The St. Lawrence Seaway reported cargo shipments from March 22 to May 31 totaled 8.1 million metric tons, a decline of 12 percent year-over-year.
Despite the slow start to the season, which began at the end of March, regional U.S. ports remain optimistic.
“We’re excited to dive deeper into the 2013 shipping season to see which of our many initiatives to pursue new cargo at the port will come to fruition,” said Joe Cappel, director of cargo development for the Toledo-Lucas County Port Authority, in a written statement.
“Our tonnage is down slightly from last year’s fast start, but we are 15 percent ahead of our previous five-year average,” said Rick Heimann, port director for the Port of Indiana-Burns Harbor. “Looking ahead, we expect to see an increase in barge traffic coming up through the inland water system in June, but the outlook for Seaway shipments is more uncertain at this point.”
“We continue to feel encouraged about the 2013 navigation season,” added Craig Middlebrook, acting administrator of the Saint Lawrence Seaway Development Corp. “The significant public and private reinvestments currently being made in the North American economy and the Great Lakes region are laying the groundwork for sustained future growth.”