Strategic Alliance for new Port locations


Castaloop USA continues its strategic growth with the offer of new Port locations on the Great Lakes.  On September 14th, 2020,  Castaloop established a strategic alliance with Carmeuse North America to provide both its marketing and stevedoring services throughout Carmeuse’s private terminal facilities.

This new alliance will enable Castaloop to offer its services for the handling of bulk, breakbulk and wind energy components. Castaloop is proud for this opportunity to contribute to Carmeuse’s continued network growth across the Great Lakes.

Thanks to this strategic agreement, Castaloop can now also provide services in the following ports:

    • Port of Sprague, ON
    • Port of Buffington, IN
    • Port of Portage, IN
    • Port of Rogers City, MI
    • Port of Huron, OH
    • Port of Mentor Cleveland, OH
    • Port of Erie, PA


alliance stratégique

For additional information:  | 418-948-4141


The 4 fundamental components to selecting the right port


As in any endeavour that involves real estate the three main rules are:

 “Rule #1 : Location, Rule #2 : Location and Rule #3 : Location.”

Although these rules of thumb come in handy when selecting a port for loading or discharging cargo there are a number of contributing factors that must be kept in mind. It goes without saying that the idea is always to please the customer, which usually means landing or picking up cargo at the closest place possible to the final destination or point of origin, whatever the case.

1 : The Quay

Firstly and foremostly, there usually has to be some kind of pier available to accept the vessel. In rare cases cargo can be handled at anchor and transferred by means of barge or other lighters but these are truly specialised cases. For the purposes of our discussion herein we will ignore lightering and beaching options.

Having a pier in proximity to the cargo requirements while desirable is not the sole factor in deciding suitability. Although movements would have to be considered according to their special situation, some of the common key considerations are:

  • Can the length of the pier securely accommodate the vessel? If the fit is tight, are tugs available?
  • Is there sufficient water depth? Are there tidal movements affecting depth at different stages?
  • Has the quay the capacity to support the cargo and/or the machinery that will be moving over it? Are there acceptable measures that can be easily taken to spread weight concentrations if required?
  • Is the pier available at the time of year that the cargo will be moving? Are there lock restrictions, ice and weather restrictions to be taken into consideration?
  • In some cases, the quay design itself might not allow for the safe and efficient handling of the cargo? How much storage capacity is available? Distance from vessel to laydown area? Are there obstructions (i.e. narrow spots, overhead projections, acute turns, etc.…) that have to be allowed for?
  • And last but certainly not least, environmentally can the cargo be passed through the port? Items such as proximity to a residential area, drainage back to the water or adjacent land are among elements that could play a part in the selection process.

Port stevedoring

2 : The Connections

The pier selection must also consider the need to move the cargo in and out of the port since very little cargo is intended directly for the port except in the case of industries that run their own service ports which are for the most part not available for public usage. As we see more and more, large heavy prefabricated units are being moved via marine transfer to sites often located inland. Wind energy projects are a prime example of this where pre-constructed components fabricated in different parts of the world are moved by vessel for inland destinations. The mining and construction sectors also have a requirement to move vehicles and other prefabricated large and heavy units that must have inland access.

The questions that must be addressed in this regard;

  • Are there suitable connections to major thoroughfares and highways?
  • Are there rail facilities at the port? If not, how far away? Are they accessible to the port given the nature of the cargo to be moved? What lines and connections are serviced? Can the cargo safely reach the rail position and once on the rail cars, can it safely move to its destination?
  • What is the proximity to the nearest residences? Will increased traffic disrupt and possibly limit cargo movements?
  • Is noise level from increased traffic going to be problematic?

3 : The Labor

Although the main ports of call are usually unionized and as such local labor is not a problem, the less utilised ports may require access to labor. Presently, in the industry there is a lack of specialised labor and so it is necessary to ensure that properly trained labor is available to attend to vessel operations. Some points to be considered:

  • Is there any local labor union accredited to work? Do they have enough labor to sufficiently supply for requirements? Have they been properly trained for the project to be undertaken?
  • Can enough specialised labor from outside local union be sourced to perform any functions that they are not able to fulfill? Is this labor local or must it be imported from another area? If so, are there establishments available locally to handle accommodating the external labor (hotels, restaurants, etc.…)?
  • Are vessel crews able and allowed to fulfill some of the functions in regards to the handling of cargo? Operate cranes? Secure/unlash cargo?
  • Are proper facilities in place for the men at the work location? If not, can they be sourced locally or what type of arrangements can be made?

4 : The Equipment

In operational planning one of the elements to be determined is the machinery and gear requirements. As these items are not usually supplied by the ports, it will be essential to ensure that the proper equipment is available and on hand. The equipment will vary but will consist of forklifts, loaders, excavators, cranes, grabs and conveyors to name at least a few. Fortunately, these items are usually quite mobile and accessible, however, as in all endeavours, costing is often the key factor in obtaining a project. Thus, when looking at a project towards selecting a port:

  • What kind of equipment will be necessary? As mentioned in Point 1, can the dock handle this equipment? Are there local suppliers? What are the mobilization and de-mobilization costs? How can maintenance and breakdowns be handled? Are local repair shops, welders and spares available?
  • Will the vessel or the client be supplying gear? Can proper certificates be produced? Gear requirements supplied by operator will require proper space to store and prepare; is it available? Are there any repair/replacement facilities in the vicinity?

As can be expected, all projects must be viewed on a case by case basis but as the above points highlight, the main items that must be addressed both internally and openly with the customer to work towards successful completion of a project to everyone’s expectations and satisfaction.

cargo stevedoring

Port of Buffalo


In its continued and strategic growth, Castaloop USA is proud to announce having concluded an alliance with The Port of Buffalo, NY for the marketing and operational stevedoring services to develop and promote the private facilities for bulk, break bulk, wind and project cargoes.


Continue reading “Port of Buffalo”

Port of Oswego

The board of Directors for the Oswego Port Authority and Castaloop USA Inc. are pleased to announce a strategic alliance in the Port of Oswego’s continued growth and commitment to service the Greater Northern New York region.
Port of Oswego


Well, everyone is handling them…
We just think it’s AWESOME that Castaloop is as well!
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How To Increase Sales By 50%

How to increase sales by 50% in 7 easy steps…
Step 1: Be a small and energetic company that launched last November;
Step 2: Have an excellent team and partners that are laser-focused on customer satisfaction;
Step 3: Obtain great support from some amazing customers since launch; …
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And then there were TWO

On May 26 th 2017, Castaloop successfully concluded the loading of its second wind energy vessel, the M/V HHL Rhine, a first in a series of a four vessel contract at the Port of Bécancour.
Thanks to a new agreement obtained with La Société du Parc Industriel et Portuaire de Bécancour, Castaloop obtained a long term operating lease thereby enabling the company to continue its strategic growth in service offer to newly include the Port of Bécancour.
Despite the M/V HHL Rhine having arrived in Bécancour on the same day as the onset of a province-wide labour and construction strike paralyzing the entire industrial sector far and wide, Castaloop orchestrated a successful series of proactive measures to make certain to deliver on its promise: to make a difference for its customer.
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New Partnership Agreement PortHawkesbury-Castaloop

Port Hawkesbury Paper’s marine facilities in Cape Breton are now under a new marketing and operating agreement with Castaloop
Québec, QC- Port Hawkesbury Paper, an industrial employer in Cape Breton producing high quality supercalendared paper in North America and Castaloop, a bulk and break bulk terminal operator, servicing clients on the St. Lawrence, Great Lakes and Maritimes have entered into a strategic alliance to market PHP’s marine facilities located in Port Hawkesbury, Nova Scotia.
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Remember your first…

On April 20 th , 2017, thanks in large part to our partners, Port Hawkesbury Paper, who were instrumental in making all this possible by enabling a smooth operation as well as ENERCON for entrusting us with the care of their wind turbines, Castaloop proudly and successfully completed the unloading of its first wind vessel on the M/V Onego Merchant.

Although our team members count decades of individual experience handling such shipments, combining this knowledge for a safe and efficient operation under the Castaloop banner was a first for our united team.

Castaloop would also wish to express a sincere thanks to Onego Shipping for its dedicated and talented crew of the M/V Onego Merchant.

They say you never forget your first, and we won’t; but more importantly, we will never forget those who trusted us from the start, and for this, we shall forever be in your debt.


Trust and transparency

The Internet is often described as a web, connecting people across the globe, but in many ways, it also functions as a window—armed with unprecedented access to information; potential customers and clients can easily see which companies are worthy of their business, and which are not. As skepticism is almost second-nature to modern internet users, trust is one of the most valuable qualities a business can achieve.

Gaining trust might seem like a simple goal for a company to accomplish, however, businesses throughout the world are continuously working against established negative perceptions. According to the 2017 Edelman Trust Barometer, only 52% of people from around the globe trust the business world.

One of the ways businesses are increasingly establishing trust is through transparency. According to accounting firm PwC, trust is more likely when a company exhibits authenticity and transparency in all aspects of its business—marketing, financial results, hiring practices, etc.—rather than simply relying on the strengths of its products or services alone. This hasn’t always been the case; principles of trust have shifted over the years in response to economic climates, innovation, and other outside factors.

Data from PwC show that from the 1920s-1960s, consumers tended to trust businesses that shared common interest and values. From the 1960s-1980s, the threat of consequences from regulators or other outside parties kept business trust in line. Since then, trust has been enabled by transparency and information more than anything else, which means businesses can no longer withhold or cleverly reshape information without consequence.

Being accountable through transparent business practices not only presents companies with a significant opportunity to increase customer loyalty, improve service, and boost brand awareness—a strong perception of trustworthiness can lead to measurable growth. According to Timothy Erblich, CEO of The Ethisphere Institute, firms that rank among the World’s Most Ethical Companies outperformed the S&P 500 by 3.3% in 2015. In addition, companies that practice transparency won’t be tainted by association when another company in the same industry displays an action that lacks integrity.

Of course, when it comes to the positive effect of transparency and trust on a business, the opposite is also true. Companies that “spin” unfavorable information or try to conceal it will be quickly dismissed and forgotten by potential clients, or in a worst-case scenario, vilified online in social media and popular review sites. Trust can take years to build, but it only takes one perceived brush with dishonesty to destroy it completely.

So whether a company is launching a new marketing campaign, offering informative content on their website, or even dealing with the fallout of a negative news story, transparency should always be the guiding factor to action.