U.S.-flag Great Lakes freighters (lakers) carried 10.5 million tons of dry-bulk cargo in August, an increase of more than 1 million tons, or 10.6 percent, compared to a year ago. The August float was also on par with month’s long-term average and slightly ahead of July’s 10.3 million-ton total.
U.S.-flag lakers moved 4.5 million tons of iron ore in August, 77.5 percent of all ore moving on the Lakes/Seaway that month. The 4.5 million tons represent a virtual repeat of a year ago, but a slight decrease compared to the month’s long-term average.
Coal shipments in U.S. hulls totaled 2.4 million tons in August, 76.4 percent of all coal moving on the Lakes that month. The 2.4 million tons represent an increase of 39.3 percent compared to a year ago, and are 80,000 tons better than the month’s long-term average.
The 3 million tons of limestone hauled by U.S.-flag lakers in August represent 81.3 percent of the Lakes trade in that commodity that month. The 3 million tons also represent increases of 8.7 and 2.8 percent compared to a year ago and the month’s long-term average.
Through August, the U.S.-flag float stands at 53.5 million tons, a decrease of 1.5 percent compared to a year ago. Iron ore cargos are down by 3.2 percent. Coal loadings are up 7 percent. Shipments of limestone are 4.6 percent off last year’s pace.