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Great Lakes Freighters

Cargo Movement In U.S.-Flag Vessels Down

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U.S.-flag Great Lakes freighters (“lakers”) carried 89.5 million tons of dry-bulk cargo in 2012, a decrease of 4.6 percent compared to 2011.    The 2012 float was 1.5 percent off the 5-year average for U.S.-flag lakers. U.S.-flag lakers carried 45.2 million tons of iron ore in 2012, or 73.3 percent of the total volume of iron ore moved on the Great Lakes last year.  The 45.2 million tons of iron ore carried by U.S.-flag lakers represented a decrease of 4.3 percent from 2011. Coal cargos moved in U.S. bottoms totaled 17.6 million tons in 2012, or 69.3 percent of the total volume of coal moved on the Great Lakes last year.  The 17.6 million tons of coal carried by U.S.-flag lakers represented a decrease of 13.1 percent from 2011. The limestone trade in U.S.-flag hulls totaled 21.8 million tons in 2012, or 79 percent of the total volume of limestone moved on the Great Lakes last year.  The 21.8 million tons of limestone carried by U.S.-flag lakers represented an increase of 1.7 percent (360,000 tons) over 2011. Year-end totals for the other commodities are not yet available for vessels of all flags, but U.S.-flag cargos of cement increased 13 percent.  Loadings of salt in U.S.-flag lakers slipped almost 30 percent.  The sand trade in U.S. bottoms was virtually unchanged from 2011, but grain cargos in U.S.-flag hulls rose 31 percent

U.S.-Flag Cargo Movement on Lakes Slips Slightly in July

U.S.-flag Great Lakes freighters (lakers) carried 10.3 million tons of dry-bulk cargo in July, a slight increase over June, but a decrease of 2.2% compared to the corresponding period last year. The July float was also down 6.6% from the month’s long-term average. U.S.-flag lakers moved 4.6 million tons of iron ore in July, 76.7% of all ore moving on the Lakes/Seaway that month. The 4.6 million tons represent a 6.7% increase compared to a year ago, but a drop of 5

Spending HMT Will End Dredging Crisis

Using the Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund for its intended purpose will end the dredging crisis on the Great Lakes declared a stone shipper at a briefing for the Great Lakes delegation in Washington, DC on April 2 hosted by Great Lakes Maritime Task Force.  “We need approximately $200m to clear the dredging backlog on the Great Lakes,” said Thomas Buck, President and Chief Executive Officer of Carmeuse Lime & Stone.  “The fund collects $1

April U.S.-Flag Lakes Float Little Changed from a Year Ago

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U.S.-flag Great Lakes freighters (“lakers”) carried 8.2 million tons of dry-bulk cargo in April, a virtual repeat of a year ago, and 2.7 percent better than the month’s 5-year average.   Iron ore cargos for the steel industry registered a modest increase compared to a year ago.  Coal for power generation and steel production dipped 16.5 percent.  Aggregate and fluxstone for the construction and steel industries rose by more than 14 percent.  

U.S.-Flag Cargo Movement on Lakes Up in May

U.S.-flag Great Lakes freighters (lakers) carried 10.1 million tons of dry-bulk cargo in May, an increase of 3.3% compared to the corresponding period last year. The May float was also largely in line with the month’s long-term average. U.S.-flag lakers moved 4.9 million tons of iron ore in May, 76% of all ore moving on the Lakes/Seaway that month. The 4.9 million tons represent a slight increase compared to a year ago

USCG Ice-breaking on Lake Manistee

The U.S. Coast Guard (USCG ) issuead an alert warning residents, particularly ice fishermen and other recreational users of Lake Manistee, of ice-breaking activities scheduled begin Saturday and continue for the next two weeks. The freighters Calumet and Manitowoc, assisted by the tug Manitou, are scheduled to transit through Lake Manistee for coal deliveries Jan. 18-26. The tug and freighters will make four transits

Higgins, Great Lakes Legislator of the Year


Congressman Brian M. Higgins (D-NY) has been honored for his support of Great Lakes shipping by the largest coalition representing the industry.  The Congressman was named Great Lakes Legislator of the Year by Great Lakes Maritime Task Force (GLMTF).  Rep. Higgins will formally receive the award at GLMTF’s 14th Annual Briefing for the Great Lakes Delegation in Washington on April 2, 2009. “As a native of Buffalo

Cargo Ship Aground in St Lawrence Seaway

Sedna Desgagnes: Photo credit Groupe Desgangnes

The upbound freighter 'Sedna Desgagnes' aground near Johnstown Bridge off Prescott, Ontario. The casualty is completely out of the channel and appears to be in a shoal area with 6 m of water or less. The ship is hard aground with cargo on board. She is up at the bow a few feet and listing slightly to starboard. This will be a major salvage operation with lightering taking place before she is pulled off her strand, according to 'Daily Great Lakes & Seaway Shipping News'.

Toledo Maritime Academy Hosts Admiral’s Ball Weekend

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The Maritime Academy of Toledo Foundation wrapped up a successful Admiral’s Ball Weekend on Saturday, April 12, with the fourth Annual Admiral’s Ball and Charity Auction. More than 130 people attended the event which brought in $22,000 for the educational needs for cadets at the school. The theme for this year’s event was “Chart Their Course for Success With Us”. It was sponsored by The Toledo Blade, Toledo-Lucas County Port Authority, Dickenson Wright PLLC

7 Rescued from Sinking Freighter Near Haiti

7 Saved from Sinking freighter

   Seven crewmembers were rescued after their 100-foot coastal freighter began taking on water and sank approximately 45 miles north off of Cap Haitien, Haiti, Friday.   Watchstanders at the Coast Guard 7th District command center in Miami received a report from a tug stating they heard a distress call from a vessel claiming to be taking on water off the coast of Great Inagua, Bahamas. A Coast Guard MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew deployed in support of Operations Bahamas

Rand Takes Delivery of Newest Self-Unloader

Bulk freight shipper Rand Logistics, Inc. has taken delivery of its newest Canadian self-unloading vessel, increasing its fleet to 16 ships, including 10 Canadian flagged and six U.S. flagged vessels.   According to Rand, the new vessel will have the largest carrying capacity of any

LNG Tanker Smash Sinks Cargo Ship

Flinterstar. Photo by Flinter Shared Services B.V

 The 2002-built, 8,850-dwt freighter Flinterstar is owned by Dutch shipping firm Flinter has sank after colliding nearly head on with the Marshall Islands-flagged LNG carrier Al-Oraiq in the North Sea off Belgium on Tuesday morning.  

Port of Cleveland Scores Sediment Customer

Photo: Port of Cleveland

The Port of Cleveland and its partner Kurtz Bros., Inc. have scored their first major user in the Port’s effort to market sediment for beneficial use.  Great Lakes Construction, Co. has purchased 6,890 cubic yards of sediment for use in the Ohio Department of Transportation’s

USCG, RCAF to Conduct Joint Training

A Royal Canadian Air Force CH-146 Griffon helicopter taxis past a U.S. Coast Guard Air Station Traverse City MH-65D Dolphin helicopter after joint training operations

  The crew of Coast Guard Air Station Traverse City is hosting an international joint search-and-rescue exercise with members of the Royal Canadian Air Force beginning Tuesday in and around the Traverse City area. The Royal Canadian Air Force's 424th Transport and Rescue Squadron based at

Greek Coast Guard Seizes Weapons Ship Bound for Libya

Greek authorities have seized a freighter carrying an undeclared shipment of weapons en route from Turkey to Libya, coast guard officials said on Wednesday. A coast guard patrol boat raided the vessel on Tuesday, 20 nautical miles northeast of Crete

Historic Steamship Towed to Buffalo for Restoration

Photo: Great Lakes Towing Company

A 113-year-old “Boblo Boat” SS Columbia is being towed from Toledo, Ohio to Buffalo, N.Y., where the historic vessel will be docked for the next year for restoration.   A towing contract was awarded to The Great Lakes Towing Company from nonprofit organization The SS Columbia

Great Lakes Ore Trade Dips in August

Photo: Interlake Steamship

Shipments of iron ore on the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Seaway totaled 5.9 million tons in August, a decrease of 19 percent compared to a year ago, according to the Lake Carriers’ Association (LCA).   LCA said the ore trade was suppressed by continued high steel imports levels

Great Lakes Limestone Trade Up 4% in August

Shipments of limestone from U.S. and Canadian quarries on the Great Lakes totaled 3.9 million tons in August, an increase of 4 percent compared to a year ago, and even more, 10 percent, when compared to the month’s long-term average, according to the Lakes Carriers’ Association (LCA)

Cleveland Reports Persistent Cargo Growth

Photo: Lower Lakes Towing

Buoyed by increasing returns from its creation of the Cleveland-Europe Express (CEE) liner service, the Port of Cleveland continued to see record numbers in August, particularly in containerized cargo, the port announced.   While numbers for containers were up 300 percent through June

Great Lakes Cargo Volumes Down in August

Photo: LCA

Foreign steel, vessel repairs and a broken lock combine to cut U.S.-flag Great Lakes float 10 percent in August, according to the Lake Carriers’ Association (LCA). Continued high levels of steel imports, coupled with three large vessels idled for repairs and a lengthy closure of the

Leaders Call on Canadian Marine to Grow Economy

Robert Lewis-Manning (Photo: CSA)

The Federal Election is an important opportunity to boldly support the marine industry as a means to sustainable Canadian growth. During this election and post-election period, political leaders are urged to build upon Canadian domestic shipping for the Canadian economy and sustainable economic

Lock Closure Causes Big Losses on the Great Lakes

An aerial view from the upper approach to the Soo Locks. The locks from left to right are the Sabin, Davis, Poe and MacArthur. (Image: U.S. Army Corps of Engineers)

 U.S.-flag Great Lakes carriers lose a quarter-million dollars waiting 20 days for MacArthur Lock to reopen   The 20-day closure of the MacArthur Lock at Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan cost U.S.-flag Great Lakes vessel operators nearly $250,000

Dredging Contract Awarded for Corpus Christi LNG Terminal

U.S. dredging services provider Great Lakes Dredge & Dock Corporation announced it was awarded a contract for work on an export terminal under the development of Corpus Christi Liquefaction, LLC (CCL).   CCL, a subsidiary of Cheniere Energy, Inc

Québec, Indiana Partner for Great Lakes Shipping

Photo: Ports of Indiana

Québec Minister of International Relations and Francophonie Christine St-Pierre and Indiana Lieutenant Governor Sue Ellspermann today announced that the Province of Québec and the State of Indiana will launch a new partnership to intensify their collaboration in Great Lakes/St

World Carbon Debate Must Consider Great Lakes Shipping

CSL Groups Trillium Class vessel Thunder Bay, pictured here in Port Colborne, Ontario, regularly travels through the St. Lawrence Seaway to Great Lakes ports. (Photo: Thies Bognor; Supplied by CSL Group)

As the debate continues both at home and abroad on carbon offsetting measures, the Chamber of Marine Commerce is urging stakeholders and governments to consider the environmental advantages and the competitive challenges faced by the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence shipping industry.  

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