Grain Is Gushing Out Of The Great Lakes This Year

September 1, 2022 GENERAL

The St. Lawrence Seaway transported 514,000 tonnes of grain out of the Great Lakes between March 22 to the end of July this year. This represents a 37% increase from the same period last year.

“As the season progresses, the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence Seaway System continues to provide shippers a reliable route for a diverse range of commodities flowing in and out of the US heartland,” said Craig H. Middlebrook, deputy administrator for the Great Lakes St. Lawrence Seaway Development. “Cargo numbers continue to improve thanks to the port workers and seafarers who are keeping essential products like grain and steel moving efficiently through the Seaway’s maritime supply chain.”

The Great Lakes Seaway Partnership’s August report shows that the surge in US grain shipments will help alleviate global food concerns in the wake of the Ukraine war. A minimum of 27 nations have received US Great Lakes grain during the month of July, up from 26 in June.

“We are also seeing some new grain products and bulk materials in our mix this season,” said Joseph Cappel, VP of Business Development for the Toledo-Lucas County Port Authority.  “Our strategy of obtaining equipment and constructing facilities that have multiple purposes has worked to our advantage. We can handle just about any type of cargo.”

Ports on the Great Lakes are also increasing investments in facilities and equipment. This is due to a surge in grain exports, road congestion, increasing energy prices, and a supply chain crisis.

“We’re seeing the results of a surge in maritime business that once was the hallmark of Oswego. Our continuing investments of over $26 million include upgrades to our facilities to make the port once again a leader on the lakes,” said William W. Scriber, executive director of the Port of Oswego. “We’re particularly proud that our revenue not only supports our operations but also supports local jobs and businesses without relying on tax dollars.”

What Is The St. Lawrence Seaway?

The St. Lawrence Seaway is a system of locks, canals, and channels in Canada and the United States that permits oceangoing vessels to travel from the Atlantic Ocean to the Great Lakes of North America. The Seaway is named for the Saint Lawrence River, which flows from Lake Ontario to the Atlantic Ocean. It is estimated that more than 160 million metric tons of commercial cargo are transported on the waterway each year.

The Great Lakes-Seaway System serves a region that includes eight U.S. states and two Canadian provinces. If the region were a country, it would have the 3rd largest economy in the world with a GDP of $5.5 trillion – larger than that of Japan, Germany, Brazil, or the United Kingdom. The region is home to 107 million people and accounts for almost 40 percent of the total cross-border trade between the U.S. and Canada.



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