Executive Briefings

Research Looks to Bring Ocean-going Tug-Barge Combos Between Montreal, Toronto

Currently, only Seaway-max size ships (2,500 TEU) can sail between the Port of Montreal and the Port of Toronto on Lake Ontario, the biggest container port on the Great Lakes. However, research is underway in the U.S. and elsewhere that offers the promise of oceanic tug-barge combinations that could be suited to this shipping route.

Research Looks to Bring Ocean-going Tug-Barge Combos Between Montreal, Toronto

The Seaway-max ship is the maximum size vessel that can sail along the St. Lawrence Seaway between North America's Upper Great Lakes and the Atlantic Ocean. While larger ships do sail on the Upper Great Lakes as well as downstream of the Port of Montreal, a variety of economic and environmental factors prevent deepening the navigation passage between Montreal and Lake Ontario. The present expansion of terminals at the Port of Montreal will berth larger container ships of up to 12,000 TEU, up from 8,000 TEU, and enhance container transportation economics to/from major European ports.

A ship designed to carry 8,000 to 12,000 TEU could likely be modified with a larger engine and propeller to tow a Seaway-max barge carrying up to 2,500 TEU. During the Seaway shipping season, it could tow the barge across the North Atlantic from a European or British container transhipment port to the mouth of the St. Lawrence River, from where a tug could push the barge along the St. Lawrence Seaway to Toronto.

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The Seaway-max ship is the maximum size vessel that can sail along the St. Lawrence Seaway between North America's Upper Great Lakes and the Atlantic Ocean. While larger ships do sail on the Upper Great Lakes as well as downstream of the Port of Montreal, a variety of economic and environmental factors prevent deepening the navigation passage between Montreal and Lake Ontario. The present expansion of terminals at the Port of Montreal will berth larger container ships of up to 12,000 TEU, up from 8,000 TEU, and enhance container transportation economics to/from major European ports.

A ship designed to carry 8,000 to 12,000 TEU could likely be modified with a larger engine and propeller to tow a Seaway-max barge carrying up to 2,500 TEU. During the Seaway shipping season, it could tow the barge across the North Atlantic from a European or British container transhipment port to the mouth of the St. Lawrence River, from where a tug could push the barge along the St. Lawrence Seaway to Toronto.

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Research Looks to Bring Ocean-going Tug-Barge Combos Between Montreal, Toronto