Innovator among 4 freighters in port this week

(Tribune file photo/Sam Hankinson) The Algoma Innovator is shown in a visit to Grand Haven earlier this year with a load of stone for Meekhof’s D&M on Harbor Island. The Innovator is new to our port as it is one of several new vessels in Algoma’s fleet, replacing older vessels like the Algorail and Algoway, both of which were frequent callers to Grand Haven. The Innovator was built in Croatia and arrived on the Great Lakes last spring. 

The Port of Grand Haven saw four deliveries this past week.

Last Wednesday, the steamship Wilfred Sykes arrived with a load of slag for Meekhof’s D&M on Harbor Island.

Port City Marine’s articulated tug/barge Commander/Bradshaw McKee came in to port on Saturday with a partial load of cement for the St. Marys Cement terminal in Ferrysburg. By the next morning, they were upbound for Charlevoix to pick up another load.

Algoma Central Corp.’s self-unloader Algoma Innovator arrived with a load of stone for Meekhof’s D&M at dusk Sunday night. The Innovator unloaded through the night and was gone by daybreak the next morning.

Tuesday afternoon saw the Commander/McKee return with another load of cement for the Ferrysburg terminal.

The Wilfred Sykes is our most frequent visitor so far this season, having already been to our port 12 times.

While the Sykes has been trading on the Great Lakes since 1949, the Commander and Innovator are much newer to the scene. These two vessels represent the latest investments in American and Canadian shipping on the Great Lakes.

The Commander was originally built as the dry bulk barge Cleveland Rocks. The last few seasons saw the barge sitting idle at the Mart Dock in Muskegon. In spring 2017, the barge was towed to Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin, to begin conversion to a cement carrier.

The Algoma Innovator is a new vessel that is visiting for the second time this season. Last month was the first time we ever saw the Innovator in port. This vessel is part of Algoma’s ongoing fleet renewal program that began in 2012.

The Innovator’s boom is mounted forward, while its pilothouse is located aft. This gives the vessel incredible versatility, as it can make deliveries to docks that are hard to access by vessels with stern-mounted unloading equipment.

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