U.S. iron ore shipments help boost St. Lawrence Seaway shipping by 20 percent
Wednesday, July 19, 2017 - 11:55 am

With strong increases in iron ore and grain, total tonnage shipped via the St. Lawrence Seaway is up 20 percent over last year.

The St. Lawrence Seaway Management Corporation (SLSMC) reports that cargo shipments from March 20 to June 30 totaled more than 12 million metric tons – up two million metric tons over the same period in 2016.

The latest statistics show that iron ore shipments have reached 2.7 million metric tons so far in 2017, an increase of nearly 66 percent from 2016. Much of that rise is due to a surge of U.S. iron ore exports from Minnesota to China and Japan, according to SLSMC. Canadian domestic carriers are loading iron ore pellets from Minnesota ports to ship via the Seaway to the Port of Quebec where they are then transferred to larger ocean-going vessels for international shipment.

U.S. grain shipments via the St. Lawrence Seaway are also up nearly 10 percent to nearly 2.9 million metric tons so far this year.

In addition, general cargo shipments, including specialty steel and project cargo), from March 20 to June 30 are up 29 percent, dry bulk has increased nearly 16.7 percent and shipments of salt are more than 34.5 percent ahead of 2016.