Proceedings of the Arctic Shipping Summit held in Montreal

By Brian Dunn

Coordinating the aims of the various stakeholders in Arctic development is a daunting task which needs to be clarified, while competition will likely be centred around sovereignty issues such as the disputed limits of the Continental shelf and economic issues. The remarks were made by Mike Emerson, Director, Marine Transportation Systems, United States Coast Guard (USCG) during the 14th Arctic Shipping Summit in February in Montreal. Global shipping, especially in the Arctic, is not on the U.S.’ radar and there needs to be a business case made, such as a return on investment, to attract American investment in the region, he added. (more…)

The cost of hijacking and corruption – Proceedings of 2018 BLG Annual Law Seminar

The cost of hijacking and corruption – Proceedings of 2018 BLG Annual Law Seminar

By Brian Dunn

The cost of hijacking and corruption

In the film Captain Phillips based on the 2009 hijacking by Somali pirates of U.S.-flagged MV Maersk Alabama, the character played by Tom Hanks is taken hostage for a ransom that was never paid after a tense standoff. Maersk Alabama was also the first American cargo ship to be hijacked in two hundred years.

While hijacking is clearly the most dangerous type of situation facing shipping companies in some parts of the world, there are less severe incidents which still have to be dealt with on a daily basis. One of the most common is bribes to officials at certain ports who can make life difficult and costly if shippers don’t cooperate. (more…)

Montreal’s logistics community moving forward on different fronts

By Brian Dunn

The port of Montreal continues to grow its operations with a new record set in the container sector, handling a total of 1.6 million containers last year, an increase of 9 per cent over 2017. Total volume handled was 39 million tonnes, up 2.3 per cent during the corresponding period. It marks the fifth year in a row that total tonnage has increased. (more…)

No shortage of issues to deal with at the Shipping Federation

No shortage of issues to deal with at the Shipping Federation

By Brian Dunn

This year marks the 115th anniversary of the Shipping Federation of Canada and as the years pass, so do its priorities. While the Federation is keeping an eye on Canada’s free trade agreement (CETA) with the European Union which is starting to pay dividends, another key focus is on the environmental front, according to Federation President Michael Broad. There are also the IMO ballast water regulations with requirements to install BWT systems coming into effect between 2019-2024, the global sulphur cap as of 2020, the GHG emission reduction strategy and talk about total decarbonization. “On a global level, it’s an ambitious agenda which will have a huge impact on us and here in Canada, we also have the whale protection agenda on both the east coast and west coast.” (more…)

CargoM steadily meeting its objectives

CargoM steadily meeting its objectives

By Brian Dunn

One of the principal objectives of CargoM, the Logistics and Transportation Cluster of Metropolitan Montreal, is to attract new businesses to the region by identifying sectors that offer growth opportunities, particularly those which may not have a strong presence in the area. About three or four years ago, it pinpointed the agri-food sector as a potential business to pursue.

“The city (of Montreal) helped in identifying this sector which we felt could be a great opportunity for us,” said Mathieu Charbonneau, Executive Director of CargoM which recently celebrating its 5th anniversary. “Not just to serve the Montreal region, but also Ontario and the northeastern U.S. But before we can go after new business, we need to build the infrastructure and to understand cold chain technology and to see what’s currently available in Montreal. We also need to see who wants the service.” (more…)

Report on proceedings of Shipping Federation of Canada conference

By Brian Dunn

A resurgence in global trade will benefit Canada’s shipping industry, with export growth expected to continue, according to a leading Canadian economist. And he expects trade tensions between the United States and China will be resolved. “Canadian exporters are worried that NAFTA may be cancelled, but I believe cooler heads will prevail,” Stephen Tapp, Deputy Chief Economist, Export Development Canada, said at the annual conference of the Shipping Federation of Canada in Montreal on May 23. Labour markets in Canada and the U.S. are improving, economic slack is being absorbed, while historically low interest rates and inflation are rising, both positive signs for the economy, he added. (more…)