CORNWALL, ONTARIO, CANADA — US grain shipments via the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence Seaway system for the second quarter of 2022 totaled 414,000 tonnes, up 37% compared with the same period in 2021, the Chamber of Marine Commerce (CMC) said.  

The CMC noted that much of the increase was due to exports of corn and soybeans. The rise in shipments, which predominantly are heading to Europe and North Africa, are in part due to shifting global grain trading patterns as the conflict between Russia and the Ukraine — both major grain exporters — continues, the CMC said.

Total cargo tonnage shipments (from March 22 to June 30) via the St. Lawrence Seaway totaled 11.9 million tonnes, down 8.3% compared with 2021 but gaining ground in comparison to April, when it was down 18% at the start of the season.

“International trade has been a major driver of Great Lakes-St. Lawrence Seaway shipping this season, with corn, soybeans, coke and containerized goods heading out and steel and wind energy components being shipped in,” said Bruce Burrows, president and chief executive officer of the CMC.  

 The chamber noted that June was a strong month for the Port of Toledo as shipments for the year surpassed 4.5 million short tons, up 22% over the same period in 2021.

“We enjoyed increases in every cargo category other than liquid bulk,” said Joseph Cappel, vice president of business development for the Toledo-Lucas County Port Authority.  “Our grain tonnage is more than double what it was at the same time last year and iron ore and coal are also up significantly.  With all three of our major staple commodities ahead of last year, we should expect a strong second half of our shipping season.”

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 tonnes of cargo is moved across the system on an annual basis.