Great Lakes-St. Lawrence Seaway logs increased demand for iron ore, steel

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The Baie St. Paul was the first ship to pass through the St. Lambert Lock, officially marking the start of the 63rd navigation season of the St. Lawrence Seaway. (photo:U.S. Great Lakes St. Lawrence Seaway Development Corporation)

WASHINGTON, D.C. (WWTI) — The Great Lakes- St. Lawrence Seaway system saw an increased demand for some materials this season.

According to the Great Lakes Seaway Partnership, the seaway system handled over 20 million metric tons of cargo since the opening of the Seaway on March 22 through August 31. This is a 5.21% increase compared to shipments during the same time period in 2020. Commodities that saw a significant increase in demand included iron ore and steel.

Specifically, compared to the 2020 shipping season, iron ore shipments increase 29.36% along the seaway. Iron and steel shipments had a 95.07% increase. Both of these percentages are combined with the United States and Canadian traffic.

“At the midpoint of the Seaway’s navigation season, iron ore and steel products continue to be the standout commodities moving through the Great Lakes Seaway System,” Great Lakes St. Lawrence Seaway Development Corporation Deputy Administrator Craig H. Middlebrook said in a press release.

Overall the 2021 Great Lakes-St. Lawrence Seaway’s shipping season has seen 2,146 total transits, which is a 4.63% increase over 2020. The seaway also saw a 5.21% increase in total cargo across both the United States and Canada.

The Great Lakes- St. Lawrence Seaway System is considered a “vital waterway.” It is home to 107 million people and accounts for nearly 40% of the total cross-border trade between the United States and Canada.

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