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Arrival of M/V Happy Star with the Two Largest Shiploaders in North America

Credit_photo_1__Carl_AllardSEPT-ÎLES, February 12, 2015 — The Port of Sept-Îles is very pleased to announce the arrival of the M/V Happy Star with the two gigantic shiploaders destined for the port’s multi-user dock. The ship, which left the Port of Longxue in Nansha, China, on December 29 for a 43-day, 10,275-nautical-mile voyage via the Panama Canal, arrived in Sept-Îles at 7:30 a.m. yesterday. Immediately on arrival, the M/V Happy Star docked at the multi-user dock and began unloading. The new equipment will complete this world-class facility, increasing its loading capacity to make it the highest in North America.

The M/V Happy Star, which specializes in this type of transport, is the property of BigLift Shipping, one of the world’s leading oversized cargo carriers. The shipowner anticipates that unloading could take between 14 and 21 days, given the scale and complexity of the operation. The cargo consists of two shiploaders, including elevator and tripper car, and 27 conveyor galleries totaling 73 components and weighing in at 3,023 metric tons, each shiploader weighing 1,200 tons.

The equipment manufacturer, Sandvik Canada, deployed an innovative solution to carry the shiploaders, conveyors, and components aboard a single ship and ensure they were unloaded in the proper sequence to optimize installation dockside. These cutting edge shiploaders were assembled using North American components for the drive system, electrification, and instrumentation. These components were shipped to the assembly site by container ahead of time.

This is the recently built M/V Happy Star’s maiden voyage to North America, and the ship and its remarkable cargo even attracted the attention of the producers of the Discovery Channel show Mighty Ships. A camera team from the show joined the vessel for its Panama Canal crossing in order to put together a feature on the transport and unloading of these extraordinary giant machines at the Port of Sept-Îles.


Boasting diverse state-of-the-art facilities, the Port of Sept-Îles is North America’s leading ore-handling port, with an annual volume of close to 28 million tons. The port infrastructure at Sept-Îles plays a vital and strategic role in the economy of Eastern Canada. Annual economic impacts are estimated at nearly $1 billion and almost 4,000 direct and indirect jobs.

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