Rand Logistics, Inc., a U.S. publicly owned corporation, announced that its subsidiary, Lower Lakes Towing Ltd, has taken delivery of a new Canadian-flagged self-unloading vessel. The new vessel, built in China and to be named Manitoulin, will have the largest carrying capacity of any existing river class self-unloader, and is anticipated to be the most efficient vessel of its class on the Great Lakes.
“This vessel is the first new river class self-unloader to be introduced into Great Lakes service in over 40 years and will arrive in Canada by the middle of November,” commented Scott Bravener, President of Rand’s Lower Lakes Towing subsidiary. “This additional capacity reaffirms the Company’s commitment to support the growth of its customers and further solidifies our position as the premier service provider in the Canadian river class market.”
The new addition increases the size of Rand’s fleet to 16, including 10 Canadian flagged and 6 U.S. flagged vessels, and supports recent new long-term contracts, which took effect in April 2015.
“As reported in our first quarter fiscal 2016 financials, the new vessel will service existing business that is presently being delivered through a third party time charter, resulting in minimal profit to Rand,” commented Mark Hiltwein, Rand’s CFO. “We anticipate transferring tonnage to our new vessel at or near the time the third party time charter agreement expires. Once fully utilized, we expect per day profitability generated from our newest vessel to exceed that of any of our existing assets.”
Hiltwein added, “Since we announced the project in March 2014, we have been incurring higher debt and interest costs without the benefit of any earnings from this investment. We estimate that the new vessel will increase our overall return on invested capital by approximately 1 per cent and our free cash flow per basic shares outstanding at the current U.S./Can exchange rate by between $0.18 and $0.22 on a full year basis.”