The St. Lawrence Seaway will open its 54th annual international shipping season today.
The first vessel to transit the Welland Canal as part of the opening ceremony will be the Wilf Seymour/Alouette Spirit from McKeil Marine. The event will include the annual "top hat" ceremony - a tradition since 1947, where a top hat is presented to the captain of the season's first vessel. Indiana's first international ship is tentatively scheduled to arrive at the Port of Indiana-Burns Harbor on April 7. The MV Isadora, a Polsteam vessel, is traveling from Ijmuiden, Netherlands.
"The opening of the locks on the St. Lawrence Seaway allows the flow of international trade to and from the Great Lakes ports," said Peter Laman, port director at the Port of Indiana-Burns Harbor. "Our port is truly a world-class asset for the Portage community and the state. It is open year-round, handling barge and lake traffic. But the international season brings new cargoes and increased shipments, which means jobs for our longshoremen, truckers and many others in the logistics industry. We're looking forward to a solid shipping season in 2012."
For the 2012 season, Seaway management added a new business growth incentive of a 20 percent rebate on cargo tolls to carriers offering a new service from Great Lakes ports to other global markets. Other incentives carrying over to the 2012 season include a 20 percent discount on tolls for a new cargo, origin or destination, and a 10 percent reduction of tolls for certain volume discounts.
For more information, visit www.portsofindiana.com. For more information on the St. Lawrence Seaway, visit www.greatlakes-seaway.com