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. Lambert Lock at 19:45 on December 30th as she proceeded on her voyage to Europe.
The St. Lawrence Seaway enables cargo to move within North America and also serves as a vital international gateway, supporting trade with more than 50 countries across the globe. Since its opening in 1959, almost 3 billion tonnes of cargo valued at over $450 billion has moved through the St. Lawrence Seaway’s 15 locks.
The recent completion of the The St. Lawrence Seaway Management Corporation’s modernization program, which includes Hands Free Mooring and remote operation of locks from centralized operation control centers, represents the greatest advancement in Seaway operations since its inception in 1959. As a result, the Seaway has become even more competitive. With the elimination of tie-up lines for most vessels, Seaway employees and vessel crews face fewer safety risks and vessels experience less “wear and tear” as they enter and exit locks.