Thursday, September 15, 2022

Odd Duck

Bulk carriers of Canfornav Inc (Canadian Forest Navigation), named for species of ducks, are only occasional callers in Halifax usually for grain cargo top ups. Therefore today's (September 15) arrival of the Maccoa (named for a South and East African diving duck) was odd because the ship docked at PSA Halifax's Atlantic Gateway container terminal.

The ship carried a deck load of large shrink wrapped industrial components and a small number of containers. There may also have been cargo below deck, but whatever it was it was not heavy as the ship was showing lots of boot topping.

Built in 2009 by Shandong Weihai Shipyard in Weihai, China, it is a 19,814 gt, 30,898 dwt handysize bulker with three 30 tonne cranes. It carries Ice Class 1C, and is fitted for the Great Lakes. 

On this trip the Maccoa sailed from Kaohsiung, Taiwan July 26 and called at Qinhuangdo, China July 31 to August 8. After a Transpacific crossing it then transitted the Panama Canal September 5-6. 

With delays in container shipping due to port congestion in Asia, container shortages, supply chain issues and other factors, some bulk carriers are carrying general and container cargoes on what would have been ballast voyages, with no paying cargo. Carriage of over size and other odd cargoes is also attractive to bulk carriers, offered to shippers as a lower cost alternative to specialist heavy lift ships.

The Maccoa was last in Halifax in February 2017 when it took on bunkers from Algoma Dartmouth en route to Brazil. (Halifax no longer has a bunkering tanker, and to refuel here, ships must tie up at a pier and the fuel is delivered by trucks.)

 On a chilly February 19, 2017, the Maccoa was reflected in the icy waters of Halifax harbour.

Montreal based Canfornav currently has a fleet of about 37 ships, and since founding in 1976 has expanded beyond forest product cargoes into steel, grain and many other commodities. Its ships are common sights in the St.Lawrence Seaway and on the Great Lakes.


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