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Cargo ship denied entry to Halifax over COVID-19 concerns

Un navire se voit refuser l'entrée à Halifax en raison de préoccupations liées au COVID-19

2020-04-01

 

 

 

The Public Health Agency of Canada says a cargo ship travelling from Germany has been denied entry to the port of Halifax because several crew members have symptoms of COVID-19, according to a Canadian Press report.
The Siem Cicero is carrying a shipment of cars, which is considered non-essential.

In a statement, the health agency says it was notified about the condition of some crew members on March 17 and the vessel was denied entry to the port under the federal Quarantine Act.

It says the move was made to protect the health of Canadians and to prevent supply chain disruptions at the port of Halifax.

The health agency says it is continuing to monitor the situation and has advised the ship and its shipping agent that the vessel won't be granted entry to the port until 14 days after the last date symptoms appeared in the crew.
Built in 2017, the Siem Cicero is a Liberian flagged vessel that can carry 7,000 vehicles. (photo shows Siem Cicero when launched in 2017).

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Canadian grain farmers supply world markets via Port of Thunder Bay

Les agriculteurs canadiens nourissent la planète via le Port de Thunder Bay


2020-04-01

 

 

 

 

Dozens of ships are expected to arrive at the Port of Thunder Bay over the next few weeks as demand for food staples like wheat and durum increases around the world.

Canadian vessels have already loaded 200,000 metric tons of grain in the last week, twice the average volume in March. The Montreal to Lake Ontario section of the St. Lawrence Seaway opened today (April 1) allowing Canadian vessels to travel the entire Great Lakes-St. Lawrence River waterway to deliver Prairie grain from the Port of Thunder Bay to Quebec where it will be transloaded onto ocean-going vessels destined for overseas markets.  International vessels will also start arriving mid-April in Thunder Bay to pick up grain.

"Right now, we expect April grain volumes to be above normal.  We currently have 650,000 metric tons of grain in storage ready to go out and we are receiving more rail deliveries. The port can store more than a million metric tons of grain at a time and has the fastest rail turn-around times, so we are well-positioned to help Canadian farmers supply their markets," says Tim Heney, CEO of the Thunder Bay Port Authority.

Recent consumer and government demand has increased production of bread and pasta around the world.

"We are seeing strong demand for food staples like Canadian wheat and durum with production up at flour mills and pasta plants around the world. Demand was already up in countries like Italy which had a smaller crop last year but with the COVID-19 pandemic, some countries are ordering extra wheat and durum to increase their reserves and satisfy this new demand," says Carsten Bredin, Vice-president of Grain Merchandising for Richardson International Limited, "Great Lakes-St. Lawrence shipping is going to be a critical part of the supply chain to move grain to markets in Europe, Northern Africa and the Middle East. "

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Cruise ship ban will hit incomes of Nunavut artists


2020-03-30

 

 

Nunavut artists accustomed to selling their work to cruise ship passengers can expect leaner times ahead, following the recent decision by Canada's Transport Minister, Marc Garneau, to ban all Canadian Arctic cruises this season to help prevent the spread of COVID-19, Nunatsiaq News reported in an article by Jane George.

"The cruise ships bring pretty significant cash benefit to communities," said Jackie Dawson, who holds a Canada research chair in environment, society and policy at the University of Ottawa and is the science director at Arctic Net.

The Nunavut government's annual report on tourism 2018-2019 said 12 cruise ships embarked on 21 separate voyages in Nunavut waters between July 2019 and September 2019.

The estimated impact of this activity was at $677,258 in 2019, up from $376,016 in 2018, when ice conditions kept many cruises out of the region.

Ms. Dawson suggested that the dollar amount for 2019 is a "lowball figure. A lot of the transactions are informal and they are in cash and they are not captured by Nunavut government numbers."

She indicated that in 2021 the Arctic cruise ship industry could make a slow comeback. "These cruise companies are not like the big cruises you hear about in the news. They are sometimes family-run and very serious about sustainability and appreciate actions, so I really hope that we see them rebound well," she said.

 

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Panama Canal facilitates transit of two cruise ships for humanitarian reasons

Le canal de Panama facilite le transit de deux navires de croisière pour des raisons humanitaires


2020-03-30

 

 

Panama City, Panama-The Panama Canal facilitated this Sunday the transit of Holland America's MS Zaandam and MS Rotterdam cruise ships, under extraordinary conditions and for humanitarian reasons.

After not being able to dock at ports in South America, the MS Zaandam arrived to the assigned anchorage in Panama on March 27. Holland America's MS Rotterdam cruise ship arrived earlier that day and was assigned anchorage awaiting the arrival of the MS Zaandam, in order to transfer healthy passengers and medical supplies, following strict protocols developed in conjunction with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Passengers transfer continued throughout Saturday, March 28, and the delivery of additional supplies was completed this Sunday, March 29.
Panama's Health Ministry (MINSA) authorized the MS Zaandam's transit on March 28 after receiving information on the sanitary conditions of the vessel, including four deaths on board. On Saturday, the Panama Canal also authorized the transit of the MS Rotterdam, under the same conditions established by MINSA, allowing both ships to transit one after the other.

The Panama Canal has taken extreme sanitary measures to transit these two ships, including using the Neopanamax Locks as means to reduce to a minimum the number of Canal employees involved in the transit.
The MS Zaandam had booked, since April 2018, a transit through the Panama Canal for April 1, 2020. Transiting the Panama Canal will decrease travel time to a port on the Pacific Coast of the United States by 2.5 days.

As reported by Canadian media, 247 passengers and one crew member are Canadians on board the Zeendam. Four elderly people have died on the ship, none of which are Canadians. Photo: Panama Canal

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Synergy Group CEO calls for collective crew changes

Le PDG de Synergy Group milite pour des changements d'équipage collectifs

2020-03-27

 

 

Captain Rajesh Unni founder and CEO of Singapore-based Synergy Groupis is calling for collective managed crew changes to tackle the "time bomb" of the crisis of relieving seafarers at the end of their contracts. "I believe that collective, carefully managed crew changes at designated ports could help us tackle this crisis," said Capt Unni in a written statement."Seafarers returning home would have to undergo a 14-day quarantine period, of course. And those joining ships would need to pass a mandatory medical, including a Covid-19 test."Even if Covid-19 infections subside, which we all hope they will do, putting a plan in place now will be good preparation for the future.


"The International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) has estimated there are around 100,000 crew changes a month but most are being deferred at the present time as ports across the globe ban such movements as they try to stop the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.

"In many ports crew changes are simply prohibited," said Cap Unni. "Elsewhere, vessels from some origins are now forced to remain at anchorage in quarantine for up to 14 days before they can dock."To make matters worse, it is also becoming increasingly difficult for crew to stock up on fresh fruit and vegetables such are the restrictions placed on port agents and captains.He stated: "This is a time bomb. Even under normal circumstance, seafaring is stressful and involves spending long periods of time away from friends and family."

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