Monday, April 24, 2017

First (again) for Amadea

Amadea inaugurated the 2017 Halifax cruise season for the third time today. The ship, operated by Phoenix Reisen of Germany, was the first ship of the year in 2008 and again in 2015. Each time it has been on the last leg of a long cruise. This year's 135 day / 136 night tour began in France, included the Mediterranean, Africa east coast, Cape of Good Hope, Brazil, South America west coast, Panama Canal, through the Caribbean. It arrived in Halifax from Boston and will be going on the St.John's (ice conditions permitting) then Ireland and Hamburg.

The ship arrived very much down by the stern. This was not "squat" brought about by high speed. As soon as the ship was tied up the bunkering tanker Algoma Dartmouth came alongside for refueling, so my guess is that the ship was trimmed by the stern intentionally and will be on an even keel again after taking on the new fuel.

Built in 1991 by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries in Nagasaki as Asuka, the ship sailed for NYK Lines until 2006 when it was acquired the current owners, Amadea Shipping Company. Vessel management is by VShips Leisure for the charter to Phoenix Reisen.

While inbound, Amadea passed another German owned ship, the Louis S. This ship is a newcomer to the Maersk Transatlantic service, possibly covering off drydockings of the other ships. It is more than a week later than expected, so may have had trouble keeping up to the demanding Maersk schedule. This has happened before on this service when substitute ships have lagged behind the advertised dates. 

Built in 2003 by Stocznia Szczecinska in Poland, the 35,881 grt, 41,833 dwt ship has a capacity of 3108 TEU including 500 reefers. It is also fitted with three 45 tonne cranes. It is registered in Antigua for Reederei Rudolf Schepers GmbH+Co. The ship was laid down as Amasia, was renamed Patricia in 2003 for Peter Doehle and renamed Libra Santos in 2004 - a name it carried until 2012.


Sunday, April 23, 2017

THE Alliance gears up

The new shipping consortium, THE Alliance, that replaced the former G6 Alliance this month, is now almost in full swing. The Transatlantic Loop 6 service, called AL6, saw its first ship Brevik Bridge last week (see Shipfax April 21). The five ship rotation - with all K-Line ships has a port rotation of Livorno, La Spezia, Genoa, Fos, Barcelona, Valencia, Salerno, Halifax, New York, Norfolk, Savannah, Salerno, Valencia, Livorno.

Today saw the arrival of YM Essence inaugurating the Transatlantic Loop 1, AL1, to be operated by four Yang Ming ships, with a rotation of Bremerhaven, Antwerp, London Gateway, Norfolk, Philadelphia, New York, Halifax, Bremerhaven.

 YM Essence takes its escort tug in the lower harbour. The ship is well laden aft - mostly with empties, judging by the ship's draft.

YM Essence is a 47,952 grt, 56,500dwt ship with a capacity of 4662 TEU. Built in 2014 by China Shipbuilding Corp in Kaohsiung, it flies the Taiwan flag for Yang Ming Marine Transport.
I wasn't the only shipwatcher. A group of well dressed photographers followed the ship through the inbound, getting some closeups as it passed the pier 9 knuckle. They may have been Yang Ming officials.

 The ship favoured the western side of the channel as it made its way through the Narrows.

Yang Ming is new in Halifax, so it was interesting to see the company's logo and funnel marking.  

THE Alliance will also be serving Halifax with its Southeast Asia / North America EC5 service, with ships from a variety of lines, including Hapag-Lloyd, APL, Evergreen, NYK and MOL. It will also have a strategic co-operation with ZIM, and at least one of its ships may be included. The service has begun, but the first ship to reach Halifax is expected to be Ningbo Express in early May..
Port rotation on that service is Laem Chabang, Cai Mep, Singapore, Colombo, Halifax, New York, Savannah, Norfolk, Halifax, Jebel Ali, Singapore, Laem Chebang.

However the ship that did arrive today, Mary is on the G6 AZX Asia-North America Eastbound leg, completing the obligations of the old consortium.

 Escort tug Spitfire III takes up position astern as the ship comes up to Halifax Shipyard.
(See also Tugfax)

It has been a regular on this long haul run, since its first call in September 2016. The ship ship has a capacity of 6900 TEU (including 800 reefers). It was built in 2013 by Hyundai, Samho and measures 71,021 grt, 80,274 dwt. Owned by Technomar Shipping Inc of Athens it is on charter to one of the G6 partners.

Spitfire III leans in on its line rounding the pier 9 knuckle, passing an RCN small craft out for a Sunday spin.

At present there is no scheduled THE Alliance Transpacific/Panama Canal loop that includes Halifax.


Wonder where the Bahris went

With all the container traffic in the port (and it is up again in  the last quarter) and the proliferation of new-to-Halifax ships, it is easy to overlook the fact that one of the port's regular callers seems to have forsaken Halifax, at least for the time being.

Bahri's handsome ConRos were welcome sights, after endless ranks of conventional container ships.(Bahri Jazan file photo)

The National Shipping Company of Saudi Arabia (Bahri) has not been seen in Halifax for since February because it has shifted its activities to Saint John, NB. The line had been making monthly calls in Halifax for many years, using pier 31 as its base until last year. Its new generation of ConRo ships came on stream from 2013 and last year it shifted operations to Fairview Cove, but that pier is so busy, the ships were sometimes forced to wait for a berth.

That is the likely reason for the shift to Saint John, which will continue monthly calls there until December when the line has two calls scheduled in Halifax again.

When the line shifted to Fairview Cove last year, it made it possible to see the ships up close as they transited the Narrows. (Bahri Tabuk file photo)

Perhaps Shipfax is to blame too. I frequently photographed the light armoured vehicles the line was transporting from Canada for Saudi Arabia's military. The LAVs, built by General Dynamics in London, ON were trucked to Halifax and could often be spotted in the parking lots for the piers. There has been political fallout for the Canadian government  over the manufacture and sale of the vehicles, which are not supposed to be used against the country's civilian population. The current federal Liberal government inherited the deal from the previous Conservative regime and decided to honour the contract, despite a public outcry.
The LAVs were highly visible at pier 31, and even after the move to Fairview Cove, the controversial vehicles were still visible from time to time and appeared in Shipfax and companion blog Truckfax.
Saint John is a shorter truck trip from London, ON, but also more secure from prying eyes.

There are six sister ships in the Bahri ConRo fleet. Two ships, Bahri Jeddah and Bahri Tabuk are currently assigned to North Europe service, the other four, Bahri Jazan, Bahri Hofuf, Bahri Abha (most recently in Saint John last week) and Bahri Yanbu are on the North American service.
Bahri also operates 37 VLCCs (and nine more on order), 36 chemical carriers and five dry bulkers.


Saturday, April 22, 2017

More Saturday

With gloomy weather and snow showers in the forecast I thought my early morning shot of Monte Toledo might be it for the day, but conditions improved somewhat allowing for a few more photos.

Over at Autoport it was more business as usual with Morning Cindy in port all day. The Panama flag ship owned by Excel Marine of Fukuoka, Japan arrived from Bremerhaven in the early hours of the morning. Sailing for the Eukor fleet (EURope-KORea) The 59,432 grt, 18,954 dwt ship was built in 2012 by Imabari Shipbuilding's Marugame shipyard in Japan.

It is low tide in Eastern Passage but Morning Cindy is immune thanks to the design of the pier, which allows ship's ramps to remain operational in all states of the tide.

Autoport is once again stuffed full of cars, with Greeen Cove anchored off awaiting her turn tomorrow.

Across on the Halifax side, it was (nearly) all systems go at Halterm, with Maersk Penang at pier 42 and the CMA CGM Cendrillon arriving for pier 41. Oceanex Sanderling was back at pier 36, ballasted down by the stern again - probably to complete bow repairs from ice damage.

Tugs Atlantic Oak and Spitfire III take CMA Cendrillon in hand south of George's Island and turn it to back into the pier.

The 90,931 grt, 109,021 dwt ship, with a capacity of 8465 TEU was bilt by Samsung in 2009. Jusrt a coincidence, but Cendrillon translates as Cinderella in English - no relation to the Cindy at Autoport.

At pier 31 the Pure Car and Truck cxarrier Tosca was finishing off discharging non-car RoRo cargo. It had unloaded its cars yesterday at Autport.

Fairview Cove was all out too, with Atlantic Star and NYK Daedalus sailing early and Itea arriving late afternoon.

 Atlantic Oak moves Itea toward the Fairview Cove pier.

Itea has been calling for ACL since last July. The 39,582 grt, 48,304 dwt ship with a capacity of 3842 TEU is operated by Costamare under Liberian flag.  Built in 1998 by Hyundai, Ulsan, as Bunga Raya Satu, the ship was renamed KY Parissia in 2012 and MSC Itea in 2014. It was renamed Itea in 2016.


Monte Toledo bunker call

The crude oil tanker Monte Toledo arrived yesterday for bunkers, and will be sailing later today. A stay of more than 24 hours is unusual for a bunker stop, but perhaps the ship is extra hungry. Its last port of call was Canaport, Saint John, NB.

Monte Toledo at number one anchorage. In the background the bunkering tanker Algoma Dartmouth takes on more fuel at Imperial Oil.

Built in 2004 by Universal Shipbuilding in Tsu, Japan, the 78,896 grt, 150,611 dwt ship is owned by the Ibaizabal Group of Spain, but flies the Portuguese offshore flag of Madeira. Ibaizabal's tanker fleet consists of only four ships, but the company is better known for its large Spanish domestic tug fleet.

We seldom see crude tankers in Halifax anymore, unless they are here for bunkers. Since it is impractical to bunker ships at the Canaport offshore mooring buoy, most of the tankers we do see come from Saint John.


Friday, April 21, 2017

Brevik Bridge first call for THE Alliance

The newly formed service called THE Alliance, replacing the old G6 Alliance, brought in a first timer to Halifax today on its Transatlantic Loop 6 (AL6) service from the Mediterranean.

Brevik Bridge is a 4526 TEU ship of 46,444 gt, 58,200 dwt built in 2011 by Samsung SB+HI. Flying the Hong Kong flag it is owned and managed by Hong Kong-based Seaspan Corp, one of the largest ship leasing companies, and part of the Washington Group which also includes Seaspan shipyard and Seaspan towing in Vancouver.

The ship is on a 12 year charter, with two three year options to K-Line, a member of THE Alliance, along with Hapag-Lloyd, MOL and NYK. Yang Ming is also  member, and UASC by virtue of its owners Hapag-Lloyd is also represented in THE Alliance.

Still not on to all those abbreviations and acronyms?
K-Line = Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha
MOL = Mitsui OSK Line
NYK = Nippon Yusen Kaisha
UASC = United Arab Shipping Co

The three Japanese lines will be pooling their container fleets, and possibly re-branding.
UASC will also likely lose its identity when  fully merged into Hapag-Lloyd.
Yang Ming (of Taiwan) is on a sort of probation until it resolves some of its financial issues, which it may do sometime in 2017, at which time it would become a fully fledged member.
THE Alliance represents about 18% of the world's container capacity and is thus the smallest and potentially weakest of the latest round of shipping agreements.

The other major alliances are 2M which joins Maersk Line and MSC (Mediterranean Shipping Co) and Ocean Alliance which includes CMA-CGM, Evergreen (of Taiwan), OOCL (Orient Overseas Container Line, Hong Kong) and COSCO (China).

The best I could do was a photo from the parking lot, where Cosco Japan dominates pier 41.

Interestingly, yesterday CMA CGM's Columbus Loop service call in Halifax was made by COSCO Japan, which is also a Seaspan owned ship on long charter to COSCO. The 91,051 gt, 101,500 dwt ship has a 8500 TEU capacity and is on a 12 year charter (plus three one year options) from its 2010 year of build by Hyundai.

With COSCO funnel marking and the Washington Group logo below the bridge.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Dalian Express - big ship in the Narrows, and small ship repairs

Dalian Express ran the Narrows this afternoon in a stiff breeze as it made it way to Fairview Cove. Ably assisted by the tugs Atlantic Willow and Spitfire III (see Tugfax) the ship made quite a sight as it made a seemingly effortless passage.

The Dalian Express was built in 2001 as Hamburg Express by Hyundai Heavy Industries Co Ltd in Ulsan. The 88,493 grt, 100,006 dwt ship has a capacity of 7506 TEU (including 700 reefers). It was renamed in 2011 to free up the name for an even bigger Hapag-Lloyd ship. The new Hamburg Express carries in excess of 10,000 TEU.

As a reminder that driving ships is not always trouble free, Nolhanava is still tied up at pier 9c but repairs to its crumpled bridge wing have now begun.

 The crumpled bridge wing as it appeared on the weekend.
By today the damaged portion had been cut off.