The Skeena River Salmon Enhancement Program has dedicated $1 million from Prince Rupert Port Authority’s Community Investment Fund to partner specifically with local organizations on projects that increase salmon stock productivity and the maintenance and rehabilitation of critical habitat in the Skeena River watershed. The fund will also seek to support innovative pilot projects that will achieve these objectives and support the health, resilience and sustainability of Skeena River salmon during this International Year of the Salmon.
Hapag-Lloyd informed that on 3 January, a fire broke out in one container on the deck of the Yantian Express about 1,200 kilometres off Canada's East Coast and spread to additional containers. Efforts were launched immediately to put out the fire. However, they had to be stopped because of a deterioration of weather conditions. A cargo ship from the Netherlands, the Happy Ranger, offered assistance and was about 32 kilometres from the Yantian Express when help was requested. A firefighting tugboat was dispatched late Friday. Fortunately the crew of 8 officers and 15 seafarers is unharmed according to Hapag-Lloyd. The 7,510 TEU vessel, which is 320 meters long and carries the German flag, was on its way from Colombo to Halifax via the Suez Canal when the fire broke.
In support of the implementation of the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) has issued Customs Notice 18-27 to implement a number of regulatory amendments and new regulations, effective as of the date of coming into force December 30, 2018. Included are new regulations re the certification of origin of goods imported from a free trade partner. The regulations will set out the criteria by which an importer may complete the CPTPP Certificate of Origin for goods for which preferential tariff treatment under the CPTPP will be claimed.The changes are implemented in accordance with paragraph 167.1(b) of the Customs Act, and remain subject to future decisions from the Governor in Council.
The Maritime Authorities of the Paris and the Tokyo Memoranda of Understanding (MoU) on Port State Control will start issuing a letter of warning from 1 January 2019 on the sulphur content of marine fuels during inspections in order to increase awareness of and to encourage timely compliance with the new requirements. For the purpose of facilitating smooth and consistent implementation of the global 2020 sulphur cap, the Paris and the Tokyo Memoranda will carry out a joint information campaign by issuing a letter of warning to ships during inspections from 1 January to 31 December 2019. The aim is to increase awareness of the ships’ crew and company on the matter and to remind and encourage compliance with Regulations 14 (*1,*2) and 18 of MARPOL Annex VI from 1 January 2020.
The US Maritime Advisory System will initiate a new type of US Maritime Alert to relay urgent maritime related information from other USG sources or international regional maritime security reporting centers (i.e. United Kingdom Maritime Trade Operations, Maritime Domain Awareness for Trade Gulf of Guinea, Regional Cooperation Agreement on combating Piracy and Armed Robbery, International Maritime Bureau Piracy Reporting Center), when warranted. To subscribe to the alerts visit the Maritime Security Communications with Industry (MSCI) Portal at www.marad.dot.gov/MSCI. Maritime industry professionals (civilian or military) may also register to receive additional Company Security Officer related information. Although housed on MARAD’s website.
Two barges in the Port of Vancouver broke free from their moorings in North Vancouver at about 5 a.m. on Boxing Day causing more than $1M in damages. The barges had drifted across Vancouver Harbour and collided with three structures in Coal Harbour. One barge was loaded with containers and the other was an empty gravel barge. Two local tugs, the marine unit vessel and two boats from the Port of Vancouver managed to get both barges under tow about 90 minutes later and returned them to their moorings in North Vancouver. The cause of the incident is still unknown, and there were no reports of marine pollution.
CN is well positioned to handle an anticipated volume increase in grain, potash, consumer goods, and energy products projected for 2019. CN's has invested a record $3.5 billion in 2018 to hire hundreds of train conductors, add new track, boxcars and locomotives, primarily to service Western Canada. Adding to this will be the delivery of the first 40 of 60 new General Electric locomotives in January. Record levels of capital expenditures are expected to continue in 2019.
Also of interest, in mid-December CN and the Unifor union that represents its 2,100 mechanics, electricians and apprentices in Canada reached a tentative collective agreement. Negotiations began Oct. 5 with Unifor saying that wages, benefits and the contracting out of repair and overhaul work were key issues. The new agreement is subject to ratification. The current contract expired on December 31, 2018.
Canadian National Railway Co. says it is planning to build a pilot plant worth up to $50 million next year to create pucks made of oilsands bitumen to transport by rail and ships to customers around the world. The railway is in discussions with the federal and Alberta governments, along with potential oilsands industry partners and the Heart Lake First Nation of northern Alberta, to fund the 10,000-barrel-per-day pilot plant. If the pilot succeeds, CN would build a commercial-sized plant with capacity to convert up to 50,000 barrels per day of heavy crude. The company has signed a memorandum of understanding with an unnamed Asian customer who is interested in importing the pucks to his country and separating the oil and polymer for processing and sale.
The Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) issued a news release stating that the agency is closed due to the partial federal government shutdown and will resume operation upon enactment of appropriations legislation. The shutdown has also affected the US Coast Guard Academy, NOAA and the Maritime Administration, which prepared to cease all activities in the Committee on Marine Transportation Systems, the Office of Policy and Plans, and the Office of Maritime Education and Training, among others.
A Panamanian car carrier traveling from Japan to Hawaii with about 3500 Nissan vehicles on board caught fire in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, leading crew members to abandon ship last week. The fire broke out on the Sincerity Ace on New Year's Eve and the US Coast Guard (USCG) and five merchant vessels in the area went to the rescue. Of the 21 crew, 16 were rescued, four were located unresponsive, and one remains missing. The US Coast Guard has not shared what exactly caused the fire on the Sincerity Ace, which was built in 2009. The USCG video taken from an HC130 Hercules aircraft shows the extent of the damage.
On January 2 2019, a Canadian International Trade Tribunal Procurement Decision has determined that a complaint filed against the Department of Public Works and Government Services (PWGSC) by Horizon Maritime Services Ltd. / Heiltsuk Horizon Maritime Services Ltd. was to be valid in part. The Complaint regarding the procurement process for two emergency towing vessels alleges that PWGSC did not conduct a fair procurement process, as the successful bidder was non-compliant with certain mandatory requirements in the solicitation process, including requirements relating to the pulling power of the towing vessels. Pursuant to subsections 30.15(2) and (3) of the Canadian International Trade Tribunal Act, the Tribunal recommends that the PWGSC re-evaluate mandatory requirement No. 12 of the Request for Proposals for all of the bids received prior to bid closing, as soon as practicable and no later than within six months of the determination. The Tribunal has also recommended that the current designated contract remain with the winning bidder, Atlantic Services Limited (ATL), until the completion of the re-evaluation. However, the Tribunal recommends that no further expenditure under the contract be undertaken by PWGSC pending the re-evaluation.
Fairview Container Terminal has reached a major milestone - handling its millionth TEU (twenty-foot equivalent unit) for the first time in a calendar year just after 10 years of operation. On December 18th, the millionth TEU was loaded onto the COSCO Africa while ILWU members and supply chain partners were on hand to celebrate the event. The 40-foot container was loaded with dimensional lumber from Canfor’s Plateau mill at CN’s Prince George Transload Facility before arriving in Prince Rupert by rail. The milesone shows solid growth when compared to the 182,523 TEUs moved in 2008, its first full year in operation. COSCO was given special mention during the ceremony as COSCO was the first and only container carrier to support the new terminal back in 2007. On the labour front, ILWU Local 505 has seen unprecedented growth with its workforce expanding by 425 percent since the terminal opened in 2007. DP World will continue to invest in increasing terminal capacity, with the next expansion project beginning in 2019, bringing the terminal’s effective capacity to 1.8M TEUs by 2022.
BC Ferries is poised to spend $57M in British Columbia with various marine service suppliers to support its fleet during the current refit cycle this fiscal year. Over the past decade, BC Ferries spent more than $1B at BC shipyards by sourcing local suppliers to complete necessary upgrades on its fleet of 36 vessels including repairs, dry-docking, and life extension projects. Recognized as a significant contributor to the BC economy, the company spends $200M annually on ships, terminals and information technology infrastructure in BC and generates $100M in annual government tax revenue.
Exxon Mobil says it will not proceed with its planned $25-billion LNG export facility in Tuck Inlet, in the Prince Rupert area and has withdrawn its environmental assessment application. Though they say they are committed to their Canadian operations, they have not specified they have withdrawn their application. The apparent shelving of the WCC LNG project is the latest blow to the West Coast LNG export industry which at one time featured about 20 proposals, but has resulted in only one firm commitment to build.
Transport Canada has announced that Minister Garneau has cleared Santa Claus for take-off for this year’s round-the-world flight to deliver presents to millions of good boys and girls everywhere. This year’s delivery mission will include a special co-pilot - Mrs. Claus! While reviewing this year’s pre-flight checklist with Mrs. Claus, Minister Garneau stressed how important it is for her, Santa and the reindeer to get adequate rest and to avoid consuming alcohol or drugs to ensure that everyone is #FitToFly on this very important mission. Earlier this month, Transport Canada inspectors travelled to the North Pole to inspect Santa’s sleigh and its safety systems. The inspectors checked the landing gear and the reindeer harnesses, as well as the communications and navigation systems. Rudolph’s nose was tested to make sure that it is operating at maximum brightness. In addition, Santa’s gift bag full of presents was checked using the latest screening technology to ensure it is secure and ready for delivery.
While this is excellent news for all good boys and girls, one of our long-standing ships' agent has asked, "so if Santa was coming to Canada would he...
Great to see that at least one of our members still has a sense of humour at this time of the year!
The Minister of Transport, Marc Garneau has announced that the Government of Canada will begin a call for proposals under the National Trade Corridors Fund (NTCF). As part of the Fall Economic Statement, the Government proposed a new Export Diversification Strategy to help businesses succeed, and increase Canada’s overseas exports by 50 per cent by 2025. The government will begin accepting expressions of interest starting on that date. Detailed information on the process and how to apply, along with the applicant guide, will be added to the website on January 15, 2019. Transport Canada will evaluate projects on specific trade-related criteria that:
In addition to the above criteria, projects will be assessed for the extent to which they will add capacity or address bottlenecks near major ports, airports, or along road and rail corridors in Canada that help generate or increase overseas trade.
Transport Canada has released an interactive map of the Oceans Protection Plan initiatives across Canada. The map displays and provide details of the various initiatives under the $1.5 billion plan and will be updated regularly.