CP announced today that it purchased the Central Maine and Quebec Railway. What makes this buy so weird, is that the track once belonged to CP.
in 1994, CP sold off all its trackage east of Montreal. those assets were owned by Iron Road, which want bankrupt. the Montreal Maine and Atlantic was formed out of a portion of those assets, itself went bankrupt in 2014 after the Lac Megantic disaster.
Other assets in the area were sold to Irving, and operate as the NBSR. CP maintained rights over those lines until 1993.
since CP is re-acquiring the track, it will now have direct access to Saint John. this suggests they have business. Oil by Rail is certainly a possibility, however that has already been occurring form North Dakota. Alberta oil is to heavy to be processed by the saint john refinery, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t an opportunity to load crude tankers with Alberta oil on a second leg voyage. is that play big enough? good question.
what if MSC shipping were to pull out of Montreal – even Partially? MSC currently calls on Montreal and Saint John. Montreal is out of the way, and delays in recent years due to ice, and North Atlantic Right Whale speed reductions likely cause grief to the MSC Schedule. A suitable rail partner could get the containers inland just as fast, and save days of sailing.
Saint John terminal operator DP World is already listing connections to CP via the NBSR on its website, previously that connection was only possible via PanAm Railways, into New York state.
The X-Press Makalu arrived yesterday at Pier 42 for Melfi Lines. the ship sailed after a delay for Mariel, Cuba. the ship was built in 2008 in Poland. it features a 2714 teu capacity and is owned by X-Press Feeders, and is registered in Singapore. This is its first trip for Melfi.
The ship was detained by Transport Canada Ship Safety . When she sailed tonight, the only deficiency listed was the lack of bridge control of the engine. A Port State control inspection in Livorno on July 9 indicates that the damage was accidental. As machinery can be controlled from the engine room, this should not be an issue as long as the bridge maintains communication with the engineering watch.
The Grande Sierra Leone is filling in for the Dry docked Atlantic Star. the Ship sailed Sunday afternoon. Grimaldi is the parent of ACL, and their yellow co-ro’s are a rare sight in Halifax. Also note the sideways stow at the bow.
The Inbound Atlantic Sun held off the ferry track to allow the Grande Sierra Leone to pass.
Saturday brought two K-line vessels to Fairview Cove.
At the West end, Granville Bridge was worked first. The East end was occupied by George Washington Bridge (below), which took on crane units as they finished on the Granville Bridge. the ships were built in 2005/2006, and are rated for 5642 TEU.
Both ships are working the EC5 Service, with George Washington Bridge running Westbound, and Granville bridge Sailing east.
the Second Officer on board the Maersk Patras, inbound for Montreal, fell overboard Sunday morning near the Les Escoumins pilot station around 0930 am. the coast guard called off the search at 8pm. The ship is due in Halifax, after the Montreal Call.
The search was conducted by several coast guard vessels, boats from the Maersk Patras, and RCAF SAR aircraft. Its currently unclear what happened. the officer likely was not wearing a life jacket aboard the ship, and the fall was likely high enough to incapacitate him.
UPDATE May 23: The ITF Conducted an investigation and discovered that the 2end officer went overboard while conducting lashing operations. the crew were removing lashings on containers prior to arrival in montreal, presumabley to speed discharge. The officer was reported to be handling a long lashing rod, able to reach the third row of containers in the stack, when he went overboard. Those rods are often used on the outside ends of the stack, and our both heavy and long.
the ITF also identified the 2nd officer as Ravindu Lakmal Pieris Telge, a Sri lankan national. His body has not yet been recovered. Apparently having crews lash ships in the river, while under way is a common practice at the port of Montreal. besides being dangerous, the practice increases the chance containers can go overboard in the river, as they are not properly secured when the ship leaves port.
the container ship Yantian express finally made Halifax this morning, anchoring in the basin. The ship was bound for Halifax, when it suffered a container fire, and was towed to Freeport Bahamas. Our original coverage of that incident, and updates to the Departure from freeport Can be found here.
All salvageable cargo is onboard, and will likely be discharged in Halifax. Cargo where security was paid will probably be loaded onto the next Ship on the route, while the remainder could remain aboard the ship, or dwell in the container yard. the ship is scheduled to move to the pier at Fairview Cove tomorrow morning.
we know there was damage to the front 2 hatches, and the covers were repaired. however the weather this morning obscures the ship, so other damage is not apparent at this time.
UPDATE May 21: the ship moved to Fairview Cove this morning, and work began to offload. I have been told 3500 moves. As of yesterday, 2975 containers have provided security, with close to 500 providing security since the ship departed Freeport. The ship has an appointment with a Shipyard in China in August.
UPDATE May 22, 0845: It looks like the first containers removed yesterday were the original container bound for Halifax. the ship was worked overnight, and i am aware of ~1300 containers to be removed. Yantian Express is due to move to the east end of the pier Tonight, and the Brighton will take its place at the pier working the eastbound EC5 leg. I have also been told the ship will load 1000 empties to take back to china.
UPDATE May 23, 0924: the offload will continue slowly, due to lack of yard space for the containers. I have been told it will probably take 10 days to fully discharge the ship.
UPDATE May 24: Yantain Express shifted back to the west end birth last night, and work removing containers began again this morning. The ship is scheduled to move to Anchor tonight to make room for MOL Partner and Atlantic Sun who arrive tomorrow.
UPDATE May 27: the Yantian Express spent most of the weekend shifted to the east birth to allow regularly scheduled ships to call at the western birth. it is due to move back to the western birth tonight. Hapag lloyd issued a statement last week about the offload.
Given the particular complexity of the operational handling and considering the fire damage sustained by the vessel and related repairs to be undertaken, the intent is to totally discharge all containers (over 3,200) in Halifax. Once ashore, containers for which General Average and Salvage security has been provided (“secured containers”) will be stacked apart from those which remain unsecured (“unsecured containers”).
It is anticipated that discharge of the 3,200 containers will take an estimated 85 hours of work. During this time, the MV “Yantian Express” must, at times, shift along the berth in order to allow access to other regularly scheduled vessels, and will thereafter shift back in order to resume cargo operations. We anticipate that the actual discharge operation will take 12 days or more.
As part of these operations, the vessel must also back load empty containers to achieve the necessary stability criteria for a subsequent safe passage to Asia where the vessel will undergo permanent repairs.
As of the 24th, 3128 containers have posted the required security.
UPDATE May 29 word is 1200 containers remain on Board, with the offload set to be finished Saturday.
UPDATE June 2: The offload is complete, and 800 empties have been re-stowed aboard the Yantian Express. The Ship is scheduled to sail at 1400 local, bound for Tanger. I have been provided with photos of the Damaged Bow Section of the Ship.
UPDATE June 3: the Yantian Express Sailed yesterday, 6 months less a day of when it ran into trouble. As of May 31, 3217 Containers had provided security. Ceres continues to be full, with an extra row of stacks covering the last set of rails – tracks 8, 9, and 10.
UPDATE June 5: Hapag Lloyd issued a statement today that says forwarding of Containers will take 2-3 weeks to complete. there are also 200 for which no security has been provided.
UPDATE July 31:
Tim Bousquet discovered a Sheriffs Warrant related to the ship, and wrote about in today’s morning File
One warrant is SMIT Salvage Americas LLC vs Yantian Express. The Yantian Express is the container ship that caught fire in the North Atlantic back in January and was eventually towed to Halifax, arriving in May. SMIT Salvage is a Houston-based firm that is perhaps best known for its involvement in the Deepwater Horizon response — president Doug Martin’s testimony before Congress detailed how his firm was frustrated in the response by BP. I called Martin yesterday and asked him what was up with the Yantian Express. He told me he had no idea. He said he has a team dealing with the ship, but he hasn’t been informed of any legal action. “It’s nothing big,” he assured me, as otherwise he would know about it. He did say that the fire was related to a single container on the ship.
The warrant from Smit likely relates to cargo that has not yet paid the Salvage Security. That Cargo would be sitting at Fairview Cove, and if the Security is not paid by the cargo owner, it can be sold. Given Cargo was delayed 6 months, and the Salvage and General Average Securities are 60% cargo value, and not everyone had insurance, they are likely taking action to secure the cargo. 3432 Containers have now provided security.
Ships were delayed entering port yesterday due to weather. Ships started moving in the Evening, though weather remained an issue. the pilot boat was directing vessels to turn to starboard, and sail a course of 030, in order to shelter the pilot boarding operation. The First ship to arrive at 1900 was the YM Movement for Fairview Cove (Above).
Second in line was the PCTC Grande New York (above) which sailed for Autoport. The Cruise ship Fram was the third vessel to arrive. It was scheduled to arrive yesterday morning, but instead spent the day waiting out the weather in the approaches. the Ship extended its stay, and will now sail this afternoon.