Great Lakes shipping picks upThe amount of cargo being shipped on the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Seaway is up this year, according to numbers released Tuesday.
The amount of cargo being shipped on the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Seaway is up this year, according to numbers released Tuesday.
The St. Lawrence Seaway reported a marked increase in cargo shipped through the Seaway system from January to April 2010, compared to the same period last year. Total cargo shipments for the period this year are up 18 percent to 3.65 million tons when compared to 2009. Iron ore shipments are up 127 percent to 1.4 million tons.
The seaway also reported increases in the amount of coal and general cargo shipped during the first four months of the year. The amount of grain and other bulk cargo were down, however.
“Our experience at the western end of the Seaway certainly reflects these overall figures,” Adolph Ojard, executive director of the Duluth Seaway Port Authority, said in a prepared statement. “It’s encouraging to see good news for economies across the region. With iron ore and coal shipments on the rebound, we are looking forward to a much better year.”
The U.S.-flag Great Lakes fleet hauled 7.6 million tons of dry-bulk cargo in April, an increase of 50 percent compared to a year ago, according to the Lake Carriers’ Association. The total was, however, about 15 percent off the month’s five-year average.
U.S.-flag lakers moved 4 million tons of taconite pellets in April, more than double the volume of a year ago. They moved 1.7 million tons limestone, an increase of more than 47 percent. Coal cargos decreased 15 percent in April, due in part to later sailing dates for some vessels.
U.S.-flag lakers carried 12.7 million tons in January through April, an increase of 92 percent over last year’s numbers, but 14.4 percent below the five-year average for January through April.
The Lake Carriers’ Association represents 18 American corporations operating 55 U.S.-flag vessels on the Great Lakes.