• Since Zim has added a second weekly call to Halterm and Ceres is operating at 75% perhaps Mr Black could enlighten on how consolidating the peirs would have benefited the region. It almost certain Zim would not have added the call if it could not get the day and conditions it was seeking. It was the flexibility of the Port that made the addition possible. But then again Mr Black obviously knows more about it than anyone else.

    Kevin McInnis | July 7, 2012 | Reply

  • One thing that very few have considered is that the future of container shipping in Halifax will be at Halterm, not at Ceres. The reason for this is the harbour bridges, or rather the limitations of the “air draft” under them. The largest ships currently calling at the Port of Halifax are the OOCL “SX Class” vessels, capable of carrying 5,888 TEU. These ships top out at 45.9 metres above the water line. Both Harbour Bridges have a clearance below of 46.9 metres at high tide. ONE METRE of clearance under the bridges to get to Fairview Cove and the ships in question are slightly more than one third the size of the largest ships afloat today, and approximately half the size of the ships that will probably be calling on Halifax in a decade from now. The shipping lines are using fairly large fleets of 4000-5000 TEU “Panamax” ships, but there is a lot of overcapacity in the container shipping industry, especially when firm ship orders are taken into account. When the widening of the Panama Canal is complete in 2014-2015, the container shipping lines will be divesting themselves of the smaller vessels, meaning instead of a 4800 TEU ship calling in Halifax, it will be a 9000 TEU vessel on the same service.

    As far as one train per day is concerned, this is my area of expertise. Two decades ago, prior to double stacking becoming available in Halifax, a train carrying 200 forty foot shipping containers would be 9300 feet long, consisting of single level flat cars with an overall length of 93 feet per car and carrying two containers each. A train carrying the same load today would be 6800 feet long, with the same two containers per car, but stacked two high instead of loaded end to end. Two decades ago, the average train was approximately 5500 feet long, with a maximum of around 7,000 feet. The average today is roughly 9,000 feet long, with a maximum of 12,000 feet. A 12,000 foot long container train today can carry about 350 forty foot containers, the same as nearly three 6000 foot trains 20 years ago. At the same time, locomotive power has increased by almost 1/3, from 3,000 horepower per locomotive 20 years ago to 4,400 today. Microprocessor control and other technological improvements have increased the tractive effort (think torque in your car) by a larger percentage than the horsepower. As well, many trains now run with “distributed power,” which allows locomotives placed throughout the train to be controlled by radio from the lead engine. This improves the acceleration, braking, and in train forces of these long trains.

    Finally, it should be considered that it’s not only Halterm at the south end that is doing business, there are more ships calling at the other piers in the south end than there are at Halterm, for both bulk traffic (grain, etc) and break bulk traffic (paper, rails, bagged aluminum ore, and machinery). There is nowhere else to send these ships in the Port of Halifax, as the Pier 9 area is nowhere near large enough to handle all of that traffic.

    I’ve said this before, and here it is again. While the cruise ships to the north and Point Pleasant Park to the south are pretty, it’s the ugly, dirty stuff in between them that pays the bills. If you want to see Halifax rot and die, get rid of it’s best asset. A deep water, multi purpose commercial port. Oh, and one final note, I would recommend not filming future videos on private railway property. The fines for trespassing can get steep…

    Mark | April 17, 2012 | Reply

  • As recently as 8 months ago Halterm was operating at roughly 70% capacity and we heard nothing of Black’s rantings. As soon as there is a dip in traffic he pokes his head out again. He seems to be unaware that all port property is owned by the federal government. If he is truly interested in an informed discussion on the value of the Port of Halifax to the region perhaps he should become informed himself.To consolidate the two terminals into the north end would eliminate one of Halifax’s largest competitive advantages which is no height restriction. Also,for Back’s information the only company experiencing a dip in business in Halifax is Halterm. The rest are very busy. I know this because I work there every day. I don’t know where Black gets his information. We have had downturns before and they have always corrected themselves. I suppose the next time we have a dip in enrollment at Dalhousie we should close or move it too. We could include many business in Black’s business model until he is the only one left on the peninsula. No problem with traffic then. It time for Savage to take a stand,although in my case it doesn’t matter any more. Also when one disagrees with you it does not make them hysterical. I have a feeling you are used to getting your own way. Childish. Kevin McInnis

    Kevin McInnis | March 15, 2012 | Reply

  • I wonder about our port authorities. There is so much patronage in appointments, do we have the best people running the show. We have oodles of lawyers on the board, but how many internationally savvy business minds are brought to bear on this complex situation.
    Is there synergy that can be utilized to embellish the shipping sceanario?

    Peter McCurdy | March 14, 2012 | Reply

    • Peter I don’t think the problem is management. They are doing well in the face of a very difficult competitive context.


      Bill | March 14, 2012 | Reply

  • Halifax is firstly, a city of people. To the extent that those people provide proper attention to the upkeep of the community, so will their city be successful as a place to live (and work). Planning has been a struggle for many years. Roadways are the biggest people concern. The port secondly, is a function of roadways. Get the planning right.

    gordon Stanfield | March 13, 2012 | Reply