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St. Lawrence Seaway Grain Shipments Up 20%


Julia Fields (613) 294-8515

Ottawa, Ontario (July 13th, 2010) — The latest results from the St. Lawrence Seaway show that grain shipments are up more than 20 per cent, as the marine highway benefits from international demand for American and Canadian wheat.

Year-to-date grain shipments from March 22 to June 30th totaled 2.6 million tonnes, compared to 2.1 million tonnes during the same period last year. While Canadian grain shipments were up three percent for the period to 1.9 million tonnes, the surge was predominantly fuelled by an increase in U.S. shipments of 400,000 tonnes heading through the Seaway to the Atlantic Ocean and overseas markets.

Bruce Hodgson, director of market development for the St. Lawrence Seaway Management Corporation, said that grain traffic had increased beyond expectations partially due to diversions from the Mississippi River trade corridor, which has experienced draft restrictions following flooding and sediment build-ups.

Meanwhile, year-to-date total cargo shipments remain steady with a 3.5 per cent rise to 12.8 million tonnes over last year, largely bolstered by demand for grain, salt and construction materials. Hodgson said: “As the vessels that transit our system deliver key commodities for manufacturing and food production, cargo shipments tend to mirror what’s going on in the general economy. From an economic standpoint, we’re still experiencing a steady but cautious recovery.”

One market that is booming, however, is the transportation of wind turbine components. Year-todate general cargo shipments, which include wind turbines, have increased by 404 per cent.

The Port of Windsor has been one of the beneficiaries. Year-to-date shipments of project cargo like wind turbines are up 120 per cent. More than 70 acres of lay down space at Morterm terminal, which specializes in this type of cargo, is currently covered in wind turbine components.

David Cree, president and CEO of the Windsor Port Authority, said: “Renewable energy is a huge growth market for us. Local wind power companies are shipping in components for projects in Southern Ontario and turbines are even being sent over to Michigan on the Windsor-Detroit Truck Ferry. This is leading to all kinds of spin-offs for the local economy including more business for the trucking and rail companies taking these components to their final destinations. The Ontario government announced this month that it had approved another 25 wind and solar projects for southwestern Ontario. This could be a big opportunity for the port in the future.”

For Interviews Contact:

Andrew Bogora, Communications and Public Relations Officer, St. Lawrence Seaway Management
Corporation on (613) 932-5170 x 3285.

Marine Delivers is a bi-national, industry collaboration that aims to demonstrate the economic contribution and environmental sustainability of the shipping industry throughout the Great Lakes region. The Marine Delivers initiative is administered by the American Great Lakes Ports Association in the United States, and the Chamber of Marine Commerce in Canada. For more information,visit the Marine Delivers Web site at

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