Thursday, October 10, 2019

Competition for Newfoundland

Starting Friday October 11 there will be head to head competition for Newfoundland traffic out of Halifax. The route has been served exclusively by Oceanex (and its predecessors), but TSMI will now offer an alternative.

This morning TSMI's inbound Nolhan Ava passes competitor Oceanex Sanderling which was moving to anchorage.

TSMI (which stands for Transport St-Pierre Miquelon Inc or International) operates the weekly service from Halifax to the French islands. Carrying containers and RoRo it conveniently interchanges with ACL for cargo from France, at Ceres Fairview Cove, but also takes traffic for and from Canadian sources. Now it will add Argentia, NL to its route and carry domestic traffic. The added service has been in the planning stage for years, but is finally taking place.

Oceanex runs from Halifax to St.John's (it dropped Corner Brook many years ago) with Oceanex Sanderling and from Montreal to St.John's with Oceanex Avalon and Oceanex Connaigra.

TSMI will be using Nolhan Ava, which has been registered in Canada since August of 2018.

Nolhan Ava exhibiting a new funnel graphic arrives this morning.

Nolhan Ava returned last week from a month away with a new graphic on its engine casing. Built in 2001 as Shamrock for the Halifax / St-Pierre service, it was reassigned in 2004 when the original owners had financial problems. It returned to Halifax in 2015 and was fitted with an exhaust gas scrubber in 2015-2016.

It went into refit in spring of 2109, but then went into another refit in August. Its place was taken until this week by Ocean Force which now appears to have gone off charter and is anchored in Bedford Basin.

A previous announcement that Ocean Force would operate weekly or bi-weekly between St-Pierre and Argentia may or may not still be in the works. Built in 1983 by Husumer Werft, Husum as the barge carrier Condock III the ship was renamed 98: Condock, 99: Penhir, 99: Condock, 00: Condock III, 07: Ocean Force. The 384 TEU ship is still listed as a semi-submersible heavy load carrier.

Oceanex has long standing claims that Marine Atlantic provides unfair competition for Newfoundland traffic because it is heavily subsidized by the federal government, and operates below cost. Marine Atlantic, a crown corporation and successor to Canadian National Railway, provides ferry service as part of the terms of confederation agreed between Newfoundland and Canada. In 1949 Canada took over operation of the Newfoundland Railway and its "steamship and other marine services" and agreed to "relieve the Province of Newfoundland and Labrador from the public costs" to run them. As part of this Canada agreed to offer a freight and passenger service between North Sydney, NS and Port aux Basques, NL.
A federal court ruled against Oceanex's claims, but at last report an appeal ruling is outstanding.

No reaction has been reported about Oceanex's reaction to more competition.

No comments:

Post a Comment