Great Lakes Coal Falls Short in 2014
Despite a nearly 1-million ton increase in coal shipments on the Great Lakes in December, the surge was not enough to enable the trade to outperform 2013, the Lake Carriers’ Association (LCA) said, reporting that shipments for the year totaled 24.5 million tons, a slight decrease compared to 2013.
The December surge was possible because heavy ice did not form on the Lakes until January of this year. Shipments totaled 3.1 million tons, an increase of 43 percent compared to a year ago, while shipments from Superior, Wisconsin, rose by 39 percent, and loadings at Lake Erie terminals soared by more than 70 percent.
However, for the year, only the Ohio port range registered an increase. According to LCA, shipments from Toledo, Sandusky, Ashtabula and Conneaut totaled 8.5 million tons, an increase of 26.3 percent. The 706,000 tons loaded in Conneaut were the first that dock has shipped since 2008.
Shipments from Lake Superior ports totaled 14.1 million tons, a decrease of 6.2 percent, and loadings out of Chicago fell 34 percent, LCA said.