View of Harbour and MarinaShip berthed at the Government Docks3 ships berthed at Government Docks


Berthage At Sarnia Harbour

The berthage of vessels at the docks and wharfs in the harbour is a principle business for the Port of Sarnia. Many of the vessels that use the Sarnia Harbour are part of the Great Lakes Fleet operated and maintained by a number of different large Canadian shipping companies, including such companies as Algoma Central Corporation, Canada Steamship Lines, and Lower Lakes Towing Ltd. Sarnia Harbour also accommodates many international vessels primarily at the Cargill docks for the trans-shipment of grains and other cargos to and from much of Southwestern Ontario.

Seasonal Berthage

Sarnia Harbour provides vessels with seasonal berthage for temporary layup or for emergency repairs that are routinely carried out on both upbound and downbound vessels during the regular shipping season. The transfer of personnel, stores, repair parts and repair squads by workboat to vessels en-route is commonplace, as is temporary short-term layup when upbound vessels may pause to avoid severe weather conditions. Tugs berthed in the Government slip are also able to assist ship movements in the area.

Winter Berthage

The Sarnia Harbour is strategically located above the Welland Canal. Late winter freeze ups and associated ice conditions enable commercial vessels to operate late into the shipping season after the St. Lawrence Seaway is closed, and still arrive to make a winter berth at Sarnia before local freeze up. Similarly, the early spring break-up of ice on Lake Huron and the St. Clair River enable the renewal of early cargo movements servicing ports located on lakes Erie, Huron, Michigan and the connecting waterways above the Welland Canal prior to the general opening of the St. Lawrence Seaway System. These operational advantages for the movement of cargo represent important commercial considerations and reinforce the advantages of Sarnia Harbour.

The immediate availability of a large skilled labour force in the Sarnia area also strengthens the advantages of Sarnia harbour as a port of choice for ship repair and maintenance. During a typical winter season, 10 to 12 vessels will berth at the harbour for either winter layup or repair. Vessels scheduled for repair will locate along the Government Wharf or along the shore in the North Slip.

Please see the Rates and Fees page for pricing.

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