Van Isle Barge Services articulated tug-barge combination placed into service rotation

by Canadian Shipper

SURREY, B.C. — Van Isle Barge Services (VIBS) has announced that its Van Isle Link and Sealink Pusher articulated tug-barge combination (ATB) has been placed into service rotation after successfully completing sea trials off the coast of Vancouver.

Similar to others in VIBS’ fleet, the Van Isle Link/Sealink Pusher ATB provides cargo services between Vancouver and Vancouver Island. In fact, with the addition of this new ATB, VIBS provides 60% of Vancouver Island’s groceries.

The short-sea shipping concept that uses commercial drop trailer barges allows VIBS’ ATB fleet to act as roll-on and roll-off vessels to carry semi-trailers, automobiles, off-road industrial equipment and other self-propelled vehicles. “VIBS’ drop-trailer transport services offer a safe, secure shipping alternative, saving approximately 50% over traditional driver accompanied ferry transport by eliminating the cost of tractor and driver during the ferry waiting/sailing process,” said officials in a release.

“With the changing demographics on Vancouver Island calling for an increased demand in consumer products, we decided to invest in additional capacity for this growing segment of the Vancouver Island supply chain. We view the purchase and application of GE’s diesel engine as an investment in our future,” said Doug Jesson, business development manager of VIBS.

“GE engines meet stringent Environmental Protection Agency Tier II emissions standards, are fuel efficient and inherently designed for reliable operation. Since the inception of our relationship with GE, we have been impressed with the company’s strong commitment to customer service, its reputable distribution partner Cullen Diesel Ltd., and accessibility to parts and service capabilities,” Jesson added.

The commercial drop trailer ATB is powered by two V228 medium-speed diesel engines provided by GE Marine.

According to John Manison, manager of GE Marine, Erie, Pa., “This ATB project with Van Isle Barge Services holds many milestones for GE. We were able to deliver the 12-cylinder engine quickly to effectively meet Van Isle Barge Services’ tight project deadline. In addition, this ATB marks the first application of GE diesels in marine service in the Canadian pacific northwest.”

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