On March 26, a cargo of heavy automotive production machinery was transferred from the Federal Manitou at the Port of Toronto onto a barge destined for Port Stanley, Ontario thereby initiating the 2006 short sea shipping season.
Earlier that day, the Federal Manitou was honored on its arrival as the first ocean-going cargo ship of the shipping season into the Port of Toronto. Its cargo was specialized automotive production machinery manufactured in Germany and loaded onto the Federal Manitou in Antwerp, Belgium. Utilizing the Toronto Port Authority's 270-ton crane, three of the heavier cargo items totalling 586 tonnes were transferred to the barge which then proceeded through the Welland Canal to Lake Erie and its final destination of Port Stanley (south of London, Ont.)
"The concept of short sea shipping has never been more relevant or important," said Lisa Raitt, President and CEO of the Toronto Port Authority. "It enables large cargo and container ships to dock in ports such as Montreal or Halifax and have cargo transferred to a barge for final delivery to another inland port such as Toronto."