According to a news release from the Chamber of Marine Commerce, grain exports on the St. Lawrence Seaway are up 32.1 percent from the same time last year.
Year-to-date U.S. grain shipments on the seaway, from March 29 to June 30, were 681,000 metric tons. Liquid bulk shipments, which include petroleum and asphalt products, totaled 1.8 million metric tons, up 28 percent.
Stone shipments were up 32 percent, and cement shipments were up 24 percent.
Overall cargo shipments on the seaway totaled 12.1 million metric tons, down 2 percent from 2017. The chamber attributes the decrease to a late start to the shipping season and a decline in salt shipments.
Grains made a large increase in June at the Port of Toledo, up 85.5 percent from 2017.
“Heavy grain movement has led to a good start for ocean vessel traffic in Toledo,” said Joe Cappel, vice president of business development for the Toledo-Lucas County Port Authority, in the news release. “We’ve loaded or discharged 17 overseas vessels through the end of June, which is our highest total at this point in the season for several years.”
According to the news release, a new study released in July shows that shipping on the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Seaway supports 147,500 jobs and generates $25.6 billion in economic activity in the eight Great Lakes states.