Algoma Central’s newest addition to their Great Lakes fleet, Algoma Strongfield, has departed from her builder’s yard in China and begun her delivery voyage to the Great Lakes. She is the fourth vessel constructed as part of Algoma’s newest class of ships, the Equinox Class. The vessel is currently on her way to the Philippines to refuel before making the voyage across the Pacific Ocean, through the Panama Canal, and up the U.S. East Coast before entering the St. Lawrence Seaway. Algoma Strongfield is expected to arrive on the Lakes in June. The ship will join her sisters Algoma Equinox, Algoma Harvester, and G3 Marquis in the grain and iron ore trades.
Algoma Strongfield will be the first Equinox Class vessel to arrive on the Great Lakes since January of 2015. The Chinese shipyard that was to build all eight vessels had already delivered the first three and was constructing Algoma Strongfield when they filed for bankruptcy, which brought the entire project to a halt. However, Algoma was able to acquire the vessel and complete her construction. According to the company, there are another seven Equinox Class vessels that will still be delivered. Two of those vessels, which will be 650′ self-unloaders, are likely intended to replace the aging Algoway and Algorail. The other five vessels will all be sisters to the current Equinox gearless bulk carriers, and all five will be self-unloaders. Two of these ships are expected to arrive on the Lakes before the 2017 shipping season comes to a close.