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Vancouver, January 11, 2017 – The Chamber of Shipping applauds the B.C. government for approving the environmental assessment for the Trans Mountain Expansion Project and ensuring that the five conditions established by the province were met. This decision marks an important step towards growing Canada’s trade capacity and improving coastal protection.                                                                  

In British Columbia and across Canada, our continued prosperity and high standard of living depend on our ability to deliver resources in a responsible and competitive manner. For over half a century, petroleum products have been shipped through Vancouver without incident and tens of thousands of vessel movements occur safely in our waters annually.

 “Through the Oceans Protection Plan, Canadians have been given the opportunity and resources to significantly improve the safety and protection regime for Canada’s West Coast,” stated Robert Lewis-Manning, the President of the Chamber of Shipping. “The Chamber of Shipping is committed to working with governments and communities in implementing the elements of the $1.5B Oceans Protection Plan that will support both this project and all aspects of marine transportation in B.C.”

Canada remains a strong trading nation, with one in five Canadian jobs and more than 60 per cent of our gross domestic product directly linked to exports. In order to preserve our competitiveness worldwide, it is critical that Canada is able to build market access and secure new customers overseas.

About Chamber of Shipping

Since 1923, the Chamber of Shipping has been the representative voice of the marine industry on Canada’s west coast. The importance of that voice is arguably more important today than ever before as North America’s trade with Asia undergoes unrelenting growth and Canada’s Asia-Pacific Gateway plays a vital role in facilitating trade efficiency for the benefit of the entire nation.

For more information:

Denien Ford
Chamber of Shipping
Tel: +1 604 681 2351
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Thursday, 05 January 2017 10:04

Lewis-Manning appears on CBC's "On the Money"

441 OntheMoney

Chamber of Shipping's President, Robert Lewis-Manning appeared this week on CBC's On the Money to answer questions relating to the financial state of the container sector and the potential impact of consolidations and fewer alliances. The segment starts at 36:30 in the recording.

Friday, 02 December 2016 09:08

Vancouver Sun Op-ed published Dec. 2, 2016

Opinion: Canadian prosperity rests on safe shipment of products — including oil


By Robert Lewis-Manning
President, Chamber of Shipping

The government of Canada’s decision to approve the Trans Mountain Pipeline expansion project shines a spotlight on marine transportation and the unquestionable reality that Canada is a trading nation. The positive effects attending the decision to approve this $6.8-billion infrastructure project go well beyond the significant and sustained economic benefits anticipated for Alberta and B.C.

As Canadians, our prosperity and generally high standard of living depends on being able to responsibly and competitively deliver our resources, products and services globally. The reality is that one in five Canadian jobs and more than 60 per cent of Canada’s gross domestic product are directly linked to exports such as oil and other energy products, metals and minerals, wood products, fertilizer, grain, chemicals, and manufactured goods. The Port of Vancouver, the largest port in Canada, supports commerce with more than 170 trading economies worldwide.

As with our railways and highways, our marine waterways sustain our economy, and like those other transportation systems it is vital to our interests to manage them in a sustainable fashion.

There are well over 10,000 vessel movements annually that transit B.C.’s west coast safely and without incident. These transits are executed by professional mariners who have extensive training and experience and employ innovative technology that is as advanced as modern airliners. They are responsible and accountable for peoples’ lives, high-valued assets and cargoes and managing risk in a dynamic environment.

The planning for the movement of large vessels includes risk analysis, advanced modelling and simulation and a safety framework that includes internal safety management systems, a third-party vetting process by the owners of cargo and extensive federal regulations and inspection regimes.

Notwithstanding, there will always be some degree of risk and a combination of conditions that is problematic to predict. While some people might prefer zero risk, this is likely an unrealistic scenario for a nation that is profoundly dependent on marine transportation. The challenge that demands our utmost attention is the relatively small portion of risk that could have significant consequences.

In Canada, we are incredibly fortunate to have some of the best and brightest academics, scientists, government officials, marine professionals and innovators. Canada’s on-the-water presence includes an increasingly capable Coast Guard, Navy and police forces. We have been given the opportunity and reason to significantly improve the safety and protection regime for Canada’s coasts and now is the time to turn ideas and policies into tangible effects.

While the $1.5-billion value of the recently announced federal Oceans Protection Plan is unprecedented, it is the intent that is truly transformational and deserves recognition. This plan includes embraces an ecosystem-based approach, melding traditional risk planning with impact analysis. It also includes scientific benchmarking to better understand and mitigate the impacts of industrial and other activity on our oceans. Finally, it embraces co-management of our oceans with Indigenous People and will leverage their inherent knowledge and proximity of the coast.

A commitment to marine safety should include those communities that best understand the local environmental conditions and potential impact on marine ecosystems and could be involved in responding and mitigating the impact of a marine incident. It is time to turn the passion and energy into delivery of tangible results that builds real trust, real capabilities and real protection.

Canada’s prosperity and high standard of living depend on our ability to responsibly and competitively deliver our resources, products and services globally. We may continue to debate the mix of products transported on our marine waterways but we can achieve consensus about marine safety measures. The Oceans Protection Plan is an effective way to reach this shared objective.

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VANCOUVER, Nov. 29, 2016 - The government's approval of the Trans Mountain Pipeline Expansion recognizes the importance of growing capacity on all of Canada's trade corridors in the safest and most responsible manner possible. This is especially critical as Canada seeks to meet global demand from key foreign markets, and seize on all growth opportunities available. 

While trade relationships and international markets remain uncertain, it has become crucial for our leaders to open doors to new customers overseas, and protect Canada's competitiveness on the international stage. With one in five jobs directly linked to exports, the federal government's decision will mean security and jobs numerous Canadians.

"Canada's prosperity and high standard of living depend on our ability to responsibly and competitively deliver our resources, products, and services globally," says Chamber of Shipping's President, Robert Lewis-Manning. "Canada's marine industry supports the continued safe and efficient transportation of Canada's resources to world markets and welcomes the Trans Mountain pipeline approval as an important step toward seeking new opportunities in markets abroad."

The Chamber acknowledges that many Canadians remain concerned about the safety and environmental implications of shipments of petroleum products. All British Columbians, including Chamber of Shipping members, are passionate about ensuring the protection of our coast. For over half a century, petroleum products have been shipped through Vancouver without incident and tens of thousands of vessel movements occur safely in our waters annually. While there is no such condition as a zero-risk environment, there is a desire to work collaboratively on preventing incidents and providing adequate response when needed.

Through the recently announced Oceans Protection Plan, Canadians have been given the opportunity and reason to significantly improve the safety and protection regime for Canada's coasts. Moving forward, the Chamber of Shipping is committed to doing its part as the marine transportation stakeholder community – industry, government, Indigenous Peoples, environmental and community groups, and others – work together to ensure we continue to have the safest and cleanest maritime trading environment in the world.

About Chamber of Shipping

Since 1923, the Chamber of Shipping has been the representative voice of the marine industry on Canada's west coast. The importance of that voice is arguably more important today than ever before as North America's trade with Asia undergoes unrelenting growth and Canada's Asia-Pacific Gateway plays a vital role in facilitating trade efficiency for the benefit of the entire nation.

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Chamber of Shipping supports the federal government’s efforts to improve safety and environmental protection for B.C.’s coast

Vancouver, November 7, 2016 – The Chamber of Shipping congratulates the federal government for taking a new direction to protect the British Columbian coast for future generations. The Chamber is thoroughly reviewing the federal government’s National Oceans Protection Plan with our membership, which includes a broad base of marine industry-related businesses. Our diverse membership brings a multitude of perspectives to shipping and the marine industry.

The Chamber has long enjoyed a positive working relationship with our federal government partners and is pleased with today’s announcement of increased support and capacity for the Canadian Coast Guard. We also fully agree with the Prime Minister’s statement that “First Nations are always first responders” and recognize this important and developing relationship between the federal government and Indigenous People. Protecting our waterways to ensure long-term sustainability will be achieved through dialogue and partnerships with governments, coastal communities, and industry.

“We are impressed with the federal government’s progressive approach to improving Canada’s marine safety regime,” stated Chamber of Shipping’s President, Robert Lewis-Manning. “The marine industry has asked for many of the actions tabled by the government and these actions should go a long way to build the confidence of Canadians that governments, industry, and coastal communities are committed to keeping our waters safe.”

Marine shipping in B.C. is a critical industry and a key driver for the Canadian economy. Canada is a trading nation that is largely dependent on ships to move goods to and from coastal communities and international markets. The competitiveness of Canada’s gateways is essential and the Chamber is encouraged that the government continues to focus additional effort on this front, including adopting many of the recommendations made during the review of the Canadian Transportation Act and this government’s review of the future of transportation.

Quick Facts

  • 1 in every 5 Canadian jobs is directly linked to exports.
  • Over 60 percent of Canada’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is directly linked to exports.
  • Estimated 80 percent of volume of all global trade is carried by sea and handled by ports worldwide.


For more information:
Denien Ford,
Chamber of Shipping
T +1 604 681 2351 
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.



Monday 31 October 2016

The International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) has applauded the agreement, last Friday, by the IMO Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC) to develop a comprehensive Road Map for addressing CO2 emissions from international shipping – with initial CO2 reduction commitments to be agreed by IMO by 2018. 

Thursday, 29 September 2016 08:20

World Maritime Day 2016


Chamber of Shipping Calls on Federal Government to Support Trade on World Maritime Day 2016

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Vancouver – The United Nation’s International Maritime Organization celebrates World Maritime Day today with a theme to remind us that “Shipping is Indispensable to the World.”

Canada is a nation that is largely dependent on ships to move goods to and from coastal communities and international markets. An estimated 80 per cent of global trade by volume and 70 per cent by value are carried by sea and handled by ports worldwide.

Recognizing concerns voiced on the cumulative impact of shipping, we encourage the federal government to foster the collaboration on marine spatial planning that currently includes communities, Indigenous People and stakeholders, including the Chamber of Shipping. An integrated coastal strategy that is developed through meaningful dialogue and actions will protect our vital ecosystems and provide Canadians with greater certainty on the sustainability of their communities.

"Canada has an opportunity to get it right and develop a global model for sustainable marine transportation that supports trade in its strategy for coastal waters," states Robert Lewis-Manning, the President of the Chamber of Shipping.

The Chamber of Shipping is asking the federal government to:

  • Formally recognize low-impact marine trade corridors;
  • Review the cost of compliance and the competitiveness of Canadian gateways with respect to all fees paid by marine users;
  • Enhance the marine safety framework with a more robust Canadian Coast Guard and shared maritime domain awareness;
  • Establish policies and regulations based on facts and scientific research; and,
  • Continue its leadership role at the International Maritime Organization with a commitment to predictable international conventions.

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Due to the bankruptcy of the Korean charterer Hanjin, the German flag vessel Hanjin Vienna has been forced to stay at anchorage off Vancouver waiting for orders since 22 days. All crew members are safe and well cared for - including provisions and their payment. The vessel had been arrested in Vancouver due to unpaid invoices by charterer Hanjin. Contrary to wide spread media reports REEDEREI NSB is not the owner of this vessel, but operating her as the ship manager on behalf of the owner. Owners are currently in negotiation about outstanding payments with charterers Hanjin.

As managers of the vessel NSB is responsible for the operation and crewing of the vessel, and NSB does care for the safety of the crew and the vessel. As a matter of course the Nautical and Technical Department of NSB are in close contact with the Captain as well as with representatives of ITF, and all involved authorities. The vessel is safe and the situation does not pose any risk for our seafarers.

NSB arranged for the Chaplain of the Mission to Seafarers to visit the crew on board, he and the Captain confirmed that everybody on board is in good health and there were no concerns about the crew and conditions on board. The Master of the Hanjin Vienna comments: “Three weeks at sea that is little for a salted sailor. We are all well.”  In any case, NSB is making assiduous efforts to clarify the situation with the charterer Hanjin and have the vessel proceed with her voyage.



NSB Niederelbe Schiffahrtsgesellschaft mbH & Co. KG (REEDEREI NSB), founded in 1982 and based in the metropolitan region of Hamburg, is an internationally active ship manager. With a fleet of currently 75 ships, the shipping company offers quality “made in Germany”. Apart from ship management services for container ships, tankers and offshore installation vessels, REEDEREI NSB provides newbuilding supervision, technical consulting, and crewing services for its own and third-party ships. With the patented ship WIDENING concept developed by NSB the ship manager has established itself as an internationally leading innovator.

REEDEREI NSB is a member of the NSB GROUP. About 130 shore staff and approximately 1,700 seafarers work for the ship manager.


Key Data of REEDEREI NSB Press Contact
Total tonnage, dwt: 4,600,000 Bettina Wiebe
Container slots, TEU: 362,228 Head of Corporate Communications
Fleet size: 75 ships +49 (0) 4161 - 645-112
    This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
NSB employees
On board: about 1,700 Harburger Straße 47-51
On land: about 130 21614 Buxtehude

422 kitsbase

Vancouver – The official opening of the Kitsilano Canadian Coast Guard Base with enhanced capabilities is a progressive step in increasing both marine safety and environmental protection.

“The opening of this base not only signifies the government’s commitment, but also the progressive leadership of the Canadian Coast Guard. It has responded to feedback and is progressing a sophisticated strategy that includes partnerships with Indigenous People, coastal communities, and industry,” remarked the President of the Chamber of Shipping, Robert Lewis-Manning.

Moving forward, the marine industry asks the government to continue supporting additional capabilities for the Canadian Coast Guard, which include the appropriate statutory authority to fulfil its current mandate and consideration for an increased role, acceleration of the renewal of its fleet of vessels, and increased involvement with domain awareness and information systems.

Lewis-Manning added, “With increasing trade opportunities, our Coast Guard is vital to the protection of our pristine waters and supporting economic activity important to Canadians. Canada is evolving as a leader in sustainable marine transportation and continuous improvement.”

Tuesday, 26 July 2016 23:59

Conversations that Matter


Conversations That Matter features Robert Lewis-Manning, the president of the Chamber of Shipping in B.C., on the state of the industry in the coastal waters of British Columbia.

Lewis-Manning comes to the job after a distinguished career in shipping that includes 24 years in the Canadian navy. He says when it comes to shipping safety on the West Coast and in Canada, the numbers speak for themselves.

“We have a safety record that is among the best in the world and on the West Coast we have the best record in Canada,” Lewis-Manning says. “The reasons why are many. They include, but are not limited to, a culture of safety, a pilotage system that is world-class, guide ships, tugs, traffic control systems and traffic management strategies that focus on environmental protection.

Lewis-Manning says the Port of Vancouver, the Coast Guard, the Pacific Pilotage Authority, the Chamber of Shipping and the shipping companies that generate more than $500 million a day of economic activity all have safety as the No. 1 priority.

Conversations That Matter is a partner program with the Centre for Dialogue at Simon Fraser University. Join veteran Broadcaster Stuart McNish each week for these important and engaging Conversations shaping our future.


Friday, 08 July 2016 08:22

BC Shipping News Op-ed

Mixed (moratorium) messages by By Robert Lewis-Manning, Chamber of Shipping of British Columbia

By BCShippingNews
July 8 2016
Robert Lewis-Manning, Chamber of Shipping of British Columbia

Op-ed piece highlights risks of tanker moratorium...

It is now well-known that the Federal Government intends to formalize a moratorium on the shipment of crude oil in waters off Northern British Columbia. Such a moratorium would be a precedent in Canada in so much as it would limit the ability of the supply chain to move a specific commodity by a specific mode of transportation in a specific area. For many in the marine industry, this appears to be a premature decision that was based on speculation rather than fact, or at least didn’t fully consider the industry’s safety record and the regulatory framework in which it operates, the legal obligations inherent in the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, or the industry’s leadership approach towards continuous improvement. It was not precipitated by a significant incident involving damage to the environment or loss of life, nor was the requirement identified by another government process such as a risk assessment. While transportation professionals may view the proposed moratorium as ill-conceived, it is clearly supported by some stakeholders who may not fully understand the scope of regulatory options available to the government to manage risk.

It would be easy to view the proposed moratorium in a negative light, especially as it appears to be a predetermined outcome without respecting due process. Notwithstanding, the Government has an opportunity to get this one right now by establishing a deliberate process from the start that is inclusive of stakeholders, transparent, and which clearly recognizes fact-based decision-making. This is clearly an emerging and important theme demanded by Canadians and First Nations, and supported by governments. The Government also has the advantage of time as it does not appear as if the proposed project will move forward quickly. Northern Gateway and the Aboriginal Equity Partners have requested that the Government, through the National Energy Board, approve an extension to the sunset clause for an additional three years in order to address regulatory and legal issues and further develop partnerships with First Nation communities in the region. Although a comprehensive marine environmental assessment was covered in the Northern Gateway regulatory review, additional time provides an opportunity to further examine the risk of marine operations in Northern B.C. and how to mitigate such risk. By doing so, it should become very clear as to whether a moratorium would be the appropriate tool to address the residual risk associated with possible tanker traffic.

Perhaps this is also an opportunity to address several other important challenges associated with the management, protection and use of our waters. Canada has a sporadic strategy and approach to marine spatial planning and this continues to play out under a new government. While the Minister of Transport quite rightly speaks about the need for transportation corridors to leverage increasing trade opportunities, he does not have a direct role in developing such corridors when it concerns Canada’s oceans. In fact, the statutory authority to plan and manage the use of Canadian waters rests with Fisheries and Oceans Canada, and to a limited extent, Environment and Climate Change Canada through its agency, Parks Canada. While all of these departments have strong mandates and capable teams, none of them has a clear vision or mandate from the government to lead comprehensive marine spatial planning and so it is inevitable that a patchwork of initiatives will continue to unfold. The proposed moratorium is but one of many initiatives.

Many non-industry stakeholders may not be aware of the existing moratorium on Canada’s Pacific Coast. Concerns for the protection of the marine ecosystem are embodied in an existing voluntary Tanker Exclusion Zone that was created in 1985 largely to address the potential for a laden tanker to drift onto Canadian shores. This accomplishment was achieved through collaboration of the Canadian and United States Coast Guards and the U.S. marine industry involved in trading between Alaska and southern ports in the United States. More than 300 laden tankers transit annually along the B.C. Coast while respecting the Tanker Exclusion Zone. This positive example of collaboration and fact-based decision-making was made possible because all stakeholders had a common understanding of the risk and the objectives of mitigating the risk.

It is probable that an unsubstantiated moratorium on Canada’s West Coast would negatively affect the reputation of Canada’s commodity supply chain, potentially making Canada and Canadian ports less competitive. If the Government imposes a moratorium without due process, it would send a signal that the Canadian supply chain may not always be open for business. This approach would establish a precedent for managing undetermined risk that could propagate to other regions of the country and other modes of transportation. This mixed messaging contrasts the Government’s support for more open trading through free trade agreements such as the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement and the Trans-Pacific Partnership, and growing support for fact-based decision making. The timing of such a negative signal could not be worse as a sputtering global economy continues to have negative ramifications in Canada and for marine transportation in general.

This summer will be a busy period for the government and the marine industry. Minister Garneau is convening various round tables across the country while his department conducts extensive consultation on the future of Canada’s transportation framework. While many stakeholders will naturally draw a connection between the export of oil and the proposed moratorium, the significance of the moratorium as it relates to the Canadian supply chain is cause for greater concern. The use of moratoriums should be reserved as a last resort to halt an ongoing or imminent activity that could result in social, economic or environmental harm. This proposal does not appear to pass this litmus test and perhaps there is a better regulatory approach to address a risk that has not yet been fully determined. While not necessarily easy, it will be important for our industry to demonstrate to the government that it should avoid the establishment of any moratorium affecting transportation, and that it already has several strong statutory instruments at its disposal in order to manage risk.

 – The Chamber of Shipping recognizes the significance of protecting Canada’s oceans, as marine shipping is intrinsically connected to the health of our oceans. Through efforts at the International Maritime Organization and in Canada, positive change is underway to reduce the impact on the environment through advanced ship-design, and reductions of air emissions, aquatic invasive species, and ship generated noise. Likewise, Canada is fortunate to have a robust safety and pollution response framework and is a leader in much of the science and development associated with these efforts.

The Chamber is supportive of recent government initiatives to dedicate scientific resources to improving risk mitigation of shipping and impact on the environment, to strengthen the mandate and capabilities of the Canadian Coast Guard, and to improve the regulatory and pollution response framework.

The Chamber’s President, Robert Lewis-Manning, stated that “a safe, sustainable, and competitive transportation framework is essential to Canada’s prosperity and competitiveness.” Shipping accounts for 90% of goods transported around the world and, in more remote communities in Canada, it provides the necessities of life. Lewis-Manning added, “This must be achieved in a sustainable manner that respects the importance of the ocean and its value to Canadians and Indigenous people.”

The Chamber encourages government leadership in comprehensive marine spatial planning to ensure waterways are managed safely and effectively, and to establish low-impact trade corridors on the land and the sea that enable international and domestic trade safely and efficiently. The Chamber looks forward to engaging in marine spatial planning processes and to working with other stakeholders to achieve a safe, sustainable, and competitive marine transportation framework.

Vancouver, BC – The Council of Canadian Academies released a new report today titled Commercial Marine Shipping Accidents: Understanding the Risks in Canada. The Report concludes that “Canada’s waters as a whole have been getting safer over the past decade, with fewer commercial marine shipping accidents.” Of particular interest in the Report are the conclusions associated with the Pacific Region, which experiences the highest level of shipping activity in Canada while having the lowest accident rate and a relatively lower risk profile.

“This independent research provides a realistic evaluation of the state of our safety framework, which includes a robust international and national regulatory regime and improving industry safety procedures,” remarked Robert Lewis-Manning, the President of the Chamber of Shipping. “While the Report’s conclusions are positive, our industry must continue to strive for improvements to managing risk and reducing its impact on the marine ecosystem.”

The Chamber of Shipping is actively involved in promoting safe and sustainable shipping practices. Robert Lewis-Manning added that “the Report affirms the importance placed on protection of our marine ecosystem by First Nations and coastal communities. We share this priority and will work collaboratively to this end. The Chamber of Shipping applauds the effort of the Clear Seas Centre for Responsible Marine Shipping for initiating this workshop and report.”

The Chamber of Shipping is supportive of recent government initiatives to strengthen the mandate and capabilities of the Canadian Coast Guard, to review and strengthen the regulatory and spill response framework, and to dedicate scientific resources to improving risk mitigation of shipping and impact on the environment.

RLMThe Chairman, Dave Hill, and the Chamber of Shipping’s Board of Directors are pleased to announce that after an exhaustive search, Robert Lewis-Manning will be the association’s next President in succession to Stephen Brown who earlier this year announced his retirement plans for February 2016. 

Robert comes to the Chamber of Shipping direct from the Canadian Shipowners’ Association (CSA) based in Ottawa where he has established key relationships with federal and provincial government decision makers and environmental organizations in his role as President of the CSA since 2010.  The CSA’s recent legal challenge with the US ballast water management legislation has demonstrated Robert’s strength and ability in facilitation and advocacy on behalf of the shipping industry at all levels of government. 

Robert holds a degree in Political Science and a Masters of Business Administration and is a former senior officer with 24 years of experience in the Royal Canadian Navy where he has also gained extensive international experience in policy roles in the United Kingdom and Canada.  He is excited to return to the West Coast where he has maintained a resident in Victoria, BC.

While the Board looks forward to working with Robert, we recognize the expansive role that Stephen leaves behind upon his retirement.  Every effort will made to ensure that the transition is seamless and that Robert is well briefed and personally introduced to as many of you as possible prior to Stephen’s departure planned for February 26, 2016 following our Annual General Meeting.

Please join us in welcoming Robert to the Chamber of Shipping and we look forward to your support as we move forward with our transition.  


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