Vancouver port dispute with container terminal tenant over capacity expansion

Vancouver port dispute with container terminal tenant over capacity expansion

By R. Bruce Striegler

Volumes of containers handled at the port of Vancouver’s terminals have grown substantially through past decades, increasing at an average rate of ten percent annually since 1995. Projections of growth up to the year 2040 are now predicted at about 8.0 million TEUs (or 20-foot-equivalent units), and to give some perspective, in 2018 Vancouver handled 3.4 million TEU’s. The port is deeply engaged in capacity expansion, either directly or in cooperation with private terminal operators, and it points to projects already approved or somewhere in the approval pipeline, designed to reduce the potential capacity jams. Capacity improvements are at the heart of an unpleasant row which has developed between the Port Authority and one of its larger tenants, GCT Terminals Canada. (more…)

Paul Pathy on the ups and downs of business, and the frustration and loss to the economy of operating without sufficient icebreaker support

Paul Pathy on the ups and downs of business, and the frustration and loss to the economy of operating without sufficient icebreaker support

By Brian Dunn

As it celebrates its 75th anniversary this year, Fednav is showing its appreciation for the support it has received from the Montreal business community, by naming its two new Lakers Federal Montreal and Federal St. Laurent. It’s the first time Fednav has named a vessel after a city. Federal Montreal will be delivered at the end of August and Federal St. Laurent is expected to arrive at the end of June. The 35,000-tonne Lakers are being built by Oshima Shipbuilding in Japan with six holds, four cranes and onboard ballast water system. (more…)

Does Canada have a strategic plan to enhance its fleet of icebreakers?

Does Canada have a strategic plan to enhance its fleet of icebreakers?

By K. Joseph Spears

Since Canada is an Arctic nation, there is a strong requirement for icebreaker capability in our Arctic waters. The Canadian Coast Guard, operating within Fisheries and Oceans Canada, is tasked with providing the necessary icebreakers in support of its own mandate and other government operations (search and rescue, hydrographic work and resupply, to name just a few). These are hard-working ships, with experienced crews who often work in hostile environments. Interestingly, former CBC  National news anchor Peter Mansbridge, a former Churchill, Manitoba resident, described his time aboard Canadian Coast Guard heavy icebreaker’s CCGS Louis St. Laurent in the Northwest Passage as among his most cherished moments in broadcasting. Yet, Canada’s icebreakers are old, with the average age of Canadian icebreakers being just shy of 40 years, which adversely impacts their operational readiness and reliability. (more…)

Canada and China: two nations claiming sovereignty over disputed ocean space

Canada and China: two nations claiming sovereignty over disputed ocean space

By K. Joseph Spears

What is old is new again. United States Secretary of State Mike Pompeo at the recent ministers meeting at the Arctic Council in Helsinki, Finland, talked about Canada’s claim to the Northwest Passage, and stated: “We recognize that Russia is not the only nation making illegitimate claims. The U.S. has a long-contested feud with Canada over sovereign claims through the Northwest Passage.” (more…)

The Arctic Ocean Basin – is it really Putin’s playground?

The Arctic Ocean Basin – is it really Putin’s playground?

By K. Joseph Spears

During the long running Cold War, the Arctic Ocean Basin had strategic military significance: The airspace was potentially important for overflights of strategic bombers and later, intercontinental ballistic missiles – the ocean space for subsurface operations of submarines of the United States and her allies, and the Soviet Union.

After the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989, and the breakup of the Soviet Union, the strategic significance of the Arctic Ocean Basin diminished. The Arctic was an afterthought in the thinking of most defense planners for decades. However, with melting sea-ice and a fast warming Arctic, there is now greater interest in the region because of its greater accessibility, and the importance of the region to both Russia and near-Arctic states such as China. (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…)