Strong Seaway Tonnage Numbers Realized in August

Great Lakes Seaway Partnership

















Washington, DC (September 18, 2018) – St. Lawrence Seaway traffic continues to see steady growth in 2018 with year-to-date (YTD) total cargo shipments through August of 21.4 million metric tons, a four percent increase over the same time frame last year. Total vessel transits were up by 5 percent over the same time in 2017.

Top performing cargoes YTD through August 2018 include:

  • Coal – 1.4 million metric tons; a 30.1 percent increase
  • U.S. Grain – 1.09 million metric tons; a 31.1 percent increase
  • Liquid Bulk – 2.8 million metric tons; a 33.4 percent increase
  • Ore & Concentrates – 97,000 metric tons; a 180.8 percent increase
  • Pig Iron – 110,000 metric tons; a 61.1 percent increase
  • Steel Slabs – 427,000 metric tons; a 51 percent increase

*all percentage increases compared to the same time last year

“We are encouraged by the strong Seaway tonnage numbers realized in August,” said Craig H. Middlebrook, Deputy Administrator of the Saint Lawrence Seaway Development Corporation. “The overall four percent increase in total cargo compared to the same time frame last year, March 29 – August 31, reflects solid gains in U.S. grain exports and liquid bulk commodities. The Seaway enjoyed its strongest August over the last four years. This is good news as we pass the mid-point of the navigation season.”

The U.S. ports of Cleveland (Ohio) and Burns Harbor (Ind.) reported notable activity in August.

The Port of Cleveland’s international tonnage increased by 10 percent in August when compared to August 2017. “Our project cargo sector remains very strong as we continue to handle large generators and transformers,” said David S. Gutheil, Chief Commercial Officer for the Port of Cleveland. “We also welcomed eight calls by Victory Cruise Lines in August, which is our busiest month in the cruise sector since that business started in 2017. The Port will welcome a total of 22 passenger vessels in 2018 and we have already booked more than 30 calls in 2019.”

“The Port of Indiana-Burns Harbor has become an international hub for ‘heavy lift’ and ‘project cargo’ because of its ocean access and proximity to the U.S. Heartland,” said port director Ian Hirt. “We saw our August 2018 tonnage increase 24 percent over last August. For large shipments of specialized cargo like wind turbines, brewery tanks or machinery, shippers can realize significant savings by keeping the cargo on water as long possible, rather than dealing with the hassle, permitting and costs to drive oversized loads to or from the East Coast or West Coast. Having ocean access in Indiana is a tremendous advantage for Midwest shippers.”


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1st Place: Adam Bjornberg

Caption: The Gardno anchored outside of the Duluth ship canal. // Prize: $500

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2nd Place: David Schauer

Caption: The Paul R. Tregurtha departing from Duluth. // Prize: $250

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3rd Place: Adam Bjornberg

Caption: An evening arrival of the Floragracht in Duluth amid a pink horizon. // Prize: $100

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Honorable Mentions