American Great Lakes Ports Association Press Release - Port of Toledo records across the board cargo increases in September

Washington, D.C. (October 16, 2014) – Through September, seaport tonnage at the Port of Toledo is up over 16 percent, nearly one million tons ahead of where it stood over the same period in 2013. All cargo categories have increased over last year with the exception of petroleum and liquid bulk, making 2014 the best year since the 2011 season.

Posted on Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Most notably, the Port enjoyed a 54 percent increase in general cargo which can be attributed to increased cargo throughput at Midwest Terminals. Midwest has a busy lineup of vessels scheduled at its three Toledo marine terminals and anticipates a strong finish to the season. Cargos due at Midwest include overseas salt, calcium, pig iron, wire rod, project cargo, and steel coils.

In addition to these cargoes, U.S. and Canadian Laker vessels carried coal, iron ore and other bulk cargoes to and from the Port of Toledo. The Port handled 35 more Lakers through September 2014 than during the same period last year.

Officials from the Port Authority and Midwest Terminals recently had the opportunity to join other Great Lakes seaport representatives from the U.S. and Canada in promoting Hwy H2O at the Journal of Commerce annual BreakBulk Americas Conference in Houston, Texas.

“Overall awareness of the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence Seaway System as a transportation option has definitely increased since we began exhibiting at this conference over ten years ago,” said Joe Cappel, Director of Cargo Development for the Toledo-Lucas County Port Authority. “We have all worked hard to educate the global shipping community about the advantages of utilizing Hwy H2O. Shippers are now considering the Great Lakes as a viable alternative gateway for bringing a wide array of cargos from everywhere in the world to the population centers in the interior of the U.S. and Canada.”

“September marks the beginning of what is traditionally the busiest time of the shipping season, and the cargo moving through the U.S. ports serves as a positive indicator that the regional economy is healthy due in part to the maritime industry,” said Administrator Betty Sutton of the Saint Lawrence Seaway Development Corporation. “The numbers speak for themselves – increases in tonnage were reported by all our ports and they expect that trend to continue through December.”

The St. Lawrence Seaway reported that year-to-date cargo shipments of more than 24 million metric tons moved through the system for the period March 28 to September 30 – an increase of nearly 5 percent over September 2013. U.S. grain continued its upward trend posting a 15 percent increase over the same time last year. The general cargo category posted a 73 percent jump over 2013; and the dry bulk category was up 3.27 percent with stone and salt leading the numbers. Iron ore and coal were down 27 and 16 percent respectively.

September was also a busy month at the Toledo Shipyard. Repairs were made to the American Steam Company’s M/V Sam Laud in the large graving dock by Ironhead Marine. Ironhead has also been busy working on the vintage Boblo boat, Columbia. Ironhead will perform work necessary to get the Columbia in shape to make the trek to New York state where it is anticipated the boat will return to service in the Hudson River Valley. Built in 1902, the Columbia is now the oldest surviving passenger steam vessel in the United States.

The Great Lakes-St. Lawrence Seaway maritime industry supports 227,000 jobs in the U.S. and Canada, and annually generates $14.1 billion in salary and wages, $33.5 billion in business revenue, and $4.6 billion in federal, state/provincial and local taxes. North American farmers, steel producers, construction firms, food manufacturers, and power generators depend on the 164 million metric tons of essential raw materials and finished products that are moved annually on the system. This vital trade corridor saves companies $3.6 billion per year in transportation costs compared to the next least-costly land-based alternative.

Media contact: Joseph Cappel, Director of Cargo Development, Toledo-Lucas County Port Authority at 419-243-8251.
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The American Great Lakes Ports Association represents the public port authorities on the United States side of the Great Lakes. Each of the member port agencies is a division of state or local government, or an independent agency created by state statute. As a group, and individually, Great Lakes ports work to foster maritime commerce in the region and economic development in their communities.

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