The U.S.-Flag Great Lakes fleet hauled more than nine million net tons of dry-bulk cargo in November. That’s the first month this year that cargos totaled more than nine million tons in a single month. The November float is a small increase over the previous month – three percent – but significantly higher than earlier this year. In May, for example, U.S.-Flag cargos totaled only 7.1 million tons.
The 3.6 million tons of iron ore hauled in November are the fleet’s best total for that commodity so far this year and reflect rising demand for steel. Limestone recorded its second-best month of the year. However, the last stone cargo of the year was loaded on December 16, an early close for that trade. Coal loadings were down 16 percent compared to a year ago, primarily because of slowdown in shipments of western coal out of Superior, Wis.
Through November, U.S.-Flag carriage stands at 60,352,716 tons, a decrease of approximately 36.6 percent compared to a year ago. The U.S.-Flag float is 38.4 percent off the 5-year average for the January-November timeframe.