Hwy H2O Travelling Container on its Way to the Great Lakes

July 21, 2006

St. Catharines, July 2006 – As part of its ongoing efforts to promote container shipping on the Great Lakes/St. Lawrence Seaway, the St. Lawrence Seaway Management Corporation (SLSMC) has arranged for a 20-foot container to be shipped from Europe to North America where it will then travel along the St. Lawrence Seaway to the Great Lakes’ largest and farthest inland port – the Port of Duluth-Superior.  The “Hwy H2O Travelling Container” was launched from the Port of Aarhus, Denmark on Wednesday, July 19 with a large Hwy H2O themed mural on both sides of the box.  The container is travelling aboard the BBC India, a modern multi-purpose vessel owned by Germany-based BBC Chartering and Logistic.  Along with the Hwy H2O container, the vessel is carrying a load of windmill parts.

Containers represent an important growth market for the Seaway.  As international trade continues to intensify, the Seaway expects to see an increase in the movement of containers from the East Coast to key inland hub ports.  Compared to surface modes of transportation that have experienced various levels of congestion and delays, the St. Lawrence Seaway has the capacity to significantly grow its cargo volumes.  The Hwy H2O Travelling Container initiative will assist in drawing attention to the ability of the Great Lakes St. Lawrence Seaway System to move containers efficiently and reliably, directly into the heartland of North America.

Raising awareness that the Seaway offers a complementary alternative to our increasingly congested road and rail arteries, resulting in a stronger multimodal network, is a central goal of the Hwy H2O campaign. “The fact that we can offer reliability is really a key advantage,” said Aldert van Nieuwkoop, Director of Market Development at the SLSMC.  “A number of shippers have already expressed interest in using such a service”.

“It is also true that people who live in communities on and around the Great Lakes / St. Lawrence System would benefit from increased usage of the marine mode of transport. There is real potential to reduce congestion and air pollution by keeping cargoes such as containers on the water as close to their final destination as possible, continued Mr. van Nieuwkoop.”

To highlight the timeliness of shipping containers via the Seaway, a contest is being hosted on the Hwy H2O website (www.hwyh2o.com) with a cruise along the St. Lawrence River as the grand prize.  Details of the container’s journey across the Atlantic Ocean and through the Great Lakes will also be posted on the Hwy H2O website.  After arriving at the Port of Duluth, the container will spend the rest of the shipping season travelling to various Hwy H2O Partner Ports along the Great Lakes.

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.

The St. Lawrence Seaway Management Corporation is a not-for-profit corporation responsible for the safe and efficient movement of marine traffic through the Canadian Seaway facilities. The SLSMC remains dedicated to promoting the economic and environmental benefits of the marine mode, attracting new cargoes to the Seaway and leveraging technology to enhance the system’s performance.