Great Lakes-St. Lawrence Seaway System continues to be reliable agriculture shipping route

The Great Lakes Seaway Partnership announced the tonnage report for traffic through the St. Lawrence System through September 2022.

The numbers show that the Seaway System continues to provide a reliable global
shipping route for agricultural products.

“September’s tonnage report re-affirms that the Great Lakes St. Lawrence Seaway System is a reliable shipping corridor enabling U.S. growers and producers to feed the world,” said Jeff Scharf, acting deputy administrator with the Great Lakes St. Lawrence Seaway Development Corporation.“With a busy few months remaining in the 2022 season, we’re confident that our Great Lakes ports are ready to finish the year strong.”

Through September, the Seaway System has moved 689,000 metric tonnes of U.S. grain. This is a 41.24 percent increase compared to the same period in 2021. It’s estimated that U.S. Great Lakes ports traded with at least 15 countries during September, compared to 23 in August.

Lake Michigan

During September, Port Milwaukee’s docks received shipments of steel and pieces of a yacht.

“Port Milwaukee is realizing new maritime commerce opportunities with an increase of high value breakbulk and project cargoes traveling through our terminals,” said Port Milwaukee Director Adam Tindall-Schlicht. “From The DeLong Co., Inc. assembling a new ship loader for agricultural exports, to the delivery of curved steel plates, brewery tanks, and superyacht pieces, Port Milwaukee stands ready to welcome and transport cargo of all kinds in supporting regional economic activity that moves the Great Lakes supply chain forward.”

Lake Erie

The Port Of Monroe/DRM Terminal Management team celebrated the christening of Interlake Steamship Company’s new vessel Mark W. Barker in September and welcomed the ship to Monroe for the first time in early October. The ship loaded a cargo of synthetic gypsum at the turning basin dock for delivery to Port Colborne, Ontario.

“Any time a vessel of the Interlake Steamship Co. calls upon the Port, it is special. In this case, it is historic,” said Capt. Paul C. LaMarre III, Port Director, Port of Monroe. “Interlake’s continued support of our growth and cargo diversification has made them a major piece of the Port’s living Great Lakes legacy. We are excited to work with Interlake and use this versatile vessel to move multiple cargoes in and out of the Port.”

The Port of Toledo surpassed 8 million tons for the season during the month of September, a month that included three inbound aluminum shipments and two outbound grain shipments.

“We believe the positive momentum of the 2022 shipping season will continue into the fourth quarter,” said Joseph Cappel, vice president of business development for the Toledo Lucas County Port Authority. “We are looking forward to the fall harvest when grain products from the Toledo Region will be exported throughout the world. Watching farmers line up their trucks to deliver their products at the terminals and then to see that product immediately loaded onto an ocean vessel for export demonstrates the reliability and capabilities of the Great Lakes St. Lawrence Seaway System as a critical link to the global marketplace. It’s a true demonstration of the supply chain in action.”

Lake Superior

More than 3.6 million short tons of maritime cargo transited the Port of Duluth-Superior in September 2022, lifting total tonnage past 20.3 million for the season in North America’s furthest-inland seaport. While still 8.8 percent below the five-season average, that total tonnage deficit declined 1.4% compared to August and nearly 10 percent since June 30.

“July marked a turning point, August was very good, and September was solid in terms of total tonnage and vessel traffic through the Port of Duluth-Superior,” said Deb DeLuca, executive director of the Duluth Seaway Port Authority. “It’s been a nice rally and we’re hopeful that it will continue with a good harvest season, reactivation of Duluth Elevator A, more general cargo shipments scheduled and generally promising market conditions for some of our natural resource bulk cargoes.”

About the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence Seaway System

The Great Lakes-Seaway System serves a dynamic economic region that includes eight U.S. states and two Canadian provinces. If the region were a country, it would have the 3rd largest economy in the world with a GDP of $5.5 trillion – larger than that of Japan, Germany, Brazil, or the United Kingdom. The region is home to 107 million people and accounts for almost 40 percent of the total cross-border trade between the U.S. and Canada.

Great Lakes-Seaway shipping is a foundation of this vibrant economy. More than 160 million metric tons of commercial cargo are transported on the waterway each year, providing low-cost and efficient transportation for the region’s manufacturing, mining, agriculture, and energy sectors.

Great Lakes-Seaway shipping lifts American and Canadian economies on an annual basis by supporting:

• 237,868 jobs

• $35 billion in economic activity

• $14.2 billion in personal income and local consumption expenditures

• $6.6 billion in federal, state/provincial, and local tax revenue

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