Blockages causing port headaches.

ACL Cargo Vessel inbound

Recent rail blockages are beginning to severely effect the port of Halifax. Yesterday ACL announced they were no longer calling in Halifax as long as rail service is limited, routing traffic through New York instead. ACL has a contract with CERES until 2022, and calls twice a week with containers and RO-RO traffic.

Hapag-Lloyd, and the Alliance is still calling in Halifax, but is considering re-routing cargo, as is ZIM. Hapag-Lloyd released this statement Wednesday.

The blockades of key rail track and Port Infrastructure facilities throughout Canada continues and the Federal and Provincial Governments remain in dialogue as they seek a resolution with the Indigenous communities across the country.

There have been no material changes to the state of the blockades as communicated in our previous letter. CP Rail tracks remain comparatively clear.

Prince Rupert is now clear and the recovery is underway.

The blockade in Ontario remains in place, and CN’s Eastern Canadian network is more or less shutdown. A limited number of trains are operating in the Halifax/Montreal corridor. Various options to move /divert cargo out of Halifax are being explored.

It is not clear yet how long the protests could last and the disruption continues as the blockades enter their third week. There has been inevitable disruption to the Rail transportation of both domestic and International shipments for which we apologize.

This is a continuing situation and we will provide you with regular updates.

Hapag-lloyd Feb 19 Statement

Some trains working east of Montreal are moving, but as most cargo through Halifax is bound or from beyond the Belleville blockade, those services are affected. The port is stacking cargo bound for Toronto and points west.

Why are we here?

Coastal gas link is attempting to build a Natural Gas pipeline in BC. CGL have signed benefit agreements with several indigenous tribes along the pipeline route, and the project has broad support among elected councils and hereditary chiefs. 5 Hereditary Chiefs oppose the pipeline route across Wet’suwet’en Territory, and were blocking progress in Protest.

The supreme court ruled that the Wet’suwet’en territory is unceeded – it is not subject to a treaty, and the people were not conquered, therefore the Hereditary chiefs have legal title to the land.

Those 5 hereditary chiefs are not against the pipeline. they are against the current routing of the pipeline across their lands. The chiefs have proposed alternative routeing, which is actually in use by other pipelines currently. CGL rejected the proposed new routing, claiming it would delay the project by a year, and Cost 700 million more to build.

CGL went to court, and the BC Court granted an injunction ordering the protesters away. they refused, citing sovereignty over their territory. The RCMP then moved in and enforced the injuction. The Legality of the BC court injunction is likely to be challenged, however that will take time to work out.

In the Meantime, Mohawks have blocked the CN mainline near Belleville in solidarity with the Wet’suwet’en. An injunction has been issued against this blockade by an Ontario Court, however the OPP have yet to enforce this.

The above are the facts. they are not open to debate.

This protest is not anti-pipeline, its not about the environment, or moving oil. some have latched on to the protest to advocate for those ideas, however that is disrespecting the purpose of the protest- which is about respecting indigenous title to the land, which in this case clearly exists.

The OPP have likely chosen restraint in dealing with the Mohawks, frankly its likely the interruptions could become much more severe were they to forceably remove this blockade. The Mohawks were participants in the Oka Crisis which featured blockaded roads bobby-trapped with incendiary devices. as bad as the rail blockade is, shutting down the 401 would be much worse.

while the Trudeau liberals are rightly getting criticism for the handling of this issue, Calls for the prime minister to order the police to do something are wrong. Politicians do not and should not directly control the actions of the police. Support and calls for Vigilantes, or other citizens to take it upon themselves to intervene is also not a sound approach.

Fundamentally CGL chose to go to court rather then being a good neighbour. CGL, wanting to save time and money is now costing the Canadian Economy millions per day in losses, and several thousand people are out of work until this is resolved. the rest of the country is an externality to getting this pipeline built how CGL want it, and frankly more anger should be expressed to at CGL, and Corporate Canada should be demanding CGL apologize, and change the routing.

MOL Motivator – turnover on EC5

The Alliance has been rotating vessels on its EC 5 service, with Mitsui O.S.K. Lines vessels coming into the rotation as of late. Other recent new callers have Included MOL Maxim, MOL Mission, MOL Maneuver and MOL Marvel. The ships are rated at 6724TEU and were built in 2010/2011, and carry the Marshall Islands flag.

MOL Paramount, MOL Partner,and MOL Paradise have been serving on the EC5 route for a while. Yantian Express, George Washington Bridge remain the only non MOL vessels on the Routes schedule.

MOL is part of ONE, formed as a merger of Nippon Yusen Kaisha (NYK), Mitsui O.S.K. Lines (MOL), and K Line’s container businesses.

German BSU releases Yantian Express Report

The German Bundesstelle für Seeunfalluntersuchung or Federal Bureau of Maritime Casualty Investigation has completed the report into the fire onboard the Yantian Express. We covered the Fire and response to the Yantian Express as it happened, and Once it finally made Halifax with remaining Cargo.

the report has cleared up a few details. First the Crew was transferred to the tug Smit Nicobar, and then transferred to the Dalian Express for transport to Halifax. That cleared up the question of how they got to Halifax.

The Tug Atlantic Enterprise showed up in Halifax Jan 14. It turns out it was enroute to the scene, but was damaged by weather, and came to Halifax instead. the Smit Nicobar had to render some assistance to the tug.

The Fire began in a container of Coconut Charcoal in bay 11, row 7. Bay 11 would be the Forward 20′ container in Bay 12. since the ship turned stern to wind, the spread of the fire forward is not surprising. The container was misdeclared as Coconut Pellets. Charcoal can Self heat, and it is believed this led to the fire. Coconut pellets are basically balls of coconut fiber.

The report indicates Coconut-based pyrochar is characterized by the fact that it burns at a high temperature (600 °C to 650 °C) and produces a very low amount of smoke

Sea Trials Underway.

HMCS Harry DeWolf heads to the basin for the first round of trials.

The HMCS Harry Dewolf is undergoing another round of sea trials this week. the Ship first sailed on Saturday afternoon and to the shipyard 10 p.m. Sunday.

the ship then sailed again on Monday, and is still out to sea. In a tweet, the navy said it was taking the ship out for a test drive – suggesting these are likely part of the acceptance trials program. 

In the Herald: Pandemic Preparations

Anthem of the Seas on a visit to Halifax. The Ship is now being checked in NJ.

this week in the herald, I discuss the impact of the Novel Corona virus on the shipping industry, and what Canada is doing about it.

Since I submitted the article, Japan has identified 10 passengers on a cruise ship that are positive for the virus. A former passenger of the Diamond Princess tested positive for the virus on their return to Hong Kong, prompting the check. The Ship is operating an 8 night Japan/Taiwan itinerary.

there is also another cruise ship quarantined off Hong Kong.

UPDATE Feb 7:
RCCL’s Anthem of the Seas is being inspected by the CDC in New Jersey. the ship calls on Halifax during the cruise season. The number of Cases on board the Diamond Princess has increased to 61, including several Canadians.

Corona virus hears have led to cancellation of LNG imports, Slowness in the Commodities trade, and problems for the container market.

A Tour of the RRS James Cook

The Royal Research Ship James Cook tied up at Cove just before Christmas. The Ship is operated by the UK’s National Oceanography Center, and was conducting the Atlantic Zone Monitoring Program of Newfoundland for DFO – Science work that would have been conducted by the Hudson normally.

the James Cook is due to sail at 10:00 this morning for Fort Lauderdale Florida. Yesterday, the folks at Cove offered me a tour of the ship, led by the Captain and 2nd Officer. Stuart Peddle with the Herald also attended, and produced this piece.

parallelgram winch, used for lowering instruments. the dooors lead t the wet lab.
rear deck
science space.
another science space.
Galley
bridge navigation Console
Dynamic Positioning station
Starboard side
engine controls
forward decks
bridge looking toward DP station
chart table.

First Ship of 2020

with no movements into or out of the harbour, since the Ethan sailed yesterday at noon, the First ship of 2019 looks to be the Algoma Verity, due at the pilot at 6:30pm tonight, bound for National Gypsum.

UPDATE 7:25pm: Algoma Verity has twice delayed its arrival, and is now due at 7am tomorrow. the car carrier MEDITERRANEAN HIGHWAY is due at 5:30am, bound for autoport, and will now likely be the first arrival of the New Year. there was one departure today – the tug Spitfire III bound for Saint John.

2019 in review

As I have done almost every year, this post highlights the key harbor events in 2019. 2019 marks the 11th year of this site, and Saw a full year of Herald Columns, and a huge upgrade to the AIS System. I also did a nautical tour of the uK.

Previous Years: 2018, 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011

At the beginning of the year i asked “What does 2019 hold? Port expansion, new container ship size records, and the delivery of the HMCS Harry DeWolf to the navy are easy predictions to make – the rest, time will tell.” – Yes, One, not yet – the rest, see below.

Incidents

January Began with a flury of incidents. the PCTC Sincerity Ace caught fire in the Pacific. Days Later the Yantain Express bound for Halifax caught fire. It Eventually made it to Fairview cove in May. The tanker Kivalliq W suffered an generator room fire at Imperial oil, the the RMI Dive boat Captain Jim sank with the the loss of deckhand. In March, Viking Sky lost power off Norway, the Carvos Harmony lost power in Vancouver Harbour. Derick Hadfields VOR60 was lost off Lunenburg. A crew member of Maersk Patras was lost while lashing in the Saint Lawrence. the Ex NF Ferry Apollo twice struck docks in Quebec.

Container/Cargo Operations

The CMA-CGM Libre set the record for largest container ship to call at 11,388TEU. Halterm was Acquired and became PSA Halifax, and ordered new equipment

The port revealed all the options that were looked at for port expansion, dredging for the temporary expansion began, and the pier casons were installed. The Feds announced funding to deal with port truck traffic through the city.

2 BBC Shipping vessels conducted a ship to ship cargo transfer.

Tall Ships

Coffee arrived by Sail, via the cargo schooner Avontuur, And the Tall ship Caledonia went on to become a restaurant in Boston. The Mexican navies sail training vessel ARM Cuauhtemoc visited port ,and Activ played the Whaler Volunteer in Lunenburg.

Coast Guard.

The hudson went in for a work period. Davie thought it was a bad idea. CCGS Captain Molly Kool put in a tow. Fleet Renewal was announced for the Coast Guard. The CCGS did more cleanup on the ex HMCS Comrorant.the Ex CCGS Matthew Sold, as did the ex RCMP Murry Sold

Cruise

One Ocean Expeditions ran into trouble. they lost the use of their 2 Russian ships when the charters could not be renewed. the RCGS Resolute then had a trip ended abruptly, and the RCGS Resolute was arrested in Argentina. Their problems then got worse. The Cruise industry as a whole is problematic.

In Happier news, Cunards 2 queens preformed a sailpast and Georges Island is getting a new Wharf

Navy

USCG Campbell, FS Fulmar and USS Jason Dunham visited in April. The Mexican navies sail training vessel ARM Cuauhtemoc visited port. Cutlass Fury brought the Nato Fleet, Including HDMS PETER WILLEMOES (Danish),HNLMS VAN SPEIJK (Dutch) and HNOMS THOR HEYERDAHL, USNS PATUXENT and NRP FRANCISCO DE ALMEIDA USS GRIDLEY, USS JASON DUNHAM , and BNS LEOPOLD HMS Northumberland, HMS Dragon, RFA Tideforce and the UK’s new Aircraft Carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth .USS Billings stopped in her first salt water trip. USS Gravely also stopped in. the RAF’s red arrows put on a show. HNLMS De Reuyer and USS Indianapolis also visited.

Asterix Returned from deployment, and i got a tour

Naval Shipbuilding

the Future HMCS Margerette Brooke become whole, and was launched. tragically a worker was killed when sandblasting equipment failed. The HMCS Harry Dewolf underwent builders trials. new tugs were finally ordered for the RCN, with a new to Canada RAL Design

Other Notable

Sea Shepard’s Bridget Bardot visited port as well. NOAA Okeanos Explorer, and RRS James Cook stopped at COVE. the Noble Regina Allen finished capping Sable Offshore gas wells, and returned to Halifax. Someone when overboard from the ferry, the yacht squadron ran afowl of the traffic lanes.