September 15 - The Great Lakes St Lawrence Seaway recorded a slight year-on-year uptick in cargo traffic in August, as it continues to see a diversified mix of cargoes moving through its ports.

Export cargoes in August consisted of general, containerised and bulk cargoes, with imports of aluminium at the ports of Oswego and Toledo, and wind turbine components at the Port of Ogdensburg.

The ports of Chicago, Cleveland, Detroit, Burns Harbor (Indiana) and Milwaukee received shipments of steel and high-value project cargoes, comprising machinery and mechanical presses. 

Project cargo volumes handled so far in the 2016 shipping season at the Port of Indiana-Burns Harbor were up 66 percent, compared with the same period of 2015.

"During August, our stevedores discharged numerous pieces of large machinery and specialised equipment for Midwest manufacturers. Cargoes included European generators, cranes and tanks," said port director Rick Heimann

2016 has also been a solid year for breakbulk shipments through the Port of Toledo, said The Great Lakes Seaway Partnership

"We've seen a lot of aluminium and project cargo so far this year," said Joe Cappel, vice president of business development for the Toledo-Lucas County Port Authority, adding that the port has a good system in place for coordinating the movement of project cargoes through the region and on its inland waterways.

Overall, the St Lawrence Seaway recorded a 7.5 percent year-on-year drop in cargo volumes during the period from March 21 to August 31. While dry bulk volumes were down almost 14 percent, steel slabs and other general cargo volumes increased by nearly 70 percent.