Monday, July 15, 2024

Hapag-Maersk - Gemini Cooperation Agreement

 The plan for Maersk and Hapag-Lloyd to work together under the Gemini Cooperation Agreement has run aground - at least temporarily, but has not yet been written off as a total loss.

The lines' application to the United States Federal Maritime Commission was rejected July12. The regulator may review a revised submission with more information. Other major world regulators will also have to approve the plan before it can be implemented.

The Gemini Caooperation Agreement would see the two lines join forces when the current 2M Alliance of Maersk and MSC expires, and THE Alliance (Hapag-Lloyd, HMM, Yang Ming and ONE) expires, both in February 2025. However the Agreement was to take effect this week in order to allow for the necessary preliminary work.

The plan will see a major shakeup as the two former competitors withdraw from competing services and realign. Yesterday (July 14) the NYK Demeter sailed from Halifax with the usual large number of Hapag-Loyd, UASC and CSAV boxes. The ship operates for THE Alliance, as  NYK Line is a partner in ONE (Ocean Network Express). The potential loss of Hapag-Lloyd related cargo may well see the collapse of THE Alliance as the other lines my find it difficult to maintain service.

With the ports of Halifax (and partner CN Rail) and Saint John (with the newly merged CPKC) vying for the realigned services, the fallout for Halifax may be quite significant. However to the credit of the FEC, the lines must show some benefit to customers, not just an improvement in their own operating ratios before regulatory approval is granted. 


Paving the way

 It is paving season in Nova Scotia, and the demand for asphalt must be at its peak. Last week Miller McAsphalt (the Canadian subsidiary of Colas, the multi-national from France) brought in a full cargo of asphalt on its articulated tug / barge Leo A. McArthur / Johnn J. Carrick [ see post from July 7 ]. That cargo came from the Great Lakes, possibly Hamilton, ON.

Today, July 15, they received another consignment, this time on the Marshall Islands-flagged tanker Asphalt Carrier.

 The ship was built in 2010  by Kraljevica Shipyard in Croatia. It is a 6292 gt, 9,230 dwt tanker equipped with a large boiler plant and heating system to keep asphalt in a liquid state.

The Asphalt Carrier is a caller in Saint John, NB where it loads asphalt for US and Caribbean ports.  This time however it is bringing asphalt. Its last port is given as Providence, but that is usually a discharge port. Before that it was in Willemstad (June 13 to 26) a more likely source of the product. From an examination of the plimsoll marks on the ship's hull, I believe it was not fully laden on arrival here.


Sunday, July 14, 2024

Twelve more

 Mounting criticism from NATO allies that Canada is not living up to its commitment to the alliance revolves around Canada's failure to meet the figure of 2% of GDP dedicated to defence spending. At the recent NATO meeting in Washington, the Canadian government reiterated its intention to increase spending to that level - over the long term.

Details on how this will achieved are scant, but the Minister of Defence has announced that Canada will be acquiring up to twelve conventionally powered, under-ice capable submarines. Called the Canadian Patrol Submarine Program (CPSP) the process will begin with a search for potential bidders. It is understood that the boats will not be built in Canada, but will come form establish constructors elsewhere in the world.

The project will presumably also require a massive infrastructure upgrade to provide bases and refit capabilities for such a large number of boats. Neither of the two HMC Dockyards, Halifax nor Esquimalt, currently has the space for that many subs, particularly as new large destroyers and supply ships will be added to the fleet in the interim.

Today, July 14, saw Canada's sole east coast submarine, HMCS Windsor move to Bedford Basin for some trials. It is one of four Victoria class subs in the RCN, purchased in 1994 from the Royal Navy's stock of decommissioned Upholder class boats of 1980s vintage. The other three are currently based in Esquimalt.


HMCS Windsor ex Unicorn, July 14, 2024.

The subs have been maintenance heavy and have had life extensions that will only see them to the mid 2030s. It is questionable if new subs can be delivered on that timetable. Six year refit intervals may see lmore arge expenditures if they RCN needs to keep them in service for another cycle.


Friday, July 12, 2024

Tankers with a difference

 There were two tankers in Halifax today, July 12, but they did not follow the usual routine and tie up at Imperial Oil or Irving Oil.

The larger of the two ships, the Silver Zoe, arrived in the wee hours of the morning and anchored in number three anchorage in the lower harbour. 

The ship's last port was Amsterdam, and it was reported outbound at the Ijmuiden sea lock on June 30. Tracing the ship's movements back to mid-May, it has been in Durban, Carteya Guadarranque, Spain, Augusta Italy, and Hamburg before arriving in Amsterdam June 26. I suspect that the ship was in the far east earlier in the year and if so, it would require clearance from the Canadian Food Inspection Agency before it is allowed to dock in Canada. Inpsectors would need determine that the ship is free of invasive species before proceeding.

By 1300 hrs this afternoon the ship was cleared to leave the anchorage and move to Pier 9C. The tugs Atlantic Oak (astern) and Atlantic Beaver (alongside) shepherded the ship through the Narrows to Bedford Basin then assisted it in turning round. It then entered the Narrows again and moved alongside Pier 9C bow south.

A typical Long Range 1 tanker, built by Hyundai, Mipo in 2015 it measures 29,327 gt, 49,635 dwt. Irving Oil has a terminal in Amsterdam and frequently sources refined products from there. Ships chartered by Irving Oil sometimes refuel in Halifax, and Pier 9C has easy access for tanker trucks. However I did not see any trucks waiting for the ship, so it may have docked for some other reason such as engine servicing.  

According to AIS reports the ship is headed for Quebec, so may have been diverted from Irving Oil.

The second tanker arrived at the pilot station at 0900 hrs and anchored in the lower harbour at anchorage number one. This anchorage is considered to be for short term visitors  such as ships requiring CFIA inspection. However the Linus P has been in Canadian waters already this summer, so would not normally require invasive species inspection.

From late May the ship has been in Houston, Port au Prince, Houston, New Orleans, Come-by-Chance (June 3-5), St.Croix, Port au Prince and again Houston (July 2-4) and is next due in Come-by-Chance July 14.

Although similar in appearance, and a 2016 product of Hyundai Mipo,Ulsan, the Linus P is significantly smaller than the other visitor at 17,858 gt, 25,161 dwt.

From what little information I can find about the ship's operators, Sterling Ocean Chemical Tankers, it appears that they are descended from Alterna Capital Partners, and have a fleet of about ten tankers on voyage charters, The ships are named for renowned scientists, in this case the two-time Nobel Prize winner in Chemistry, Linus Pauling (1901 - 1994).[ See the Wikipedia entry: ]



Thursday, July 11, 2024

MSC Levina III

 The container ship MSC Levina III arrived this morning, July 11, on the Canada Expresss service from Montreal for London, Antwerp and Le Havre. The ship will take on cargo here that could not be loaded in Montreal due to draft restrictions on the St.Lawrence River.

The much traveled ship is working on its seventh name, having previously sailed for all the major container lines at one time or another over its 18 year career (so far).

Built in 2006 by Hyundai Mipo, Ulsan, it is a 28,616 gt, 39,359 dwt ship with a capacity of 2824 TEU. It was originally named Santa Balbina, presumably for charter to Hamburg Süd, but was almost immediately reanmed Maersk Jackson. It carried that name until 2011 when it reverted to Santa Balbina. From 2014 to 2018 it was named Satie then CMA CGM Pointe du Diamant in 2018 and again Satie in 2019. As of June 1 of this year it became MSC Levina III. Up until that time it appears to have been owned by Claus-Peter Offen interests of Germany.

The Roman numeral "III" in the ship's name represents the ship's capacity class, which is 2000 to 3000 TEU. With so many ships in the MSC fleet, thue use of the Roman numeral makes it easy to know the ship's size at a glance. The company's container fleet now exceeds 800 ships with a capacity in excess of 5.5 mn TEU, representing nearly 20% of the world's container capacity.


Tuesday, July 9, 2024

Superyacht Samsara

 I don't pay too much attention in these posts to yachts, particularly "super yachts" but the recent Halifax visitor Samsara is worth a mention simply because of the mind boggling dollars involved in such a ship.

There is no doubt that the Samsara is an impressive and even elegant looking ship, and so it should be for a 2914 gt vessel of 88m length (290'-4"). Built in 2015 by Oceanco of Alblasserdam, Netherlands, it is now on its third owner.

From what I can determine, its first owner was the billionaire Eric L. Smidt the founder of Harbor Freight Tools, a US bargain hardware chain. He took delivery in 2015 and named the vessel Infinity, but decided to upgrade and ordered a new yacht of the same name for a price tag of $239 mn. The Australian billionaire Brett Bundy purchased the ship in 2022, renaming it Cloud 9. He put it up for sale in January 2023 asking €155 mn. but let it go for €150 mn. [US dollars and Euros assumed to be at par.]

Current owner is reported to be J.K.Rowling, writer of the Harry Potter series, who chose the name Samsara*. The author was not reported in the area during the ship's stay in port (It arrived June 22). As with most mega yachts, the Samsara is available for charter . This one sets a rate of $1,100,000 per week. There is accommodation for up to fourteen guests and up to twenty-eight crew.

 It's departure this morning (July 9) was scheduled well in advance, and was not hastened by emanations from its neighbour the herring seiner Morning Star which arrived this morning. There is a real scarcity of the fish this year and a quota cut has been introduced, so the boat may not be aromatic. (Another seiner, the Fundy Monarch, arrived later and was the only one with catch to unload.)


 * from definitions found on the internet Samsara means:

            Hinduism: the endless cycle of birth, death, and rebirth. 

            Buddhism: the transmigration or rebirth of a person.


Monday, July 8, 2024

Asian Dynasty - back again

 The auto carrier Asian Dynasty was back in Halifax again today, stopping first at Richmond Terminals, Pier 9C to unload RoRo cargo then at Autoport for cars.

 Since the ship was last in Halifax January 3-4, 2023 it has been most of the way around the world more than once.

 On this latest round it sailed from Shanghai May 3, stopped in Masan, Mokpo and Pyeongtaek and transited the Panama Canal June 5. It then headed to Brunswick, Philadelphia, and across to Goteborg, and Bremerhaven June 27-29. On sailing late this afternoon it set course for New York.

The ship was built by Hyundai, Ulsan in 1999 and is relatively small by current standards at 55,719 gt, 21,224 dwt with a capacity of 6450 CEU and is fitted with a 150 tonne capacity stern ramp.