Industry News And Updates:
Story 1) Fire In Vancouver B.C. Halts Rail Service. Delays To Vessel Loadouts Expected. - July 06, 2021.

Story 2) Draft Reduction on Lower Mississippi River - 46 Feet - May 05, 2021

Story 3) New Invasive Moth Species Identified By U.S. Customs - March 19, 2021

Story 4) U.S. West Coast Congestion - Anchorages And Labor - Update February 18, 2021

Story 5) U.S. Dept. Of Transportation Maritime Administration Alert 2021-002A Upcoming Mariner Travel Requirements Changes - January 19, 2021

1) Fire in Vancouver B.C. halts rail service. delays to vessel loadouts expected.
  • by  Evan Jones

Per our colleagues at Wheelhouse Shipping in Vancouver B.C.

Kindly note, due to a fire occurring in Lytton, B.C., (abt. 275 KM North of Vancouver), the main rail line supplying cargo to coal and grain terminals in Vancouver is currently inoperable. This supply line runs directly through the village of Lytton, which was completely destroyed in the fire.

Currently, there are a large number of trains waiting to arrive at the Port of Vancouver. Both CN and CP Rail are working closely with Transport Canada and onsite inspectors, to determine the necessary steps to resume safe rail operations.

With rail impacts on terminal operations, vessel delays and heightened anchorage demand are expected. The Port of Vancouver is closely working with container terminal operators, railways, and government officials to understand the impacts of these delays on terminals operations and to develop a recovery plan.

We will continue to monitor the situation and keep you informed on any new developments as they arise.

Further information regarding this matter can be directed to Wheelhouse Shipping in Vancouver B.C. Email: / Phone: 604.891.5555

  • by  Evan Jones

Draft Reduction on Lower Mississippi River - 46 Feet - May 05, 2021

Please see below notice on reduced draft restriction for the Lower Mississippi River:


From CRPPA: =================================
From: Mark Nelson
Subject: Max Recommended Draft Date: May 5, 2021 at 1:23:09 PM CDT

Captain Ron,

Per the Safe Navigation Committee of Louisiana state-commissioned river port pilots: • Based on the current conditions, the maximum recommended freshwater draft is 46 feet effective immediately. Thanks.

Mark Nelson CFO/COO
Crescent River Port Pilots’ Association

[End quote]

The reported reason is shoaling in the MM 11-12 area.

Therefore, the present controlling draft for ALL foreign flag vessels has effectively been reduced to 46 Feet from SW Pass up to MM 180 until further notice.

Beyond MM 180, draft restriction remains 45 feet.

Below are the draft restrictions broken down by pilot zone fyr:
1. BAR Pilots – SWP to Pilottown (Mile 1.9 AHOP) Draft Recommendation: Max FW Draft is 47 feet
2. Crescent Pilots – Pilottown (Mile 1.9 AHOP) to Mile 104.7 AHOP Draft Recommendation: Max FW Draft is 46 feet
3. NOBRA Pilots - Mile 104.7 to Mile 180 AHOP: Max FW Draft is 47 Feet. Mile 180.0 to Mile 232.1 AHOP: Max FW Draft is 45 Feet.
4. Federal Pilots (U.S. Flag vessels) – SWP to Mile 233.5 AHOP : Max FW Draft is 45 feet.

We will provide updates as available.

3) New Invasive Moth Species Identified By U.S. Customs
  • by  Evan Jones


Please note the following information received from U.S. Customs Field Office Sacramento on March 19, 2021, regarding a new invasive moth species:

NATCU has begun to alert on a new pest risk coming from South America. We had a couple of ships last week that were tagged for the new Argentina Water Moth inspection, and some of you were asking for more information. Unfortunately, there isn’t much because this is still very new.

At this point, there are no certifications required...Do note that action will be required if any are found.

(Additional information below)

The Argentina Water Moth (AWM), Paracles Azollae, is a relatively new threat that has only gained attention this past year. Accurate information regarding its habitat, feeding habits, range of activity within South America and more importantly, Agriculture threat should it be introduced here, is hard to find regarding this species in standard Google searches. However, their egg masses are easily confused with Asian Gypsy Moth (AGM) and can only be identified through DNA testing of the collected egg masses. Ships that are found to be infested with the moth’s eggs are treated the same as those found to be infested with AGM.USDA has determined the moth is actionable when found.

To try to mitigate time and resources consumed, if your ships have visited Argentina or neighboring ports in South America from August through February (the summer months of the southern hemisphere), please ask the crews prior to arrival to check over the ship for the egg masses and remove any encountered.

Do not throw overboard as these are aquatic moths. While salt water may destroy them, the caterpillars actually thrive in freshwater and may hatch into our rivers. AWM Larvae live and feed on Aquatic Plants particularly the Hyacinth that fills are rivers here in California. However, like most tenacious caterpillars, they may adapt to other aquatic plants should they run out of their favorite food, potentially placing native species and even our rice fields in danger.

We will alert you if your ship has been flagged for AWM inspection by the NACTU. Below are the images of the Argentina Water Moth along with actually photographs taken from a ship here in West Sacramento that was found to be covered in egg masses just this past May 2020.

[End Quote]

We will update all vessel owners, charterers, and operators with more information regarding the AWM as released by USDA/US Customs.

4) U.S. West Coast congestion - anchorages and labor - Update 2/18/21
  • by  Vince Addington

TO: CHARTERERS, VESSEL OWNERS & OPERATORS WITH VESSELS CALLING ON U.S. WEST COAST PORTS (For those reading this on a smart phone, this message has NO attachments with content.)

As follow-up to our message on February 04, vessel anchorage at most U.S. west coast ports continues to be extremely congested as container terminals, particularly in southern California, struggle to keep up with the current traffic loads.
Below is a quick survey of U.S. West Coast ports as of the afternoon of February 18th.

LAX/Long Beach:
Vessels at anchor = approximately 49 vessels total – 29 container ships; 1 reefer vessel; 16 tank vessels and 3 cruise ships. Drift areas are being utilized.
Labor: No shortages reported so far but this may change as the container terminals are at full capacity.

San Francisco Bay area:
Vessels at anchor in Anchorage Nine = approximately 25 vessels total – 14 container ships, 8 dry bulk and 3 tankers/ATB Vessels at anchor off Richmond = 2 tankers
Anchorages are “first come; first serve”
Labor: spot shortages of labor are a regular occurrence.
Stockton/Sacramento labor: Normal (Note: longshore labor is currently not allowed to travel from one port to another due to COVID 19 concerns)

Columbia River:
Portland has only one active container service so congestion is no more than usual for this time of year with with some rain delayed grain vessels waiting for berth.
As of Tuesday, Feb 16...
Anchorages available for Panamax vessels at Astoria: 1 (However, 8 inbound vessels were due to arrive Feb 16-19)
Upstream anchor buoys available: 3
Labor: Normal, but not traveling to other locations.

Puget Sound: Vessels at anchor: 16 total --- 7 container ships; 7 dry bulk and 2 tankers.
Anchorages: Anchorages are available for short term stays, but longer term stays are very difficult to reserve. Most of the containerships at anchor are waiting to go to Vancouver B.C. which is also very congested at present. Most of the anchored bulkers are for grain.
Labor: No shortages reported.

In general, container ships are taking anchorage spaces in all areas except the Columbia River at unprecedented levels although Puget Sound is not experiencing quite the same congestion as the California ports.
So far, the labor situation for non-containerized cargo has remained manageable. However, please be aware that this situation is subject to change at any time depending on COVID 19 and the continuing expected crush of container cargo.

REMINDER: This is just a snapshot of current conditions. The situation could improve or deteriorate quickly so please check with your local agent for updates. For up-to-date information from our West Coast offices, please contact the following:

LAX/Long Beach:
San Francisco Bay area:
Columbia River area:
Puget Sound:

5) U.S. Dept. Of Transportation Maritime Administration Alert 2021-002A Upcoming Mariner Travel Requirements Changes - January 19, 2021
  • by  Evan Jones

Retransmittal of State Department COVID-19 Traveler Information dated January 12, 2021:

For all air passengers entering the United States:

“Effective January 26, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) will require all air passengers arriving in the United States (including U.S. citizens and Legal Permanent Residents) to present a negative COVID-19 test, taken within three calendar days of departure, or proof of recovery from the virus within the last 90 days.”

Additional information is available at:

For any questions about this CDC order, please utilize the CDC contact info at:

For emergency State Department assistance, please contact the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate or call the following numbers: 1 (888) 407-4747 (toll-free in the United States and Canada) or 1 (202) 501-4444 from other countries or jurisdictions.

This Alert will automatically expire on January 26, 2021. For more information about U.S. Maritime Alerts and Advisories, including subscription details, please visit


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