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Ottawa limits vessel speeds in Gulf of St. Lawrence

2017-08-23

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).

To address the recent sudden increase of right whale deaths in the Gulf of St. Lawrence, Canada's federal government has ordered vessels of 20 metres or more in length to reduce their speeds to a maximum of 10 knots while sailing through these waters. It applies notably to the ocean container and bulk vessels active in the St. Lawrence trades. Faster vessels attain average speeds of up to 25 knots.

Ten of the endangered species have died since June. Preliminary findings suggest some of the mammals have died from blunt trauma caused by ship collisions or from entanglements in fishing gear. Latest reports indicate there are still 500 North Atlantic right whales still alive, including around 80-100 presently in the Gulf. The speed limits remain in place until the whales have migrated from the areas of the Gulf that have caused the most concern.

Transport Minister Marc Garneau and Fisheries Minister Dominic LeBlanc were in Pointe-du-Chene, New Brinswick on August 11 to announce temporary measures aimed at curbing further whale deaths. The measures are enforced by the Canadian Coast Guard and Transport Canada, and non-compliance is subject to fines of up to $25,000. The area involved is the western Gulf of St. Lawrence from the Quebec North Shore to just north of Prince Edward Island.

"I think that Canadians and the shipping industry and the fishing industry recognize that this is something most unusual and we needs to take measures," Mr. Garneau said.

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Seaway cargo shipments up 18% in mid-season

2017-08-16

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).

Iron ore and grain exports continued to drive a St. Lawrence Seaway shipping resurgence in the first half of the shipping season with cargo volume up 18 per cent over 2016. According to the St. Lawrence Seaway Management Corporation, total cargo tonnage from March 20 to July 31 reached 16 million metric tons - 2.5 million metric tons more compared to the same period in 2016.

"Cargo shipments first started to improve last autumn and we're very pleased to see that positive momentum continue throughout the first half of 2017," said Terence Bowles, President and CEO of The St. Lawrence Seaway Management Corporation. "The main drivers have been U.S. iron ore and Canadian grain exports along with domestic demand for steel, salt, and construction materials. Looking ahead, we await the results of the new grain harvest as this will influence shipments later this year".

Year-to-date iron ore shipments totaled 3.7 million metric tons, up 68 per cent over 2016 levels. Canadian domestic carriers are loading U.S. iron ore pellets at Minnesota ports/docks to ship via the Seaway to the Port of Québec, where it is then transferred to larger ocean-going vessels for onward transport to Japan and China.

Seaway salt shipments from Ontario and Québec mines to cities and towns throughout the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence region totaled 1.4 million metric tons, up 42 per cent over the same period last year.

Canadian grain totaled 3.1 million metric tons, up nine per cent, with vessels shipping a large carry over of Prairie and Ontario grain products from last fall's harvest to overseas markets.

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Bahri launches regular calls to Port Saint John

2017-07-25

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).

As part of their ongoing joint marketing strategy to increase global shipping services at Port Saint John, DP World and port officials have welcomed Saudi Arabia's Bahri as the newest shipping line to call regularly at DP World Cargo Terminals located in Saint John, New Brunswick, Canada.

Bahri, a global leader in logistics and transportation with its North American head office in Baltimore, Maryland operates six new state-of-the-art multipurpose vessels with an average age of less than three years on a regular liner schedule, all uniquely designed to carry Project, Roll-on Roll-off, Break Bulk and Container Cargo in a single voyage.

Of these, four vessels connect Canada via Saint John to Saudi Arabia and major ports in the Middle East, Indian Sub-Continent, Mediterranean Sea, Mexico and US Gulf and East Coast.

Bahri announced its decision to call "Port of Saint John" based on the port's ability to meet the specific requirements of Bahri Logistics allowing Bahri to provide unmatched customer experiences and deliver leading, technology-driven, value-added onshore and offshore services to its Canadian customers. Bahri is committed to realizing Bahri's vision in Canada of Connecting Economies, Sharing Prosperity and Driving Excellence in Global Logistics Services.

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Maritime industry launches study on impact of vessel noise on whales

2017-07-25

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).

Fifty-three marine shipping industry organizations, along with Washington State Ferries, have committed to participate in a voluntary study, the first of its kind, to focus on the relationship between slower vessel speeds, underwater noise levels and effects on southern resident killer whales, or orcas, native to waters off Vancouver Island.

Between August 7 and October 6, 2017, the speed of participating vessels will be reduced through the water in Haro Strait, when it is feasible and safe to do so. Haro Strait is located between Vancouver Island's Saanich Peninsula and San Juan Island and is an important summer feeding area for the endangered southern resident killer whale population. Approximately 900 deep sea vessels will transit Haro Strait during the study period. Latest estimates indicate there are 78 orcas alive today compared with 98 in 1995.

During the research trial, vessels will be asked to navigate over underwater listening stations, also known as hydrophones, at a speed of 11 knots, which is slower than typical deep-sea vessel operating speeds. The hydrophones will monitor ambient and vessel underwater noise, as well as the presence of whales, and automated vessel tracking will be used to monitor vessel speed.

With 100 per cent of the members of shipping associations Chamber of Shipping, Cruise Line International Association Northwest and Canada and Shipping Federation of Canada confirming their intent to participate, the 54 confirmed marine industry participants represent a very significant proportion of large commercial vessel movements through Haro Strait.

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Cargo tonnage surges on       St. Lawrence Seaway

2017-07-21

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).

Total cargo shipments through the St. Lawrence Seaway are up 20 per cent this year as the marine highway supports business growth from key sectors of the North American economy.

According to The St. Lawrence Seaway Management Corporation, total cargo tonnage from March 20 to June 30 reached 12 million metric tons - two million metric tons more compared to the same period in 2016.

"Seaway cargo shipments are a reflection of North American and global economic conditions in industries such as auto manufacturing, construction, mining and agriculture. Cargo volumes have improved in almost every category from iron ore and grain to road salt and construction materials compared to last spring," said Terence Bowles, President and CEO, The St. Lawrence Seaway Management Corporation.

"The St. Lawrence Seaway is a bellwether for the health of the overall U.S. and Canadian economies and reflects strong demand for raw materials to support the automotive, manufacturing and construction sectors," said Bruce Burrows, Chamber of the Chamber of Marine Commerce.

Canadian grain totaled 2.4 million metric tons, up 14 per cent, with vessels shipping a large carry over of Prairie and Ontario grain products from the fall harvest to overseas markets.

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