GLF update?

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Andrew

Re: GLF update?

Unread post by Andrew »

Theres mention of it farther down. It is a contributing factor, assuredly, but then that puts every ship in America in the at risk category. With Jones Act, perhaps there may be some extension of some sort, but time will tell. I expect that if it does go through, the 2024 season could see a lot of ships at the wall. I forsee that there will be some repowerings in the near future, because like I said, it's easier to replace an engine than a whole boat.
Navman

Re: GLF update?

Unread post by Navman »

A lot of speculation within this thread. However nothing mentioned about the IMO/EPA rules on exhaust emissions. Do some searching and you will find why 2024 is a critical make or break year older engines.
Andrew

Re: GLF update?

Unread post by Andrew »

With all of the Interlake classics getting repowered in the last 10 years or so, I don't expect any of them to go anywhere for a while. Same with the Munson. Michipicoten and Saginaw were repowered about a decade ago, and the Sykes had major engine upgrades within the last few years as well.

Valor in my opinion might not sail for a while, but probably will one day.

One has to remember with the LLT Maritimers, especially the Manistee, that they hauled a lot of salt, which is much more corrosive than stone and ore. While it is sad to see the old timers like Maumee and Mississagi and Manistee go, when they haul salt for many years, it really comes as no surprise. Blough is a freak deal, because without an engine fire, her scrapping wouldn't even be a discussion. But her awkward size puts her in a bind. Same as the St. Clair. The Sherwin, frankly, should have been scrapped 20 years ago.

The AAAs getting as far as they have with their original turbines says something about their hardiness. We'll have to wait and see what happens with CN, but one has to think that putting millions into the Anderson means that GLF thought that it was an asset worth spending money on. I don't see all the AAAs getting repowered, but I do see the potential for the Anderson and possibly the Clarke. I'd be willing to concede the Callaway is in a bad spot, but everyone thought that about the Anderson as well. We'll just have to see what Cliffs does and what happens with steel mills. US fleets in general tend to hold on to stuff for the simple fact that there isn't a surplus of tonnage around if its needed. It has been the story of the Ryerson's career, and if the Ryerson can survive as long as she has, other more versatile ships might as well.
Guest

Re: GLF update?

Unread post by Guest »

Interlake built a new boat because the Sherwin is too big to get up the Cuyahoga River.
Jared
Posts: 697
Joined: December 6, 2014, 4:51 pm

Re: GLF update?

Unread post by Jared »

Guest wrote:I find it interesting that popular opinion apparently gives the AAA ships such a bright future. With only the Anderson currently in operation doesn't that reflect that there is not enough work for these vessels at this time? What is the future outlook for cargo tonnages on the lakes? I know that this class is a favorite of hobbyists, and are indeed favorites of my own, but the reality is that they going on 70 years of age and have been worked hard over those years. Realistically, how much service life is remaining in these vessels? It would seem reasonable to assume that all three are likely going to need expensive repowering upgrades in the near future to both comply with new regulations and maintain efficiency not to mention a dwindling pool of personnel familiar with operating steam powerplants.
10 years isn't that bright of a future nor a long one. In my post below, I said that my friend at the yard said he "thinks" the AAAs have another decade left. On the other side of the coin, it should be noted that Interlake decided to build a whole new boat instead of bringing the Sherwin up to date.

I'm also surprised that the Mississagi got towed to scrap before the Manistee did. If the Manistee, Valor, and Blough go to the breakers in the next 36 months, I think that will signal the twilight era of the classics.
Andrew

Re: GLF update?

Unread post by Andrew »

If there wasn't a chance that the AAAs have a future, I doubt the Anderson would have been repaired several years ago. Like I've said before, I think there's a fair chance many of the 1950s era vessels will have as long a lifespan as some of the 1000 foot ships. Not to say specific ships won't go to the heap sooner than late, but I think GLF investing a lot of funds into the Anderson when she was in such bad shape says something.
Guest

Re: GLF update?

Unread post by Guest »

I find it interesting that popular opinion apparently gives the AAA ships such a bright future. With only the Anderson currently in operation doesn't that reflect that there is not enough work for these vessels at this time? What is the future outlook for cargo tonnages on the lakes? I know that this class is a favorite of hobbyists, and are indeed favorites of my own, but the reality is that they going on 70 years of age and have been worked hard over those years. Realistically, how much service life is remaining in these vessels? It would seem reasonable to assume that all three are likely going to need expensive repowering upgrades in the near future to both comply with new regulations and maintain efficiency not to mention a dwindling pool of personnel familiar with operating steam powerplants.
Guest

Re: GLF update?

Unread post by Guest »

I can see a couple of the AAAs ending up with VanEnkevort for barge conversions.
Guest

Re: GLF update?

Unread post by Guest »

I just read that steel imports are down 10%, from August and US Steel has an expected earnings growth rate of 390.6%. If the entire GLF is not all out sailing in this kind of market where there are supply shortages and strong demand, then nothing will.

And I read today that US Steel is going to spend $3billion to build a new mini-mill with two EAFs, either in Alabama or Arkansas.

https://www.nwitimes.com/business/local ... 62ca7.html.

And read the last paragraph very closely. They want to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 20% by 2030 and reach net zero carbon emissions by 2050... that means Gary Works, Granite City Works and the Edgar Thomson plant will be gone. Unless they come up with some kind of GHG capture technology for the integrated mills I don't see how the three integrated mills would survive in a new zero carbon emission environment in 2050.

- Brian

- Brian
Andrew

Re: GLF update?

Unread post by Andrew »

Frankly, I think the ships in the worst danger would be the Blough and perhaps the Callaway. While I don't think you're wrong, in many ways, I view the smaller AAAs as useful assets since they can backhaul better than the footers, and if they can make money both ways, it makes sense to keep them. The smaller, more versatile vessels seem to be on the trend these days, evidenced by the newbuilds we've seen in the last decade on the US side- ATBs and the Mark Barker. With structural work done to the Anderson and Clarke recently, I don't see that their hulls are on the brink yet. If the Callaway's holds are in as bad of shape as people say, then yes, this might bode very poorly for her. But if the Anderson and Clarke were at the point that they were in poor enough condition to dump, I don't see why GLF wouldn't have done it back in 2019 instead of throwing all that money into them.
Guest

Re: GLF update?

Unread post by Guest »

If GLF is indeed up for sale as appears likely to be the case, I don't see this ending good for many of the ships in the fleet. Having followed the Great Lakes shipping industry since the 1970s, I have to say that these are among the most troubling times I have ever seen other than the 1980s. Despite Interlake building a new ship, I can only see the current number of ships on the lakes being further reduced and I would estimate that about 1/3 to 1/2 half of those currently under the US flag will be gone by 2030. I base this on the continued decline of coal, new environmental standards, and the absence of any major investiments in the integrated steel mills served by many of these ships.

I would imagine that any sale of GLF assets does not bode well for the Blough as it would seem reasonable that it would be sold for scrap rather than trying to find a buyer willing to accept a ship in need of major work given the current economic conditions. The most probable result will be a breakup of the current fleet to multiple owners like what happened with the Oglebay Norton fleet. With its limited versatility, the future of the Edgar B. Speer is open to question as any potential buyer would want to secure long-term contracts for the few ports at which it can serve. On the other hand, putting a boom on that ship may not be beyond a cost-effective solution to its limited capabilities unless there is some design feature that would complicate such a conversion. I would expect to see at least 1 to 2 of the AAA class going to scrap if not all three (Anderson, Clarke, Callaway). The Munson (sometimes also considered a AAA), with its relatively recent repowering, would appear to have a much more secure future. The Great Republic and Edwin H. Gott will likely be picked up by other fleets. The Presque Isle may present a different question depending upon how efficient it is in operation. The overall condition and estimated serviceable lives of these ships will also determine their future.

Obviously, potential buyers are Interlake, Rand, and CML. Although I doubt that Cliffs would want to reenter the Great Lakes shipping business it is possible they could purchase the fleet and run it as a subsidiary. On the other hand, could Algoma or CSL see this as an opportunity to create US subsidiaries to engage in the movement of cargo between US ports? Any of these scenarios will likely result in some ships being sold for dismantling.

Unfortunately, this situation involves much more than fleet changes, color changes, renamings, and new stack markings. Having been through a few corporate changes myself during my career, I feel for the GLF employees that are now faced with an uncertain future.
Scott

Re: GLF update?

Unread post by Scott »

Andrew wrote:I'd have to agree with that. The Gott is very versatile, and the Munson and Great Republic would be useful assets to Interlake since they are trying to break into the sand and salt business more. I could see them picking up the Anderson since she had the hold work done. She would need repowering, but the hull is in good shape. Either way, if the fleet is for sale, it will be interesting to see how long they might be up for sale before there is a taker and who it will be; whether the fleet gets divided is anyone's guess. Other than CML or Interlake, I honestly don't see another fleet taking them. Algoma and Rand are maxed out. I'm sure they will end up somewhere, since someone will pay more than scrap value for them. Perhaps this would be a chance for a new fleet to form, or, hoping against all hope, Oglebay Norton to get back in? Just thinking out loud. Will be curious to see what happens.

Would those hulls and equipment stay good for very long if the vessels got into the salt trade? Just wondering.
Andrew

Re: GLF update?

Unread post by Andrew »

I'd have to agree with that. The Gott is very versatile, and the Munson and Great Republic would be useful assets to Interlake since they are trying to break into the sand and salt business more. I could see them picking up the Anderson since she had the hold work done. She would need repowering, but the hull is in good shape. Either way, if the fleet is for sale, it will be interesting to see how long they might be up for sale before there is a taker and who it will be; whether the fleet gets divided is anyone's guess. Other than CML or Interlake, I honestly don't see another fleet taking them. Algoma and Rand are maxed out. I'm sure they will end up somewhere, since someone will pay more than scrap value for them. Perhaps this would be a chance for a new fleet to form, or, hoping against all hope, Oglebay Norton to get back in? Just thinking out loud. Will be curious to see what happens.
Guest

Re: GLF update?

Unread post by Guest »

For anyone interested, the NTSB is still doing their investigation into the fire that occurred onboard the Roger Blough at Sturgeon Bay on February 1, 2021. The NTSB# for the incident is: DCA21FM015 .

And one can search the Carol database of the NTSB to check the status of the investigation. https://data.ntsb.gov/carol-main-public/basic-search

- Brian
Guest

Re: GLF update?

Unread post by Guest »

I don't see why Interlake would be interested in the AAAs that haven't been re-powered. Munson I could see as a vessel they'd like to have, and except for the new Mark W. Barker, would be their only 767+ foot vessel with a forward-boom.

Great Republic would be a good fit for Interlake, perhaps as a backup vessel with the salt contract they have with Cargill. Speer and Blough lack the versatility of the Edwin H. Gott, and of those two, the Blough ends up being the odd duck out. Not sure if the Blough could unload at Burns Harbor, as her hull depth is 8 feet less than the Stewart J. Cort, and perhaps the dockside hopper would need to be rebuilt?

- Brian
hausen
Posts: 803
Joined: July 2, 2010, 1:36 pm

Re: GLF update?

Unread post by hausen »

Jon Paul wrote:
I highly doubt Cliffs would be interested in the GLF fleet.
The Gott, with its extra-long self-unloading boom, relatively new engines, and reportedly extra robust construction, could possibly be an appealing iron ore pellet carrier for Cliffs. The Munson has the advantage of a forward-mounted boom, new engines, relatively high cubic capacity for a ship its size, and just had its unloading tower rebuilt from a bucket elevator system to a loop belt system.

As you said, seems unlikely Cliffs would be particularly interested in much of the rest of the GLF fleet unless they were looking at the big-picture advantages of owning an entire fleet of ships. In that case they'd have to be willing to make long-term investments in those ships and be willing to wait patiently before those investments started paying for themselves as the company reaped the benefits of controlling one's own raw materials transportation costs.

If Cliffs wanted to do such a thing with the GLF ships, it would likely have to be looking at re-powering all of the remaining ships besides Gott and Munson, and either making sure the unloading shuttles on the Speer and Blough match up with the receiving hopper at Burns Harbor, Indiana, or at least putting a conventional slewing unloading boom on the Speer.

Highly unlikely but interesting to imagine what the Munson or Blough or even the Gottwould look like in the CML / ex-Inland Steel colors scheme.
Jon Paul
Posts: 775
Joined: December 14, 2017, 8:37 pm

Re: GLF update?

Unread post by Jon Paul »

Andrew wrote:If that's the case, and not a rumor (I'm not doubting what you heard or the person you heard it from, just always cautious about this stuff), there's really one of four outcomes. One, GLF tries to run independent of CN as a 'new' company, which is unlikely, two, Algoma, three, Rand, or four, Cliffs. I'm really hoping for Cliffs. Honestly, I think the chances are pretty high.
I highly doubt Cliffs would be interested in the GLF fleet. Interlake covers AK/Dearborn, VTB is servicing Torco and Ironville and Cleveland bulk terminal and ASC footers service Indiana Harbor and that area.
If anything I would suspect that down the road Cliffs would pick up some of the ASC footers if the price was right. They would be able to service Indiana Harbor, Burns Harbor, Toledo Torco and Cleveland Bulk Terminal but I only see that if the Rand situation unravels and Cliffs wants the stability of having better control.
Andrew

Re: GLF update?

Unread post by Andrew »

I wonder if the fleet could possibly be split up? If that's the case, I see Interlake picking up the Great Republic and at least a couple of the AAAs.
Andrew

Re: GLF update?

Unread post by Andrew »

If that's the case, and not a rumor (I'm not doubting what you heard or the person you heard it from, just always cautious about this stuff), there's really one of four outcomes. One, GLF tries to run independent of CN as a 'new' company, which is unlikely, two, Algoma, three, Rand, or four, Cliffs. I'm really hoping for Cliffs. Honestly, I think the chances are pretty high.
jerry at

Unread post by jerry at »

I was told today, that the Captains of the fleet boats were notified that the fleet is for sale.
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