U.S. Ports Defy Slower August Trend – Report Positive Tonnage

Monday, September 19, 2011

U.S. ports reported upticks in tonnage during the normal summer slowdown period. The Seaway’s year-to-date total cargo shipments from March 22 to August 31 were 22 million metric tons, up 3.5 percent from the same period last year.

 

“In addition to the cargo shipments increase, vessel transits are up 9 percent from a year ago with the best performers in August being petroleum products, scrap metal and salt. This number shows that the marine trade, even in today’s tough economic times, can grow when you match demand with supply,” said Rebecca Spruill, Director of Trade Development for the Saint Lawrence Seaway Development Corporation.

 

At the Port of Duluth-Superior, two tenants have found new markets and new partners that have increased their business and changed their market base. Midwest Energy Resources Company (MERC) has partnered with Quebec Stevedoring’s Beauport Sector dock in Quebec City to form a seamless supply route for customers across the Atlantic. “MERC has been able to capitalize on the increased demand for U.S. low-sulphur coals in international markets,” said Fred Shusterich, MERC President. “The world wants U.S. coal, but there are capacity issues at U.S. coastal ports. Our route puts us one-third the ocean distance of the Gulf ports to Europe, so we are well-positioned to be a strong player in the coal export market.”

 

The MERC goal was to handle one export shipment this season, but will likely export 200,000 metric tons of coal to Europe by year-end. “Continued growth, exploring new markets and responding to changes in the North American energy market provides impetus to expand our service area,” added Shusterich, who expects shipments to grow next year. “To slingshot to 1.5 million metric tons in coal exports by the end of 2012 is testimony to the ingenuity of our staff and the flexibility of our terminal and the Seaway. It truly is a global gateway.”

 

The second Duluth-Superior tenant to make inroads overseas is Cliffs Natural Resources. The global demand for high-quality iron ore concentrate is on the rise – particularly in countries with emerging economies like China and India – and that demand is coupled with higher international iron ore prices. As a result, Cliffs moves ore from its mines in Minnesota and Michigan to Quebec City via the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence Seaway system. From that Canadian port, ocean-going vessels can transload/transport pellets to steelmakers worldwide.

 

“It is a unique venture, with the pellets going to Canada first, then China,” said Don Gallagher, Cliffs’ Executive Vice President-Global Commercial. “Demand is strong. We are marketing globally, because that’s where the higher demand is.” Cliff’s first shipment of Minnesota iron ore took place on March 30, bound for China via the Seaway.

 

For the Port of Indiana-Burns Harbor, August was the biggest tonnage month of the year and their second highest monthly total since 2007. “The port enjoyed one of its best years on record,” said Port Director Peter Laman. “This August, tonnage was up 40 percent from last year this time. Overall we’re up 24 percent year-to-date due primarily to increases in fertilizer, steel, and limestone, as well as new coal shipments.”

 

“Indiana’s economy depends heavily upon our Lake Michigan connections to ocean vessels via the St. Lawrence Seaway, lake carriers transiting the Soo Locks, and river barges moving through the Chicago Area Waterway System. These waterways move vital goods to and from businesses throughout the Midwest and generate more than 100,000 jobs for Indiana.” The Port of Cleveland’s tonnage was up almost 535,000 metric tons versus the same time period last year, an increase of approximately 25 percent. That increase was driven by a 26 percent uptick in Cleveland Bulk Terminal tonnage, which moves iron ore and limestone to ArcelorMittal, and a 9 percent increase in their general cargo operation.

 

“The steel industry in our region is enjoying more demand, which has resulted in an increase in the volume of raw material moving through our port’s facilities,” said David Gutheil, Vice President for Maritime and Logistics. “In addition, our general cargo operation continues to recover from the historic lows of two years ago thanks to an increase in steel imports coming through the port to satisfy demands for steel not met by U.S. steel producers.”
At the Toledo Port Authority, general cargo is up over 55 percent over the same period in 2010. “In total, the port has handled over 6.7 million short tons to date, and is up nearly 12 percent over 2010 with increases in all cargo categories – general cargo, grain, iron ore, petroleum products, and dry bulk – with the exception of coal,” explained Joseph Cappel, Director, Cargo Development.
 

St. Lawrence Seaway shipments of petroleum products and salt remained up 70 percent and 18 percent respectively in August compared to the same month last year. Coal shipments totaled 465,000 metric tons in August, a decrease of 30 percent from August 2010. Year-to-date iron ore shipments of 5.4 million metric tons were down 21 percent compared to the same period last year primarily due to the continued closure of the U.S. Steel plant in Hamilton, Ontario. Year-to-date U.S. grain shipments of 931,000 metric tons were down 7 percent, while Canadian grain shipments were up 35 percent to 893,000 metric tons in August.

Maritime Reporter April 2015 Digital Edition
FREE Maritime Reporter Subscription
Latest Maritime News    rss feeds

People & Company News

Matson Completes Horizon Lines Acquisition

Matson, Inc. has completed the acquisition of Horizon Lines, Inc. which includes Horizon's Alaska operations and the assumption of all non-Hawaii business liabilities.

Wärtsilä Acquires L-3 MSI

Wärtsilä completes acquisition of L-3 Marine Systems International    Wärtsilä Corporation announced that its acquisition of the Germany based L-3 Marine Systems

BWTS Newcomer Sees Early Success

Norwegian manufacturer of ballast water treatment systems MMC Green Technology reports it has sold more than 70 systems since going commercial with its MMC BWMS two years ago,

Bulk Carrier Trends

Wage Row Between Argentine Crushers, Companies Reaches Crunch Point

Pressure grew on Friday for a resolution to wage talks between exporters and striking crushers in Argentina's Rosario grains hub, with another powerful union threatening

Vale to Ship Coal Along Mozambique Nacala Corridor

Brazilian miner Vale SA  plans to start exporting coal along the Nacala rail and port corridor in Mozambique and Malawi in the third quarter after heavy rains damaged the rail line,

Q88 LLC Opens Office in London

Q88 LLC has opened a new office in London. Located in Soho, the cultural center of London's West End district, the office will serve as a hub for business development and client relations.

Ports

Wage Row Between Argentine Crushers, Companies Reaches Crunch Point

Pressure grew on Friday for a resolution to wage talks between exporters and striking crushers in Argentina's Rosario grains hub, with another powerful union threatening

Matson Completes Horizon Lines Acquisition

Matson, Inc. has completed the acquisition of Horizon Lines, Inc. which includes Horizon's Alaska operations and the assumption of all non-Hawaii business liabilities.

Chile Customs Strike Ends After 8 Days

A customs strike in Chile that had held up exports and imports for over a week has ended after the union said on Friday it had come to an agreement with the government.

Great Lakes

Duke Energy to Help Develop Jeffersonville Port Site

Duke Energy Indiana has selected a 140-acre parcel of land inside the Port of Indiana-Jeffersonville in Clark County for the utility's 2015 Site Readiness Program.

Port of Duluth Intermodal Project Underway

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Maritime Administrator, Chip Jaenichen, today joined Senators Amy Klobuchar and Al Franken, Congressman Rick Nolan, Duluth Mayor Don Ness,

 
 
Maritime Careers / Shipboard Positions Maritime Security Maritime Standards Naval Architecture Navigation Offshore Oil Port Authority Ship Electronics Shipbuilding / Vessel Construction Winch
rss | archive | history | articles | privacy | contributors | top maritime news | about us | copyright | maritime magazines
maritime security news | shipbuilding news | maritime industry | shipping news | maritime reporting | workboats news | ship design | maritime business

Time taken: 0.2454 sec (4 req/sec)