 2012.
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.