Lakes Water Levels Return, but Not Full Loads

Posted by Michelle Howard
Thursday, July 10, 2014
photo courtesy of the Port of Cleveland

The rise in Great Lakes water levels has yet to translate into full loads for the U.S.-flag freighters moving iron ore, coal, limestone, cement and other cargos.  Vessels continue to routinely leave port with less than a full load on board.

The largest iron ore cargo moved by a U.S.-flag laker through the Soo Locks in June totaled 69,576 tons.  The record iron ore cargo for the “Head-of-the-Lakes Trade” is 72,300 tons and was carried in 1997, a period of near record-high water levels.

The deepest draft ever recorded for a transit of the Poe Lock is 29’ 03” in 1986.  If a 1,000-foot-long U.S.-flag laker could transit the lock that deep today, the vessel would be carrying 72,727 tons.

Vessels in the coal trade continued to depart loading docks with capacity to spare.  The largest coal cargo through the Soo Locks totaled 67,992 tons, nearly 5 percent less than the record of 70,903 tons.

Vessels in the short-haul trades below the Soo Locks likewise are still unable to maximize their carrying capacity.  A river-class laker that delivered 13,000 tons of limestone to a dock along the Saginaw River was still 3,000 tons short of its rated capacity.  A 14,000-ton cement cargo discharged in Detroit and Cleveland represented only 80 percent of the vessel’s rated capacity.

“The rise in water levels has allowed vessels to carry larger cargos than a year ago,” said James H.I. Weakley, President of Lake Carriers’ Association.  “However, water levels will begin their seasonal decline in the fall, so the fact even more carrying capacity will be unusable makes the recent passage of the Water Resources Reform and Development Act even more important to the Great Lakes Navigation System.  That legislation designates the Lakes as a system in terms of dredging and increases spending from the Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund.  Passage could not have come at a better time, for it is clear higher water levels cannot themselves restore the Great Lakes Navigation System to even functional, let alone project dimensions.  Only increased funding will end the dredging crisis on the Great Lakes.  It was gratifying to see the House of Representatives add nearly $58 million to the Corps’ national budget yesterday.  Surely some of those dollars will come back to the Lakes.”

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers estimates approximately 18 million cubic yards of sediment clog Great Lakes ports and waterways and pegs the cost of dredging that volume at more than $200 million.  The Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund, the depository for a tax levied on cargo to pay for dredging, has a surplus of more than $8 billion.

 

Maritime Reporter April 2015 Digital Edition
FREE Maritime Reporter Subscription
Latest Maritime News    rss feeds

Environmental

Gulf of Finland Collision Related Spill Risk to Quadruple in the Future

A single oil spill can release 30,000 tonnes of oil into the ocean if two vessels collide. In grounding the high weight can lead to oil disaster, in the Baltic Sea up to 120,000 tonnes.

New Ships Meet 2020 Design Standard

A new CE Delft study has revealed that many recently constructed ships already meet the International Maritime Organization’s (IMO) design efficiency standard for 2020, says Pan European Networks.

Seattle Gums Up Shell's Arctic Ambitions

Royal Dutch Shell's quest to return to Arctic drilling for the first time in three years could face delays after Seattle ruled that the city's port must apply for a permit before hosting rigs.

News

Royal IHC, Dräger join Forces

Royal IHC and Dräger have joined forces to offer the market a single source for fully integrated Diving Support Vessels. The initial focus will lie on the market segment of vessels with automated,

Lie Appointed Sr.V.P.- Communications, Cargotec

Leena Lie, M.Sc. (Econ.), (b. 1968) has been appointed Senior Vice President, Communications at Cargotec Corporation as of August 1, 2015. She will be a member

Shipping Industry Faces Major Dilemma on BWM

The Round Table (RT) of International Shipping Organisations (comprising BIMCO, the International Chamber of Shipping, Intercargo and INTERTANKO) is deeply concerned

Logistics

Royal IHC, Dräger join Forces

Royal IHC and Dräger have joined forces to offer the market a single source for fully integrated Diving Support Vessels. The initial focus will lie on the market segment of vessels with automated,

Lie Appointed Sr.V.P.- Communications, Cargotec

Leena Lie, M.Sc. (Econ.), (b. 1968) has been appointed Senior Vice President, Communications at Cargotec Corporation as of August 1, 2015. She will be a member

Face Off Maersk Tigris

The Danish shipping giant Maersk Line is still trying to obtain details of the Iranian court ruling that resulted in seizing Maersk Tigris by the Iranian authorities

 
 
Maritime Contracts Maritime Security Naval Architecture Offshore Oil Port Authority Salvage Ship Electronics Ship Repair Sonar Winch
rss | archive | history | articles | privacy | contributors | top maritime news | about us | copyright | maritime magazines
maritime security news | shipbuilding news | maritime industry | shipping news | maritime reporting | workboats news | ship design | maritime business

Time taken: 0.1378 sec (7 req/sec)