The Great Lakes are Overflowed With Grain This Year

August 30, 2022

Between March 22 and the end of July this year, the St. Lawrence Seaway moved 514,000 tonnes of grain out of the Great Lakes. Comparing this to the same time last year, there has been a 37% increase.

Deputy administrator for the Great Lakes St. Lawrence Seaway Development Craig H. Middlebrook stated that the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence Seaway System “continues to provide shippers a stable route for a varied variety of commodities flowing in and out of the US heartland as the season develops.”

Thanks to the port employees and seafarers who maintain the efficient flow of necessary goods like grain and steel through the Seaway’s marine supply chain, cargo volumes continue to increase.

According to the August study from the Great Lakes Seaway Partnership, the increase in US grain exports will help allay concerns about food security throughout the world following the conflict in Ukraine. During the month of July, at least 27 countries have received grain from the US Great Lakes, up from 26 in June.

VP of Business Development for the Toledo-Lucas County Port Authority Joseph Cappel remarked, “We are also seeing some new grain products and bulk goods in our mix this season. Our plan of acquiring machinery and building facilities with many uses has been successful. We are capable of handling almost any kind of freight.”

The amount of money invested in infrastructure and equipment at Great Lakes ports is likewise rising. Increased grain exports, congested roads, rising energy prices, and a breakdown in the supply chain are responsible for this.

“We are now witnessing the effects of a boom in the maritime industry, which was previously Oswego’s defining feature. According to William W. Scriber, executive director of the Port of Oswego, “our ongoing expenditures of over $26 million include upgrades to our facilities to make the port once again a leader on the lakes.”

“We’re especially delighted that our revenue, without relying on government dollars, not only supports our operations but also local jobs and companies.”

What Is The St. Lawrence Seaway?

Located in both Canada and the United States, the St. Lawrence Seaway is a network of locks, canals, and channels that allows oceangoing ships to pass from the Atlantic Ocean to the Great Lakes of North America. 

The Saint Lawrence River, which originates in Lake Ontario and empties into the Atlantic Ocean, bears the name of the Seaway. On the river, it is projected that around 160 million metric tonnes of commercial cargo are handled annually.

Eight U.S. states and two Canadian provinces are part of the Great Lakes-Seaway System’s service area. With a GDP of $5.5 trillion, the region would have the third-largest economy in the world, surpassing that of countries like Japan, Germany, Brazil, and the United Kingdom.

With 107 million residents, the region is home to about 40% of all cross-border trade between the United States and Canada.

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