527 grain

This week the Honourable Marc Garneau, Minister of Transport, and the Honourable Lawrence MacAulay, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, hosted a roundtable discussion to provide grain producers, shippers, and railways an opportunity to share information, to address challenges specific to grain transportation, and support the implementation of new measures that will help advance common goals.

Topics covered included:

  • the Transportation Modernization Act, which provides a strengthened suite of freight rail measures for all shippers, including the ability to seek reciprocal financial penalties in service agreements with railways;
  • new data provisions that will significantly improve transparency across the freight rail system and provide insight into railway service and performance;
  • the importance of sharing information, particularly in the context of forecasting and planning; and,
  • the movement of all traffic during winter weather conditions.

527 scottisland

The Scott Islands Marine National Wildlife Area is the first to be protected under the Canada Wildlife Act and in close collaboration with Indigenous Peoples, the Province of British Columbia, and stakeholders. The protected area spans 11 546 km² around the Scott Islands and the conservation objective is to conserve migratory seabirds and species at risk as well as the habitats, ecosystems, and marine resources that support them. The Scott Islands Protected Marine Area Regulations, in conjunction with complementary measures by Fisheries and Oceans Canada and Transport Canada to help mitigate fishing and shipping related concerns in the area, will provide an effective regulatory framework for the management of human activities within the boundaries of the area. An advisory committee, with technical and science advisory working groups, will also be established to provide advice and input into the development of an adaptive management plan for the Marine National Wildlife Area. A final management plan is expected in 2019.

Shell Canada concurrently announced its intent to voluntarily release almost 50 000 km2 of exploratory permits in the same region. Shell Canada’s Country Chair, Michael Crothers, announced the release of permits in the Queen Charlotte and Tofino basins, which overlap with about one third of the newly designated Scott Islands protected area.

Friday, 14 September 2018 11:24

CTA releases Annual Report

CTA logo

The Canadian Transportation Agency has released its Annual Report 2017-2018 to provide an overview of its operations and accomplishments over the past year.

Friday, 14 September 2018 11:24

Port of San Diego joins Green Marine

The Port of San Diego has enrolled in Green Marine, North America’s largest voluntary environmental certification program for the maritime industry. Green Marine’s environmental program makes it possible for port authorities, terminal operators and ship owners to voluntarily reduce their environmental footprint through a comprehensive program that addresses key environmental issues that are common to most ports. The Port of San Diego established a Blue Economy Incubator in 2016 to foster sustainable aquaculture and pilot emerging blue technologies to deliver multiple benefits to the whole Port community such as fisheries enhancement, ecosystem restoration, water quality improvements, environmental monitoring, and education and outreach.

Friday, 14 September 2018 11:23

ICS offers advice on global sulphur cap

ICS Intl Logo

To assist shipping companies prepare for implementation of the IMO global sulphur cap for ships’ fuel oil on 1 January 2020, the International Chamber of Shipping’s Marine Committee has developed some comprehensive guidance on implementation planning, to help ensure compliance across the shipping industry with this regulatory game changer. New Provisional Guidance to Shipping Companies and Crews on Preparing for Compliance with the 2020 Global Sulphur Cap’ can now be accessed via the ICS website at https://bit.ly/2x7B7tC.

527 pacman

The Ocean Cleanup, a Dutch non-profit initiative aiming to rid the seas of plastic litter, launched its System 001 equipment on 8 September 2018 in San Francisco. The Maersk Launcher will tow a 2,000-foot-long (600-metre), U-shaped floating barrier with a 10-foot (three-metre) "skirt" below the water's surface to collect the waste. Debris will be funnelled to the centre of the system and the system will skim the surface of the ocean to collect the plastics. Initially the Maersk Launcher will tow the system 240 nautical miles from shore for 14 days of trials. If the trials are successful, the Ocean Cleanup will proceed a further 1,200 nautical miles to the Great Pacific Garbage Patch located halfway between California and Hawaii. The patch reportedly contains 1.8 trillion pieces of plastic and covers an area twice the size of Texas. The organization anticipates that the first batches of plastic will be returned to land in six months, when the waste will be recycled into products that can be sold to help fund future operations.

Friday, 07 September 2018 16:27

Seeking input on Proactive Vessel Management

526 pvm

As part of the Oceans Protection Plan, the Government of Canada is developing a new, more collaborative approach to managing marine traffic issues in local waterways. Proactive Vessel Management is a new concept that involves strengthening collaboration between the Government of Canada, Indigenous peoples and coastal communities, provincial and municipal governments, the marine shipping industry and other marine stakeholders. This will be accomplished by creating forums for discussion and collaboration to develop measures that promote safe navigation and environmental protection in local waterways. A national framework will be developed to provide guidance and direction for how Proactive Vessel Management will be delivered across Canada. Transport Canada is reaching out across the country to seek your initial thoughts on this new concept. For more information and to provide feedback, visit the Let's Talk Oceans Protection Plan website

518 Vessel Killer Whale

Six conservation groups have filed a lawsuit in Federal Court over the Canadian government's failure to issue an emergency order to protect the endangered southern resident killer whales (SRKW). The application names the federal fisheries and environment ministers as respondents and asks for a court order compelling the government to recommend emergency protection for the whales and their habitat.  The Chamber of Shipping released a statement affirming our commitment to working with stakeholders in pursuing effective measures to address potential ship impacts to the SRKW's survivability. Participation levels in the voluntary speed reduction in Haro Strait have been impressive so far in the second year of the trial.  The federal government issued a news release in response to the lawsuit, outlining the actions being taken to address the recovery of the species at risk. Stakeholders are invited to share their views on the Amended Recovery Strategy for the Northern and Southern Resident Killer Whales through a commentary period ending November 3, 2018. Ecojustice, a non-profit organization of lawyers and scientists, filed the lawsuit on behalf of the David Suzuki Foundation, Environmental Defence, Greenpeace Canada, International Fund for Animal Welfare, the Raincoast Conservation Foundation, and the Wilderness Committee.

Friday, 07 September 2018 15:47

GCT reaches tentative agreement with ILWU

526 gct


Shortly after the ILWU Local 502 representing Planners and Assistant Planners for GCT Canada served strike notice on Sept. 3rd, a tentative five-year collective agreement for GCT Canada Planners and Assistant Planners was reached.  ILWU Local 502 withdrew its strike notice and is now recommending that members vote in favour of the agreement. This will be the first collective agreement for the GCT planners.

Friday, 07 September 2018 15:40

ILA approves six-year contract extension

526 ila

Thousands of members of the International Longshoremen’s Association, AFL-CIO at ports from Maine to Texas overwhelmingly approved a six-year master contract extension with United States Maritime Alliance (USMX) that will labour stability to ports in the East Coast and Gulf Coast through September 30, 2024. The newly ratified contract sets clear guidelines on what type of automation ports in the eastern half of the US can adopt, and procedures for labour protection when they do. Specifically, the contract prohibits fully automated terminals or equipment and demands port employers negotiate job-protection strategies with the local union before any machinery "devoid of human interaction" is deployed.


The Federal Maritime Commission's Commissioner Rebecca Dye has released key initial observations in the interim report for Fact Finding 28, an investigation into "Conditions and Practices Relating to Detention, Demurrage, and Free Time in International Oceanborne Commerce."  The resulting record strongly suggests that concerns about demurrage and detention in US trades are not limited primarily to weather-or-labor-related port congestion in 2014-2015, a small subset of large ports, or episodic events unrelated to potentially systemic issues. Additionally, the record supports further consideration of the benefits to the US international freight delivery system of:

  • Transparent, standardized language for demurrage, detention, and free time practices;
  • Clarity, simplification, and accessibility regarding demurrage and detention billing practices and dispute resolution processes;
  • Explicit guidance regarding types of evidence relevant to resolving demurrage and detention disputes;
  • Consistent notice to shippers of container availability;
  • An optional billing model wherein
  • MTOs bill shippers directly for demurrage; and
  • VOCCs bill shippers for detention; and
  • an FMC Shipper Advisory or Innovation Team. 

The final report for this FMC fact-finding investigation is scheduled for release by Dec. 2.

Friday, 07 September 2018 15:27

USCG updates guidance on sewage regulations


The Office of Design and Engineering Standards announced the availability of Navigation and Vessel Inspection Circular (NVIC) 01-09, Change 1, “Voluntary Compliance with International Sewage Regulations in Annex IV TO MARPOL 73/78.”  The purpose of NVIC 01-09, Change 1 is to provide additional guidance for vessel owners or operators as well as manufacturers of any shipboard sewage processing equipment, including facilities that test shipboard sewage and related processing equipment, to voluntarily request US Coast Guard certification of compliance with international sewage regulations in Annex IV to MARPOL 73/78. It also provides for reciprocity under Annex IV for non-U.S. flagged ships operating in waters subject to the jurisdiction of the United States.

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