Jul 18, 2019

The Unsung Hero of Canadian Transportation: The Great Lakes-St. Lawrence River Waterway

Our member, Chamber of Marine Commerce, has shared with us their insights on the safe, efficient and environmentally smart use of marine transportation.

“Goods move across Canada every day – either for export to other markets or to be used domestically at home. We often think of busy border crossings, airports or major ports bringing goods to lands beyond home, but we often do not think of the vital trade corridor right in the middle of the country: the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence River waterway.

Each year, ships deliver more than 230 million metric tons of cargo that are worth over $100 billion on the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence River waterway. These deliveries are destined for the United States or overseas consumption, including iron ore, steel, petroleum products, sugar, salt, grains, fertilizers and project cargo.

Not only do Canadian-flagged ships move an immense amount of cargo, they also do it efficiently and safely. Vessels are on average 7 times more fuel-efficient than trucks and 1.14 times more fuel-efficient than trains.  Truck and rail would emit 533% and 19% respectively more greenhouse gas emissions per cargo tonne/kilometre if these modes carried the same cargo and same distance as the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence Seaway fleet of ships.

Ships move all this cargo efficiently with a great safety record. Canadian crew go through extensive training and testing to work onboard ships, which has led to a ten-year record without any accidents negatively impacting public safety.

As the greenest mode, marine is a clear unsung hero of Canadian transportation – a true powerhouse moving goods safely and efficiently, while making significant impact on Canada’s economy.

Click here for more information about inland and coastal shipping in Canada.”

Sign Up for Our Newsletter

Sign Up to receive the latest news from the Canadian Chamber of Commerce