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Container carriers introduce low water surcharges for Montreal calls

2018-07-31

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).

 

Several major container carriers have introduced low water surcharges (LWS) on cargo moving to and via the Port of Montreal. The surcharges were effective July 30 in the case of Maersk Line and August 1 for customers of Hapag-Lloyd and CMA CGM. OOCL has also taken a similar measure which is a common procedure for carriers in periods of lower water levels on the St. Lawrence River.

But Tony Boemi, Vice-President Growth and Development of the Montreal Port Authority, told Maritime Magazine that "carriers have their own reasons that we prefer not to comment upon. But we have continued to operate during the whole year at depths of over 12 metres, slightly higher than the chart datum of 11.3 metres."

He also indicated that the port was on track for another record year in container cargo, with year-to-date volume up 6.5% at the end of June. "This included a 4% increase in European business."

Last year, Montreal handled 1.5 million TEU.

Nils Haupt, a spokesman for Hapag-Lloyd, stated that "the amount of cargo we cannot load depends on the water level forecasted for Montreal for the time our vessel is scheduled to arrive there. This means we need to determine about three weeks prior to arrival in Montreal how much cargo we can load."

The lightened payloads can result in up to 500 TEU in lost cargo, he affirmed.
The LWS by Maersk, Hapag-Lloyd and OOCL add US$100 on 20-ft containers and US$150 on 40 and 45-foot containers. For its part, CMA is charging an extra US$150 for both 20 and 40-foot containers. (photo APM)

 
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