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U.S. Grain Filling American Ports

U.S. Grain Filling American Ports

in the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence Seaway System

Washington, D.C.  ~~~~~~~  October 15, 2020)   (LSN)  Amidst these challenging times, overall tonnage across the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence Seaway System is down 8 percent compared to this time last year. From the opening of the St. Lawrence Seaway on April 1, 2020 through September 30, 2020, American and Canadian ports handled a total of 23.3 million metric tons (mt). In September, ports in the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence Seaway System traded with a total of 31 countries. Kenora, Thunder Bay, Sault Ste Marie, Sudbury, North Bay, Ontario 

The St. Lawrence Seaway: U.S. Farmers’ Key to Global Competitiveness

Month (2020)

Metric Tons Handled

U.S. Grain Growth*


496,000 mt

27.5 percent decrease*


713,000 mt

19.7 percent decrease*


1,112,000 mt

4.2 percent increase*







*Percentages rounded to nearest tenth (compared year-over-year)

Shipments of agricultural products continued to pick up pace, especially U.S. grain. In September, American ports closed a 19.7 percent August deficit (compared year-over-year), improving U.S. grain tonnage to a 4.2 percent increase year-over-year.

Craig H. Middlebrook, Deputy Administrator of the U.S. Saint Lawrence Seaway Development Corporation said, “U.S. grain export shipments year-to-date have surpassed last year’s totals for this same time period. With three months remaining in the Great Lakes – Seaway shipping season, we anticipate shipments of grain exports to remain strong, especially with Canadian crop yields being particularly robust this year. The high demand for agricultural products is continuing and, with many crops approaching harvest time, the momentum on grain is building.  In addition, wind energy shipments are on track to remain strong through the end of the navigation season.”

Top-performing Great Lakes-St. Lawrence Seaway commodities through September 2020



Metric Tons Handled



7,323,000 mt

17.7 percent increase**


543,000 mt

47.1 percent increase*

Liquid Chemicals

374,000 mt

9 percent increase*

Steel Slab

285,000 mt

138.1 percent increase*


252,000 mt

56.5 percent increase*

*Percentages rounded to nearest tenth (compared year-over-year)

**Combined U.S. and Canadian

Wind Turbines Handled by American Ports Continue Powering Critical Projects

Wind-related shipments at American ports remain strong through September. Among others, the Ogdensburg Bridge & Port Authority is stepping up to handle such commodities. ⠀

To support the proposed Roaring Brook Wind Power Project in Lewis County, NY, the Ogdensburg Bridge & Port Authority will move a total of 15 wind turbines in 2020. The wind turbines will ultimately span across approximately 5,280 acres of private land. ⠀

In August, the port handled three wind-related shipments for the project and received one more in September. Additionally, in the coming months, the Port of Ogdensburg will begin receiving and shipping road salt to regional NY municipalities throughout the winter of 2020-21.

"The Port of Ogdensburg has been kept busy this shipping season moving wind turbine components,” said Steve Lawrence, Interim Executive Director, Ogdensburg Bridge & Port Authority. “The wind turbine components are made abroad and have been transported to the United States over the 2020 summer months on large ocean vessels. The September shipment joins other turbine blades stored at the terminal.” ⠀

Photo credits: Photo by Paul LaMarre III, courtesy of The Great Lakes Seaway Partnership

Great Lakes Seaway Partnership Lake Superior News

About the Great Lakes Seaway Partnership
The Great Lakes Seaway Partnership is a coalition of leading US and Canadian maritime organizations working to enhance public understanding of the benefits of commercial shipping in

the Great Lakes Seaway region of North America. The organization manages an education-focused communications program, sponsors research and works closely with media, policy makers, community groups, allied industries, environmental stakeholders and the general public to highlight the positive attributes of marine transportation.

The Great Lakes-St. Lawrence Seaway System is a marine highway that extends 2,300 miles from the Atlantic Ocean to the Great Lakes. Approximately 143.5 million metric tons of cargo is moved across the System on an annual basis, supporting more than 237,868 jobs and $35 billion in economic activity.

For more information, please visit


A big Thank You to all our supporters across Northern Ontario from Kenora in the West to North Bay in the East and south into North Minnesota, Wisconsin and Michigan  


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