[:en]April 3, 2020
HAMILTON, ON – International bulk carrier, Federal Nagara, became the first ship to arrive at the Port of Hamilton today, officially kicking off its 2020 marine shipping season. Travelling all the all the way from Richards Bay in South Africa, the Fednav-owned vessel docked at Pier 23 with a load of ferroalloy for local stevedore QSL to unload.
Master Mariner, Arka Sengupta was presented with a ceremonial top hat and gift by the Hamilton-Oshawa Port Authority’s Harbour Master, Vicki Gruber, from the pier. Due to the threat of COVID-19, this is a very different and distanced take on the traditional top hat ceremony. Normally, the Harbour Master would come aboard the first vessel to congratulate the captain and crew. After leaving Hamilton, Federal Nagara is scheduled to proceed to Ashtabula, Ohio to discharge a load of titanium slag, and then it will sail on to Duluth-Superior to load up on wheat destined for Algeria.
HOPA Ports President & CEO, Ian Hamilton was the only other official on hand to welcome the ship and celebrate the season start. Despite the ongoing coronavirus crisis, Hamilton is confident heading into marine shipping season, as maintaining the integrity of supply chains is now more important than ever. “We are doing things differently to prevent the spread COVID-19, but we will ensure Canadian goods continue to move throughout the Great Lakes, and into international markets. It is a challenging time, but we will get through it by working together.”
“In light of the current global pandemic, it is reassuring to know that all members of the agricultural and maritime communities are collaborating to offer the highest sanitary and safety operational measures,” said Suzanne Bleau-Myrand, Fednav Senior Marketing Manager from Montreal, “so that trade routes may be kept open and essential industrial and agricultural commodities delivered to ports worldwide.”
Designated as an essential service by federal and provincial governments, Canadian ports and the businesses that underpin the movement of goods are operational in spite of COVID-19.
Canada’s ports are crucial to delivering key commodities to various industrial sectors, such as agriculture and construction. Ferroalloy, for example, is a raw alloy used in the production of steel. The fluidity of ports across the country will help maintain Canada’s economic resilience throughout the crisis and bolster its recovery on the other side.
Though the 2020 marine shipping season is now underway in Hamilton, it is not quite business as usual. Additional safety precautions have been set by Transport Canada for all (domestic and international) ships calling Canadian ports, in order to prevent the spread of novel coronavirus. Some of these measures include reporting the health of personnel aboard a vessel to the Public Health Agency of Canada 96 hours prior to its arrival in port and throughout its journey, as well as isolating anyone who is symptomatic or has been in contact with a symptomatic individual for 14 days.
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About HOPA Ports
As a growing integrated port network, the Hamilton Oshawa Port Authority offers innovative port and marine assets on the Great Lakes. We’re developing multimodal spaces to support Ontario’s industries and facilitate trade. By investing in high-quality infrastructure and prioritizing sustainability, we’re building prosperous working waterfronts in Ontario communities.