Seaway’s 60th anniversary has deep roots

Seaway’s 60th anniversary has deep roots

By Alex Binkley

While the Seaway marks its 60th anniversary this year, the idea for a deep draft waterway between the Great Lakes and the St. Lawrence River has deep historical roots. The Seaway was officially opened on June 26, 1959, by Queen Elizabeth, Prime Minister John Diefenbaker and President Dwight Eisenhower.

The vision of a seaway can be traced back to 1895 when the joint U.S.-Canadian Deep Waterways Commission was formed to study the feasibility of building such a waterway. Historical accounts say that was followed by an International Joint Commission study in 1909, but no action was taken. By 1900, a complete network of shallow draft canals allowed uninterrupted navigation from Lake Superior to Montreal. The first real step in creating the modern Seaway came in 1932 with the completion of the fourth Welland Canal. (more…)

Shipping lines optimistic about 2019 prospects on the Great Lakes

Shipping lines optimistic about 2019 prospects on the Great Lakes

By Alex Binkley

Great Lakes ship operators are divided on their prospects for 2019 with Algoma Central, Canada Steamship Lines and Fednav cautiously optimistic that they will be at least as busy as in 2018. The 6.8 per cent increase in cargo handled by The St. Lawrence Seaway Management Corporation in 2018 over 2017 adds to their confidence.

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Montreal’s logistics community moving forward on different fronts

By Brian Dunn

The port of Montreal continues to grow its operations with a new record set in the container sector, handling a total of 1.6 million containers last year, an increase of 9 per cent over 2017. Total volume handled was 39 million tonnes, up 2.3 per cent during the corresponding period. It marks the fifth year in a row that total tonnage has increased. (more…)

Shipping lines and ports gear up for project cargo business on the Great Lakes

Shipping lines and ports gear up for project cargo business on the Great Lakes

By Alex Binkley

Spliethoff, operating under the name BigLift, and McKeil Marine have geared up to serve the demand for project cargo shipments on the Seaway/Great Lakes. Their preparation has been matched by the ports of Thunder Bay, Hamilton, Johnston and Valleyfield as well as several U.S. harbours. However, just how much project cargo moves through the Seaway-Great Lakes is hard to pin down because the St. Lawrence Seaway doesn’t report project cargo volumes as a separate category. It’s included in the general cargo category and to the end of September, general cargo passing through the Seaway stood at 2.2 million tonnes, down 6.2 per cent compared to same period in 2017. (more…)

With U.S. grain leading the way, Seaway volumes are up 4 per cent year-to-date

According to the latest figures, U.S. grain shipments via the St. Lawrence Seaway from March 29 to August 31 topped one million metric tonnes, up 31 per cent over the same period last year. The majority of U.S. exports originated from the port of Toledo and were carry-over from the 2017 grain season. The grain rush has helped boost overall cargo shipments on the St. Lawrence Seaway for the season to 21.4 million metric tonnes, representing a four per cent increase over volumes this time last year. Liquid bulk shipments at 2.8 million metric tonnes are also up 33 per cent, with coal at 1.5 million metric tonnes, up 30 per cent. Dry bulk shipments reached 5.5 million metric tonnes, down four per cent. (more…)