General Cargo shipments dominate Seaway traffic in June

WASHINGTON, D.C. – June was an active month for U.S. ports receiving a variety of general cargo shipments through the St. Lawrence Seaway.

“What’s notable about the June tonnage numbers were increases in the export of U.S. grain to Europe and the import of aluminum and steel to the ports of Cleveland, Toledo, Oswego, Detroit, and Burns Harbor. Cargo activity like this is a true reflection of just how hard our port representatives are working to market their operations to current and potential customers worldwide,” said Betty Sutton, Administrator of the Saint Lawrence Seaway Development Corporation. “Also notable,  is that commodities being moved in containers doubled when compared to the same time frame last year.”

The Port of Oswego received its second barge of the season carrying another 11,000 metric tons of aluminum on McKeil barges, the bulk going to the local Novelis plant.

“We continue to stay on target for another record year in aluminum shipments,” said Zelko Kirincich, executive director & CEO.

The St. Lawrence Seaway reported that year-to-date total cargo shipments for the period April 2 to June 30 were 10.4 million metric tons, down 8.4 percent over the same period in 2014.

U.S. grain shipments were up by 17 percent in June over last year.

The dry bulk category was up by 7.5 percent over 2014 with stone and potash in the positive column, at 24 and 179 percent respectively.

The general cargo category was up nearly 1 percent. Iron ore and coal – usually solid performers – were both down in June by 12 and 33 percent respectively.

The liquid bulk category posted a downturn of 7 percent to 957 metric tons.