Bulk freight shipper Rand Logistics, Inc. has taken delivery of its newest Canadian self-unloading vessel, increasing its fleet to 16 ships, including 10 Canadian flagged and six U.S. flagged vessels.
According to Rand, the new vessel will have the largest carrying capacity of any existing river class self-unloader and is anticipated to be the most efficient vessel of its class on the Great Lakes.
“This vessel is the first new river class self-unloader to be introduced into Great Lakes service in over 40 years and will arrive in Canada in approximately 45 days,” said Scott Bravener, President of Rand's Lower Lakes Towing subsidiary. “This additional capacity reaffirms the Company's commitment to support the growth of its customers and further solidifies our position as the premier service provider in the Canadian river class market.”
“As reported in our first quarter fiscal 2016 financials, the new vessel will service existing business that is presently being delivered through a third party time charter, resulting in minimal profit to Rand,” said Mark Hiltwein, Rand's CFO. “We anticipate transferring tonnage to our new vessel at or near the time the third party time charter agreement expires. Once fully utilized, we expect per day profitability generated from our newest vessel to exceed that of any of our existing assets.”
Hiltwein added, “Since we announced the project in March 2014, we have been incurring higher debt and interest costs without the benefit of any earnings from this investment. As a result of the final shipyard vessel payment, offset by the cash generation of the business thus far in the 2015 sailing season, we are expecting that our September 30, 2015 debt balance will increase by approximately $10 million from the prior quarter end. We estimate that the new vessel will increase our overall return on invested capital by approximately 1 percent and our free cash flow per basic shares outstanding at the current Fx rate by between $0.18 and $0.22 on a full year basis.”
Video footage represents the launching of vessel's forebody built by Chengxi Shipyard Co: