World's first commercial drone deliveries  to vessels at anchor


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).

Wilhelmsen's shore-to-ship Singapore pilot project, launched last week in partnership with Airbus, marked the first deployment of drone technology in real-time port conditions, delivering a variety of small, time-critical items to working vessels at anchorage.

Lifting off from Marina South Pier in Singapore with 3D printed consumables from Wilhelmsen's onshore 3D printing micro-factory, the Airbus Skyways drone navigated autonomously along predetermined 'aerial corridors' in its 1.5 km flight to Eastern Working Anchorage. The drone landed on the deck of the

Swire Pacific Offshore (SPO)'s Anchor Handling Tug Supply (AHTS) vessel, M/V Pacific Centurion and deposited its 1.5 kg cargo without a hitch before returning to its base. The entire delivery, from take-off towards the vessel, to landing back at base, took just ten minutes.

Though small drone delivery trials from tugboats to ship have been conducted before by a number of shipping companies and service providers, shore-to-ship delivery of this range and scope has never been explored, prior to this trial.



Groupe Robert receives another fleet safety award

Un autre prix sécurité pour la flotte du Groupe Robert


The 43rd annual CAW Fleet Safety Awards recognize transportation companies that demonstrate a strong commitment to the safety of all. The 3 winners from each of the 6 divisions have the lowest accident rate per million miles travelled. Groupe Robert has been awarded this distinction for the 8th consecutive year in its category 50-99.99 million miles

"We are very proud to receive a TCA Award for the safety of our fleet," announced Michel Robert, President of Groupe Robert. "This award is the result of our commitment to the safety of our drivers and the public. Safety among Groupe Robert is one of our corporate values and is non-negotiable. We have a duty as a responsible company and also as a leader in the industry. It is always thinking and acting in a safe manner for the protection of all road users. I would like to thank all our employees, starting with our drivers, mechanics, managers, trainers and dispatchers, for all their efforts throughout the year. Moreover, I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate all the winners of the different categories. We still have a lot to accomplish as an industry because safety is everyone's business."

Les 43e prix annuels TCA pour la sécurité de la flotte honorent les entreprises de transport qui démontrent un engagement fort envers la sécurité de tous. Les 3 gagnants de chacune des 6 divisions ont le plus bas taux d'accidents par million de milles parcourus. Groupe Robert obtient cette distinction pour la 9e année consécutive dans sa catégorie 50-99.99 million de milles.

« Nous sommes très fiers de recevoir un prix TCA pour la sécurité de notre flotte, » annonce Michel Robert, Président de Groupe Robert. « Ce prix est la résultante de notre engagement envers la sécurité de nos chauffeurs et de la population. La sécurité chez Groupe Robert est une de nos valeurs d'entreprise et elle est non négociable. Nous avons un devoir comme entreprise responsable et aussi en tant que chef de file de l'industrie. C'est celui de toujours penser et agir de manière sécuritaire pour la protection de tous les usagers de la route. Je tiens à remercier tous nos employés en commençant par nos chauffeurs, nos mécaniciens, nos gestionnaires, nos formateurs, nos répartiteurs pour tous les efforts déployés en cours d'année. Et je profite de l'occasion pour féliciter tous les récipiendaires des différentes catégories. Nous avons encore beaucoup à accomplir en tant qu'industrie car la sécurité, c'est l'affaire de tous. »



Cosco Shipping Lines coming to Montreal

Cosco Shipping Lines arrive à Montréal


After a record year marked by a 9% increase in the number of containers transiting through the Port of Montreal, the Montreal Port Authority (MPA) is proud to announce the arrival of a seventh international container shipping line, Cosco Shipping Lines.

Cosco Shipping Lines, which ranks third in the world in container transport, wants to expand its activities in North American markets through the addition of this transatlantic service.

As a result, starting in April the Port of Montreal will welcome this new service, which will connect Montreal with several northern European cities, such as Antwerp, Bremerhaven, Le Havre and Liverpool, for the benefit of importers and exporters. Cosco Shipping Lines' containers will be handled at the terminals of Montreal Gateway Terminals Partnership (MGTP).

"We welcome the arrival of Cosco Shipping Lines. This excellent news reaffirms the Port of Montreal's place as the preferred gateway for freight transport between Europe and North America's industrial heartland," said MPA President and CEO Sylvie Vachon.

With a fifth record year in 2018 and this third service added to the Port of Montreal in one year, the MPA is actively pursuing its development to accommodate growth, notably via the major Contrecoeur container terminal project.

Après une année record où le Port de Montréal a connu une hausse de 9 % du nombre de conteneurs ayant transité sur ses quais, l'Administration portuaire de Montréal (APM) est fière d'annoncer l'arrivée d'une 7e  ligne maritime internationale de conteneurs, Cosco Shipping Lines.

Cosco Shipping Lines, qui occupe le 3e rang sur l'échiquier mondial du transport de conteneurs, souhaite accroître ses activités sur les marchés nord-américains par l'ajout de ce service transatlantique.

Le Port de Montréal accueillera donc dès avril ce nouveau service, qui fera la liaison entre la métropole et plusieurs villes d'Europe du Nord telles qu'Anvers, Bremerhaven, Le Havre et Liverpool, au bénéfice des importateurs et exportateurs. Les conteneurs de Cosco Shipping Lines seront manutentionnés aux terminaux de Société terminaux Montréal Gateway (MGT).

« Nous saluons l'arrivée de Cosco Shipping Lines, une excellente nouvelle qui réaffirme la place du Port de Montréal comme porte d'entrée privilégiée pour le transport de marchandises entre l'Europe et le c?ur industriel de l'Amérique du Nord », a déclaré Mme Sylvie Vachon, présidente-directrice générale de l'APM.

Avec une cinquième année record en 2018 et ce 3e service s'ajoutant au Port de Montréal en une année, l'APM poursuit activement son développement pour accueillir la croissance, notamment le grand projet de terminal à conteneurs à Contrecoeur.



Global port cargo growth seen moderating in next decade

La croissance mondiale portuaire modérerait au cours de la prochaine décennie


Volume growth will continue for ports throughout the world but at a more modest pace over the next 10 years, according to Fitch Ratings in a new report from the New York-based credit agency.

Global port throughput has shown resilience over the last 10 years with throughput growth outpacing economic growth rates despite volatility through the last recession. Containerization of cargo and increasing vessel sizes coupled with supporting infrastructure at ports have all contributed to these throughput trends. However, growth rates are slowing relative to historical averages as these trends mature, and volume growth, while expected to continue, will likely more closely mirror that of global GDP.

An increase in protectionist trade policies, shifts in centers of production, and the advent of disruptive technologies are all factors which add further complexity in considering future throughput levels. Regarding U.S.-China trade relations, "Primary ports of call will be able to weather the storm despite elevated concentration in Chinese trade exposure in some cases," said Senior Director Emma Griffith. "Conversely, smaller and more specialized ports will have less leeway to offset major losses in imports and exports if commodities handled are targeted by tariffs."

Shifts in trade policy are not likely to curb growth meaningfully for ports located in North America. "Port investment will continue to focus on capacity enhancements to accommodate larger vessels while investor interest in North American port assets appears to be increasing," said Ms. Griffith.



Nuclear container ship «Sevmorput» sets course for new Arctic gas field

Le porte-conteneurs nucléaire «Sevmorput» met le cap sur un nouveau champ gazier arctique


by Pierre Terrien, Publisher, with files

On March 6, the Russian nuclear-powered ice breaking LASH carrier ( lighter aboard ship) and container ship, Sevmorput arrived from Murmansk to the seaport of Arkhangelsk to load more than 17,000 tons of construction goods all destined for the development of the Utrenneye natural gas field (Arctic LNG 2), shipowner Rosatomflot informs.

After the loading operations, the Sevmorput will proceed to the Morning deposit located on the Gydan Peninsula in the Gulf of Ob. In mid-March, the Sevmorput crew will then ensure the unloading of the shipment onto the shore ice of the frozen bay. This amount of cargo would have needed three voyages if carried by ships of the Pavlin Vinogradov type (gross tonnage-6,395 tonnes).  A second shipment to Gydan is scheduled later this year.

"Rosatomflot is an active participant in the largest Arctic hydrocarbon projects," said Mustafa Kashka, General Director of Atomflot. "Attracting the nuclear container ship Sevmorput to the implementation of the Arctic LNG 2 project demonstrates the relevance of our successful experience in the Arctic.'

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