When a longstanding company achieves a milestone, it is cause for celebration. When an organization like Seaspan, that has been passionately delivering the best marine transportation solutions up and down the West Coast of Canada since 1886, can proudly say “we made history,” it represents something very special.
2017 will long be remembered as a milestone year in the history of Seaspan Ferries Corporation (SFC).
It marked the beginning of the realization of a bold and ambitious vision to re-construct Seaspan Ferries marine terminals and modernize the fleet of vessels that service them. It reinforced an unwavering commitment to Seaspan’s drop-trailer customers. And it served as a testament to how Seaspan Ferries lives out its Core Value of Care for the Environment by ensuring the conservation of Canadian oceans and waterways, and reducing greenhouse gas emissions dramatically while delivering the highest level of efficiency, performance and reliability.
It’s hard to believe just three short years ago – in 2014, Seaspan Ferries was preparing to embark on a large scale capital upgrade to its terminals and vessel fleet, a $250 million investment –with Board approval to modernize its terminals at Tilbury and Swartz Bay, to consolidate the existing terminals in Wellcox and Duke Point into a ‘super-terminal’ at Duke Point, and to build two new eco-friendly ferries in Turkey.
Fast forward three years, and those projects are all complete.
* Seaspan Ferries moved out of its old Wellcox terminal to Duke Point into a new state-of-the-art facility consisting of 18 acres of paved parking, large enough for over 360 trailers, two new berths and an office building.
* Terminal upgrades at Tilbury and Swartz Bay have been completed with wing wall and dolphin modifications.
* The Duke Point Bulk terminal has undergone three renovation projects. With these upgrades in place, the terminal not only provides a backup to Seaspan’s new Duke Point roll-on/roll-off berths but also provides infrastructure to service the Coastland Veneer barge loading contract, container stuffing, hog barge unloading and other project cargo opportunities.
* And lest we forget, Seaspan Ferries also took delivery of two new LNG-fuelled ferries - the Seaspan Swift and Seaspan Reliant – in early 2017. These eco-ferries, the first of their kind in North America, are now in-service with each doing two round trips daily between the Lower Mainland and Vancouver Island. Each vessel can carry up to 59, 53’ trailers.
Looking back Seaspan Ferries has accomplished a tremendous amount while still servicing its customers to an industry-leading level of excellence. Not to say there wasn’t a lot of ‘gnashing of teeth,’ heated discussions and compromise, but in the end Seaspan Ferries has facilities and vessels they can be proud of.
And now the future looks brighter than ever; this Fall Seaspan Ferries is embarking on a quest for up to three more new LNG-fuelled vessels!