Damen launches two road ferries for BC Ferries

Damen launches two road ferries for BC Ferries

In the space of just a few weeks, two 81-metre road ferries for BC Ferries have been launched at Damen Shipyards Galati and are now being fitted ahead of entering service next year. Once operational, they will be capable of carrying up to 300 passengers and crew, and 47 vehicles.

The ferries were built to Damen’s Road Ferry 8117E3 design and the order was secured following an extensive, multi-phased, international tender process. BC Ferries is currently undertaking a fleet renewal. The twin Damen Road Ferry 8117E3 will serve the Northern Gulf Islands off the coast of Vancouver, replacing vessels that are now over fifty years old. (more…)

Does Canada have a strategic plan to enhance its fleet of icebreakers?

Does Canada have a strategic plan to enhance its fleet of icebreakers?

By K. Joseph Spears

Since Canada is an Arctic nation, there is a strong requirement for icebreaker capability in our Arctic waters. The Canadian Coast Guard, operating within Fisheries and Oceans Canada, is tasked with providing the necessary icebreakers in support of its own mandate and other government operations (search and rescue, hydrographic work and resupply, to name just a few). These are hard-working ships, with experienced crews who often work in hostile environments. Interestingly, former CBC  National news anchor Peter Mansbridge, a former Churchill, Manitoba resident, described his time aboard Canadian Coast Guard heavy icebreaker’s CCGS Louis St. Laurent in the Northwest Passage as among his most cherished moments in broadcasting. Yet, Canada’s icebreakers are old, with the average age of Canadian icebreakers being just shy of 40 years, which adversely impacts their operational readiness and reliability. (more…)

Brand new container ships enhance Halifax reefer trade

Brand new container ships enhance Halifax reefer trade

By Keith Norbury

Tropical Shipping expects to debut a second brand-new container ship on its Halifax run by this July to transport fresh and frozen foods and other products to the Caribbean. “It may even be earlier, but we’re going public with saying early July,” said Gordon Cole, the company’s Assistant Vice-President for Canada, Hispaniola, and the Virgin Islands. (more…)

Tropic Hope among new class of vessels being put into service by Tropical Shipping

By Tom Peters

The sleek new container vessel Tropic Hope made its inaugural call to the port of Halifax in January, launching a new era for niche carrier Tropical Shipping.

Tropical Shipping, headquartered in Florida, moved its sailing service to Halifax from Saint John in January 2017 and operates weekly between the Nova Scotia port and Palm Beach, Florida, as well as to Puerto Rico, the Eastern Caribbean and the Virgin Islands. The line calls Halifax’s South End terminal, operated by Halterm, moving between 40,000 and 50,000 TEUs annually. Tropical is the premiere carrier for temperature controlled cargo in the Caribbean, said Gordon Cole, Tropical’s Assistant Vice-President in Saint John. The shipping line maintains its administrative offices and a staff of 22 in the New Brunswick city. The carrier transports products such as french fries and other foods to the Caribbean, and returns with pharmaceuticals and other products. (more…)

Scrapping may make a comeback as smaller containerships lose their appeal

By Mike Wackett

Non-operating owners of aging gas-guzzling small containerships are likely to renew their interest in scrapping as the charter market makes an unexpected U-turn. The latest idle tonnage report by Alphaliner records 131 ships of 500-5,100 TEU in hot or cold lay-up seeking employment, compared with just 56 in February.

The consultant notes an “alarming increase in spot tonnage under 1,000 TEU”, with some 25 ships seeking fixtures, more than double the number it recorded in mid-June. Alphaliner’s idle tonnage total at 23 July was 142 vessels for 341,229 TEUs, representing 1.6 per cent of the global fleet. At the end of May, the numbers were 85 vessels for 205,829 TEUs. (more…)