U.S.-flag Great Lakes freighters (“lakers”) carried 10.5 million tons of dry-bulk cargo in July, an increase of 6.6 percent compared to June, but a decrease of 5.1 percent compared to a year ago.
The July float was, however, just marginally below the month’s 5-year average. Iron ore cargos for the steel industry in July totaled 4.3 million tons, a decrease of nearly 18 percent compared to a year ago. Coal cargos fell by almost 23 percent. Aggregate and fluxstone for construction and steelmaking rose more than 35 percent to 3,840,596 tons. That is the fleet’s highest monthly total for limestone since August 2008 when the trade totaled 3,497,364 tons.
Through July U.S.-flag cargos stand at 44.9 million tons, a slight increase compared to the same point in 2011, but 2.4 percent ahead of the 5-year average for the January-July timeframe. Iron ore cargos are down by 300,000 tons. Coal has slipped by nearly 18 percent, but limestone cargos are up by 21 percent, or nearly 2,000,000 tons.
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. More information is available at www.lcaships.com. Contact: Glen G. Nekvasil, Vice President (440-333-9996).