Great Lakes Coal Down 7 PCT in September

Lake Carriers Association
Friday, October 21, 2011

Shipments of coal on the Great Lakes totaled 3.4 million net tons in September, an increase of nearly 15 percent compared to August, but a decrease of 7 percent compared to a year ago.  The trade was more than 10 percent off the 5-year average for September.


Loadings at Lake Superior ports topped 2 million tons for the first time this year, but still represented a decrease of 6.5 percent compared to a year ago.  Shipments from Lake Michigan terminals rose 40 percent, but loadings at Lake Erie docks slipped 21.6 percent. Year-to-date, the coal trade stands at 19 million tons, a decrease of 14.7 percent compared to a year ago, and even more, 26.1 percent, when compared to the 5-year average for the first three quarters.


Lake Carriers’ Association represents 17 American companies that operate 55 U.S.-flag vessels on the Great Lakes and 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.  Those cargos support more than 103,000 jobs, each with an average wage of $47,000.  More information is available at

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