Carrier barges forward without Marine Atlantic

MOUNT PEARL, Nfld. — Rather than wait for capacity issues at Marine Atlantic to suit their liking, Hunt’s Transport have decided to take to the sea and ship its own freight.

According to CBC, Greer Hunt, owner of the Mount Pearl-based outfit, is leasing a barge for three years to transport freight between southern Ontario and Newfoundland.

"In Newfoundland, we’ve been blessed with a vibrant economy," Hunt told CBC News. "Unfortunately, we’re having lots of issues with having our freight moved to the island … We’ve had lots of issues with Marine Atlantic."

Part of Hunt’s aggravation has stemmed from the ferry service’s controversial reservation system for commercial trucks.

Hunt’s barge will set out on its first run later this week from Hamilton, and is scheduled to arrive in Conception Bay, just west of St. John’s. The barge can handle more than 50 trailers at a time.

Hunt said he expects to be able to make a trip every 21 days and said the barge could also dock at Argentia if there is enough demand for goods at the Vale construction site in nearby site Long Harbour.

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