St. Lawrence Seaway Closes

Wednesday, January 05, 2005
The St. Lawrence Seaway officially closed for the season on December 30, 2004, with the passage of the McKeil Marine integrated tug and barge, McCleary’s Spirit, through the St. Lambert Lock at 5:51 a.m. in the Montreal/Lake Ontario section. The Seaway opened its 46th shipping season on March 25 and remained open for 281 days in 2004.

The Welland Canal section closed at 5:19 p.m. on December 31, with the transit of the Canada Steamship Lines vessel CSL Niagara.

“We are pleased to report excellent traffic results, with an overall estimated 5.3% increase in tonnage this year,” said Richard Corfe, President of The St. Lawrence Seaway Management Corporation. “The growth in traffic shows across the board, with higher numbers for both lakers and ocean vessels, and greater tonnage in bulk and in general cargo. I think this attests to a strong economic recovery that will continue to bring vessels to the Seaway next year as well.”

The Seaway has benefited from the strength of the steel industry at home and the need for imported steel from abroad. Labour disputes in the iron ore industry and supply problems in the coal industry created low inventory levels, and a half million-tonne shortfall in shipments on the Seaway through the summer. Once these issues were settled, continued Corfe, “we agreed to stay open longer, to accommodate our clients who were trying to make up for lost ground. Water levels in the Lakes remained sufficient to ensure that navigation could continue at full draft throughout most of December.”

This year, substantial gains were made in the movement of general cargo, principally iron and steel, driven by high prices for these goods. Coupled with modest gains in other bulk, such as coke and stone, and a near-doubling of scrap metal shipments, overall volumes are estimated to have increased over last year by 5.5% in the Montreal/Lake Ontario section (totaling 30.49 million tonnes) and 6.5% in the Welland Canal section (totaling 33.94 million tonnes).

“We aren’t relying solely on economic growth to power the turnaround in Seaway traffic,” Mr. Corfe pointed out. “HWY H2O, our public awareness campaign, was a success. It has now evolved into a ‘branding’ project for the overall Great Lakes / St. Lawrence System, linking the St. Lawrence River ports, the Seaway ports and the Great Lakes ports into one marine highway, with 20 partners already signed on.”

“We are now seeing some early results from our initiative to grow our business. We have recaptured the movement of aluminum ingots from Sept-Iles to Toledo from rail; we have seen some Ontario grain moved by barge, as opposed to truck, from Prescott to Sorel; and we have determined the conditions necessary for attracting container movements to the system. We also expect to benefit indirectly from the booming China trade, which is now saturating West Coast ports. The East Coast is getting some of the overflow business, and we will be working to get a fair proportion of that through the Seaway next year.”

In the meantime, the Seaway is now closed for the winter to accommodate the annual maintenance program on its 13 Canadian locks and connecting channels. This year’s winter works program is again a substantial one, amounting to $5 million in the Montreal/Lake Ontario section and $20 million on the Welland Canal. Work will include improvements to bridges, locks, communications and power facilities, roads, weirs, and walls. The Seaway is expected to re-open in late March 2005.

Maritime Reporter November 2014 Digital Edition
FREE Maritime Reporter Subscription
Latest Maritime News    rss feeds

Legal

US Plans to Shut Royalty Loophole on Coal Exports

U.S. coal companies will no longer be able to settle royalties at low domestic prices when they make lucrative sales to Asia according to reforms proposed by the Interior Department on Friday.

Denmark Issues New Pilotage Regulations

In an effort to make the pilotage market more efficient, the Danish Maritime Authority (DMA) issued several new regulations following on amendments to the pilotage act.

US Shippers, West Coast Dockworkers Union Resume Contract Talks

Negotiators for shipping lines and terminal operators at 29 U.S. West Coast ports resumed contract talks with the union for dockworkers on Thursday, as cargo backups continued at the ports,

Navigation

NZ Report: Human Error to Blame for Rena Grounding

New Zealand's Transport Accident Investigation Commission (TAIC) published its final report into the grounding of containership Rena in October 2011. The TAIC’s

The Economic Impact of Inland Waterway Investment

A recently released study entitled INLAND NAVIGATION IN THE UNITED STATES evaluates the economic impacts and the potential effects of infrastructure investment on our economy.

Transas Installs ECDIS Simulators at Romanian University

Romanian university Constanța Maritime University will provide ECDIS training in accordance with the STCW 2010 requirements    Transas Marine has installed the

 
 
Maritime Careers / Shipboard Positions Maritime Contracts Maritime Security Naval Architecture Pod Propulsion Port Authority Ship Electronics Shipbuilding / Vessel Construction Sonar Winch
rss | archive | history | articles | privacy | terms and conditions | contributors | top maritime news | about us | copyright | maritime magazines
maritime security news | shipbuilding news | maritime industry | shipping news | maritime reporting | workboats news | ship design | maritime business

Time taken: 0.2340 sec (4 req/sec)