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Detroit River

Mike Nicholls

-- Canadian Transport --

by George Wharton

Built by Port Weller Dry Docks, St. Catharines, ON; the Canadian Transport (2) was launched April 17, 1979 for Upper Lakes Group, Inc., Toronto, ON. This Great Lakes self-unloading bulk carrier is powered by twin M.A.N. type 8L40/54A 8-cylinder diesel engines rated at 9,860 total b.h.p. driving a controllable pitch propeller giving her a rated service speed of 13 knots. She is equipped with a 1,000 horsepower bow thruster. The Canadian Transport has 22 hatches feeding 1 large hold where she can carry 26,900 tons at maximum Seaway draft of 26 feet and is capable of carrying 35,100 tons at her maximum mid-summer draft of 30 feet 10 inches. Her self-unloading equipment consists of a single belt gravity system with a reclaiming machine and a loop belt elevator feeding a 250 foot discharge boom that can be swung 100 degrees to port or starboard. The system can discharge at a rate of up to 6,096 tonnes per hour. Only one man is required to operate the unloading console in the forecastle deck control room. The crew of thirty have the use of an on-board sauna and exercise room.

The first Canadian Transport was too large to transit the St. Lawrence Seaway into the Great Lakes. This ship was built by Kure Shipyard Division, Kobe, Japan and was christened Ore Transport. She was constructed with the wheelhouse amidship and accommodations in the stern. Registered in Liberia, the Ore Transport sailed for Universe Tankships Inc. The vessel was bought by Leitch Transport (division of Upper Lakes Group) and renamed Canadian Transport in 1976. She operated in the St. Lawrence ore trade until 1978. Upon expiration of the contract, the Canadian Transport was tied up in Tampa, FL then towed to Spain in September, 1978 for scrapping. For this 2-year period, The Canadian Transport was the largest ship under Canadian registry. She was 794 feet long, 116 feet 6 inches wide, and was capable of carrying in excess of 70,000 tonnes. She was powered by a 16,500 horsepower General Electric steam turbine engine.

The Canadian Transport(2), the nearly identical Canadian Enterprise, as well as the Canadian Olympic were constructed as a result of a long-term coal supply contract between Upper Lakes Group and Ontario Hydro. The Canadian Transport's name is derived from the fleet's first word theme "Canadian" and the "Transport"ing of Ontario Hydro coal.

Besides carrying both western coal from Lake Superior ports and eastern coal from various Lake Erie ports to Ontario Hydro locations, the Canadian Transport has been noted as having carried other interesting cargoes. These include 29,300 tons of road salt from Fairport, OH on May 11, 1986 (a port record at the time) as well as the first load of limestone to the Marysville, MI dock of Blue Water Aggregates on the St. Clair River. Also of note; the Canadian Transport experienced a loop belt fire April 7, 1986 but suffered little damage due to the quick action of her crew. She opened the Welland Canal for the 162nd navigation season on March 28, 1990.

The Canadian Transport sailed under the management of Seaway Marine Transport, St. Catharines, ON (partnership of Algoma Central and Upper Lakes Group).  Then, on February 25, 2011, a formal statement was issued announcing the sale of the privately owned Upper Lakes Shipping fleet and their associated interest in Seaway Marine Transport to Algoma Central Corporation.  Former Upper Lakes Chairman of the Board, company spokesman and owner John D. ("Jack") Leitch stated "It is with some regret and sadness that I tell you that we have decided to sell the vessels of Upper Lakes Shipping and our interest in Seaway Marine Transport to Algoma Central Corporation. A definitive agreement has been signed and the deal is anticipated to close in about a month. By the end of this season the proud logo on the funnels of Upper Lakes vessels will no longer be seen on the Great Lakes or along the St. Lawrence River."  Jack further states "For 80 years we have been a part of the Canadian landscape and of the fabric of the Canadian economy."  The Upper Lakes Shipping fleet will takes its place in modern Canadian Great Lakes history as having been a prominent player in the economic development of the regions served by the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Seaway system.  On April 15, 2011, Algoma announced that the Canadian Transport will be renamed Algoma Transport.

Overall dimensions
 Length  730' 00"
 Beam  75' 08"
 Depth  46' 06"
 Capacity (tons)  35,100


Heavy ice in the Livingston Channel. Don Coles

Escorted by the Samuel Risley. N. Schultheiss

Winter lay-up. Alex Howard

Below the Livingston Channel. Don Coles

Repairs at Port Weller Dry Docks. Jeff Thoreson

Another view. Mike Nicholls

Engines. Alex Howard

Upbound at Mission Point 12/04.  L. Rowe

Stern view.  L.Rowe

St. Clair River, June 2006.
Darlene Wharton


St. Clair River, June 2006.
Darlene Wharton

Welland Canal. Alex Howard

Stern view Detroit River.
Mike Nicholls

Aerial view. Don Coles

Livingston Channel. N. Schultheiss

Stern view. Alex Howard

Loading in Windsor.
Mike Nicholls

Unloading at the Rouge Short Cut Coal Dock, Zug Island.
Mike Nicholls

Lake Eire. N. Schultheiss

Meeting the 1000-foot Oglebay Norton. Don Coles

Unloading at night. John Harris

Stern view loading.
Mike Nicholls

Winter passage through the Welland Canal. Jeff Thoreson

Stern view.  Jeff Thoreson

Unloading at Lambton Generating Station. R. Burdick

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