Monday, March 25, 2024


 The Pure Car and Ttuck Carrier (PCTC) Toledo called at Autoport today, March 25.


The ship has been here many times since new in 2005 and the last visit was in 2022. Although its most recent ports have been the usual ones for the Wallenius Wilhelmsen Ocean transatlantic service, it seems that the ship may have been reassigned from the Pacific to Europe (via Suez) route.

It departed Yokohama January 20 and made directly for the Panama Canal, transiting February 11-12, then proceeding to Savannah February 17-18, Brunswick February 18-20, Philadelphia February 23, and Baltimore February 24-26. It then crossed the Atlantic to Zeebrugge Mar 7-10, Goteborg March 11-12, Bremerhaven March 13-15 and Southampton March 16-17.

With the current conditions in the Red Sea area few ships are risking the Suez route from Asia to Europe with many passing south about the Cape of Good Hope. It now seems that the danger zone is extending farther south into the Indian Ocean and some ships, such as this one, with voyages originating in the far east, appear to be taking the Panama Canal route instead. Recent limitations on Panama Canal transits due to low water levels appear to be easing, but there are still backlogs and long waits for some ships.

Toledo's first visit to Halifax was December 15, 2005 when it was quite new, having been delivered in February 2005 by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Nagasaki. A 61,321 (now revised to 61,482) gt, 21,965 dwt vessel it has capacity for 6,354 cars and works over a 237 tonne capacity stern ramp. As delivered it was painted in the orange and white livery of Willhelm Wilhelmsen and carried a traditional "T" name*. Since then it has been repainted in the blue over grey scheme adopted by the joint fleet of Wallenius Lines and Wilhelm Wilhelmsen.

On its November 17, 2015 call the ship was still wearing the Wilhelmsen orange hull paint.

 The ship sailed this afternoon for New York and will soon complete a round the world transit in somewhat less than the proverbial 80 days. (It was 65 days out of Yokohama when it sailed today.)

Demand for auto carriers is such that very few are being retired. This ship, nearing twenty years of age, can be expected to run for several more years.  (Its next major survey is due January 31, 2025).


* It is interesting to speculate on which Toledo the ship is named for. The one in Spain seems more likely than the one in Ohio (which itself is named for the one in Spain). Toledo, Ohio is a major port on Lake Erie, and is now accessible from the Atlantic once again with the opening of the St.Lawrence Seaway for the season. But not for ships the size of this Toledo (it is too wide). 

Toledo, Ohio did export automobiles overseas at one time however. Jeeps (then owned by the American Motors Corp) were built in Toledo, and Fednav had two RoRo ships, built in Canada in 1972 and 1973, to carry paper products and automobiles. The ships were were sized to trade to the Great Lakes and did carry Jeeps. They also called in Halifax in the early days of Autoport. In later life with the United States Military Sealift Command, at least one of the ships carried Abrams tanks from Toledo to Germany.


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