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 February 2014 Digital Edition
FREE Maritime Reporter Subscription
Latest Maritime News    rss feeds

Environmental

Congestion is Port of Long Beach’s Toughest Issue

Slangerup’s State of the Port address outlines goals for Energy Island, smarter supply chain   In his first-ever State of the Port address, Port of Long Beach

BOEM Issues Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement

The U.S. Department of the Interior, Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM), announces the availability of the Draft Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement

European Shipping Week Announces Speakers

Adam Goldstein, President and COO of Royal Caribbean Cruises, Pierfrancesco Vago, Chairman of CLIA Europe and Executive Chairman of MSC Cruises, and Paolo Tonon,

News

5 Rescued from Sinking Vessel off Monterey Coast

Coast Guard rescued five people from a sinking 65-foot sailing vessel approximately 120 miles off the Monterey coast, Saturday. At approximately 8 a.m. Saturday,

CMA CGM Opens Two Offices

CMA CGM Opens a new branch in Constantine, (Algeria) and an agency in Sihanoukville, (Combodia) Following are the addresses in the respective countries: CMA CGM Algérie,

Barril Appointed COO of SBM Offshore

SBM Offshore is pleased to announce the appointment of Philippe Barril as Chief Operating Officer (COO) effective March 1, 2015.  Philippe's appointment as a

Logistics

Congestion is Port of Long Beach’s Toughest Issue

Slangerup’s State of the Port address outlines goals for Energy Island, smarter supply chain   In his first-ever State of the Port address, Port of Long Beach

Shippers Must Monitor Greek Government Changes

Moore Stephens says shipping must monitor developments in wake of Greek government change   International accountant and shipping adviser Moore Stephens says

ISS Palumbo UK Acquires Union Transport

ISS Palumbo UK, part of maritime services provider Inchcape Shipping Services (ISS), has acquired U.K. freight forwarding specialist Union Transport (Newcastle) Ltd.

Great Lakes

USACE Barges, Tugs Up for Repair

The United States Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) Buffalo District has awarded a repair contract to Great Lakes Shipyard for two tugs and two barges from the Corps’ Cleveland Field Station.

Revisions Proposed for Seaway Practices and Procedures

Under agreement with the U.S. Saint Lawrence Seaway Development Corporation, The St. Lawrence Seaway Management Corporation is proposing to amend the joint Practices

Great Lakes Coal Falls Short in 2014

Despite a nearly 1-million ton increase in coal shipments on the Great Lakes in December, the surge was not enough to enable the trade to outperform 2013, the Lake Carriers’ Association (LCA) said,

 
 
Maritime Careers / Shipboard Positions Maritime Standards Navigation Offshore Oil Pipelines Port Authority Salvage Ship Repair Ship Simulators Sonar
rss | archive | history | articles | privacy | terms and conditions | 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: 0.1162 sec (9 req/sec)