MTS’ Hybrid Model Revamps 2023 Northern Resupply

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Credit: Ship-technology

Amidst low water levels on the Mackenzie River, Marine Transportation Services (MTS) has implemented a hybrid transportation model to ensure essential resupply services to northern communities, requiring revised schedules and fuel delivery strategies.

  • MTS adopts a hybrid transportation model to address low water levels and maintain resupply services.
  • Cargo acceptance and departure dates revised for several communities along the river.
  • Strategic fuel delivery plan employed to overcome challenges and ensure fuel availability in remote areas.

The Challenges to Confront

The Marine Transportation Services (MTS) has faced a unique challenge for the 2023 sailing season with very low water levels on the Mackenzie River, particularly near the ramparts south of Fort Good Hope. These conditions have the potential to make certain sections of the river impassable for MTS tugs and barges, necessitating adjustments to the sailing schedule and transportation plans.

Introducing the Model

To ensure essential resupply services to northern communities are maintained, MTS has implemented a hybrid transportation model. This model involves a strategic combination of trucking and barging to deliver fuel and cargo to several communities along the river.

Revised Schedule 

Cargo acceptance and estimated departure dates for several communities have been revised in light of the new transportation model. While cargo acceptance dates for Łutselk’e, Tulita, and Norman Wells remain unchanged, there have been adjustments to the estimated departure dates for Łutselk’e. Furthermore, cargo acceptance dates for Inuvik, Aklavik, and Tuktoyaktuk have been shifted earlier, and the estimated departure dates for these communities, as well as Paulatuk, Sachs Harbour, Ulukhaktok, and Kugluktuk, will also be updated.

Delivery Strategies

Fuel transportation requires careful planning, especially with the low water levels. Fuel will be delivered by tanker to Tuktoyaktuk and then barged to Inuvik, Paulatuk, Sachs Harbour, and Ulukhaktok, following the approach used in the 2022 sailing season. For Fort Good Hope, fuel will be barged south from Tuktoyaktuk and added to the existing tanker delivery plan.

MTS remains committed to providing efficient and reliable resupply services despite the challenges posed by the Mackenzie River’s low water levels. We will continue to monitor the situation closely and communicate any further adjustments to the sailing schedule and transportation plans. For the most up-to-date information, customers are encouraged to visit our website regularly. Together, we strive to ensure the well-being and prosperity of the northern communities we serve.

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Source-gov.nt.ca