Research “ping” points bridge-crossing delays

By Keith Norbury

Most of the goods traded between Canada and the U.S., still one of the world’s leading trading partnerships, crosses the border in trucks. And most of those trucks pass over three bridges straddling two rivers connecting the Great Lakes of Huron, Erie, and Ontario. Until recently, however, little was known about long it takes trucks to cross the border. That all changed recently when researchers at the University of Windsor’s Traffic Lab obtained GPS data from nearly 400,000 border crossings by about 60,000 trucks owned by 750 companies. The researchers crunched the data, millions of GPS “pings” in total, to reveal details about how long they waited at the border at different times of the day and year as well as their directions of travel. (more…)

Captain Sarah Lewis, a trailblazer

By William Hryb

Captain Sarah Lewis is no pushover. After all, the responsibilities of a tugboat captain are numerous, to say the least, and an error in judgment has the potential of being catastrophic. For Lewis, the hazards and dangers of operating a tugboat is a constant reminder that the health and safety of her crew is fundamental to her profession. Entrusted to her is the safe docking and undocking of massive ships that frequent the port of Thunder Bay. The diminutive and cherubic looking mariner is all business and her appearance belies the importance of her position in a male dominated industry. Sarah Lewis is a trailblazer – a young woman who has followed a road less travelled. This is her story. (more…)

Chamber of Marine Commerce agenda for 2019

Chamber of Marine Commerce (CMC)          President Bruce Burrows unveiled a 2019 wish list for legislative and policymakers designed to make Great Lakes-St. Lawrence and coastal shipping more competitive and build on the remarkable growth of the 2018 season. St. Lawrence Seaway cargo volumes increased almost 7 per cent in 2018, reaching 40.9 million metric tonnes for the first time since 2007.

“Despite an unpredictable business environment of tariff wars and trade negotiations, many of our Canadian and U.S. port members reported increased volumes in grain exports, road salt, construction materials and petroleum products underlining the importance of the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence waterway as a domestic and international trade gateway,” says Bruce Burrows, President of the Chamber of Marine Commerce.  “There is great opportunity in 2019 to build on this economic momentum and work with legislators and policymakers to make significant progress on shipping’s most enduring challenges.” (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…)

Atlantic update

By Tom Peters

As container ships and cruise ships continue to get bigger, there is an urgency in several ports in Eastern Canada to accommodate these large vessels to remain competitive and to grow the business in these marine sectors.

The $205 million West Side modernization project in the Port of Saint John has been moving forward at a steady pace. The project will see the lengthening and strengthening of the pier structure at the West Side container terminal as well as the deepening of the main channel. The project is expected to be complete in 2023. Presently, radiation portals are being installed which will allow Canadian Border Services Agency (CBSA) a seamless transition with no impact to operations during the major wharf construction, says Paula Copeland, the Port’s Director of Communications and Corporate Social Responsibility. At the same time, a new bridge is being constructed to allow container wharf access as a portion of the existing wharf will be demolished to build the new berth. Additionally, a number of electrical upgrades are being completed for power supply to future crane and reefer facilities. A summary of other work to date includes the removal and demolition of outdated infrastructure; dredging and disposal of silt; placing and leveling of rock fill for caisson and mattress; construction and installation of caissons and piles; and connecting of existing wharf to new piles. (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…)