St. Lawrence Seaway System keeps cargo moving in October

WASHINGTON, DC – The St. Lawrence Seaway reported that year-to-date cargo shipments of 29.5 million metric tons moved through the system for the period March 28 to October 31.

Total cargo volume is up 4.5 percent compared to the same period last year, due mainly to the robust tonnage of grain and steel moving through the system.

Year-to-date, 8.4 million metric tons of grain were handled – an increase of 49.9 percent compared to 2013.

This increase has been more than offset by a 26.5 percent decrease in iron ore volume through the system, and an 11 percent decrease in coal tonnage.

“October was another active month for our hard-working longshoremen handling cargo at the ports in the Great Lakes St. Lawrence Seaway System,” said Administrator Betty Sutton of the U.S. Saint Lawrence Seaway Development Corporation. “There were significant increases in the number of ships arriving in the Seaway System carrying steel, salt, sugar, aluminum and pig iron. With an excellent grain harvest, most of those ships left the System filled with wheat, soybeans, corn and lentils. With two months remaining in the navigation season, we anticipate our longshoremen will continue to be extremely busy.”

“Aluminum shipments at the Port of Oswego are ahead of projections for 2014 and well over the 2013 numbers,” said Zelko Kirincich, executive director of the Port of Oswego Authority. “For the month of October, shipments of aluminum ingots rose 145 percent to 13,337 metric tons. McKeil Marine barges are regularly unloading at the port. Transits through the Seaway ensure that aluminum from Sept-Iles, Quebec, helps keep pace with the upswing in the automotive manufacturing sector.”

The port anticipates another four to six shipments before the shipping season closes in December.