Strong iron ore, cement and coal shipments boosted volume nearly 6.8 percent year-over-year on the St. Lawrence Seaway in August.
The Seaway handled 4.3 million metric tons in the period, and volume is up 1.5 percent from March 22 to August 31, compared to the same period a year earlier, according to the Saint Lawrence Seaway Development Corp.
“The uptick in total cargo transported in August emphasized the strength of shipments of traditional commodities like iron ore and coal, and was a sound indication of the value of the Seaway system for North American exports to Europe and China,” SLSDC Director Rebecca Spruill said.
Iron ore shipments for the steel and construction industry rose 43 percent last month; coal traffic jumped 45 percent. With roughly four months left in the shipping season, shipments of both commodities are up 31 percent year-over-year.
Cement volume rose 15 percent in August, largely because of ongoing construction work through the Great Lakes states. Drought conditions pushed down grain shipments 32 percent year-over-year, the fourth straight monthly decline.