For the second month in a row, shipments of limestone on the Great Lakes topped 4 million tons in July, the Lake Carriers' Association (LCA) reported. This is the first time loadings have topped the 4-million-ton mark for more than one month in a shipping season since 2008.
Loadings at U.S. quarries totaled 3.5 million tons, a virtual repeat of a year ago. Shipments from Canadian quarries – 560,000 tons – also were a near carbon copy of a year ago.
Year-to-date, the Lakes limestone trade stands at 14 million tons, an increase of 16 percent compared to a year ago. The increase in part reflects how severely stone shipments were impacted by the near glacial ice that covered the Lakes into May of 2014. LCA noted. Ice also slowed the resumption of the stone trade this spring; several boats in the stone trade did not sail until late April, but the shipping lanes were ice free by May.