U.S.-Flag Fleet Moves Less Cargo

Friday, November 12, 1999
Reduced demand for domestically-made steel and uneven demand for stone from the construction industry again produced a shortfall in U.S.-Flag carriage on the Great Lakes in August. Cargo movement in U.S. bottoms totaled 12,761,930 net tons, a decrease of 8.3 percent. The season-long slump has now left a gap of 6.2 million tons between the end-of-August totals in 1999 and 1998. Steel mill-bound iron ore cargo slipped below six million tons in August, as several ore carriers were withdrawn from service. For the season, the U.S.-Flag ore float stands at 33.2 million tons, a decrease of 10.9 percent. Coal loadings in U.S.-Flag lakers increased slightly in August, but the season-to-date total remains slightly behind last year's pace. The steel- and construction-related slump in stone loadings showed no signs of ending in August; the month's total represents a decrease of 6.2 percent compared to the corresponding period last year. Since the resumption of stone loadings in late March, U.S-Flag cargoes have declined by 11.7 percent.
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