Transport Canada has announced over $100 million in rail-related infrastructure funding in recent weeks. The projects receiving funding are part of a multi-year, billion-dollar program by the Canadian government to invest in key trade corridors. Projects include:
The Government of Canada will be bringing the new Impact Assessment Act, the Canadian Energy Regulator Act, the Canadian Navigable Waters Act, and associated regulations into force on August 28, 2019. The outlines rules for transitioning to the new system seek to protect our environment and communities while making sure good projects can get built to create jobs for the middle class.
Ship-to-shore cranes and shipping containers have been removed for the US tariff list, which includes $300 billion in goods subject to tariffs. Had the 10 percent tariff on ship-to-shore cranes remained in place, port authorities would have spent about $1.5 million more on cranes. New shipping containers would have cost about $1,000 to $1,500 to domestic intermodal providers.
The Port of New York and New Jersey has completed their first delivery by a zero-emission electric truck. Best Transportation delivered a 14,000-pound container from its Port Newark warehouse to Costco Wholesale in Monroe, New Jersey, about 36 miles away. The vehicle is the only commercially available zero-emission drayage truck and is powered by a battery pack that enables the truck to travel 125 miles per charge, with a cab that can carry a combined weight of 105,000 pounds. The delivery is the latest step in the port’s effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, which includes replacing aging trucks newer, cleaner-burning vehicles.
Australia is on track to surpass Qatar as the world’s largest LNG exporter. It already surpasses Qatar in LNG export capacity and exported more LNG than Qatar in November 2018 and April 2019. Within the next year, as more of Australia’s projects ramp up and increase operations, U.S. Energy Information Administration expects Australia to consistently export more LNG than Qatar. The country’s LNG export capacity increased from 2.6 billion cubic feet per day (Bcf/d) in 2011 to more than 11.4 Bcf/d in 2019. The LNG exports are forecast to grow to 10.8 Bcf/d by 2020–21 once recently commissioned projects start operating at full production.
Evergreen has told clients that any omission, concealment or misdeclaration of hazardous cargoes that it finds will result in fines of $35,000 per container. This decision comes in a wake of several other carriers issuing warnings of fines for misdeclared cargoes, including OOCL and Maersk, though they have not specified the amount of the fine. Hapag-Lloyd and HMM have said clients with misdeclared cargo will face a fine of $15,000 per box charge.
25% of all serious incidents onboard containerships are attributaed to misdeclared cargos that lead to significant fire on boxships every 60 days. Most recently, a fire swept through the countainers on the APL Le Havre, which took four hours to bring under control.
The bulk carrier, Minoan Glory, was outbound from Vancouver Harbour on Tuesday with a load of soybeans when it suffered an explosion in the vessel’s number 3 cargo hatch. The explosion was likely caused by excessive pressure built up during the cargo fumigation process. The sound of the hatch blowing and subsequent plume of steam from the hold drew a significant amount of attention. We are pleased that there were no injuries or pollution as a result of the incident. The vessel suffered minor damage and remains at anchorage in English Bay awaiting repairs.
Alberta’s government is setting aside $10-million to help Indigenous groups use the courts to support oil pipelines and other resource projects. Premier Jason Kenney has argued that a small group of well-funded First Nations, which have successfully used the courts to derail projects such as the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion, have had a louder voice than those in favour because of their access to funds. The province will accept proposals from First Nations or Métis communities, as well as corporations or non-profit groups with Indigenous involvement, to file new lawsuits or intervene in existing cases. Groups applying for the money must support projects that “improve Alberta’s interests.” The Alberta government also plans to launch a Crown corporation this fall to offer loan guarantees and other help to Indigenous-led proposals to buy into the Trans Mountain pipeline or other resource projects.
As part of the Oceans Protection Plan, the Government of Canada is seeing input through its Let's Talk Oceans Protection Plan website on proposals to develop a new and more collaborative approach to managing marine traffic issues in local waterways. The draft framework is available online and the comment period closes on Friday, September 27, 2019.
Federal employers finally have an in-force date for the recent amendments to the Canada Labour Code contained in Bill C-63 and Bill C-86. On September 1, 2019 workplaces subject to the Canada Labour Code need to prepare for major changes to a range of statutory provisions governing everything from work scheduling to leave entitlements to termination of employment, among many others. The changes will begin to take effect in September 2019.
Transport Canada has released Ship Safety Bulletin 11/2019 to adapt to the changing migration of North Atlantic Right Whales in the Gulf of St. Lawrence. The previous interim measures slowing vessels down within the designated shipping lanes may have been pushing ships closer to where the endangered mammals are now gathering as vessels were altering routes to compensate for the lower speeds in the previous order. The whales have not been seen in the shipping lanes recently, and as result the interim measures have been adjusted.
The Government of Canada expects to surpass its marine conservation target of 10 percent protection of marine and coastal areas by 2020. The new Tuvaijuittuq (meaning "the place where the ice never melts") marine protected area planned off the Nunavut coast would ban new or additional human activities in the area for up to five years, but still allows Inuit to hunt and fish. There are also exceptions for emergency activities, some scientific research and "certain activities carried out by a foreign national, entity, ship or state. This new marine protected area combined with the Tallurutiup Imanga national marine conservation area in the northeastern region of Nunavut covers more than 427,000 square kilometres.
This follows an order-in-council, issued on July 28 by cabinet, that prohibits all offshore oil and gas activities in the Arctic, building off a moratorium on issuing new oil and gas licenses announced by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in 2016, alongside then-U.S. president Barack Obama. The new order-in-council is to remain in effect until Dec. 31, 2021 as the federal cabinet has the power to prohibit certain oil and gas work in Arctic offshore areas if deemed to be in the national interest, and the authority to freeze the terms of licence holders in those areas during the ongoing moratorium.
Through the Oceans Protection Plan, the Canadian Coast Guard launched the Indigenous Community Boat Volunteer Pilot Program. Under this program, communities are encouraged to build up their on-water search and rescue capacity and funding is provided to support the purchase of boats, and other required equipment. This week $2.7 million in funding was announced for 14 communities and the investment is expected to add support to Coast Guard Auxiliary members in coastal regions across Canada.
The US Department of Transportation’s Maritime Administration issued a warning yesterday suggesting Iran is engaged in interfering with ships’ GPS systems as they transit near the Middle Eastern nation. The warning said merchant ships had reported “spoofed bridge-to-bridge communications from unknown entities falsely claiming to be US or coalition warships.”
“Due to the heightened regional tensions, the potential for miscalculation or misidentification could lead to aggressive actions against vessels belonging to US, allied and coalition partners operating in the Arabian Gulf, Strait of Hormuz, and Gulf of Oman,” US Central Command (CENTCOM) explained in an emailed statement, adding that a number of ships have reported communications jamming in recent weeks.
The US believes Iran has GPS jammers operating on Abu Musa Island, an island in the Persian Gulf, aimed at getting international ships and aircraft to inadvertently wander into Iranian waters or airspace.
e5 Lab Inc., a venture between Asahi Tanker Co., Exeno Yamamizu Corp., Mitsui O.S.K. Lines Ltd. and Mitsubishi Corp is seeking to build the world’s first zero-emission tanker by mid-2021 that will be powered by large-capacity batteries and will operate in Tokyo Bay. Momentum is gathering for fully electric ships, with Rolls-Royce Holdings Plc offering battery-powered ship engines starting last year, and Norway’s Kongsberg Gruppen ASA is developing an electric container vessel. There are still challenges in making the technology applicable to ships navigating thousands of miles across oceans because of the need to recharge batteries.
Custom officers have found 4.5 tons of cocaine onboard a containership at the Port of Hamburg, representing the largest-ever cocaine shipment seized in this country. The shipment consisted of more than 4,200 parcels in 211 black sports bags in a container aboard an unnamed vessel. The cocaine has a street value of around EUR 1 billion (USD 1.1 billion).
Following last week’s article on OOCL's plans to step up inspections on dangerous goods, Hapag-Lloyd has since advised that it will impose a fine of $15,000 for each container of misdeclared hazardous cargoes starting on September 15th. This decision comes after Hapag-Lloyd’s Yantian Express suffered a fire that caused millions of dollars of damage.