Canadian ships providing vital supplies to Arctic communities navigate in channels between the islands that range in depth from less than 100 m to about 600 m in eastern Lancaster Sound. Today’s modern Canadian ships supplying the Arctic range from tankers carrying fuel to general cargo ships. They are equipped with the latest in electronic navigation and communications systems, safety equipment, and cargo handling equipment.
Canadian crews are familiar with the Arctic and its environment – including sensitive hunting and fishing seasons, marine protected areas and as always: the weather. Another feature of Arctic shipping is there are no ports in any of the communities. Delivering supplies requires a ship to unload its cargo into barges that transfer it to a beach on the shore. The barges can often voyage some two kilometers between the shore. The distance is determined by the depths of waters, as the ship must keep to a minimum depth for safety. Both the local crews on the barges and the ship’s crew play important roles to ensure that goods are delivered safely.
Supporting Economic Development
In addition to community supply, Canadian ships provide critical services to Arctic resource projects. These projects play an important role in economic development and providing employment for Arctic communities.