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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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