The St. Lawrence Seaway is reporting that year-to-date total cargo shipments
for the period March 22-June 30 were 13.2 million metric tons, up 1.3
percent over the same period in 2011.
Iron ore and coal used in the steel and construction industries remained the
dominant story in tonnage numbers along the St. Lawrence Seaway System,
according to a statement released today.
Iron ore shipments through the Seaway rose 34 percent to 1.4 million metric
tons in June. Year-to-date figures for iron ore were up 27 percent to 3.8
million metric tons.
Coal shipments for power generation and steel production rose to 1.8 million
metric tons—a 30 percent increase over 2011.
Grain shipments were down for the second straight month, however, due to
drought conditions in the U.S. June saw a 16 percent downturn for all grain
in 2012 versus the same time last year.
General cargo such as wind turbine components posted a 163 percent jump in
June compared to the same month last year. “The Seaway continues to show its
global relevance as a vital marine route moving high value wind components
worldwide,” said Rebecca Spruill, director of trade development for the
Saint Lawrence Seaway Development Corporation. “We anticipate that trend to
continue, especially in light of the pending tax credit deadline set to
expire at the end of the year.”
The Great Lakes-St. Lawrence Seaway maritime industry supports 227,000 jobs
in the U.S. and Canada, and annually generates $14.1 billion in salary and
wages, $33.5 billion in business revenue, and $4.6 billion in federal,
state/provincial and local taxes.
North American farmers, steel producers, construction firms, food
manufacturers, and power generators depend on the 164 million metric tons of
essential raw materials and finished products annually moved on the system.
“This vital trade corridor saves companies $3.6 billion per year in
transportation costs compared to the next least-costly land-based
alternative,” the statement said.