Improving an already effective supply chain: McKeil Marine was approached by Alouette in 2015 for an innovative solution to the need for substantial cost reductions.
Customer: Aluminerie Alouette
Location: Sept-Iles, QC to multiple Great Lakes ports
Date: 2015 to 2025
The Challenge: Further increase McKeil service levels while reducing the overall cost to Alouette.
Our Solution: Provide a highly manoeuvrable, shallow-draft bulk carrier to move cargo from the production facility in Quebec to multiple Canadian and U.S. port locations in the Great Lakes, while capitalizing on available backhaul opportunities.
McKeil was experiencing strong success with the Alouette Spirit tug‐barge to serve the customer; however, we chose to analyze a wide range of different vessel solutions, including a custom new-build.
We determined that a modern, shallow‐draft vessel with a cargo capacity of 14,250 mt and a box-hold design would enable us to transport the aluminum more efficiently and further maximize agri‐product backhauls.
We took the best of the “pass‐pass” cargo handling characteristics of our tug‐barge units and combined them with a unique, cost‐effective, shallow‐draft vessel that met Alouette’s requirements, creating the Evans Spirit.
The new vessel has a lower freeboard than most vessels. Its molded depth is only about one metre greater than that of the Alouette Spirit, and with ballasting capability, it is very similar for loading and discharging.
After reviewing this winning solution, Alouette awarded a 10‐year contract to McKeil Marine.
Gear: Evans Spirit