St. Lawrence Seaway Wraps Up 2012 Season
Winnipeg - January 14/12 - CNS, Jan 14, 2013 (Commodity News Service Canada, Inc. via COMTEX) --
Tonnage handled by the St.
Lawrence Seaway Management Corporation (SLSMC) during the 2012
shipping season increased by 4% to 38.9 million tonnes, exceeding
the SLSMC's original forecast by 300,000 tonnes thanks in part to
a late season surge in grain movements.
Strong performance within a number of core markets
contributed to an overall gain of 1.4 million tonnes for the year,
when compared to the Seaway's 2011 result of 37.5 million tonnes,
the SLSMC said in a prepared statement.
Demand for low sulphur coal in Europe led to a substantial
increase in coal volumes, while busy Chinese steel mills triggered
an upsurge in the demand for iron ore.
The shipments of coal and iron ore were brought to the Great
Lakes and loaded on domestic Laker vessels. The Lakers then
proceeded from the Great Lakes to the lower St. Lawrence River,
where the commodities were trans-shipped to larger ocean vessels,
for export to overseas destinations.
On the grain front, 2012 was a story of contrasts as strong
Canadian grain movements offset a sharp drop in US grain
movements, due to the drought which impacted the majority of the
US grain belt, the SLSMC said.
A number of newly built state-of-the art vessels came into
service within the Seaway in 2012, boasting sharp increases in
fuel efficiency and reductions in emission levels.
The 2012 season also witnessed an important advance in
"The commissioning of the Draft Information System (DIS)
further enhances vessel safety and efficiency", said Craig
Middlebrook, Deputy Administrator of the US Saint Lawrence Seaway
Development Corporation. "A vessel equipped with DIS can now
precisely gauge the amount of water under the ship's keel, given
satellite guided navigation combined with highly precise models of
the channel floor."
The St. Lawrence Seaway closed for the season on December
29th, 2012, with the westbound vessel John B. Aird transiting the
Iroquois Lock at 8:59 p.m. After transiting the Iroquois Lock, the
John B. Aird proceeded further west and served as the last vessel
to transit the Seaway's Welland Canal, clearing Lock 8 at Port
Colborne on December 31st at 4:23 a.m.
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