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Next phase unveiled of Prince Rupert Fairview Container Terminal

2018-06-19

 

McKeil Marine's Evans Spirit  won the International Bulk Journal's 2016 Ship of the Year Award during the IBJ's Salute to Excellence in the Maritime Bulk Industry gala awards ceremony in London, UK on November 21.
"It's a fantastic way to closeout our 60th anniversary year: having a vessel named after our founder, Evans McKeil, win this prestigious international award," said Steve Fletcher, President and CEO of McKeil Marine.
Acquired by McKeil in 2015, the Evans Spirit is a cargo ship with the shallow draught characters of a tug and barge; however, compared to a tug-and-barge unit, she can transport approximately 40 per cent more cargo about 50 per cent faster on a very similar amount of fuel.  She is in service throughout the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence River.
Evans Spirit was shortlisted for 2016 Ship of the Year competing with three other vessels: CS Bright, Mitsui OSK Lines, Japan;  Damen Shipyards, Netherlands; and MN Baroque, Swiss Marine, Switzerland. The award is presented to the owner, operator or builder of an outstanding individual bulk ship. Judged on operational efficiency, design innovation, safety and environmental protection, the Evans Spirit was selected as winner. (Photo Paul Beesley).

The Port of Prince Rupert and DP World have agreed on terms of a project development plan that outlines the next phase of expansion for the DP World Prince Rupert Fairview Container Terminal. The Phase 2B expansion will increase annual throughput capacity at Canada's second largest container terminal to 1.8 million TEUs (twenty-foot equivalent units) when complete in 2022.

DP World Group Chairman and CEO, Sultan Ahmed Bin Sulayem, said: "Canada is an important part of our global network and we are delighted to confirm these plans, which underline our commitment to Prince Rupert, which plays a major role in enabling trade in the region and across the west coast with rail connections inland to the rest of the country and the United States."

The Fairview Phase 2B project follows the 2017 completion of Fairview Phase 2A, which increased the terminal capacity by 500,000 TEUs to its current capacity of 1.35 million TEUs. Construction on Phase 2B will begin in mid-2019. There will be an initial gradual release of capacity to 1.6 million TEUs, in 2020 following the completed expansion of the container yard to the south.

Port of Prince Rupert Chair, Bud Smith, said: "The execution of this agreement signifies DP World's commitment to enabling Canadian trade with another significant investment that will bring a total of one million additional TEUs of container capacity to the Port of Prince Rupert in less than five years. This project will provide critical trade-enabling infrastructure for Canada's west coast, a timely response to forecasted growth in trans-Pacific trade and supportive of Canada's efforts to diversify markets through new free trade agreements such as the CPTPP."

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St. Lawrence Seaway poised for cargo rebound

2018-06-15

 

McKeil Marine's Evans Spirit  won the International Bulk Journal's 2016 Ship of the Year Award during the IBJ's Salute to Excellence in the Maritime Bulk Industry gala awards ceremony in London, UK on November 21.
"It's a fantastic way to closeout our 60th anniversary year: having a vessel named after our founder, Evans McKeil, win this prestigious international award," said Steve Fletcher, President and CEO of McKeil Marine.
Acquired by McKeil in 2015, the Evans Spirit is a cargo ship with the shallow draught characters of a tug and barge; however, compared to a tug-and-barge unit, she can transport approximately 40 per cent more cargo about 50 per cent faster on a very similar amount of fuel.  She is in service throughout the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence River.
Evans Spirit was shortlisted for 2016 Ship of the Year competing with three other vessels: CS Bright, Mitsui OSK Lines, Japan;  Damen Shipyards, Netherlands; and MN Baroque, Swiss Marine, Switzerland. The award is presented to the owner, operator or builder of an outstanding individual bulk ship. Judged on operational efficiency, design innovation, safety and environmental protection, the Evans Spirit was selected as winner. (Photo Paul Beesley).

Despite a slow start to the 2018 Great Lakes-Seaway shipping season, industry executives are expecting economic growth to translate into a promising year following strong numbers for grain, coal, liquid bulk and general cargo in May.

"Brisk activity in May has helped to overcome a slow start to shipping after ice challenges in the Soo Locks and in Lake Superior," said Bruce Burrows, President of the Chamber of Marine Commerce, the bi-national association that represents more than 130 marine industry stakeholders.

"The Great Lakes-St. Lawrence Seaway system is an important trade corridor for the United States for iron ore and grain exports, road salt and construction materials among other cargoes.  Customer demand is strong and we are optimistic that Seaway cargo volumes could potentially reach 40 million metric tons by the end of the year."

According to St. Lawrence Seaway statistics, overall cargo volumes via that segment of the transportation corridor between March 29 and May 31 totaled 7.9 million metric tons, a decrease of just under four percent compared to the same period in 2017.

Year-to-date iron ore shipments via the St. Lawrence Seaway are down 25 percent, primarily because exports from Minnesota to Asia lagged in April due to ice conditions.  These exports have resumed and are expected to continue in the coming months. Grain shipments were up 8.5 percent at 2.2 million tons.

Seaway cargoes that have performed well this spring include stone (up 162 percent), cement (up 14 percent) and low-sulphur coal (up 43 percent) which is used for some power generation but mainly as a raw input for steel production. Liquid bulk shipments, including refined petroleum products and asphalt, were also up 19 percent.

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CMPA identifies key flaws in Pilotage Act Review Report

2018-06-07

Leo Ryan, Editor

 

The Canadian Marine Pilots Association has qualified as "dangerous" three recommendations in particular made in the final Marc Grégoire report on the Pilotage Act Review initiated a year ago under the Oceans Protection Plan. The CMPA response came in a letter addressed on June 7 to federal Transport Minister Marc Garneau on the May 22 report containing 38 recommendations following 58 bilateral meetings held across Canada with a wide spectrum of industry stakeholders.

In the letter to Mr. Garneau, CMPA President Simon Pelletier said the national association supports many recommendations that can make valuable contributions to Canada's pilotage regime.

"This includes recommendations to foster greater transparency between pilot corporations and pilotage authorities; to better define the purpose and objectives of the Act; to have more robust enforcement and compliance provisions; to provide First Nations with a meaningful role in the governance of the system; to expedite tariff-setting; and to implement measures aimed at better protecting the Arctic."

But Mr. Pelletier continued: "That said, the Report makes three recommendations that we believe will not only not improve the pilotage system, but are actually dangerous because of the negative impact they will have on the performance of the system, especially in regard to safe navigation."

"Generally speaking," he told Maritime Magazine, "the report is incomplete on governance, technology advances and economic considerations."

The first recommendation singled out concerned abolishing the single service provider model for pilotage services.

In a regime where more than one group of pilots in a given district can provide service, the CMPA letter warns: "Pilotage service users would be able to play off one group of pilots against another to serve commercial interests, thereby accommodating business interests and cost-cutting preoccupations over safety and the public interest."

After pointing out that the few jurisdictions (e.g., Florida) that have experimented with such an approach have found it to be detrimental to safety and the public interests, the CMPA letter described the report as "incomplete in its analysis of this question. In fact, it is misleading that it fails to appreciate that it is not the 'monopoly' of a pilotage authority that protects against competitive commercial pressure but, instead, it is the circumstances of the actual delivery that are crucial."

Pilotage certificates issue

Regarding issuing pilotage certificates to non-Canadians, the CMPA points out that

the issuance of pilotage certificates to Canadian masters and officers that have demonstrated knowledge of local waters eliminates the requirement to board licensed pilots in compulsory pilotage areas.

"Recommendation 22 of the Report proposes extending eligibility for pilotage certificates to foreign masters and officers. The recommendation is driven by a very specific issue on the west coast involving US tugs and barges transiting to and from Alaska to the State of Washington. The fact that pilotage requirements for these vessels are currently waived is a serious issue, but the proposed solution is certainly heavy-handed, in that it establishes a new practice nation-wide; a practice that in certain cases would impact safety.

"Moreover, creating a regime whereby any commercial vessel, including tankers, could transit compulsory pilotage areas without a Canadian onboard raises security issues, especially in respect of waters shared with the US (e.g., the St. Lawrence Seaway). In any event, the recommendation is un-necessary, because the Pacific Pilotage Authority is currently developing an initiative to address the specific issue that gave rise to a concern in the first place, without impacting operations everywhere else in the country."

Merging LPA and GLPA

Another recommendation calls for merging the Laurentian Pilotage Authority (LPA) and the Great Lakes Pilotage Authority Pilotage (GLPA).

Comments the CMPA: "It is self-evident that the climatic conditions, navigational challenges, type of marine traffic, and available infrastructure vary greatly from region to region. It follows that, for a pilotage system to be effective, its framework must fully take into account regional differences and the need for local knowledge. This is best ensured through local decision-making, under effective ministerial oversight."

The CMPA also noted that to the extent this recommended merger is seen as the precursor to a total amalgamation of the regional pilotage authorities, it undermines the local character of pilotage, which goes against the stated preference of "the majority of stakeholders" (per indicated in Grégoire Report).

The CMPA urged the minister not to proceed eventually with the implementation of the three proposals while also expressing regret over the omission of key findings from independent experts on pilotage costs.

Mr. Pelletier pointed to a Transport Canada-commissioned study by the AIM Group which determined that in 2016 "the magnitude of pilotage costs amounted to approximately one-tenth of one percent of the value of Canada's maritime trade."

Thus, "in the context of the national economy as a whole, pilotage costs do not negatively affect Canada's trade competitiveness for importers and exporters based on the cost of pilotage compared to the value of the marine trade."

 

 
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