Video: Ports of Oshawa and Hamilton welcome first ships as new shipping season opens


Published March 29, 2023 at 10:21 am

First ship to arrive in the Port of Oshawa in 2023: NACC Quebec. Photo Kelly Noseworthy

The Port of Oshawa is open for business after MV NACC Quebec arrived at the harbour Tuesday with a load of cement, marking the opening of the 2023 shipping season.

MV NACC Quebec Captain Orval Bouchard – the ‘NACC’ prefix stands for Nova Algoma Cement Carrier – earned the ceremonial ‘Top Hat’ for being the first ship in the port, arriving from Port Daniel-Gascon, Quebec in the early hours of March 28.

Bouchard, who has been with Algoma for nearly three years and operated ferries on the west coast for many years, said it was an “honour” to receive the Top Hat. “Our vessel is a regular at the Port of Oshawa. Our crew enjoys the great City of Oshawa and are proud to play an integral role in delivering goods to serve the local economy.”

The shipment is bound for St. Marys Cement, which has had a plant in Bowmanville since 1968 and has been a major producer of cement materials in the Great Lakes region since 1912. Founded in St. Marys, Ontario, the company is now part of Votorantim Cimentos.

Kelly Curtis, Senior Vice President of Sales and Logistics for Votorantim, said the Port of Oshawa plays an “important role” as the gateway for the construction materials needed for residential and civil construction projects throughout the GTA.

“We’re honoured and proud to be the first vessel in this year, signaling the start of the new shipping and construction season,” Curtis said. “The Port of Oshawa is always welcoming and plays a critical role in St Marys Cement’s intermodal distribution network, enabling us to supply products when and where they’re needed in support of new construction, infrastructure improvements and modernization.”

The first ship to arrive in the Port of Hamilton in 2023: MV Florence Spirit

The first vessel of the 2023 shipping season for the Hamilton-Oshawa Port Authority arrived in Hamilton March 22 when the MV Florence Spirit arrived from Detroit. The first ‘saltie’ ocean-going vessel – the MV Federal Champlain – arrived Tuesday and was promptly loaded with Canadian corn.

The Hamilton-Oshawa Port Authority (HOPA) celebrates the start of each shipping season with the ceremonial presentation of a Top Hat to the Captain of the first vessel, a tradition that began in 1947.

With files from Kelly Noseworthy, HOPA Ports

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