Page 44: of Maritime Logistics Professional Magazine (Nov/Dec 2018)

Regulatory & Environmental Review

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REGULATORY REVIEW doesn’t appear even once. It’s all about the money. Every para- making the best use of proven and modern technology. The Pi- graph on every page builds to the same scold: that the Coast lotage Review Chair has made a series of recommendations that

Guard, once again, is giving us the shaft. would achieve these goals while still maintaining the highest lev-

In both the U.S. and Canada there are prospects of change. As els of safety and reliability.” noted, Transport Canada issued a 145-page analysis of shipping Similarly, on the other side of the border, pilotage issues are and pilotage issues with 38 recommendations for change, cover- getting new attention. First, of course, is the Coast Guard rate ing governance, labor, safety and tariffs and fees. setting process, open now. This process really just keeps the cur-

The Chamber of Marine Commerce is working to leverage rent system working but it surely serves to highlight the extreme the TC analysis. In October, the Chamber’s “Marine Day on the concerns about pilotage. Another forum is the President’s focus

Hill” focused on pilotage reform and infrastructure funding. The on regulatory reform within the maritime industry. Pilotage rates

Chamber pressed these issues in discussions on Parliament Hill, were specifcally called out by American and Canadian industry including sessions with Transport Minister Marc Garneau and and trade groups, including The Great Lakes St. Lawrence Gover- a multi-party panel with Liberal MP Vance Badawey, NDP MP nors & Premiers who described a “toxic environment between the

Brian Masse and Conservative MP Kelly Block. Coast Guard, system users, and the pilotage associations.” “Canada’s pilotage system has not been overhauled in more Secondly, pushback is emerging among states. In October, Jack- than 40 years and is ineffcient, infexible, out-of-date and des- sonville-based Crowley Holdings Inc., the holding company for perately needs to be modernized,” explains Bruce Burrows, Presi- Crowley Maritime Corporation, released a statement urging Flor- dent of the Chamber of Marine Commerce. ida’s Board of Pilot Commissioners to reject a proposed pilotage

He continued, “We urge the Minister of Transport to now move increase. Crowley wrote that the fee increase would “raise aver- forward to introduce legislation that promotes safety and provides age pilotage costs more than 100%.” Crowley is the port’s largest greater transparency and oversight of pilotage services while tenant and recently signed a new 10-year Port Everglades lease.

Crowley calculated that pilotage fees would increase between 88 to 139 percent depending on vessel size.

State issues came to the fore in Houston, too, when, the Houston Pilots, in October, withdrew their application asking the Port of Houston Authority to approve higher rates. The pullback came after 15 shipping companies presented a unifed “No Way!” to the Authority. More than one frm said it would be forced to look for other ports of call because the new

Houston rates would be so far out of line with similar ports that they would have no other choice. Shippers said they have made substantial cost cuts to survive and suggest that the pilots do the same. Imagine this: one shipper even called for a rate reduction.

In September, the US Government Accountability

Offce (GAO) released a report on freight transport issues within the Great Lakes, citing pilotage issues as one particular challenge. Importantly, GAO is working on another report with an exclusive focus on pilotage, requested by Senators John Thune (SD) and Todd Young (IN).

Eventually, this analytical momentum has to turn into legislative engagement, at least at the federal level. After all, agencies can only do so much. They comply with the law as written in 1960. Politically savvy insiders know this, of course. You can be sure they are getting ready to refocus the debate and move it to a different set of players.

Tom Ewing

The Author is a freelance writer specializing in energy, environmental and related regulatory issues.

A typical Seaway pilotage invoice

Credit: MRC 44 Maritime Logistics Professional November/December 2018 | |

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