The Australian/U.S. led underwater search team seeking evidence of the crash-sight of the missing Malaysian Boeing 777 has indicated that in view of no trace of the plane being found thus far, the search area may be expanded. The Bluefin-21 autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV) has now completed 95% of its search in the area where possible signals from the plane's flight recorder were heard on 8 April. Malaysia has also announced that a formal report on the loss of the plane could be released next week.
The European Court of Justice has this week confirmed the validity of a European Union (EU) law on the sulphur content of marine fuel following a challenge based on less stringent MARPOL Annex VI regulations. The ruling has important implications for what will happen in 2020 when the EU plans to introduce a sulphur cap of 0.50% on bunker fuel, whether or not the IMO delays its plans for introducing the same limit worldwide.
The coastal product tanker Naniwa Maru No.1 was reportedly attacked by pirates off Portl Klang, Malaysia, this week when on passage from Singapore to Myanmar with some 4,400 tons of diesel oil on board. The pirates allegedly took three hostages with them out of a crew of 18 crew include Indonesian, Thai, Myanmar and Indian nationalities. The men kidnapped were Indonesian raising the possibility that they were part of the plot. Reports say that the pirates also discharged over five miliion litres of diesel from the ship into two waiting vessels.
Royal Caribbean International (RCI) has announced that the first in the company’s new Quantum-class, Quantum of the Seas, will make its home port in Shanghai (Baoshan), China beginning in May 2015 following an inaugural winter season sailing out of New York Harbor to the Caribbean. Quantum of the Seas, which will have a capacity of 4,180 guests, will then join the Mariner of the Seas and Voyager of the Seas in Asia, increasing the company’s capacity in the region by 66%. From Shanghai Quantum will sail three- to eight-night itineraries to Japan and Korea.
Quantum’s sister ship, Anthem of the Seas, launches in April 2015 and will complete her inaugural Europe season from Southampton U.K., before arriving at Cape Liberty in November 2015 to continue Quantum-class cruising to the Bahamas and Caribbean for the winter 2015-16 season. Steel cutting for Quantum of the Seas was performed in February 2013 at the Meyer Werft Shipyard in Papenburg, Germany.
Bernie A. Dumas, President and CEO of the Nanaimo Port Authority, has announced the following appointments:
Congratulations to Captain Edward Dahlgren and Mike Davidson on their new positions.
Canada Border Services Agency has issued the following D-Memoranda to provide guidance on tariff valuation under recently negotiated Free-Trade agreements:
D11-3-2 Memorandum - Marking Determination/Re-determination of Goods Imported from a NAFTA Country - outlines and explains legislation and regulations governing the marking determination and re-determination of goods imported from a NAFTA country, and advises importers/owners, exporters and producers on how to use appropriate sections of the legislation.
D11-4-13 Memorandum - Rules of Origin for Casual Goods under Free Trade Agreements - Rules of origin for casual goods regulations to determine entitlement to preferential tariff treatument under various free trade agreements.
D11-5-7 Memorandum - Canada-European Free Trade Association Free Trade Agreement (CEFTA) Rules of Origin - used to determine the entitlement of goods to preferential tariff treatment under CEFTA.
D11-5-8 Memorandum - Canada-Peru Free Trade Agreement (CPFTA) Rules of Origin - used to determine the entitlement of goods to preferential tariff treatment under CPFTA.
D11-5-9 Memorandum - Canada-Colombia Free Trade Agreement (CCOFTA) Rules of Origin - used to determine the entitlement of goods to preferential tariff treatment under CCOFTA.
The people of Kitimat last week voted against the proposed Northern Gateway pipeline. The ballot count from Saturday's unofficial referendum was 1,793 opposed versus 1,278 who supported the project — a margin of 58.4% to 41.6%. As the point of shipment for bitumen, Kitimat is the community most directly impacted by the proposed$6.5-billion project.
Meanwhile, an MOU announced this week between Northern Gateway Pipelines and trade unions representing pipeline construction workers guarantees a minimum target of approximately 2,100 person years of employment of union labour on the project, targets that will be established in detailed Project Labour Agreements. The MOU also ensures that the Project Labour Agreements include guarantees consistent with Northern Gateway’s publically stated commitments to local business opportunities and complements existing agreements with several First Nations groups guaranteeing employment and training opportunities.
The Pacific Maritime Association (PMA) and the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) are to begin contract negotiations on May 12. The existing contract expiration date is July 1 and the “no-strike” clause ends with it. For its part, the ILWU has publicly stated its objectives as stronger safety provisions, wages, more secure benefits, greater respect for ILWU jurisdiction and a reasonable approach to new technology. Not mentioned but known to be a priority are tax liabilities under the Affordable Health Care Act (Obamacare) set to take effect in 2018 and the proposed length of the new contract. Employers currently pay 100% of the premiums in the ILWU health care plan, and union members contribute just a $1 co-pay per prescription for medication. The PMA estimates that the new tax will cost industry $150 million a year and the ILWU seems intent on making the employers pay.
Following a tragic accident at sea on Wednesday this week, 287 people are still missing, mostly teenage high school students, after the South Korean owned ro-ro passenger ferry Sewol capsized and sank near Jeju Island with 475 passengers on board. The South Korean authorities have advised that 179 people were rescued in a rapidly organized and ongoing rescue/recovery operation which is being hampered by poor weather and strong ocean currents in the area. Nine people are so far confirmed dead. Many emotional text messages were sent to their families by students who clearly recognized they were unlikely to survive this terrible event. Our deepest condolences go to the families who have lost loved ones.
The search teams seeking evidence of the missing Malaysia Airlines plane MH370 have now deployed a robotic submarine known as Bluefin-21. This is a highly technical piece of equipment, five meters in length, designed to generate a sonar map of the sea floor. No new signals have been heard since 8 April and there are real concerns that the black box detector batteries are extinguished. Up to 12 planes and 15 ships have been involved in the search for the plane.
Australian technicians believe the signals picked up by ADV Ocean Shield are consistent with flight recorders and this has enabled to scope of the search area to be narrowed. Even so, detection of the missing plane remains an extremely difficult task. Each Bluefin-21 mission will last 24 hours at a maximum depth of 4,500 meters (15,000 feet) with 16 hours spent on the ocean floor, four hours' diving and resurfacing time, and four hours to download data. ADV Ocean Shield also spotted an oil slick in the same area where the signals had been heard and a sample is under testing.
The Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) and PSA Corp. are to inject $24 million into a Port Technology Research and Development Program to develop next-generation technologies for future container terminal operations. MPA will also provide a further $12 million over five years from its Maritime Innovation and Technology Fund. The initiative will be asked to focus on key areas of port automation, intelligent planning and control systems, and green port solutions. Singapore averaged 73 berth moves per hour in 2013, placing it near the top among major transshipment hubs but at the same time acknowledges that ever bigger container ships are generating new challenges for ports, including a need to improve crane moves per hour and activity peaks at truck gate moves. Singapore handled 32.6 million TEU in 2013, a 2.9 percent increase over 2012.
The Airbus consortium has been awarded a contract to build Europe's next generation of polar orbiting weather satellites. The contract requires studies of many types of meteorological observations which are combined into so called “Metop Data” to improve the accuracy of global forecasting. The first generation of “Metop Data” which evolved from a network of satellites will be de-orbited by nudging them down from their roughly 800km high operational altitude until they are caught by the atmosphere and burned to destruction. The first pair of Metop-Second Generation satellites will launch in 2021/22 and a third and final pair will likely go up in the 2030s, ensuring continuity of data into the 2040s.
In a discussion reminiscent of when the Whitecaps were seeking a waterfront stadium in Vancouver, it seems that David Beckham’s proposal to build a waterfront stadium within the port of Miami is not universally popular. Royal Caribbean Cruise Line and its Miami Seaport Alliance partners (including a wealthy car dealer and two locals of the ILA) has taken a full page add in the Miami Herald and its sister Spanish-language paper, El Nuevo Herald to speak out against the plan. The plan’s opponents argue that the well paying waterfront jobs are more important to the city’s economy than part time jobs related to stadium operations.
A joint venture between Port Metro Vancouver and Metro Vancouver will add several new air quality and meteorological monitoring sites in the East Vancouver area of Burrard Inlet. These additions will build on the monitoring initiatives conducted around Burrard Inlet between 2008 and 2010 and will help track progress towards improving air quality.
Mr. Lorne Friberg, President & CEO of Pacific Coast Terminals (above left), and Dr. Ulrich Lamp, President & CEO of K+S Potash Canada (above right), signed an exclusive, and long-term contract for the handling and storage of potash products from K+S Potash Canada's Legacy mine site in Saskatchewan before a number of dignataries in Port Moody earlier today. This agreement gives PCT the final nod on the construction of their new potash handling facility which is planned for completion in the fall of 2016. The entire project represents an investment value of approximately $180 million and will create approximately 300 FTE construction jobs and 20 FTE permanent jobs upon completion. Included in the project are a new railcar unlaoding station, new covered comveyor systems, systems to control dust emissions and a new storage warehouse.
PMV drayage activity is returning to some semblance of normality at 80-90% of pre-disruption activity but there remain several significant issues to resolve around the practical implementation of the 15 points action-plan under which the truckers agreed to return to work. There is a lack of consensus on several issues, not least that that several shippers do not feel bounded by the new trucking rates. Similarly, rail service is far from smooth in the intermodal sector or in the grain sector where both CN and CP are furious with government moves to regulate volumes.