Chesterton Tribune



St. Lawrence Seaway cargo numbers down

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While the 2013 shipping season saw overall fluctuating cargo figures, U.S. ports on the Great Lakes, year-to-date total cargo shipments for the period March 22 to Nov. 30 were 33 million metric tons, down 6 percent from the same period in 2012, the St. Lawrence Seaway Development Corporation (SLSDC) is reporting.

“The shipping industry in the Great Lakes St. Lawrence Seaway System relied heavily on our terminal operators and longshoremen this month as they loaded and unloaded ships full of steel, grain, iron ore, coal, and general cargo” SLSDC Director of Trade Development Rebecca Spruill said. “That’s just a few of the cargoes that moved across our U.S. docks in a safe, efficient and very timely manner.”

U.S. grain has been a consistent bright spot throughout the shipping season, SLSDC added. In November, 1.4 million metric tons of U.S. grain moved through the system, representing a 17 percent increase year-to-date over 2012.

Although steel is driving tonnage for some U.S. ports, iron ore shipments remained down in November by nearly 7 percent while coal shipments dropped only .09 percent for the month. The liquid bulk category posted an 11 percent jump over the same period in 2012.

“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,” SLSDC said. “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 that are moved annually 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.”


Posted 12/17/2013