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 Today


The Maritime Industry's original and most viewed E-News Service

Maritime Reporter July 2016 Digital Edition
FREE Maritime Reporter Subscription
Latest Maritime News    rss feeds

Environmental

Los Angeles Port Pushes for Valero Oil Terminal Improvements Project

The Port of Los Angeles has released an Initial Study/Notice of Preparation (IS/NOP) — the first step in the Environmental Impact Report (EIR) process —

B&G Software Upgrade for Zeus2 and Vulcan Chartplotter

B&G, the world’s leading sailing navigation and instrument specialist has upgraded its latest software for the full range of Zeus2 and Vulcan chartplotters. The

Navig8 Acquires Chemical Tanker from STX

Navig8 Chemical Tankers Inc (the “Company”) (N-OTC: CHEMS), an international shipping company focused on the transportation of chemicals, today announced that it

Dredging

Boskalis Awarded Aberdeen Offshore Wind Farm Contract

Royal Boskalis Westminster N.V. (Boskalis) has been awarded the Offshore Balance of Plant contract by Vattenfall for the construction of Aberdeen Offshore Wind Farm,

Great Lakes Dredging Awards Announced

Great Lakes Dredge & Dock Corporation announced that it was recently awarded four contracts with an approximate value of $93 million. Great Lakes received two

Fire-fighting ASD Tugs Sail to Argentina

At the end of June, two Damen ASD Tugs 2810 set sail from Damen Shipyards Galati in Romania to Puerto General de San Martin (Argentina) for towing, mooring, and

News

Los Angeles Port Pushes for Valero Oil Terminal Improvements Project

The Port of Los Angeles has released an Initial Study/Notice of Preparation (IS/NOP) — the first step in the Environmental Impact Report (EIR) process —

Eni Cancels Vessel Deal with Viking Supply Ships

Viking Supply Ships A/S (VSS) has received an early termination notice of the contract for the Ice-class 1A AHTS “Njord Viking”. The vessel has been working for

B&G Software Upgrade for Zeus2 and Vulcan Chartplotter

B&G, the world’s leading sailing navigation and instrument specialist has upgraded its latest software for the full range of Zeus2 and Vulcan chartplotters. The

Logistics

Turkey’s Role for the Tanker Market

Even though the coup attempt in Turkey  failed and the transportation situation normalized quickly thereafter, Poten & Partners take a look at the importance of Turkey to the tanker market.

China’s One Belt, One Road: Will it Reshape Global Trade?

The future of trade in Asia could depend heavily on what becomes of China’s expansive One Belt, One Road initiative, which calls for massive investment in and

Global Fleet Growth: A More Mature Trend?

The supply of ships into the fleet is a key determinant of vessel earnings across the shipping sectors, and world fleet growth is closely followed by everyone in the maritime industry,

Great Lakes

Great Lakes Dredging Awards Announced

Great Lakes Dredge & Dock Corporation announced that it was recently awarded four contracts with an approximate value of $93 million. Great Lakes received two

Great Lakes Ports Support Ballast Reforms

Directors of major commercial ports in the Great Lakes region called on Congress to end years of regulatory chaos surrounding ballast water management.    In a joint letter issued late yesterday,

U.S. Ports See Slower Beginning to Shipping Season

While U.S. ports have been busy, overall the beginning of the shipping season has been slower than anticipated.   “Although the overall cargo numbers remain down

 
 
Maritime Careers / Shipboard Positions Maritime Contracts Maritime Standards Navigation Salvage Ship Electronics Ship Simulators Shipbuilding / Vessel Construction 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: 0.0898 sec (11 req/sec)