Eimskip sees major growth opportunities for its Halifax hub

By Tom Peters

Icelandic shipping line Eimskip is increasing its service through the Port of Halifax by nearly 60 per cent, says Jeff Simms, Managing Director, Eimskip Canada, Inc. Simms says Eimskip will increase its calls into Halifax from 21 to 35 annually. The increase has been generated by an increase in business through Portland, Me.

Eimskip’s Green Line, which calls North America, channels cargo from Portland, Halifax and Argentia (Nfld) through Reykjavik where it will be now transloaded for markets in Europe, Greenland, Norway and the Faroe Islands.

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DP World inaugurates operations in Saint John, NB

By Tom Peters

DP World’s success in the port of Saint John will be a twofold strategy, taking a value-added approach while building container volumes, says Curtis Doiron.

Dubai-based DP World, which operates over 75 marine and inland container terminals on six continents, officially took over the operation of Saint John’s Rodney Terminal, under a 30-year lease, in January, 2017. The terminal is in the early stages of a multi-year, $205-million expansion which, when complete, will allow for the berthing of larger ships. In addition to the container facility, DP World also took over the operations of Saint John’s Navy Island Terminal, which at one time handled various breakbulk cargoes and now handles bulk products such as salt and petroleum coke (petcoke) for NB Power.

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A new privately-owned port initiative in the East to compete with federally-owned ports?

By Tom Peters

Ports America’s decision to partner with Sydney Harbour Investment Partners (SHIP) in a major marine container terminal project in the port of Sydney, Nova Scotia, is a significant step in moving the project forward, said Peter Gillis, President, ILA Local 1259, Sydney.

The terminal, called Novaporte, has been proposed for a 500-acre, greenfield site. A 1,200- acre logistics park called Novazone, will be built next to the terminal. Montreal-based Canderel Group will build the park. The estimated total completion price for both the terminal and park is $1.6 billion. Start of construction is contingent on the developers finding carriers to commit to moving sustainable amounts of cargo over the facility.

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Port of Halifax is weighing its operational and strategic options

By Tom Peters

Port of Halifax is developing a new master plan that will be its road map for years to come as it prepares for the next generation of container ships and other critical aspects of the port’s overall development. “We are looking 10 to 15 years down the road, maybe longer. It really depends on what comes out of the plan,” said Paul MacIsaac, Senior Vice-President, Halifax Port Authority (HPA).

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Tropical Shipping moving operations from Saint John to Halifax

By Tom Peters

Tropical Shipping, a long-time customer at the Port of Saint John, is moving its weekly service to the Halterm Container Terminal in the Port of Halifax. Tropical said on its website that operations will begin in Halifax Jan. 9, 2017. The last sailing from Saint John will be Dec. 27. Tropical offers service to Florida, The Bahamas and the Caribbean. It will, however, maintain its local office in Saint John.

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Serious overbuilding of port infrastructure in the East may be just a matter of time

By Tom Peters

In 2005, Melford International Terminal Inc. announced it planned to build a major international marine container terminal and logistics park in Melford, Nova Scotia, on the Strait of Canso. Now, more than 15 years later, more than $40 million has been spent, according to some reports, on preliminary work, ongoing administrative operations, the purchase of land for the terminal, logistics park and rail corridor lands, but construction of the terminal has not yet started. Since Melford announced its intentions, a second mega terminal proposal, Novaporte, has been announced for the port of Sydney, and Halifax Port Authority is expected to look at a mega container terminal in its long-term strategic master plan. This comes following reports that the two terminal operators in Halifax, Halterm and Ceres, are presently in merger discussions.

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A new terminal for Port of Halifax?

By Tom Peters

Port of Halifax will examine a new container terminal option in its next long term master plan. David Henderson, Chairman, said in an interview during Halifax Port Days, “a new terminal will be an option in the master plan. It is a greenfield site (on the Dartmouth side of the harbour). It is being discussed with our federal stakeholder,” he said.

The land under consideration is owned by the federal government. If a modern terminal was built at that location it would require dredging to take it to required depths for ultra large container ships. The terminal would be near the CN line and have access to the province’s highway system. Henderson said it has been suggested that a new terminal would cost in the vicinity of $1 billion.

Halifax presently has two designated container terminals, the southend terminal operated by Halterm Container Terminal Ltd., which is owned and operated by Macquarie Infrastructure and Real Assets, and the Fairview Cove Terminal, operated by Ceres Halifax Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Nippon Yusen Kaisha (NYK). Several sources have confirmed that Halterm and Ceres are presently in discussions to possibly merge their operations.

Henderson said the Port Authority would like to consolidate its terminal operations but one of the main reasons a new terminal is under consideration is to get all the truck traffic, generated by Halterm, off the downtown streets. Streets in the city’s core are very narrow and were never designed to handle large trucks hauling 20 foot and 40 foot containers.

The truck traffic has been a source of complaint for many years from both residents and businesses. In the past there have been ideas floated to eliminate the trucks from downtown such as making a truck lane along the CN rail cut out of town and building a truck marshalling yard, served by rail, outside the city. Containers would be railed to the yard where they would be loaded to trucks. Neither idea ever got by the study stage.

Henderson said the Port Board has not had any discussions with the terminal operators.

Halifax wants to be in the “big ship” game and although its two terminals, both dredged to 17 metres at their berths, can handle the large vessels, there have been some issues with the larger container ships going to Ceres. The ships have to pass under the two Halifax bridges and on at least two occasions last year, ships arrived in port lighter (with less cargo) than expected and the decision was made not to sail under the spans to Ceres. As a result, the vessels and cargo were handled at Halterm which has no bridge constrictions.

Halifax’s discussion on a major terminal development brings a third mega terminal idea into the picture for Nova Scotia.

Melford International Terminal and Cyrus Capital Partners, continue to work on their plans to build a modern container terminal at Melford, Guysborough County, on the mainland side of the Strait of Canso. Melford says its only holdback at this point is getting a long term agreement with a major shipping line.

In Sydney, Harbour Port Development Partners wants to build a major terminal, called Novaporte, to operate mainly as a transshipment hub for mega container ships with capacities of 13,000 TEUs and more. Results of a study to determine that project’s feasibility will be released this fall.

A more profitable way to ship lobster to overseas customers?

By Tom Peters

French container line CMA CGM is one of the latest companies to introduce specialized marine shipping containers to transport live lobster. The shipping line has developed AQUAVIVA, a new line of containers that employs the technology called INNOPURE, developed by the French firm EMYG Environment & Aquaculture. The containers were launched at Halifax Port Days in September.

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Report on Halifax Port Days

By Tom Peters

Enrique Brum had an idea. He supported it with technology and now has a thriving business. Datamyne, based in Miami, Florida, is the world’s largest searchable trade database with business intelligence gathering offices across the U.S. and key Latin American countries. Brum, Vice-President, Global Sales, told delegates attending the business session of the annual Halifax Port Days, how he began gathering import and export trade data, available to the public through customs and border personnel, and offering his compiled efforts to various companies. He said the data could show his customers what their competition was doing with their imports and exports.

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