The Canadian Coast Guard has successfully cleared an ice jam that was stalling maritime traffic in the St. Lawrence River for several days. Located near Trois-Rivières (about 140 km northeast of Montreal), the ice jam left up to 16 ships stuck in various ports from Tuesday to Thursday of this week. Coast guard escorted two large ships to the jam, using their size to dislodge the blockage. They remain concerned another ice jam could form.
Seaspan Shipyards has awarded INDAL Technologies Inc. a contract valued at almost $20M for work on Canada’s new Joint Support Ships. INDAL is providing its Aircraft Ship Integrated Securing & Traversing System for JSS. The System is an integrated helicopter handling system for surface combatants which provides the functionality necessary to support helicopter handling, including deck securing on touchdown, on-deck manoeuvring and traversing to/from the hangar space, and helicopter launch. INDAL will also be supplying all the installation support and training, as well as the required maintenance and logistics documentation.
ACS Group, through its affiliate Dragados, has won a bid for the design and construction of $400 million container terminal extension at Centerm, operated by DP Word. This will be the group's first large-scale port project in North America. Dragados is one of the world’s biggest specialists in delivering complex offshore projects provided its broad experience from over 75 years, from executing new ports in deep-open waters to developing large container terminals. The expansion will increase capacity from the current 900.000 TEUs to 1.5 million TEUs annually. The project is expected to be completed in December 2021.
Pile driving will start the week of February 11th as construction gets underway for the new Fraser Grain Terminal Export facility located adjacent to Fraser Surrey Docks. This will be intermittent over the months of February and March and over the subsequent months various activities will take place on the site during the port authority’s approved hours of construction between 7:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Monday to Saturday.
As part their investigation into possible freight rail service issues in the Vancouver area, the Canadian Transportation Agency (CTA) will conduct on January 29th and 30th from 9:00 am at The Sutton Place Hotel (845 Burrard St). The hearing will be used to gather additional information and hear evidence from witnesses regarding freight rail service issues. Members of the public are welcome to attend as observers – seating will be limited. The Chamber has submitted a request to appear before the panel.
The Office of Commercial Vessel Compliance has released the "Commercial Vessel Safety during lapse in Coast Guard Appropriations" bulletin to assist vessel owners, operators, and other affected parties during a lapse in appropriations. In the absence of enacted appropriation or continuing resolution, the Coast Guard is required to execute an orderly suspension of some operations and activities. The bulletin includes details on Certificates of Financial Responsibility, Certificates of Documentation, and Merchant Mariner Credentials.
Seaspan has been slowly pre-paying its credit facilities, releasing ships and as of mid-January Seaspan's pool of unencumbered vessels increased to 32. Earlier this week TradeWinds reported that companies controlled by the Washington family have registered up to 52.81m shares for sale at a maximum price of $8.98 each - this would bring in more than $474m. The shares are owned by companies including Deep Water Holdings, the Kevin Lee Washington 2014 Trust, the Kyle Roy Washington 2014 Trust and the Kyle Roy Washington 2005 Trust. Seaspan has advised that the additional capital is earmarked for growth and debt repayment.
The China Navigation Co (CNCo) is acquiring the dry bulk shipping division of Hamburg Süd, which was acquired by Maersk in November 2018. CNCo will acquire Rudolf A. Oetker (RAO), Furness Withy Chartering and the bulk activities in Alianca Navegacão (Aliabulk). CNCo will take over a fleet of 45 vessels in the handysize, supramax, ultramax, panamax and kamsarmax sectors. The move will expand its dry bulk fleet established in 2012 to which already consists of a fleet of over 100 owned and chartered handysize, and supramax/ ultramax vessels. Closing of the agreement is expected by the end of the first quarter of 2019, subject to regulatory approval. The ROA Tankers business unit will remain part of the Hamburg Sud Group.
Major container lines are already increasing the cost of service contracts for North America to account for the higher costs associated with the low-sulphur global fuel mandate. The true cost won’t be known until Q4, when carriers will begin actually using the low-sulphur fuel to run their ships. The IMO's global sulphur cap that takes effect on Jan. 1, 2020 is estimated to add about $150-200 per TEU to trans-Pacific carriers’ costs. However, given the volatility in fuel prices, there are a range of estimates of the cost of low-sulphur fuel for late 2019.
MSC has secured $439M USD in financing to fit 86 exhaust gas cleaning system to its fleet. The loan will be used to finance the manufacturing and installation of the scrubbers on board 86 of the company’s almost 200 container ships. The decision was made in anticipation the implementation of the International Maritime Organisation’s low sulphur cap regulations in 2020.
Following the fire that broke out on the Yantian Express on January 3rd, the vessel is being rerouted to Freeport, Bahamas for the recovery and assessment of the cargo. The fire started in a single container while the vessel was en route to Halifax and was brought under control in under a week. The ship sailing to the Bahamas under its own power, with a tug escort.
Cruiseships in New Zealand have been told to dim their lights at night after a flock of seabirds flew straight into a vessel last year. About 70 dazzled Buller's Shearwaters hit the Pacific Jewel and ended up stunned on the deck. Although crew tried to rescue them by delivering them to the Department of Conservation (DOC) in Auckland, 33 died and more were injured. DOC principal science advisor Graeme Taylor stated that bright lights on cruiseships posed a risk to seabirds flying at night in the Hauraki Gulf looking for food, and to young birds leaving breeding colonies for the first time. Vessels have been asked to close blinds or curtains on cabin windows and shield deck lights.
NYK is selling a 50% stake in NYK Cruises, its cruise subsidiary, to Anchor Ship Partners. The agreement includes the joint operation of the cruise business. This sale is inline with the medium-term management plan announced by NYK in March 2018, which focused on optimization of business portfolio, securing stable-freight-rate business, and increasing efficiency and creating new values. The deal is expected to be finalized by the end of March 2019.
The UK Government has set out its Maritime 2050 vision for the future of the UK’s maritime services sector. The strategy looks at developing technology, people, and infrastructure, to keep the maritime industry in the UK flourishing. Specifically, this includes establishing an innovation hub at a UK port by 2030, looking at ways to clean up emissions from the industry, and building on existing seafarer training. In addition, the Maritime and Coastguard Agency is looking at what is needed to ensure the safety and testing of autonomous ships to position the UK as the best place to trial this technology.
The bulk carrier, Vigorous, is at the centre of attention as it was seized in the Columbia River following a lawsuit filed by Pacific Gulf Shipping Company against a number of companies connected to George and Stathis Gourdomichalis in early December. Pacific Gulf is attempting to collect on a $22.6m arbitration award won in London after Adamastos was abandoned in Brazil in 2015. As the courts continue to sort through the case, Yemeni Al-Saeed Trading Company and Emirati Midstar were hoping to free the 51 million metric tonnes of wheat onboard so it can be delivered to Yemen to feed its starving citizens amidst an ongoing civil war. Unfortunately, today a federal judge in Oregon has ordered the cargo aboard the Vigorous to be seized as Greek shipbroker Medmar has filed a lawsuit for break of contract and want the cargo held until payment is received.
GT: 30,051 DWT 52,500 Flag Liberia Buit 2005