St. Lawrence Seaway shipping down 4% so far this year

The St. Lawrence Seaway’s year-to-date shipments (March 21 to May 31) reached 6.5 million metric tons, down 4 per cent (282,000 metric tons) compared to the same period last year, due mainly to tonnage decreases in iron ore and imported steel.

However, the Chamber of Marine Commerce reports that there were a number of positive cargo categories.

Dry bulk cargo shipments, in the same period, totaled 1.9 million metric tons, up five per cent, with strong performances from cement, road salt and gypsum.

Seaway shipments of domestic general cargo were also up 64 per cent, with McKeil Marine vessels transporting aluminum from a plant in Sept-Iles, Quebec to Oswego, NY, Detroit, Michigan and Toledo, Ohio for automotive manufacturing.

Project cargo, such as oversized machinery, is expected to be another strong cargo category this season. This week, Logistec’s cargo handling experts coordinated a short sea shipping project to move 78 tower sections aboard the M/V Rosaire A. Desgagnés from Port Weller, Ontario to Sheet Harbour, Nova Scotia. Turbine manufacturer ENERCON produced the pieces locally in the Niagara region.

“We’re encouraged by the results for the season to date, considering difficult markets for commodities like iron ore,” said Chamber of Marine Commerce President Stephen Brooks. “Thankfully Canadian manufacturers and producers increasingly recognize the Great Lakes-Seaway as a cost-efficient, sustainable way to export directly into the U.S economic heartland.”

“There are certainly some bright spots so far. Canadian exports of machinery, aluminum and dry bulk cargoes like cement have been strong. Businesses are responding to demand from the U.S. automotive and construction industries,” said Terence Bowles, President and CEO of The St. Lawrence Seaway Management Corporation.

Source: Chamber of Marine Commerce

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