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August 02, 2018

Seaway freight traffic was stable from April to June

The Chamber of Marine Commerce reports that overall cargo shipments on the St. Lawrence Seaway between March 29 and June 30 totaled 12.1 million metric tons, down by 2 per cent compared to the same period in 2017. The slight decrease is due to the later and slower start of the season and a decline in salt shipments.

Construction materials were influential in St. Lawrence Seaway cargo tonnage with a nearly 38 per cent increase in asphalt from the same time last year, as well as increases in cement and stone.

Year-to-date grain shipments via the Seaway (including U.S. and Canadian grain) totaled 3.1 million metric tons, up 7.5 per cent compared to the same period in 2017. Liquid bulk shipments, which include petroleum and asphalt products among others, totaled 1.8 million metric tons up 28 per cent. Increases in petroleum shipments are mainly due to the rebalancing of stocks following scheduled maintenance shutdowns of several refineries in the region. Stone shipments were up 32 per cent and cement shipments were up 24 per cent.

"Summer is the season for construction projects and ships has been delivering materials for major building projects across the region," says Bruce Burrows, President of the Chamber of Marine Commerce. "Grain exports are also up this season and illustrate the importance of marine transportation to so many of Canada's economic sectors. This was underlined by a new study released last week showing Great Lakes-St. Lawrence shipping supports 181,000 jobs and C$26 Billion in economic activity in Canada."

Source: Chamber of Marine Commerce