Thursday, March 31, 2016

Oceanex Connaigra pinch hits for Oceanex Sanderling

A baseball analogy seems appropriate as spring is here and the baseball season will soon be in full swing.
Spring is also a good time for ship refits after enduring the rigours of winter. Oceanex is taking this opportunity to send two of its ships in turn for refits in Gibraltar. First to go was Oceanex Connaigra. Its place on the St.John's / Montreal run was taken by the chartered Stena Carrier. On its return from the shipyard, Oceanex Connaigra shifted to the Halifax run, arriving here yesterday morning, tying up at pier 36. It shifted to pier 41 this morning.

Linehandlers have singled up the headlines as the ship prepares to leave pier 41 for Autoport.

This afternoon it shifted again, this time to Autport to take on a load of cars for Newfoundland. It will move back to pier 41 this evening and to complete loading containers and RoRo trailers tomorrow.

Showing off its fresh paint, the ship moves through number one anchorage on its way across to Eastern Passage. High winds are picking up some spray and creating a mist.

According to the Oceanex schedule the ship will serve Halifax until mid-May when Oceanex Sanderling is due back from its refit in Gibraltar. Stena Carrier will continue to operate to Montreal until that time, when Oceanex Connaigra will return to its customary route.

Oceanex Connaigra was built in 2013 by Flensburger Shiffbau Gesellschaft in Germany especially for Oceanex to operate on either the Halifax or Montreal runs. The 26,768 grt ship can carry 10,000 1,000! TEU and has 5 RoRo decks with a capacity of 95 trailers or 500 autos. After some initial teething problems that kept it out of service for lengthy periods in late 2013 and early 2014 it settled in to the Montreal run, maintaining close to its 20 knot service speed.


Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Long Weekend Roundup

Thanks to an interruption of internet service from March 23 to 28, I was unable to post my usual weekend round up until now. Here are the highlights on a better late than never basis:

The Atlantic RoRo Carriers ship Warnow Star made its first Halifax call on Good Friday March 25, no doubt discharging Its usual cargo of  depleted radioactive material. ARRCC ships usually make only a brief call of a few hours, but this time it remained over night and sailed on Saturday.

After leaving Fairview Cove Warnow Star lines up for the MacKay bridge on a windy morning.

The ship was built in 2010 by Zhejiang Ouhu Shipbuilding Co in Zhoushan, China and carries four 60 tonne cranes. It measures 22,863 grt, 33,150 dwt. It is a sister of Warnow Sun that was in port February 28-29, but for some reason is not listed on the Atlantic RoRo Carriers web site, nor does it appear to be owned by ARRC of Hoboken, NJ, but by Atlantic Ship Manangerment of Odessa, Ukraine.
As I mentioned before the Warnow name comes from Warnowerft yard in Warnemunde were ARCC's Astrakhan class RoRos were built.[see below for more Warnow.]

A rare visit of a bulk carrier took place on Saturday March 26. JS Missouri was on its way to Baie-Comeau and stopped in for bunkers.  The ship will be loading grain in Baie-Comeau and the crew was busy cleaning and airing the holds, so the ship arrived looking a bit like an accordion as the hatch covers were cracked open.
JS Missouri strides in to port with anchor ready to let go, and hatches ajar.

The 35,812 grt, 63,500 dwt bulker came from the Yangzhou Dayang shipyard in Yangzhou, China in 2013. It flies the Singapore flag for Greenship Bulk Manager Pte Ltd of the same port. Sister ship JS Sanaga called in Sheet Harbour March 15.

Also a rare sight these days is an Indian flagged ship. The tanker Swarna Mala is a typical handysize product tanker built by STX in Jinhae, South Korea. It was laid down for Greek owners as Zefiros,  but SCI purchased it "on the stocks" and it was launched and delivered as Swarna Mala.

The ship's typical handysize measurements are 29,993 grt, 51,196 dwt.

It has been a long time since the bicycle wheel funnel mark has been seen in this port.

The Shipping Corporation of India was once a frequent caller in the general cargo ship days, and operated its own cargo liner route under the Scindia label. The ships all had names begining with "Jala".

Jalamani was built in 1970 by VEB Warnowerft in Warnemunde, East Germany It carried one 60 ton jumbo derrick and sixteen 10 ton derricks on bi-pod masts. It measured  9556 grt, 13814 dwt and was broken up in Calcutta in October 1986. It is shown at what is now navy pier Bravo, but was then a National Harbours Board pier in the spring of 1971.

Back from mid-life refit at the Davie Quebec yard, CCGS Earl Grey was tied up at BIO on Easter Sunday.

Earl Grey joins Louis St-Laurent at BIO, filling up available pier space.
The Canadian Coast Guard is planning a major Search and Rescue exercise off Nova Scotia this week and CCGS Sir Wilfred Grenfell came in from Newfoundland to participate. There was no room at BIO so it tied up at pier 9A.

 Sir Wilfred Grenfell at pier 9A this afternoon.

The Newfoundland based Teleost was also in Halifax recently as was the Cape Roger.

Teleost sailed on Friday March 25.

Arriving Easter Sunday morning, Wilhelmsen's Talia proceeded directly to Autoport. However Autoport is so full of new cars that unloading took much longer than normal as each car had to be driven a much greater distance to a remote storage facility. Demand for cars is so high in Canada (with low interest rates and lengthy payment periods) that it is hard to keep up with demand.

CN which owns and operates Autoport and also provides the rail service to move the cars inland has had some weather challenges this winter, but it is more  the shear volume of imports that is stretching their ability to move the cars out.

Talia dates from 2006 when it was built by Gdynia Shipyard in Poland. Its capacity is listed as 6,658 cars in Lloyd's but 6500 on Wilhelmsen's site. Its gross tonnage is 57,692 and deadweight tonnage is 21,021.

Talia was finally able to sail Tuesday afternoon March 29 - surely a lengthy stay! It will be followed almost immediately by Manon with more of the same.


Saturday, March 19, 2016

Tongala - one of the big ones

Wallenius Wilhelmsen's Tongala is one of the biggest car carriers to call in Halifax. Built in 2012 by Nagasaki Shipyard and Engineering Works, it measures 61,106 grt and 22,585 dwt. Its capacity is 6,459 cars, worked via a 300 tonne stern ramp. The side ramp is not use in Halifax.

Tongala looms over the Autoport pier this morning.

The ship's size is hard to judge without some context.
On arrival May 27, 2014, it dwarfed the tugs Atlantic Willow and Atlantic Oak as the Divecom III passed inbound.

The ship flies the Maltese flag and belongs to the Wilhlemsen Lines part of the Wallenius Wilhelmsen consortium.


Thursday, March 17, 2016

Gypsum Upswing

With the US economy on the rise there is an increased demand for gypsum. It is not exactly a boom time, but there seems to be more product moving out of the National Gypsum facility in Wright's Cove theses days.
The most frequent ship recently has been CSL Metis, which arrived this morning.

CSL Metis swings east around George's Island as the pilot boat Chebucto Pilot comes in west of the island. That is Energy Progress unloading at Imperial Oil.

Arrival time was coordinated to allow the tugs Belle D (towing) and Halifax Tugger (pushing) the McNally crane barge Derrick #4 to clear the Narrows. The barge had been spudded down in Turples Cove near the MacKay bridge, and was moving to the Woodside area. McNally has at least four tugs in port right now, but they were all busy with other work, so they called in RMI Marine to do the shift.

CSL Metis with Atlantic Willow in company, crosses the ferry track heading for the Narrows.


Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Meta makes up the slack for ACL

Atlantic Container Line chartered the Meta to take up some extra cargo that was not handled by the usual ships. Winter weather delays may be at the root of it, but ACL is expecting to bring more cargo through Halifax as their new ships come on line, so perhaps this is a sign of those additional bookings.

Meta was first here March 6 on the westbound leg, and tied up this morning as the last stop on the eastbound leg.
Built in 2001 as Meta it was renamed on launch as Maersk Perth. It carried that name until 2006 when it reverted to Meta for owners Stefan Patjens Reederei GmbH of Drokerstern, Germany. The 32,322 grt, 39,128 dwt ship has a capacity of 2732 TUE (including 450 reefers) and was built by Stoc. Szczecinska SA of Poland.

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Weekend Roundup

There was a lot of harbour activity this weekend, so I will compress it chronologically.

Saturday March 12

The Italian tanker Valle Azzurra completed unloading at Imperial Oil and moved out to number one anchorage briefly for bunkers.It arrived March 8.

Built in 2007 by SPP Shipbuilding Co Tongyeong, South Korea, measuring 29,987 grt, 50,697 dwt it is  owned by Navigazione Montanari SpA, Fano, Italy.

Meanwhile the tanker Ajax remained at anchor in Bedford Basin. It arrived March 9.

Built in 2005 as Western Baltic by Hyundai Mipo, Ulsan, South Korea, it flies the Bahamas flag for Tsakos Shipping + Trading SA of Athens and took its present name in 2006.

The handsome Bahri Tabuk made one of its regular appearances. The last two visits by Saudi ships have been to Fairview Cove, forsaking their former berth at pier 31. The new arrangement will make it impossible to see the interesting variety of RoRo cargo they handle (including the recent controversial military vehicles.)

It also worked containers, which were handled more speedily by Cerescorp's cranes than they would be by the single crane at pier 31.

Galaxy Ace was an Autoport visitor. With a 6400 car capacity it is among the largest pure car and truck carriers that call in Halifax.

Built in 2012 by Imabari Zosen in Marugame, Japan, the 59,583 grt, 18,878 dwt ship is owned by Mitsui OSK Lines Ltd of Tokyo and flies the Liberian flag.

Onego Batz completed unloading rails at pier 27 and sailed in the evening.

The ship was in port for eight days.See also March 4
It probably lost some time due to last Saturday's heavy snow and Friday's added snow. Only a little of that was left by the time it sailed.

At BIO the research ship Teleost was tied up alongside. The Newfoundland based trawler often calls in Halifax when there is ice in the Gulf.

 Nearby the former CCGS Matthew (now renamed 2015-03) is being readied for disposal after a four year layup. A crudely applied coat of red paint over its CCGS markings has already been washed away near the waterline.

Built in 1990 by Versatile Pacific Shipyard in Victoria, BC for hydrographic survey work, it was named for John Cabot's ship (and John Cabot's son) and appropriately did a great deal of its seasonal survey work in Newfoundland. Laid up in 2012 due to budget cuts, the ship was in prime condition at the time.

Originally based in Newfoundland, it was transferred to the Bedford Institute in 1991 when CSS Baffin was decommissioned. Painted red in 1997, it looked immeasurably better in white.

Sunday March 13

An overnight arrival, CCGS Louis S. St-Laurent went to anchor in Bedford Basin.

The icebreaker has been working mostly in the Strait of Belle Isle this winter, which has not been a particularly heavy one for ice in the Gulf of St.Lawrence.  Nominally based in Newfoundland by the last government, lets hope it can be returned to its real home of Halifax where it spends a great deal of time.

With two anchors out, the ship was twisting around into all sorts of strange positions in the gusty wind, while the nearby supplier Jones Tide maintained station by dynamic positioning and barely moved and inch.The laid up trawler Hydra Mariner is in the background in Wright's Cove.

Atlantic Compass sailed this afternoon, making a quick half day visit. I am taking every opportunity to get a shot of the G3 ACL ships as they are on their way out. Atlantic Conveyor is now en route to the scrappers, having made its last call in Halifax March 2. Its replacement, Atlantic Sail, is due later this month.

The escort tug Atlantic Oak is not visible astern of the Atlantic Compass. It has veered out to port to make the turn past the Pier 9A - Pier 9 knuckle.

The Nova Scotia Power Corp generating station at Tuft's Cove can burn natural gas or heavy oil, and was due for some of the latter today aboard the tanker Overseas Jademar. However at some point on its inbound transit it was decided to bypass the power plant and go to anchor in Bedford Basin, more than likely due to the high winds blasting down the Narrows.

With Atlantic Fir forward and Atlantic Willow aft, Overseas Jademar passes the Halifax Shipyard. Soon after, Atlantic Fir peeled off and the ship headed directly to Bedford Basin, bypassing the power plant.

At 4,000 bhp Atlantic Willow does not usually escort ships through the Narrows. That work is left to the 5,000 bhp tugs [see Tugfax]. It also took up an unusual close tethered position hard on the ship's stern.

A product of Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering Co in Okpo, South Korea, the ship was delivered in 2002 as Jademar and was renamed in 2005. Slightly larger than the typical 50,000 dwt handysize product tankers, the crude oil tanker measures 40,343 grt and 69,708 dwt. It is registered in the Marshal Islands for Overseas Shipholding Group of New York.

Next through the Narrows was NYK Constellation bound for Fairview Cove, joining Dalian Express (not pictured).

The 55,534 grt, 65,919 dwt NYK Constellation came out of Hyundai, Ulsan, South Korea in 2007. With a capacity of 4922 TEU (330 reefers) it is considered to be a small container ship on major routes in these days of giants.It flies the Marshal Islands flag for Kobe Shipping Co Ltd.

It was not all work in Halifax harbour today. The first day of Daylight Saving Time saw temperatures rise to plus 7, however the wind was very brisk and very cold. A great day for winter sailing, and the Royal Canadian Navy's STV Tuna took full advantage.

The 36 foot sloop, dating from 1985 is based at the Shearwater Yacht Club in Halifax and offers sail training opportunities to Canadian military and civilian employees. Let's hope this is a sign of an early spring.





Thursday, March 10, 2016

Tenacity 1, Atlantic Pursuit- the hammer will drop again

Two more abandoned vessels will go under the hammer in the coming weeks as the painfully slow process of cleaning up derelicts continues.

First to go was the tug Craig Trans see Tugfax here: sold in Halifax February 17 for a mere $1,000, to a buyer who promised to take it away and dispose of it.

Next to go on the block will be Atlantic Pursuit "as is, where" in Grand Bank, NL. On December 5, 2006 it was struck by a wave which broke the wheelhouse windows and it lost all power. CCGS Cygnus and Arctic Endurance took off the crew of more than 20 and landed them safely. The tug Point Vim towed the derelict into Bay Bulls and eventually back to its home port of Grand Bank. Since the boat was to be retired in 2007 anyway, it was sold for scrap.

Atlantic Pursuit on a rare visit to Halifax - it fished out of Grand Bank. NL

It was built as a North Sea pipe carrier by Jadewerft in Wilhelmshaven for Surf + Cie, Chambon of France as Atlantide. Seaforth Maritime Ltd of Aberdeen, Scotland acquired it in 1982, initially naming it Ashburton Lion, but renaming it Seaforth Prince later that year. Clearwater Seafoods bought it in 1988 and it was delivered to Pictou for conversion to a clam dredger.

Seaforth Prince was a typical pipe carrier with a wide open after deck, seen here shortly after arriving in Pictou, NS for conversion.

That rebuilding was completed in 1988 and it fished out of Grand Bank. At some later date the wheelhouse was widened (as seen in the upper picture).

As a clam dragger it worked its dredge over the stern. The forward structure was largely unchanged, but there was more crew accommodation added and processing equipment added below deck.
The second set of funnels aft seem to have been for auxiliary equipment. 

The first scrap buyer removed useful equipment but resold the boat for conversion to a cargo ship for a planned service between Newfoundland and the Azores. That owner fell ill and resold the boat to Yacht Bilgin Shipyard Europe LDA, which seems to have gone out of business, leaving the boat to pile up wharfage and other costs, forcing a Federal court ordered seizure in November of last year.

Early next month the abandoned trawler Tenacity I will be sold by Federal court order "as is, where is" in Riverport, NS. Built in 1967 it enjoyed a long working career until it was sold for scrap. However that buyer walked away from the boat and left it at the Kraut Point Wharf at the mouth of the La Have River.

Seen at La Have, NS, under Himmelman ownership in 1996, the name was painted out oas if it were to be renamed, however it remained as Tenacity I.

Built in 1967 as Scotia Point by Saint John Dry Dock and Shipbuilding, it was one of four sisters designed by the noted trawler architect Conrad Birkhoff for Superior Sea Foods of Yarmouth, NS as a herring seiner. The company was owned by K.C.Irving and Samuel Bronfman, and intended to build nineteen seiners, but the fishery collapsed and the boats were sold. Scotia Point then went to Scotia Point Fisheries in Wilson's Beach, Campobello Island, NB, and in 1982 to Connors Brothers in Black's Harbour, NB who renamed it Senator Don. Laurence Sweeney Fisheries of Yarmouth bought it in 1986, renamed it Tencity I and converted it to a scallop dragger. David Himmelman of a Have, NS bought it in 1994 and finally Clearwater Fisheries of Halifax acquired it in 1996. After a few years in that service it was laid up and sold for scrap.

Neither boat is expected to fetch enough to cover accumulated claims due to low scrap metal prices, but if they are sold they will at least be removed from their current resting places.


Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Afra Oak - thirsty tanker

The Liberian flag Afra Oak anchored in Halifax for the third time in recent weeks. The ship is making its second of two trips from Whiffen Head, NL to Canaport (Saint John), NB under a coasting license for Irving Oil. It is apparently gauging the amount of fuel it uses on these trips by filling up before and during the contract.

Getting under way from number one anchorage south of George's Island, this morning, the ship will exit right (south) from this photo. In the background  the Wallenius-Wilhelmsen auto carrier Elektra unloads at Autoport in Eastern Passage.


Elektra finished work at Autoport and moved over to pier 31 to unload some non-automobile cargo.


Monday, March 7, 2016

Algoma Value - first time

A hastily renamed Algoma Value put in to Halifax today for bunkers and stores. This is a first time visit here for the ship which was acquired by Algoma late last year. In a deal that saw all of the Klaveness bulkers in the CSL Pool sold to other pool members, CSL., Algoma and Marbulk, Algoma acquired the former Baldock.and Balchen.
(Marbulk Shipping, 50% owned by Algoma and 50% by CSL acquired Balder and CSL bought Balto and Barkald.)
Since taking over Baldock in January, Algoma has painted out the "K" on the funnel, part of the bow crest and the former name. The new name was obviously applied in a hurry and maybe in a high wind!.

Algoma Value takes bunkers from Algoma Dartmouth in anchorage #1.

Built originally as a single hull tanker by Mitsui Engineering and Shipbuilding Chiba Works in Ichihara, Japan in 1981, the ship was named Polysunrise and then measured 37,904 grt, 61,438 dwt. It was sold and renamed Berthea in 1990. As single hull tankers were phased out in favour of double hulls, it was sold to Klaveness  in 2006.

 The ship's 80m long self-unloader boom can swing out 90 degrees on either side of the ship for a 63.89m outreach. Depending on the cargo it can unload at a rate of 4,200 to 6,000 tonnes per hour..

A new self-unloading bulk carrier forebody was built and connected to the existing stern section giving a ship of 46,068 grt, 75,569 dwt. Renamed Baldock it was placed under CSL International management in the CSL self-unloader pool and was a common visitor on the Strait of Canso where it offloaded coal at Point Tupper and loaded aggregates at Auld's Cove. It is expected to remain in that trade under Algoma Shipping Ltd ownership, flying the Marshal Islands flag.

This is the first time that the ship has been in Halifax under any name as far as I am aware*.

The ship's former name is still visible above the slightly askew new one.

* Thanks to Halifax Shipping News, I am now aware. Baldock was here in August 2011 for bunkers. I was out of town that month so missed logging it in.


Sunday, March 6, 2016

Anthem of the Sea - cruise to Nowhere - a No Show

The New Jersey based cruise ship Anthem of the Seas has been running cruises out of Cape Liberty (Bayonne) all winter, but has run into bad weather on two trips, one resulting in superficial damage, a lot of loose objects thrown around, terrified passengers and some injuries. The other trip was cut short due to weather. Although Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd was heavily criticized for sending a ship out into near hurricane conditions, others credited the ship's master with guiding them safely back to port. What fun!

The latest cruise, departing Cape Liberty Friday March 4, saw the ship heading out into another intense storm, but skirting it somewhat by doing what is billed as a three day cruise to Nova Scotia. Since the ship would not be tying up in any Nova Scotia port, all the passengers would experience would be some Nova Scotia weather, and perhaps a glimpse of Halifax as it sailed in and out of the port.

At least that was the plan as of Friday. The ship would enter Halifax Sunday morning- but not berth - then sail again for home. Instead the captain took the saner option of NOT sailing across the Gulf of Maine in a real nor'easter with high winds and heavy snow (all day) in Halifax on Saturday.
It seems that the ship sailed south and loitered off Nova Joisey instead. It will return to Caper Liberty on Monday.

The ship is due to make its inaugural call in Halifax in September, when it will actually tie up and allow passengers some shore time. The ship was built in 2015 by Meyerwerft in Papenburg, Germany, measures 168,666 grt and at maximum capacity carries 4,905 passengers.


Friday, March 4, 2016

Onego Batz with more rails

The Antigua and Barbuda flagged Onego Batz backed in to pier 27 this afternoon with a cargo of rail.

Onego Batz backs into pier 27 with the assistance of Atlantic Fir.
 [see today's Tugfax for more on the tug.]

Although operating for Onego Shipping, it is owned by Eckhoff of Jork, Germany and is working under its fourth name. It started out as Ile de Molene (although another source says Ile de Batz) in 2004 when it was completed by Damen Hoogezand, Foxhol. The bare hull had been started in Damen's Galati, Romania yard and towed to Holland for completion. It was renamed S. Pacific the same year, became Batz in 2010 and BBC Chile in 2012. It took its present name in 2015.

A multi-purpose type combi-carrier, the ship measures 7813 grt, 10,385 dwt and carried a pair of 80 tonne cranes and is ice class 1A.. It has the hull sponsons typical of the Damen standard ships of its type.


Tuesday, March 1, 2016

To scrap or not

While there is little doubt that all warships will be scrapped eventually, and that they contain much potentially recyclable material, such as high grade wiring, piping and other materials aside from the high quality hull steel, such is not the case with merchant ships. Whether to scrap them or eke another few years of earning is a conundrum for ship owners.

The world's shipping industry is another trough with staggering numbers of laid up or under utilized ships.There are nearly 350 container ships laid up as an example. Asia-Europe trade, where most of them were working is in a major slump and the supply of container ships far exceeds demand. Larger and still larger container ships are still being delivered, despite some cancellations. Older ships - many far from worn out - are just not needed. There were 214 new ships delivered in 2015 and 225 ordered. Even if all the 350 laid up ships were immediately scrapped - there would still be too many ships chasing after too little cargo for unremunerative rates.

A ship that called here as recently as December 22 has arrived at the Bhavnagar anchorages, the last stop before the beaches of Alang.

HH Emilia was known in Halifax for many years as Dresden Express, the name it carried from 1991 when it was built by Samsung in Koje, South Korea. The 53,833 grt, 67,713 dwt ship had a capacity of 4639 TEU - too small to be efficient in this day and age for most liner routes. Owners Hapag-Lloyd sold the ship in 2015 to Konig et Cie, also of Hamburg, and the ship worked its way round the world one last time on the Vespucci service with CMA CGM / Hamburg-Sud / UASC.

Although 25 years is a respectable age for a ship, it could have last longer had there been demand. Many newer ships are also going for scrap.Hapag-Lloyd alone has shed nearly 25 ships, representing 55,000 TEU.

The forced amalgamation of the two largest Chinese state owned container lines, due to continued losses, has also thrown a monkey-wrench into many of the established container alliances, with several shipping lines set to become big losers as they are "orphaned out" as some alliances may collapse.

The bulk carrier business is in equally bad or worse slump, with a 10% to 15% over supply of ships and rates dropping up to 80% in some sectors. More than 600 bulkers were scrapped in 2014 and 2015, but owners are still hurting. The Baltic Dry Index (a measure of rates) is at an all time low. Reduced demand for iron ore and coal in China, and a reduction in manufacturing output are at the root of the problem, but it is a double edged sword for the owners of surplus bulkers. Scrap steel prices have also hit rock bottom, although some do see a glimmer of improvement.

One reader of this blog cites an unprecedented number of bulkers and tankers leaving the Gulf of St.Lawrence with destination given "for orders". In other words, they are in ballast, they have no fixed cargo in the near future, and are heading in the general direction of some possible source of cargo. Gibraltar is one of those ports, where the ship can be turned for Europe, Africa, the Med or Asia.
Hard times in the oil patches all around the world have created a crisis in the support craft business. As exploration and development is cut back and production is cut in high cost fields, the number of laid up ships is astounding. The Gulf of Mexico and the North Sea are especially hard hit with hundreds of suppliers laid up and many companies seeking refinancing or creditor protection and some failing completely. Even suppliers with long term contracts have seen the contracts cancelled and have had to lay up the boats.

Rock bottom oil prices seem to have only spurred demand in some places so product tankers, those ubiquitous 50,000 deadweight ships that seem to come and go in Halifax daily, are still in demand and seem to be making money.

Add into this the fall out for shipyards, particularly in Korea, but also in China. As new ships are completed and fewer new orders come in  several yards have closed, some have been forced to merge and the South Korean government has had to step in and bail out may once profitable operations. Some shipyards in China were closed with undelivered ships still in the yard. Canadian shipowner Algoma was hit with three ships, one on builder's trials, when the shipyard was padlocked by the creditors.Fortunately Algoma's payment advances were guaranteed and they will be refunded, but it has meant a three year plus delay in getting new ships and they had to find another builder, to start from scratch.

Where will it all end is the big question. There is obviously some money to be made in scrapping ships - particularly high end naval vessels. The new facility in Liverpool, NS seems set to receive up to five RCN vessels over the next few years, and may well attract some domestic merchant ships. There are between six and ten Great Lakes ships that may go for scrap in 2016 and 2017. If the scrapper can sell steel for a reasonalbe amount that will only help.

Maersk Line, the largest container operator in the world is working with shipbreakers in Pakistan to improve health, safety and environmental upgrades and some yards in India have been certified with better conditions, but it will remain largely a third world occupation for the most part.

Meanwhile in other third world countries and the Caribbean, the ports will gradually fill up with abandoned, undocumented vessels, just as they always have, but it will be worse as there is no recoverable value from small old ships.

As for the shipping lines, there will be shakeouts, failures and perhaps some success stories. But it may be a long time before much confidence returns to the bulk and container sectors. Similarly there is little sign that the OPEC countries will turn the taps down or off, and cheap oil looks the way of the future. With the United States now self-sufficient in oil, will it matter? Only time will tell.