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Year Over Year Cargo Traffic Consistent with Last Year on US Great Lakes as of End of November

Shipping activity for the US Great Lakes in 2023 remained consistent with the previous year through the end of November, with approximately 32.6 million metric tonnes of commodity traffic traveling the seaway system for the year to date. The total represents an increase of approximately 422,000 tonnes of cargo over the amount transported during the same period last year.

While there has been year-to-year variation in the traffic of specific commodities, concrete and steel slabs continue to be stand outs with respect to increased year-over-year traffic.  More than 1.8 million tonnes of cement transited the corridor, representing an increase of approximately 192,000 tonnes, and more than 354,000 tonnes of steel slabs tonnage has been moved for the year to date, representing an increase of 93,000 tonnes.

Among the ports seeing traffic gains for the year, Duluth-Superior reported a 3.9% increase in total tonnage and a 35% uptick in cement tonnage year over year through Nov. 30. Increases in cement shipments through the Seaway often coincide with regional infrastructure improvements, and the Duluth Seaway Port Authority provided an example of this with completion of a 56,000-square-foot warehouse expansion that opened in September. The new structure increased Duluth Cargo Connect’s total warehousing capacity to over 500,000 square feet, providing much-needed space to support additional cargo movement for regional manufacturers.

“The amount of cargo traffic on the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Seaway this year demonstrates the importance of the Seaway as a trade conduit,” noted Bruce Burrows, President and CEO of the Chamber of Marine Commerce. “It also speaks to the professionalism and reliability of those who work on the Seaway, and their partners in marine shipping organizations that use the infrastructure to move what matters in North America.  As chamber members like the Port of Duluth-Superior are showing, the marine shipping industry is more than ready to adapt to unforeseen developments and expand to meet the needs of the business community, and that is why our industry will continue driving economic growth throughout North America for years to come.”

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