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Launching announced of Picton-Halifax container service in 2021


By Leo Ryan, Editor

A Canadian-flag, weekly 300-TEU container service by Doornekamp Lines will this year connect the Port of Halifax with Picton, a small but strategically-located port on Lake Ontario via the St. Lawrence/Great Lakes corridor. This was formally announced today by Ben Doornekamp,  one of the principals of family-owned  enterprise Doornekamp Construction Ltd.

“The Doornekamp Lines weekly service between Picton and Halifax will fill a need on the Great Lakes for shortsea shipping,” he said in an emailed statement to Maritime Magazine. Picton is 200 kms east of Toronto and the heart of Canada’s biggest commercial market.

“We look to Europe for inspiration,” Mr. Doornekamp said, adding: “Currently Canada does a terrible job in shortsea shipping.”

Based in Odessa, Doornekamp Construction employs 80-100 people at the parent company and its subsidiaries Picton Terminals, Hendriks Aggregates Ltd., Doornekamp Lines and ABNA Investments.

“ We have a multi-phased, multi-year work plan underway,” said Mr. Doornekamp  “Shipping containers are a natural addition to our suite of port services.

“We know that most everything that society consumes, moves around the globe in a container. The most efficient way to transport goods is on water because of economies of scale.  Doornekamp Lines will significantly shorten the Last Mile of shipping to the Greater Toronto Area.”

Mr. Doornekamp stressed: “Doornekamp Lines creation of a global shipping gateway located on eastern Lake Ontario will support  existing manufacturers and attract new manufacturers in the region by creating an alternate and different logistic solution for businesses.

“ Presently, regional manufacturers have rail and trucking options to/from the Port of Montreal, but shortsea shipping on eastern Lake Ontario will provide companies with more options and opportunity to reduce costs to get their products to the global market.”

In 2020, the port handled 150,000 tonnes of aggregate products  ranging from armour stone for multiple infrastructure products and three shipments of steel beams. 

Since purchasing in 2015 the Picton Terminals port property (originally built by Bethlehem Steel in 1954), Doornekamp has invested substantially in its redevelopment. A Liebherr LH 420 crane offers a lifting capacity of 125 tonnes. On site there is a fleet of two flat deck barges , three hopper barges and the tugboats Amy Lynn D (46 mt BP) and Sheri Lynn (16 mt BP). The port is thus well equipped to handle heavy lift, project cargoes and marine construction. Importantly, 220,000 sq. ft. expansion at dock level is slated for expansion in 2021. (Photo Picton Terminals)