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Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Great Lakes Freighters News

US-flag Great Lakes Fleet Will Get $65 Mln Winter Tune-up

(File photo: Fincantieri Bay Shipbuilding)

U.S.-flag Great Lakes vessel operators will spend $65 million maintaining and modernizing their vessels at Great Lakes shipyards this winter. When complete, the fleet will be ready to meet the needs of commerce come the spring break-out in March. “Winter is the one opportunity our members have to renew and upgrade their vessels,” said James H.I. Weakley, President of Lake Carriers’ Association, the trade association representing the major U.S.-flag carriers. The major focus this winter will be on normal maintenance such as overhauls of engines…

US-flag Cargo Movement on Lakes Little Changed in January

U.S.-flag Great Lakes freighters (lakers) moved 2.1 million tons of dry-bulk cargo in January, a decrease of 125,000 tons compared to a year ago, according to the Lake Carriers’ Association  (LCA).   This January’s float was down nearly a quarter from the month’s five-year average, LCA noted.   Iron ore cargos for steel production increased by 120,000 tons, but coal cargos, mostly for power generation, dipped by 17,000 tons. No limestone was loaded in January.

Tugs Move Grounded Freighter in Great Lakes

According to a report from the Associated Press, on Dec. 26, seven tugboats succeeded in moving a 579-ft coal-hauling Great Lakes freighter that was grounded for two days in the Detroit River south of Detroit. The McKee Sons ran aground Dec. 24 near Grosse Ile while trying to dock at a DTE Energy Co. electrical power station. (Source: AP)

Last Saltie Departs Duluth; Lakers Make Final Push

The Palmerton departing beneath Duluth’s Aerial Bridge on Dec. 20.  Photo Credit:  Paul Scinocca

This weekend signaled the ‘beginning of the end’ of the 2014 shipping season – as the last oceangoing vessel (saltie) to have called on the Port of Duluth-Superior this year departed just after midnight Friday – passing beneath the Aerial Lift Bridge at 12:26 a.m. Saturday morning. The Palmerton had arrived earlier in the week to discharge project cargo at the Clure Public Marine Terminal in Duluth. The 436-foot, Antigua-flag Palmerton will be the last saltie of 2014 to make the full 2,342-mile transit of the Great Lakes St.

US-flag Great Lakes Shipping Dips Slightly in July

Photo credit: Mike Gibby Besko

U.S.-flag Great Lakes freighters (lakers) moved 9.7 million tons of cargo on the Great Lakes in July, a decrease of 1.5 percent compared to a year ago, the Lake Carriers' Association (LCA) reported. July’s shipments also trailed the month’s long-term average by 8.4 percent. Iron ore cargos for steelmaking totaled 5 million tons, an increase of 8.7 percent compared to a year ago, while coal loadings slipped 16.7 percent to 1.4 million tons and limestone cargos hauled in U.S. bottoms totaled 2.8 million tons, a decrease of 2.6 percent compared to a year ago.

June US-flag Great Lakes Shipping Unchanged from 2016

© Gerald Bernard / Adobe Stock

U.S.-flag Great Lakes freighters (lakers) moved 9.7 million tons of cargo on the Great Lakes in June, a virtual repeat of a year ago, according to the Lake Carriers’ Association (LCA). However, this June’s shipments were down 3.6 percent from the month’s long-term average. Iron ore cargos for steelmaking totaled 4.9 million tons, an increase of 3.5 percent compared to a year ago. Coal loadings rose 8.1 percent to 1.6 million tons. The increase was almost entirely due to higher shipments of low-sulfur coal from Superior, Wisc. Limestone cargos hauled in U.S.

US-flag Great Lakes Cargos Down in January

Source: LCA

U.S.-flag Great Lakes freighters carried 2.3 million tons of dry-bulk cargo on the Great Lakes in January, a decrease of 23 percent compared to a year ago, according to figures compiled by the Lake Carriers’ Association (LCA). Iron ore cargos decreased 20 percent, while coal loadings tumbled 68 percent. Shipments of limestone, however, rose nearly 75 percent. As February begins, most lakers are in lay-up and undergoing maintenance and modernization, but one cement carrier and two liquid-bulk tug/barge units were in service as of February 1.

US-flag Lakers’ Cargo Down in October

U.S.-flag Great Lakes freighters (lakers) carried 9.7 million tons of cargo in October, a decrease of 13.7 percent compared to a year ago, and a decrease of 0.6 percent compared to the month’s long-term average, according to that Lake Carriers’ Association (LCA). Iron ore cargos decreased 21.8 percent compared to a year ago, coal cargos decreased 7 percent and limestone loadings dipped a little more than 1 percent. Year-to-date U.S.-flag cargos total 71.9 million tons, an increase of 0.9 percent compared to the same point in 2014, but a decrease of 1.3 percent compared to the long-term average for the January-October timeframe. Iron ore cargos have decreased 6.3 percent compared to a year ago, while coal shipments are up 6.5 percent and limestone loadings have increased 10 percent.

US Lakers’ Cargo Dips 15% in November

U.S.-flag Great Lakes freighters (lakers) carried 7.9 million tons of cargo in November, a decrease of 15 percent compared to both a year ago and the month’s long-term average, the Lake Carriers’ Association (LCA) said.   Iron ore cargos decreased 22 percent in November compared to a year ago, while coal cargos fell 16 percent and limestone loadings dipped 5 percent, according to LCA.   Year-to-date U.S.-flag cargos total 79.8 million tons, a decrease of 1 percent compared to the same point in 2014, and a drop of 3 percent compared to the long-term average for the January-November timeframe. Iron ore cargos have decreased 8 percent compared to a year ago. Coal shipments are up 4 percent. Limestone loadings have increased 8 percent.

US-flag Lakes Cargo Volumes Dip in May

File photo: Central Marine Logistics, Inc.

U.S.-flag Great Lakes freighters (lakers) moved 9.5 million tons of cargo in May, a decrease of 12.5 percent compared to a year ago, the Lake Carriers’ Association (LCA) reported. The May float was also 5 percent below the month’s five-year average. Iron ore cargos for the steel industry totaled 4.7 million tons, a decrease of 12.4 percent compared to a year. Coal shipments to power plants and steel mills fell to 1.4 million tons, a decrease of nearly 28 percent. Limestone loads for construction projects and steel production totaled 2.9 million tons, a virtual repeat of a year ago.

US-flag Lakes Cargos Down Almost 10% in July

U.S.-flag Great Lakes freighters (lakers) moved 9.85 million tons of cargo in July, a decrease of 9.5 percent compared to a year ago, the Lake Carriers’ Association  (LCA) reports. The July float was also 9 percent below the month’s five-year average. Iron ore cargos for the steel industry totaled 4.6 million tons, a decrease of 3.4 percent compared to a year ago. Coal shipments to power plants and steel mills fell to 1.7 million tons, a decrease of 25 percent. Limestone loads for construction projects and steel production totaled 2.9 million tons, a decrease of 10 percent compared to a year ago. Year-to-date U.S.-flag carriage stands at 40.4 million tons, a decrease of 5 percent compared to the same point in 2015. Iron ore cargos are up 4.8 percent, but coal cargos have dipped 27 percent.

US-flag Shipping on Great Lakes Up 7%in August

The Lake Carriers’ Association (LCA) said U.S.-flag Great Lakes freighters (lakers) moved 10.1 million tons of cargo in August, an increase of 7 percent compared to a year ago. The month’s shipments also bettered the August long-term average by approximately 60,000 tons. Iron ore cargos for steelmaking totaled 4.7 million tons, an increase of 4.7 percent compared to a year ago. Coal loadings neared 1.6 million tons, an increase of 8.5 percent. Limestone cargos increased nearly 10 percent to 3.2 million tons. Year-over-year U.S.-flag cargos total 50.4 million tons, an increase of 1.3 percent over the same point in 2016. Iron ore shipments have increased 6 percent to 27.6 million tons. Coal cargos are virtually unchanged – 7.5 million tons.

US-flag Great Lakes Shipping Buoyant in September

© haveseen / Adobe Stock

U.S.-flag Great Lakes freighters (lakers) moved 10.1 million tons of cargo in September, an increase of 10.7 percent compared to a year ago, the Lake Carriers’ Association (LCA) reported. September’s shipments also bettered the month’s long-term average by 3.1 percent, or 300,000 tons. LCA said iron ore cargos for steelmaking totaled 4.9 million tons, an increase of 14 percent compared to a year ago, while Coal loadings approached 1.9 million tons, an increase of 6.1 percent, and Limestone cargos increased 10.1 percent to 2.7 million tons.

US-flag Great Lakes Shipping Steady in May

© johnsroad7 / Adobe Stock

U.S.-flag Great Lakes freighters (lakers) moved 9.5 million tons of cargo in May, a virtual repeat of a year ago, the Lake Carriers’ Association (LCA) reported. The float totaled 9,496,663 tons this May and 9,473,709 tons a year ago. This May’s shipments were, however, down 5 percent from the month’s long-term average. Iron ore cargos for steelmakers totaled 4.9 million tons, an increase of 4 percent compared to a year ago. Coal loadings were little changed in May. Shipments totaled 1,435,400 tons, an increase of 36,953 tons. Limestone cargos hauled in U.S.

US-flag Cargo on the Great Lakes Down 4.5% in 2016

© icholakov/ Adobe Stock

U.S.-flag Great Lakes freighters (lakers) moved 83.3 million tons of cargo in 2016, a decrease of 4.5 percent compared to 2015, according to the Lake Carriers’ Association (LCA). The 2016 float was also 7.7 percent below the fleet’s five-year average. Iron ore cargos totaled 44.1 million tons, an increase of 7.8 percent. However, all other commodities decreased. Coal was down 26.6 percent. Limestone (mostly aggregate and fluxstone) dipped by 8.4 percent. Cement decreased by 6 percent. Salt cargos were off by nearly 11 percent.

US-flag Lakes Cargo Volume Dips in September

File photo: Paul Csizmadia

U.S.-flag Great Lakes freighters (lakers) moved 9.1 million tons of cargo in September, a decrease of 7 percent compared to a year ago, according to the Lake Carriers’ Association (LCA). The September float was also 8.7 percent below the month’s five-year average. Iron ore cargos for the steel industry totaled 4.3 million tons, a virtual repeat of a year ago. Coal shipments to power plants and steel mills fell to 1.8 million tons, a decrease of 14.3 percent. Limestone for construction projects and steel production totaled 2.5 million tons, a decrease of 15.2 percent compared to a year ago.

US-flag Lakes Cargos Down in October

File photo: Jerry Mueller

U.S.-flag Great Lakes freighters (lakers) moved 8.8 million tons of cargo in October, a decrease of 9.2 percent compared to a year ago, and 10.2 percent below the month’s five-year average, according to the Lake Carriers’ Association (LCA). October was also the sixth consecutive month in which cargos trailed the previous year. Iron ore cargos for the steel industry totaled 4.4 million tons in October, an increase of 5.3 percent compared to a year ago. However, coal shipments to power plants and steel mills fell to 1.3 million tons, a decrease of 43 percent, LCA said.

March US-flag Lakes Cargoes Double from 2015

File photo: Interlake Steamship Company

U.S.-flag Great Lakes freighters (lakers) moved 1,747,111 tons of cargo in March, more than double their total of a year ago, according to the Lake Carriers’ Association (LCA), who said the March float was also on pace with the month’s five-year average. Iron ore cargos totaled 1,362,768 tons, again more than double the volume of a year ago, while coal cargos totaled 133,155 tons, basically a repeat of a year ago. Limestone cargos dipped slightly to 68,275 tons, but shipments of cement more than tripled the volume of a year ago, rising to 182,913 tons.

U.S.-Flag Lakers Down Seven Percent

Great Lakes cement carrier (Credit: Rod Burdick)

U.S.-flag Great Lakes freighters (lakers) carried 2.2 million tons of dry-bulk cargo in March, a decrease of 7% compared to 2012. However, the fleet’s March float was marginally ahead of the month’s five-year average. Iron ore shipments in U.S. hulls rose slightly – 25,000 tons – compared to a year ago, but loadings of coal declined by more than 60%. The fleet’s limestone trade nearly doubled. Through the first quarter, U.S.-flag lakers have hauled 5.2 million tons of cargo, a decrease of nearly 19% compared to the same point in 2012. Iron ore cargos are down by 13.4%.

U.S.-Flag Cargo Trends

U.S.-flag Great Lakes freighters carried 10 million tons of dry-bulk cargo in June, an increase of 5.2 percent compared to May, but a decrease of 3.3 percent compared to a year ago. The June “float” was also 3.9 percent below the month’s 5-year average. Iron ore cargos for the steel industry have increased by 12.2 percent over the past year. Coal for power generation and steel production fell by 25.3 percent. Aggregate and fluxstone for the construction and steel industries slipped by 7.2 percent. Through June, U.S.-flag cargos stand at 33.7 million tons, an increase of 2.4 percent compared to the same point in 2010. Iron ore has increased 7.6 percent, but coal and limestone are down by 2.8 percent and 4.9 percent respectively.

U.S.-Flag Lakes Cargos Up Nearly 7%

U.S.-flag Great Lakes freighters (lakers) moved 8.4 million tons of cargo in November, an increase of 6.7 percent compared to a year ago. However, the November float was  6.7 percent below the month’s 5-year average. Iron ore cargos for the steel industry totaled 4.7 million tons in November, an increase of 29.6 percent compared to a year ago. However, coal shipments to power plants and steel mills fell to 1.2 million tons, a decrease of more than 20 percent. Aggregate and fluxstone for construction projects and steel production totaled 2 million tons, a decrease of nearly 10 percent compared to a year ago. Year-over-year U.S.-flag carriage stands at 76.2 million tons, a decrease of 4.5 percent. Iron ore cargos are up 6.6 percent, but coal loads have dipped 25.8 percent.

Best May for U.S.-Flag Lakers in 7 Years

U.S.-flag Great Lakes freighters (lakers) moved 10.8 million tons of dry-bulk cargo in May, their highest total for that month since 2008. The surge is at least partially attributable to the fact that no ice delays were experienced this May. Comparisons with May 2014 illustrate how ice slowed shipping a year ago. Iron ore cargos were up more than 17 percent, but that increase somewhat reflects that in May 2014 three 1,000-foot long lakers were collectively out of service to repair ice damage for 65 days.

Great Lakes Iron Ore Trade Up 23.4% in April

Shipments of iron ore on the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Seaway totaled 5,355,855 tons in April, an increase of 23.4 percent compared to a year ago, according to the Lake Carriers’ Association (LCA). Shipments also topped the month’s 5-year average by 18.4 percent. LCA said shipments from U.S. ports totaled 4,981,058 tons in April, an increase of 27 percent compared to a year ago, while loadings at Canadian terminals dipped by 11.6 percent to 374,797 tons. Although water levels on all five Great Lakes are currently above long-term average, U.S.-flag Great Lakes freighters are still not carrying full loads. The largest iron ore cargo to ever move in the Head-of-the-Lakes trade (Lake Superior to Lower Lakes ports) is 72,300 tons, but only two iron ore shipments topped 70,000 tons in April.

Maritime Reporter Magazine Cover Dec 2017 - The Great Ships of 2017

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