The Great Lakes St. Lawrence Seaway System - A Vital Waterway

explorers to the unknown continent of

North America found mystery and beauty

unfolded before them were salt and

freshwater meet fertile Hills dark

islands shining cliffs the music of the

great blue river lured them on their

first pathway to a brave new world the

River st. Lawrence in the fullness of

time the mighty st. Lawrence would open

the Great Lakes to the world becoming a

marine highway as long as the Atlantic

Ocean is wide

the Great Lakes st. Lawrence Seaway

system a leader in reaching world

markets in 1959 employing twenty-two

thousand workers and seventy million

dollars in machinery the United States

and Canada opened a new chapter in

marine transportation history witnessing

the movement of more than two billion

tons of cargo since its inception

considered one of the top ten public

works projects of the 20th century the

st. Lawrence Seaway connects Atlantic

shipping routes to the Great Lakes

economic zone today the Great Lakes st.

Lawrence Seaway system is a deepwater

inland waterway with a competitive

advantage its strategic location in the

industrial and agricultural heartland of

North America more than 50 of the

fortune 500 industrial companies call

this powerful economic sector home 1/4

of the US population and nearly half of

the Canadian population live in the

region this area produces the majority

of wheat corn soybean iron ore and coal

for both nations more than 70% of us

deal is produced in the States located

there and Ontario and Quebec the two

provinces bordering the Seaway account

for 60 percent of Canada's gross

domestic product competitive access to

major North American markets an

outstanding record of safety and

reliability a bi-national system

enabling seamless transit a world leader

in maritime applications of new

technology customer-focused

the Great Lakes st. Lawrence Seaway

system delivers an unmatched deep water

direct route to the heartland of the

North American market shorter shipping

distances more rapid transit times and

proximity of major markets and

world-class industries make the Seaway a

competitive transit opportunity a trip

to Europe from New Orleans Baltimore or

even New York can be shortened by

starting in the sea ways ports of

Detroit or Montreal the Seaway reaches

more than 3,600 kilometers or 2300 miles

into the North American heartland it

provides access to many of North

America's markets directly serving

Ontario and Quebec to the north and

Illinois Michigan Ohio Indiana Wisconsin

Minnesota New York and Pennsylvania to

the south opening to the Great Plains


agricultural and mining products

represent the majority of all Seaway

trade and over 50 types of cargo moved

through the Seaway to and from the

agricultural and industrial heartland of

North America the Seaway is ideal for

shipping process and manufactured

cargoes steel slabs lumber gypsum

mechanical equipment and specialty

chemicals are shipped through the Seaway

along with bulk agriculture and mining

products increasingly tourists from all

over the world enjoy the beauty of the

Great Lakes region and transit the

system on luxury class cruise vessels

the Seaway offers competitive access to

major North American markets the sea

ways marine route uses less fuel and

ensures safer travel than either rail or

truck or equivalent cargoes and

distances the auto industry already

enjoys the Seaways competitive advantage

by realizing a savings of $3 to $50 per

ton of Steel shipped over routes to the

United States Gulf of Mexico ports

Seaway ports transfer thousands of tons

of cargo each and every day of the

season through two countries over 3600

kilometres or 2300 miles from open sea

to inland lakes the Canadian and United

States Seaway corporations work together

to make cargo shipping efficient and

cost-effective both agencies work

closely to provide Seaway users with a

seamless marine transit experience at

the Port of Quebec 150,000 tons super

cargo vessels can be unloaded to 27,000

tonne Seaway sized vessels which

complete the voyage as specialized Laker

fleet provides maximum efficiency many

are equipped with self unloading

equipment for ship to land or for ship

to ship service in one year this proven

transportation resource shaved 1.2

billion dollars off the cost of shipment

of iron or iron steel coal

own aggregates grain cement and salt


the Seaway is the leader in maritime

applications of new technologies both

Seaway corporations have implemented the

automatic identification system based

traffic management system or a is making

the Seaway the first inland waterway in

the world to be fully a is operational

the AIS system soon to be mandatory

worldwide enable ship owners and

operators as well as authorized agents

to obtain immediate status of their ship

from the moment it enters the Seaway

until it exits using Global Positioning

technology the Seaways AIS system tracks

vessels in real-time and sends other

ships and ship owners and operators a

constant stream of data on position

heading speed length beam and even

hazardous cargo information at the

leading edge of marine technology AIS

brings greater safety security and

efficiency to navigation in waters

throughout the Seaway Great Lakes basin

the sea weighs 21st century vision is a

global gateway providing maritime

commerce through a totally integrated

Great Lakes st. Lawrence waterway the

Seaway has an outstanding record of

safety and reliability both the Canadian

and United States Seaway corporations

have achieved ISO international quality

certification for marine services and

continue to expand bringing all key

services to the highest level of

customer satisfaction by national Seaway

inspections are conducted prior to

entering the waterway on first inbound

transits of all ocean vessels to ensure

safety and environmental requirements

are met the Seaway system builds on its

solid infrastructure through intensive

annual maintenance and long-term capital

improvements more than a half a billion

dollars u.s. and 100 million dollars

Canadian was invested by the Great Lakes

and Seaway ports in the last 10 years

for infrastructure improvements

the combined Seaway Corporations

invested a further 14 million dollars

u.s. and nearly two hundred

in dollars Canadian in navigation aids

and shipping infrastructure other

improvements include the future

increasing of draft to eight point zero

seven meters or twenty six and a half

feet enabling ships to carry an

additional 1 million metric tons more

cargo each year also the Canadian and

United States partners have used new

technologies to extend the shipping

season by 26 days which means the season

now lasts more than nine months with the

deployment of even newer technologies

and improvements in systems management

the season could be extended even

further security throughout the Seaway

system includes increased awareness

constant risk assessment updated

security procedures and emergency

preparedness all linked through the AIS

system to ensure vessel safety Seaway

controlled centres monitor lock

operations and some 4,000 locked

transits made each year by ships from

over 50 countries the Seaway

corporations are focused on the customer

customer service is enhanced through the

binational Seaway website the single

most comprehensive source of information

and online business services for

commercial navigation online tools are

invaluable assets for shipping

efficiency at Great Lakes Seaway calm it

is easy to calculate published shipping


search for new cargoes and obtain

up-to-the-minute information about

Seaway transit state-of-the-art

technology drives the Seaway Superior

transit efficiencies direct timely and

cost-effective marine transportation

with strategic access to the industrial

and agricultural heartland of two great

countries the safe efficient and

competitive gateway to world markets the

system of choice for cargo to and from

central North America the Great Lakes

st. Lawrence Seaway system a leader in

reaching world