The ebb and flow of cargo moving through Windsor's shipping port continues with an increase in traffic so far this year.

Port authority officials report a 20 per cent overall jump in cargo, fuelled by higher volumes of grain, salt and steel.

The figures come as welcome news for Windsor Port Authority president and CEO David Cree, particularly because cargo numbers took a bit of a dive in 2016, following a banner year in 2015.

"We are obviously very pleased with these strong early results for the season," he said. "We had anticipated a slight recovery after the downturn in 2016, but these numbers have exceeded our projections."

David Cree

Windsor Port Authority president and CEO David Cree expects ship traffic and cargo volumes to soar as work on the Gordie Howe International Bridge starts. (Stacey Janzer/CBC)

Grain volumes for the start of the year shot up 32 per cent, while salt shipments increased by 36 per cent. General cargo, which contains mostly steel products, was up by 25 per cent.

Construction aggregates and petroleum volumes remain strong as well with numbers equalling that of last year.

"lt is also important to note that two of the largest gains for the year, grain and general cargo, are shipped -- to a large extent -- on foreign vessels, which utilize a significant portion of the St. Lawrence Seaway System, thus contributing significantly to the Seaway System's strong early results."

Cargo volumes dipped last year with the number of ships docking in the port decreasing by 14.85 per cent, according to figures released in June. Overall tonnes of cargo dropped 15.49 per cent.