WASHINGTON, DC, US — Between the start of the shipping season on March 22 and the end of July, the Great Lakes St. Lawrence Seaway System moved 514,000 tonnes of grain, marking a nearly 37% increase compared to a year ago, according to the Great Lakes Seaway Partnership.

The increase highlights the ongoing demand for US grain shipments in response to food shortages caused by the conflict in Ukraine, the partnership’s Aug. 18 report noted. It is estimated that US Great Lakes ports traded with at least 27 countries during the month of July, up from 26 in June.

“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 Corp. “Cargo numbers continue to improve thanks to the dedicated workers at our ports and on the vessels who are keeping essential products like grain and steel moving efficiently through the Seaway’s maritime supply chain.”

The Great Lakes-Seaway System serves an economic region that includes eight US states and two Canadian provinces. 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.