Project Cargo Again Dominates Seaway Traffic

WASHINGTON, D.C. – With three months left in the shipping season, U.S. ports were busy moving project cargo in September.

“Cargo shipments into the Great Lakes St. Lawrence Seaway System remained solid during the month of September,” said Betty Sutton, administrator for the Saint Lawrence Seaway Development Corporation. “September was the second busiest month on record this navigation season with ocean going vessels arriving at U.S. Great Lakes ports with increased tonnage of project cargo, dry bulk commodities and general cargo.  Aluminum shipments to auto manufacturing states of Michigan, Ohio and New York were once again on the rise as were containerized goods arriving on the Cleveland Europe Express liner service. Many of the ships that arrived with high value cargo departed the Seaway System with wheat and soybeans bound for Canada, Europe, Central America, North Africa and Scandinavia.”

Zelko Kirincich, executive director of the Port of Oswego said, “In September the Port Authority received 19,000 metric tons of aluminum via McKeil Marine barges from Sept-Iles, Quebec for use in the automotive manufacturing sector. We are seeing another record year in aluminum shipments through the Seaway.”

The St. Lawrence Seaway reported that year-to-date total cargo shipments for the period April 2 to September 30 were 22 million metric tons, down 12 percent over the same period in 2014.

U.S. grain shipments were up by 60 percent in September over last year.

The dry bulk category was up by 8 percent over 2014 with potash, stone, gypsum, and pig iron in the positive column, at 32, 27, 68 and 288 percent respectively.

The general cargo category was down 13 percent. Iron ore and coal remained down in September by 15 and 40 percent respectively.

The liquid bulk category posted a downturn of 11 percent.