With the end of navigation season approaching, the Port of Indiana-Burns Harbor saw a 16 percent increase in total tonnage through September, putting it on pace for its highest annual total in over six years, according to figures released this week by the St. Lawrence Seaway.
“Steel and steel-related byproducts continue to drive strong shipment numbers through the port in conjunction with a steady increase in other bulk commodities such as coal, fertilizer and limestone," according to Port Director Rick Heimann. “Looking ahead, we expect this trend to continue next month as we already have on the books a shipment of distillery tanks from Germany bound for a brewery expansion in Chicago.”
The St. Lawrence Seaway also reported that year-to-date total cargo shipments for the period March 22 to September 30 were 23 million metric tons. The number is down 11 percent over the same period in 2012, but U.S. ports saw increased tonnage in several cargo categories."At least a dozen ships from Europe unloaded steel products at the ports of Cleveland, Milwaukee, Burns Harbor and Detroit over the past month; a clear sign that the end of the navigation season is approaching and shippers are working diligently to get products out of the mills and into the Seaway System before the end of the year," said Rebecca Spruill, Director Trade Development for the Saint Lawrence Seaway Development Corporation. "Although overall cargo tonnage is down, September provided many positive signs that the next three months will be extremely busy for our ports and terminal operators in the Great Lakes-Seaway System." [Photo/Ports of Indiana-Burns Harbor]