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Friday, October 19, 2018


In a presentation given by the St Lawrence Seaway Management Corp. in London this week, VP Camille Trepanier explained their six-point plan for the future enhancement of the seaway and its potential growth as an international trading route to the USA and Canada.

Held at the Insurance Hall, London, the presentation brought together shipping and insurance companies in an effort to increase awareness of the plans for the seaway of the various management companies . The six seaway enhancements covered;

1.     ISO Certification – Aimed at increasing the quality of the service provided by the seaway corporations.

2.     Opening the Seaway Earlier – Informing users when it is going to be opened at an earlier date and also aiming to open the seaway at earlier dates (the seaway corporations informed the users on 22 August 2000 that the seaway would be open for the 2001 trading on 23 March 2001).

3.     Deepening the Draught – Without the use of dredging in the short term they are looking at the feasibility of extending the draught from 26’3” to 26’6”. In the long-term they are looking at extending this to 27’ although this will require rock excavation and dredging.

4.     New Technology – In particular the introduction of AIS by spring 2001.

5.     Website Development – In a bid to harmonise all the players within the seaway they are looking at developing a single website which will carry both basic and up-to-the-minute information from regulations to weather forecasts.

6.     Improving Commercial Navigation – Improving the performance of locks, channels, damns, harbours etc.

Although the proposals appear to be focused upon improving the through flow of the seaway there were a number of questions that were left unanswered. In particular, technical proof that the draught depth can be extended and the subsequent liability questions. Also, the implementation of AIS at present appears to be a well in advance of the IMO requirements and indeed well in advance of the finalised package developed by the IMO. No doubt there are further problems associated with these plans and it will be interesting to observe exactly how they will be implemented.