U.S.-flag Great Lakes freighters (lakers) carried 2.2 million tons of dry-bulk cargo in March, a decrease of 7% compared to 2012.
However, the fleet’s March float was marginally ahead of the month’s five-year average.
Iron ore shipments in U.S. hulls rose slightly – 25,000 tons – compared to a year ago, but loadings of coal declined by more than 60%. The fleet’s limestone trade nearly doubled.
Through the first quarter, U.S.-flag lakers have hauled 5.2 million tons of cargo, a decrease of nearly 19% compared to the same point in 2012. Iron ore cargos are down by 13.4%. Coal loadings are down by more than 50%, but limestone is 61%ahead of last year’s pace.