Tuesday, September 20, 2011

End of the Line

1. Chiswick Bridge makes for pier 41 this morning.

Following the August 11 announcement, today's arrivial of Chiswick Bridge was the last call for the ships of the Green Alliance in Halifax.

Composed of K-Line (Kawasaki Kishen Kaisha), Hanjin, Yang Ming, Cosco and Mitsui OSK Line, the Green Alliance represents some of the most influential of the far eastern shipping lines. (Mitsui OSK joined last year, and prior to that the consortium was called the CKYH Alliance.) The loss of this line is a major blow to the Port of Halifax and Halterm container terminal. Coupled with the loss of one of Zim's legs, there will be a noticeable downturn in traffic at the southend pier.

As the first North American call for the Green Alliance, Halifax was certainly well positioned to take advantage of the trade coming from the far east via the Suez and Mediterranean. Nevertheless, the line has decided to skip Halifax and go directly to New York.

Will the traffic be picked up by other lines? That is the big question at this point, but the jury is still out. Canadain Tire was a major customer, but they can be served out of New York if the line keeps their traffic. The mid-west US traffic can go either way, so it is a worry.

The Green Alliance was served exclusively by ships of the K-Line, and Chiswick Bridge is typical of the post-Panamax ships on the run. Built in 2001 it measures 68,687 gross tons and is rated at 5610 TEU.

After today the only post Panamax ships calling in Halifax will be OOCL, and they use Fairview Cove. Halterm's pier extension and new cranes were aimed specifically at post Panamax ships, so it may be a while before this investmenet pays off.


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