Cruise ship season 2017

By Mark Cardwell

The port of Sept-Îles is quickly becoming a popular international cruise ship destination in Eastern Canada. Eight years after its inaugural cruise season, when it welcomed three ships with 5,000 passengers, the port was visited eight times by five different ships carrying a total of 8,000 passengers during the 2017 sailing season.

The last and most notable visit was an unexpected stopover by the Queen Mary 2. The 350-metre-long ship was scheduled to make its inaugural visit to Sept-Îles on Sept. 28, 2018. However, the Cunard-owned transatlantic ocean liner made an unscheduled stop on October 2, and berthed there from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. The 8-hour stop was booked just two weeks earlier to replace a visit to the port of Gaspé that Cunard cancelled over the speed limit that Canada imposed in a section of the Gulf of the St. Lawrence to protect endangered right whales.

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Tanker ban bill contrary to the Law of the Sea and ignores the reality of maritime transport

By Alex Binkley

Federal legislation to ban oil tankers from the northern section of the British Columbia coast is inconsistent with provisions of the U.N. Law of the Sea and should be subject to regular reviews, shipowner groups say.

In submissions to the Commons Transport Committee study on the bill, the Chamber of Shipping and the Shipping Federation of Canada called the bill an unjustified move that interferes with maritime commerce. Meanwhile the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS), which represents the world’s national shipowner associations and 80 per cent of the world merchant fleet, warned, “Such a draconian step could lead to serious concerns being raised by Canada’s international trading partners.” Simon Bennett, ICS’s Director of Policy and External Relations, said, “We would instead encourage Canada to continue its strong history of environmental protection and support for responsible global trade through the implementation of practical measures consistent with international best practices. This includes respecting IMO’s’s role in developing safe and sustainable shipping regulations and recommendations that might address any concerns that Canada may have.” The global shipping industry “fully recognizes the importance of robust environmental protection measures, and is committed to the goal of zero pollution, consistent with the comprehensive global regulatory framework adopted by the IMO in accordance with the U.N. Law of the Sea to which Canada is a State Party,” he said.

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Global e-commerce boom a great opportunity for logistics and ocean freight

By Alex Lennane in Miami

E-commerce offers significant opportunities to the logistics industry, including ocean carriers, according to retailers. Frank Diaz, Executive Vice-President of Price Smart, a U.S. warehouse chain and retailer and one of the top 50 container exporters in the U.S., urged the logistics industry to help it compete with etailers.

“E-commerce is generally difficult to make profitable,” he told delegates at Air & Sea Cargo Americas in Miami on November 1. “You have to do all the things the customer used to do – go to the store, drive home. The challenge is to make that profitable, and we are relying on the logistics industry to help us with that. Etailers have capitalized on one thing – a customer preference to shop online with 24/7 access to shops. That has changed the overall landscape and changed the bar. Prices must be complemented with the right shopping experience.”

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Remaining South Korean lines making waves to restore faith after Hanjin crash

By Mike Wackett in Busan

Following the catastrophic failure of Hanjin Shipping last year, the other South Korean ocean carriers still need to work hard to regain the confidence of shippers and counter parties. That was the view of many delegates attending the 11th annual World Ocean Forum (WOF) in Busan last week.

Money owed to approved Hanjin creditors, which includes shipowners, ports, terminals, container leasing companies and other service providers, has passed the $10 billion mark, and the final total could double that. However, even at $10 billion, the liquidators expect to be only able to return $0.02 in the dollar to the creditors.

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Danaos predicts choppy waters for containership charter market next year

By Mike Wackett

Greek containership owner Danaos has painted a gloomy picture for the box ship charter market in 2018. It says it does not expect a “material improvement in the market environment”. Although the non-operating owner (NOO) was able to find new charters for the vessels – once they had been released from the clutches of other Hanjin creditors – the daily hire rates are thought to be at least 60 per cent lower than those agreed with Hanjin. Danaos owns a fleet of around 55 containerships, ranging in size from 2,200 TEU up to 13,100 TEUs.

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K+N gets back to profit growth, but to hit 2017 targets, it must do better in Q4

By Alexander Whiteman

Despite a return to growth in its bottom line, Kuehne + Nagel’s nine-month results released today failed to impress investors. The forwarder remains some way off analysts’ expectations for full-year 2017 targets.

Following a first quarter which saw profits decline year-on-year, followed by flat results for the six months to June, K+N now reports growth in net earnings for the nine months to September – albeit of just 1.3 per cent, to Sfr540 million ($553 million). The weak return in profits came despite revenue for the nine-month period, increasing 10.4 per cent year-on-year to Sfr13.5 billion, with gross profits climbing 4.8 per cent to Sfr5.1billion.

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Quebec Stevedoring a powerhouse in Eastern Canada

By Brian Dunn

Although the town of Sept-Îles has a population of only 25,000, it punches above its weight in maritime shipping and is one of the bigger terminal operations for Quebec Stevedoring Co. Ltd. (QSL) which has 30 port facilities, stretching from St. John’s in the east to Chicago in the west.

It’s not only mining that drives QSL, although it accounts for the bulk of its business in Sept-Îles, according to QSL CEO Robert Bellisle who noted the company will be celebrating its 40th anniversary in 2018.

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Port environmental activities include a wide array of protection and prevention programs

By R. Bruce Striegler

Increasingly, ports across the world are taking on the issues of environmental stewardship and looking at sustainability as key to their futures. Port of Prince Rupert became the first west coast port to join the Green Marine environmental program in 2010. Green Marine is a joint Canada-U.S. initiative aimed at advancing environmental excellence in the marine industry, throughout North America. The certification program emphasizes voluntary improvement of environmental performance in key areas identified by the marine industry which include water and land pollution prevention – cargo residues and oily waters, to control greenhouse gases and other air pollutants. The program takes into account community impacts such as noise, dust, light and odours as well as controlling aquatic invasive species. Participants evaluate their performance against guidelines and criteria provided by Green Marine; the results are published annually and verified by an independent third party.

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North American railroads enjoy strong third quarter, despite Hurricane Harvey

By Alexander Whiteman

Hurricane Harvey failed to derail North American operators as intermodal revenue continued to rise in the third quarter – international shipments bolstering double-digit net income gains. Kansas City Southern stood out as the sector’s star performer, with nine-month revenue up 11 per cent year-on-year, to $1.9 billion, resulting in $411 million in net income for the period. While intermodal revenue for the year to date only showed marginal gains at $266 million, the mode performed better in the third quarter with turnover up 4 per cent to $92.3 million. Revenue for the three months to September climbed 8 per cent to $656 million, with net income up 7 per cent to $129.9 million.

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Ocean carriers increasingly targeting better-paying reefer containers

By Mike Wackett

Container lines will “accelerate their assault” on the seaborne reefer market, but their aspirations could result in equipment shortages, according to Drewry.

In its latest edition of the Reefer Shipping Market Review and Forecast, the shipping consultant predicts that, by 2021, the perishable reefer cargo modal split will have increased to around 85 per cent carried on containerships, compared with 79 per cent in 2016. Thus, Drewry estimates that dedicated reefer vessels will see their percentage of the market shrink from 21 per cent last year to 15 per cent by 2021 – not least due to a continually reducing global fleet.

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