The Welland Canal’s Importance to the Metal Stamping Industry

Logistics and transportation are areas where efficiency makes for a successful bottom line; many industries have been lured from North America by lower overhead, less regulation, and more freedom to dump waste. The last thing industry here in the First World needs is a disaster that interrupts the supply line to industries like metal stamping of parts for larger industries. Deadlines for delivery, the cost of shipping – vital factors like these can become unmanageable during a sustained interruption of the logistical chain.

Take for example the raw materials and machinery needed to operate a custom metal stamping factory that makes parts that require custom parts made with difficult forms or deep drawing to fill the order that makes another company tick. The stamping factory will need special tools and stamping machinery. The best equipment would be most likely imported from Germany where the highest quality machinery is produced. The German equipment comes in metal stamping services across the ocean into a city like Detroit or Chicago, where it may change over to finish the journey by rail. Then the rolls of steel or aluminum have to come in from another continent perhaps. All of this cargo is typical to shipping on the Great Lakes. An accident or sabotage along one of the canals or locks could paralyze many industries, and in fact both accidents and sabotage have occurred along the Welland Canal.

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It was a clear and pleasant evening several miles from where I grew up in Welland, in a small town called Allenburg along the canal heading north to St. Catherines. Allenburg is basically a coffee shop, a stoplight, an antique store – oh yes…and one lift bridge. Canal bridges are pretty easy to drive – one stick makes them go up, the other stick makes them go down. You see the lake boat coming, raise the bridge; after the boat passes, lower it and raise the gates for the long line of cars to continue on their way. It seems simple enough but when the lake freighter Windoc, carrying $8 million dollars worth of grain was passing through the bridge began to come down before the ship had cleared. The funnel crashed into the span and was sheared off, destroying the freighter and the bridge. The Seaway had to close for several days, causing a chain-reaction as boats had to set anchor. The bridge had to remain in the up position for the rest of the shipping season, to the consternation of drivers who had to take a detour for nearly a year. N.M. Paterson and Sons, the owners of the Windoc had to sue the Seaway operators for $16.8 million to recover their losses but the day-to-day losses cost time and money to thousands of other businesses due to interruption in production.

Security along the Welland canal in Ontario is practically non-existent; the last sabotage plot was in 1916 when German diplomat Franz von Papen threatened to blow up the canal, but he had already been expelled from the U.S. for espionage. A dynamite charge was planted on the hinges of one of the locks in 1900 doing minor damage. When it comes to sabotage the official story of the 2000 – 2008 White House regarding terrorists states that terrorists are everywhere waging war on North American soil yet there’s an easy target on the Canadian side of the border that would cause havoc if taken out by explosives. Without bridges and lift locks St. Lawrence Seaway would close for a long period and disrupt the economy. Interrupting logistics is a basic tenet of military strategy. The answer is that the corporatists and extremely wealthy elite are in control of events and they will only destroy things when it’s in their interests, such as the military implosion demolition of the obsolete, largely non rentable, asbestos-ridden towers of the World Trade Center. Anyone who works with steel will tell you that fires can’t cause skyscrapers to collapse and explode into a fine dust. The implosion that removed Building 7 was recorded from many angles. All three buildings went down at the speed of gravity, the hallmark of controlled demolition. They who own the cargo protect the route on which it travels.

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