Ontario-Based Algoma Buys Four ‘Lakers’ from American Steamship Company

laker Adam E. Cornelius
The Adam E. Cornelius nearing the lighthouse at Gateway Metro Port in Buffalo. File Photo: American Steamship Company

Ontario-based Algoma Central Corporation (TSX: ALC) today said it has reached an agreement to purchase four U.S.-flag ‘lakers’ from American Steamship Company.

In doing so, all four ships will be re-registered to the Canadian flag.

The vessels being acquired are the M.V. Buffalo, the M.V. Adam E. Cornelius, the S.S. American Valor and the S.S. American Victory.

In a statement, Algoma said the availability of the vessels “presented an opportunity to expand Algoma’s vessel fleet and capacity at extremely attractive values.”

The company said both the Buffalo and the Adam E. Cornelius will provide efficient capacity to serve customers in the river-class segment of the domestic dry bulk market. Both ships will join Algoma’s existing fleet shipping salt, aggregates, and other commodities.

As for the older American Victory and American Valor, originally built in 1943 and 1953, respectively, the company said it has plans to re-power them as motor vessels, converted to articulated tug barges, or have their forebodies mated with modern sterns, although these plans have not yet been confirmed.

“Delivery of the vessels further solidifies our market position in the river-class segment where we see many opportunities”, said Gregg Ruhl, Chief Operating Officer at Algoma. “We are also working with our labour partners to develop a competitive labour structure for this segment.”

All four ships are former U.S. flag lakers that will be transferred to the Canadian registry for service in the Great Lakes – St. Lawrence trade.

“The Company’s purchase of these vessels and the on-going delivery of new builds combine to make the Company a leader in the marine industry. This acquisition illustrates Algoma’s innovative approach to the current market and highlights the potential for new growth in the Company,” Algoma said.