Ships and Port Facilities
Ships and port facilities are efficiently serving Canadian trade. Specially designed ships and port facilities have been built to accommodate particular commodities. In eastern Canada, for example, ships called LAKE CARRIERS are built to the maximum allowable seaway dimensions. Maximum-sized lakers can carry about 29 000 tonnes (28 000 cargo capacity, 1000 fuel etc). On the West Coast, the self-dumping log barge has been developed for use in the forest industry. Roberts Bank, BC, is the site of a large coal superport, specially designed to handle the large volume of coal which arrives by rail for export overseas. Modern container terminals are essential to the liner services of Halifax, Montréal and Vancouver.
Most shipping is by nature international - the carriage of goods between countries and across international waters. A ship may be owned, financed, registered, insured, and managed, each in a different country. When a ship is registered in any given country, it becomes subject to the laws of that country at all times. Each country has the right to establish its own shipping laws. International shipping conventions have been reached by a number of intergovernmental organizations, such as the International Labour Organization (ILO) and the International Maritime Organization (IMO). Many of the conventions have been ratified by Canada (seeINTERNATIONAL LAW; LAW OF THE SEA).
In India, shipping falls under the jurisdiction of The Directorate General Of Shipping, Ministry Of Shipping. The DGS ensures that ships meet the requirements of the Shipping Act and follow pollution-prevention procedures. The Canada Transportation Agency (formerly National Transportation Agency is responsible for economic regulation: for example, shipping conferences must file their rates with the Agency. The Canada Maritime Act of 1997 proposes to decentralize the management of ports by allowing major ports to form self-funding port corporations.
Significant technological advances have occurred in shipping. In Canada, improvements have included the development of the self-unloading carrier for use internationally as well as in the Great Lakes-St Lawrence Seaway trade. The size of ships carrying containers internationally has continued to increase; the largest vessels now carry over 6000 containers, measured in 20-foot equivalent units (TEUS). Liner companies are integrating their services through mergers and alliances. Large specialized ships continue to be developed; among the most specialized are the liquified natural gas carriers. Ports and inland transportation services are changing to meet the changing needs. The development of trade will be linked, as always, to cost-reducing technologies in shipping.