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Vega Omega Kicks off Tropical Shipping’s service

 

Today marked the beginning of Tropical Shipping’s service from Halifax. They recently re-located from the port of Saint John, after they were unable to reach an agreement with the new terminal operator there. They specialize in container services to the Bahamas and Caribbean.

Tropical Shippings parent company is American, so unlike other services calling in the region from Halifax, they do not stop in Cuba.

 

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New Container service for Halterm

With Saint John NB changing container terminal operators from Logistec to DP World, Effective January 9th, 2017, Tropical Shipping will move its port operations to Halterm Container Terminal.

Tropical Shiping specializes in shipping cargo to the Caribbean, and around the Caribbean. It sounds like a weekly service is coming to Halifax.

The Port of Saint John has launched a C$205 million project over seven years to modernize the Rodney and Navy Island terminals to accommodate larger vessels and expand laydown areas for breakbulk and project cargoes. DP World Saint John recently took delivery of two post panamax container cranes.

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Familiar Scrappings

8542530692_28e23fa2c8_o Maersk Patras was a regular caller in Halifax on the weekly Maersk call, But had been replaced by Em Kay in 2014. On November 2, she suffered an engine room fire 90 miles ESE of Las Palmas. she lost all power, was towed to port, and offloaded. Given the ships age, She is likely bound for the scrappers given the market for small container ships and the damaged engine room.

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Atlantic Erie is also bound for Turkish scrappers. She ran aground in January 2015 leaving port in the Magdalen islands with a salt cargo. She was refloated, and surveyed. With extensive hull damage, she hasn’t sailed since. Atlantic Erie was a regular caller in Halifax over the years, and underwent a work period in 2009 at Halifax shipyards.

 

 

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Summary of Container Line Changes – taking effect 2017

Currently there are 4 main Shipping alliances. The Crurrent Alliances are G6, Ocean Three, 2m, and CKYHE. these will all be changing in early 2017 due to mergers and acquisitions. Currently CKYHE does not call in Halifax.
The G6 Alliance consists of American President Lines (APL), Hapag-Lloyd, Neptune Orient Line (NOL), Hyundai Merchant Marine, Mitsu OSK (MOL), Nippon Yusen Kaisha (NYK) Line and Orient Overseas Container line(OOCL). the
Ocean Three Alliance consists of CMA-CGM,China Shipping Co. Ltd. (CSCL) and United Arab Shipping Co.(UASC).
the 2m Alliance, is not surprisingly made up of Maersk line and Mediterranean Shipping Co.(MSC). only Maersk makes a weekly call in Halifax. the CKYHE Alliance consists of Cosco Container Lines, “K” Line, Yang Ming Line, Hanjin Shipping, and Evergreen Line.

these alliances are getting a big shakeup. Hyundai Merchant Marine is Joining the 2m Alliance for 2017.

In the past year, CMA-CGM (Ocean Three) Bought APL (G6) and NOL (G6) and COSCO (CKYHE) and CSCL (Oceans Three) were merged into  China Cosco Shipping by the Chinese government. They will be joined by OOCL and Evergreen line to form the Oceans Alliance (Route Details)

Also HAPAG-Lloyd (G6) merged with CSAV in 2014 and bought UASC (Oceans Three) in 2016. it was also announced this year that NYK (G6), MOL(G6) and K Line (CKYHE) are merging into a new entity. Hanjin recently went Bankrupt.
these lines, along with Yang Ming have formed The Alliance (Route List), although Hanjin will likely be sold or Liquidated.

ZIM restructuring due to high debt, but so far is remaining independent. ACL is also remaining independent, though it currently has slot Charters with Hapag-Llyod, and predicts growth with their new G4 Series ships. Bahri, Nirint, Melfi, Eimskip, Oceanex all run smaller specialized services, focused on supplying small geographic areas and are likely unaffected by the shakeups of the larger lines.

UPDATE: After this post was initially posted, tropic shipping announced they will be moving to Halifax from Saint Johns NB in January 2017. This will add a weekly call to the Caribbean.

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The Alliance Announces New Network

The Alliance – Hapag-Lloyd, K Line, MOL, NYK and Yang Ming Announced their new routing today. Halifax Features on Three Services, which look to generate 4 weekly calls. Recall that NYK, MOL and K Line agreed to merge their container services 2 weeks ago.

The New EC 5 service is roughly equivalent to the AZX service of the G6 Alliance. It makes bi-directional stops in halifax on both east and westbound legs. Laem Chabang – Cai Mep – South East Asia Hub – Colombo – (Suez Canal) – Halifax – New York – South Atlantic (US) – Norfolk – Halifax – (Suez Canal) – Arabian Gulf Hub – South East Asia Hub – Laem Chabang

AL 1 looks to mirror the transatlantic portion of the current G6 PA1 service. the routing is as follows:
Bremerhaven – Antwerp – UK – Norfolk – Philadelphia – New York – Halifax – Bremerhaven

The AL 6 is a new service calling on Halifax for this Alliance. It roughly mirrors the current ZIM and Melfi Services that call on Halifax, though those both service the Caribbean, which this does not. The routing is Livorno – La Spezia – Genoa – Fos – Barcelona – Valencia – West Med Hub – Halifax – New York – Norfolk – South Atlantic (US) – West Med Hub – Valencia – Livorno

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Halifax in New Oceans Aliance

The Oceans Alliance announced its routes today, and it Preserves CMA-CGM’s Halifax Call. the New Oceans Alliance is made up of CMA CGM, China Cosco Shipping, Evergreen Line, and OOCL.

The Halifax service is One of  Seven Asia-East Coast North America Services, and will be known as the AWE3 service and will be routed Hong Kong-Cai Mep-Singapore-Port Kelang-Colombo-Halifax-New York-Norfolk-Savannah- Port Kelang–Port Kelang-Singapore-Jakarta-Laem Chabang-Cai Mep-LGB/LAX-Oakland- Hong Kong.

This routing approximates the current Columbus loop service.

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NYK, MOL and K Line to merge container businesses

The three large Japanese shipping companies have announced they will merge their container lines into a new firm, which will be the 7th largest. NYK currently calls on Halifax as part of the G6 alliance. MOL and K-Line stopped calling in 2011 when their shared service ended service to Halifax.

With the recent bankruptcy of Hanjin, and CMA-CGM’s acquisition of NOL, and the termination and creation of alliances  there will be lots of change coming in the next year.

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How a Container Terminal Works

As a followup to the ShipSpotting 101 post on Container vessels, A look at how the Container terminal operates was in order. The process here applies to both terminals in Halifax.

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Loading and Unloading trucks and railcars is known as working the terminal.Once the train arrives, the locks holding the Containers together must be released. this is done by a guy on a platform on the back of a truck. they unlock one side of the train, then flip to the other side and release it.

In this Case, a Toplift picks up the container, and backs up. a yard tractor advances, and the container is placed on a Chassis. The yard tractor then takes the container to its appointed block. Someone then removes the locks from the top of the bottom container still in the rail car.

Each block is sorted by ship, so all containers destined for a vessel go to the appointed blocks. Once there, another toplift picks up the container and adds it to the stack. the container will then dwell here until the appointed ship arrives. Similarly, outgoing containers will dwell in a stack until they can be loaded onto a train or truck. Halifax Dwell time is less then 2 days.

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Outside the terminal group, there is a lashing force, and a number of crane units. These handle containers on and off the ship.

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The lashing force has the task of releasing locks, and removing the lashings used to secure the container stacks on deck. The locks are released by pulling on a tail on the lock with a long pole. the locks release the top container from the one below it, and remain inserted in the bottom of the container. a team stationed at the brow of the ship, removes the locks as the yard tractor brings the container around.

Deck containers sit on hatch covers – which they are locked to. however the hatch covers are not held down. the lashing rods help stabilize the stack and secure it and the hatch cover to the deck. In the photo above, the platform is the hatch cover itself, and you can see the lashings securing the stack to the catwalk. bellow is a look down one of the catwalks. The rods are inserted on an angle into the containers, then the bottom is placed in a turnbuckle (AKA a Bottle) and tightened.

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Each hatch is identified by 3 numbers. the Middle number is used if 40′ containers are used. the two side numbers are used if there are two 20′ containers on the hatch. In other words, you can have a 40′ in row 21, or a 20′ in row 20, and a 20′ in row 22. containers longer then 40′ go on top of the stacks, and over hang the walkways between stacks. (Some vessels, Such as Oceanex Sanderling, have deck positions for 53′ containers) Containers below the hatch covers are held in place by guides – so there are no lashings or locks to be undone. below we are looking into one of the holds. its 9 containers deep.
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Each crane unit Consists of the equipment and men required to run one crane and Supply it with containers. Besides the crane itself, it consists of yard gantry’s and top lifts, as well as 5 yard tractors. ideally each crane unit moves 30 containers an hour.

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Containers are sorted on ship by destination. So all containers destined for Halifax will be located in only a few stacks. when loading, the containers get placed based on their destination. As Containers come off a checker in the crane records the serial number and indicates which block in the yard it should be placed in. the Crane pulls a container off ship, places it on a yard tractor, the yard tractor takes it to the appointed block, Stoping at the brow to have the locks removed,  and a toplift or yard gantry removes it and adds it to the stack. Loading the process works in reverse

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