Chesterton Tribune


Overall cargo shipments up this year in the Seaway

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Continued demand for iron ore, coal, and general cargo for the industrial and manufacturing sectors has lifted the tonnage numbers along the Great Lakes-Seaway System, the St. Lawrence Seaway Development Corporation said in a statement released on Wednesday.

Between March 22 and Nov. 30, year-to-date total cargo shipments were 34.6 million metric tons, a rise of 2.67 percent over the same period in 2011. The St. Lawrence Seaway reported an 11 percent increase for total cargo shipments during the month of November—5.1 million metric tons—compared to November 2011.

“The nearly 3 percent rise in overall tonnage handled through the Seaway in 2012 is due in part to the proven formula of ‘steel in, grain out’ as steel imports rose 12 percent in November as compared to the same month last year, and combined Canadian-U.S. grain export figure totals continue to improve, though still behind (-4 percent) last year’s pace,” said Rebecca Spruill, director of trade development for the Saint Lawrence Seaway Development Corporation. “Shippers and port-terminal personnel are working hard to move wheat, soybeans, and corn exports to lower Laurentian ports or foreign destinations before the Seaway locks close out the waterway’s final days.”

U.S. grain shipments through the Seaway posted a 48 percent increase for the month of November, although year-to-date U.S. grain shipments were down 20 percent to 1.2 million metric tons and year-to-date total grain shipments were down 4 percent to 7.3 million metric tons.

Year-to-date figures for iron ore were up 15 percent to 9.4 million metric tons. Year-to-date coal shipments rose to 4.2 million metric tons, a 25 percent hike over 2011. Salt shipments, a brisk commodity throughout the year, were 2.3 million metric tons year-to-date, up 1.2 percent. The General Cargo category which includes iron, steel, aluminum ingots, as well as heavy machinery and wind turbine equipment, reached 1.9 million metric tons, up 12 percent year-to-date.


Posted 12/20/2012