Se­away op­ti­mistic ship­ments will grow af­ter slow start

The Welland Tribune - - Front Page -

Grain ex­ports, along with de­mand for con­struc­tion ma­te­ri­als such as stone, ce­ment and as­phalt, led to ship­ping on the St. Lawrence Se­away in­creas­ing in May af­ter ice con­di­tions in the St. Marys River and Lake Su­pe­rior slowed de­liv­er­ies in April.

But de­spite the in­crease, fig­ures re­leased by St. Lawrence Se­away Man­age­ment Corp. show the to­tal num­ber of tran­sits and to­tal ton­nage of cargo moved through the 3,700-kilo­me­tre St. Lawrence Se­away was still down com­pared to last year at the same time.

To­tal cargo moved through the sys­tem by the end of May sat at 7.8 mil­lion tonnes, down 3.71 per cent from 2017.

The num­ber of ves­sels — ocean-go­ing, lak­ers and tugs/ barges — was only slightly down over last year, with 859 ships mov­ing through the sys­tem as com­pared to 867 last year.

Iron ore ship­ments saw the big­gest de­crease, down 24.84 per cent, while dry bulk ship­ments dropped 18.55 per cent.

Coal ship­ments were up 43.42 per cent, while liq­uid bulk ship­ments were up 19.44 per cent over the same time as last year.

“Look­ing ahead, we fore­see mo­men­tum con­tin­u­ing as ships trans­port Cana­dian grain ex­ports and a wide va­ri­ety of dry bulk car­goes in­clud­ing con­struc­tion ma­te­ri­als,” said se­away cor­po­ra­tion pres­i­dent and CEO Terence Bowles in a re­lease through the Cham­ber of Ma­rine Com­merce.

‘‘ “Look­ing ahead, we fore­see mo­men­tum con­tin­u­ing as ships trans­port Cana­dian grain ex­ports and a wide va­ri­ety of dry bulk car­goes in­clud­ing con­struc­tion ma­te­ri­als.”

TERENCE BOWLES St. Lawrence Se­away Man­age­ment Corp. CEO

He said the author­ity is op­ti­mistic eco­nomic growth will trans­late into an in­crease in to­tal cargo vol­ume, with the po­ten­tial to reach 40 mil­lion tonnes by the end of the year.

St. Catharines-based ship­ping com­pany Al­goma Cen­tral Corp. — it’s the largest Cana­dian ship op­er­a­tor in the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence re­gion — said its ves­sels are fully-booked for the year.

“We had two brand new sel­f­un­load­ing ves­sels, the Al­goma Sault and the Al­goma In­no­va­tor, ar­rive this spring, as well as two ves­sels pur­chased and re­flagged from the U.S. side of the border,” said Al­goma chief op­er­at­ing of­fi­cer Gregg Ruhl. “All are al­ready hard at work de­liv­er­ing prod­ucts for our cus­tomers in the man­u­fac­tur­ing and con­struc­tion sec­tors.”

Al­goma and its part­ner No­vaAl­goma Ce­ment Car­ri­ers (NACC) are ex­pect­ing the ar­rival of the NACC Arg­onaut this month, a re­cently-con­verted pneu­matic ce­ment car­rier that will trans­port ce­ment prod­ucts on Lake On­tario and Lake Erie.

The cham­ber said On­tario ports were also re­port­ing pos­i­tive busi­ness con­di­tions.

“Two thou­sand eigh­teen is off to a great start at the Port of Hamil­ton,” said Ian Hamil­ton, chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer of the Hamil­ton Port Author­ity. “Now with three grain ter­mi­nals run­ning at full ca­pac­ity, ex­ports of On­tario grain were lined up and ready to go from day one. More than half-a-mil­lion met­ric tonnes of On­tario grain has been ex­ported over­seas through the port al­ready this sea­son.”

AL­GOMA CEN­TRAL CORP. SPE­CIAL TO THE WEL­LAND TRI­BUNE

The Al­goma In­no­va­tor is one of Al­goma Cen­tral Corp.’s new­est ves­sels on the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence Se­away Sys­tem. It and Al­goma’s other ves­sels are fully-booked for the 2018 ship­ping sea­son.

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