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St. Lawrence Seaway cargo increased 9% in 2017
2018-01-16

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).

Healthy gains in iron ore, dry bulk and general cargo sparked a nearly 9% increase in traffic to 38.1 million metric tons in 2017 on the St. Lawrence Seaway. The North American waterway posted a strong finish despite the sustained blast of Arctic air that extended from late December into January and accelerated the formation of ice.

Contending with difficult weather conditions in the final two weeks, a handful of ships were delayed by the presence of ice in several locks. The St. Lawrence Seaway Management Corporation (SLSMC) indicated  that the 2017 navigation season concluded on January 11 with the transit of the Federal Biscay through the St. Lambert Lock in Montreal at 6:08 PM.

Seaway employees on the ground worked diligently to maintain the locks, while staff in the control centers worked with the Canadian Coast Guard, marine pilotage authorities, and other members of the marine transportation support system. Thanks to the dedication of all parties and their unrelenting efforts, the St. Lawrence Seaway concluded its 59th navigation season successfully.

"Without a doubt, 2017 was a good business year, and we successfully wrapped up the season thanks to the skill and dedication of our employees. Collectively, we got the job done" said the SLSMC's CEO, Terence Bowles.

Iron ore cargo surged by 28.9% to over 8 million tons. Dry bulk rose by 18% to 10.5 million tons, while general cargo (including steel shipments) surged by 30% to 3.4 million tons. Grain declined by 10.6% to 10 million tons. (Photo Port of Hamilton)

 
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Transport Canada lifts speed limits in Gulf of St. Lawrence

2018-01-03

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).

Transport Canada announced that it has lifted temporary vessel speed restrictions in force in the Gulf of St. Lawrence since August 11, 2017 aimed at curbing additional right whale deaths. An unprecedented 12 right whale fatalities occurred last summer - some as a result of ship strikes. The global population of the endangered mammals has dwindled to about 450.

Transport Canada implemented a speed restriction for vessels 20 metres or more to maximum of 10 knots in the western Gulf of St. Lawrence. The federal transport department reports it issued 13 penalties to ship operators for alleged non-compliance.

"There have been no sightings of North Atlantic right whales in the area of slow-down in recent weeks," Transport Minister Marc Garneau said on January 11. "We thank the many vessel operators and captains who complied with this mandatory slow down."

The Ottawa-based Chamber of Marine Commerce welcomed Transport Canada's  announcement. CMC President Bruce Burrows said: "We're pleased to see the speed restrictions lifted as our ship operator members continue winter deliveries of vital products to Canadian companies and northern communities. We are working in tandem with the scientific community and government officials over the winter to develop solutions based on strong science that both protect North Atlantic Right Whales and minimize economic impacts for all Canadians."

 

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Prince Rupert ships record volumes in 2017

2018-01-12

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).

Cargo moving through the Port of Prince Rupert in northern British Columbia rose to a record volume of 24.1 million tonnes in 2017, anchored by 26% growth in its intermodal container business and growth of dry bulk cargo volumes.

Overall tonnage through the port was up 28% from 2016, and exceeds the previous record high of 23 million tonnes set in 2013. Container cargo exceeded 926,000 TEUs following DP World's expansion of Fairview Terminal, increasing annual capacity by 60% (see photo).

"The increasingly diversified nature of the gateway, combined with terminal expansion and the introduction of new logistics services, is paying dividends to Canadians," said Bud Smith, Chair of the Prince Rupert Port Authority. "The Port of Prince Rupert remains well-positioned to accommodate growth of Canadian trade in the Asia-Pacific region, and we continue to advance expansion that will see us become Canada's second largest port by volume in the next decade."

Ridley Terminals: The bulk-handling facility specializing in the shipment of steel-making coal from Northeastern British Columbia, saw total shipments rebound to 7.6 million tonnes, a 90% increase over 2016 volumes.

Westview Terminal: The wood pellet terminal saw a significant increase in biofuel volumes, up 22% to 1.1 million tonnes, representing the export of nearly half of Canada's entire wood pellet production.

Prince Rupert Grain Terminal: The bulk grain terminal saw a slight decrease of 6% based on lower volumes of wheat, but exceeded a total of 5 million tonnes for the fifth straight year. (Photo PRPA)

 
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