Although rising water levels partially offset the chronic lack of dredging in the spring and summer, the Lakes begin their seasonal decline in September, and as a result, lightloading increased. The largest iron ore cargo was only 66,761 net tons. The largest coal cargo was 67,444 net tons.
Had these vessels been able to carry full loads, they would have delivered more than 70,000 net tons. For the year, U.S.-Flag carriage stands at 74.1 million net tons, a slight increase (298,000 net tons) compared to a year ago, but down about one percent (or 617,000 net tons) from the five-year average for the first three quarters.
’ Association represents 16 American corporations that operate 63 U.S.-Flag vessels on the . These vessels carry the raw materials that drive the nation’s economy: iron ore and fluxstone for the steel industry, limestone and cement for the construction industry, coal for power generation.
Collectively, these vessels can transport more than 115 million tons of cargo a year when high water levels offset lack of adequate dredging.