AJOT Insights

Tropical Shipping moving port operations from Saint John to Halifax

Nov 09, 2016

Significant developments are taking place these days at New Brunswick’s Port of Saint John on the Bay of Fundy. The good news is the coming of DP World to operate, as of January 13, the Rodney Container Terminal that for many years was part of the Logistec network. However, the less good news is the just-announced shifting of Tropical Shipping port operations from Saint John to Halterm Container Terminal at the Port of Halifax, effective on January 9.

For several decades, Tropical Shipping was virtually the sole provider of container service at the Port of Saint John, where liquid bulk (thanks to the huge Irving refinery) has accounted for over 90% of total traffic of some 28 million tons. The arrival in 2012 of MSC has helped to boost container business to nearly 100,000 TEUs, a relatively modest volume that will no longer be fuelled in part by Tropical Shipping.

“Tropical Shipping has had a presence in Canada for over 30 years,” the niche carrier said in a message to customers. “It is our belief that this strategic move will better align Tropical Shipping now and in the future with the ability to service the Canadian market with the best shipping service to Florida, The Bahamas and the Caribbean. Tropical Shipping will maintain its local office in Saint John, New Brunswick.

“This move will improve our long term commitment to our customers with improved intermodal connections and terminal capacity designed to meet market demands.” Tropical Shipping’s Canadian service will continue to provide a weekly sailing every Monday from the Halterm Container Terminal. The last sailing from the Port of Saint John will be December 27.

“We want to thank the Port of Saint John and Logistec for their valued partnership and excellent service over the past 15 years,” Tropical Shipping said. “The Port of Saint John has been a supporter of Tropical Shipping and we appreciate the relationship.”

The Port of Saint John has launched a C$205 million project over seven years to modernize the Rodney and Navy Island terminals to accommodate larger vessels and expand laydown areas for breakbulk and project cargoes. DP World Saint John recently took delivery of two container cranes.

Meanwhile, the deepsea Port of Halifax is enjoying a steady recovery in container activity thanks to the arrival of larger vessels and re-structured North Atlantic services. Container throughput in the first half of this year was up nearly 20% at 236,000 TEUs.

Author Photo
Leo Ryan
American Journal of Transportation
CANADA CORRESPONDENT