One of the world’s largest auto-carriers, the MV Torrens, made its maiden voyage to Canada through the Port of Halifax on March 28th; the first and only Canadian port of call on its round-the-world rotation.
Transporting vehicles from Southampton, England, the newly built Wallenius Wilhelmsen vessel is capable of carrying the equivalent of 6,500 cars. Of the approximately 3,000 units it is transporting to North America, 1,020 were discharged at Autoport Limited in Dartmouth. At 32 meters wide and 200 meters long, the vessel weighs more than 61,000 tons when fully loaded.
“The Port of Halifax handles some of the world’s largest vessels,” says Patricia McDermott, Vice President Marketing, Halifax Port Authority. “We attract 4500+teu container ships, the largest cruise ships afloat and large autocarriers such as the MV Torrens because of our diverse facilities and services and deep harbor.”
Calling at least three times per month, Wallenius Wilhelmsen delivers nearly 50,000 vehicles annually to Canada through Autoport Limited in Eastern Passage, Nova Scotia. “As one of North America’s largest vehicle processing and transshipment facilities, we handle more than 100,000 vehicles per year,” says Des Gomes, Logistics and Information Systems Manager, Autoport. “We like to see our facility attracting the biggest of the big.”
The vessel discharged new and various models of BMW, Mercedes Benz, Jaguar and Saab, as well as heavy machinery and equipment. Also imported were the Canadian army’s Gelaendewagens, the four-door patrol vehicle replacing the Iltis Jeeps currently in use.
After Halifax, traveling at a land speed equivalent of 35 km/hr., the Torrens continues on its rotation to Brunswick, Georgia then transits through the Panama Canal into Port Hueneme, California; Tacoma, Washington; Yokahama, Japan; and Toyohashai, Japan.
The vessel’s master, Captain Romeo C. Santos, was presented with an inaugural call plaque by Patrick Bohan, Manager of Business Development, Halifax Port Authority during an on-board ceremony. Presentations were also made by Des Gomes of Autoport Limited, Gary Merlin, Manager in Canada for Wallenius Wilhelmsen, and Doug Harding, Eastern Canada Towing Limited.