Category Archives: port

Cruise Season Cancelled by Feds.

The Federal Government announced restrictions on Cruise Vessels in Canadian waters for the upcoming year.

Cruise vessels with greater then 100 passengers are not permitted to operate in Canadian Waters until February 28th 2022. This mirrors the restrictions that were in place last year. The Ban on Pleasure craft in arctic waters is also in place once again.

From the Release:

Those who do not comply with the pleasure craft prohibition could be subject to penalties: $5,000 per day for individuals and $25,000 per day for groups or corporations.

Those who do not comply with the passenger vessel prohibition could be liable on summary conviction to a fine of up to $1 million or to imprisonment for a term of up to 18 months, or to both.

There is no national ban for smaller cruise ships certified to carry 100 or fewer people. They must follow provincial, territorial, local and regional health authority protocols for timelines and processes around their operations.

2020 in Review

Well the year is over. Here is look back at the shipping news. As for what the Coming year brings, wait for this week’s herald column.

Previous Years: 2019, 2018, 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011

2020 began well enough with a Tour of the RRS james Cook which happened to have the world famous Boaty Mcboatface on board.

Cruise/Pandemic

The Pandemic first got mentioned in February, where its impacts were beginning to be felt in Asia. the PCTC Carrier SIEM Cicero was held outside the port after a case was detected on board. The years Cruise schedule was announced, that same month, but then delayed less then 4 weeks later, before ultimately being cancelled. Several Seafarers were then stranded aboard ships.

One Oceans Cruise ship the RCGS Resolute was finally released from arrest in Argentina, and on the way north sunk a Venezuelan warship. One Ocean itself went through a restructuring, and plans to offer cruises in 2021.

Incidents

The Report was released into the fire on board the Yantain Express. the ship had a work period after the fire, and still calls on Halifax. SeaDoo incident led to serious injuries. The inshore rescue boat made a tow. YM Mandate sailed from Halifax, and arrived in New Jersey with a Hull Crack. A Scalop Dragger sunk in the Bay of Fundy.

Container Shipping

PSA Halifax took delivery of its new Crane, and removed the last of the Panamax Cranes. The expansion of pier 42 was completed, and the walkway re-opened. The Port Authority previewed the proposed new Truck access at Fairview cove.

The Largest container ship record fell twice in 2020, beginning in March with the Call of the CMA-CGM T. Jefferson. Halifax became the Holder of the Canadian Record in September, with the Call of the CMA-CGM Brazil. The first ONE vessel painted in the lines Magenta branding called in April.

Rail blockages by Indigenous protests caused problems for the port. So did Excess traffic caused by a longshoreman strike in Montreal. MSC Diverted ships, but added Halifax to its regular schedule. Containers began to dwell, due to rail delays cased by a shortage of cars, causing excess empty containers were stacked all around port property. The Strike also led to Hapag Lloyd diverted some traffic to Halifax.

New Vessels

The first vessels built as part of the federal governments NSPS arrived in Halifax. The offshore fisheries science vessel, built by Vancouvers SeaSpan, CCGS Jacques Cartier arrived in Halifax for the first time. Final sea trials for the Harry Dewolf, were completed, with the ship being handed over to the Navy in July. The CCGS Molly Kool, stopped into Halifax in May, the first Interim medium icebreaker conversion by Davie. The CCGS Jean Goodwill also arrived, and will be homeported in Halifax.

International Telecom added the IT Integrity to its fleet, converting an offshore supply vessel which arrived in May. Dominion Diving acquired 2 new work boats from Damen, Dominion Rumbler and Dominion Enforcer. Halifax fire ordered a Fireboat from Hike Metal Products, with construction now underway.

Offshore

The Arrival of the Bigroll Beaufort marked a shift in the Offshore industry, arriving with components for 2 wind turbines. the Installation vessel Vole au Vent completed the installation of two offshore wind turbines. The Fall Pipe vessel Adhemar De Saint-Venant also took part in the project.

The Crane Ship Thailf arrived off Halifax to remove the Sable Offshore topsides. The pieces were then loaded onto barges, and towed to the UK for Recycling. The Noble Regina Allen finished sealing the Deep Panuke projects wells, and was moded to her next job by the heavy lift vessel GPO Amythist. the Deep Panuke platform was brought into Halifax, before eventually being towed to sheet harbour, to be recycled. All this activity meant lots of work for supply vessels, which spent most of the year operating from pier 9. Scandi Neptune removed well heads.

Navy

HMCS Moncton got a dazzle paint job for the 75th anniversary of the Battle of the Atlantic. Fredericton’s Cyclone crashed in the Med. Killing all 6 on board. the EX HMCS Cormorant was removed from Bridgewater, for recycling in Sheet Harbour. The DRDC Barge returned to the Bedford basin off the China Town.

The US Navy lost the Amphibious Assault Ship USS Bonhomme Richard after a fire during a work period.

there was one Visiting vessel in 2020 – the USCGC Tahoma, which took part in a Joint exercise.

Other Notable.

Theodore Too was listed for sale, Develop Nova Scotia removed the ECtug Wharves, and Georges Island opened to the public finally.

We mapped shipping traffic again making the nicest images yet, and made it available as a poster.

First look at new Fairview Cove truck access

Thanks to a presentation posted on the cities public consultation website Shape Your city, we now know what the new truck access to Fairview Cove will look like.

This access will be used to handle the majority of container traffic bound for both the Fairview Cove and PSA halifax terminal in the south end. the new access is off Africville road, in the general area where the dump trucks now access the infill area. Containers bound for PSA Halifax will be loaded on rail cars for transport to the other terminal.

Besides the truck access, the facility will feature a new inspection facility, presumably for use by CBSA to inspect suspect shipments before being forwarded on. that facility will include a shed, and a fenced in yard.

There is no word yet on the changes to the Windsor street exchange to improve access to the site, however the moving of the truck access will free up land making more space available for whatever the final result is.

Largest Container Ship Yet.

The 14,414 TEU CMA-CGM T. Jefferson arrived this afternoon, becoming the largest container ship to call in Halifax. The previous record was set last January by CMA-CGM Libra at 11,388. sister ship CMA-CGM Abraham Lincon is also scheduled, as is the 13800teu APL Sentosa.

All the Recent record beaters have operated on the CMA-CGM Columbus JAX service, which sails from asia to both the east and west coasts. 18 vessels provide weekly service, and 1 voyage takes 126 days. Both Records will fall this June when the 15072 teu CMA-CGM Panama arrives, beating both east and west records. the ship is currently Due June 6th.

CMA-CGM T.Jefferson coming along side. (HPA Phato)
tug Spitfire III hauling the stern around so the ship can back in to Pier 41.

COVID 19 concerns kept interviews to email, and media off the pier, and i will post some additional photos later.

Cruise Season Delayed.

The Port of Halifax has delayed The 2020 cruise season until July 1. This does not apply to smaller vessels carrying 500 people or less (passengers plus crew). This follows the direction provided by Transport Canada and the Public Health Agency of Canada.

Yesterday Princess cruises suspended operations for 2 months, Viking Cruises cancelled trips for 2 months, and Virgin delayed the inaugural season of their ship Scarlet Lady.

The Port Authority also announced that The Halifax Seaport Farmers’ Market building will not open on Saturday, March 14, 2020. This is to contain the spread of COVID-19. The building will remain closed indefinitely.

2020 Cruise Schedule Announced

The 2020 cruise season in Halifax will start on April 11 with the arrival of Norwegian Star, a Norwegian Cruise Lines vessel. The season will run until November 3.

for the 2020 season the Port of Halifax is expecting 203 vessel calls carrying approximately 350,000 cruise guests. For local tourism providers, planning for the upcoming season is well underway.

2020 Halifax Cruise highlights include:

  • Eleven (11) scheduled inaugural calls in 2020, starting with the arrival of Norwegian Star on April 11 and flowed by Hanseatic Inspiration (May 20), Empress of the Seas (May 23), Amsterdam (June 1), Norwegian Pearl (June 8), Oasis of the Seas (June 25), Island Princess (Aug 6), Carnival Radiance (Sept 11), Norwegian Encore (Sept 12), Amundsen (Sept 13), and Evrima (Sept 25)
  • Four (4) visits from Queen Mary 2 on July 1-2, August 2, September 23 and October 21
  • Two (2) visits from Disney Magic on October 10 and October 19
  • September 25 is expected to be the busiest passenger day with over 10,000 cruise guests on five vessels

A complete vessel posting can be found at the Cruise Halifax website at https://www.cruisehalifax.ca/our-visitors/cruise-schedule/

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.

New Wharf for Georges Island

profile view of the new wharf at low tide.

Develop Nova Scotia today released the RFQ for construction of a new wharf on Georges Island. The project will see the existing wharf cut down, and a new pile structure twice its size constructed.

The new wharf will be 135′ long, and 18′ wide. there will be 60′ of Floating dock on either side of the main wharf to allow for boat access. Deadline for bids is Sept 17.

The Current wharf was built in 2004, and is built over the ruins of previous wharves. The first wharf was constructed by 1784, and was historically 130′ in length, and 20-25′ wide – the approximate dimensions to the proposed structure.

PSA Acquires Halterm

As previously announced, today PSA International Pte Ltd has completed the acquisition of Halterm from Macquarie Infrastructure Partners. This is a good news story for the port, as PSA is a terminal operator, and not simply an investment fund. PSA will work with Shippers, CN, and the port to increase business, and has extensive operations around the world.

With the Pier Expansion underway, and a new crane on order (with an option for a second) things are looking good at Halterm today.

PSA’s other Canadian facility is the Ashcroft Terminal, British Columbia’s largest inland port facility. Ashcroft Terminal is located approximately 300km east of the Port of Vancouver, close to the major highways, and offers unique rail connectivity to both Class 1 railroad lines – CN and CP

Port Expansion Feedback is in

Halterm North proposal

The port released the results of the public consultation they performed to solicit feedback on port expansion and how the port operates within the community. The consultation was conducted by Hill+Knowlton Strategies via a survey to two groups in March and April 2019.   

Support for port is strong, with the majority from both groups agreeing or strongly agreeing that the port is important to the economy and quality of life in the region. Among the groups, the rational for port expansion is understood, and is supported by similar numbers of respondents.  

We covered the examined options for port expansion in January

Despite some strong advocacy for moving Halterm to Dartmouth, survey respondents favored the Halterm North expansion option over the move. Halterm North would see the south end finger piers that make up the ocean terminals infilled to add an additional berth. More than 50% of respondents were indifferent or against moving to Dartmouth. Less than 31% were indifferent or against Halterm expansion.  

The respondents indicated their priority considerations regarding port expansion were the impact on local neighborhoods, and access to road and Rail. On the question of truck volume downtown, most felt it was an issue, and there was strong support for reducing trucks, and expanding rail to do so.  

The survey results are good news for the port. The port has some clear direction, and support from the public. Expansion can be done, but the port must also be a good neighbour. The recent announcement on federal funding to remove trucks from the downtown and enhancing rail service between the terminals was likely driven by the port and the government taking survey feedback in this regard seriously.  

The Consultation consisted of two survey groups. The open group consisted of anyone who wanted to fill out the survey online. 1,911 answered some or all the survey questions. The majority of this group were working age, and 23% identified as a downtown commuter. A second group, was a demographically representative sample of 1012 participants from across the province. 33% of this group was retired, and the age group tended to skew to age 45+. It was also 50% of HRM and 50% from the province at large. 

As would be expected, responses to the open survey were likely from interested parties, but the results among both groups show the same preferences overall. 

Full results, and the expansion options can be viewed at www.portcityhfx.ca  

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