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Canadian container ports facing worst Covid-19 impact in May

Les ports à conteneurs canadiens ferons face au pire impact de la Covid-19 en mai

2020-04-07

 

By Leo Ryan, Editor


While arguably fully operational amid the Covid-19 health crisis, Canada's leading container ports are gearing up for big cargo declines in April, with the heaviest impact to date of the pandemic expected to strike in May.

In an interview, Tony Boemi, Vice-President of Growth and Development for the Port of Montreal, disclosed that the first quarter of this year somewhat surprisingly showed a 5.6% rise in container traffic, with  double-digit increases with Asia, the Mediterranean, the Midwest, Africa, and the Middle East. There was even a moderate increase of 2% with Europe, among the world's worst hit regions.

However, Mr. Boemi anticipated cargo drops in the last two weeks in April - "and May could be a doom and gloom month with peaks in the wrong direction. Consumer goods are down. Imports from Asia are now down because of reduced demand and limited warehouse space."

Another factor contributing to likely overall decline this year (too early to estimate) is falling exports to Asia because shippers are having difficulty booking space on trans-Atlantic vessels to Europe, where they would be usually transshipped onto vessels bound for Asia.

The Montreal Port Authority reported that currently all terminals are running at full capacity and that "container and dwell times at the docks and truck processing lines are normal. Also, the Montreal Port Authority is closely monitoring the possible consequences of the temporary closure of non-essential businesses."

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Steel cutting for the world's largest LNG RoRo ship

Découpe d'acier pour le plus grand navire RoRo au GNL au monde



2020-04-07

 

 

 

Yantai CIMC Raffles Shipyard located in Shandong Province in eastern China, has cut the first steel for a new LNG-powered roll-on/roll-off (RoRo) vessel ordered by Swedish shipping company Wallenius SOL.

"I'm absolutely thrilled that construction has begun. We set the bar high in terms of reliable ocean freight with low environmental impact, and a ship with both the highest ice class and environmental performance shows how we live up to this. As a state-of-the-art vessel, it's very important for us," said Ragnar Johansson, Managing Director, WALLENIUS SOL

The ship will be 242 metres long (LOA) with a beam of 35.2 metres and a capacity of 5,800 lane metres. It will have a top speed of 20 knots and a cruise speed of 16 knots. It was designed by Wallenius Marine in collaboration with Danish shipbuilder Knud E. Hansen to handle the tough, sometimes Arctic, conditions in the Gulf of Bothnia.

It will have the highest ice class, be LNG fuelled and enter operation in the autumn of 2021. "The ship will form an extremely important part of our fleet," added Ragnar Johansson.

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Québec government takes over four former Transport Canada ports

Le gouvernement du Québec reprend quatre anciens ports de Transports Canada



2020-04-06

 

 

 

Within the context of the federal government's 2015 Ports Asset Transfer Program (PATP), the St. Lawrence River ports of Matane, Gros-Cacouna, Rimouski and Gaspé, formerly administrated by Transport Canada, have been transferred to the Québec government, effective March 30. The agreement between the two governments comprises compensation of nearly $150 million from the federal government towards funding the future maintenance and operational costs of the four ports.

The management of the ports concerned has been confided to the Société portuaire du Bas-Saint Laurent et de la Gaspésie, a division of the Société du parc industriel et portuaire de Bécancour which falls under the umbrella of the Quebec Ministry of the Economy and Innovation.

In a press release, the Québec Ministry of Transport described the asset transfer as "an important step for the maritime development of Québec. By becoming owner of these installations, the Québec government will ensure their future and can develop an integrated vision of maritime activities on the St. Lawrence."

PATP succeeded the earlier Port Divestiture Program (1996-2014) which has involved the sale or divestiture of Transport Canada-owned facilities to local interests. The original objective was to transfer 549 local/regional ports from government ownership. Since inception, more than 500 facilities have been divested, and under 50 ports today remain under Transport Canada's inventory. (photo of Gros-Cacouna from Marinas.com)

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