For the period March 22 to September 30, year-to-date total cargo shipments
on the Seaway System were 25.1 million metric tons, virtually flat over the
same period in 2011, as reported by the St. Lawrence Seaway.
“Cargo tonnage on the Seaway System remained relatively steady for the month
of September,” said Rebecca Spruill, director of trade development for the
Saint Lawrence Seaway Development Corporation. “These tonnage numbers
reflect historical trading patterns for the month of September, with the
noteworthy increase in shipments of windmill components. We anticipate the
next couple of months to reflect slight increases in cargo tonnage for
general cargo, U.S. and Canadian grain, iron ore, and coal.”
The Port of Indiana-Burns Harbor, for its part, handled significant
increases in the shipments of steel, coke, fertilizer, grain, and minerals
through the first nine months of 2012. Overall year-to-date shipments
remained fairly steady, down slightly from a year ago but still higher than
every other year since 2006.
“Through the first three quarters of 2012, we have seen a nearly 25 percent
increase in steel shipments driven by increased demand in the manufacturing
sector,” said Rich Cooper, CEO for the Ports of Indiana. “Having direct
access to international shipments through the St. Lawrence Seaway and the
inland river system is a major competitive advantage for port companies.
Three new steel-related businesses have already opened facilities at our
port in 2012 and we expect to see additional increases in shipments as those
operations come online.”
Iron ore shipments through the Seaway were down 17 percent in September to 1
million metric tons versus the same time last year. Year-to-date figures for
iron ore were up 22 percent to 7.7 million metric tons. Coal shipments for
power generation and steel production totaled 588,000 metric tons in
September, an increase of 33 percent from September 2011. Year-to-date coal
shipments rose to 3.3 million metric tons, a 31 percent hike over 2011.
Cement shipments had a 22 percent increase in September 2012 over last year
as construction work continued throughout the Great Lakes states.
Year-to-date shipments posted a 22 percent hike to 1.2 million metric tons.
“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,” the Seaway System 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
This vital trade corridor saves companies $3.6 billion per year in
transportation costs compared to the next least-costly land-based