The Draft Information System (DIS), which allows vessels to load 7cm deeper in the Seaway system is being made available to Foreign vessels. The Federation met recently with the SLSMC and the GLS to discuss the testing requirements and rollout.
The DIS program began in 2012 for domestic vessels only and there have been over 5500 total transits conducted at the deeper draft of 8.15m rather than the Seaway maximum draft of 8.08m.
Since last year, the Seaway has been testing the technology on foreign vessels and working closely with other stakeholders (GLPA/SLSPA) during this period. The test period ended in February 2022, in which several risk hazards were identified and addressed through several mitigation measures. Some of the concerns raised were the handling of foreign vessels at the deeper draft and the impact on the transit duration.
The Seaway have also reduced their testing requirements. Previously, a vessel required a series of 6 tests, including up and down voyages under a variety of conditions including DIS simulated, ballasted and laden at 8.15m before receiving approval. Moving forward, the Seaway will reduce the number of tests to only a ballasted transit (8.15m) up and down.
The specific equipment carriage requirements, the application and testing process can be found in the DIS Tool – General Requirements for Compliance and use in St. Lawrence Seaway letter.
We have invited the SLSMC/GLS to present this new process to members and will advise once the date/forum is confirmed.
Please direct any questions to the undersigned.
Director, Marine Operations