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November Ore Shipments Up on Great Lakes

Iron ore shipments on the Great Lakes reached their highest level so far this year in November. The trade totaled 4.6 million net tons, an increase of 27 percent over the preceding month. The upturn reflects higher operating rates at the nation’s steel mills that, in turn, have required the sailing of some U.S.-Flag lakers that had been idled. The most recent reactivation was on November 25 when the American Republic returned to service. The vessel was designed specifically to shuttle iron ore on the twisting Cuyahoga River in Cleveland, Ohio. Comparisons with a year ago and the month’s five-year average illustrate the depth of this recession. November loadings were six percent off the pace of a year ago, and nearly 14 percent behind the month’s five-year average. For the year, the Great Lakes iron ore trade stands at 27.5 million tons, a decrease of 50.1 percent compared to a year ago. The decrease is only slightly less when compared to the trade’s five-year average for the January-November timeframe – 49.3 percent.


Great Lakes Iron Ore Trade Up 7% in November

Shipments of iron ore on the Great Lakes totaled 5.5 million tons in November, an increase of 7% compared to a year ago.  The November ore float was also 4.1% ahead of the month’s five-year average, but trailed October by 7.7%. Shipments from U.S. ports totaled 4.9 million tons, an increase of almost 10% compared to a year ago.  The November total included 366,000 tons shipped to Québec City for loading into oceangoing vessels and delivery overseas


Great Lakes Iron Ore Trade Declines in July

Shipments of iron ore on the Great Lakes totaled 6.4 million tons in July, an increase of 7% compared to June, but a drop of 8.2% compared to a year ago. Loadings also trailed the month’s long-term average by 6.5%. Shipments from U.S. ports totaled 5.7 million tons, a decrease of 5.2% compared to a year ago. The July total included 490,000 tons shipped to Québec City for loading into oceangoing vessels and delivery overseas. Year-to-date overseas exports total 1,550,000 tons


Great Lakes Ore Trade Down 11.3% in March

Shipments of iron ore on the Great Lakes totaled 1.9 million tons in March, a decrease of 11.3% from a year ago. Loadings were 9.3% ahead of the month’s five-year average, however. Shipments from U.S. ports totaled 1.8 million tons, a decrease of 9.7% compared to a year ago. The March total included 116,000 tons shipped to Quebec City for loading into oceangoing vessels and delivery overseas. Shipments from Canadian ports totaled 113,000 tons


Great Lakes: Less Ice Sees Ore Ships Thrive

Photo: Ben McClain

A relatively mild December on the Great Lakes allowed iron ore shipments to increase dramatically compared to a year ago when an early arriving winter blanketed the system with thick ice, the Lake Carriers’ Association (LCA) reported. Shipments totaled 6.3 million tons, an increase of 23.6 percent compared to a year ago, LCA said, noting that the biggest increase came from U.S. ports on Lake Superior. Meanwhile, loadings out of Duluth, Minnesota, Superior, Wisconsin


Maritime Community to Pay Tribute Oberstar

M/V Hon. James L. Oberstar (Photo courtesy The Interlake Steamship Company)

The Great Lakes Maritime community will honor Former Rep. James Oberstar on Thursday, May 8. All U.S.-flag vessels working the Great Lakes will lower their flags to half-mast in honor of Congressman Oberstar. Also on May 8, at almost the same time funeral services for Congressman James L. Oberstar are scheduled to get under way in Washington D.C., the U.S.-flag laker that bears his name is scheduled to arrive in the Port of Duluth-Superior to load iron ore pellets – a Great Lakes


Last Saltie Departs Duluth; Lakers Make Final Push

The Palmerton departing beneath Duluth’s Aerial Bridge on Dec. 20.  Photo Credit:  Paul Scinocca

Duluth-Superior’s international shipping season winds to a close as last saltie departs; Great Lakes freighters make final push to mid-January   This weekend signaled the ‘beginning of the end’ of the 2014 shipping season – as the last oceangoing vessel (saltie) to have called on the Port of Duluth-Superior this year departed just after midnight Friday – passing beneath the Aerial Lift Bridge at 12:26 a.m. Saturday morning.    


Great Lakes Ore Trade Off 7 PCT in September

File Photo: Great Lakes Stone Carrier.

Iron ore shipments on the Great Lakes totaled 5.9 million tons in September, a decrease of 7.3 percent compared to August, and 7 percent below the level of a year ago.  Shipments were, however, 6.1 percent ahead of September’s 5-year average.   Shipments from U.S. ports totaled 5,052,532 tons, a decrease of 10.2 percent compared to a year ago.  Included in that total were 360,000 tons shipped to Québec City for final delivery overseas


First U.S.-Flag "Lakers" Back In Service; 52 More To Follow

When the cement carrier ST. MARYS CHALLENGER gets underway in April, it will mark the vessels 107th year of service. (Photo: Rod Burdick)

The 2013 Great Lakes shipping season began on March 2 with the sailing of the tug/barge unit Prentiss Brown/St. Mary’s Conquest. The vessel, operated by Port City Marine Services, departed its winter lay-up berth in Milwaukee and sailed for Charlevoix, Michigan, where it loaded 9,200 tons of cement for delivery to Chicago. Next to get underway was the tug/barge unit Dorothy Ann/Pathfinder. The vessel, one of 10 operated by The Interlake Steamship Company, loaded about 13


U.S.-Flag Lakers' October Cargo Up 3 PCT

LCA Logo.jpg

U.S.-flag Great Lakes freighters (“lakers”) carried 9.8 million tons of dry-bulk cargo in October, a weather-driven decrease of 3 percent compared to September, but an increase of 3.2 percent compared to a year ago.   The October float was 5 percent below the month’s 5-year average, but the decrease partially reflects the significant weather-related delays the fleet experienced. Iron ore cargos for the steel industry increased 12.8 percent compared to a year ago


Ice Coverage on Great Lakes 89 pct: NOAA

Image: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

 Ice coverage on the Great Lakes is nearing 90 percent, reveals high resolution satellites images from National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).   The entire Great Lakes is at 88.8 percent ice coverage, with the highest totals coming from Lake Huron and Lake Erie at about


Great Lakes Shipping Worries about Tough Spring

Image: Lake Carriers’ Association (LCA)

 Ice conditions have been causing concern for Great Lakes shipping industry. The satellite images show that the Great Lakes once again almost entirely covered in ice.   Duluth News Tribune reports that the ice is causing worry in the Great Lakes shipping industry about the prospects of


Shipping Eyes Brazilian Ore Exports

Image: Vale S.A.

 Following the plunge in dry bulk freight market, shipping companies are banking on increased iron ore exports from Brazil to China and India to shore up freight rates, reports the Hindu Businessline.   Hauling ore from Brazil to China will cost almost double than that from Australia


Softer Panamax Rates Drag Down Baltic Index Slightly

The Baltic Exchange's main sea freight index, which tracks rates for ships carrying dry bulk commodities, edged down slightly on Monday as rates for panamax vessels fell. The overall index, which gauges the cost of shipping resources including iron ore, cement, grain, coal and fertiliser


Baltic Index Edges Higher on Capesize Gains

The Baltic Exchange's main sea freight index, which tracks rates for ships carrying dry bulk commodities, rose for the second consecutive day on Friday on higher rates for capesizes and smaller vessels. The overall index, which gauges the cost of shipping resources including iron ore, cement


Baltic Index Rebounds Slightly from Record Low

The Baltic Exchange's main sea freight index, which tracks rates for ships carrying dry bulk commodities, edged up slightly on Thursday on higher rates for panamaxes and smaller vessels. The overall index, which gauges the cost of shipping resources including iron ore, cement, grain


Weak Vessel Demand Keeps Baltic Index at Record Lows

The Baltic Exchange's main sea freight index, which tracks rates for ships carrying dry bulk commodities, hit another record low on Wednesday as demand for vessels fell ahead of the Lunar New Year holiday. The overall index, which gauges the cost of shipping resources including iron ore, cement


China Policy Change Opens Door for Vale Mega-Ships

A Valemax bulk ship at the dock in Japan (photo: Vale)

China has amended rules around ships it will allow to berth at mainland ports, paving the way for Brazilian miner Vale to ship iron ore in its giant 400,000 deadweight tons (DWT) carriers. Vale's mega ships, the world's biggest bulk ore carriers


Great Lakes Seaway Ballast Water Report Released

Photo: Great Lakes Seaway Ballast Water Working Group

The 2014 Summary of Great Lakes Seaway Ballast Water Management activities was released by the Great Lakes Ballast Water Working Group (BWWG) Thursday.   The BWWG aims to harmonize ballast water management efforts between the U.S. Coast Guard


Shipping Rates Drop as China Cuts Coal Need

Pic: Nippon Yusen Kaisha

Shipping costs plunged to almost the lowest on record following tumbling demand for coal in China and weakening growth in the nation’s iron ore purchases, reports Bloomberg.  The Baltic Dry Index, which tracks freight rates for ships carrying raw materials


Research Shows Iron's Long Ocean Journey

Photo courtesy of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution

A new study led by scientists at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) points to the deep ocean as a major source of dissolved iron in the central Pacific Ocean. Researchers found that iron can travel long distances, highlighting the vital role ocean mixing plays in determining whether


Baltic Sea Freight Index Falls to Lowest Level Since 1986

The Baltic Exchange's main sea freight index, which tracks rates for ships carrying dry bulk commodities, spiralled downwards to its lowest level in nearly three decades as rates for all the four vessel types continued to flounder.   The overall index


Peru Grants Permit for Chinese-owned Mine

  The government has granted Chinese-owned Jinzhao Mining Peru the environmental permit for its proposed $1.5 billion Pampa de Pongo iron mine, estimated to produce 22.5 million tonnes per year. The energy and mines ministry said in a statement on Friday that it had also approved the


Great Lakes Coal Falls Short in 2014

Photo: LCA

Despite a nearly 1-million ton increase in coal shipments on the Great Lakes in December, the surge was not enough to enable the trade to outperform 2013, the Lake Carriers’ Association (LCA) said, reporting that shipments for the year totaled 24


Video: Coastguards Continue Great Lakes Icebreaking

Image: USCG

Continued icebreaking operations from the U.S. and Canadian Coast Guards open maritime lanes for commercial vessels The U.S. and Canadian Coast Guards are jointly continuing Operation Coal Shovel, the seasonal domestic icebreaking operations in the southern part of Lake Huron, Lake St






 
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