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HANSA 03-2020

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Schifffahrt | Shipping

Schifffahrt | Shipping St. Lawrence longs for trade relaxation too Despite trade conflicts and protests by local residents, after a very good year and a subsequent weaker year, the St. Lawrence Seaway, as an important gateway to the Great Lakes and North American markets, now expects transport growth again. By Michael Meyer SLSMC_19-293_PosterUpdates-EN_PRINT.pdf 1 2019-11-13 1:44 PM Job creator, economic engine, climate protector – in marketing the 3,700 km long cross-border shipping route with 15 locks, the overall social and industrial With significance economic of the output St. Lawrence estimated Seaway at plays trillion, a major the role, provinces if not the decisive and one. While the rest of the not (maritime) states bordering the Great Lakes – world knows about all the large container ports on the east and south-west St. Lawrence Seaway System account coasts as for well 30% as some of combined commodity ports Canadian in the south and as U.S. gateways economic to the North activity American and markets, employment. the waterway and The Great region Lakes would system rank in the as the border area third between largest the economy USA and in Canada the sometimes comes off a little short in public world if it were a country. perception. Positioned at the core of this However, a large number of ports – up economic to 40 locations, powerhouse, depending the on the way Great they Lakes are counted – St. Lawrence – and shipping routes Seaway testify to System very good serves location as a factors of the vital river supply and the chain. Great Lakes. But lately there have been problems in water transport. The volume of goods shrank by 6.43% to 38.38 mill. t over the past year. Less transports Throughout 2019, high water levels on Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River made the navigation season very challenging. »The SLSMC, in concert with the U.S. Saint Lawrence Seaway Development Corporation, worked quickly and collaboratively to support the IJC’s International Lake Ontario St. Lawrence River Board efforts to grant shoreline communities the greatest possible relief from high water levels,« the Canadian St. Lawrence Seaway Management Corporation said. Special mitigation measures were taken, such as reduced speed limits and one-way navigation in certain sectors of the river. »From farmers eager to realize the sales of their crops to municipalities dependent upon ships for the supply of road salt, the Seaway demonstrated its ability to serve as a sustainable and reliable transportation artery for a vast array of clients,« said Terence Bowles, President and CEO of the SLSMC. The number of ship transits declined by 5.8% to 4,136. In detail, the transport of grain dropped by 15% to 38.4 mill. t. The General Cargo segment even experienced a slump of 34% to 2.2 mill. t. Shipments of iron ore (6.9 mill. t.) and coal (2.4 mill. t) were also down at year-end. Growth was only recorded in the liquid bulk segment that was up by 2.35% to 4.7 mill. t. When assessing the transport figures, SLSMC considers it important to take account of external circumstances and to include special features. »The 2019 tonnage results on the Seaway reflected the more challenging conditions encountered last year as compared to 2018, in which Seaway tonnage was at a ten year high,« SLSMC said. The waterway is not the only one experiencing this. In 2018, major US container ports also recorded strong growth. However, there was no repeat of the cargo front-load- ST. LAWRENCE SEAWAY Sault Ste. Marie (”Soo” Locks) Commercial Locks Managed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Welland Canal (8 Locks) Iroquois Lock Eisenhower & Snell Locks Beauharnois Locks Côte Ste. Catherine & St. Lambert Locks Lake Superior Lake Erie Lake Huron Lake Ontario 183 Metres Sea Level Lake Michigan St. Lawrence River 24 HANSA – International Maritime Journal 03 | 2020

SLSMC_19-293_PosterUpdates-EN_PRINT.pdf 1 2019-11-13 1:44 PM Schifffahrt | Shipping ST. LAWRENCE SEAWAY QUICK FACTS Ship size maximum ing that took place in the last quarter of 2018 to avoid the punitive import tariffs that were to be imposed on Chinese imports to the US. But trade disputes are not considered to be the only cause of the declines. »Trade tensions, difficult navigational conditions due to very high water flows within the St. Lawrence River, combined with adverse weather conditions impacting grain harvests, all served to restrain total cargo volumes,« it is said, adding that »there is little doubt that trade tensions certainly were felt within the shipping industry.« Confidence is back Great For Lakes the current year, – SLSMC is not too pessimistic. Like the US port association AAPA, the border region is wait- St. Lawrence ing for a new North American trade Seaway agreement System following the rapprochement between the US government and China (»Phase One«). Businesses bet on the House and Senate approved Key Supply Chain for the World’s 3 rd Largest Economy © SLSMC •• 225.5 m (740 ft.) length •• 23.77 m (78 ft.) beam •• 8.08 m (26 ft., 6 in.) draft •• 35.5 m (116.5 ft.) height ab. water •• 30,000 tdw capacity Ship types •• LAKERS: »Lakers« are built specially for use within the Great Lakes – St. Lawrence Seaway System, and rarely exit the waterway. They are characterized by a design that includes vertical sides and a snub-nosed bow, to maximize cargo carrying capacity within the connes of the lock dimensions. Some lakers also are equipped with a self-unloading boom that contains a conveyor belt, allowing the ship to position its boom and unload bulk cargo directly onto a shore-side dock or wharf. •• SALTIES: »Salties« are described as ocean going ships that enable overseas trade. They are characterized by a V-shaped hull, sharp bows, and in many cases, cranes mounted on the deck to facilitate the loading and unloading of cargo. •• TUG-PROPELLED BARGES: Tug-propelled barges consist of a tug and a specially designed barge. The bow of the tug is secured within a »notch« found in the stern of the barge. Atlantic Ocean © SLSMC Cargo types Grains Projects Iron Ore Breakbulk Coal Liquid bulk Important shipping companies Canada Steamship Interlake Steamship Algoma FALL Line Fednav Wagenborg HANSA – International Maritime Journal 03 | 2020 25

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