Friday, 21 February 2014 10:46

Suez tolls rise again

298 Suez

Ever desperate to milk the cow that feeds it, and most of the population for that matter, the Suez Canal Authority has announced new tolls for tankers with increases of up to 2.6% effective May 1. Last year, fees for tankers rose between 2.5% and 5%. On a more positive note and following completion of a dredging program the Canal has decided to allow containerships of up to 13,000 TEU to join the second southbound convoy of the day, a move which could reduce eastbound transit times by half a day. Qualifying vessels will have a maximum LOA of up to 370m, beam 50m and a draft of 14.6 meters, larger vessels have to pay a surcharge. The similarity with maximum dimensions for container ships transiting the Panama Canal once the lock expansion program is complete are unmistakable. 

298 HumanFactor

A newly formed IMO subcommittee focusing on the human element at sea has been in session this week. On the agenda was the Polar Code, reviewing  maritime distress systems and developing what will eventually become the gas-as-fuel code for vessels running off low-flashpoint fuels such as natural gas and methanol. The Human Element, Training and Watchkeeping subcommittee was formed in 2013 in response to significant disagreements on such issues as standards of vessels and qualifications of crew operating vessels in polar regions including the ability to understand the risks of operating in or near ice if they have no prior experience. IMO Secretary General Mr. Koji Sekimizu wants the mandatory polar code to be completed this year and to come into force in 2016.

Friday, 21 February 2014 10:42

Chicago seeking Asian Carp solution

298 AsianCarp  298 AsianCarp2

Chicago is reportedly considering drastic measures to prevent the Asian Carp infiltrating the Great Lakes. One option under consideration is to completely block the city's canal system at an estimated cost of $18 billion to stop Asian carp entering Lake Michigan. The species was originally introduced to southern US states more than three decades ago to control algal build-up in sewage treatment plants but they escaped into the Mississippi River and populations rapidly expanded before making their way north. At more than one metre in length, they have largely displaced indigenous fish species along the way.

Friday, 21 February 2014 10:40

Marine Exchange to host Shipping 101

The Marine Exchange of Puget Sound is hosting Shipping 101 – “Global Commerce, International Transportation and Trade” in Seattle on March 3 thru 7, 2014. 

  • A five-day intensive course that covers the material you need to know and understand to effectively trade and ship in the global marketplace.
  • The course includes the evolution of international trade and transportation, all critical work processes, compliance requirements and different modes of transportation.
  • This course will enhance your competitiveness in the global marketplace as a seller, buyer or service provider.
  • The course includes a text book, work book, shipping geography and a tour of the Port of Seattle’s container and intermodal facilities. Shipping 101 carries 3.2 CEU Credits from Old Dominion University (ODU).  It also carries 20 CCS/CES Credits through the National Customs House Brokers and Freight Forwarders Association.

This course was hosted about a year by the Marine Exchange in Seattle for the first time in this region. The course information is all posted on the Marine Exchange website –, more specifically at

Friday, 21 February 2014 10:35

Chamber of Shipping AGM - February 28th

298 Vallely1 298 Vallely2

The  Chamber of Shipping’s Annual General Meeting is this year set for Friday, February 28th at 2:30 pm at the Vancouver Club in the Grand Ballroom. Following customary formalities, Mr. Kevin Vallely(above left) one of the four member crew who set out to traverse across the 3,000 km Northwest Passage under human power last summer in a specially commissioned 25-foot boat will join us as a very special guest speaker. A cocktail reception will follow Kevin’s presentation. For members and invited guests to RSVP, please go to our website and register at: or email to: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


298 Rail

Rail delays look set to drag into March before there is any realistic prospects of port fluidity recovery. The situation with CN at our container terminals continues to be particularly difficult with vessel delays, a log-jam of containers and extended dwell times, The weather problems across North America were compounded in January ahead of the Chinese New Year holidays when year on year export growth rose to 10.6% in January compared to 4.3% in December.  Official figures indicate that exports to North America rose to 10.7% in January, up from 3.0% in December.

In the bulk trades, the number of ships at anchor off the Port of Vancouver at any time is running at between 40-50 and around half that number off Prince Rupert. This is resulting in significant pressure on pilotage and berth scheduling due to the remoteness of many anchorages being forced into use. Here too, we are unlikely to see much improvement for several weeks, particularly for vessels chartered in to load grain where waiting time in excess of one month has become the new unwelcome norm.

A reminder that this year's regulated period for Asian Gypsy Moth on the west coast of Canada will commence on March 1st and end on September 15, 2014 as per the Canadian Food Inspection Agency's D-95-03 Plant Protection Policy for marine vessels arriving from areas regulated for Asian Gypsy Moth.   Vessels are reminded of the requirement to report 96 hours in advance reporting requirements and below is a new notice from CFIA regarding launch requirements during grain and AGM inspections. See the following links below:

pdf CFIA Reminder of Launch Requirements (29 KB) pdf
(29 KB)

pdf 2014 Canada-US Asian Gypsy Moth Notice (58 KB)

pdf CFIA 2014 AGM Season Commencement Notice (54 KB)

CFIA D-95-03 AGM Policy for Marine Vessels (15th Revision)


Thursday, 20 February 2014 10:20

Budget speech reveals LNG tax strategy

298 LNG

The Provincial budget speech this week provided an insight to the provincial LNG tax strategy in the form of a two-tiered tax regime. The province proposes a 1.5% tax to be applied when a production facility is up and  running and a second tier of tax which could reach as much as 7.0% once a facility has recouped its capital costs. Legislation to introduce the tax is expected in the fall with regulations and legislation to follow in 2015. Related LNG initiatives included in the budget included $29 million over three years to be spread through the ministries of aboriginal relations, environment, forests and natural gas development to help develop the industry. There is also $9 million over the next three years to support environmental assessment of the impact of LNG developments — facilities, pipelines and mining. Victoria has set an objective of having three LNG terminals in operation by 2020, the first by 2017.

The Honourable Lisa Raitt, Minister of Transport, has announced new funding to increase the number of flights to monitor and detect pollution from ships in Canada’s waters.

The National Aerial Surveillance Program (NASP) is one of the main pillars of the Government of Canada’s Pollution Prevention Program and is the government’s primary tool for detecting ship-source pollution.

The Government of Canada is now approximately doubling funding for the program, to $47.6M over the next five years. This funding allows for significantly more flight hours to detect pollution.

298 TLS

Port Metro Vancouver has announced that it will be expanding the current Moratorium on the Truck Licensing System (TLS).

As part of Port Metro Vancouver’s (PMV) Smart Fleet Trucking Strategy, the port is undertaking a review of the current Truck Licensing Program. As part of the review, PMV this week imposed a moratorium to include new Local FSO Licence applications, Joint Temporary Permits, and the addition of trucks to fleets that would have the effect of increasing the overall, current Local TLS Approved Truck Fleet

New FSO Licence and truck applications that are received by TLS after 1:00 p.m. Pacific Standard Time on Monday, February 17, 2014 will not be reviewed.

For more information, visit: Port Metro Vancouver's website.

On February 15, 2014, proposed eManifest regulatory amendments were published in Part I of the Canada Gazette.  These proposed amendments will support:  

  • the mandatory transmission of cargo and conveyance data in the highway and rail modes,
  • the transmission of conveyance arrival messages in the air, marine and rail modes,
  • the transmission of electronic warehouse arrival messages, and
  • the ability to apply all newly developed, applicable Administrative Monetary Penalty System (AMPS) penalties.

This pre-publication provides a 30-day period for internal and external stakeholders to comment or pose questions on the proposed regulatory amendments.

When fully implemented, eManifest will require carriers, freight forwarders and importers in all modes of transportation (air, marine, highway and rail) to electronically transmit advance commercial information to the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) within prescribed mode-specific time frames.

Minister Lisa Raitt has appointed BC Coast Pilot's Capt. Michael Roman to the board of directors of the Pacific Pilotage Authority for a term of three years.  See news release.

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