A keel laying ceremony marked the beginning of assembly of the first new U.S.-flagged Great Lakes bulk carrier to be built in more than 35 years. The vessel will be named the Mark W. Baker, in honor of the son of the chairman of The Interlake Steamship Company and the second generation management of the family-owned company.
“This ship is more than the steel assembled here by Fincantieri Bay Shipbuilding,” said James R. Barker, Interlake’s Chairman. “This ship represents Interlake’s determination to be an active and responsible participant in all aspects of Great Lakes trade.”
Being built at Fincantieri Bay Shipbuilding in Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin, the new River-Class, self-unloading bulk carrier is believed to be the first ship built on the Great Lakes for U.S. Great Lakes service since 1983. Measuring 639 feet in length and 28,000 DWT, the ship will transport raw materials such as salt, iron ore, and stone to support manufacturing throughout the Great Lakes region. Jointed designed by Fincantieri and Interlake, the bulk carrier, complete with advanced vessel and unloading systems automation.
Ordered in April 2019, and due to enter service in mid-2022, this will also be the company’s first new ship since 1981. The Canadians in recent years have built several new vessels as a fleet renewal effort for their lake service, but unlike the U.S. they did not have cabotage laws so those vessels were built overseas, mostly in China due to the lower costs.
The engineering and pre-fabrication work of its modular sections had been underway for nine months prior to the first block being lowered into Fincantieri Bay Shipbuilding’s graving dock. More than a dozen team members from Interlake, along with the shipbuilders of FBS, stood in a socially-distanced manner to watch the block being lowered into place.
“Our workforce is very proud to construct what will become a “homeport ship,” says Fincantieri Bay Shipbuilding’s Vice President and General Manager Todd Thayse. “This large-scale bulk carrier is being built on the Great Lakes and will operate right here on the Great Lakes, which creates a sense of local and regional pride. Today’s ceremony with Interlake and the naming of the vessel really brings this ship to life. We are excited and appreciative for Interlake’s continued confidence in the quality of our work.”
During the keel laying ceremony, there is a coin-setting tradition of having the youngest apprentice place newly-minted silver and gold coins under the keel upon which the ship will be constructed. Luke and Eli Barker, sons of Mark W. Barker and third-generation members of the family company, were chosen as the symbolic “young apprentices.” The brothers collected coins from various Interlake officials and tucked them in a bag, which they nailed into an oak block upon which the keel was set. When the ship is finished, the owners and others are presented with the block and coins, with both pieces becoming a part of the ships’ artifacts.
“It is truly amazing to have a ship that is built here in Wisconsin and made from steel from Indiana that came from iron ore mined in Minnesota with U.S. crews, U.S. workers, and U.S. miners all doing this for our great Country,” said Mark W. Barker, President of Interlake. “This is just an amazing story that I am absolutely privileged and so proud to be a part of as we continue the long tradition in this Country of building, running and operating the U.S. fleet.”
In addition to Fincantieri Bay’s team, major partners for the project include American Bureau of Shipping (ABS), ArcelorMittal, Bay Engineering (BEI), EMD Engines, Caterpillar, EMS-Tech, Lufkin (a GE Company), Kongsberg and MacGregor.
Go to Source
A massive fire broke out at the Port of Beirut on Thursday, incinerating a warehouse full of tires and oil within the port’s free zone. The same area was heavily damaged in the ammonium nitrate explosion that leveled the central port area and the adjacent waterfront on August 4. According to Lebanon’s civil defense agency, […]
Over the course of the past five days, the Australian Maritime Safety Authority arranged a medical intervention for an injured aboard a freighter in the Indian Ocean. On Saturday evening, the Spliethoff tweendecker Dolfijngracht called for assistance while under way about 1,000 nauical miles off the coast of Western Australia. A crewmember had sustained serious […]
The naval forces of the US and Bahrain recently staged a joint force training exercise which showcased the interoperability between coalition warships operating I the Arabian Gulf. Coalition Task Force Sentinel executed combined exercise Sentinel Shield supporting Sentry and Sentinel patrols in the coalition’s area of operations. The guided-missile destroyer USS John Paul Jones and […]
DSV Belgium has solid experience in the transport of pharmaceutical products for different customers. With a pharma hub based at Brussels Airport a lot of experience and know-how has been built up over the years. Last weekend, the forwarder handled one hundred million mouth masks, an important milestone for its Belgian organisation that has put […]
With close to 100 daily cargo flights operated to a destination network spanning more than 65 cities across six continents, Emirates SkyCargo is delivering essential supplies and commodities to people around the world. The air cargo carrier is currently operating 11 Boeing 777 freighter aircraft, each with a capacity to transport about 100 tonnes of […]
The UK government’s new post-Brexit tariff regime will result in both winners and losers. The new regime is set to replace the European Union’s Common External Tariff from the end of the Brexit Transition Period on December 31, 2020. The UK’s commitment to the ongoing Brexit process and ending the UK’s transition from EU membership […]
The U-Freight Group (UFL), with its considerable involvement in eCommerce logistics, says that the latest statistics showing that global e-commerce sales hit $25.6 trillion in 2018 are a further vindication of its decision to enter this sector of the international freight market several years ago. The latest available estimates, up 8% from 2017, were recently […]
The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has released a Marine Accident Brief about an accident that occurred on April 15, 2019, involving the towing vessel DeJeanne Maria which struck the end of a submerged dredge pipeline while pushing two spud barges to the Gulf of Mexico. The incident occurred on the Mississippi River in Pass […]
Best known as a leading passenger airport serving Germany’s most populated federal state North Rhine-Westphalia, Düsseldorf has become transformed into a vital distribution point, during the COVID 19 pandemic, for medical equipment and other life-saving goods, mostly from China. Gerton Hulsman, managing director of cargo operations, reports that the handling teams are working hard to […]
Astral Aviation has increased its intra-African network with cargo freighters during the pandemic. While there has been a reduction in capacity to, from, and within Africa, which has been caused by a stoppage of passenger flights and limited frequencies on freighter aircraft, Astral Aviation continues to operate cargo freighters from its Nairobi hub to 13 destinations […]
Global commercial aviation charter company Albion Aviation Group is reporting that it is seeing a considerable uptake in its professional cargo broker training courses from the current global pandemic crisis and surge in charter demand. “We have completed a number webinar courses for a whole of host of companies, looking to manage their own cargo […]
Emirates SkyCargo has expanded its weekly scheduled cargo flight operations to cover 75 destinations across six continents. Through its wider reach, Emirates SkyCargo is able to transport essential commodities and other urgently needed cargo more rapidly across the world, allowing exporters and importers across markets to benefit from direct access to widebody cargo capacity. Some […]
Operators can continue to use pilots and other crew members who have unable to comply with certain training, recent experience, testing, and checking requirements due to the COVID-19 outbreak in support of essential operations. Additionally, this Special Federal Aviation Regulation (SFAR) provides regulatory relief to certain persons and pilot schools unable to meet duration and […]
Callan Marine is serving as the prime contractor to the Texas Department of Transportation for a maintenance dredging project located at the Bolivar Ferry Terminal, in Galveston, Texas. Work began in May and is estimated to be complete in late July 2020. The project consists of the removal of 600,000 cubic yards of material and […]
Network Airline Management and TAAG Angola Airlines are pleased to announce the renewal of their long-term freighter aircraft contract by an additional 12 months, sealing an ongoing partnership for the foreseeable future. Operating a regular weekly scheduled service from Liege, Belgium, to the capital of Angola, Luanda, Network Airline Management provides a Boeing 747-400F aircraft […]
Qatar Airways Cargo transported 56 SkyCell containers with vaccines from one of the largest vaccine manufacturers worldwide on its scheduled freighter and belly-hold cargo flights for its customer, CEVA Logistics. The 54-tonne shipment consisting of pneumococcal and varicella vaccines were flown from Brussels to Mumbai via the carrier’s hub in Doha on two separate flights. […]