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Thirteen children aged between one and 12 were among 35 Afghan Sikh asylum seekers found in a shipping container at Tilbury Docks.  The group arrived on Saturday on a ship from Zeebrugge, Belgium and were discovered by dock workers who heard banging and screaming coming from one of the containers.   One man was found dead and the others were taken to hospital and treated for severe dehydration and hypothermia.  The 30 people released into police custody include nine men and eight women aged between 18 and 72. Four people still remain in hospital.  Two men from Northern Ireland have have been arrested on suspicion of manslaughter and facilitating illegal entry into the UK.

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Not unlike what happened in Vancouver earlier this year, Ningbo's Beilun container terminal has been crippled by thousands of truck drivers who were initially protesting trip rates that have not been adjusted for eight years.  The Ningbo Transportation Association has since announced an increase to the trucking rate by 12 percent, however the unrest has grown now to include issues with new environmental regulations, unreasonable port entry fees and shippers' payment terms.  The disruption is now in day five and no immediate resolution is anticipated, although Ningbo's local government and main port operator have intervened and called on industry to adhere to the new rates, violence continues to escalate.

The Port of Ningbo-Zhoushan is the sixth-busiest port in the world and the third-busiest port in China, handling 17.33 million TEUs in 2013 and 13,000 drivers service the Beilun terminal compared to the 2,000 drivers that service Vancouver's container terminals.

Thursday, 21 August 2014 13:01

Bernie Dumas appointed ACPA Chair

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At the Association of Canadian Port Authorites' 56th annual meetings in Belledune, New Brunswick this week, Bernie Dumas, CEO of the Port of Nanaimo, was appointed as the ACPA Chair for the ensuing year.  Incoming Vice Chair is Karen Oldfield, President and CEO of the Halifax Port Authority and Secretary/Treasurer is Pierre Gagnon, President and CEO of Port of Sept-Iles.

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) and US Department of Agriculture (USDA) have issued a second mid-season bulletin to advise vessels of high population levels of Asian Gypsy Moth (AGM) in the regulated countries.  To date 20 vessels have been detected with AGM on the west coast of Canada and have been ordered out for cleaning and re-inspection by CFIA.  While the number of vessels found with AGM is fairly consistent with previous years, the number of egg masses found on each vessel are of significant concern.  The joint bulletin is to remind operators to order inspections at the regulated countries immediately prior to departure and to remind crew of the necessity to carry out self-inspections while en route.  Vessels departing from Russian ports during the specified risk period are of particular concern.  Should CFIA conduct an import inspection on the vessel, decks should be clear of debris and any obstacles that may hinder the inspection.  pdf 2014 In-season CFIA USDA Urgent Advisory (44 KB)

 325 DPNanaimo2  325 DPNanaimo7

The arrival of the M/V Westwood Pacific at the Nanaimo Port Authority’s Duke Point terminal on August 19th is the first container ship to berth at the Port’s facilities and will provide a direct link to Asia.  Westwood Shipping Lines operate a dedicated break bulk and container service to Asia and have been evaluating the Vancouver Island market for some time. This trial call, with express service to Japan, Korea and feeder service to other Asian ports, is expected to lead to a regular service, providing Vancouver Island manufacturers the option to ship their goods from Nanaimo.

The Nanaimo Port Authority (NPA) has been working with DP World Vancouver to create a direct competitive connection for Vancouver Island customers to Asia Pacific markets and the arrival of this container ship is one step closer to realizing this goal. The NPA recently received $4.5 million from the federal government as part of the Asia Pacific Gateway Corridor Initiative Program. These funds are intended to upgrade the Port’s container operation at the Duke Point Terminal.  

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The Association of Canadian Port Authority's (ACPA) has entered into a Memorandum of Understanding with Green Marine to advance environmental sustainability at all Canadian ports. The framework for cooperation calls for increased cooperation and advancement of the Green Marine Environmental Program and related intiatives, which includes encouraging environment performance beyond regulatory compliance and a program for continuous improvement.  Pictured above from left to right are: Green Marine Executive Director, David Bolduc, ACPA President, Wendy Zatylny, AAPA President and CEO, Kurt Nagle and, Green Marine President, Raymond Johnston.

Friday, 15 August 2014 12:56

Order specifying grain quantities

Published in the Canada Gazette on August 13, 2014 is the Order Specifying the Minimum Amount of Grain to be Moved under the Canada Transportation Act.  This Order in Council extends the original deadline of August 3, 2014, which coincided with the end of the crop year, through to November 29, 2014.  The OIC specifies that 536,250 metric tonnes of grain must be moved each week by the both CN and CP.  Furthermore, it addresses potential volume requirements for subsequent months.

  • December: approximately 430 000 per week;
  • January to February: approximately 400 000 per week;
  • March: approximately 455 000 per week; and
  • April to the end of the crop year: approximately 536 250 per week.

Actual minimum movement volumes would need to be set by a new order in council and would be based on additional monitoring of the situation over the next four months.

Friday, 15 August 2014 12:40

Beer exports from Rotterdam in jeopardy

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Ongoing congestion at the Port of Rotterdam is delaying thousands of boxes and adding substantially to shippers’ costs.  Among the victims have been Dutch brewers Heineken and Bavaria who have resorted to trucks instead of barges to move their products to the terminals.  Fingers are pointing at ECT Delta Terminal upgrades and also vessels now  arriving out of schedule.  Vessels can be delayed anywhere up to a week and many carriers are looking at new surcharges to address the congestion and delays. 

Thursday, 14 August 2014 15:24

West African pirates gaining confidence

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On August 9th pirates attacked a tanker 200 nautical miles off the Gulf of Guinea using tactics similar to those used by from Somali pirates.  The tanker was pursued by three skiffs and the pirates approached the ship under several bursts of automatic gunfire.  Fortunately the pirates were unsuccessful in their attempt to board the vessel from the stern.  While there have been similar attacks on vessels off the Niger Delta up to 160 nautical miles out, these have been crew kidnap incidents whereas these pirates appeared to be after the cargo.  Over the past 12 months, 23 product tankers and 19 vessels servicing the petroleum industry have been targeted.  It is estimated that at least one attack is now taking place every week.  

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The Port Alberni Port Authority (PAPA) has released its feasibility study for the proposed Port Alberni Transshipment Hub (PATH) that includes a new container terminal located in Alberni Inlet.  PATH includes a new terminal that would handle container vessels up to 22,000 TEU capacity in Port Alberni and support distribution centres in the Fraser River, Squamish and Tacoma with barge services through the marine corridors.  The study was funded by the port authority, Transport Canada through the Asia Pacific Gateway Canada Transportation Infrastructure Funding program, and the Huu-ay-aht First Nations.  According to the study this $1.7B project cost is expected to result in significant socio and economic benefits valued at $74.6M per annum.  The next step for PAPA is to secure investors and win the federal government's support.  

To view the study visit: http://www.portalberniportauthority.ca/en/studies-reports.

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On Tuesday evening, the Maltese-flagged vessel Flag Gangos lost power and steering on the lower Mississippi River and collided with the Liberian-flagged vessel Pamisos and the barge Web 235, which were both moored at the International Matex tank terminals.  The barge was struck during a fuel transfer operation and as a result 580 gallons of fuel oil was discharged into the river from the transfer hose.  Boom has been deployed in the area to contain the oil.  While no injuries were reported, the Pamisos and the barge were both damaged. Traffic was reopened the following afternoon to all vessels.


Wednesday, 13 August 2014 15:21

Railways facing pressure from all sides

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Plans to stop CN Rail from operating a line connecting to the Port of Prince Rupert by the Gitxsan First Nation have been averted after the Supreme Court of British Columbia ordered the group not to interfere with CN’s operation that cuts through the group’s 33,000-square-kilometers of territories.  The eviction notice followed the the Supreme Court of Canada's decision on June 26 that upheld the land title rights of the Gitxsan First Nation and confirmed the group's right to block development, including mining and oil pipelines. A huge sigh of relief as US-bound imports continue to choke up the terminals and increase the pressure on rails that are forced to meet an increase in volumes in almost all sectors.

US Congressional pressure is also mounting on BNSF Railway and CP Railway to get rid of a backlog of US grain shipments before the harvest arrives this fall.  US North Dakota senators have indicated that the number of open requests for CP railcars improved only 5 percent between June and August, and the average wait time increased by 27 percent to more than 80 days.  On August 1st, the Canadian Minister of Agriculture extended its requirement for CN and CP to each move 500,000 tonnes of grain per week.

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