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Great Lakes-Seaway shipping season comeback continues: Latest figures

October 13, 2016

News Release

North American grain and iron ore exports in September have accelerated a rebound in shipping on the St. Lawrence Seaway.

“While overall tonnage is about 5 percent behind last year, the resurgence in shipping activity that started in August continued last month,” said Raymond Johnston, President of the Chamber of Marine Commerce. “U.S. grain exports are up and we’re seeing a resumption of iron ore exports from ports in the Upper Great Lakes such as Duluth-Superior due to improved world pricing.”

Total Seaway year-to-date shipments (March 21 through September 30) reached 21.2 million metric tons. U.S. grain totaled 1.4 million metric tons, up more than 5 percent over the 2015 season’s already robust performance. Shipments of aluminum, for the auto industry, remained a growth area for several ports including Toledo, Detroit and Oswego, NY.  In addition, liquid bulk shipments, including petroleum, asphalt and other products, totaled 2.5 million metric tons, up 25 percent.

“We continued to outpace last year’s totals for coal, liquids, and general cargo shipments through the Port of Toledo in September,” said Joseph Cappel, VP of Business Development for the Toledo-Lucas County Port Authority.  Aluminum shipments originating in Canada led the way in the general cargo category improving 27 percent over last year. “Grain shipments consisting of imported wheat from Canada and overseas corn exports have also been fairly strong,” Cappel added.

For the Port of Green Bay, September was a strong month with an 8 percent increase in overall tonnage compared to 2015. “Much of the increase continues to be due to shipping of petroleum products,” said Dean Haen, Director of the Port of Green Bay. “We’ve also seen a 10 percent increase in limestone shipments coming into our port.” 



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About the Chamber of Marine Commerce

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 ship owners. The Chamber has merged with the Canadian Shipowners Association, combining resources to advocate for an efficient regulatory climate that promotes a strong and competitive marine industry for the benefit of all industry stakeholders throughout the bi-national Great Lakes and St. Lawrence region and along the eastern seaboard and northern coasts.  Based in Ottawa, Canada, the merged entity will continue to be called the Chamber of Marine Commerce.


Media Contact

Julia Fields

Chamber of Marine Commerce