OSWEGO, N.Y. — Calling it a “record year,” the Port of Oswego Authority says shipping from the Oswego Harbor increased more than 300 percent in 2022 compared to the prior year.
That’s according to William Scriber, Port of Oswego Authority executive director. He also noted that the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) also recently designated the port as a USDOT Marine Highway, one of only 32 nationwide.
“Our performance in 2022 firmly establishes us as a Great Lakes commerce force and a gateway to the world,” Scriber said. “We’re also the gateway from Lake Ontario to the [New York] State Canal system with the first marine entrance on Lock 8 here in Oswego.”
“Oswego’s history is maritime and boating. A key focus for our board is always bringing commerce and jobs to Oswego,” Francis Enwright, chair of the Port of Oswego Authority board, added. “The economic numbers from the past year bear this out and tell a remarkable success story of how we’ve transformed the Port into an international grain export center, a wind turbine component import hub, a vital aluminum receiver for Novelis, and a major innovator in Great Lakes shipping. This positions us a key player in economic development this year with the advent of new potential customers like Micron.”
Agriculture and aluminum shipping
The Port of Oswego in 2022 was the first to ship grain out of the St. Lawrence Seaway, the authority said. It is also New York’s only grain exporter by water on Lake Ontario.
Grain shipments went to the Middle East and Europe and “helped offset the disruption in the global supply chain by the war in Ukraine,” Scriber said.
More than 100 local farmers use the port for export at a reduced shipping cost when compared to trucking to ports like Baltimore of Cincinnati, per the Port of Oswego Authority announcement.
Besides grain, aluminum is a “major import” that supplies the Novelis plant in Oswego, Scriber said.
“We are the second largest importer of prime aluminum on the Great Lakes. In 2022, we received multiple shipments of aluminum slabs,” Scriber said. “Each slab weighs more than 26 tons and we handled close to 500 of them.”