2017 HWY H2O Conference

Collaboration for Economic Prosperity

2017-Confer-logo-no-bar_icon-1“Together we will share ideas on how to grow opportunities that promote greater economic activity in our region and increase maritime freight movement throughout the Great Lakes St. Lawrence Seaway System,” said Craig Middlebrook, Deputy Administrator, Saint Lawrence Seaway Development Corporation, during his opening remarks at the 13th annual HWY H2O Conference in Toronto, Ontario, Canada from November 14-16, 2017.

The HWY H2O Conference is designed by System stakeholders and is dedicated to growing business throughout the Great Lakes St. Lawrence Seaway System. Dedication to this effort is evident in the collaborative sponsorship of the conference by both the St. Lawrence Seaway Management Corporation (SLSMC – Canada) and Saint Lawrence Seaway Development Corporation (SLSDC – United States).

Economic Impacts

highway-h20-craig-middlebrookOne of the insights Middlebrook shared was the compelling insight that the Seaway System has consistently maintained an overall reliability rate of over 99%, serving as a key performance indicator of our ability to provide customers with the certainty of an efficient transport mode. This is further enhanced, by the dedication of the system to introduce new technologies and upgrade infrastructure.

“Some of those outcomes are being realized in the 2017 navigation season, such as new innovations and improved technologies for the operation of the Seaway infrastructure, resulting in reduced maintenance needs and operating costs to Seaway users.  We are enthusiastic about the strong tonnage movements this season and look forward to finishing this shipping year on a high note,” continued Middlebrook.


Sign-up & Get Insights

Great Lakes-Seaway shipping is the foundation of our vibrant economy and its impact will be vividly illustrated in the upcoming release of the Economic Impacts Study in March 2018. Sign-up to receive the 2018 Great Lakes Seaway System Economic Impacts Study in your inbox by completing the form below.


Ports & Beyond

In addition to Craig Middlebrook from SLSDC there were also other Great Lakes Seaway Partnership members represented at the conference. This was evident on the final day of the conference during the panel discussion, “Ports Perspective – Opportunities & Challenges,” featuring representatives from ports across the Great Lakes and beyond:

  • Steven Fisher, Executive Director, American Great Lakes Ports Association (Great Lakes Seaway Partnership member)
  • Tim Heney, Chief Executive Officer, Thunder Bay Port Authority
  • Rowland Howe, President, Goderich Port Management Corporation
  • Joseph Cappel, Vice President of Business Development – Toledo-Lucas County Port Authority  (Great Lakes Seaway Partnership member)
  • Clayton Harris III, Executive Director – Illinois International Port District at the Port of Chicago  (Great Lakes Seaway Partnership member)
  • Jonathan Daniels, Executive Director & CEO – Mississippi State Port Authority at Gulfport (Previous Executive Director of the Port of Oswego Authority in Oswego, New York [Great Lakes Seaway Partnership member])


The dynamic conversation included case studies and best practices implemented by each port such as the partnership between Illinois International Port District (Port of Chicago) and Mississippi State Port Authority (Gulfport). Following his role as the Executive Director of the Port of Oswego Authority in Oswego, New York, Jonathan Daniels became the Executive Director & CEO of the Mississippi State Port Authority at Gulfport. As an “alumni” of the Great Lakes St. Lawrence Seaway, he understood the opportunity inherent in the system. “The Great Lakes St. Lawrence Seaway is the best in working as a system to optimize operations,” said Daniels during the panel at the HWY H2O Conference. This awareness and understanding lead to a partnership with the Port of Chicago to serve as a transportation and logistics hub in the Great Lakes St. Lawrence Seaway for Chiquita, with cargo originally imported in Gulfport from Central America.

Another case study featured was the Toledo-Lucas County Port Authority and Cleveland Cliffs initiative, where the Port of Toledo and East Toledo’s Ironville site were selected as a home for the new Hot Briquette Iron (HBI) processing facility. The facility will receive iron ore mined in Minnesota and Michigan and converted to briquettes used in steelmaking, which will be transported across the region, country and world. Similar to the aforementioned case study, this creates another transportation and logistics hub in the Great Lakes St. Lawrence Seaway.

We look forward to attending the HWY H2O Conference next year and in the meantime we will continue to promote economic prosperity in our region and increase utilization of the Great Lakes St. Lawrence Seaway System for shippers.