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New Algoma Vessel Breaks Port Record on Maiden Voyage to Thunder Bay

New Algoma Vessel Breaks Port Record on Maiden Voyage to Thunder Bay

THUNDER BAY, ONTARIO  ~~~~~~~  August 5, 2021  (LSNews)  lgoma Central Corporation recently took delivery of its newest Equinox Class gearless dry-bulk carrier, the Captain Henry Jackman, which officially joined the fleet on the Great Lakes with its first cargo of grain loaded in Thunder Bay. The Captain Henry Jackman is the most efficient vessel in Algoma’s domestic fleet. The vessel’s design, described as “Equinox 3.0”, is an evolution of the original Equinox Class, incorporating improvements in cargo deadweight capacity and equipment while maintaining the numerous performance efficiencies of the original design.

With a life expectancy on the Lakes of 35-40 years, the Captain Henry Jackman is an important long-term investment for the Great Lakes - St. Lawrence Seaway System. Compared to the vessel she is replacing, the Captain Henry Jackman will carry 25% more cargo while consuming 10% less fuel, rendering a greenhouse gas per tonne-km improvement of approximately 35%. This enhances the vessel’s advantage in minimizing green house gas emissions when compared to competing transportation modes.

With her improved design, the Captain Henry Jackman set a new record cargo size for grain loaded at the Port of Thunder Bay (31,100 Metric Tonnes) on her very first voyage. The cargo, Canadian Western Red Spring Wheat grown in southwestern Manitoba, is destined for international markets. The vessel was unloaded in Baie Comeau, Quebec where the grain was elevated in the customer’s transfer terminal, then loaded onto an ocean-going vessel bound for multiple countries in West Africa. There, Canadian and local grains will be blended together to create a higher quality grain, and milled to be made into bread. The Port of Thunder Bay congratulates Algoma for this achievement and thanks Algoma for its continued partnership.


According to Jeff DeRosario, Algoma's Vice President-Commercial, the vessel’s namesake, Captain Henry Jackman, immigrated to Huron County, Ontario from the United Kingdom, and in 1851 left the family farm in pursuit of work as a seafarer on the Great Lakes. From these humble beginnings, Captain Jackman went on to become a legendary schooner Captain owning a handful of vessels, and obtained his license as a Master of inland steamships when the age of sail was in full transition to that of steam in the 1870s.

Says DeRosario, "It is with considerable pride that his descendants, more than a century later, are able to name the newest, most efficient and innovative Equinox class vessel in his enduring honor."

Algoma owns and operates the largest fleet of dry and liquid bulk carriers operating on the Great Lakes - St. Lawrence Seaway, including self-unloading dry-bulk carriers, gearless dry-bulk carriers, cement carriers and product tankers. Algoma also owns ocean self-unloading dry-bulk vessels operating in international markets and a 50% interest in NovaAlgoma, which owns and operates a diversified portfolio of dry-bulk fleets serving customers internationally.

Cargo Statistics Snapshot

July 2021

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Port shipments are currently at 5-year-average levels. Grain shipments have decreased to average levels, down from the strong performance in 2020. Other cargoes shipped at the port are increasing as the global economy rebounds.

Grain Summary and Outlook

Year-to-date grain shipments are just under 3.5 Million MT as of July 31. This is 4% higher than average, but 9% lower than last year's peak volumes.

Canadian grain exports have decreased recently as the large carryover from the 2020 crop has been substantially moved to market.

The outlook for Prairie grain is weaker than the past several years due to poor growing conditions brought on by drought and extreme heat. Crop analysts are projecting a decrease of 4-5% in total production for the 2020-21 crop year. This will likely impact tonnages at the port this fall. Grain could dip below 5-year average volumes by the end of the shipping season.

Keefer Terminal On Track for Banner Year

Keefer Terminal's strong project and general cargo program is expected to continue throughout the fall. Keefer cargo volumes are expected to reach a 25-year high in 2021.

In addition to dimensional loads such as heavy-lift engines and pre-fabricated housing modules, the Terminal is handling record volumes of steel products destined for Western Canada. Structural steel from Luxembourg and steel rail from Central Europe are serving the general construction and rail construction markets on the Prairies.

Shipments of phosphate fertilizer destined for Western Canada are expected to continue to increase throughout the season. The commodity, critical for Western Canadian crop production, was first handled at Keefer in 2020, and represents a major opportunity to diversify and increase cargo in the Port.

Below: Phosphate fertilizer cargo is discharged directly into covered storage by a conveyor system

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Below: Recently completed paved laydown areas at Keefer Terminal are occupied by steel imported from Europe and destined for Western Canada.

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Staff Appointment

Staff Appointment

Chris Heikkinen was appointed Director of Business Development & Communications, July 1, 2021.


Mr. Heikkinen joined the Port as Communications & Research Coordinator in 2010 and has most recently held the position of Finance Coordinator. An Honours Bachelor of Commerce graduate from Lakehead University (Human Resources & Industrial Relations), Chris has pursued further professional development throughout his career, recently achieving his Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA) designation.


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