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Cargo traffic through seaway up this year

The American Century lines up with the ship canal while preparing to exit the Duluth Harbor basin in 2013. Iron ore shipping for the month of July is up 7 percent from a year ago. file / News Tribune

Shipments of iron ore on the Great Lakes were up in July and total cargo transported through the St. Lawrence Seaway is up this year, according to two organizations.

In July, 6.46 million tons of iron ore were shipped on the Great Lakes — and increase of 7 percent from a year ago, the Lake Carriers' Association reported. However, year-to-date iron ore shipments sit at 26.6 million tons, down 3.2 percent from this point in 2017, but still ahead of the five-year average.

On the St. Lawrence Seaway, year-to-date total cargo shipments are recorded at 16.5 million metric tons through July, an increase of 2.5 percent from the same time last year, according to the Great Lakes Seaway Partnership, which uses different metrics than the Lake Carriers' Association.

"We are seeing increases in a number of dry and liquid bulk commodities as well as U.S. and Canadian grain," Craig Middlebrook, deputy administrator of the Saint Lawrence Seaway Development Corporation, said in a news release Wednesday. "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."

Jimmy Lovrien

Jimmy Lovrien is a reporter for the Duluth News Tribune. He spent the summer of 2015 as an intern for the Duluth News Tribune and was hired full time in October 2017 as a reporter for the Weekly Observer. He also reported for the Lake County News-Chronicle in 2017-18. Lovrien grew up in Alexandria, Minn., but moved to Duluth in 2013 to attend The College of St. Scholastica. Lovrien graduated from St. Scholastica in 2017 with a bachelor's degree in English and history. He also spent a summer studying journalism at the University of California, Berkeley.

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