Welland Canal News

21 Mar 2019

2019 Shipping Season to Open for Duluth

USCGC Mackinaw in Duluth. Credit: port of Duluth

Last night’s arrival of United States Coast Guard Cutters Alder and Mackinaw signaled that the 2019 commercial shipping season is soon to commence for the Port of Duluth-Superior and the entire region.The Alder and Mackinaw made their way across Lake Superior from Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan, opening a 100-foot lane in the ice that will be widened soon by Canadian Coast Guard Ship Samuel Risley in support of breakout efforts that will also include local tugs from the Great Lakes Towing Company and Heritage Marine.

18 Jan 2019

Seaway Activity Exceeds 40 Million Tonnes in 2018

The St. Lawrence Seaway Management Corporation (SLSMC) has announced that tonnage on the waterway during the 2018 navigation season totaled 40.9 million tonnes. The highest result since 2007, much of the credit for the increase in tonnage can be given to healthy movements of grain, the best on record since the turn of the century. Marketing efforts under the “Highway H2O” initiative served as a catalyst to spur increased movements of a broad range of cargoes including grain, road salt, stone, cement, gypsum and refined fuels.The 2018 navigation season concluded on December 31st, with the transit of the Cedarglen through the Welland Canal’s Lock 8 ‎at 12:35, heading for Lake Erie. In the Montreal sector, the M.V. Floragracht was the last ship to transit, clearing the St.

29 Oct 2018

Mobile BWTS Tested on Great Lakes

TRO Sampling Area (CREDIT: Global Diving)

New system allows for contingency ballast water treatment in a variety of ecologically-sensitive and emergency conditions. Global Diving & Salvage, Inc. recently led a demonstration of the mobile ballast water treatment system, Ballast Responder, on board the 730-foot bulk carrier Tim S. Dool on the Great Lakes. “Equipment was operational within eight hours of arrival and the first set of tanks were fully treated, neutralized, and ready to discharge only 20 hours later,” said Glosten Principal and ballast water treatment expert Kevin Reynolds, PE.

12 Apr 2018

Season’s First Saltie Heads for Duluth-Superior

© Dianne Temple / MarineTraffic.com

The first ‘saltie’ of the 2018 commercial navigation season is on its way to the Port of Duluth-Superior. The 656-foot bulk carrier Federal Weser is scheduled to pass beneath Duluth’s Aerial Lift Bridge by 10 p.m. tonight and is expected to start loading Monday morning at the CHS terminal on the Superior side of the harbor. If all goes according to plan, the ship should depart late Tuesday or Wednesday with 21,400 metric tons of durum wheat bound for Algeria. The Federal Weser, part of the Fednav fleet, last visited the Twin Ports in 2015.

30 Mar 2018

St. Lawrence Seaway Navigation Season Begins

(From left to right): Thomas Lavigne, Associate Administrator of the Saint Lawrence Seaway Development Corporation; Tony Robinson, General Manager Procurement, ArcelorMittal Dofasco; Gregg Ruhl, Chief Operating Officer, Algoma Central Corporation and Terence Bowles, CEO, The St. Lawrence Seaway Management Corporation. In front of the Algoma Niagara, marking the start of the St. Lawrence Seaway's 60th navigation season. March 29, 2018. Lock 3 St. Catharines, Ontario. Photo Credit: Kevin Hotte/ Sa

The St. Lawrence Seaway Management Corporation marked the opening of the Seaway’s 60th navigation season today, with the transit of the newly built Algoma Niagara through Lock 3 on the Welland Canal. State-of-the-art ships such as the Algoma Niagara serve as a key part of the supply chain serving to bolster the competitiveness of North American industry. Over 227,000 jobs are supported by cargo moving over the Great Lakes / Seaway System. Terence Bowles, President and CEO of The St.

07 Mar 2017

Canadian Fleets, Seaway Invest $160 Mln for 2017 Season

File photo: Thunder Bay Port Authority / Chamber of Marine Commerce

Canadian ship owners and the St. Lawrence Seaway have spent an estimated $160 million on repair and infrastructure projects this winter, boosting the economic fortunes of communities throughout the Great Lakes, the St. Lawrence and east coast, according to the Chamber of Marine Commerce. Canadian ship owners have invested an estimated $70 million to maintain and upgrade their vessels during the winter months — an annual exercise that keeps their vessels in tip-top shape to safely and efficiently deliver goods for North American businesses. The St.

26 Mar 2016

Soo Locks Open for 2016

Aerial view of the Soo Locks Photo Wikipedia

At 12:01 a.m. today, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers officially opened the Soo Locks for the start of the 2016 shipping season. The locks at Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan are among 16 locks that form the Great Lakes St. Lawrence Seaway navigation system which extends from Duluth, Minnesota to the Atlantic Ocean. Together these 16 locks lift or lower ships 600 feet – the height of a 60 story building. Since the Soo Locks closed in January, the Corps has been busy executing winter maintenance, repair and rehabilitation projects.

23 Mar 2016

Seaway Opens 58th Navigation Season Ice Free

Photo courtesy of SLSMC

The St. Lawrence Seaway Management Corporation (SLSMC) marked the opening of the Seaway’s 58th navigation season, with the transit of Canada Steamship Lines’ Thunder Bay through Lock 3 on the Welland Canal. The ship, carrying a load of road salt, will be replenishing stocks depleted by ice storms which repeatedly struck Eastern Canada over the winter. “We certainly welcome the warmer weather. A return to an opening in the third week of March provides our clients with the opportunity to move cargo in a timely manner…

22 Mar 2016

Seaway Opens 58th Navigation Season

Seaways Photo SLSMC

The St. Lawrence Seaway Management Corporation (SLSMC) marked the opening of the Seaway’s 58th navigation season today, with the transit of Canada Steamship Lines’ Thunder Bay through Lock 3 on the Welland Canal. The ship, carrying a load of road salt, will be replenishing stocks depleted by ice storms which repeatedly struck Eastern Canada over the winter. “We certainly welcome the warmer weather. A return to an opening in the third week of March provides our clients with the opportunity to move cargo in a timely manner…

21 Mar 2016

Duluth-Superior Shipping Season Underway

Edwin H. Gott arriving in Port of Duluth-Superior early last year (Photo: Paul Scinocca)

The first two U.S.-flag lakers are on schedule to depart the Port of Duluth-Superior Tuesday, March 22, signaling the start of the 2016 commercial shipping season at this, the farthest inland port on the Great Lakes St. Lawrence Seaway (GLSLS) system. Shortly after 7 a.m., the Edwin H. Gott, is scheduled to move from its winter berth at the Clure Public Marine Terminal – first to fuel, then to depart mid-morning beneath Duluth’s famed Aerial Bridge en route to the CN Dock in Two Harbors to load iron ore pellets. Shortly thereafter, another ship in the Great Lakes Fleet, the Philip R.

12 Jan 2016

St. Lawrence Seaway Wraps Up Navigation Season

Photo courtesy of St. Lawrence Seaway

With water temperatures well above the 10-year average, the St. Lawrence Seaway closed its 2015 navigation season ice free on December 31. Thirty-six million metric tons of cargo transited the waterway during the season, with grain, at volumes well above the five-year average, leading the way. The Seaway once again proved to be a key asset for farmers as they shipped their crops to markets at home and overseas. Grain volumes on the Seaway amounted to 10.8 million metric tons, one of the strongest years in recent memory.

10 Jun 2015

Busy Season for Seaway

Port of Thunder Bay, the largest grain port on the Great Lakes, reported that its grain shipments were off to the strongest start this season

Grain shipments through the St. Lawrence Seaway are up 7 per cent this season, continuing the pace set last year when ships carried the largest volume of grain through the navigation system in 14 years. According to The St. Lawrence Seaway Management Corporation, grain shipments (including Canadian and U.S. grain) totaled 1.9 million metric tons from April 2 to May 31. The Port of Thunder Bay, the largest grain port on the Great Lakes, reported that its grain shipments were off to the strongest start this season since 1997, as the major handlers continue to export the harvest from 2014.

28 Mar 2015

USCG Flush Ice down River Systems to Facilitate Shipping

courtesy USCG

The Coast Guard cutter fleet is flushing ice through the Great Lakes river systems to prevent ice jams and facilitate commercial shipping as the shipping season begins and the ice on the Great Lakes dissipates. Ice breaking operations, above freezing-temperatures, and rain has caused plate ice to weaken, creating large and small ice floes through the Great Lakes and its river systems. These ice floes, if not managed and flushed, can create thick brash ice that can clog the mouths and connection points of the rivers, which can cause significant flooding and block shipping channels.

27 Mar 2015

USCG Conducting Ice Flushing Operations

 The crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Bristol Bay conducts ice-flushing operations in the St. Clair River, Thursday, March 26, 2015. Ice flushing operations help keep brash ice from forming and encourages the flow of ice down river preventing possible flood situations. U.S. Coast Guard video by USCGC Bristol Bay.

The Coast Guard cutter fleet is flushing ice through the Great Lakes river systems to prevent ice jams and facilitate commercial shipping as the shipping season begins and the ice on the Great Lakes dissipates. Ice breaking operations, above freezing-temperatures, and rain has caused plate ice to weaken, creating large and small ice floes through the Great Lakes and its river systems. The Coast Guard posted a video of the Coast Guard Cutter Bristol Bay performing ice flushing operations on the St. Clair river. You can see the video here.

27 Mar 2015

Soo Locks Open for Great Lakes Shipping Season

At 12:01 a.m. on Wednesday, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers officially opened the Soo Locks for the start of the 2015 Great Lakes shipping season. The locks at Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan are among 16 locks that form the Great Lakes St. Lawrence Seaway navigation system which extends from Duluth, Minnesota to the Atlantic Ocean via the St. Lawrence Seaway. Together these 16 locks lift or lower ships 600 feet - the height of a 60 story building. Since the Soo Locks closed in January, the Corps has been busy executing winter maintenance, repair and rehabilitation projects. In total, the agency spent $9.5 million on various projects to enhance the reliability of the Poe and MacArthur Locks.

06 Mar 2015

St. Lawrence Seaway Opening Date Pushed Back

Tthe opening date for the St. Lawrence Seaway 2015 navigation season has been delayed following review and consideration of factors and conditions affecting safe navigation and effective system transit. Welland Canal: April 2, 2015 -0800 hours (D.S.T.) Vessel transits will be subject to weather and ice conditions. Transit restrictions may apply until lighted navigation aids have been installed. Allowable Draft In the Montreal / Lake Ontario Section, the draft will be 80.0 dm (26'3") until the South Shore Canal is ice-free or April 23rd,whichever occurs first, at which time, if water levels aref avorable, the draft will be increased to 80.8 dm (26'6") for all vessels. In addition, there will be zero tolerance for ship's draft in excess of 80.8 dm (26' 6").

13 Jan 2015

Seaway Set New Record

Saint Lawrence Seaway

The Seaway concluded the 2014 navigation season with 40 million tonnes of cargo, which represents a full recovery from the 2009 global financial crisis and its ensuing aftermath. The St. Lawrence Seaway Management Corporation (SLSMC) announced today that the Seaway closed for the season on January 1, 2015, with the eastbound vessel Sten Bergen transiting the St. Lambert Lock in Montreal at 00:22 a.m. The last vessel to exit the Welland Canal was the Algoma Navigator at 8:00 a.m. on December 31.

12 Jan 2015

Seaway Hits Post Recession Cargo Highs

file image: a modern FEDNAV bulker underways.

The Seaway concluded the 2014 navigation season with 40 million tonnes of cargo, which represents a full recovery from the 2009 global financial crisis and its ensuing aftermath. The St. Lawrence Seaway Management Corporation (SLSMC) announced today that the Seaway closed for the season on January 1, 2015, with the eastbound vessel Sten Bergen transiting the St. Lambert Lock in Montreal at 00:22 a.m. The last vessel to exit the Welland Canal was the Algoma Navigator at 8:00 a.m. on December 31.

22 Dec 2014

Last Saltie Departs Duluth; Lakers Make Final Push

The Palmerton departing beneath Duluth’s Aerial Bridge on Dec. 20.  Photo Credit:  Paul Scinocca

This weekend signaled the ‘beginning of the end’ of the 2014 shipping season – as the last oceangoing vessel (saltie) to have called on the Port of Duluth-Superior this year departed just after midnight Friday – passing beneath the Aerial Lift Bridge at 12:26 a.m. Saturday morning. The Palmerton had arrived earlier in the week to discharge project cargo at the Clure Public Marine Terminal in Duluth. The 436-foot, Antigua-flag Palmerton will be the last saltie of 2014 to make the full 2,342-mile transit of the Great Lakes St.

14 Apr 2014

St. Lawrence Seaway Notices Update

courtesy Great Lakes St. Lawrence Seaway

The Great lakes St. Lawrence Seaway System today issued notices number nine and 10 regarding maximum allowable drafts in the Montreal section in Lake Ontario and revocation of certain transit restrictions. Seaway notice 9 addresses maximum allowable drafts in Lake Ontario’s Montreal section, stating the maximum allowable draft is increased to 80.8 dm (26' 06"), subject to favorable water elevations, effective April 14, 2014. This increase applies to all vessels. In addition, there will be zero tolerance for ship's draft in excess of 80.8 dm (26' 6").

04 Apr 2014

First Vessel of 2014 Arrives at St. Lambert

Inchcape Shipping Services (ISS) advised that the St. Lawrence Seaway has now opened for its 2014 season at St. Lambert by accepting the first vessel of the year, the MT Charlotte Theresa, destination Lake Ontario, followed by several Canadian ships. ISS Canada’s General Manager (Eastern Canada) Jason Skorksi, said the season has and will be a challenging one due to heavy ice and pack ice still affecting sea lanes. The seaway is currently processing upbound traffic in the Montreal/MLO section – one way traffic only. Double Pilotage is required, and initially there will be daylight navigation only. Escorts are required for crossing the lakes, Lac St. Louis and Lake St. Francis. The icebreaker HMCCGC Martha L Black is currently working Montreal/MLO sector.

01 Apr 2014

CG Icebreakers Active as Shipping Picks Up

USCG photo by Levi Read

The U.S. Coast Guard and Canadian Coast Guard icebreakers are continuing to create pathways for commercial shippers throughout the Great Lakes region including the St. Lawrence Seaway, which connects the Great Lakes to the Atlantic Ocean. The St. Lawrence Seaway officially opened to shipping Monday, while the Welland Canal, which connects lakes Ontario and Erie, opened Friday. Although the Soo Locks officially opened for the season March 25, no commercial ships have passed through…

28 Mar 2014

St. Lawrence Seaway Opens 2014 Season

The Algoma Equinox at Lock 3 of the Welland Canal at the Opening Ceremony of the St. Lawrence Seaway's 56th navigation season. (Photo: Kevin Richard Hotte)

The St. Lawrence Seaway Management Corporation (SLSMC) marked the opening of the Seaway’s 56th navigation season today, with the transit of Algoma Central Corporation’s newly built ship, the Algoma Equinox, through Lock 3 of the Welland Canal. The vessel is the first of eight Equinox-class ships that are being purpose-built for trade in the St. Lawrence Seaway. “Algoma Central Corporation’s fleet renewal is a leading example of the unprecedented level of investment that is happening throughout our navigation system,” said Terence Bowles, President and CEO of the SLSMC.

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