Weather Delays Dip U.S.-Flag Lakes Cargo Movement
Tuesday, December 17, 2013

U.S.-flag Great Lakes freighters (lakers) carried 8.7 million tons of dry-bulk cargo in November, a decrease of 4.7% compared to a year ago. The total was also 8.7% below November’s long-term average, and down 11.2% from the 9.8 million tons the fleet moved in October. Weather delays were a factor in the decreases.

U.S.-flag lakers moved 3.8 million tons of iron ore in November, 68.2% of all ore moving on the Lakes/Seaway that month. The 3.8 million tons represent an 8.5% decrease from a year ago, and a 10.1% decrease compared to November’s long-term average.

Coal shipments in U.S. hulls totaled 2.2 million tons in November, a slight decrease from a year ago, and 8.3% below the month’s long-term average.

The 2.3 million tons of limestone hauled by U.S.-flag lakers in November represented a slight increase over a year ago, but fell short of the month’s long-term average by 5.5%.

Through November the U.S.-flag float stands at 82 million tons, a marginal increase compared to a year ago. Iron ore and limestone are slightly behind last year’s pace, but coal cargos have increased by 3.8%.

Lake Carriers’ Association represents 17 American companies that operate 57 U.S.-flag vessels on the Great Lakes that carry the raw materials that drive the nation’s economy: iron ore and fluxstone for the steel industry, aggregate and cement for the construction industry, coal for power generation, as well as salt, sand and grain. Collectively, these vessels can transport more than 115 million tons of cargo per year.

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