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Great Lakes-Seaway Shipping Achieves Year-End Success

November’s year-to-date monthly tonnage statistics reveal that over 32.6 million tonnes of cargo transited the Great Lakes–St. Lawrence Seaway waterway this year, which is on par with the previous year’s figures.

Key highlights include:

  • Canadian Grain:  The corridor has maintained strong Canadian grain shipments, with approximately 7.9 million tonnes, showcasing the Seaway’s crucial role in meeting global demand.
  • Construction Materials:  Construction materials such as cement experienced heightened demand, with over 1.8 million tonnes transiting the corridor, emphasizing the Seaway’s adaptability to support ongoing construction projects.

“The Seaway quickly rebounded following the one week shutdown of the system due to labour issues,” noted Terence Bowles, President and CEO of the St. Lawrence Seaway Management Corporation (SLSMC).   “We are now ready for a strong close to the navigation season and expect Canadian grain shipments to continue to perform well.  This positive momentum reinforces the Great Lakes-Seaway system as a reliable and resilient shipping corridor.”

Thunder Bay port terminals have been especially busy this year, with total cargo volumes expected to increase by about 1.5 million tonnes, or 20% over last year.  Ship visits are up accordingly, particularly the number of salty vessels, which will be in the “top three” all time for the port.

“The port saw further gains in potash shipments this season, on top of the modern record volumes that were shipped in 2022,” noted Port of Thunder Bay CEO Chris Heikkinen.  “This is a great story showcasing the agility of the Seaway supply chain.  Canada is now the number one producer of potash, with export volumes anticipated to continue growing annually.  Thunder Bay has an important role as the only potash export port on the Great Lakes – Seaway System.  With global supply constrained in part due to the Russia-Ukraine conflict, supply chains are vital to ensuring Canadian potash reaches market. In addition, a Thunder Bay terminal recently established a new record for the largest amount of grain loaded onto a single vessel in port history. Elevator workers stowed 31,252 metric tons of grain into the holds of Algoma Central Corporation’s newest bulk carrier, Captain Henry Jackman. So it has been a big year.”

About the Chamber of Marine Commerce

The Chamber of Marine Commerce (CMC) is a bi-national association that represents diverse marine industry stakeholders including major Canadian and American shippers, ports, terminals and marine service providers, as well as Canadian domestic and international ship owners. The Chamber advocates for safe, sustainable, harmonized and competitive policy and regulation that recognizes the marine transportation system's significant advantages in the Great Lakes, St. Lawrence, Coastal and Arctic regions.

Media Contact:
Jason Card
Chamber of Marine Commerce
(613) 447 5401