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WASHINGTON, DC: June 18, 2019. The St. Lawrence Seaway, North America’s binational marine link between the Atlantic and the Great Lakes, has reported overall gains in project cargo in May due to an upturn in wind energy construction. Year-to-date cargo traffic from the opening of the navigation season on March 22 through May 31 totalled 8.27 million tonnes.

“Shipments of project cargo are particularly noteworthy, and a number of U.S. Great Lakes ports are reporting an outlook for continued movement of these high value cargoes such as windmill components, cranes, and heavy machinery,” said deputy administrator of the U.S. Saint Lawrence Seaway Development Corporation Craig Middlebrook.

St Lawrence SeawayThe U.S. Great Lakes ports of Milwaukee, Monroe, Duluth-Superior, Indiana and Toledo all reported project cargo growth in large, heavy, high value, or complex pieces of equipment.

“After a slow start in March due to ice, the pace picked up considerably in April and May. Overall tonnage for the Port of Duluth-Superior increased nine percent over April 2018,” commented Jayson Hron, Duluth Seaway Port Authority’s Director of Communications and Marketing.

“We also welcomed the first of numerous wind energy cargo shipments scheduled to arrive throughout the summer,” he added. “The Port of Duluth-Superior is expecting at least 15 shipments to their Duluth Cargo Connect facilities in 2019. So far, they’ve welcomed two, both carrying towers, with a third, carrying blades, scheduled to arrive soon.”

Port Milwaukee saw a 220 percent increase in project cargo volume according to Municipal Port director Adam Schlicht as overall tonnage via the Port’s commercial tenants rose 10 percent year-on-year. Ports of Indiana report a 7.2 percent increase in the period, including a “significant” project cargo shipment of rubber-tire gantry cranes bound for a CSX container yard in Illinois.

Approximately 143.5 million tonnes is moved across the Great Lakes St. Lawrence Seaway system that extends 2,300 miles from Atlantic to the Great Lakes supporting US$35 billion in economic activity.

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