Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Tug News from the West

1. Smit tugs at play in Vancouver, during the International Tug & Salvage convention in May 2010.

Smit has sold parts of its British Columbia business to arch-rival Seaspan.

The transaction involves several tugs and barges, all formerly operated by RivTow, but which are not part of Smit's core business, which is harbour work in the greater Vancouver port and in Prince Rupert.

These tugs and barges are used in coastal towing and are much more in line with Seaspan's traditional business (even though they are in head to head competition in harbour work too.). However as I noted when I was in Vancouver in May, the coastal towing business is hurting due to the slump in the forestry sector. It would seem that this move is more to eliminate a rival from Seaspan's point of view, and to dispense with losing operations from Smit's point of view.

Seaspan will get at least one valuable asset in the Smit Capt Bob, a big ocean tug.

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