Key commodities see July growth throughout the Great Lakes/Seaway

St. Lawrence Seaway traffic remained steady during the month of July, with year-to-date total cargo shipments of 16.5 million metric tons. Total transits were up by 2.5 percent from the same time last year.

Top-performing cargoes through July 2018 include:

  • Coal – 308,000 metric tons; a 33.7 percent increase
  • Grain – 295,000 metric tons; a 7.54 percent increase
  • Liquid bulk – 455,000 metric tons; a 25.2 percent increase
  • Ore and concentrates – 45,000 metric tons; a 129.25 percent increase
  • Pig iron – 53,000 metric tons; a 78.2 percent increase
  • Steel slabs – 127,000 metric tons; a 63.1 percent increase

“Seaway traffic continues to be steady through July, totaling 16.5 million metric tons of cargo moved,” said Craig H. Middlebrook, Deputy Administrator of the Saint Lawrence Seaway Development Corporation. “We are seeing increases in a number of dry and liquid bulk commodities as well as U.S. and Canadian grain. Through July, U.S. grain exports traversing the Seaway were ahead of 2017 levels by 32 percent, led by significant grain exports from the U.S. Great Lakes ports of Toledo, Milwaukee and Duluth.”

The U.S. ports of Ogdensburg (New York) and Erie (Pennsylvania) reported notable activity in July.

Ogdensburg Bridge & Port Authority broke records, including one for handling cargo. According to Executive Director Wade A. Davis, longshoremen unloaded eight ships within a 35-day period—a first for the Port of Ogdensburg.

“This is not only record-breaking, it’s also another excellent example of how past state and federal investments into regional infrastructure create jobs and economic opportunities in the future,” said Davis.

The Port of Erie received a historic shipment of Heat Recovery Steam Generators (HRSGs)—weighing 13,452,000 pounds and coming in at 86,890 square feet. Once assembled, the two HRSGs, designed and engineered by Erie-based company CMI Energy, will stand over 150 feet and will take up approximately one acre. It is the first time since the 1990s that a large-scale project from CMI Energy has come into the Port of Erie.

“This is the largest project cargo through the port in recent history with the largest individual pieces measuring 22 feet wide by 100 feet long by 16 feet high,” said Brenda Sandberg, Executive Director at Erie-Western Pennsylvania Port Authority. “Not suited for transport by rail to their final destination, these superloads have required complicated over-the-road logistics only achievable through a collaborative effort with the governor’s office and PennDOT. It’s a testament to the continued support of the local economy and the port’s enthusiasm to take on such a remarkable, history-making project.”

Maritime Editorial