Extensive refit: Bermuda Container Line’s Oleander undergoing a revamp in Scheldepoort repair yard in Holland. She is expected back in service on Easter Sunday, April 24. *Photo supplied
Extensive refit: Bermuda Container Line’s Oleander undergoing a revamp in Scheldepoort repair yard in Holland. She is expected back in service on Easter Sunday, April 24. *Photo supplied
The Bermuda Container Line (BCL) vessel Oleander has been undergoing an extensive refit since January 2011 at Scheldepoort Repair Yard in Holland.

The refit included amongst other things structural repairs and reinforcements to the bow, installation of a more efficient propeller system and complete overhaul of the stern ramp.

“After 20 years it was necessary to carry out an extensive refit on the Oleander in order for Bermuda Container Line (BCL) to continue to provide a premium service to Bermuda, and in particular the local construction industry, well into the next decade,” says Blair Simmons, vice president  vessel operations at container ship management. 

“Whilst the vessel’s hull and machinery were generally in excellent condition, the stern ramp was one item in need of a complete overhaul.

“Such work can only be undertaken by removing the entire 60 ton ramp from the vessel, an operation requiring a very skilled repair yard. 

“Following a full overhaul of the structure and hydraulic operating systems, the stern ramp was recently refitted to the ship. 

“After successfully testing to the maximum safe working load of 60 tons, the Oleander is once again ready to transport any type of ro-ro [roll on-roll off] cargo to Bermuda.” 

The Oleander is expected to return to BCL’s service with her arrival in Bermuda on Easter Sunday, April 24.

BCL provides an ocean freight service linking Bermuda with the rest of the world.

A weekly service operates between Port Elizabeth, New Jersey and Hamilton, Bermuda with the vessel M.V. Oleander.

The company maintains a wide-ranging network of agents throughout North America to allow it to provide full container load intermodal services between Bermuda and all key centres on the North American continent.

BCL has carrier agreements with a number of major shipping lines which allow shippers virtually anywhere in the world to ship to Bermuda.

BCL is managed by Container Ship Management Ltd. who is also the Bermuda agent for the line.

The North American general agents for BCL are Bermuda Agencies Ltd.

Through an associated company, Somers Isle Shipping Limited, it also operates a service three times per month between Fernandina Beach, Florida and Hamilton.

BCL's ship, the Oleander, was built in 1990 in Holland to the company’s own specification.

It is a combination container and roll-on/roll-off vessel capable of carrying 362 Twenty-foot Equivalent Units (TEU) as well as 44 cars in an enclosed garage area.

The Oleander has electrical plugs and generating capacity to allow it to carry 88 refrigerated containers and in addition, BCL has a fleet of more specialized equipment including:

  • Flat racks
  • Bulk and tank containers
  • Mafis and road trailer for non-containerized cargo
  • Specialized containers for the carriage of livestock

BCL has been in operation for over 30 years, achieving over 1,500 voyages during this period.

BCL is the pre-eminent shipping company providing an ocean freight service linking Bermuda to the rest of the world.

It is headquartered at Par la Ville Place in Hamilton and has over 500 shareholders (over 90 per cent are Bermudian) and 11 directors of the board.