St. Lawrence Seaway shipping season’s general cargo up 71% this year
The Chamber of Marine Commerce reports that, with just two weeks left of the season, the St. Lawrence Seaway and Canadian ports are reporting a rush of activity as manufacturers stockpile raw materials and businesses take advantage of the congestion-free waterway to export overseas.
The Chamber notes that according to the latest figures from the St. Lawrence Seaway, general cargo shipments, including steel, aluminum, and oversized machinery, from March 22 to November 30, are up 71%. Iron ore shipments are up 17%, while dry bulk shipments including construction materials like stone, cement and gypsum, have increased by 6%, compared to the same period last year.
Overall, cargo shipments via the Seaway between March 22 and November 30 totaled 33.3 million metric tons, a rise of 1.7% from 2020. Slower grain exports due to smaller harvests compared to 2020 continue to offset the growth in other cargo sectors. Without grain factored in, overall tonnage numbers would be up 13%.
Both iron ore and steel shipments – supporting domestic consumer product manufacturing and construction – have even surpassed 2019 pre-pandemic levels.
The Montreal-Lake Ontario section of the Seaway will close to ship traffic December 31, while the Welland Canal will remain open until January 7 to facilitate domestic shipping between Lake Ontario and the Upper Lakes.