Monday, February 4, 2013

Oceanex on a roll

Oceanex Sanderling leaves Halterm for Autoport.

Oceanex, the company that provides container and RoRo shipping services to Newfoundland from Montreal and Halifax, is expanding its service even before delivery of its new ship in the fall of 2013.
A recent press report indicates that the company will be adding "another ship" to its Halifax run in Apriil. Whether this means an actual ship, or that they will be doubling their calls in Halifax is not clear. Last year Oceanex Sanderling was making two trips a week between Halifax and St.John's, but that has been down to once a week in recent months. However they have added Argentia to their routes, even though it is not shown on their published schedules. Development of the Vale nickel smelter in Long Harbour has resulted in an increase in traffic, so they have apparently added Argentia, the nearest port to Long Harbour, to reduce congestion and road traffic in St.John's. They dropped Corner Brook as a port of call last year, preferring to use trucks to move cargo from Corner Brook to St.John's. Both Oceanex Sanderling and Cabot have called in Argentia. The third, and newest ship in the current fleet, Oceanex Avalon is a container only ship.
The new ship, Oceanex Connaigra is under construction in Germany, with keel blocks to be laid February 12, launch May 1 and delivery October 1. The original assumption was that this ship would replace Cabot on the Montreal / St.John's service, but even that is now in question as traffic may warrant keeping Cabot, despite its age. 
 Oceanex Avalon at speed on the St.Lawrence River

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