Wednesday, March 20, 2024

All Points Bulletin

 There was activity at almost every point in the harbour today, March 20.

Autoport had the Supreme Ace in from Emden (which means Volkswagen). The 59,022 gt, 18,334 dwt ship dates from 2011 when built by Minami Nippon in Shitanoe. It has a capacity of 6163 CEU and uses a 100 tonne capacity stern ramp and a smaller starboard side ramp.

MOL (Mitsui OSK Lines) operates under the ACE - Auto Carrier Express - name for its fleet of more than 100 autocarriers. It also has something like 375 dry bulkers, 195 tankers and a number of container, ferry and cruise ships. It is part of the Ocean Network Express pool of Japanese container ships.

Volkswagen and its owned brands such as Audi and Porsche, prefers to charter vessels instead of using common carriers such as Wallenius Wilhelmsen. This may allow for more control, but does not mitigate losses when one of their charters catches fire and sinks as the Felicity Ace did in February 2022. Several limited edition Porsches and Bentleys could never be replaced. The possible lithium-ion battery related fire could not be extinguished at sea and the vessel eventually sank with a reported 3,965 cars worth $400 million dollars on board. MOL valued the ship at $32.6 million and apparently has sued Porsche for the loss.

Across the harbour at PSA Halifax Atlantic Hub there were two ships working.

At Pier 42 it was MSC Shristi on the Canada Express 1 service en route from Sines, Portugal to Montreal. The ship started life as the Venice Bridge for K-Line, and used to call in Halifax in pre THE Alliance days (before 2016).

Venice Bridge arriving in Halifax February 15, 2010, followed by the ZIM New York.

Hyundai Ulsan built the 54,519 gt, 64,989 dwt ship in 2005, with a capacity of 4738 TEU including 374 reefers. In 2019 when ONE was formed, it was sold and renamed Baltic East and was swept up by MSC in 2020 becoming MSC Shristi.

Immediately astern under the big cranes at Pier 41 it was the first time caller CMA CGM Symi on the Ocean Alliance service.

The ship is one of the pioneering LNG powered container ships and has made the news several times as a result. Unfortunately it also made the news on November 24, 2023 when it was struck by a "suicide" drone in the Indian Ocean. Damage was not severe and there were no injuries.

Hyundai Samho delivered the ship in March 2022. It is a 150,844 gt, 159,614 dwt vessel with a capacity of 15,400 TEU. It is big, but not as big as the current Halifax record holder CMA CGM Marco Polo with a 16,020 TEU capacity.

The ship sailed from Los Angeles January 2 and made its way to Oakland, Kaohsiung, Nansha, Yantian, Singapore, Port Klang and Colombo on its usual route but then diverted to the southern route round the Cape of Good Hope to Tanger Med, Morocco arriving March 9. It then sailed directly for Halifax on March 11.

At Pier 9C (see yesterday's post) BBC Topaz was preparing to load by removing and stacking its hatch covers. More news on that ship in future posts.


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