As I’ve blogged before, America’s marine transportation system is a crucial part of our transportation network. One key part, the St. Lawrence Seaway, is an essential gateway that moves cargo between North American ports and international markets.
Today, the Saint Lawrence Seaway Development Corporation gave six of the Seaway's valuable ports its Robert J. Lewis Pacesetter Award for the 2010 navigation season. This annual award is presented to U.S. Great Lakes ports that register an increase for the year in international cargo tonnage shipped through the Seaway.
Along with our marine highways initiative, the St. Lawrence Seaway is an important part of President Obama’s plan to meet the challenge of rising gas prices. Marine transportation remains the single most fuel-efficient and cost-effective way to haul goods from one place to another.
It’s also a crucial part of President Obama's economic strategy for winning the future by doubling American exports within five years.
That’s why I was so pleased to learn that six ports earned the prestigious Pacesetter Award: Cleveland-Cuyahoga County Port Authority, Duluth Seaway Port Authority, Ogdensburg Bridge and Port Authority, Port of Indiana – Burns Harbor, Port of Oswego Authority, and Toledo-Lucas County Port Authority.
The six ports earning the award this year are no flashes in the pan of Seaway shipping. Since the Pacesetter Award's inception in 1992, all six have been past winners. Duluth, Oswego, and Toledo-Lucas County have received the award 12 times, the Port of Cleveland and the Port of Indiana-Burns Harbor have received nine, and the Port of Ogdensburg seven. That's what I call pacesetting.
These strong performances by Seaway ports are truly encouraging, and I congratulate six awardees on a great 2010 navigation season.