SEAWAY 2003-04 ANNUAL REPORT REFLECTS NEW FOCUS ON BUSINESS GROWTH
(CORNWALL, July 8, 2004) - Richard Corfe, President of The St. Lawrence Seaway Management Corporation, today announced the publication of the Corporation's latest annual report, with financial and operational data for fiscal year 2003-04.
"This was a year of important new beginnings, among them a new corporate Vision and Values, with input from employees and the Seaway's major stakeholders," noted Mr. Corfe. "The resulting Strategic Plan emphasizes growing our business and innovation to take maximum advantage of the opportunities available for the Seaway System."
The St. Lawrence Seaway Management Corporation took over the reins of the Seaway on October 1, 1998, through a commercialization agreement with Transport Canada. Since then, it has consistently exceeded its business plan targets, making use of new technology and innovative management strategies to improve service and trim costs. A sluggish economy and competition from other modes have, however, combined to reduce Seaway traffic and revenues for the past three years.
In comparison to 2002, revenue for fiscal year 2003-04 dropped by $0.3 million or 0.4%. Manageable costs for the year totalled $59.2 million, an increase of just 1.25% over 2002 and within the amount targeted in the business plan. The Corporation was able to carry out scheduled asset renewal and maintenance projects for an investment of $26 million, compared to the budgeted amount of $27.3 million. This performance ensures that annual toll increases will be no higher than 2% during the life of the current business plan.
"Our new focus on marketing will position the Corporation to take advantage of economic upturns and help turn around the Seaway's traffic and revenue figures," stated Mr. Corfe. "We are working in partnership with ports and other modes to provide attractive, cost-effective transportation options and new delivery methods. We plan to attract containerized cargo, and help to promote growth in short-sea shipping. We will continue to optimize our operations wherever we can. And finally, together with our partners, we are promoting the environmental and economic benefits of marine transportation more actively to business and governments. Our billboard campaign is well underway, and it joins other promotional and lobbying initiatives to bring about awareness that the Seaway/Great Lakes System is the cleaner, safer and more energy-efficient alternative for a wide range of freight movements."
For details of the Seaway's 2003-04 operations, click here to access the the electronic version of the annual report.