Cargo shipped on the St. Lawrence Seaway from late March through August rose 3.5 percent year-over-year, as raw material shipments for the region's steel industry grew during one of the historically slowest periods of the year.
About 22 million metric tons were handled on the seaway from March 22 to August 31, and vessel transits rose 9 percent during the same period, according to the Saint Lawrence Seaway Development Corp.
“The steel industry in our region is enjoying more demand, which has resulted in an increase in the volume of raw material moving through our port’s facilities,” said David Gutheil, the group’s vice president for maritime and logistics. “In addition, our general cargo operation continues to recover from the historic lows of two years ago thanks to an increase in steel imports coming through the port to satisfy demands for steel not met by U.S. steel producers.”
Shipments of petroleum products and salt in late March and August remained up 70 percent and 18 percent, respectively, compared to the same period last year.
Coal traffic rose 30 percent to 465,000 metric tons within the same period, while iron ore throughput fell 21 percent to 5.4 million metric tons, largely due to the recent closing of a U.S. Steel plant in Hamilton, Ontario.
U.S grain shipments in late March and August fell 7 percent to 931,000 metric tons, while Canadian grain handling jumped 35 percent to 893,000 metric tons.