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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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Container Terminal Moving to Dartmouth? probably not.

I was recently quoted in a CBC Article by Paul Withers. I thought it would be a good idea to flesh out some of the thoughts in that article.

The Port authority has announced that it is undertaking a study looking at relocating one of the container terminals. They haven’t said which one. they also made comments suggesting they want to alleviate downtown trucks. This leads everyone to think the Southend terminal is moving to Dartmouth.

I think this is an unlikely scenario. The South End Terminal consists of the Halifax Ocean Terminals (Piers 20-35) And Halterm (Piers 36-42) Besides numerous transit sheds, the south end facility is also home to the grain elevator. It already has deep water, and is unencumbered by bridges. It seems unlikely that the port authority would relocate Halterm, leaving the rest of the facility there. recall that the main goal is to accommodate bigger ships concurrently. Even as a pure real estate play – the coming of availability of land from the cogswell interchange would make it seem that prospects for development would be offset for a number of years.

More likely is that Fairview Cove closes. Its big constraint for this terminal is the bridges – already the largest ships calling on halifax cant pass underneath at high tide – or on westbound legs when they are carrying mostly empties. The Macdonald is being Raised as part of the big lift, however the Mackay will remain at the same height until it needs redecking. There are also stories that Ceres wants to terminate the lease early – which suggests they see the writing on the wall.

A move to Dartmouth is problematic. Any new facility would need to be constructed from scratch on Infill. There is not currently sufficient rail capacity to accommodate trains there, and the logical place to build such a terminal is where the imperial oil docks currently are – and they are unlikely to go anywhere. Anywhere else would likely run afoul of the neighbors.

I suspect the best option will be another extension of Pier 42, or extending pier B further into the Harbour. As for the truck issue, I would suggest that the city build the planned, but never built Northwest Arm bridge, and highway connection to the 103 as a transit and Truck route only. this would solve the problem of getting buses from Spryfield, Tantalon and Timberlea onto the peninsula bypassing traffic choke points, and remove trucks from downtown. Trucks could exit into the railcut to access the port from Robie street, and could be subject to a toll to fund the road. Busses could connect to Robie.

 

 

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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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New gear at Halterm


The first of the new equipment ordered by halterm has arrived. The new top lifts arrived via ACL and were trucked from Fairview cove to Halterm.

Also due are new yard tractors and ships tractors.

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Maersk Penang from Saturday

Saturday was the first workday of the new year, and a busy day at Pier 41/42 ZIM Savannah spent the Day at 41, with Maersk Penang tieing up just after 7am. When she sailed, around 2pm, Her spot was Taken by CMA-CGM Bianca who worked well into the night. (Bottom: CMA-CGM Bianca backing into pier 42. (Provided Photo))

Fairview Cove was also busy, with Allise P and Rio Blackwater Occupying the East and West Births Respectively.

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Crane #2 Offload

Warning, the video above is 20 minutes long,has horrible audio and the crane crawls off the ship Standby for a speed up version to follow.

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