Iron ore shipments on the Great Lakes totaled 6.5 million net tons in September, an increase of 8.2 percent compared to a year ago. The trade also outperformed the month’s 5-year average by nearly 9 percent.
Despite the increases, the iron ore trade continued to struggle with the inefficiencies inherent with lack of adequate dredging. The largest iron ore cargo in September – 66,761 net tons – still represented only 92 percent of the record cargo carried in 1997, a period when water levels allowed for near full loads.
For the year, the iron ore trade stands at 45.6 million net tons, an increase of 9.8 percent compared to a year ago. Shipments also are ahead of the 5-year average for the first three quarters by nearly the same margin.