Shipping Lines

A busy scene at the South QuayA busy scene at the South Quay
A busy scene at the South Quay
Vessels operated by major international shipping groups are berthing at Montrose in increasing numbers.

Hi Phil,

Here we go again. Busy time at the port with the continuing build-up of the Seagreen Wind Farm project. Seonaid will put through the relevant image as usual.

All the best for now,



Ships operated by major international shipping groups are regularly being seen berthed in the port of Montrose in increasing numbers. An example a few weeks ago was the BBC Seine, Antigua & Barbuda flag, 17,000-tons deadweight and 143 metres in length. She arrived down the coast from Aberdeen to load a small but important shipment of oilfield equipment and departed the following evening bound, according to the international AIS website, for Port Said, Egypt.

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Her operator BBC Chartering GmbH, owned by Briese Schiffahrt Group, is a major international shipping conglomerate based at Leer, Germany, with in excess of 150 vessels in their combined fleet and is thought to be the largest, multi-purpose, heavy lift and project cargo shipping group worldwide, specialising in the transportation of heavy and indivisible loads.

BBC Chartering opened in the port city of Bremen in 1997 moving headquarters to Leer two years later. Offices have since opened in Argentina and Houston, Texas. Services and representation have continued to expand across the globe with an important joint venture in Singapore. Currently over 30 global locations are supported by BBC Chartering personnel. Markets serviced by the fleet range from the re-supply of US Antarctic Bases to wind farm arrays and bulk cargoes of grain and fertilisers.

October began with the usual miscellany of vessels ranging from anchor handling supply ships of a variety of nationalities and owners. One stranger however was the BP Shipping supply vessel Caledonian Victory, which at time of writing was awaiting final re-naming as her sale to new owners was still under negotiation. Temporary interim name was reportedly to have been GSP Perseu. Earlier this year the Caledonian Vigilance, currently thought to be re-named Cable Vigilance, headed off to owners via the French port of Dunkirk. All four of the former BP vessels were built in China and registered in George Town, Cayman Islands.

On the commercial side an interesting vessel was the Dutch-flag short sea trader Helenic registered at the inland port of Andijk. Operated by the Royal Wagenborg group based in Delfzijl, she had been built in 2008 by the long-established shipbuilders Bijlsma at Lemmer. Meaning “at the dyke” the harbour facilities at Andijk consist of a “jachthaven” or yachthaven/marina beside the Ijsselmeer formerly part of the Zuiderzee and the site of a test polder back in 1926-7. Of 3,442-ton deadweight and 90 metres in length, she is classed Finnish Ice Class 11, strengthened for heavy cargoes with her hull double-skinned.

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Portuguese-built coaster Rig came in on the North Quay soon after. Having been completed by Estaleiros Navais de Viana do Castelo S.A. in 1989 and flying the Maltese flag, she has had several names over a lengthy career. Following in her wake from Kyleakin was Wilson Elbe to quickly load out oilfield equipment and head off shortly after but not as briefly as the Eems River, seemingly only in port for a few hours. Employed to “chaperone” the arrival and departure of the BBC Seine was the powerful tractor tug Inchcolm which had been built in Vietnam under licence from the Dutch group Damen. Delivery to Europe from the shipyard was as deck cargo by heavy lift vessel with four other towage units.

Over 50 years ago a tug of the same name was built by Aberdeen shipbuilders John Lewis & Sons Ltd. at their shipyard at Torry and launched in 1967. One of a pair, she was owned by Leith Dock Commissioners. She later changed names prior to becoming St. Margaret of Rosyth Marine Services. Built in Aberdeen she would certainly have passed Montrose on her way south to the Forth.

Caption: Busy scene at the South Quay, Montrose.

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