U.S.-flag Great Lakes freighters (“lakers”) carried 10.1 million tons of dry-bulk cargo in September, a decrease of 2.7 percent compared to August, but an increase of 7.6 percent compared to a year ago. The September float was also virtually tied with the month’s 5-year average.
Iron ore cargos for the steel industry increased 16.3 percent compared to a year ago. Limestone cargos for construction, steel production, and environmental uses rose almost 5 percent, but coal for power generation and steel production was largely unchanged from a year ago. Through September U.S.-flag cargos stand at 65.2 million tons, an increase of 3.8 percent compared to the same point in 2010. Iron ore has increased 10.3 percent and limestone cargos continue to slowly climb over last year’s levels, but coal is down by 6.2 percent. Compared to the 5-year average for the first three quarters, U.S.-flag cargos are down 1.6 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. Contact: Glen G. Nekvasil, Vice President (440-333-9996).