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Russia drought sparks Great Lakes grain trade

2010-10-21

According to the Great Lakes Maritime Task Force, Russia's recent decision, due to a persistent drought, to suspend grain exports has ships throughout the world heading for the Great Lakes to load wheat and other staples.

"Grain shipments through the Seaway in September increased 68% compared to a year ago," noted James Weakley, President of the Task Force as well as President of the Ohio-based Lake Carriers Association. "The fact that most of these cargoes were destined for customers overseas underscores that the Lakes and Seaway truly are America's Fourth Sea Coast."

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Seaway traffic continues upward trend

2010-10-20

The rebound trend continues on the St. Lawrence Seaway, with traffic to the end of September showing an 18% increase over the same period in 2009 thanks notably to strong American grain exports and iron ore and steel shipments.

Total year-to-date traffic added up to 22.9 million tonnes. Iron ore shipments were up 62% at 7.2 million tonnes and American grain shipments were up 36% at 1.3 million tonnes.

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Carriers cancel Montreal low-water surcharges

2010-10-18

Leading container shipping lines have announced they are lifting the special surcharges applied since this past summer on shipments to and from the Port of Montreal with Europe due to abnormally low water levels of the St. Lawrence River.

The so-called low-water surcharge was sharply criticized by the shipper body, the Canadian Industrial Transportation Association.

Over the past few days, OOCL, MSC and Hapag-Lloyd have all indicated they are removing the surcharge - starting next week - due to improved water levels.

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Government announces ship import duty waiver

2010-10-01

In a highly-anticipated development for enhancing the competitiveness of Canada's shipping industry, the federal government today (Oct. 1) announced a waiver of the longstanding 25% tariff on imports of all general cargo vessels and tankers as well as ferries longer than 129 metres.

The new duty remission framework lowering the costs for the marine industry was outlined before many industry officials at the Welland Canal by Finance Minister Jim Flaherty and by Stockwell Day, President of the Treasury Board and Minister for the Asia-Pacific Gateway, at a convention of British Columbia municipalities in Whistler.

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Marine industry attacks NY ballast water regulations

2010-09-21

Canadian Great Lakes marine industry executives have sharply attacked regulations planned by the State of New York, charging they could lose much commercial business as a result of "unachievable standards governing the treatment of ballast water carried by ships through the St. Lawrence Seaway."

Gathering in Thunder Bay for an annual meeting of the Ontario Marine Transportation Forum, the executives called on Sept. 21 for local politicians and business leaders to press authorities in both the United States and Canada to devise one set of achievable ballast water treatment standards, according to a press release issued by Marine Delivers, a bi-national marine industry communications entity.

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