International shipments through the St. Lawrence Seaway to Great Lakes ports like the Port of Indiana-Burns Harbor have fallen by 3.5% so far this year.

Cargos have totaled 20.9 million tons from the start of the shipping season on March 22 through the end of August, according to the Chamber of Marine Commerce. Shipments of construction materials, road salt, aluminum and wind energy components picked up last month.

“Great Lakes ports have been busy moving cargo supporting the construction and renewable energy sectors. Aluminum shipments from Canada to the U.S., which are used in automotive manufacturing, have also resumed this season following the lifting of trade tariffs,” Chamber of Marine Commerce President Bruce Burrows said. “These gains have been offset by a 20 percent decline in U.S. grain exports via the St. Lawrence Seaway after flooding this past spring prevented some U.S. farmers from getting into their fields to plant corn and soybeans.”

The U.S. Saint Lawrence Seaway Development Corp. reported year-over-year increases in August of salt, ore, general cargo, stone, and cement shipments.

“Shipments of project cargo, particularly windmill components, remained strong in August," U.S. Saint Lawrence Seaway Development Corp. Deputy Administrator Craig H. Middlebrook said. "We are also seeing solid gains in dry bulk commodities as we head into what is traditionally the busiest time of the Seaway navigation season.”

So far this year, shipments of salt on the Great Lakes are up 23.7%, cement and clinkers by 1%, stone by 10.5%, ore by 81.3% and other general cargo by 99.4%.
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