Halterm Container Terminal Limited, a wholly-owned subsidiary of U.S.-based Macquarie Infrastructure Partners, has announced an additional investment of $4.5 million at its container terminal facility in the port of Halifax. Just two years ago the company committed $20 million to the purchase of two super post-Panamax cranes, which are now a dominant feature of the Halifax skyline. “This ongoing investment makes Halterm an even more attractive proposition to the international shipping companies looking for the most efficient and cost effective way to move cargo in and out of east coast Canada and North America” said Halterm CEO & Managing Director, Ashley Dinning.

“There are no operational, navigational or nautical restrictions to ships calling Halterm, which means we can handle the biggest container ships ever likely to call East Coast North America now and into the future. “The more we invest in upgraded equipment, the more we can guarantee our customers efficient and reliable service, which spins off into economic advantages to Halterm and the entire province” Mr. Dinning said. “And by upgrading our equipment, we further contribute to the safety of our team” he added. “ILA (International Longshoremen’s Association) members have had significant input into the equipment choices we’ve made”.

Halterm has already placed an order for the equipment, which will arrive in Halifax in May and June 2016. The first to arrive – in May – will be three front end loaders (FELs), used for container handling in the yard and on rail and eight intermodal Terminal Tractors to be used for hauling containers on trailers from ships to the yard and rail and vice versa. In June, five roll on-roll off terminal tractors will be delivered. These will be used to drive trailers into and out of ships’ holds via ramps. “Our new cranes and this equipment are state of the art and certainly put us at the leading edge in this part of the world” Dinning said.

Halterm’s aggressive marketing campaign and service enhancements began to pay off in 2015, with the introduction of a number of new shipping services to Halterm, which Dinning expects to be followed by further new business in 2016. Since January 2015, the Grimaldi Group’s Africa-North America service has included a fortnightly Halterm operation, bringing cars from Mediterranean ports. Eimskip extended its trans-Atlantic Green Route service from North Europe to Halifax to include a Halifax-Portland (Maine) – Halifax connection in March 2015, which has meant a rise in volumes handled at Halterm, with potential for even greater growth. In August 2015, a weekly call was introduced for another new service to Halifax – the Ocean 3: Asia-North America service via the Suez Canal, a service arising from an alliance between three shipping lines, CMA CGM, China Shipping Container Line and United Arab Shipping Company. According to Dinning, Halterm volumes through this service will continue to grow as various other shipping lines route cargo via this service.

Dinning hinted there might be more good news to come in 2016: “We are currently working with O3 on them expanding their footprint in Halifax,” he said. “The good thing with those three is they all have large ships and there are a lot of synergies between them.” Another plus, he added, was that three other lines, COSCO, Hamburg Sud and US Lines, a brand of Australian National Line, take slot charters on O3 vessels. Dinning also expressed the personal view that newly merged COSCO and China Shipping will be a power in O3.