MV Baffin Strait (T-AK-W9519)

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Motor Vessel Baffin Strait (T-AK W9519).
Motor Vessel Baffin Strait (T-AK W9519)
Career (USA) U.S. Ensign
Name: Motor Vessel Baffin Strait (T-AK W9519)
Owner: TransAtlantic Lines LLC[1]
Operator: TransAtlantic Lines LLC[1]
Port of registry: New York[1]
Route: Singapore to Diego Garcia
Builder: Wuhu Xinlian Shipbuilding Co. Ltd.[2]
Laid down: 1996-02-08[2]
Launched: 1996-05-28[2]
Completed: 1997-02-25[2]
Identification: Call sign: WDC2769
IMO number: 9148520[1]
Status: In service.[3]
Career (Germany) U.S. Ensign
Name: MV Baffin Strait
Owner: Rehder & Arkon
Port of registry: Antigua and Barbuda[4]
Career (Singapore) Singapore Ensign
Name: 2001 - 2004 Steamers Future,[5] 2000 - 2001 Stl Future,[5] 2000 - 2000 Steamers Future,[5] 1998 - 2000 Mekong Star,[5] 1998 - 1998 Steamers Future,[5] 1997 - 1998 Eagle Faith,[5] 1997 - 1997 Steamers Future.[5]
Owner: Keppel Corporation
Operator: Keppel Corporation
Port of registry: Singapore[4]
General characteristics
Class and type: 1A1 General Cargo Carrier CONTAINER[6]
Tonnage: 4,276 Gross Tons[1]
Displacement: 8,299 long tons[7]
Length: 100.59 metres (330.0 ft)[8]
Beam: 16.24 metres (53.3 ft)[8]
Draft: 8.2 metres (26.9 ft)[8]
Installed power: 3 Wartsila UD25L655D diesels[9]
Propulsion: Wartsila 9F32E diesel[10], controllable pitch propeller,[9] tunnel-type bow thruster.[9]
Speed: 13 kts[10]
Capacity: 5,055 metric tons deadweight (DWT),[1] and Template:TEU.[11]
Crew: 13[10]

MV Baffin Strait (T-AK W9519) is a U.S.-flagged container ship owned and operated by TransAtlantic Lines LLC and on long-term charter to Military Sealift Command (MSC). Originally built in 1997 as the MV Steamers Future for Singapore's Keppel Corporation, she has had three owners, been registered under three flags, and been renamed nine times.

Since 2004, the ship, often called the "DGAR shuttle," has been tasked to deliver 250 containers every month from Singapore to Diego Garcia.[12] The Baffin Strait carries everything from fresh food to building supplies to aircraft parts, delivering more than 200,000 tons of cargo to the island each year.[12]

The Baffin Strait is one of MSC's seven container ships and is part of the 28 ships in the Sealift Program Office.[10]


The ship is owned and operated by TransAtlantic Lines LLC, an American shipping company based in Greenwich, Connecticut.[13] This limited liability company was founded in 1998 by vice-president Gudmundur Kjaernested and president Brandon C. Rose.[13][14] The company owns and operates 5 vessels, including one tug-and-barge combination. Four of these vessels are chartered by the Military Sealift Command, and perform duties such as delivering cargo to the U.S. military base in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba and oil products to bases in the Western Pacific. TransAtlantic Lines has no collective bargaining agreements with seagoing unions.[15]

The ship was originally built as MV Steamers Future for the Steamers Maritime Holdings Company of Singapore in 1997.[16][17] Steamers was a reinvention of the venerable Straits Steamship Company, founded in 1890,[18] which been acquired in 1983 by Singapore's Keppel Corporation.[18]

As early as 1997, Keppel had begun to exit the shipping industry, and Steamers had changed its name to Keppel Telecommunications & Transportation.[18] In March 2004, Keppel announced the sale of "the entire Steamers fleet of 10 ships to Interorient for $90.9m in order to concentrate on core activities."[19] Interorient kept 7 of these ships for use in its Mediterranean-based United Feeder Services (UFS) operation, but sold MV Steamers Future along with two other ships to Hamburg-based owner Carsten Rehder.[19]

Carsten Rehder affiliate company Rehder & Arkon bought MV Steamers Future in April 2004, and renamed her MV Baffin Strait. Rehder & Arkon chartered her for 6 months to Mariana Express Lines, and sold her to TransAtlantic Lines in late October 2004.[11] TransAtlantic Lines bought her for US$6.3M.[20][21]

Sealift charter

MV Baffin Strait transits between Singapore and Diego Garcia once a month.

MV Baffin Strait is one of Military Sealift Command's seven container ships and is part of the 28 ships in the Sealift Program Office.[10] Since 2004, the ship, often referred to as the 'DGAR shuttle,' has been chartered to deliver 250 containers each month from Singapore to Diego Garcia.[12] The ship carries everything from fresh food to building supplies to aircraft parts, delivering more than 200,000 tons of cargo to the island each year."[12] On the return trip back to Singapore, she carries recyclable metals.[22]

The Sealift Program Office's mission is to provide high-quality, efficient and cost-effective ocean transportation for the Department of Defense and other U.S. government agencies.[23] The program is divided into three project offices: Tankers, Dry Cargo, and Surge.[23] Dry cargo is shipped by U.S.-flagged commercial ships.[23] Approximately 80 percent of this cargo is transported aboard regularly scheduled U.S. commercial ocean liners.[23] The other 20 percent is carried by four cargo ships under charter to MSC.[23]

In 2004, TransAtlantic Lines outbid Sealift Incorporated for the contract to haul cargo between Singapore and Diego Garcia.[15] The route had previously been serviced by Sealift Inc.'s MV Sagamore which was manned by members of American Maritime Officers and Seafarer's International Union.[15] TransAtlantic Lines reportedly won the contract by approximately 10 percent, representing a price difference of about $2.7 million.[15]

As a result of winning this contract, the US Navy gave the Baffin Strait the hull classification symbol (T-AK W9519). The T-AK series symbol is given to the seven container ships chartered by MSC but owned and operated by contractors.[7]

The Baffin Strait's current charter runs from January 10, 2005 to September 30, 2008 on a daily rate of $12,550 under contract number N00033-05-C-5500.[24]


30px External images
16px Steamers Future in 2001
In 2001, the ship was named MV Steamers Future.
16px Baffin Strait near Singapore in 2007.
MV Baffin Strait approaching the Bani Terminal in Singapore in December 2007.
16px Baffin Strait circa 2004
Baffin Strait near the time she was purchased by TransAtlantic Lines in October 2004.
  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 Det Norske Veritas, Summary, 2007.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 Det Norske Veritas, Yard Information, 2007.
  3. United States Coast Guard PSIX, 2008.
  4. 4.0 4.1 Det Norske Veritas, Previous Flags, 2007.
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 5.5 5.6 Det Norske Veritas, Previous Names, 2007.
  6. Det Norske Veritas, Class, 2007.
  7. 7.0 7.1 "MV Baffin Strait". Military Sealift Command Ship Inventory. Military Sealift Command. 2006-10-24. Retrieved 2007-09-26. 
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 Det Norske Veritas, Dimensions, 2007.
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 Det Norske Veritas, Machinery, 2007.
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 10.3 10.4 MSC Baffin Strait Page
  11. 11.0 11.1 Rehder & Arkon (October 2004). "Rehder & Arkon sold MV BAFFIN STRAIT". Rehder & Arkon. Retrieved 2008-03-18. 
  12. 12.0 12.1 12.2 12.3 Change at the helm for MSC's Diego Garcia office
  13. 13.0 13.1 Dun and Bradstreet, 2007.
  14. United States Court of Appeals, 2000.
  15. 15.0 15.1 15.2 15.3 American Maritime Officers (2004-11). "Non-union operator wins charter held by Sagamore". AMO Currents. Retrieved 2007-09-26. 
  16. Miramar Ship Index. "Miramar Ship Index". Miramar Ship Index. Retrieved 2008-03-18. 
  17. Keppel T&T Report to Shareholders, 2003. p.43
  18. 18.0 18.1 18.2 Keppel Corporation Ltd.
  19. 19.0 19.1 Trade Winds (2004-03-05). "Interorient Navigation keeps seven Keppel feeders". Trade Winds. Retrieved 2008-03-18. 
  20. "October 2004 Sales". Retrieved 2008-03-18. 
  21. Scheepvaartnieuws (2004-10-26). "Sales" (PDF). Daily Shipping Newsletter. Vlierodam Wire Ropes Ltd.. Retrieved 2008-03-18. 
  22. Commander, Navy Installations Command (CNIC) (2007). "2006 Pollution Provention and Solid Waste Success Stories" (PDF). U.S. Department of the Navy. Retrieved 2008-03-18. 
  23. 23.0 23.1 23.2 23.3 23.4 Military Sealift Command. "Ship Inventory: Sealift Ships". United States Navy. Retrieved 2008-03-18. 
  24. MSC Procurement Spreadsheet

See also


External links