The Vancouver Fraser Port Authority (VFPA) Board of Directors has approved the Port Authority’s proposed fee amendments that will take effect on January 1, 2020. In summary, the 2020 fee amendments for the auto, cargo and container sectors reflect a CPI increase for Berthage and Wharfage rates. Harbour Dues rates reflect a CPI increase and include revised criteria to qualify for Harbour Dues discounts.The VFPA draft fee document for 2020 is available at www.portvancouver.com/fees. Persons interested in making written representations to the VFPA on the subject of the proposed fee amendments or any other matter in this notice may do so, prior to January 1, 2020.
Partnering with ICS, we hosted another successful Business of Shipping course this week! Designed as an introduction to various aspects of the shipping industry, the course featured experts on containerization, vessels, ports, and terminals, ship brokering and cargo chartering, maritime law, and the roles and responsibilities of pilotage. If you are interested in attending our next course, please let us know!
About 3,000 CN conductors, trainpersons and yardpersons have threatened to launch a strike starting November 11, following six months of negotiations. 99.2% of members voted in favour of the strike, as they have been working without a contract since July 23. Should no agreement be met, the union will provide at least 72 hours notice before the strike.
Recently, the Prince Rupert Port Authority hosted two screenings of the Emmy-Award winning film Sonic Sea. The film highlights the impact of human-made ocean noise on marine mammals. Following the film, the Chamber’s President, along with the film’s producer, Michael Jasny, and local marine mammal scientist, Dr. Lance Barret-Lennard, hosted a panel session focused on the success of partnerships in British Columbia in reducing acoustic disturbance from shipping.
The Port of Prince Rupert has an active and popular marine mammal program that includes collaboration with partners on programs, initiatives, and data sharing. The program is based on science, research, engagement, education and the development s of practical tools. Components of the program include: support of the North Coast Cetacean Research Initiative; underwater noise work with hydrophones; Green Marine’s underwater noise performance indicator; modeling of current and future noise; and incentivizing quieter vessels through Green Wave Program (one of only two ports in the world). Additionally, there has been recent collaborations with partners on the Mariners Guide to Walks for Western Canada, Whale Report Alert System, Whales in our Waters, the North Coast Whale Festival and the screening of Sonic Sea.
Border services agents discovered three people on board a vessel in Argentia. Though no significant details have been disclosed, the three individuals are being examined and processed by the CBSA under Canadian law before being transported to St. John's for final processing. The CBSA said the ship's captain and the shipping line are co-operating fully with the agency.
Last night, the Chamber hosted our annual members appreciation event. The event offered a great opportunity to get all our members together to network and get to know each other. The Chair of our Board, Garth Mitcham, addressed the crowd and highlighted some of our big wins in the last year, including the hard work put towards getting the Conservation Agreement to the finish line, as well as the success of the shipping slowdown this year. Chamber President, Robert Lewis-Manning, thanked our members for all of their support and hopes that in the coming year we will continue to be able to improve our ports, approaching problems with climate change and reconcilliation in mind. A great event and we hope to see everyone again at next year's!
Several new ferry routes for Vancouver Island are being assessed by the BC government. Possible connections include a crossing between the Saanich Peninsula and Cowichan Valley, a passenger-only service from Colwood to Esquimalt, and a new terminal connecting the island with Vancouver International Airport. There are also considerations improved ferry service across the Saanich Inlet at Mill Bay. The public will have a chance to weigh in on the proposals during consultations planned for the new year.
Researchers studying the St. Lawrence belugas’ sensitivity to noise are seeking more time to assess the impact of shipping LNG noise on the animals. With several potential projects out for approval, marine traffic in the area could double. Specifically, researchers are interested in the impact of increased traffic due to a proposed LNG pipeline expansion. The beluga is currently listed as endangered, with an estimated population of 900.
The Port of Toronto Cruise Ship Terminal has reported that its number of visitors has more than doubled this year, with 36 calling at the port, bringing approximately 12,000 passengers. The increase in traffic aligns with the growth of the Great Lakes cruise industry.
The Chamber of Shipping has released an open letter to the Federal Party leaders in advance of next week’s election to ensure that the priorities are included in the transition books following the post-election period. Below are some of the marine related issues noted by the main parties during the election campaign:
New Democratic Party
BC Ferries has raised $250 million through the issuance of senior secured bonds through a syndicate of investment banks. The bonds will bear interest at 2.794 per cent per annum and will mature in 30 years. Along with cash in hand, the proceeds from the sale will be used to provide for capital expenditures and general corporate purposes.
The BC Environmental Assessment Office (EAO) has asked Chevron Corp. to provide details on the impact of its proposed terminal at Bish Cove on climate change. Kitimat LNG has indicated that it will be one of the lowest GHG emitters of its type by using technology powered by electric motors using hydroelectricity. A draft document released by EAO opens the door for a discussion on taking a worldwide view on GHGs. “Spatial boundaries will not be defined, as GHG and climate change are, by nature, both regional and global,” according to the regulatory filing. The expanded scope would support the approach taken by the four First Nations noted in last week’s newsletter that are in support of energy exports that would help reduce reliance and pollution from coal-fired plants overseas.
Pinnacle Renewable Energy has entered into a new long-term, take-or-pay off-take contract with Mitsui & Co. Ltd. Under the terms of the contract, Pinnacle will supply 100,000 metric tons per annum of industrial wood pellets to Mitsui beginning in Q3 2023. The industrial wood pellets will be used by a biomass power generation plant in Japan.
Global Container Terminals Inc. (GCT) has joined the TradeLens supply chain platform in an effort to securely connect with supply chain partners including ocean carriers, beneficial cargo owners, and railways through blockchain technology. TradeLens project is a technological solution developed by IBM and Maersk that has expanded to include five of the world’s top six ocean carriers. The program will be rolled out in phases at all four of GCT’s terminals adding visibility to the east and west coasts of North America.
According to the data collected by the system itself, the use of TradeLens allows to reduce the transit time of a shipment by 40%, which represents an important economic saving. The developers of TradeLens have indicated that the information contained in this system grows at the rate of one million daily data shipments, surpassing EDI systems used in the common way, in addition to avoid the use of emails, messaging and fax services.
The local marine industry turned out in force for the Vancouver Shipping Luncheon on October 16, 2019 at the Terminal City Club. Organized by Vancouver ShipInvest and Management, attendees enjoyed networking opportunities and two very relevant presentations on issues that are impacting the shipping industry. The first presentation, from Rick Mackenzie, Vice President of RBC Global Asset Management, gave an overview of the current issues affecting the world economy and the potential impacts. The second presentation from Casey McCawley, Vice President, West Coast Operations of Parrish and Heimbecker, focused on Canadian grain exports and the drivers which were impacting supply and demand. The date of the next Vancouver Shipping Lunch will be announced shortly.
The Capt. Jacques Cartier, the second of three Offshore Fisheries Science Vessels (OFSV) designed and built by Seaspan at its Vancouver Shipyards (VSY), began sea trials today from Seaspan’s Vancouver Drydock where final outfitting, set to work and commissioning has taken place since its launch in June. This milestone on the second OFSV follows her launch on June 5 and the delivery of the first OFSV, the CCGS Sir John Franklin, on June 27. The CCGS Sir John Franklin is the first large vessel to be built and delivered under the National Shipbuilding Strategy. Sea Trials will be largely conducted in the Strait of Georgia as part of a continuous 15-day exercise. Upon completion of Sea Trials, the ship will be moored at Ogden Point on Vancouver Island to prepare the vessel for delivery to the Canadian Coast Guard, which is scheduled for later this year.
KOTUG International B.V. (KOTUG) and Horizon Maritime Services Ltd (Horizon Maritime) have formed ‘KOTUG Canada’, a joint venture company which will offer terminal and harbour towage services across Canada. The joint venture looks forward to developing a strong presence within the Canadian terminal and harbour towing market. KOTUG is renowned for establishing solid, long-term business relationships with leading clients in industries such as Oil & Gas, Mining, Renewables, Offshore, and Port Authorities for high demand operations. Horizon Maritime’s partnership with Heiltsuk First Nation, Heiltsuk Horizon was awarded a Government of Canada contract to provide marine services to enhance marine safety in Heiltsuk territory earlier this year. Heiltsuk Horizon will provide tug and barge services for the reconstruction of 28 navigational aids on British Columbia’s Central Coast, with support from the Shearwater Marine Group.