Asphalt, cement and clinkers surge over 2020 numbers

The Great Lakes Seaway Partnership reported that American and Canadian ports in the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence Seaway System handled over 108,000 tons of asphalt from the opening of the St. Lawrence Seaway on March 22, 2021 through June 30, 2021, a 61 percent increase compared to shipments through June last year. Other commodities seeing an increase include cement, coke, scrap metal, general cargo and iron ore.

“We are seeing a trend in the supply chain for shippers to put cargo on the water to get closer to their ‘last mile’ destinations. That makes the Great Lakes Seaway System an attractive option for those who haven’t used our waterway before,” said Craig H. Middlebrook, Deputy Administrator, Great Lakes St. Lawrence Seaway Development Corporation. “In particular, shippers are increasingly interested in how to get project cargo, breakbulk, and containers to the Great Lakes region. In many cases, the Seaway offers a quicker, and more reliable route from manufacturer to customer,” said Middlebrook.

Through June, all cargo shipped through the St. Lawrence Seaway
2020 2021 change (+/-)
Total Transits* 1,222 1,326 +8.51%
Total Cargo* 11,925,000 mt 12,923,000 mt +8.37%
* Combined U.S. and Canadian traffic (2020: Shipments from April 1 to June 30, 2020)
(2021: Shipments from March 22 to June 30, 2021)

Port of Cleveland

“The Port of Cleveland continues our year over year growth in tonnage numbers with a strong June,” said Dave Gutheil, Chief Commercial Officer, Port of Cleveland. “Our general cargo tonnage, which included a mix of containerized cargo, yachts, imported steel, and heavy machinery, grew by nearly 55% compared to our June 2020 numbers, and has increased by nearly 60% YTD compared to 2020. We will also soon be initiating an infrastructure project that will rebuild and modernize two of our most used docks. This $20 million project will occur in stages over the next 18 months with funds secured through federal, state, and local sources,” said Gutheil.

The Port of Cleveland’s bulk terminal, which handles iron ore and limestone, has also experienced substantial growth compared to last year. Cargo numbers have more than doubled at this facility, which can be attributed to strong demand in the steel sector, and the lengthening and upgrades to our ore tunnel. The result of this project now allows this terminal to mix different types of ore on demand upon delivery to the Cleveland Cliffs steel mill.

Aerial view of the Port of Toledo
Aerial view of the Port of Toledo

Port of Toledo

At the Port of Toledo, year to date tonnage was up 25% over the same period in 2020 exceeding 3.7 million tons. Increases in bulk commodity handling have led the way with iron ore shipments up nearly 45% due primarily to the Cleveland Cliffs hot briquetted iron facility going into full production this…

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