Regional Update: British Columbia Ports

Regional Update: British Columbia Ports

It still surprises some people when they learn that the third-biggest and busiest seaport in North America—after Los Angeles and Long Beach—isn’t in California or Washington, but in the Canadian province of British Columbia. But it’s true: The Port of Vancouver, which boasts an overall size of 217.5 miles (350 kilometers), a land area of 1,000 hectares (2,471 acres) and a 16,000-hectare (39,536-acre) harbor, is the largest, busiest port in Canada. With a draft depth of 18.4 meters (60.3 feet) and 57 available berths, the POV is capable of accommodating some of the biggest container ships in existence. However, it…
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Sea Change: Can a Ferry Change the World?

Sea Change: Can a Ferry Change the World?

The world’s first commercial hydrogen fuel cell-powered, electric drive ferry nears working life. The world’s first commercial hydrogen fuel cell-powered, electric-drive ferry, Sea Change, is afloat in Bellingham, Wash., as it prepares for working life in San Francisco Bay. The 70-foot, 75-passenger catamaran ferry is owned by SWITCH Maritime and was built by All American Marine, Inc. (AAM) with other partners. Regulatory approval from the U.S. Coast Guard is complete with delivery estimated relatively soon, according to AAM. Sea Change is expected to complete several demonstration runs once in California before it is deployed as a commuter passenger vessel in…
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Fuel and Propulsion

Fuel and Propulsion

As transportation moves toward modern, eco-friendly solutions on land, maritime vessels are keeping up with the curve with a focus on developing economically and environmentally friendly solutions. Several companies have recently announced innovations in fuel and propulsion systems on the market that will help marine vessels bridge the gap as they attempt to viably reach zero emissions. In an effort to fight climate change, the International Maritime Organization in 2018 adopted an initial strategy related to reducing greenhouse gas emissions from ships, with a vision of phasing them out within the century. The strategy aims to reduce the carbon intensity…
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Offshore Wind Towers  Make for Dangerous Seas

Offshore Wind Towers Make for Dangerous Seas

Maritime vessel operators need to be aware of new and heightened concerns about how offshore wind (OSW) towers can interfere with and degrade radar systems. Mariners can be impacted on at least two fronts, one being interference with marine vessel radar. According to a report released earlier this year by the National Academy of Sciences, wind towers undercut a radar’s central purpose: safety. The steel towers can distort information about a vessel’s relative location, a degradation that affects all vessel classes. Turbine blades clutter a radar’s display, resulting in an ambiguous and confusing picture for the operator. Correcting for these…
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Demurrage and Detention: FMC Asks if a Shake-Up Needed

Demurrage and Detention: FMC Asks if a Shake-Up Needed

Do demurrage and detention (D&D) fees help or hinder efforts to untangle the supply chain at America’s seaports? D&D fees are assessed by MTOs—marine terminal operators and “common carriers,” meaning vessel operating common carriers (VOCCs) and non-vessel operating common carriers. (NVOCCs). The fees have a straightforward intent: pick up and return your stuff on time or you will pay extra, a notion that most people support. To distinguish: Demurrage is charged daily by the shipping line from the date of discharge until the container is moved out of the port, while detention is charged per day per container by a…
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Hockema Group:  25 Years and Going Strong

Hockema Group: 25 Years and Going Strong

In 1997, after 18 years working as a naval architect and planner at shipyards and for a naval architecture firm, Hal Hockema founded his own naval architecture firm, Seattle-based Hal Hockema & Associates. And over the past 25 years, Hockema Group as the company is now known, has become a full service independent naval architecture firm primarily involved in commercial and government projects in various sectors of the marine industry. It provides naval architecture and marine engineering services for tugs, barges, commercial fishing vessels, dredgers, cargo vessels, workboats and passenger vessels, as well as government/military service vessels. The company’s work…
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Bay Area  Report 2022: Pandemic Rebound

Bay Area Report 2022: Pandemic Rebound

Two years after COVID-19 swept the world, the Bay Area, like many maritime regions, continues to feel the effects of the pandemic. During this time, the Bay Area’s maritime industry has been working to rebound from the impacts while investing in its future, whether it is seaports finding ways to ease the bottlenecks stemming from pandemic-driven cargo records or a transportation agency working to maintain services as ferry riders slowly return. Here’s a look at what’s happening in the region: PORT OF OAKLAND For the past several months, the Port of Oakland has been working to solve a major shipping…
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Cargo Handling Equipment

Cargo Handling Equipment

Cargo handling bridges the divide between tradition and technological innovation as aging equipment is updated and new options are being added. Much of the time, the focus of maritime industry headlines is ships, which can leave equipment and logistics as an afterthought. Yet these machines and the technology used within them make up a vital part of the maritime shipping process—container-handling equipment or cargo-handling equipment (CHE). CHE generally consists of the equipment used to move, load, and unload cargo and containers between ships and the dock. As described in the reference Ship Construction (7th Edition), this equipment went largely unchanged…
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West Coast Labor Talks: An Update

West Coast Labor Talks: An Update

In an era marked by tariffs, a pandemic and a war in Ukraine, those in the maritime industry are bracing for a new disruption to an already strained supply chain: upcoming contract negotiations between West Coast longshore workers and their employers. During a March 1 session at the TPM22 Conference, GSC Logistics Inc. President David Arsenault and Jonathan Gold, vice president of supply chain and customs policy for the National Retail Federation, pondered what hot-button topics could be discussed at the upcoming talks between the Pacific Maritime Association (PMA) and the International Longshore & Warehouse Union (ILWU), and how shippers…
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Hydrofoil Survey Boats Keep Grain Ships Moving on the Columbia River

Hydrofoil Survey Boats Keep Grain Ships Moving on the Columbia River

For the last year, West Coast shipping news has been dominated by the huge assortment of container ships waiting to unload Asian imports in southern California, but the spotlight may eventually turn to a very different cargo—American wheat for export. This vital commodity rarely attracts much attention, but the hostilities between Russia and Ukraine are expected to reduce the world grain supply significantly this year. The USA and Canada each supply around 14% of the wheat on the world market in a typical year, while Russia exports 18% and Ukraine 8%. The loss of any of this grain could have…
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