Wow, I had hopes for this. Died faster than I thought it would.
Peter T. Leach, Senior Editor | Apr 27, 2012 1:00PM GMT
The Journal of Commerce Online - News Story
| Short Sea/Barge
| Container Shipping
Company had suspended feeder service out of Halifax this week
American Feeder Lines, which suspended its 9-month-old feeder service from Halifax to Portland, Me. and Boston this week, is going out of business.
“We had to pull the plug because there was not enough volume on the service,” Said Rudy Mack, chief operating officer of the New York-based carrier. “You need a certain cash flow to run this service. We don’t have it today. We won’t have it tomorrow.”
Mack said the German investors who had helped launch the company last year were no longer willing to subsidize the money-losing operation. “So we decided to close it. Otherwise it would be irresponsible to bleed money away without the hope to break even within the near future.”
AFL started the Halifax-Boston service last July with a chartered vessel called the AFL New England with a capacity of 700 20-foot-equivalent units.
The carrier had hoped to build up to 10 container ships in the U.S. and launch weekly short-sea services that would link up to 18 ports under the Jones Act.
“The short-sea, Jones Act idea has died,” Mack said. “If you can’t run a feeder service from Halifax to Boston and Portland, how will you be able to run other short-sea services?”
Wow, I had hopes for this. Died faster than I thought it would.
Ship Engines - http://www.flickr.com/photos/robbynorman/sets/72157603921324598/
Ships around the World - http://www.flickr.com/photos/robbynorman/sets/72157606763159635/
The failure of AFL is no surprise at all. It certainly would have been a very big surprise if this feeder ship concept had been successful. A coastal container feeder service is much better suited to a tug and barge. The tug and barge services serving Alaska from Seattle have proven this over many years. If the Portland and Boston region were generating enough container volume to justify a feeder service to Halifax, a tug and barge operation would already be providing the service at much lower cost than a ship.
cmakin (May 2nd, 2012)
Delete repeat post.
The container run to puerto rico is a more valid comparison. Crowley dominates with their barges and shipping companies have tried and failed to compete. The difference is that in Alaska, the ports are too shallow to allow container ships in.Originally Posted by tugsailor
Trailerbridge is another that has seen many ups and downs over the years.
Depth normally is not the problem it's freight volume, most cities in SE Alaska do not have over 20,000 people. We leave twice a week with about 600 teu's for SE AK. The summer time gets busy with the fish haul back though.Originally Posted by Capt. Phoenix
http://thechronicleherald.ca/busines...container-ship Here's the latest.
Crowley is losing millions on the PR run. No volume, no profit (barge or ship).
The sad fact is that as long as no major American trucking company gets behind a coastwise container service by ship then there never will be a "Marine Highway". I actually don't believe that even if a major trucking company got behind the idea that it would be successful hence why the AMHI is nothing more than useless blather.
It ain't never gonna happen my friend!
* if energy in the Arctic offshore takes off however, all bets are off regarding shipping north through the Bering Strait. It honestly might work out much better for Shell to literally bring the cargo all the way to the Chukchi and Beaufort Seas rather than transship in Dutch Harbor. There has even been talk of an Arctic version of Fourchon but the cost to build it would be ASTRONOMICAL! Still if there really is the 29billion barrels of oil up there, even numbers we might consider as astronomical might actually be quite realistic. Just the environmental hurdles would be unbelievable. I wonder what 15 years from now will look like up there?
btw...do you know that at one time back in the late 50's, there was serious talk of using a nuclear device to "excavate" an artificial harbor in the high arctic? Seriously, there was! Betcha now they wished they had done it when they had the chance!
Last edited by c.captain; June 8th, 2012 at 05:37 AM.
Brody: You're certifiable, Quint! You know that?
Quint: Yeah, yeah, yeah...
Evidently in many cases the tug and barge is cheaper but I wonder why don't see more tug and barges outside the U.S. Most tows I see are either low value cargo for example the barges used inside Tokyo Bay or they are huge pieces of equipment that can not fit on a conventional ship.I don't recall ever seeing a container barge anywhere in the world except the United States (Seattle to Alaska, Hawaii or to San Juan P.R.)
The coastwise traffic one encounters overseas is almost exclusively small ships.There are small tankers, containerships, LNG etc, they have the same design as the ocean-going vessels, just smaller.
There are a few barges inside the Persian Gulf but even there lots of cargo is moved by dhows. The only time you see a tug pulling a barge loaded with containers in the open ocean it is U.S. to U.S. port.
Last edited by Kennebec Captain; June 9th, 2012 at 06:52 AM.
As far as I know, the US is the only "developed" country that allows uninspected tugs. Tugs are definitely inspected vessels in Canada and Europe.
I suspect that foreign governments do not allow their inspected tugs and barges to be used as undermanned "rulebeaters" the way the uninspected tugs are in the US. The foreign tugs that I have seen have ten men (where the same type of US tug would have five men). The foreign tugs appear to have the same amount of crew as those small foreign ships.
Its been a long time, but the last time I was tied up alongside the SEASPAN COMMADORE (Canadian tug), they had two mates (who stood watch 6 and 6), and more crew than I could count without taking off my shoes. They had a real union and the wages and benefits were also a lot higher than on US tugs. It was also equipped much more like a ship than most US tugs are.
Its been a long time, but the last time I was in Japan even the harbor tugs had 10 men, so did the little 100' tanker that came alongside to bunker us.
If US tugs had to be properly inspected, manned, and equipped, the same as the a small inspected US ship, there would be a lot less tugs.