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(St. Catharines, Ontario, July 11, 2006) – Hwy H2O, the marketing initiative led by the Canadian and U.S. Seaway Corporations, signed a Memorandum of Cooperation with the Seaports of Niedersachsen today in Oldenburg, Germany, establishing a marketing alliance between the two groups.  The agreement was signed by Mr. Richard Corfe, President  & CEO of the St. Lawrence Seaway Management Corporation (SLSMC) on behalf of Hwy H2O and by Mr. Andreas Bullwinkel, General Manager of the Seaports of Niedersachsen.  In attendance at the ceremony were representatives from the various ports, as well as German transportation officials.

The purpose of the agreement is to promote trade between northern Europe and the Great Lakes / St. Lawrence Seaway System, generate business opportunities through joint marketing, and to encourage an exchange of information and collaboration.  This will be accomplished through joint participation at conferences and exhibitions, as well as an annual workshop.  The agreement evolved from a meeting that was held in Germany in October of 2005 during the Great Lakes / St. Lawrence Seaway System Trade Mission to Europe. 

“There are parallels between our organizations that we can both learn from, said Mr. Corfe.  We are essentially striving to accomplish the same thing, which is to market our respective inland waterways systems with one voice.  The emphasis is on the system as a whole instead of each individual component.” 

Compared to North America, the marine mode in Europe plays a much larger role in the transportation chain. “Looking at the Seaports of Niedersachsen, we see evidence of the evolution of short sea shipping that has taken place throughout Europe, Mr. Corfe continued. These ports have modern inland container terminals and feeder services that supply a vast hinterland.  The Seaports of Niedersachsen also handle a lot of breakbulk cargo, which is a market area where we would like to become stronger.  The signing of this Memorandum of Cooperation with the Seaports of Niedersachsen will help to further promote our ports’ capabilities in the European market.

Hwy H2O is an alliance of marine mode stakeholders, actively promoting the advantages of marine transportation in the Great Lakes St. Lawrence Seaway System and includes eighteen of the largest ports on the St. Lawrence River and the Great Lakes. For more information, visit

The Seaports of Niedersachsen GmbH represents eight ports with numerous port handling operators, trans-regionally active logistical networks and specialists for every type of port service.  With more than 66 million tonnes/year, the port group in Niedersachsen is in second place in terms of cargo volumes handled in Germany. The group has a geographical prime location in Germany, directly on the estuaries of the large waterways in the German Bight.  For more information, visit