The Gulf Islands were the site of a simulated ferry evacuation this week, with the Joint Task Force (Pacific) (JTFP) of the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) coordinating search and rescue operations in a large-scale, on-water exercise. The exercise is jointly managed by the Department of National Defence and the Canadian Coast Guard with coordination through the Joint Rescue Coordination Centre (JRCC) involving both air coordination by the CAF and marine rescue coordination by the Canadian Coast Guard.
Following the evacuation of the MV Coastal Renaissance, command was handed to the Canadian Coast Guard for environmental response operations. It was all part of day one of Exercise Salish Sea 2017 – a multi-agency maritime disaster training exercise happening on Oct. 25 and 26th. Partners participating in Exercise Salish Sea include: Canadian Armed Forces, Canadian Coast Guard, BC Ferries, BC Emergency Health Services, Emergency Management BC, BC Ministry of Environment, Royal Canadian Marine Search and Rescue and Public Safety Canada, among a great many others. Coastal First Nations including Nisga’a, Metlakatla, Gitxaala, Nuxalk, Heiltsuk, Haisla, and Gitga’at observed the exercise to assist in developing localized search and rescue programs.
The Chamber of Shipping particated in the US Coast Guard 13th District's Ports and Waterways Safety Assessment (PAWSA) workshop at the Whatcom County Emergency Operations Center in Bellingham this week, comprised of more than 80 maritime and waterway community users, stakeholders and representatives from Canada, the State of Washington, Coast Salish Tribes and indigenous peoples. The PAWSA panel focused on the Port Angeles Precautionary Area, Haro Strait, Boundary Pass and Rosario Strait. A report will be produced and made available to the public that outlines results from participant discussion, comments made during the workshop and specific recommendations as to what mitigation strategies should be implemented. The last PAWSA for this area was conducted in 2002 and can be found here.
In a monumental step backwards, Reuters has reported that US Commerce Department Secretary Wilbur Ross sent a report to the White House on Wednesday containing recommendations on whether to change the boundaries of 11 marine sanctuaries to allow more oil and gas drilling, but the report was not made public. The review considered sanctuaries containing 425 million acres of coral reefs, marine mammal habitats and pristine beaches.
Last month, energy industry representatives told Reuters that despite the Trump administration’s focus on drilling, opening up marine monuments and sanctuaries would likely result in more opportunities for wind power companies, which Trump has lambasted. Catherine Reheis-Boyd, president of the Western States Petroleum Association, said none of the members of her trade group were interested in drilling in four marine sanctuaries off California’s coast that are under review.
After five successive years of decline, vessel operating costs are expected to rise in both 2017 and 2018, according to the latest survey by international account and shipping consultant Moore Stephens. Repairs and maintenance and spares are the cost categories which are likely to increase most significantly in each of the two years. The survey is based on responses from key players in the international shipping industry, predominantly shipowners and managers in Europe and Asia. Those responses revealed that vessel operating costs are likely to rise by 2.1% in 2017 and by 2.4% in 2018.
The Review of Maritime Transport 2017 released this week by UNCTAD says that seaborne trade grew by 2.6 per cent in 2016, reaching 10.3 billion tons. Concerns were raised that as an annual growth rate of 3.2 per cent between 2017 and 2022 is projected increased capacity sharing could lead to ogliopolistic structures. "In many developing countries' markets, there are now only three or even fewer suppliers left," says Shamika N. Sirimanne, Director of UNCTAD's Division on Technology and Logisticss. "Regulators will need to monitor developments in container shipping mergers and alliances to ensure there is competition in the market." Revisiting the rules governing consortiums and alliances may be necessary, the report says, in order to balance the interests of shippers, ports and carriers.
Chamber of Shipping Principal Member and past director, Oak Maritime's Managing Director, Jack Hsu, makes the cover of Maritime CEO's latest edition with a feature article on 'Uncertainty creates hesitation, confusion and perhaps even fear' providing a perspective on the constant battle between charterers and owners.
The UK Chamber of Shipping and its partners Addleshaw Goddard and the Law Society of Scotland have launched a free online introductory course in maritime law. The course, titled ‘Maritime Law: an Introduction to Shipping Transactions’, launches on Monday 30th October and will outline the unseen legal and transactional structures behind the shipping industry. The course is open to anyone looking to develop their understanding of maritime law or who has an interest in shipping and maritime trade. For more information visit: https://www.ukchamberofshipping.com/latest/free-new-online-course-maritime-law-launched/.
The International Maritime Organization's Secretary-General, Kitack Lim, has responded to allegations published by a London-based non-profit organization, Influence Map, that suggests shipping registries and industry lobby groups have "derailed progress on cutting emissions." Mr. Lim's statement clarifies that as is the case in other UN agencies of a technical nature, the make-up of national delegations to IMO is entirely a matter for the countries themselves, and those countries who wish to include industry technical experts or others may do so.
As part of its ongoing commitment to sustainability, the Panama Canal Authority has launched the Emissions Calculator, an innovative new tool which will offer shippers the most accurate assessment of their carbon emissions, rank those who have reduced the most emissions by transiting the Canal versus alternate routes, and encourage action to reduce carbon footprints. The calculator will help the Panama Canal reduce its own carbon footprint as well by measuring and tracking emissions from its domestic day-to-day operations to support the development of a low carbon strategy that will be used to establish a roadmap for the Panama Canal to become a "Carbon Neutral" entity.
The Panama Canal Authority has just released its 2017 fiscal year results that reported a record 403.8 million Panama Canal tons (PC/UMS) of cargo in FY17, the largest amount of annual tonnage ever transited in its 103-year history. The 22.2 percent increase from the previous year can be directly attributed to the added capacity provided by the Expanded Canal. A total of 13,548 vessels during its FY17, representing a 3.3 percent increase compared to totals the year before. Thanks to the larger Neopanamax vessels now able to transit the Expanded Canal, the growth in traffic translated into a 22.2 percent increase in total annual tonnage from FY16, and helped the Panama Canal surpass the already ambitious cargo projection of reaching 399 million PC/UMS.
According to recent canal transit data, the container segment continued to lead canal transits, accounting for 35.3% of the total cargo tonnage received. This is equal to 143 million PC/UMS, of which 62%, or 89.1 million tons, transited the Neopanamax locks. Tankers, including LPG and LNG carriers, took second place with 105 million PC/UMS, followed by bulk carriers at 79 million PC/UMS and vehicle carriers at 47 million PC/UMS.
The Kuwait Customs through Kuwait Shipping Companies & Agents Association (KSCAA) has issued a precedent-setting new customs rule in regards to the requirements for the method of loading and stowing of cargoes. From 7 October 2017 all import and export cargo, including Full Container Load (FCL) and Less than Container Load (LCL) shipment in and out of Kuwait, must be palletized. Non-compliance will result in cargo delays and penalties.
The South China Morning Post reports that China will be sending inspection teams to coal-producing regions and ports to target “malicious” hoarding and “price monopoly” as regulators seek to stabilize energy supplies and prices during peak winter demand. Regulators will closely watch price levels and stockpile changes to gauge potential manipulation by market participants, including producers, that are aimed at boosting prices, the National Development and Reform Commission said. Further adding that violators will be severly punished. According to people with knowledge of the matter, Lian Weiliang, the NDRC’s vice-chairman, said in a meeting with coal miners earlier this month that current coal prices were “irrational” and that regulators would step in if they continued to stay outside a targeted range.
Shareholders of Cosco Shipping Holdings have approved the $6.3 billion takeover of Orient Overseas (International) Ltd, the Hong Kong-listed parent company of OOCL. With this acquisition Cosco-OOCL will become the world's third largest container line, although it was earlier indicated that they would maintain their own brand. The combined company will operate more than 400 vessels with capacity exceeing 2.9 million TEUs, including order book. A number of regulatory approvals are required before the deal is finalized.
Transport Canada has issued Ship Safety Bulletin 07/2017 to remind all foreign and Canadian vessels owners and operators of the deck watch requirements which are to be observed on their vessels, as stipulated by the Marine Personnel Regulations (MPR). Subject to Section 216 (2) (b) of the MPR, on a vessel of at least 5 gross tonnage, the deck watch shall consist of an additional person assisting the person in charge of the deck watch. This aspect is further substantiated by Chapter VIII Part 4-1 (16) of the International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers (STCW Convention) in which the officer in charge of the navigational watch may be the sole lookout only in daylight under certain conditions.
The International Chamber of Shipping (ICS), representing 80% of the world merchant fleet, has issued a statement supporting our concerns with proposed Bill C-48, An Act respecting the regulation of vessels that transport crude oil or persistent oil to or from ports or marine installations located along British Columbia's north coast.
ICS asserts that the proposals have not been developed through an evidence-based process, and believes that it would establish an unwelcome precedent that might be emulated elsewhere, including by individual US States, with the potential to impact greatly on the efficiency of world trade, as well as that of Canada. It goes further to state that the environmental record of the shipping industry, especially the tanker sector, is impressive. On average, worldwide, there are currently fewer than two significant oil spills (over 700 tonnes) per year, compared to 25 such incidents per year thirty years ago, despite a doubling of the amount of oil transported by sea. The Oil Tanker Moratorium Act has been referred to the Standing Committee on Transport, Infrastructure and Communities and we will appear before the Committee on October 31st.
Last week it was reported that a dead Humpback Whale washed up near Ucluelet, and that the marine mammal was found to have a dislocated lower jaw bone. Officials suspect that this was possibly a result of being hit by a large vessel. Humpback whales experience the second highest strike rate of any whale species worldwide because they are relatively abundant and they often feed at or near the surface. The North Pacific Population is migratory and have been spotted with higher abundance in the Swiftsure Bank area off the West Coast of Vancouver Island through October to April, and with a slightly lower frequency from May through September. As a result of an increase in population the Humpback was reclassified from Threatened to Special Concern under the Species at Risk Act in 2017 and is protected under the Marine Mammal Regulations. Vessels transiting in BC Coastal waters have been encouraged to keep an active lookout for this and other species of whales, especially in areas of higher density.