U.S.-Flag Lakes Float Down 8.6 Percent in August.
U.S.-Flag Great Lakes freighters (“lakers”) carried 9.5 million tons of dry-bulk cargo in August, a decrease of 10.1 percent compared to July, and 8.6 percent less than the volume recorded a year ago. The August float was also 7 percent below the month’s 5-year average. Iron ore cargos for the steel industry in August totaled 4.5 million tons, a decrease of 5.2 percent compared to a year ago. Coal cargos fell to 1.7 million tons, or almost 20 percent compared to August 2011.
Aggregate and fluxstone for construction and steelmaking slipped to 2.7 million tons, a drop of 6 percent.
Through August U.S.-flag cargos stand at 54,352,509 tons, a slight decrease compared to the same point in 2011, and a marginal increase compared to the 5-year average for the January-August timeframe. Iron ore cargos are down by 1.9 percent. Coal has slipped by more than 18 percent, but limestone cargos are up by nearly 15 percent, or 1.8 million 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.