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St. Lawrence Seaway cargo increased 9% in 2017
2018-01-16

McKeil Marine's Evans Spirit  won the International Bulk Journal's 2016 Ship of the Year Award during the IBJ's Salute to Excellence in the Maritime Bulk Industry gala awards ceremony in London, UK on November 21.
"It's a fantastic way to closeout our 60th anniversary year: having a vessel named after our founder, Evans McKeil, win this prestigious international award," said Steve Fletcher, President and CEO of McKeil Marine.
Acquired by McKeil in 2015, the Evans Spirit is a cargo ship with the shallow draught characters of a tug and barge; however, compared to a tug-and-barge unit, she can transport approximately 40 per cent more cargo about 50 per cent faster on a very similar amount of fuel.  She is in service throughout the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence River.
Evans Spirit was shortlisted for 2016 Ship of the Year competing with three other vessels: CS Bright, Mitsui OSK Lines, Japan;  Damen Shipyards, Netherlands; and MN Baroque, Swiss Marine, Switzerland. The award is presented to the owner, operator or builder of an outstanding individual bulk ship. Judged on operational efficiency, design innovation, safety and environmental protection, the Evans Spirit was selected as winner. (Photo Paul Beesley).

Healthy gains in iron ore, dry bulk and general cargo sparked a nearly 9% increase in traffic to 38.1 million metric tons in 2017 on the St. Lawrence Seaway. The North American waterway posted a strong finish despite the sustained blast of Arctic air that extended from late December into January and accelerated the formation of ice.

Contending with difficult weather conditions in the final two weeks, a handful of ships were delayed by the presence of ice in several locks. The St. Lawrence Seaway Management Corporation (SLSMC) indicated  that the 2017 navigation season concluded on January 11 with the transit of the Federal Biscay through the St. Lambert Lock in Montreal at 6:08 PM.

Seaway employees on the ground worked diligently to maintain the locks, while staff in the control centers worked with the Canadian Coast Guard, marine pilotage authorities, and other members of the marine transportation support system. Thanks to the dedication of all parties and their unrelenting efforts, the St. Lawrence Seaway concluded its 59th navigation season successfully.

"Without a doubt, 2017 was a good business year, and we successfully wrapped up the season thanks to the skill and dedication of our employees. Collectively, we got the job done" said the SLSMC's CEO, Terence Bowles.

Iron ore cargo surged by 28.9% to over 8 million tons. Dry bulk rose by 18% to 10.5 million tons, while general cargo (including steel shipments) surged by 30% to 3.4 million tons. Grain declined by 10.6% to 10 million tons. (Photo Port of Hamilton)

 
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