Banner
Banner
Banner
Banner
E-mail

Record cargo year announced at Montreal Gold-Headed Cane ceremony

2018-01-03

McKeil Marine's Evans Spirit  won the International Bulk Journal's 2016 Ship of the Year Award during the IBJ's Salute to Excellence in the Maritime Bulk Industry gala awards ceremony in London, UK on November 21.
"It's a fantastic way to closeout our 60th anniversary year: having a vessel named after our founder, Evans McKeil, win this prestigious international award," said Steve Fletcher, President and CEO of McKeil Marine.
Acquired by McKeil in 2015, the Evans Spirit is a cargo ship with the shallow draught characters of a tug and barge; however, compared to a tug-and-barge unit, she can transport approximately 40 per cent more cargo about 50 per cent faster on a very similar amount of fuel.  She is in service throughout the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence River.
Evans Spirit was shortlisted for 2016 Ship of the Year competing with three other vessels: CS Bright, Mitsui OSK Lines, Japan;  Damen Shipyards, Netherlands; and MN Baroque, Swiss Marine, Switzerland. The award is presented to the owner, operator or builder of an outstanding individual bulk ship. Judged on operational efficiency, design innovation, safety and environmental protection, the Evans Spirit was selected as winner. (Photo Paul Beesley).

Montreal Port Authority (MPA) President and CEO Sylvie Vachon awarded the famous Gold-Headed Cane to Captain Rakesh Kumar, an Indian national, Master of the Ottawa Express containership operated by Hapag-Lloyd which was the first ocean-going vessel to reach the Port of Montreal without a stopover in 2018.

At the same time, the MPA announced on January 3 another record year in total and container traffic. According to unaudited preliminary results, the Port handled close to 38 million metric tons in total 2017 traffic, representing an increase of nearly 7% from 2016 while container volume rose by 5.7% to 13.8 million tons. The cruise sector also ended 2017 with record results, welcoming 114,000 passengers and crew members - up 36% over 2016.

The Ottawa Express left the Port of Liverpool, England, on December 21. It crossed the Port of Montreal's limits on January 1, 2018 at 11:55 am.
"I want to congratulate Captain Rakesh Kumar and the entire crew of the Ottawa Express, who braved the ice and cold on the St. Lawrence River to make it safely to their destination. The arrival of Captain Kumar and his container ship is a great reminder at the start of this new year that container handling is part of the Port of Montreal's DNA and has been growing here for over 50 years," said Ms. Vachon.

The Gold-Headed Cane Ceremony, a tradition for 179 years, kicks off a new year of activity at the Port of Montreal. In the past, the first ship arrived at the Port in the early spring, after the break-up and thawing of ice on the St. Lawrence River. In present times, awarding the Gold-Headed Cane is a reminder that the Port of Montreal has been open year round since 1964.

 

This event also let the MPA recognize the work of the Corporation of Mid St. Lawrence Pilots, Alain Aubé and Gabriel Ross, who steered the ship safely to port. Every year, the Port of Montreal also likes to recognize the work of one of the artisans of the Gold-Headed Cane. This year, Ms. Vachon congratulated Urgence Marine Inc. for its contribution to the smooth functioning of port operations.

This great annual marine tradition brings together numerous representatives of the shipping industry and the Montreal business community along with key figures from the political and cultural sectors.
This year, the Montreal Port Authority was honoured to have among its guests Ms. Alexandra Mendes, Member of Parliament for Brossard-Saint-Lambert,  Jean D'Amour, Québec Minister of Maritime Affairs and Ms. Valérie Plante, Mayor of Montreal - all of whom in brief remarks underlined the significant role of the Port of Montreal as a key North American gateway.

Meanwhile, in other developments on the Great Lakes/St. Lawrence waterway,  due to the prolonged intense cold weather, the commercial navigation season on the St. Lawrence Seaway was extended beyond Dec. 31 to allow remaining vessels to complete their transits. Normal shipping movements were hampered due to ice buildups on the Great Lakes.

However, Andrew Bogora, communications officer for Canada's St. Lawrence Seaway Management Corporation, stressed: "While delays were encountered due to the need to scrape ice off lock walls and steam the gates, so that ice buildup could be removed, the locks effectively remained functional. With some delays in navigation to permit the special maintenance procedures in between lockages, the SLSMC's locks have continued to serve mariners throughout this cold snap. (Photo APM).

 
Banner
Banner
Banner
Banner