Seaway posts mid-summer traffic decline

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



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)



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


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."



Vancouver port cargo continues record pace


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)


CN and CSX Announce New Intermodal Service Offering

Le CN et CSX annoncent une nouvelle offre de service intermodal



MONTREAL, Aug. 08, CN and CSX  announcend a new intermodal service offering between CN's greater Montreal & Southern Ontario areas, and the CSX-served ports of Philadelphia, New York, New Jersey and the New York City metropolitan area.

"Over the long term, the freight market will increasingly depend on demand driven by the consumer economy and the rail industry must create new intermodal services that can successfully rival the over the road options," said JJ Ruest, president and chief executive officer at CN. "This interline service fits perfectly with our strategic focus on feeding our unique network through organic and inorganic growth opportunities, including extending our reach into new geographic markets."

"This new intermodal offering aims to convert long-haul trucks to interline rail services," explained Keith Reardon, senior vice-president of consumer product supply chain at CN. "Trains will run directly into the heart of the metropolitan markets of Toronto and Montreal via CN intermodal yards, making this partnership a natural opportunity for both railroads."

"CSX is pleased to work with CN to deliver superior all-rail intermodal service into the Montreal and Toronto markets," said Jim Foote, president and chief executive officer at CSX. "Answering a need expressed by our customers, this new service positions us to capture market share from trucks and increases capacity in these expedited lanes, as larger container ships call at the Port of Philadelphia and Port of New York and New Jersey."

Mark Wallace, CSX executive vice president of sales and marketing said, "At CSX, we're continually evaluating our network to increase efficiency and improve the quality of the service we offer to customers. Offering all-rail intermodal service from the East Coast to Montreal and Toronto aligns with our objectives for providing faster, more efficient service while positioning both CSX and CN for future growth."

The intermodal service agreement will come into effect on October 7, 2019. Photo: CN



The Port of Montreal is elated by Canada's contribution to a project promoting fluidity

Le Port de Montréal se réjouit de la contribution du Canada en vue d'améliorer la fluidité



This morning, an announcement of vital importance to the smooth flow of freight transport at the Port of Montreal was made by Canada's Transport Minister, Marc Garneau: through the National Trade Corridors Fund, the Government of Canada is allocating $18.5 million to the Montreal Port Authority (MPA) for its $37 million project to increase freight mobility. The MPA will also be investing $18.5 million in the project.
By banking on greater fluidity and efficiency, this project addresses the constant growth in cargo volumes transiting the Port of Montreal each year. It is noteworthy that since 2009, the total number of goods handled has grown by 58% to 39 million tonnes in 2018, a fifth consecutive record year. In addition to its expansion projects and massive investments in its infrastructure to increase land capacity, particularly at the Viau Terminal and in Contrecoeur, the MPA is doing everything possible to improve, modernize and streamline the management of cargo and containers on its docks.

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