A sharp upswing in traffic in the past six weeks resulted in the best shipping season through the St. Lawrence Seaway in four years, the seaway’s Canadian management company said Thursday.
Unaudited results from the 2010 season, which ended Wednesday, indicate that the 51-year-old waterway carried 35.1 million metric tons of cargo, an estimated 16.9 percent increase from 2009.
Jean Aubry-Morin, vice president for corporate sustainability, said the tonnage record is about 93 percent complete, as statistics are still being collected from vessel manifests.
Aubry-Morin said that increases in grain, iron ore, chemicals and general cargo were significant contributors to the increased traffic. In November, the company said that 5.3 million tons of exported Canadian grain had transited the seaway.
The 2010 tonnage could reflect a rebounding global economy, but traffic is still short of its peak years. According to traffic reports, the seaway handled 47.1 million tons in 2006 and 40.1 million tons in 2008. In 2009 traffic dropped to 30.7, the lowest in six years.
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