Great Lakes Coal Trade Down 10-Plus Percent in September

Lake Carriers’ Association
Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Shipments of coal on the Great Lakes totaled 3,049,705 tons in September, an increase of 6.3 percent compared to August, but a drop of 10.1 percent compared to a year ago.  Compared to the month’s 5-year average, loadings were down 14.5 percent.


Overseas shipments from Superior, Wisconsin, continued in September.  Coal shipped to Québec City for reloading into oceangoing vessels totaled 192,000 tons.  For the season, the overseas trade from Superior Midwest Energy Terminal totals 1,173,000 tons.


Year-to-date the Lakes coal trade stands at 17.5 million tons, a decrease of 8.1 percent compared to a year ago.  Loadings are nearly 26 percent behind the 5-year average for the first three quarters of the year.


Lake Carriers’ Association represents 17 American companies that operate 57 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, as well as salt, sand and grain.  Collectively, these vessels can transport more than 115 million tons of cargo per year.  Those cargos support more than 103,000 jobs with an average wage of $47,000.  More information is available at

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