The U.S.Department of Transportation’s Saint Lawrence Seaway Development Corporation (SLSDC) today announced that six Great Lakes Seaway System ports are receiving the prestigious Robert J. Lewis Pacesetter Award for registering increases in international cargo tonnage shipped through their ports during the 2013 navigation season.

“Our ports are critical to the health of the U.S. economy, playing a key role in freight movement and facilitating global trade,” said U.S. Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx. “President Obama has set a goal of doubling U.S. exports, and it is this kind of strong performance by our Great Lakes ports that is going to help us achieve that goal.”

The six ports that won the Pacesetter Award for 2013 are: Port of Green Bay, Detroit-Wayne County Port Authority, Duluth Seaway Port Authority, Port of Cleveland, Toledo-Lucas County Port Authority and Port of Monroe.

“The continued increases in the amount of cargo moving through Great Lakes ports is another good indicator of our strengthening economy, and that translates into jobs and productivity,” said SLSDC Administrator Betty Sutton. “The impressive performance of these ports highlights the importance of marine transportation to their local economies, the Great Lakes region, and the nation.”

Commodities accounting for almost all of the increases in international cargoes handled by the six Pacesetter port winners included pig iron, steel, petroleum products, asphalt, sugar, grain, coal, clay, and coke. High value project cargo such as electrical transformers and energy components were also handled during the 2013 navigation season.