Washington, D.C. (July 13, 2011)
– The latest statistics from the St. Lawrence Seaway show that grain shipments are up more than 20 percent as the marine highway benefits from international demand for American and Canadian wheat.
Year-to-date grain shipments from March 22 to June 30 totaled 2.6 million metric tons, compared to 2.1 million metric tons during the same period last year. While Canadian grain shipments were up three percent for the period to 1.9 million metric tons, the surge was predominantly fuelled by a 127 percent increase in U.S. shipments of 400,000 metric tons heading through the Seaway to overseas markets.
Rebecca McGill, director of trade development for the Saint Lawrence Seaway Development Corporation, noted that the 2011 navigation season continues to reflect respectable gains in general cargo and agriculture products. “The Seaway has experienced a competitive advantage through June due to a Russian grain export ban, however, with its lifting, the U.S. could expect grain exports to level out in the months to come.”
Year-to-date total cargo shipments remain steady with a 3.5 percent rise to 12.8 million metric tons over last year, largely bolstered by demand for grain, salt and construction materials.
“Shipments through June at the Port of Toledo have totaled almost 4.3 million short tons. While it is still early in the shipping season, we are surpassing the past five years of cargo records including 4.1 million short tons handled during the same period in 2008 prior to the economic downturn. With the exception of grain, all product categories were up over 2010, led in volume by over 1.7 million tons of coal,” says Paul Toth, president and CEO of the Toledo-Lucas County Port Authority.
There is one market, however, that is booming – the transportation of wind turbine components. Year-to-date general cargo shipments, which includes wind turbines, has increased by 404 percent. McGill said: “Shippers carrying wind component cargoes continue to send vessels into Great Lakes ports. These oversized pieces move economically by water to ports where rail or, more commonly, trucks move them to site destinations. One port experiencing this influx is the Port of Oswego.
“In June, the M/V Flinterstream arrived with nacelles and hubs that were manufactured in Germany and loaded at the Port of Brake. The 72.5 metric ton nacelles and hubs are destined for a project located in Howard, New York, about two hours from the Port of Oswego, explained port executive director, Jonathan Daniels. “In addition to the 25 nacelles, 25 hubs and 11 containers on board the Dutch vessel, the ship longshoremen discharged blades and tower sections for a windmill project in Euclid, Ohio.”
“We have had a busy start to the shipping season and anticipate that trend continuing. The Port has had six aluminum shipments with McKeil Marine thus far, with an additional 11shipments scheduled through the end of the season. Grain shipments remain strong too, with the Port receiving wheat for shipments into the Mediterranean.”
For interviews, please contact; Nancy Alcalde, Director, Congressional & Public Relations, Saint Lawrence Seaway Development Corporation on 202-366-0091.
Marine Delivers is a bi-national, industry collaboration that aims to demonstrate the positive economic and environmental benefits, safety, energy efficiency, and sustainability of the shipping industry throughout the Great Lakes-Seaway System. The Marine Delivers initiative is administered by the American Great Lakes Ports Association in the United States, and the Chamber of Marine Commerce in Canada. For more information, visit the Marine Delivers website at www.marinedelivers.com.