According to data compiled by the Lake Carriers’ Association, shipments of limestone on the Great Lakes totaled 27.6 million tons in 2013, an increase of 1.7% compared to 2012. The trade was, however, 4% below its long-term average.
Shipments from U.S. ports totaled 23.9 million tons, an increase of 5.7% compared to 2012. That total is also the highest for U.S. ports since 2008.
Shipments from Canadian ports totaled 3.7 million tons, a decrease of 18% compared to 2013.
The stone trade was pretty well wrapped by mid-December. Shipments during the ice season that statistically began on December 16 totaled 313,000 tons, or 25% of the December float. The limestone trade does typically end sooner than iron ore and coal as much of the stone moving on the Lakes is washed prior to loading into vessels and hence susceptible to freezing as temperature plummet.