New waterway initiatives for greater competitiveness

by Canadian Shipper

The Waterway Strategic Issues Forum has issued a final report and recommendations on the future of the Saint Lawrence Seaway.

The Forum, formed two years ago at the Seaway’s instigation, was chaired by Guy Veronneau with co-Chair Albert Jacquez, administrator of the U.S. Saint Lawrence Seaway Development Corporation.

Major Great Lakes/St. Lawrence stakeholders came together to develop a system-wide strategic plan and establish the actions required to ensure a brighter future for marine transportation in the waterway. Members include a wide spectrum of industry executives from Canada and the U.S., among them leaders of the grain and steel industries, ports, domestic and international carriers and the two Seaway Corporations.

The Forum working groups identified nine action plans to improve waterway management and reduce costs, increase tonnage, enhance long term competitiveness and secure proper government support. The marine industry will work together to implement these recommendations under the leadership of the Chamber of Maritime Commerce.

Among the projects are initiatives to establish a long-term fee arrangement and cost reductions for Coast Guard services, improvements to grain logistical services at Canadian and American grain ports, modernization of marine navigation services throughout the waterway, streamlining the regulatory environment and participation in a joint Canada-U.S. Great Lakes Navigation System Review.

A binational web site and automatic vessel identification system are already being implemented by the Seaway Corporations.

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