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A Snapshot of Shipping: One Day on the Water

Published by Steve Campion. Category: Business & Industry

You may see quite a few trucks during your daily commute.  Maybe a freight train crosses your path now and then.  But unless you come within sight of salt water, you’re unlikely to notice the mode of shipping that carries out the most trade.

The size of some ships, as seen by landlubbers from a few miles away, is misleading.  One large container ship can carry over 15,000 boxes.  Each box, when landed on a truck trailer chassis, becomes the cargo pulled by a big rig on our highways or by locomotives on a train car.  One ship.  15,000 containers.  And each box might carry toys or sports equipment or electronics or car parts or cars or cat food– all measured in the tons.  It boggles the mind.

We recently read Ninety Percent of Everything, a book for the popular nonfiction market by British author Rose George.  Her fascinating depiction of the “invisible industry” that moves, well, 90% of everything, provoked us to research some of the ships that invisibly come and go through our Northwest waterways.*

We decided to take a snapshot: One day of bulk container ships and tankers either anchored or plying through Washington waters.  We settled on one random day because many ships dock for only a few hours to a couple days, load or unload, and depart.  Below is that snapshot, “taken” on April 14, 2014.

BULK CARGO SHIPS AND TANKERS IN WASHINGTON ON ONE RANDOM DAY (APR 14, 2014)

Strait of Juan de Fuca

Ship Flag Type Status
Alaskan Frontier United States Tanker Underway
Blue Sapphire Marshall Islands Cargo Underway
Eastern Asia Panama Cargo Underway
Galaxy Ace Liberia Cargo Underway
Graceful Leader Bahamas Cargo Underway
Granville Bridge Panama Cargo Underway
Gulf Reliance United States Tanker Underway
Hoegh Trove Norway Cargo Underway
Horizon Consumer United States Cargo Underway
Nave Ariadne Cayman Islands Tanker Underway
Panagia Stenion Cypress Cargo Underway
Port Shanghai Panama Cargo Underway
Renascentia Marshall Islands Cargo Underway
Rose Atlantic Panama Cargo Underway
Tatry Liberia Cargo Underway
Widar Liberia Cargo Underway

Hood Canal

Ship Flag Type Status
Hos Eagleview United States Cargo Anchored

Bellingham Bay (Bellingham)

Ship Flag Type Status
Seavictory Malta Tanker Anchored

Samish Bay

Ship Flag Type Status
Princimar Grace Marshall Islands Tanker Anchored
Sound Reliance United States Tanker Anchored

North Puget Sound

Ship Flag Type Status
Coastal Progress United States Cargo Underway
Josco Changzhou Hong Kong Cargo Underway
Nin Malta Cargo Underway

Salmon Bay (Seattle)

Ship Flag Type Status
Botany Bay United States Cargo Anchored
Coastal Merchant United States Cargo Anchored
Velero IV United States Cargo Anchored

Elliott Bay (Seattle)

Ship Flag Type Status
African Teist Panama Cargo Underway
Hyundai Force Panama Cargo Anchored
Jupiter Charm Panama Cargo Anchored
MOL Magnificence Marshall Islands Cargo Anchored

Central Puget Sound

Ship Flag Type Status
Ever Union Panama Cargo Anchored
Medonica United States Cargo Anchored

Commencement Bay (Tacoma)

Ship Flag Type Status
Anne Mette Bulker Britain Cargo Anchored
Calypso Colossus Singapore Cargo Anchored
Glorious Kamagari Marshall Islands Cargo Anchored
Hanover Express Germany Cargo Anchored
Horizon Tacoma United States Cargo Anchored
OOCL Britain Hong Kong Cargo Anchored
OCCL London Hong Kong Cargo Anchored

Budd Inlet (Olympia)

Ship Flag Type Status
Inland Sea Marshall Islands Cargo Anchored

The Pacific Coast

Ship Flag Type Status
Atlantic Tramp Panama Cargo Underway
Luzon Strait Hong Kong Cargo Underway
Morning Chorus Singapore Cargo Underway
MSC Eleni Panama Cargo Underway
Ocean Harmony Singapore Cargo Underway
Ramada Queen Panama Cargo Underway
Seattle Cypress Cargo Underway
Vsc Castor Liberia Cargo Underway

The Lower Columbia River

Ship Flag Type Status
Ariana Malta Cargo Underway
King Yukon Panama Cargo Underway
New Creation Panama Cargo Underway
Ocean Reliance United States Tanker Anchored

Columbia River (Longview area)

Ship Flag Type Status
Aarti Prem Liberia Cargo Anchored
Aster K Panama Cargo Anchored
Aurora Bulker Panama Cargo Anchored
Copacabana Liberia Cargo Anchored
Glorious Kauri Panama Cargo Anchored
Isla De Cedrus Hong Kong Cargo Anchored
Union Erwin Marshall Islands Cargo Anchored
Utra Vanscoy Panama Cargo Underway
Vishva Ekta India Cargo Anchored

Mid Columbia River (between Longview and Vancouver)

Ship Flag Type Status
Bulk Poland Singapore Cargo Anchored
Santa Serena Panama Cargo Underway
Sombeke Belgium Tanker Underway

Columbia River (Vancouver area)

Ship Flag Type Status
Chembulk Hogkong Singapore Tanker Anchored
Golden Island Panama Cargo Anchored
Idship Bulker Hong Kong Cargo Anchored
Lake Konpira Panama Cargo Anchored
New General Panama Cargo Anchored
Star Lygra Marshall Islands Cargo Anchored

Upper Columbia River (east of Vancouver)

 No large ship is currently east of Vancouver, but ships do routinely travel the Columbia and Snake Rivers as far as Lewistown, Idaho.


*We originally wrote “quietly” come and go, but, as Rose George described in her book, modern maritime traffic is anything but quiet to the marine animals living in the water.  We settled on “invisibly” and meant it from the perspective of the average human resident.

PHOTO: Horizon Tacoma in the Sitcum Waterway, Tacoma © 2014 Steve Campion.

SOURCE: Some ships were visually identified.  Others were derived from Marine Traffic.

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