U.S.-flag Great Lakes freighters (“lakers”) carried 9.8 million tons of dry-bulk cargo in October, a weather-driven decrease of 3 percent compared to September, but an increase of 3.2 percent compared to a year ago.
The October float was 5 percent below the month’s 5-year average, but the decrease partially reflects the significant weather-related delays the fleet experienced. Iron ore cargos for the steel industry increased 12.8 percent compared to a year ago. Limestone cargos for construction, steel production, and environmental applications inched passed a year ago, but coal for power generation and steel production was down 10 percent. Through October U.S.-flag cargos stand at 75 million tons, an increase of 3.8 percent compared to the same point in 2010. Iron ore has increased 10.6 percent and limestone cargos continue to advance beyond last year’s level, but coal is down by 6.8 percent. Compared to the 5-year average for the January-October timeframe, U.S.-flag cargos are down 2 percent.
Lake Carriers’ Association represents 17 American companies that operate 55 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.... Collectively, these vessels can transport more than 115 million tons of cargo per year when high water offsets lack of adequate dredging. These cargos generate more than 103,000 jobs with an average wage of $47,000 in the United States. More information is available at www.lcaships.com.