What is a navigable waterway? It is any natural or artificial inland body of water, or system of interconnected bodies of water, used to transport people or goods, such as a lake, a river, or a canal.
Navigable waterways play an important role in the development of regions or countries, as they are used first for exploration and later for trade. Vessels using waterways vary from animal-drawn barges to tankers and ocean liners.
Though slower than rail, road, and air transport, water shipping is cheaper and good for bulk cargoes of commodities like coal, ore, grain, and lumber.
Waterways can even offer shortcuts, as is the case with the Panama Canal and the Suez Canal. Because of the curvature of the earth, the shipping route through Canada’s Hudson’s Bay shortens the distance from Winnipeg to Liverpool, England (via Churchill) by 500 nautical miles in comparison with the route via Montreal.