Great Lakes-Seaway cargo rose by 7pc in 2021: report

A NEW system-wide report from the Chamber of Marine Commerce shows that Great Lakes-St Lawrence Seaway ships carried an estimated 149 million metric tonnes of cargo to and from domestic ports, and to overseas markets during the 2021 shipping season - an increase of 7 per cent over pandemic-stricken 2020, reports AJOT.


President and CEO of the Chamber of Marine Commerce, Bruce R Burrows, said: "This report paints a clear picture that the bi-national Great Lakes-St Lawrence Seaway System supported the economic recovery and growth of many of our key industries in both Canada and the US. The navigation system delivered critical raw materials and products without any of the delay or disruption seen in other global markets.


"In today's high-inflation business environment, it's more important than ever that we focus our attention and investment on this unique inland marine highway as part of the solution to many of our national transportation and supply chain problems."


The findings of the report show: Overall, cargo shipments on the binational navigation system totalled 149 million metric tonnes, up 7 per cent over 2020. The results demonstrate significant progress in the system's post-pandemic recovery - with total cargo reaching 94 per cent of its pre-pandemic 2019 level.


Iron ore continues to be the most traded commodity on the system, accounting for roughly a third of total cargo tonnage on the GLSLS. Canadian and US ships carried iron ore from Minnesota and/or Quebec mines to support the resurgence of steel manufacturing in both countries, while pellets were also carried to Quebec ports for export overseas.


Across the region, materials such as stone, cement and steel were in hot demand for housing and commercial/infrastructure-related construction projects in both Canada and the US.


Canadian-flag ships carried 63.2 million metric tonnes of cargo, a slight decrease of 1.3 per cent compared to 2020. This was still a strong performance, however, with total cargo carried reaching 98 per cent of the five-year average.


US-flag ships carried a total of 74.2 million metric tonnes (81.8 million net tonnes) - up 16.8 per cent over 2020.


Foreign-flag ships transported 11.6 million metric tonnes of cargo through the St Lawrence Seaway to and from overseas destinations - matching 2020's performance. Ocean-going vessels played an important role in importing specialty steel from Europe, other project cargo and exporting grain to overseas destinations.


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Great Lakes-Seaway cargo rose by 7pc in 2021: report
Great Lakes-Seaway cargo rose by 7pc in 2021: report