A rebounding steel industry has helped the U.S.-Flag Great Lakes fleet get off to a positive start in 2010. Cargo moved in U.S.-Flag lakers in January totaled 2.4 million tons, an increase of 156 percent compared to a year ago.
The bulk of those cargos was iron ore for steel production. Shipments topped 1.8 million tons, an increase of 196 percent compared to the corresponding period last year. There has been a steady increase in operating rates at the nation’s steel mills, and most of the iron ore consumed at domestic mills is shipped on the Great Lakes.
Coal cargos also registered a significant increase. The 495,000 tons carried in January represent an increase of 65 percent.
The fleet is now in winter lay-up. The final dry-bulk cargo, 39,324 tons of iron ore, was delivered on February 1.