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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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Algoma Central Corporation expands international cement carrier footprint

2018-06-06

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).

Algoma Central Corporation, a leading provider of marine transportation services, announced that NovaAlgoma Cement Carriers Limited (NACC), has acquired a 25% ownership interest in JT Cement, joining KGJ Cement Holdings AS and Erik Thun AB of Sweden in the cement company which owns a fleet of seven smaller specialized pneumatic cement carriers.

The investment will expand NACC's global footprint into the Northern European market where KGJ and Thun have a strong presence and will provide additional strength and flexibility to the fleet's customers.

"This investment will allow us to each apply our experience and knowledge in the pneumatic cement carrier market to create additional shipping solutions to meet the needs of customers," said Ken Bloch Soerensen, President and CEO of Algoma Central Corporation (pictured in photo). "We look forward to working with our new partners to create new opportunities for the JT Cement fleet."

The daily operations of the JT Cement fleet will not change as a result of the NACC investment, with the vessels continuing to be commercially managed by KGJ's office in Bergen, Norway.

"The addition of NACC to the ownership group of JT Cement will strengthen our team and provide opportunities for further growth in the Northern European region," said Petter Tronstad, Chief Executive Officer of KGJ Cement. "We welcome this opportunity to increase the flexibility available to our valued customers."
Based in St. Catharines, Ontario, Algoma Central operates the largest fleet of dry and liquid bulk carriers on the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence waterway

In January, 2016, Nova Marine Carriers SA and Algoma Central Corporation created NovaAlgoma Cement Carriers. The fleet comprises pneumatic cement carriers that utilize a compressor and pump system to load and unload cement powder. This operation is very clean, with essentially no discharge to the atmosphere. Cement shipping is a regionalized market with generally smaller vessels servicing large global manufacturers that support infrastructure investment.  (photo ACC)

 
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GreenTech 2018 underlines progress of maritime sustainability

GreenTech 2018 et le transport maritime durable

2018-06-04

By Julie Gedeon

VANCOUVER - Green Marine held its 11th annual conference in Vancouver, BC on May 30 to June 1 with a record attendance of more than 250 delegates reviewing the progress of maritime sustainability.

The certification program has increased its fold by 10% over the past year and had 284 members as of early May - 119 of them actively participating in the verified assessment of their annual environmental performance.

"We've had many firsts this past year, including the first company operating a Canadian navy ship (Federal Fleet Services), the first U.S. domestic shipowner (Interlake Steamship Co.), and the first American shipyard (as part of Great Lakes Towing's participation)," David Bolduc, Green Marine's executive director, stated. "And the Puget Sound Pilots became the first pilotage association to upgrade from partner to participant."

The participants have maintained a 3.1 global average on the program's 1-to-5 scale despite new and more demanding criteria and new members averaging a 2.0 start.

"Half of our participants now have 3.0 or higher average," Bolduc announced, adding that performance definitely improves over time. For example, the initial group of participants reporting in 2008 improved their overall standing to 3.6 for 2017 as compared to 3.4 a year earlier. "If the global average were high, above 4, for example, it might be an indication that the program isn't challenging enough."

William Friedman, the president and CEO of the Cleveland-Cuyahoga County Port Authority and incoming chair of Green Marine's board of directors, vowed to further strengthen the U.S. membership. He started by extending an invitation to GreenTech 2019 in Cleveland.

"The maritime industry has largely been laggards when it comes to technology until the past few years," he also affirmed during a panel on shipping's future. "And I can tell you from Cleveland's experience, it's hard to play catch-up."

Mr. Friedman mentioned autonomous vessels, artificial intelligence, and blockchain supply mechanisms as some of the developments on the near horizon.

Megan Leslie, WWF-Canada's president and CEO, emphasized her organization's strong partnership with Green Marine. She also challenged Green Marine members to seek further opportunities to work with WWF-Canada.

 

Read more...
 
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Tentative deal to restore rail line to Churchill

2018-06-02

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).

An agreement in principle was announced in late May to bring ownership of the currently-closed Port of Churchill and the disabled rail line to the Manitoba town of 900 people on the shore of Hudson Bay back into Canadian hands. While legal and financial details remain to be finalized, the federal government said two groups representing northern communities and First Nations have joined forces with Toronto-based Fairfax Financial Holdings to buy the assets from U.S. shortline operator Omnitrax.

Denver-based Omnitrax had closed the port and rail operations after the rail line - the sole surface link to Churchill in northern Manitoba - was washed out by severe flooding in May 2017. Citing the high costs, Omnitrax had refused to undergo repairs in the tens of millions of dollars to the money-losing Hudson Bay Railway trackage in Manitoba.

Part of the tentative agreement is to fast-track the restoration of the highly-damaged railway network.

A statement from Omnitrax Canada President Merv Tweed called the agreement "the best outcome for all stakeholders."

"We believe this firmly positions our regions for a bright future and Canada's only deep water Arctic seaport can take its rightful place as a strategic national Arctic gateway," Churchill Mayor Mike Spence said in a letter addressed to local residents via social media.

For his part, Manitoba Premier Brian Pallister commented that while the deal still needs to close, he was encouraged that "all levels of government have recognized their constitutionally-mandated responsibilities." (photo HO-Canadian Press)


 
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Groupe Desgagnés Company of he Year in 2018 Lloyd's List Americas Awards

2018-05-30

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).

Groupe Desgagnés was selected as Company of the Year at a gala event in Houston, Texas celebrating outstanding contributions to the maritime industry at the Lloyd's List Americas Awards.

Based in Québec City on the St. Lawrence River, Groupe Desgagnés operates a fleet of 19  Canadian-flag vessels transporting general and bulk cargo.

The carrier recently drew international attention by launching the world's first polar class, dual fuel product/chemical tanker.

Louis-Marie Beaulieu, President and CEO, was presented with the award on May 24 by Helen Kelly, Executive Editor of Lloyd's list.

On this occasion, Ms. Kelly stated that the winners "reflect the effort and importance industry places on achieving excellence. We are intent on celebrating the best practices, and practitioners, in this industry which is the backbone of global trade."

Winners in other categories included  International Seaways, ports of Corpus Christie and Houston, Maersk Line, Norton Rose Fulbright, Holland America. A lifetime achievement award went to the late Dr. James Chao, Founder of the Foremost Group.

 
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