HWY H2O unveiled a new website in 2016 with an updated look, feel and functionality. The website experience was evolved for mobile with an optimized site designed to support users across multiple devices. The websites new “Shipping Centre” provides quick access to tools and resources for navigating The Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Seaway for HWY H2O Members and Port Partners.
Launched in 2016, the Gateway Incentive Program offers shippers a percentage reduction negotiated and offered on applicable cargo tolls for shipments of a specific commodity diverted to the Seaway from a competing gateway.
HWY H2O started with 18 founding Port Partners and the two Seaway Corporations (both Canadian and US) as sponsors. This group’s vision was to work together as a team to increase the amount of existing cargo entering the system and to hopefully bring in new types of cargo. HWY H2O has since evolved and grown to include other stakeholders of the GLSLSS.
HWY H2O created its own Internet TV station that houses all HWY H2O podcasts and videos. A new Customer Centre page is added to the website, highlighting vessel schedules, water levels on the Great Lakes/Seaway and a toll calculator. HWY H2O continues to build upon its resources to act as a catalyst for building business on the Great Lakes/Seaway System.
The HWY H2O website received a facelift in 2010 creating a more user friendly site that now offers a secured site for members to access HWY H2O marketing tools. HWY H2O also entered the social media world with the Twitter handle @hwyh2o. Since 2011, the @hwyh2o has 504 followers (and growing!) and lots of great dialogue with existing and potential customers.
An Advisory Council, comprised of professors and professional educators focused on marine transportation from scholastic institutions around the Great Lakes/ Seaway System was also established. The goal of the council is to utilize their expertise in efforts to promote business, growth and learning within the Great Lakes/Seaway. In return, HWY H2O Port Partners and Members offer their assistance as needed for their research.
HWY H2O sponsors the world premiere of the IMAX film “Mysteries of the Great Lakes”. Various ports and members hosted a business reception followed by the showing of the film, raising further awareness about the System and providing additional opportunities to connect with business partners.
HWY H2O revamped its print ads to reflect a cargo focused approach. The ads are clean, simple and effective.
The New Business Incentive came into effect offering customers 20% off Seaway tolls for bringing new cargo into the System. Since then, other incentive plans have come into play such as the volume incentive which offers a 10% reduction in cargo tolls applicable to incremental volumes meeting a set of criteria and the Service Incentive which works alongside the Business Incentive, offering an additional 20% for creating a service schedule into the Great Lakes/Seaway with new business.
The Great Lakes/Seaway industry realizes the importance and value of HWY H2O and non- port companies are interested in becoming members. HWY H2O now includes Port Partners and other Members, expanding its reach in the supply chain.
HWY H2O also introduced Alan Taylor as the European Representative to help Port Partners and Members develop business and contacts over in Europe.
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