Thursday, April 19, 2018

Sagittarius Leader on hold and other items of interest

The auto carrier Sagittarius Leader provided a closer than usual view as it held position in the inner anchorages at noon time today. The ship was headed for Autoport but could not proceed directly because Oceanex Sanderling was just getting clear of the berth. The Sanderling was also going to anchorage, and the ships had to arrange a spot for clear passing.

The 61,804 grt, 20,098 dwt ship was built by Imabari Shipbuilding Company Ltd in Marugame, Japan in 2005. It has a capacity of 5,415 cars. Registered in Panama, it works for NYK Line.

A recent announcement that the Port of Nanaimo on Vancouver Island is building an auto import facility for European cars may pose little threat to Autoport's dominance in the trade. The new plan would see the cars from Europe arriving via the Panama Canal, unloaded and processed  then barged to the BC mainland. They expect to receive 12,000 cars a year starting in January 2019 and work up to 50,000 per year.

Halifax's Autoport facility is owned and operated by CN Rail, and provides a ship to train distribution system to inland distribution hubs, including the west coast.

The Nanaimo plan fails to take into account that many customers want their cars quickly and adding two weeks or more to the delivery time might not be acceptable. Of course if Alberta decides to blockade British Columbia from Canada, the point becomes moot.

Oceanex Sanderling took up its anchorage positiin shortly after and and will await its turn at Halterm.

At Irving Oil, Maersk Edward was finally able to make it into port last evening after several days delay by weather. It tied up at Irving Oil with cargo from Ijmuiden / Amsterdam.

We think of Maersk in term of container ships, but they have a large tanker fleet too. In fact with 161 ships it is one of the largest tanker owners, with vessels of all sizes. Maersk Edward, built as Bro Edward, works in their Handytankers pool. Slightly smaller than than the Mid Range tankers of 50,000 dwt we usually see, it measures 26,659 grt, 37,300 dwt. Its epoxy lined tanks allow it to carry a variety of fuels and chemicals. It was built in 2005 by Jinling Shipyard in Nanjing, China for Brostrom Tankers France SAS. Acquired by Maersk in 2010 it now flies the Danish flag under their international register.

And despite the odd flurry in the forecast over the next few days, there continue to be hopeful signs of better weather ahead.

The harbour front floating walkway is now in place and should be opening to the public by the weekend.

It stretches from the Cable Wharf to the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic, spanning across the Queen's Marque construction site. It was much acclaimed last year with up to 8,000 people per day making use of it but was removed for the winter.

Although there is no sign  of harbour tour boats yet, Harbour Hopper 1 was out and about today, at least on dry land.


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