Canada Maritime Introduces New Vessels

Monday, July 28, 2003
Two newbuildings being introduced into its transAtlantic services are the catalyst for a significant redeployment of tonnage in Canada Maritime's three different weekly services in the North America-Europe trade lane via the Montreal Gateway. The new ships, which, at 4100 teu nominal capacity, will be the largest to serve the St Lawrence River, are destined to enter Canada Maritime's Northern Service (Route 1) which links Montreal with Thamesport, Antwerp and Le Havre. Canada Maritime operates these vessels in the St. Lawrence Co-ordinated Service (SLCS) together with OOCL, in one of shipping's longest standing partnerships. OOCL has introduced a third newbuilding on this particular route. The first of the new vessels, OOCL Montreal, entered service at the end of June, followed by Canmar Venture, today (July 28th) and Canmar Spirit in September. The start of commercial operations for the three newbuildings sees a series of vessel redeployments between Canada Maritime's other services on the transAtlantic. Following drydocking, the vessels currently on Route 1 will be redeployed to Route 2, displacing those vessels to Route 3. The final vessel line up will be: Route 1 - (All 4100 teu): Canmar Spirit, Canmar Venture, OOCL Montreal Route 2 - (All 3000 teu): Canmar Honour, Canmar Pride, OOCL Belgium Route 3 - (All 2400 teu): Cast Prospect (ex-Canmar Fortune), Cast Premier (ex-OOCL Canada), Cast Prominence (ex-Canmar Courage). The vessels currently serving Route 3, the Cast Performance, Cast Progress and Cast Power will be deployed elsewhere within CP Ships services. "The introduction of our newbuildings is an exciting development for all our transAtlantic services," explained Terry Burrows, Senior Vice President, CP Ships with overall responsibility for Canada Maritime. "For a start, the new vessels are larger, faster and more technologically advanced than any others on this particular routing of transAtlantic trade and will set new levels in service standards for our customers, and indeed, the industry as a whole. "In addition, the newbuildings will displace existing vessels on the service and make them available for Route 2 and Route 3. This means that our entire Northern Service system is getting an injection of fresh tonnage, enabling us to adjust the capacity available in particular markets to better meet shippers needs." "Demand continues to grow for our unique service - which has a comprehensive series of port calls in Europe, but sees all North American cargo going through Montreal. This is the closest port connection between Europe and the industrial heart of Canada and USA. "This is the third time in eight years that we have built new tonnage for the Northern Service," continued Mr Burrows. "We aim to keep ahead of our competitors by introducing vessels which enable us to constantly upgrade service quality."
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