Saturday, November 3, 2012

Melfi Lines - ships to change

Melfi Marine Corp S.A. a Panamanian company, which operates as Melfi Lines, has been calling in Halifax since the 1992. Founded as an inter-Caribbean shipping service by the government of Cuba in 1981, it has grown considerably over the years, particularly when it took over the failed Coral Lines  in 2003. (They had operated jointly for a time. That acquisition lead to the present transatlantic service which sails from ports in Italy and Spain to Halifax and hence to Cuba. (It has also called on the St.Lawrence River -a hold over from Coral.) Through connecting services it then serves Central and South America.
Currently operating with four ships, it usually calls in Halifax every two weeks. (A scheduled October 17 call by Hansa Catalina did not materialize.)

Melfi does not own its own ships, and has chartered a wide variety of craft over the years. Today's arrival,  Renate Schulte is the fourth ship on the rotation, and carries the name of her owner's Bernard Schulte of Germany. At one time Melfi renamed the ships during the charter period, but that practice seems to have stopped. There was even a Melfi Halifax for a short time.
Now there is about to be a change in ships as two of the older units have been sold for scrap by their owners. Teval and Marwan were built as sister ships by Kvaerner Warnow Werft in Warnemunde (formerly East) Germany in 1994. As they approach their 20th anniversaries, and face extensive refitting to maintain their classification ratings, the owners have opted to sell them for scrap. They are owned by single ship Cypress based companies, but  managed by XSM Cross Ship Management GmbH of Germany,
Both ships are 14,685 gross tons, and carry 1338 TEUs and are fitted with three 40 tonne cranes.

Marwan has carried the following names in its career: Marwan-95, Cabo Blanco-97, Marwan-99, Barrister-99, P+0 Nedlloyd Kildin-03, Marwan-04, Cala Palenque -09, then Marwan again.

Teval was renamed before it left the shipyard as red Sea Emerald-95, Emerald-97, Teval-02, P+O Nedlloyd Camoes-03, Teval-03, Armada Holland-04, Teval-04, Cala Porlamar-06, and again Teval. It made its first call in Halifax for Melfi on November 1, 2006.
Teval is due back in Halifax on November 16, and Melfi's schedule shows Marwan on December 3., however the latter remains to be confirmed.
Melfi Lines ships are often called up on the carry odd cargoes in addition to standard containers. Used vehicles, particularly trucks and buses, usually from Europe are commonly seen on flat 40 foot container frames. However Canadian vehicles are also common, notably old Quebec school buses, and trucks.

The ships have become a bit of a fixture, with Teval in particular as one of the longest serving ships in Melfi's history with Halifax, but time marches on, and there is a glut of more modern ships available at good rates.

1 comment:

  1. Excellent arcticle on Melfi Lines, FYI,
    For a short period of time; between July and December 2009, Melfi dropped Halifax from its rotation and the new services called ; Montreal-Havana-Naples-Livorno-Genoa-Barcelona-Valencia-Montreal

    This was short-lived as no ship was equipped for winter navigation in the St-Lawrence. The vessel roster was MARWAN, TEVAL and MELFI IBERIA. I understand they dropped the Montreal call and later went back to Halifax, perhaps in a bargaining move with the terminal operator / railway. Was very surprised to see MARWAN and TEVAL being sold for demolition two weeks ago...for a little over $2 mil. each !