Seaway officials said last week that overall cargo shipments headed west at the end of September 2012 totaled 25.1 million tons (metric), up from 25.085Mt at the close of September 2011.
During that timeframe, the Montreal/Lake Ontario segment reported a rise from 18.9Mt to 20.1Mt, while the Welland Canal was down from 20.2Mt to 19.9Mt.
The Saint Lawrence Seaway Development Corporation, an agency of the US Department of Transportation, oversees the movement of marine traffic through US-owned and operated facilities of the Saint Lawrence Seaway.
It shares the system with Canadian counterpart Saint Lawrence Seaway Management Corporation.
SLSMC reported that its coal shipments led the rally of positive performers, up more than 31% over the same point last year.
In September alone, coal shipments for power generation and steel production rose 33% to 588,000Mt.
Iron ore was one of its poorest performers in September, dropping 17%, but was up 22% year-to-date on September 30 to 7.7Mt versus 2011’s totals.
“Cargo tonnage on the seaway system remained relatively steady for the month of September,” SLSDC trade development director Rebecca Spruill said.
She told the Journal of Commerce that the growth was expected to continue in coming months "to reflect slight increases in cargo tonnage for general cargo, US and Canadian grain, iron ore and coal".