Sunday, May 20, 2018

Maersk doubles up

As reported last weekend there was no ship arrival on the Maersk - CMA CGM transatlantic service. This weekend there were two ships, and they were not in the regular order. Maersk Patras, delayed somewhere en route, arrived in Montreal last weekend after the next ship in rotation, Maersk Penanag had arrived.

Therefore the first caller here this weekend was Maersk Penang which arrived and sailed on Saturday - its regular day.

Maersk Penang sailing on schedule yesterday.

Today it was the turn of the tardy Maersk Patras.With so much time lost, it will be impossible to make up so the "double header" will apparently continue until the ships rotate out for drydocking. Another ship will be added to the rotation starting next month to ensure that there is no skipped week. Reliability of schedules is one of the hall marks of container shipping, but punctuality has taken a beating of late on many routes - particularly where giant ships are replacing several smaller ones. All it takes is one of those giants to be held up and the impact is serious. Even on the east coast North America trade on-time reliability was just 66.3% in 2017 according to recent statistics. Maersk beat the average with 70.5%. Transatlantic services were only in the 67% (westbound)  to 70% (eastbound) reliability range in 2017. These numbers show about a 10% drop in on-time performance from 2016.


Saturday, May 19, 2018

Ultra Angel gets a trim

The bulk carrier Ultra Angel arrived last evening and anchored in the lower harbour. Today is appeared that the ship was not in port for the usual reason of bunkers or Asian Gypsy Moth inspection, but instead for some underwater work, possibly hull cleaning. 

 The hatches are cracked open to allow for some hold cleaning and ventilation and there is a diving tender alongside.

The ship is relatively new, delivered less than a year ago by Shin Kurushima, Toyohashi to Eternity Maritime SA (Fukunaga KKK managers). Classed as a Supramax bulk carrier, it has a grt of 35,025 and a dwt of 61,298. It carries four cranes and clamshell buckets for cargo handling.

The ship works in the Danish Ultrabulk fleet, part of the Ultra Group which controls the operation of more than 150 ships, mostly bulk carriers, but also small tankers.

With the duty pilot boat already out at the pilot station Dominion Diving's Halmar delivers the pilot to the ship. The pilot is just making the move from the pilot ladder to the accommodation ladder as a crew member on deck awaits developments.

The ship was well out of the water and it was a long climb for the pilot as he boarded for a 5 pm sailing. Next port is given as Saint John, NB, which would mean a cargo of potash. Potash must be one of Ultrabulk's favoured cargoes as two of their ships carry the improbable names of Ultra Saskatchewan and Ultra Saskatoon.

The ship's last port is not confirmed, because various sources give differing information, but it might have been Conakry, Guinea.

Friday, May 18, 2018

Busy Friday

A number of ship movement are taking place Friday afternoon, and several at the same time, so only some will receive notice here. Some moves may have been due to the upcoming holiday Monday.

A late posted arrival this morning was MOL Partner. The 71,902 grt, 72,968 dwt ship arrived from Colombo, via the Suez Canal on THE Alliance EC5 service, again apparently replacing a regular ship in the rotation as part of the Japanese container line merger. Built in 2005 by Koyo Dockyard Co in Mihara, it has a capacity of 6350 TEU, including 500 reefers.

The ship anchored in Bedford Basin at first then is to move to Fairview Cove on departure of  Brevik Bridge. YM Modesty is also in at Fairview Cove - all for THE Alliance.

Later in the afternoon Algoma Integrity made its first arrival in Halifax. Built as Gypsum Integrity in 2008 by Estaleiro Ilha SA in Rio de Janiero, the self-unloader was built to the same spec as Gypsum Centennial. Both ship were operated by Gypsum Transportation, the cargo carrying division of Canadian Gypsum / United Sates Gypsum. When that company closed up its Canadian mines, first in Hantsport than in Grand Narrows, the ships were out of work. However Joint Venture partners in Beltship Management, Globe Master, found other work for the ships shuttling iron ore in Afrcia. At the end of that operation Algoma Transportation acquired the ship in 2015 originally as a two year stop gap until new ships were delivered. Registered as Algoma Integrity in Hamilton, ON on April 23, 2015 the ship was dedicated to running from Port Cartier to Contrecouer, QC. Last December the ship was laid up for the winter in  Montreal. On April 26, 2018 its Canadian registry was closed and it was transferred to Algoma's international fleet to work in the CSL pool of ocean self-unloaders under the Bahamas flag.
A 33,047 grt, 47,761 dwt ship it had many innovations when built including a telescoping self-unloading boom.

After a busy stretch at Autoport this week, the Wallenius Wilhelmsen Tugela sailed. Classed as a Large Car and Truck Carrier, the ship first berthed at pier 31 Wednesday and offloaded wheeled machinery. It moved to Autoport yesterday.

Hyundai Heavy built the ship in Ulsan in 2011 and it has a capacity of 7,934 RT43 type cars.


Onego Capri with rails and more oil from the Netherlands [updated]

Another load of rail arrived for CN this morning on the Antigua and Barbuda flag ship Onego Capri.
The ship berthed at pier 27 and unloading is due to begin almost immediately.

CN imports its rail from Poland and Onego Shipping seems to be the favoured carrier. This ship was built in 2002 by Daewoo Mangalia Heavy Industries  Ltd, the Korean owned shipyard in Managalia, Romania. It is an open hatch type vessel with box shaped ventilated holds and pontoon hatch covers. Two 40 tonne capacity cranes work the holds of the 6806 grt, 10,273 dwt ship. It carried the name Sider Capri from 2009 to 2012.
Update: The ship was launched as Sider Alie but completed as Sider Capri by Bodewes Volharding, Foxhol, Netherlands

Meanwhile another load of petroleum from the Netherlands arrived at Irving Oil on Tuesday on the Handymax tanker STI Acton. Amsterdam seems to be the preferred source for certain types of products for both Irving Oil and Imperial Oil these days, although Irving certainly brings in product from its Saint John refinery on a regular basis too.

Scorpio Tankers Inc operates the Scorpio Handymax Tanker Pool with most of its ships carrying the names of London or New York neighborhoods (and subway stops). STI Acton dates from 2014 when it was delivered by Hyundai Mipo. It is an Ice Class 1A ship (note the full width enclosed bridge) of 24,2162 grt, 38,743 dwt - typical Handysize tonnages. The ship is due to sail today. sailed last night for Saint John, NB where it will likely take on a new load from Irving Oil.

Amsterdam has become a major distribution hub for petroleum - not just product that is refined there, but also imported and blended there. A variety of other chemicals are also shipped from the port.
The Port's website gives a hint at the scale of the operation:


Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Grande Halifax

Grimaldi Group's newest auto carrier Grande Halifax made its inaugural call in its namesake port today, amid considerable fanfare.

Arriving in the harbour it had to wait for the departure of Delhi Highway. Once that ship was clear of Eastern Passage, Grande Halifax began to make its way toward Autoport.The tug Atlantic Bear then began an impressive water display. This was one of the more spectacular such shows seen in Halifax for some time.

Once near Autoport tugs swung the ship around to display its side ramp, painted yellow on the underside. Compared with the rather business like look of K-Line auto carriers, Grande Halifax, certainly stands out in port, but probably also at sea.

The Grimaldi Group took delivery of Grande Halifax January 10, 2018 from the Jinling Shipyard in Nanjing, China. There was a plan to sail the ship into Halifax January 14, but this was scrubbed due to bad weather. The ship had no cargo for Halifax on that trip, so it continued on to its next port. Measuring 62,134 grt, 18,353 dwt, the ship has a capacity of 6,700 cars.It also has four hoistable car decks and a 150 tonne capacity stern ramp to accept larger loads.

By contrast Delhi Highway, built in 2011 by Shin Kurushima in Toyohashi comes in at 58,997 grt, 18,891 dwt. Its capacity is similar at 6,120 CEU.

At a celebration to be held aboard the ship this afternoon, the Grande Halifax will be welcomed to Halifax, with Halifax Port Authority CEO Karen Oldfield as godmother. There will be a blessing of the ship and various dignitaries will give speeches. Grimaldi Group also owns Atlantic Container Line, an important customer of long standing in the port. ACL inaugurated container and RoRo service in Halifax in 1969 and are sure to be feted large next year when the Port celebrates the 50th anniversary of container shipping in Halifax.

Monday, May 14, 2018

Catharina Schulte Voyage 004 and a lone tanker

Melfi Marine serves Cuba from Italy, Spain and Portugal via Halifax. It has used a variety of ships over the years on short and long term charters. In March of this year the Macao Strait completed its charter after a particularly long run, making its first visit in November 2014.
New charters started late last year for two ships, Jona and Catharina Schulte. The latter made its first calls on February 12 and April 5. I wasn't able to get photos on those days, but did manage to catch it getting away this afternoon. Melfi numbers its ship's voyages and this is Voyage 004 for for this ship (it did not call in Halifax on Voyage 001).

Catharina Schulte was built in 2006 by STX Shipbuilding Co in Jinhae, but was soon renamed Cape Bon, likely for charter to Hamburg-Sud. In 2012 it was returned to its original name, flying the flag of Malta. The ship has a capacity of 2602 TEU and has four 45 tonne capacity cranes and tonnages are 27,093 grt, 34,600 dwt. A fairly large ship for Melfi, it reflects the recent increase in trade with Cuba.

The Schulte Group now numbers about 100 owned ships of all sizes and types and manages about 620 ships for other owners. It was established as long ago as 1883 and its funnel mark is well know in nearly every port in the world.

Perhaps less well known is the Greece based TMS Tankers Ltd, with a fleet of about 50 ships. It falls under the ownership of the TMS Group of George Economou, that includes several shipping companies in tankers and drybulk. Despite that, its ship the Malta-flaged Lacerta, which arrived yesterday, is reported to be on a charter to Stena WECO, a Danish based operator of about 65 tankers, at a rate of $14,750 per day.

Lacerta at Imperial Oil dock #4.

A typical Mid-Range1 product tanker of 29,795 grt, 49,666 dwt, the ship was built by SPP Shipbuilding Co in Sacheon, South Korea.  Unusual for tankers arriving at Imperial Oil, its last port was Ijmuiden, Netherlands, the sea lock for Amsterdam. 

It was the only ship to arrive or depart from Halifax yesterday - an unusually quiet Sunday in the port.


Sunday, May 13, 2018

No Maersk Today

The weekly transatlantic container service operated by jointly by Maersk and CMA CGM usually calls in Halifax on Saturday - sometimes on Sunday- eastbound back to Europe after calling first in Montreal.
This weekend however no ship showed up.

Of the four ships on the route it was the turn of  Maersk Patras to call, but it is still westbound and not due in Montreal until tomorrow. The next ship in the rotation Maersk Penang is also due in  Montreal which creates a sort of double header for them - and possibly for us for next weekend.

Maersk Patras was looking particularly rugged on its April 14 call. 

This a particularly challenging route for ships, but they somehow manage to meet schedule reasonably well, despite the rigours of North Atlantic weather and St. Lawrence River ice.  There have been some really late calls this past winter (and only one missed - April 7) - likely due to severe weather- and that may be the case this time as well. However all three Maersk ships (the third is Maersk Palermo) are twenty years old and mechanical issues may also be a factor.

The trio are due for their Twenty Year drydocking and surveys this year, and it would not have been a surprise to hear that they were headed for scrap. However at the present there is aworld wide shortage of ships of their size (recent scrappings tipped the balance) so the ships will get an extended lease on life.  Replacement (s) during the drydockings have not been published yet, but some juggling will be required as Maersk Penang goes in June, Maersk Palermo in August and Maersk Patras in September.
The fourth ship is provided by CMA CGM, the charter EM Kea. A much newer ship, was built in  2007.

The Maersk/ CMA CGM service got a break in the finalizing of the Canada Europe Free Trade Agreement  (CETA). The agreement nowallows ships to load empty containers in Montreal and - on a non-revenue basis - offload them in Halifax. This was previously not allowed under Canadian cabotage rules, forcing the company to send them by truck or rail, when more empties were needed in Halifax. No other ports were named in the CETA agreement, so for example MSC, which calls in Montreal and Saint John, apparently cannot benefit from the same clause.