Wednesday, August 10, 2022

Unusual caller - Orange Spirit

With so much temperature controlled cargo moving in containers, the world's fleet of pure refrigerated cargo ships has diminished considerably, and all refrigerated or frozen cargo passing through Halifax is containerized. Therefore it was very unusual to see a traditional reefer ship arriving in port today, August 10. 

Orange Spirit was built in 2018 by Changxin Shipbuilding + Heavy Industry Co in Zhongshan, China. The 6088 gt, 7158 dwt ship has four holds and four hatches with twelve compartments and eight separately controllable temperature zones. Operated by the legendary Dutch reefer company Seatrade Groningen, the ship works its cargo with traditional derricks of 7 tonne capacity, working in Union Purchase arrangement [also a rare sight in the container age!]. It is equipped for forklift operation in the holds. It can carry containers on deck and has 65 FEU slots, with reefer plugs for 52 FEU [FEU= forty foot equivalent units].

As the ship's name implies it might be tasked with carrying fresh fruit such as citrus or bananas, but in this case it is something different. The ship transited the Panama Canal June 18-19, then stopped in Port Angeles, WA July 3-5, Bellingham, WA July 5-7, and Dutch Harbor, AK July 13-15, passing back through the Panama Canal August 2. Its next port is to be Bayside, NB where it will unload "frozen fish" for local processing likely pollock processed in Alaska. The Dutch company Kloosterboer has a major warehouse and distribution centre in Bayside, which tranships product from its Dutch Harbor operation to points in the eastern US and Canada.

The ship is in Halifax for only a matter of hours for Canadian Food Inspection Agency clearance, and is expecting to sail this evening.



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