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The strong recovery has been fueled by grain exports, increases in road salt inventories for Great Lakes municipalities and an influx of specialty steel and other metals for the automotive and construction industries. Construction materials such as stone and cement have also been in strong demand.
Total grain shipments (including U.S. and Canadian) have reached 5.6 million metric tons, up 73 percent over last year. U.S. grain so far this season has totaled 630,000 metric tons, up 13 percent.
General cargo tonnage — including specialty steel imports as well as aluminum and oversized project cargo like machinery or wind turbines — has topped 1.5 million metric tons, up 66 percent.
Year-to-date dry bulk cargo totaled 4.9 million metric tons, with strong increases in construction materials such as stone and cement, as well as road salt.
Stephen Brooks, Chamber of Marine Commerce president, says: “The fact that Seaway shipments have not only recovered after the season’s icy start but have now surpassed 2013 levels is testament to the navigation system’s resiliency. Vessels have been extremely busy carrying grain for export, steel and aluminum for the U.S. automotive industry and materials for construction and this level of activity is expected to continue until the end of year.”
The bi-national Great Lakes-St. Lawrence Seaway marine industry generates $35bn in business revenues and supports 227,000 jobs in the U.S. and Canada.
The Chamber of Marine Commerce is a bi-national association that represents more than 150 marine industry stakeholders including major Canadian and American shippers, ports, terminals and marine service providers, as well as domestic and international shipowners.
Source: Chamber of Marine Commerce
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