Sunday, April 30, 2023

Sunday Report

 There was considerable activity in the port spread out over the day today, April 30, 2023.

Early morning arrivals at PSA Halifax Atlantic Gateway were the two regulars EM Kea on the St-Laurent 1 service (CMA CGM + Maersk) from Montreal.

... and ONE Helsinki on the EC5 service for THE Alliance.

Built in 2012 by IHI, Kure the 96,801 gt, 96,980 dwt ONE Helsinki has a capacity of 8930 TEU. This is its first call at the Southend, but now all the larger ships on this service will no longer be calling at PSA Fairview Cove due to their size. The ship was built as Helsinki Bridge and renamed in 2020 when it was chartered by K-Line to the Ocean Network Express (ONE).

With all that activity at the Southend, the arriving Tropic Hope went to anchor in the lower harbour. Tropical Shipping's vessels are usually worked on Mondays, so this does not represent a delay.

 At Fairview Cove, and sailing in the early afternoon it was NYK Rumina on the AL5 service.

Another of the Daedalus series of ships it was built in 2010 by Hyundai, Samho. The 55,487 gt, 66,171 dwt ship has a capacity of 4922 TEU including 330 reefers.

Autoport had another caller today - the spring increase in demand for cars is in full flood!

The Morning Capo arrived from Southampton after calling at all the usual continental ports. Built in 2013 by Hyundai, Kunsan* it is a 59,615 gt, 20,139 dwt ship with a capacity of 6,674 CEU.

[* Kunsan, also translated as Gunsan, is a new shipyard built by Hyundai in 2008. Due to a slump in demand for ships it was closed in 2017, but re-opened in October 2022. It is located 179 km southwest of Seoul.]

 There was also a different arrival of sorts. The Dutch flag multi-purpose type general cargo ship FWM Atlantic tied up at Pier 25. This is not a pier for working cargo, but more often used for ships in layup or for repairs.

The ship is virtually brand new - it was delivered January 6, 2023 by Ferus Smit (I am not sure which shipyard) in the Netherlands. It was built as Symphony Atlantic but was renamed FWN Atlantic as of January 1, 2023. The 8360 gt, 12,575 dwt ship is built to the open hatch, box shaped hold pattern and carries two cranes. However it may be fitted with travelling pipe handling gantries in the holds. The devices unstack large diameter pipes, placing them one at a time on a platform where the ship's deck cranes then lift them off. (The process works in reverse for loading).The ship is also equipped with Dynamic Positioning 2 which indicates offshore gas pipeline activity.

See tomorrow's report for more on the FWN Atlantic and related activity.


Saturday, April 29, 2023

Saturday Report

 The CMA CGM Osiris was a first time caller when it arrived in Halifax this morning April 29.

The ship used two stern tethered escort tugs and took the western, deep water, channel inbound, giving a nearly broadside view as it approached the south end terminal. The use of two escort tugs is part of a familiarization exercise for pilots and tug operators. In case of propulsion or steering failure in one of these large ships, it would take two tugs to control the vessel. The two 5,000 bhp tugs are in fact more effective than one 10,000 bhp tug (no such tug exists in Halifax) as they operate independently to steer and / or brake the ship as needed.

Use of the western, deep water, channel will become standard for large ships and new buoyage was put in place last year to mark the course. The main or eastern channel is quite straight, but the western channel has a dogleg bend and requires good tug coordination to make the turns. A third tug is made up well forward to assist in turning and docking.

The CMA CGM Osiris is a 154,995 gt, 155,979 dwt ship with a capacity of 15,536 TEU. It was built in 2021 by Shanghai Jiangnan Changxing. It operates in the Ocean Alliance service from Asia with its last Asian port call in Colombo, April 5-6, and after transitting the Suez Canal April 14-15 it also called on the Tanger Med port in Morocco April 22-23.

As predicted yesterday the auto carrier Grand Pavo moved from Pier 9C to Autoport this mornnig and finally discharged a quantity of cars. Whether some of them were the ones that had a brief shore excursion at Pier 9C yesterday, I cannot tell.


It sailed this afternoon for New York.

Although it is still early in the cruise season there were two cruise ships in port today - albeit small ones. Coincidentally both ships were also in Halifax May 1, 2022. [see my post of that date for details]

Ocean Explorer arrived from Gloucester, MA, and once again squeezed in to Pier 24. It was interesting to see its X-bow from a different angle as it departed for Louisbourg, NS.

Ocean Navigator, which has called here under most of its previous names, again tied up at Pier 23. It is en route from Portland, ME to Charlottetown and on to the Great Lakes where it will operate all summer.


To round off the day's activities there was a perhaps less noteworthy arrival. It was the articulated tug / barge combination Leo A. McArthurJohn J. Carrick with a cargo of asphalt from the Great Lakes for General Liquids. They tied up at the Cherubini dock in Eisner's Cove and offloaded by pipeline to General's tanks nearby.

The lattice boom crane in the photo has nothing to do with the unloading process, and in fact blocks the view of the ship's sold black boom which appears to support the offload pipeline. Cherubini Metal Workers, the owners of the dock, are a steel fabrication company and own a number of cranes for use in their own projects and for rental under the R+D Cranes company name.

An event which took place yesterday, April 28 is also worthy of note. It was the official naming ceremony for the William Hall, the fourth Arctic Offhsore Patrol Ship to be built by Irving Shipbuilding Inc's Halifax Shipyard. It is designated AOPV 433.

The ship was floated out November 27, 2022 and is fitting out at Pier 7.  The ship is named for a Nova Scotia who was awarded the Victoria Cross. His Wikipedia entry is worth reading at: William Hall VC




Friday, April 28, 2023

Another double and more RoRo

 The Mediterranean Shipping Company had two ships in Halifax today April 26 - one for each container terminal.

First in was MSC Soraya on the Turkey-Greece service - usually these ships use the PSA Halifax Atlantic Gateway, south end terminal, but for whatever reason the ship headed north through the Narrows and berthed at PSA Fairview Cove. Ships on this service stop in Sines, Portugal making for an unpublicized seven day transatlantic express from MSC's south Europe hub.

 The 66,399 gt, 73,262 dwt ship has a capacity of 5762 TEU. It was built in 2008 by Samsung, Geoje, South Korea. (In the Narrows it passed the auto carrier Grand Pavo at Pier 9C - see below)

The second MSC ship arrived in late afternoon at the South end terminal. MSC Manzanillo is a regular caller on the CANEX 2 service, and is arriving from Montreal to "top up" containers to ocean draft.

Built in 2005 by Hanjin Heavy Industries + Construction Co, the forepart came from the Busan yard and the after section from the Ulsan yard. It was originally named Juliette Rickmers but was renamed on delivery as Maersk Davao. In 2012 it reverted to Juliette Rickmers until 2017 when it received the charming moniker MP The Gronk. It was mercifully renamed MSC Manzanillo in 2021. [One time owner Mangrove Partners used football player nicknames for their ships, while buying low and selling high and making a tidy fortune in the process.]

The 54,758 gt, 68,168 dwt ship has a capacity of 5060 TEU including 454 reefers. The ship will be sailing for Spain and Italy.

At Pier 9C it was another large consignment of RoRo, this tme on the Grand Pavo. Built in 2005 by Toyohashi Shipbuilding in Japan, the 59,217 gt, 18,376 dwt ship has a capacity for 6400 cars. That would be significantly reduced with the large quantity of other RoRo cargo.

Some of its cargo of cars had to be off loaded temporarily before the non-car cargo could be unloaded. The latter consisted of the usual construction and agriculture machinery. The ship will move to Autoport tomorrow to unload cars, so some of the cars that were moved today will have an extra fraction of a kilometer on them when they are delievered.


Thursday, April 27, 2023

Two for One - UPDATED

 PSA Halifax Atlantic Gateway was a busy spot today, April 27. No sooner had they completed work on one ship, but two arrived to take its place.

The 14,026 TEU ONE Stork arrived yesterday [see previous post] and occupied pier 41-42 until about 1700 hrs today. It sailed in a rain shower, so I did not get a photo of it on departure. However it was well loaded from what I could see earlier.


The next ship for the berth, MSC Roshney V, does not show on any of MSC's regular schedules and seems to be an extra sailing or sweeper. It is arriving from Boston, but before that called at three German ports, Wilhelmshaven April 12, Hamburg April 12-13, Bremerhaven April 13-14, arriving in Boston April 24 and sailing April 25. [See Update at the end of this post.]


MSC Roshney V arriving today, lightly loaded.

The ship is not unknown in Halifax as it was once a regular caller under its previous name. NYK Deneb


NYK Deneb arriving Halifax June 23, 2022.

Built by Hyundai, Ulsan in 2007 the 55,487 gt, 65,953 dwt ship has a capacity of 4922 TEU. One of a dozen ships in the Daedalus class it operated in THE Alliance services along with several sisters (see yesterday's post). It was acquired and renamed by MSC as of February 2023.

Following close behind, in another rain shower, was the ZIM China. It took its time, waiting for the MSC Roshey V to secure.


A recent addition to ZIM's ZCA service, it made it first call in Halifax December 27, 2022. Built in 2008 by Samsung Shipbuilding + Heavy Industry in Geoje, South Korea, it is a 40,487 gt, 51,733 dwt ship with a capacity of 4275 TEU. It carried the name Hanjin Kenya from 2008 to 2017 then after a brief spell as Seaspan Kenya it became ALS Fauna later in 2017. It became ZIM China as of April 1, 2022.

With both berths, Pier 41 and Pier 42, occupied the Oceanex Sanderling completed loading at Autoport and will spend the night at anchor and move in the PSA Halifax in the morning.


Thanks to a reader for providing the following info on the MSC Roshney V. The ship is on the Boston Express service which MSC inaugurated in April 2022. Initially the service ran from Antwerp and LeHavre direct to Boston, then to Montreal. It appears that the European ports have been revised to Bremerhaven and Antwerp.

 The ship was due in Montreal April 24, with a sailing date of April 30, but it could not ballast down enough to reduce its air draft to clear the Laviolette bridge at Trois-Rivières. Spring water levels on the St.Lawrence are high and are expected to keep rising for the rest of the week and so the ship was diverted to Halifax.

On completion of working cargo in Halifax early in the morning of April 28, the ship sailed for Antwerp and Bremerhaven.


Cable Vigilance

 The cable ship Cable Vigilance made a brief stay in Halifax today, April 27. It arrived at the pilot station at 1400 hrs ADT and ordered a pilot for 1800 hrs ADT to sail from anchorage. That would have allowed about three hours in port. Usually when a ship is in port for such a short time it is for a technician to come aboard for a repair. 

 As with many present day cable ships, it started life as a platform supply vessel. Built in 2006 by Yantai Raffles, in Yantai, China as Caledonian Vigilance for Highands Group. It was listed at 5729 gt, 5300 dwt. It operated in the North Sea for BP Offshore among others.

It was renamed GSP Licorn in 2021 by Sea Lord Ltd and in 2022 was converted for cable work by Remontowa Shipbuidling in Poland and renamed Cable Vigilance. Its tonnages were revised to 7683gt, 3562 dwt. The large shelter on the deck and the stern projection are obvious additions that would have increased gross tonnage.

 Louis Dreyfus Armateurs SAS of France now operate the ship for Optic Marine Management (The Optic Group has five cable ships and several tugs and barges). Its last port is listed as Calai, France, April 17.


Wednesday, April 26, 2023

Halifax Loss, Saint John Gain

 The ports of Halifax and Saint John have been rivals over the years, but Halifax has usually come out on top in terms of winning container lines. However Saint John has upped the ante this year with new facilities and larger cranes. Most recently it was the final official approval of the Canadian Pacific Railway merger with Kansas City Southern. CPR links the Port of Saint John to Montreal through the United States with a much shorter route than Canadian National Railway's route from Halifax to Montreal. Now with the KCS network it reaches into Mexico.

Saint John's terminal operator DP World has had a long standing relationship with THE Alliance (Hapag-Lloyd, ONE, Yang Ming and HMM) and handles THE Alliance's ships in UK ports.

Therefore it was perhaps not a complete surprise when one of THE Alliance's ships on its Atlantic Loop 5 (AL5) service is passing over Halifax this week on its eastbound leg and calling in Saint John instead on April 27.  

NYK Demeter * in Halifax, March 15, 2022.

The AL5 service route has been Southampton, Le Havre, Rotterdam, Hamburg, Antwerp, Halifax, Port Everglades, Cartagena, Panama, Los Angeles-Long Beach, Oakland, Tacoma, Vancouver, Oakland, Los Angles-Long Beach, Panama, Cartagena, Caucedo, Halifax, Southampton.

It seems that the April 21 Halifax call of NYK Rigel may be the last AL5 call at this port. No further AL5 calls are shown on the Port's published schedule. However THE Alliance partner ONE's schedules still show Halifax as the AL5 port. No official announcement seems to have been made.

NYK Demeter was built in 2007 by Hyundai, Ulsan and comes in at 55,487 gt, 65,965 dwt with a container capacity variously reported at 4888 TEU or 4922 TEU.  Sister ships of the Daedalus class on the AL5 service are scheduled at Saint John as follows:

NYK Romulus May 5

NYK Constellation May 13

NYK Meteor May 21

So far it appears that these are all eastbound ships.

NYK Demeter clearing the MacKay bridge, April 23, 2016.

As closest Canadian port to Europe, Halifax has been a logical "first port" for westbound ships on the Great Circle route. The additional sailing time to Saint John has to be balanced with faster railroad service to Quebec, Ontario and the US Mid-west. CP trains run through Maine to Montreal, Toronto, and cross to the US at Fort Erie, ON / Buffalo, NY and run on CSX tracks to Chicago, avoiding some height clearance and other issues in northeast US. However as those are eliminated and with access to KCS tracks, CP may have become the game changer.

The Port of Saint John it must be noted has no bridge clearance or draft restrictions, and given super post Panamax cranes can handle large ships, perhaps on a even footing with Halifax.


*Note: As a partner with the other Japanese container lines MOL and K-Line, in the joint venture Ocean Network Express (ONE), the NYK Line now charters its ships to ONE and has painted over the NYK Line banners in their ship's sides.


ONE Stork

 Another Ultra size container ship arrived in Halifax this afternoon, April 26. This time it was not one of the Sea Alliance CMA CGM ships however. The ONE Stork is sailing on the EC5 service of THE Alliance. It is arriving from the major Asian ports, Laem Chebang, Cai Mep, Singapore and Colombo via Suez.

The ship is too large to go under the harbour bridges and dock at PSA Fairview Cove, where EC5 ships would normally tie up. Instead it berthed at PSA Atlantic Gateway, the South End Terminal. It also used the western deep water channel inbound. In addition to the tethered escort Atlantic Oak on the stern, it had Atlantic Fir and Atlantic Cedar to assist in making the turns and berthing.

[Atlantic Cedar arrived from Saint John yesterday, to fill in for the Atlantic Beaver, which along with the Atlantic Bear went to Saint John to berth the LNG tanker Cadiz Knutsen at Canaport.]

The ONE Stork was built in 2018 by the Japan Marine United Shipyard in Kure. It is a 145,251 gt, 139,335 dwt vessel with a capacity of 14,026 TEU. Originally ordered by NYK Line, it was to have been named "NYK Stork", but the prinicipal Japanese container lines, K-Line, MOL and NYK formed the Ocean Network Express [ONE] joint venture in late 2017 and the ship was chartered to the new company. 

So far ONE has not actually owned any ships, but has chartered in vessels from the partner companies and from leassor's like Seaspan (which it co-owns).  However the company has about twenty new ships on order, for delivery in the next few years, and will stop chartering from the partner companies. ONE is the seventh largest container line with about 6% of the world trade. It has a capacity of more than 1.5 million TEU on 205+ ships. About 35 of those ships are large (greater than 14,000 TEU).


Monday, April 24, 2023

Working on all cylinders

 The two container terminals and Autoport were busy today, April 24, and the second cruise ship of the season arrived.

At the Southend Container Terminal PSA Atlantic Gateway there were two ships: Tropic Lissette on Tropical Shipping's regular weekly service to the Caribbean at Pier 42 and MOL Courage back again on the eastbound leg of its EC5 voyage for THE Alliance. The 9060 TEU ship arrived on the westbound leg April 6, and again docked at the Pier 41. Due to its size, it would not be docked at PSA Fairview Cove. It sailed late afternoon for Suez.

Arriving yesterday, the ship took the precaution of using two escort tugs.

On departure today it also used two tugs, to assist in making the swing into the western,, deep water channel.

A smaller fleetmate the MOL Experience arrived at Fairview Cove this morning and sailed this afternoon for Port Everglades on the AL5 service.

The 54,098 gt, 62,953 dwt ship was built in 2007 by Hyundai, Ulsan. It has a capacity of 4803 TEU including 330 reefers. From 2008 to 2010 it carried the name APL Experience before reverting back to its original and current name.

Autoport hosted the SFL Composer. It was last here June 24 last year and is still on dedicated Volkswagen service.


Built in 2005 by Minami Nippon, Shitanoe, the 58,631 gt, 18,881 dwt ship was named Excellent Ace until 2012 then Glovis Composer until 2020. It has a rated capacity of 6500 CEU. It arrived from Emden and sailed for Houston.

It was a chillly day for cruise ship passengers, but the Zaandam's passengers were well prepared.  The Holland America ship has been a regular here for several years, and is accustomed to early season trips. 


Tied up at Pier 22, with a container crane in the distant background, the Zaandam was preparing to sail late this afternoon.

 Starting in Fort Lauderdale April 18 the Zaandam called in Newport RI April 21, Boston April 22, Bar Harbor April 23 and is due in Sydney tomorrow, followed by Charlottetown April 26, Quebec City April 28 and Montreal April 29. It will be making seven and ten day trips from Boston to Montreal / Montreal to Boston through Halifax until late September.




Sunday, April 23, 2023

Kopit Hopson 1752 - more trials

 The CCGS Kopit Hopson 1752 put out to sea today for trials, and returned to its base at the Bedford Institute in mid-afternoon.

The ship is coming off a multi-year Vessel Life Extension (VLE) project, and is presumably soon to return to service. I have covered the ship numerous times with posts about its refit, its new crane (replacing its original derrick) and its renaming. The ship was built in 1986 by Marine Industries Ltd in Sorel-Tracy, QC. It is a Type 1100 light icebreaker and navaids vessel. (Some refer to ships of this class as Martha L. Black class, but that is an informal designation, and not one that is used  by the CCG.)

The VLE refit was awarded to IrvingShipbuilding Inc (ISI) in March 2020 and most of the work was conducted at the Shelburne Shipyard. When ISI sold the yard in 2022, the ship was towed to Halifax for completion. After trials in December 2022 the ship was handed over to the Coast Guard. It has since been docked at the Bedford Institute allowing for commissioning and CCG's own work, crew familiarization, etc.,

From this point forward I hope to mention the ship in this blog without having to recount its history and the reasons for its change of name. I had been promoting that change since 2011, and received lots of flack as a result. Nor did I receive a response, or even an acknowledgement, from the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans to my open letter of January 2018 (copied to my MP). I take no credit for the fact that they did change the name eventually. Since this blog is a personal online journal, and not a discussion forum (we have Facebook for that) I feel no obligation to publish those negative comments nor to embrass the authors in case they have changed their minds.



Saturday, April 22, 2023

Cruise Start

 The cruise business continues to rebound from COVID restrictions, although some companies failed and some ships were scrapped. Those hoping for a wakeup call over the massive carbon footprint of the cruise industry remain disppointed. Even such token gestures as shore power, seem to have fallen by the wayside in some ports. 

Despite the Port of Halifax's investment in shore power infrastructure few ships are making use of it as evidenced by today's first arrival of the cruise season. Of course there is something perverse about using Nova Scotia's shoreside electricity which is mostly generated by fossil fuels, including a significant portion by coal. Nevertheless, diesel generators and boilers on ships, pumping out soot if not noxious byproducts, are less efficient than the shoreside generating plants.

The cruise industry may be beneficial to the port, but at what cost to the environment? Someday soon there will be a massive backlash against the despoliation caused by cruise tourism. Although methane, hydrogen, wind, even solar - may be alternatives for ships, they are still a long way off, and will probably not be adopted by older ships. In the meantime enforcement of current standards and use of available shore power should be mandatory.

Today's 2023 inaugural arrival, the Norwegian Dawn was built in 2002 and is thus one of the cruise industry dinosaurs. A product of Meyer Werft in Papenburg, Germany, the 92,250 gt ship has a capacity of 2,340 passengers and 1,032 crew. It holds numerous ECO ratings, and energy and pollution certificates, which are probably the highest current standards, but if these are to be more than window dressing, some better enforcement is obviously needed to prevent the kind of display we saw today.


Friday, April 21, 2023

St-Laurent 1 service

 The St-Laurent 1 service is jointly operated by CMA CGM and Maersk and uses four ships to maintain a 28 day North Atlantic rotation. Sailing from Bremerhaven (Day 0) the service calls in Rotterdam (Day 1), Antwerp (Day 2), Montreal (Day 12), Halifax (Day 18), Bremerhaven (Day 27) . A recent addition to the service, which called here first on March 15, called again today April 21. (It certainly seems to be out of sequence if it is to call every four weeks.)

CMA CGM Louga was built by Jinhai Heavy Industry Co in Daishan, China in 2018. It is a 29,316 gt, 34,694 dwt ship with a capacity variously quoted as 2462 TEU or 2487 TEU including 747 reefer plugs. It is a Baltic 1A ice class vessel.

The CMA CGM Louga is the smallest of the four ships on the run. On departure today it gave an ETA of May 2 for Bremerhaven.

The other CMA CGM ship is the EM Kea, rated at 3091 TEU including 500 reefers. As of today it is en route from Antwerp (April 16) for Montreal with an ETA of April 24.

Maersk contributes two ships, each with a capacity of 3600 TEU, including 600 reefers. The Vayenga Maersk sailed from Montreal April 19, by passing Halfax, with an ETA Rotterdam April 30. Vistula Maersk sailed from Antwerp (today) April 21 and is showing an ETA Montreal of May 1. 

CMA CGM's published schedule shows the Volga Maersk (also 3600 TEU) replacing Vayenga Maersk. It is currently shown at anchor since April 11 at Lindoe, Denmark, with no ETD. As with the other "V" class ships it has been displaced from Russian services due to the international boycott.

 Vayenga Maersk arriving Halifax June 6, 2022.

The eastbound Halifax call is sometimes dropped, presumably to make up time or for want of cargo, with ships sailing directly from Montreal to Bremerhaven. 


Thursday, April 20, 2023

Maersk Katalin - refreshed

 The tanker Maersk Katalin arrived at Irving Oil's Woodside terminal this morning, April 20. it is an unusual visitor on a couple of counts.

Unlike most product tankers we see in Halifax, which are built in South Korea, this ship was built by Guangzhou International in Guangzhou, China, in 2012. It has a distinctly different looking superstructure, with open decks at each level of the accommodation block. They look more like something you might see on an apartment building. The decks are cantilvered out and have only light railings and and no stanchions.

Most of the product tankers we see here are in the 50,000 dwt range. This ship comes in at 24,491 gt, 39,724 dwt, making it a "Handysize" (20,000 to 55,000 dwt). Maersk Tankers Singapore Pte, the owners, must have had some particular port or service in mind for the ship, to build it with to this particular size.

This is the second Maersk Tankers ship to come to Halifax recently. The 49,919 dwt Maersk Corsica arrived at Imperial Oil on April 11. As mentioned at the time, Maersk Tankers is separate from AP Moller - Maersk, the container shipping line. Maersk Tankers is owned by a AP Moller Holding, a family trust. Perhaps confusingly, the tankers use the same blue hull colour and the white seven pointed star on the funnel.

To add to the confusion there are two different tanker companies. Maersk Tankers is a service company that owns no ships, but manages ships on behalf of ship owners. It is a huge company, one of the largest tanker operators in the world. It is estimated that it has 180 or so ships under its umbrella in four different pools, organized by size of ship. 1: small and large intermediaries; 2: Handy; 3: MR [Mid Range]; 4: LR2 Aframax [Long Range]. This covers the range from 10,000 to 120,000 dwt. It includes such clean and dirty oil and non-petroleum cargoes such as vegetable oil and a variety of chemicals.

Maersk Product Tankers is the other company, and it does own ships. It currently has 52 product tankers, all of which are managed by Maersk Tankers. There are also subisidiary companies in Sinagapore, Denmark and likely eslwehere, that are closely associated and either own individual ships or provide specific management functions. Maersk Product Tankers is part owned by Mitsui + Co Ltd (of which APMoller holding is a major shareholder) which is among the largest tanker companies with about 40 crude carriers.

Most of the foreign flag product tankers that arrive at Irving Oil's Woodside facility off load refined product from Amsterdam, Netherlands, then head to Saint John, NB to complete unloading. This ship indeed came from Amsterdam, but went to Saint John first. It sailed from Amsterdam April 8, anchored off Saint John April 16-18 and was in the port there April 18-19. It still has a significant quantity of cargo on board, so it will be interesting to see if it unloads it all here.


Apparently when the ship sailed at 0200 hrs on April 22 it still had some product left on board. It gave its destination as Saint John, NB.



Wednesday, April 19, 2023

MSC Double Header

Two MSC ships arrived in Halifax today, April 19. MSC Alyssa arrived from Montreal on the CANEX2 service and docked at PSA Halifax Atlantic Gateway, southend container terminal and MSC Fiammetta arrived on the Turkey/Greece service and docked at PSA Fairview Cove. The use of both terminals allowed the two ships to be worked simultaneously and to sail within the same working day.

MSC Alyssa tied up at Pier 42, leaving space at Pier 41 for Oceanex Sanderling to unload containers and to use the RoRo ramp. Built in 2001 by Hanjin Heavy Industry and Construction Co Ltd in Busan, it is a 43,575 gt, 61,487 dwt ship with a capacity of 4340 TEU including 150 reefers.

 After topping up with a few more containers, the ship sailed for Barcelona.(Ships on this service call in Halifax ostensibly to take on more cargo that they could not load in Montreal due to draft restrictions on the St.Lawrence River. In this case whatever additional cargo it took on, the ship did not reach "ocean draft".)

MSC Fiammetta is a first time caller in Halifax. It is notable for the array of lashing frames on the after deck. These are a feature of ships built for the transpacific trade where rolling and following seas have resulted in losses of containers that were conventionally lashed down.

The MSC Fiammetta dates from 2008 when it was delivered by Samsung Shipbuilding + Heavy Industries Co Ltd, Geoje. It is a 66,399 gt, 73,355 dwt vessel with a capacity of 5762 TEU. 

On departure the ship gave Boston as its next port of call. It is the second MSC ship on the Turkey/Greece service to call in Halifax recently. The MSC Anahita was here on Saturday, April 15 and was the first from that service to call at PSA Fairview Cove.


Monday, April 17, 2023

Gypsum in Demand

 There seems to be a large demand for gypsum - with three ships in Halifax to carry away some of the material. It is usually the sign of a strong economy when there is demand for gypsum as it is used in building construction materials, steel making and other manufacturing.

As reported on April 15 the bulker Ocean Pearl arrived to load at Gold Bond. Due to its arrangement with many large hatch covers, it is a slow ship to load, as the travelling loader must be worked in and out around the covers. The usual self-unloading ships also have stacking hatch covers for quicker loading.

This morning, April 17, the ship was still loading with the traveller working well forward. A pilot has been ordered for 1700 to depart for sea with a destination of Tampa, FL.

Meanwhile the Canadian flag CSL self-unloader Baie St. Paul arrived yesterday, April 16, and anchoraged in the lower harbour awaiting its turn to load.

 The Baie St. Paul, like many Canadian ships that work the Great Lakes, was laid up from January 14 to March 12. When it left its layup berth in Montreal it proceeded up the Seaway system and the Great Lakes to Thunder Bay. Returning downbound it arrived in Montreal April 11. It unloaded its cargo (assumed to be grain) and sailed April 13 for Halifax.

When the Ocean Pearl sails this afternoon, the Baie St. Paul will move to the Gold Bond dock to load for Hamilton, ON. The Baie St. Paul is a member of the Trillium class of Lakers, and was built in 2012 by the Chengxi Shipyard in Jiangyin, China. It is strengthened for coastal voyages and is a regular caller in Halifax.

This morning, April 17, the CSL Metis arrived and went to anchor in Bedford Basin to wait its turn to load.

Although it is now a self-unloading bulk carrier, that is the result of an extensive rebuilding. Starting life as the tanker Berge Helene in 1981 at the Mitsui Chiba shipyard it carried the names Lagovan Sinamaica from 1981 to 1993, Sinamaica from 1993 to 2000 and Ektoras from 2000 to 2007 and briefly Ektora in 2007. A 31,849 gt, 61,403 dwt ship, it was rendered obsolete when double hulls became mandatory for tankers. Its mechanicals and accommodations were still in good condition however, and CSL acquired the ship on favourable terms. They contracted Chengxi Shipyard to fabricate a new forebody (cargo section and bow), complete with self-unloading apparatus, which was joined to the stern section in a mere 53 days with completion in October 2007. It then became a 43,022 gt, 69,304 dwt ship and increased in length from 222.3m to 245.0m. It is registered in the Bahamas and works in the CSL Americas self-unloader pool of fifteen ships.

It is rare that we see two CSLers in port at the same time - one from the domestic Canada Steamship Lines fleet in traditional red hull colour - and one from the CSL Americas foreign flag fleet in black.

The CSL Metis arrived from Baltimore, which may also be its destinaiton as several recent gypsum loads have gone there. Other Gold Bond destinations are Charleston, Savannah, Jacksonville and Tampa.


Sunday, April 16, 2023

MSC goes big

 The Mediterranean Shipping Company's INDUSA service (north India to the United States via Suez and Halifax) must be doing well for cargo volume as the line brought in a somewhat larger ship today (April 16).

As with many of the larger container ships, the MSC Silvia has a split superstructure, with an "island" bridge forward of midships and engines well aft. Built in 2015 by Jiangnan Changxing Shipbuilding Co in Shanghai it is a 95,514 gt, 110,697 dwt ship with a capacity of 9400 TEU. 

It is close to the "Ultra" size (10,000 TEU plus) which PSA Halifax's Atlantic Gateway terminal can accommodate easily. The next three ships on the INDUSA schedule will also be new to the route, but are of the more usual 8200 to 8500 TEU size.


Saturday, April 15, 2023

Different Strokes - updated

 Shipping activity in Halifax is usually fairly predictable. Even though there are frequent "new to Halifax" ships, most arrivals are scheduled, and there are many returnees as ships cycle through Halifax on rotation. However as noted in the April 14 post, container ships can now be assigned to available berths since both container terminals are under the common management of PSA. Lines that were once regular callers at one terminal may now be calling at the other terminal to suit the size of ships or to prevent delays when one terminal is busy.

Today, April 15, saw the first assignment of a Mediterranean Shipping Co (MSC) ship to PSA Fairview Cove. MSC ships have been handled by PSA Atlantic Gateway, southend terminal, but that pier was working  the Ultra sized CMA CGM Panama (see previous post). With the Fairview Cove berths free of ships it made sense to send MSC Anahita to the Bedford Basin facility where it could be handled more expeditiously.

 All three cranes were working on the ship at Fairview Cove.

 The MSC Anahita was built in 2006 as the Greenwich Bridge by Hyundai, Ulsan for charter to K-Line. The 68,570 gt, 71,270 dwt ship has a capacity of 5624 TEU, including 600 reefers. It was acquired by MSC and renamed in 2021 and is assigned to the Turkey and Greece service via Barcelona, Valencia, and the Sines, Portugal hub.

On completion of its stay at PSA Fairview Cove the MSC Anahita sailed for Boston just at dusk, and showing lots of reserve capacity, judging from the ship's draft.


There was another "unusual" caller on March 15: the Ocean Pearl arrived at Gold Bond Gypsum.

 The ship is a 29,829 gt, 51,758 dwt geared general cargo / bulker, built in 2009 by Oshima Shipbuilding in Saikai, Japan. An open hatch type, with box shaped holds, it carries four 30 tonne SWL cranes and grabs (which reduce crane capacity to 24 tonnes SWL). It started life as the Ocean Falcon, became the Ocean Friend in 2009 and Ocean Pearl in 2017. It is known to load aggregates at Auld's Cove on the Strait of Canso, and to carry coal.

CSL Americas has the contract to carry gypsum from Gold Bond, using belt conveyor type self-unloaders, so the arrival of this ship is very unusual. There must be either an increase in demand for gypsum or a shortage of available ships to bring this ship to Halifax.

  The ship carries its own grabs, which are secured on deck between the hatches.

The Ocean Pearl is operated (indirectly) by the Westport, CT based SMT Shipping (USA) LLC, with ties to Poland and Cyprus. SMT ships were once well known in Halifax. Several of its bulkers have loaded gypsum in Halifax over the years, but they have not been seen here recently. (The last references I have on Shipfax are in 2011 and 2012.)