New Tropical Shipping vessel calls at Halifax  


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).

The Tropical Shipping vessel Tropic Hope made her inaugural call in early January at Halterm Container Terminal at the Port of Halifax. It was  the first of two new Tropical Shipping vessels that will be calling Halifax. The Tropic Island will arrive later this year.

Tropical Shipping is the primary reefer-carrier serving the Caribbean region. These new vessels increase Tropical Shipping's capacity to bring temperature-controlled cargo to the Caribbean. Schedule integrity will also benefit from the increased speed and efficiency of the new vessels.

The Tropic Hope and Tropic Island are among six new Tropical Shipping vessels entering into service. Four of the new vessels, including the Tropic Hope and Tropic Island, are Carib Class vessels which are 160 metres length overall with 1,100 TEU capacity including 270 reefer plugs and can travel up to 20 knots, serving ports in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Palm Beach, Florida, as well as Puerto Rico, the Eastern Caribbean and the Virgin Islands.

The other two new vessels are smaller Mini Express Class and will carry up to 300 TEU with a speed of 14 knots. They can deliver cargo in ports as shallow as 12 feet and will serve Providenciales, Marsh Harbour, The Bahamas, Turks and Caicos and the Dominican Republic.


"Tropical Shipping has been and continues to be the leader in ocean transportation to the Caribbean. Tropical develops and maintains outstanding relationships with our customers and provides them unmatched on time reliability and fast, purpose built, versatile ships. Our vessels are first to market with our customers' freight," said Tim Martin, Vice President Commercial & Trades, Tropical Shipping.

Halterm maintains a basic workforce of more than 140 longshoremen. According to Kim Holtermand, Halterm's Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, "the terminal has strengthened its basic workforce, operational capabilities and its handling capacity to meet its commitments to Tropical Shipping around the Carrier's delivery of the larger capacity vessels. This is a landmark day in our service to Tropical Shipping and we are proud to be playing our part in the Carrier's ongoing success."

"Congratulations to Tropical Shipping on the successful launch of your newest vessels," said Karen Oldfield, President and CEO, Halifax Port Authority. "We are excited to welcome the captain and crew of the Tropic Hope to our port city, and we look forward to our continued work with Tropical Shipping, Halterm and our rail carrier CN Rail to further develop trade between Eastern Canada and the Caribbean." (Photo HPA)