The cost of idle ships

Editorial

Wednesday, March 20 2019

Two bulk carrier ships went bump in the night in Vancouver Harbour this past Sunday, just after midnight. Transportation Safety Board of Canada is investigating, but it appears there was no injuries to persons or pollution released. Cause of the bump will be under investigation by the TSB.

There are those who believe there is an economic need for anchorages to exist in and around the southern gulf islands. That this is the cost of receiving goods, like shoes, and toys, and all other manner of things, from overseas.

As GAFA President Chris Straw pointed out at Trust Council this past week - there’s no economic reason for ships to sit empty at anchorages in the gulf islands for over 30 days at a time. Burning fuel, keeping lights on, parking for free while those on the nearby shore bear the pollution costs.

If anything, such activity is adding to the cost of our goods - it’s not free for ships to idle empty. There is a crew to feed and fuel to burn.

Inefficiencies in our global supply chain are camping out on our gulf island doorsteps. And the more the anchorages get used, and created, the more ships we could see going bump in the night.