The Seaway Traffic Forecast Report

This Commodity Flow Forecast Report provides forecasts for the St. Lawrence Seaway traffic and toll revenues for the 1994-2003 period. More specifically, the report includes forecasts for grains, iron ore, coal, other bulk cargo1 and general cargo2 that move in both directions through the Montreal - Lake Ontario section (MLO) and the Welland Canal. In addition, the report includes forecasts for vessel transits (loaded and in ballast) and the gross registered tonnage (GRT) related to the traffic forecast.

Forecast Approach and Methodology

The economic problem the Seaway is presently facing stems from the dynamic nature of the North American transportation system. The alternative routes and modes forming this transportation network, including the Great Lakes - St. Lawrence Seaway, compete for various commodities moving between several North American and overseas supply and demand centres. The amount and direction of commodities flowing through this network is influenced by a multitude of economic, political and institutional factors, at domestic and global levels. The methodology used in this forecast report combines both quantitative and qualitative techniques including market research, regional and industrial complex analyses.

In general, world demand and supply for major commodities using the Seaway are first analyzed and projected, then the North American balances between domestic supply and demand are estimated, and the exports, imports and domestic shipments which could move via the Seaway are then segregated. The weight of the combined factors (WCF) which influences the selection of the mode(s) and route(s) through which the cargo could move is applied in order to estimate the Seaway's share of this movement. Correlation and regression analyses are used to obtain the WCF. Validation and testing the equations consist in running a correlation of estimates with past movements.

The number of vessel transits (loaded and in ballast) required to carry the Seaway cargo traffic during the forecast period as well as the GRT are then forecasted. Finally, toll revenues generated from the traffic forecast are estimated. Organizations and individuals involved in the economic aspects of the Great Lakes - St. Lawrence Seaway are interviewed regularly. Reports, data and forecasts relevant to the Seaway traffic forecast are gathered from several reliable sources. In addition, TAF Consultants' proprietary Commodity Flows Information Systems "COMFIS", is used extensively for the efficient preparation of the forecast.

Copyright 1997 TAF Consultants™. All rights reserved.
Information in this document is secured from sources believed reliable and due care is taken in preparation, but accuracy and completeness cannot be guaranteed. The opinions expressed in this paper are not necessarily the opinions TAF Consultants. Other products and companies referred to herein are trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective companies or mark holders.
Revised: March 05, 1999