Four months ago, a severe two week-long fire aboard the Yantian Express destroyed 260 containers, and damaged 460 more. Originally destined for Halifax, the containership spent nearly four months in the Bahamas undergoing inspection and repairs and is now back up and running. Earlier this week, the vessel reached the Port of Halifax, where it will deliver some of the containers that survived the fire. The vessel will now head for China for further repairs.
Containership Maersk Patras lost a crew member overboard in the Saint Lawrence River, northeast of the junction with Saguenay River on May 19. The search and rescue effort which involved several vessels and airborne assets, was ultimately unsuccessful. Though the search started immediately after the incident, the crew member was not wearing a lifejacket and the water was 6 degrees Celsius, and the Coast Guard decided to call off the search later that night.
Montreal will see 24 cruise ships making 74 stops in the Port this season. The ships represent 17 different companies. In total, they will bring more than 113,000 passengers and crew members to the city. 2019 will bring four new ships to the city and will mark the arrival of the 500,000th Holland-America passenger.
Seaspan Ferries has announced that it will be adding two new LNG – Battery hybrid ferries to its fleet in 2021. With construction scheduled to begin in 2019 at the by Damen Shipyards Gorinchem B.V. Mangalia Shipyard in Romania. The new vessels will join the Seaspan Swift and the Seaspan Reliant, the company’s first hybrid ferries. Since introducing these vessels to their fleet, Seaspan Ferries has been able to significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 50 percent compared to traditional vessels.
The highest court in BC has ruled against the province’s efforts to restrict the transportation of diluted bitumen within its borders, as under Canada’s division of constitutional powers, the regulation of inter-provincial pipelines is within federal jurisdiction. Had the province succeeded, it could have severely impacted the proposed Trans-Mountain pipeline expansion. BC argued that the transportation of hazardous goods, and regulations for environmental protection should fall under the province’s jurisdiction. BC still has the option of appealing to the Supreme Court of Canada.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced that the Canadian Government plans to invest $15.7 billion to build up to 18 new Coast Guard ships. 16 multi-purpose vessels will be used for light icebreaking, environmental response and search; they will be constructed in a fleet renewal project anchored in Seaspan's Vancouver Shipyards. The two new Arctic and offshore patrol ships will perform duties further offshore; they will be modified for the Canadian Coast Guard and will be built at Irving Shipyards in Nova Scotia. In addition to the shipbuilding plan, the federal government is providing an additional $351.3 million to enhance capacity of the coast guard, strengthen management and oversight and promote a greener way of doing business.
The Canadian government has announced that it has hired Bollore Logistics Canada to return containers of household garbage and a mixture of discarded plastics, metals and paper back to Canada after they were mistakenly sent to the Philippines nearly six years ago. The containers are expected to return to Canada next month. The cost of the contract is just over $1.14-million. The container were originally shipped to the Philippines in 2013 and 2014, though the shipments were prohibited under the Philippines’ import regulations. In 2016 a Philippines court ordered the importers to ship the containers back to Canada at their own expense, but they did not comply with the court order. The Canadian company that shipped the garbage has since gone out of business.
The National Indigenous Fisheries Institute and the Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson, Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard have announced the completion of a two-year review of Fisheries and Oceans Canada’s Indigenous programs, and the launch of the Northern Integrated Commercial Fisheries Initiative (NICFI). As part of this review process, the Institute engaged more than 50 Indigenous communities. The NICFI will provide funding and support to northern Indigenous groups and communities for the development of Indigenous-owned communal commercial fishing enterprises and aquaculture operations.
Canada has filed a 2,100-page submission with the Commission on the limits of the Continental Shelf at UN headquarters. The submission required more than a decade’s worth of scientific and legal work to determine the limits of Canada’s undersea landmass in the Arctic. This marks the first step in the process set out in the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) to obtain international recognition for the outer limits of the continental shelf in the Arctic Ocean, which will confirm Canada’s rights over this area, and is a critical step to defining the map of Canada.
Earlier this week the US Surface Transportation Board (STB) grilled railroad executives about demurrage and accessorial policies, a hot-button issue with shippers that believe the fees are used as a revenue generator after revenue surged more than 29 percent in 2018. Railroads told the STB that demurrage fees are designed to encourage timely pickup of cargo and allow for better service to all customers. However, shippers noted a lack of reciprocity in assessing such charges if the railroad were to cause a delay.
Container carriers are continuing blank sailings as US imports from China continue to fall. Shipments have declined 6 percent year over year to 3.5 million TEU in the first four months of the 2019 according to PIERS. There were 22 blank sailings to the West Coast through February and early March. Additionally, carriers are starting to take vessels out of services to prepare the ships for the transition to the low-sulphur fuel requirements effective January 1, 2020.
The Port of Virginia has unveiled ‘Smart Stack’, its rail strategy designed to make the Port more desirable for shippers. The Port has made significant investments to connect its container terminals to the national networks of Class I railroads. For its rail services, the port authority has invested $25 million in on-dock track and related infrastructure, $18 million in rail cargo-handling equipment and $4 million in supporting information technology. At VIG Terminal, the port has doubled its on-dock rail capacity, with the final piece of that expansion work to be completed at the end of May. The expanded rail yard at VIG includes more than 20,000 linear feet of track, which is served by four new cantilever, rail-mounted gantry cranes.
The MEPC 74 session approved amendments to strengthen existing mandatory requirements for new ships to be more energy efficient; initiated the Fourth IMO GHG Study; adopted a resolution encouraging cooperation with ports to reduce emission from shipping; approved a procedure for the impact assessment of new measures proposed; agreed to establish a multi-donor trust fund for GHG; and agreed terms of reference for the sixth and seventh intersessional working groups to be held in November 2019 and in March 2020 respectively in order to expedite the work. Short-term, mid- and long-term candidate measures will be considered at the next sessions.
The Indonesian government that announced that it will be setting up a new coast guard in accordance with 2008 government legislation. Existing authorities currently responsible for policing the coast and for ship safety, including the existing Indonesian Sea and Coast Guard and the Maritime Security Agency will be rolled into one. The task of forming the new coastguard will be given to the Ministry of Administrative and Bureaucratic Reform of the Republic of Indonesia.
CMA CGM has ordered Traxens trackers to help them monitor 50,000 of its containers and keep tabs on goods while in transit. Traxens involves connecting a tracker to a container, making it possible to monitor the container’s position, both at sea and on land, the intensity of any shocks that may occur, the opening and closing of the doors and external temperature variations. CMA CGM was the first investor in Traxens seven years ago, helping bring the technology to the market.
The USV Maxlimer, a 12-meter-long unmanned surface vessel, is due to make the first transatlantic crossing without a crew. The ship will set sail from Canada and make its way to the south coast England and conduct deep sea surveys during a 35-day crossing. The vessel will be guided by a skipper in a control station in Britain. The ship was built by Sea-Kit International, which develops vessels for the maritime and research industries. The vessel is operated by a hand-held remote control when in harbor and when at sea it can stream live data to the controller via multiple satellite links.
Top management at K Line has announced that they will take a six-month 10% pay cut, effective from the start of last month. The purpose of the pay cut was to clarify management’s dedication to the recovery of the business performance. The company reported a net loss of ¥11bn ($99 million) in the 2018 financial year.