Shipping season is officially underway

By KBJR News 1

Credit: Kevin Richard Hotte

The Algoma Equinox at Lock 3 of the Welland Canal at the Opening Ceremony of the St. Lawrence Seaway's 56th navigation season.

March 28, 2014 Updated Mar 28, 2014 at 1:44 PM CDT

Ontario, Canada (NNCNOW.com) --- Today is the opening of the 56th navigation season. The St. Lawrence Seaway Management Corporation (SLSMC) is investing $500 million in the North American Trade Route.

Today the Algoma Central Corporation's newly built ship, the Algoma Equinox, will travel through the Welland Canal. This is first of eight environmentally friendly vessels to be built for trade.

"The Algoma Equinox carries more cargo, sails faster, consumes significantly less fuel and is the first Great Lakes vessel to be equipped with a scrubbing system that virtually eliminates sulphur oxide from its emissions," according to Algoma Central Corporation' President and CEO, Greg Wight.

A portion of the SLSMC investments is going towards $395 million in the next four years to revitalize the lock and dam system. Also, they will be introducing new technologies to make the waterway safer and more reliable.

"Tonnage within the St. Lawrence Seaway is forecast to exceed a total of 38 million tons this year. The U.S. and European economies are improving, and this trend gives us reason to be optimistic," SLSMC's, Bowles, said.

The Seaway says they add over 227,000 jobs and $35 billion in economic activity from the movement of goods within the Great Lakes/Seaway System.

SLSMC has adopted a modernization program promising to lower operating costs, increase safety and provide greater access into the Seaway.

Ramona Marozas