Oshawa Port Authority kicked off this year’s shipping season by officially welcoming the first international vessel, M/V Heloise, at a special Top Hat ceremony. This tradition traces its roots to 1829, when the first ship entered the newly created Welland Canal, and the prestigious Top Hat was presented to the captain as a symbol of good luck.

“I am delighted to extend a warm welcome to Captain Rushong Lu, Master of M/V Heloise, said Gary Valcour, Chairman. “This is the start of what is already shaping up to be another busy shipping season. In fact, several ships are lining up to come into port.” The time charter owner of M/V Heloise is Brochart KB. The general ship agent is Colley Motorships Ltd., attended by sub-agent Currie Maritime Corporation. Oshawa Stevedoring and Local 1997 of the International Longshoremen’s Association were responsible for discharging the cargo.

Donna Taylor, President and CEO of the Port Authority, presented Captain Rushong Lu with the traditional top hat during a special ceremony attended by local elected and industry officials. M/V Heloise arrived from Istanbul, Turkey to offload more than 19 thousand metric tonnes of steel. Her next port of call was Thunder Bay.

Port Supports Canada’s Steel Industry

In 2013, the port of Oshawa handled 43 vessels, carrying over 291 thousand metric tonnes of bulk cargo, making it one of the busiest years. The largest cargo was steel, with over 94,000 metric tonnes of steel imported through the port. Steel rebar is used in condo and office tower construction in Durham Region, the GTA and throughout Canada. Other heavy cargo arriving at the port last year included stamping presses imported from Germany for General Motors, a generator for General Electric of Peterborough, and a wind turbine.

“Each year, the port handles an average of $23 million worth of cargo, from asphalt and steel to grain,” added Valcour. “Last year was one of the port’s most successful years, and we plan to keep building on that success.”