St. Lawrence Seaway reopens, signaling possible boon for shipping

A series of Canadian ships will travel the Great Lakes Waterways via the St. Lawrence Seaway, starting soon.

A series of Canadian ships will travel the Great Lakes Waterways via the St. Lawrence Seaway, starting soon.

While icy winter conditions have held up shipping activity in the Great Lakes region this year, The Globe and Mail reported that the St. Lawrence Seaway in Quebec has been officially opened, after operations were postponed for one week. Despite the setback, the source indicates a possible strong shipping season in the wake of this news, with the first ship to enter this seaway the CWB Marquis.

It won't be the only ship maneuvering through this canal, of course, but it will head the procession, eventually picking up a cargo order of grain in Thunder Bay, Ontario, specifically on the northwest shores of Lake Superior.

More than a dozen new ships will sail through the lakes this season, the source said, establishing it as a major one for new processes. The "CWB" in the ship's name comes originally from Canadian Wheat Board, which purchased the Marquis before it became the private food producer CWB.

The American Journal of Transportation recently featured a press release regarding the official opening of the Seaway, which was commenced by Canada's Minister of Transport, the Honorable Lisa Raitt. In some included remarks, Raitt referenced the enduring importance of the Seaway and the impact it could have for Canada.

"We should be very proud of the tremendous economic asset that the St. Lawrence Seaway is for our country," she said. "That is why the Government of Canada will continue to invest in the Seaway to help us build and maintain a strong, competitive, safe and secure marine transportation system for Canada."

Initial negative signs could give way to strong forecasts in the shipping industry, and businesses should be ready to work with this by using shipping options that are geared for steady performance.