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First Cut of Steel Signals Start of Construction for New Great Lakes Bulk Carrier


2019-08-14

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).


Sturgeon Bay, WI. Fincantieri Bay Shipbuilding and The Interlake Steamship Company hosted a ceremonial first-cut-of-steel event on August 14, celebrating the historic start of construction on the first U.S.-flagged Great Lakes bulk carrier built in more than 35 years.
After careful preparation by Fincantieri Bay Shipbuilding's blast and prime team, its fabrication team prepped and then cut the steel with automated precision within the shipyard's largest fabrication building in Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin.

"The first cut of steel is a major milestone that signifies we, along with Fincantieri Bay Shipbuilding, are ready to begin production on this historic project," says Interlake President Mark W. Barker. "We are extremely proud to build our company's first ship since 1981 on these freshwater shores with the hardworking women and men who help power our industry and with American-made steel from the iron ore we carry on our U.S. flag fleet vessels. It's a true Great Lakes success story.

"Our workforce is very proud to begin construction on what will become a "homeport ship" so to speak," says Fincantieri Bay Shipbuilding's Vice President and General Manager Todd Thayse. "This large-scale bulk carrier will be built on the Great Lakes and operate right here on the Great Lakes, which creates a sense of local and regional pride. Today's ceremony with Interlake was a great way to demonstrate how excited and appreciative we are for their continued confidence in the quality of our work."
The first plate of steel used in the ceremony was sourced from ArcelorMittal's Burns Harbor steelworks location. ArcelorMittal is the premiere steel provider for the project.
"ArcelorMittal is privileged to serve as a steel supplier for the newest bulk carrier on the Great Lakes," says Gary Mohr, Vice President of Supply Chain Management at ArcelorMittal USA. "The expansion of Interlake's fleet will further support water commerce and the movement of raw materials using the safest, most efficient and environmentally friendly method of transportation. The construction of a new bulk carrier is a great example of how the steelmaking process comes full circle."

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Vancouver port cargo continues record pace

2019-08-15

The Vancouver Fraser Port Authority released the 2019 mid-year cargo statistics for goods moving through the Port of Vancouver. Between January 1 and June 30, 2019, overall cargo through the port increased 0.5% to a record 72.5 million metric tonnes (MMT) over the same time last year, with new mid-year records in containers, potash, and grain.

"This year's record mid-year cargo volumes reflect what continues to be two of the Port of Vancouver's greatest strengths-its broad global reach and ability to accommodate the most diversified range of cargo of any port in North America," said Robin Silvester, president and chief executive officer of the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority. "While Canada is certainly not exempt from the challenges impacting global trade, the diverse range of trading partners and cargo handled through the Port of Vancouver ensures the entire port remains resilient, despite variations in any one sector or commodity."

Strong global demand for Canadian grain resulted in a new mid-year record of 14.8 MMT (both containerized and bulk volumes). Increases in wheat, up 22.4%, and specialty crops, up 34.2%, more than off-set the 12.6% decrease in canola exports at mid-year, which was largely due to a 49.1% per cent decrease in canola exports to China in the first and second quarters of 2019. In fertilizers, potash exports increased 27.3% to record volumes of 5.5 MMT.
Shipping container quantities (measured by TEUs or 20-foot equivalents) also reached a new mid-year record of 1.7 million TEUs, an increase of 3.5% compared to mid-year container quantities in 2018.

In Vancouver, containers arrive filled with electronics, food, clothing and other consumer goods. They leave loaded with Canadian agri products, local wine and craft beer, B.C. forest products and lumber, among other goods. Container trade through the Port of Vancouver is essential for Canadian businesses to gain access to international markets. Approximately $1 in $3 of Canada's trade in goods beyond North America move through the port, with a significant portion of these goods moving in containers. (Photo VFPA)

 
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Seaway posts mid-summer traffic decline

Voie maritime: diminution de la circulation au milieu de l'été

2019-08-19

 

Cargo traffic on the St. Lawrence Seaway to the end of July recorded a 4.66% drop compared with a year earlier, as all categories except for dry bulk declined. The summer slowdown is not unusual and is usually followed by a strong burst in the fall led by grain shipments from the new harvest.

Total volume between late March - when the 2019 navigation season opened - and end July amounted to 16.5 million tonnes, the St. Lawrence Seaway Management Corporation reported.

Grain fell moderately by 3.9% at 4.3 million tonnes. Dry bulk rose by 14.1% at 4.9 million tonnes. Iron ore, coal, liquid bulk and general cargo fell respectively by 3.9%. 8.4%. 15.6%, 8.8% and 35.3%. Vessel transits at 1,794 declined by 6.3%. (photo Paul Beesley)

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