Canadian-based fleet carrier Algoma Central Corporation announced the first of two new freighters has begun its two-month voyage from China to Canada and should be available to service the Great Lakes in early November.
The 740-foot freighter and the ship named the Algoma Niagara departed on Tuesday from the Yangzijiang Shipyard in China and will head to Canada via the Panama Canal.
“The Algoma Niagara is the first of two new Equinox Class 740-foot self-unloaders being built at Yangzijiang Shipyard and she will be joined by her sister ship, the Algoma Sault, in the first half of 2018," said Ken Bloch Soerensen, Algoma president and CEO in a press release.
The Algoma Niagara will be the fifth Equinox Class vessel to join the Algoma Great Lakes fleet. Bloch said the ships have been designed to optimize fuel efficiency and minimize environmental impact by 45 percent compared to older vessels.
The Equinox freighters are the first to include a fully integrated International Maritime Organization-approved exhaust gas scrubber that is able to remove 97 percent of all sulphur oxides from shipboard emissions, the company said.
The addition of two new freighters should increase mobility and shorten delivery timing between Canada and Michigan.
"The Algoma Niagara is expected to arrive in Canada and enter service in early November, making the ship available for the peak fall season on the Great Lakes," according to the press release.