Transits of cargo-carrying vessels through the U.S. St. Lawrence Seaway locks in Massena, N.Y., are 3 percent ahead of last year, according to the U.S. Saint Lawrence Seaway Development Corp.
Seaway Corp. officials noted that 840 loaded vessels, which included 369 ocean vessels and 471 laker vessels, had transited the U.S. Eisenhower and Snell Locks through Aug. 5, an increase of 21 loaded vessels versus last year's Aug. 5 total. Officials added that the Seaway's 1997 season began on April 2, four days later than the 1996 opening.The increase in loaded transits has resulted in a recent surge in Seaway tonnage levels. As of July 25, U.S. direct shipments to and from overseas destinations via the St. Lawrence Seaway's Montreal-Lake Ontario section totaled 2.5 million metric tons, an increase of 16 percent from the 1996 level. This increase was sparked by sizable gains in manufactured iron and steel, which was up 32 percent to 1.1 million metric tons, and wheat, which was up 48 percent to 492,000 metric tons.
David G. Sanders, the Seaway Corp.'s acting administrator, noted that the increase in loaded transits and U.S.-overseas tonnage is expected to continue for the remainder of the 1997 navigation season.
''We are expecting one of the Seaway's most productive late seasons,'' he said. ''The ports and terminals along the Great Lakes St. Lawrence Seaway system are preparing for a busy end to our shipping season. The St. Lawrence Seaway continues to be a safe, efficient, and cost-competitive trade route to and from North America, and I remain confident that will have one of our safest and most successful seasons in more than decade.''