St. Lawrence Seaway Reports Increase in Cargo Shipped

May 11, 2010

Revitalized manufacturers in Great Lakes Region drive demand for commodities

Cornwall, Ontario, May 11, 2010 – The St. Lawrence Seaway reported a marked increase in cargo shipped through the Seaway system from January to April 2010, compared to the same period last year.

Total cargo shipments for the period are up 18% to 3,654,000 tonnes in the first part of 2010. Of particular note is the 127% increase in iron ore shipments destined for steel manufacturers in the Great Lakes’ region.

“These numbers reflect the integral role that the marine shipping industry plays in North America’s emerging economic recovery – especially in the manufacturing sector,” said Richard Corfe, President and CEO of the St. Lawrence Seaway Management Corporation, operator of the Canadian portion  of the Seaway system. “It is apparent that the manufacturing industry is on the upswing and driving demand for commodities such as iron ore to make steel, which in turn becomes consumer goods such as automobiles.”

The Seaway is responsible for approximately 75,000 direct and indirect jobs in Canada and 150,000 in the U.S. and annually generates more than $4.3 billion in personal income, $3.4 billion in transportation-related business revenue, and $1.3 billion in federal, state and local taxes, according to the latest Seaway research.

“The marine shipping industry is an important part of the economies along the Great Lakes and is responsible for supporting thousands of jobs throughout the region,” said Collister Johnson Jr., Administrator of the U.S. Saint Lawrence Seaway Development Corporation, responsible for the operation of the American section of the system. “As manufacturers increase production, we take great pride ensuring that these materials are transported economically and safely to industry so that more people can get back to work.”

The Great Lakes basin is home to a significant portion of the manufacturing sectors in both Canada and the United States, including the vast majority of steel and auto manufacturing in both countries.

“The increased tonnage through the Seaway is certainly reflected in our business and throughout the industry,” said Allister Paterson, President and CEO of Seaway Marine Transport, operator of the largest bulk carrier fleet on the Great Lakes and St Lawrence Waterway. “With the economic rebound being experienced by the core industrial sectors we serve, especially the steel industry, we anticipate a higher level of fleet activity and crew employment levels this season.”

“Our experience at the western end of the Seaway certainly reflects these overall figures, said Adolph Ojard, Executive Director, Duluth Seaway Port Authority, one of the largest inland seaports in the world. “It’s encouraging to see good news for economies across the region. With iron ore and coal shipments on the rebound, we are looking forward to a much better year.”

For more information on the St. Lawrence Seaway, please consult the website.