Mediterranean Shipping Company begins service to the Port of Corner Brook | Canada | News
CORNER BROOK, N.L.
It was a day of activity not seen in some time at the Port of Corner Brook Tuesday, May 12 as the Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC) made its inaugural call to Corner Brook.
The arrival of the company’s MSC ELBE marked the start of the Geneva-base company’s new container service to the port. Onboard were 350 empty cargo containers.
“This has been a strategic objective of the port forever to have an international container service,” said Jackie Chow, chief executive officer of the Corner Brook Port Corporation, as she watched the activity from the dock.
MSC currently ships out of the ports in Montreal and Saint John, N.B. The addition of Corner Brook to its service will enable the shipping of containers directly from the port to anywhere in the world.
“This new service is a symbol of our long-lasting commitment to Canada and mutually beneficial relationship with the Corner Brook Port Corporation and our customers in Newfoundland and Labrador,” said Sokat Shaikh, president and CEO of MSC Canada, in a press release issued prior to the MSC ELBE’s arrival.
“What is even more important is our continuous commitment to invest in and serve the Canadian market in general and the Newfoundland and Labrador market in particular, providing services which support local trade ambitions and trigger growth, while opening doors to global opportunities for Newfoundland and Labrador.”
The containers arrived empty, but in a couple of weeks some will leave the port filled with paper from Corner Brook Pulp and Paper Limited.
“Eventually we will see many different types of products (shipped out),” said Chow. That includes fish from the Barry Group.
Chow said the long-term plan is to build a cold storage facility at the port, but before that happens MSC can bring in refrigerated boxes.
“It’s a much more efficient way to ship fish from this region than to have to truck it to Nova Scotia and put it on a container ship there.”
Chow said the port doesn’t want to just be bringing in empty boxes to ship items out in, but to bring in full boxes.
“The cargo gets taken out of those boxes and those same boxes get filled with local cargo to go out.”
Types of products that could come in from international sources include furniture, tires, and shingles.
Chow said the port expects to see a container ship twice a month to start.
“Our objective when we grow the volumes is to be weekly.”
Stevedore services are being provided by Logistec Stevedoring Inc.
“At Logistec, we firmly believe in this type of partnership. Working together toward a common goal benefits not only the local economy, but the national economy as well,” said company president Rodney Corrigan in the press release.
Logistec has invested $1.7 in the port as part of an $11-million project to increase its operational efficiency. The Corner Brook Port Corporation and Corner Brook Pulp and Paper Ltd. contributed the remaining $3.8 million of the three partners’ $5.5-million share. The federal government contributed the other $5.5 million under Transport Canada’s National Trade Corridors Fund.
Logistec has hired more than 30 people to provide services at the port. The two crane operators who started unloading the MSC ELBE were the original operators at the port, who worked first for Oceanex and then for the port.
The start of the shipping service also marked the beginning of another service at the port.
The 4,800 horsepower tug, Dalton Warrior, owned and operated by PD Industries, is now stationed at the port and available to service vessels in the western region.
Chow said anyone watching the offloading – and there were a few cars lined along Riverside Drive – could see the port’s stationary crane and its new mobile crane in use.
She said a big ship like the MSC ELBE needs to load and offload quickly and two cranes make that possible.
“It’s very gratifying to see two cranes functioning. I’m very pleased that people can look today and see why we needed two cranes.”
The offloading of the containers was expected to go into the night.