First off the mark was the autocarrier Hoegh Bangkok one of about 55 ships in the well known Norwegian fleet. The ship has been a caller here on several occasions.
Hoegh Bangkok has made the turn around the Ives Knoll buy and is outbound for the western channel. A continuous line of autorack rail cars stretches across the background.
Built in 2007 by Uljanik shipyard in Pula, Croatia, the ship has a capacity of 6500 CEU and measures 55,775 gt, 16,632 dwt. Its next port of call is Davisville, RI.
Next out was Vuoksi Maersk, a very new ship, delivered from the COSCO (Zhoushan) Shipyard Co in September. It made its first Halifax call December 8, 2018 on the Maersk / CMA CGM Canada Atlantic Express. One of seven ships in a new "Baltic Feeder" or "V" class, reputed to be the world's largest ice class container ships, it also uses diesel fuel to comply with the latest emission standards. Despite its capability it was slowed by ice on its westbound leg to Montreal, so its arrival here was also delayed - it would normally have called on Saturday.
Easily distinguishable by the nearly plumb stem and high superstructure, the V-class are striking ships. Other ships of the class are trading to Russia, which explains the name.
A 34,882 grt, 39819 dwt ship it has a container capacity of 3596 TEU including a large reefer capacity of 600 TEU - ideal for the Canadian service.
Typical of ships trading to the St.Lawrence River, it is not loaded to capacity, to keep draft within safe limits.
Following close on its heels was the departing Budapest Bridge. Built in 2011 by Samsung it is a 46,441 gt, 58,200 dwt ship of 4526 TEU. It is one of five ships on the AL1 service operated by THE Alliance and ACL.
Owned by Seaspan Corporation it is on charter to K-Line, but is now the merged entity of K-Line, MOL and NYK called ONE Ocean Network Express.
The next ship was the inbound MOL Paramount also a ONE ship, but on THE Alliance's EC5 route.
Well loaded, the ship catches a few rays of late afternoon sun.
Built in 2005 by Koyo Dockyard in Mihare it is a 71,902 gt, 72,968 dwt ship with a capacity of 6350 TEU, including 500 reefers. It is also third party owned, by Tokei KK Ltd, and on charter to ONE.
With the merger of the three Japanese container lines, ships will remain in their original colours for some time to come. New ships are being delivered in the same eye-searing colour as the new ONE containers.
The last inbound was Atlantic Sail which would not be close before the light was gone. It was following the MOL Paramount to the Cerescorp terminal at Fairview Cove, which would have to dock first.
Atlantic Sail looms out of the haze as Budapest Bridge makes its way to the pilot station.
Dredging continues at Halterm, as it will for some time. The McNally dredge Derrick No.
The Port is under considerable pressure to upgrade facilities as new larger container ships are delivered. They will displace slightly smaller ships in a "cascade" effect that will see those ships coming to Halifax. Projections for increased terminal demand for 2019 remain around 4%, representing a world wide increase of 30 mn TEU to over 800 mn TEU in 2019. Terminal expansion is seen by many as a good investment despite market uncertainties brought on by Brexit and US-China and Canada-China disputes.