Friday, 05 September 2014 09:51

Ebola virus guidance

327 Ebola

We are aware that some members have been receiving questions surrounding vessels which have called at West African ports and in relation to cargoes of West African origin in the context of the Ebola Virus. The IMO has this week published a circular letter specifically addressing any concerns related to international shipping and which you will find attached.The guidance comes after a joint statement from the International Chamber of Shipping, the International Maritime Employers’ Council and the International Transport Workers’ Federation last month that called on Masters of vessels calling in West African countries to restrict shore leave and to enforce the ban on unauthorised persons boarding ships. “Operators should avoid making crew changes in the ports of an affected country, and crews need to be aware of ebola symptoms and report them promptly to the person in charge of medical care should they occur”, the three organisations said.

Separately, the IMO, the ICS and the Cruise Lines International Association have joined the international ad hoc Ebola Travel and Transport Task Force. The working group already includes several aviation and tourism-focused United Nations agencies and non-governmental organizations.Japan's biggest shipping company, Mitsui OSK Lines (MOL) has pledged a donation of $10,000 to help the Republic of Liberia to curb the spread of Ebola virus. The donation will be used to procure much needed supplies and medical equipment such as surgical gloves, face masks, soap, chlorine, and antibiotics.  View IMO Guidance Document.

327 Blueprint

China’s State Council has announced a new blueprint for the country’s shipping industry which is being interpreted as a move to  raise the importance of the maritimesector. The document lists a number of objectives to be achieved by 2020 related to structural reforms, upgrading of enterprises, pushing for a modern shipping service sector, enhanced reforms of state-owned carriers, improving competiveness in international markets and environmental development. The Chineseowned fleet is estimated at 142m dwt, or around 8% of the world’s total. The State Council also suggested that Chinese cargo owners should enhance their relationship with compatriot carriers, and that more Chinese carries should be owned by state and private capital simultaneously. 

Friday, 05 September 2014 09:45

S.E. Asian product tanker attacks continuing

327 Attacks

Attacks on small tankers in the coastal waters of S.E. Asia are relentless. In the latest incident, six armed pirates last week boarded a small Thai registered product tanker off Malaysia’s east coast and transferred about 11,300 tons of lube oil to two small tankers than sailed up alongside before escaping, in the 10th such incident this year.  

Friday, 05 September 2014 09:44

NCL acquires Prestige Cruises

327 NCL

Norwegian Cruise Lines (NCL) announced this week that it has agreed to acquire Miami-based Prestige Cruises International for just over $3 billion including the assumption of debt.Through its subsidiaries, Ocean Cruises and Regent Seven Seas Cruises, Prestige Cruises owns and operates eight ships throughOcean Cruises which operates five in the premium cruise segment and Regent Seven Seas Cruises which operates in the luxury segment. The latter company also has a fourth ship under construction with delivery expected for summer 2016. Norwegian Cruise Lines currently owns and operates 13 cruise ships with four additional vessels on order at Meyer Werft for delivery between 2015 and 2019. The deal is expected to close in the 4th quarter of 2014.

Meanwhile, Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines is selling a 19 year old well known Vancouver regular Celbrity Century to Chinese operator Ctrip International for $20 million. The vessel will change hands in April 2015 but Royal Caribbean may continue to manage the vessel thereafter as part of a prospective joint venture between RCCL and CTrip.

Friday, 05 September 2014 09:43

2M proposal filed with FMC

327 2M

Maersk and Mediterranean Shipping Co’s proposed “2M” vessel sharing agreement has now been filed with the U.S. Federal Maritime Commission. The arrangement could eventually operate up to 130 ships ships of up to 19,200-TEUs on east-west trades and would have a duration of 10 years. As with theabandoned  P3 Network, Maersk and MSC would separately handle contract negotiations with third parties such as stevedores, marine terminal operators and inland carriers but would create a joint coordination committee consisting of employees from both carriers operating from a site independent from their respective Copenhagen and Geneva headquarters.Committee staff would focus on “day-to-day issues arising from the agreement, and shall monitor the operation of the agreement to ensure the maximum efficiencies are obtained from the parties’ cooperation,” according to the filing with the FMC. The FMC has until Oct. 11 to decide whether to allow the 2M to go forward or seek a federal injunction to block it. View proposal summary.

326 RCC

The Canada-United States Regulatory Cooperation Council (RCC) has released a its Joint Forward Plan which essentially states that the next steps will focus on the following three key components:

Department-Level Regulatory Partnerships: creating public documents that will outline RCC strategies and the framework for how the activities will be managed between regulatory partners

Department-to-Department Commitments and Work Plans: establishing first set of commitments to cooperate in specific areas of regulatory activitiy

Cross-Cutting Issues: identifying current laws, policies and practices in both governments that can present challenges/opportunities to international regulatory cooperation.

The Joint Forward plan touches on a number of marine related issues including marine safety and security, transportation of dangerous goods, and plant health.

326 Premiers

Canadian Premiers met this week in Charlottetown, PEI, and agreed on improvements to the Canadian Energy Strategy (CES).  The vision and principles provide the foundation for provinces and territories to work together, in respect of their own jurisdiction, on energy issues while recognizing the need to grow economy, protect the environment and enhance the quality of life for all Canadians.  To view the full document visit: http://www.canadaspremiers.ca/en/latest-news/74-2014/398-canadian-energy-strategy

326 WAsale

Western Australia's state goverment will put up for sale its Utah Point Bulk Handling Facility at Port Hedland and the Kwinana Bulk Terminal south of Perth in an effort to reduce its debt.  It hoped that the transaction conbined with other state owned assets will generate about $2 billion a year as Western Australia was earlier this week stripped of its AAA credit rating.  Net debt is forecasted to reach $29 billion in 2018, up from $22 billion in 2014.

Thursday, 28 August 2014 15:07

Ship docking incident at Centerm

326 CMACGM1 326 CMACGM2

During what was intended to be a very brief first visit into Centerm, the MV CMA CGM Attila sustained damage to its hull during shipdocking operations on Wednesday morning.  A one-metre long puncture is reported in one of the starboard ballast tanks.  No pollution resulted from the incident and the vessel is in good condition, but the vessel will likely remain at Centerm berth #6 until at least Sunday to effect repairs and allow for a full investigation. 

326 Grain

On August 26th, the ILWU and the US Pacific Northwest grain terminals announced the ratification of a new four year-collective agreement.   88.4% of the ILWU members voted in favour of the deal which includes work rule changes and wage increases over the life of the agreement.  The three terminal operators - Louis Dreyfus Commodities, United Grain Corporation and Columbia Grain Inc. - welcome the end of the two year negotiations and are gearing up to face the next challenge with rail car supply.

While the contract in the Pacific Northwest is completely separate from the ILWU’s coastwide negotiations with the Pacific Maritime Association, the following day the parties in this negotiation announced a tentative agreement on what was anticipated to be contentious terms for maintenance of health benefits.  In view of the new tax under Obamacare, the parties have agreed to a shorter three-year term to this collective agreement and the terms agreed thus far will not be disclosed until the remaining items in the agreement are settled.  The coastwide contract represents nearly 20,000 longshore workers at 29 West Coast ports. 

Wednesday, 27 August 2014 11:02

Vale's potash mine takes another step forward

326 vale-kronau-potash

WorleyParsons has been awarded an engineering services contract by Vale, the Brazilian mining giant, to proceed with basic engineering and detailed plans required to begin the Kronau potash project construction about 30 miles southeast of Regina in Saskatchewan. This is Vale’s first potash project in Canada and is expected to produce from three to four million tonnes of potash a year. This phase of engineering work is expected to be completed at the end of 2015.  The project will then be presented to Vale’s board for funding approval. If approved, construction would begin in 2016 with production slated for 2019.

326 Franklin

The Prime Minister, Stephen Harper, has announced that the search for the ill-fated 1845-46 Franklin Expedition vessels: the HMS Erebus and HMS Terror will continue.  Led by Parks Canada, the 2012 Franklin Expedition will, with the help of a number of public and private sector partners, continue to search for the two historic vessels and will also collect scientific data to increase knowledge of the Arctic in a number of areas, including the collection of data for the production of navigational charts and topographical maps in the Arctic and supporting marine archaeology and ecosystem management.  Four ships will support the on-going expedition: the Canadian Coast Guard ship Sir Wilfrid Laurier, the Royal Canadian Navy’s HMCS Kingston, the Arctic Research Foundation’s research vessel Martin Bergmann, and OOE’s One Ocean Voyager, as well as a number of smaller platform vessels. 

Some of the leading technologies to be employed will include the CSA’s RADARSAT-2 satellite imagery, high resolution multi-beam and side-scan sonar, Parks Canada’s remotely operated underwater vehicle and autonomous underwater vehicle, and DRDC’s state-of-the-art autonomous underwater vehicle, Arctic Explorer, which was developed in collaboration with private-sector partners. Five Parks Canada-led searches for the Franklin Expedition ships have already taken place, surveying and charting over 1,200 km2 of the Arctic seabed, which is equivalent to over 2,200 football fields. This year’s expedition builds on the work of the previous searches and is expected to greatly exceed the best year of mapping to date.

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