Coal tonnage up 83 percent, iron ore up 25 percent through Seaway’s Montreal to Lake Ontario section this season
Thursday, December 20, 2012 - 11:47 am

Coal and iron ore shipments are leading an eight and a half percent increase in tonnage through the St. Lawrence Seaway’s Montreal to Lake Ontario section this year over last.

Total ship traffic is down, but tonnage remained on an upward trend for the season, according to figures from the St. Lawrence Seaway Management Corporation.

Total cargo for the season through November was 27,799 metric tons, up from 25,585 tons last year through November, a gain of eight and half percent.

Lock transits through the section were at 2,664, down from last year’s 2,706 through November.

Coal and iron ore are still leading the gains this year, while grain tonnage is down.

Coal shipments are up 83 percent from last year, from 1,095 metric tons last year to 2,001 tons this year.

Iron ore tonnage has also increased substantially, from 7,506 metric tons last season to 9,357 tons this season to date, a rise of 25 percent.

Grain shipments have slipped from 7,317 tons last season to 7,085 tons this shipping season; dry bulk cargo shipment are down from 5,090 tons last year to 4,825 tons this year; liquid bulk is down from 3,143 tons to 2,629; and general cargo shipments have dropped from 1,672 to 1,870 tons.

Across the entire Seaway system, total cargo is down this season from 3,804 metric tons last season through November to 3,629 through November this season.

The Montreal to Lake Ontario section includes the two locks near Massena, Snell and Eisenhower locks.

The Seaway has set Dec. 29 as the date when all ships that don’t want to spend the winter on the Great Lakes or St. Lawrence River must clear the most downstream lock, St. Lambert Lock, near Montreal.