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…)

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…)