Wilson Sons starts operations of WS Dorado

Wilson Sons starts operations of WS Dorado

Wilson Sons has just started operations on the WS Dorado at the Ponta da Madeira, Itaqui and Alumar terminals facilities in São Luís, Maranhão.

It is the fifth super powerful tug with more sustainable technology in a range of six 2513-class tugboats. Designed by the Dutch Damen Shipyards, this tugboat building project has positive impacts on all Brazilian ports where the company operates.

Built at the company’s shipyards in Guarujá (SP), the new tug will support berthing and unberthing operations in these terminal facilities, attending large ships exporting iron ore, which carry up to 400,000 tonnes of cargo.  

WS Dorado joins the company’s fleet of 11 tugboats in that region. At the Ponta da Madeira Terminal, owned by mining company Vale, the tugs support iron ore ships. Strategically located, closer to leading consumer markets (US, Europe and China), the terminal is one of the main exit gateways for iron ore produced in Brazil, which further adds to the expansion of international trade. 

At the Port of Itaqui, the tugs attend ships carrying, for example, diesel, corn, soy, fertilisers and wood pulp. In addition to its importance for agribusiness, the port stands out in the liquid bulk sector by handling 8.3 million tonnes in 2023, 8 million of which are just oil and oil products. 

As WS Dorado starts operations, it improves the fleet allocated to port facilities in São Luís do Maranhão, and is expected to make a positive effect, by the end of July, with the increase in power and onboard technology in three other ports in Brazil: Salvador (BA), Belém (PA), and Cabedelo (PB).

This is because each time Wilson Sons receives a new tug from its shipyard there is a significant impact on the Brazilian ports where it operates, felt in different ways, which shows the strategic importance of continuously strengthening its tug fleet, reported Wilson Sons. 

Initially, when a new tug is allocated to one of the ports in which the company operates, replacing an old tug, it does not only boost the efficiency of port operations but also ensures that the latest technologies and innovations are available to meet customer demands.

Newer tugs are generally more fuel-efficient, have more advanced safety equipment and are more powerful, which significantly improves the port’s operational capacity.

The replaced tug, in turn, is relocated to another port to add to the existing fleet. This relocation process creates a cascade effect, benefiting multiple locations. Ports receiving these relocated tugs experience an increase in manoeuvrability and service, allowing a faster and safer flow of ships and cargo. This is particularly important for smaller or less busy ports, where the improvement of the fleet makes a substantial difference in operational efficiency.

READ: Wilson Sons plans for renewable energy facilities at Rio Grande

“This strategy of allocating and relocating tugs optimises our resources, maximises the impacts, and ensures that all ports under our operation are able to run with maximum efficiency and safety,” said Márcio Castro, Executive Director of the Towage division at Wilson Sons.

Márcio further adds: “If we consider the company’s project of building six new tugboats, all Brazilian ports where we operate are positively impacted by it.”

Earlier this year, Wilson Sons announced it would serve as a platform for information sharing, new contacts, stakeholder strengthening, and portfolio presentation at Intermodal South America 2024 in São Paulo.

More recently, Wilson Sons announced an expansion of weekly ships at Salvador Container Terminal, with calls in Central America and the US to serve the import and export market.

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