The scrapping of the original Halterm Gantry Cranes continues. The process has just gotten under way at Ceres.
these cranes date back to the late 60’s and 70’s, and are now too small for most ships calling on Halifax.
Halterm yesterday announced the purchase of new equipment.
The terminal will be spending 10Million Dollars over the next year to increase refer capacity by 25%, as well as purchasing 3 Kone Rubber Tire Gantries (or RTG). The 3 units are expected to be delivered in February (1) and October (2) of next year. The New RTG’s will straddle a container stack 5 high, and 6 wide.
The terminal also recently began scraping the 3 original container cranes. Small, and unused, they took up space at the end of the pier.
This continues a recent history of new equipment since the Installation of the New Super Post Panamax Cranes in 2014. Earlier this year the Terminal took delivery of new Kone Reachstackers
Kalmar Ottawa Yard tractors and Toplifts.
Natural Resources has a site that explores some of the features of Halifax Harbour. One of those features is the wreck of the Ferry Governor Cornwallis.
The ferry was built by Dartmouth shipbuilder Hugh D. Weagle for $93,551 and opened to the public December 6, 1942. It was the first Diesel Powered ferry used in Halifax Harbour. The ships log book showed many mechanical problems, and on December 22, 1944 a fire was discovered in the ceiling of the engine room. passengers were let off in Dartmouth, and the ferry was towed and beached on Georges island to Burn. She sunk, and slid into deep water. It was concluded that the fire was caused by poor installation of the heating furnace’s smoke pipe.
You can clearly see the wreck off the south west corner of Georges Island. NRCan Also offers the Side Scan image below.
On June 29, 2016 the Tour boat Summer Bay had a very near miss with the Grandeur of the Seas. From the TSB Report
the master of the Summer Bay altered course to 071° and crossed the bulbous bow of the Grandeur of the Seas at a distance of about 25 m. The fog signal from the Grandeur of the Seas was heard on the Summer Bay about 10 seconds prior to the course alteration. The Grandeur of the Seas bridge team was unaware that the Summer Bay was crossing their bow until the pilot saw the Summer Bay‘s mast as it appeared from underneath the bow on the starboard side, after it had already crossed.
the weather at the time was foggy, and the Summer Bay altered course, from the pre-arranged passing plan while in the Grandeur of the Seas radar blind spot.
the report indicates that the master of the Summer bay was new to Murphys, and had limited experience operating vessels in Halifax Harbour and in low visibility. Murphy’s also lacked procedures for operations in low visibility.
Murphy’s the Cable Wharf has made the following changes to its tour vessels:
Given the recent issue with the Harbour Queen, one should question if these changes were enough.
The full report can be read at http://www.bst-tsb.gc.ca/eng/rapports-reports/marine/2016/m16a0141/m16a0141.asp
we have launched a New Feature on our site – The Port Report. you can Reach it at http://halifaxshippingnews.ca/portreport.php
This report generates on demand, and updates every 2 hours. It currently features the latest posts on HSN, Weather, Wind & Sea Conditions, and Arrivals & Departures.
We will be looking to add new information and features to the report, and are happy to entertain requests and comments.
so the port of Sydney Nova Scotia is attempting to develop a megaport called Nova Port. The Idea is that it will be the Newest and greatest port on the east coast, and container lines and their 18000 TEU ships will flock to the port. The development is being done by SHIP Sydney Harbour Investment Partners, which includes China Communications Construction Company, Canderel Group, and Bechtel.
yesterday they announced a partnership with Ports America to run the thing. SHIP has said that they will start construction as soon as they sign up sufficient business. Its not going to happen.
First, Sydney Isn’t close to anything. getting containers to and from the port will be a pain. Sydney is 4 hours further up the road from Halifax, and the rail line, Cape Breton and Central Nova Scotia Railway, is near abandonment, having seen the last train from Sydney in December 2014 and likely in need of a massive overhaul to carry container traffic. A previous container service by Terra Transport via Marine Atlantic ferry to Newfoundland, was re-routed to Halifax in 1997. – in part because CN was uninterested in running trains to Cape Breton, favoring Halifax instead. this likely hasen’t changed, and its doubtful CN will be interested in having to deal with the traffic, as will will only serve to slow down their existing trains.
Second, they keep referring to attracting Ultra Large container vessels, however no line currently has them calling on the East Coast of North America. while this might change, the large volumes occur in the pacific trade, and can justify these vessel sizes. its unlikely they will make the trip around when the smaller classes already service the routes with excess capacity.
Third – the only way they can make a business case is if they can keep the cost of container handling lower then any other East coast port. Since most of the costs to handle containers is labour, they will either automate, reducing jobs, or attempt to keep the facility non union and pay lower wages then any other port.
Finally, of note, Ports America abandoned its lease in Oakland, declaring bankruptcy for its operation there. That terminal handled 1/5th the traffic in the port of Oakland, which ran 2.4 million teu’s in 2014. Port Americas share of traffic in Oakland was about 100,000teu more then that entire port of Halifax handled last year. If they cant make that operation work – how are they going to make Sydney work.
My thought is SHIP is basically playing with other peoples money. They will make money whether anything is built or not. they will collect management fees, market the investment opportunity, and collect government subsidies. I don’t think any major shipping line is ever going to want to call on Sydney, and this mega port will never be built.
Look, Sydney NS does have a business case for port development. It has an excellent location in the Gulf of St Lawrence, close to Newfoundland. and inland waters. Its a central location for a tug base, or many other marine services. But a mega container port. no way.
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.
Recently there have been Suggestions that the Halifax Ocean Terminals Move to the Dartmouth shore, where the refinery currently is. This is problematic, as the tank farm and moorings are still in use by Imperial Oil for their terminal operation, and Irving has recently rebuilt its facilities to gain independence from the shared facilities it was using with imperial oil.
With that said, its worth a look at the construction of the Ocean Terminals.
The Ocean Terminals were built in the south end of the city, close to the mouth of the harbour, and were meant to be new, modern and larger port facilities for Halifax. It was quite the civil engineering feat. The project was for the construction of what we know today as Piers 20-28, the railway cut, and port facilities.
Halifax for a while dominated as Canada’s East Coast port, but poor railway access made it too distant; and antiquated methods, unprofitable. In 1910, improvements were made to Pier 2 at the deep water terminus in the north end, however it was constrained by space available to it. Wharves, private residences and businesses had encroached, and there was no longer space for railway expansion. In 1912, the Dominion Government decided to proceed with the Ocean Terminals project.
Though expected to be much larger, the initial project called for the construction of the passenger terminal, interconnected with the rail terminal, as well as Pier A, and the breakwater. The requirements were for 45′ depth.
The construction contract was held by Foley Bros, Welsh, Stewart & Fauquier. James Macgregor was the Superintending Engineer, responsible for design and construction for the Canadian Government.
Though Halifax is known for having a deep natural channel, the piers were located close to shore; in places, in as little as 10 feet of water, and so required substantial dredging. 250,000 cubic yards of material was removed to ensure the required 45′ depth was met. As well, stable foundations would be required for the piers. The area would be drilled, charges set, and then the rock excavated. Most of the rock was excavated by the Canadian government’s 12yd dipper dredge “Cynthia”, though deeper areas were done with a Marion Dragline scraper on a barge fitted with an orange peel bucket. This crane was intended to be used for block placement, but proved versatile.
The pier was to be constructed from 3647 sixty-ton Concrete blocks would then be stacked to form the pier face, and then after placement filled with sand rocks and concrete. The area within would then be filled. The blocks were 31′ wide, 22’long and 4’tall. They were cast on site, and stored until they were required to be placed. Though this method was not new, it was to date the largest construction using this method. the Recent Pier 9D was also constructed with a similar method.
The blocks were cast on site and stored until needed. When they were required, a 100ton crane would pick up the block, take it to the end of the pier and lower it into place. the blocks were cast with keys to ensure they aligned properly when placed.
The breakwater was constructed with rock removed from the railcut. Loads of rock would be pushed out on railcars to the end of the breakwater, then across a plate girder bridge, and onto a barge. They would then be dumped. The barge was kept level in the tides by adjusting ballast. As the pier extended, the barge would be moved further along until the required 1500′ was constructed.
Once the piers were built, additional Facilities could be constructed. Pier A featured a sizeable freight shed, and the Terminal Shed at pier 21 was completed for handling passengers.
The Shed above was constructed on Pier A.
Pier A-1, with Births 30-34 was constructed in the 60’s
Pier B, which now houses Piers 36-39, and is now part of Halterm was constructed in the 30’s
Halterm itself Births 41 and 42, opened in 1970. It occupies birth 40 on Pier B.
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.
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.
Outside the terminal group, there is a lashing force, and a number of crane units. These handle containers on and off the ship.
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.
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.
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.
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