Total cargo shipments on the St. Lawrence Seaway have now surpassed 2013 levels by 5 per cent due to strong North American import/export activity.
It looks like another good year for the Gret Lakes Marine sector. According to the St. Lawrence Seaway Management Corporation, total cargo tonnage from March 25 to September 30 reached 24.4 million metric tons.
Grain exports continue to be strong with total shipments (including Canada and the U.S.) reaching 6.8 million metric tons, up 70 per cent over the same period last year.
Shipments of general cargo, including specialty steel and heavy machinery and wind turbines, are up 73 per cent to 1.9 million metric tons. Finished steel imports to the Port of Hamilton have risen 150 per cent this season and project cargo including heavy equipment, building components and wind turbines have increased by 164 per cent. Bruce Wood, President and CEO, Hamilton Port Authority noted, “as the southern Ontario economy continues its recovery, construction and manufacturing are picking up. That translates into growing steel and project cargo tonnages at the Port of Hamilton.”
The Port of Oshawa has handled more than 100,000 metric tons of steel rebar this season. The port’s crews also loaded a dozen 50-tonne transformers onto the M/V Merwedegracht. The transformers, built by Trench Canada in Pickering, headed for the Port of Duluth-Superior, Minnesota before moving on to substations in Alberta.
Municipal stockpiling of road salt ahead of the coming winter has also driven shipments via the Seaway up by 32 per cent this season to 1.9 million metric tons. Canadian mines have been working hard to replenish city reserves in Canada and the U.S..
These areas of strength have helped to offset decreases in shipments of other commodities through the navigation system.