Cargo down 8 percent in September on U.S.-flag lakers

The following is the text of a news release from the Lake Carriers' Association:

(CLEVELAND) — U.S.-flag Great Lakes freighters (lakers) carried 9.8 million tons of cargo in September, a decrease of 8 percent compared to a year ago and a decrease of 1 percent compared to the month’s long-term average. Iron ore cargoes decreased 20 percent. Coal cargoes increased 10 percent. Limestone loadings increased 6 percent.

Year-to-date U.S.-flag cargoes total 62.2 million tons, an increase of 3.6 percent compared to the same point in 2014, but a decrease of 1.4 percent compared to the long-term average for the first three quarters. Iron ore cargoes have decreased 3.5 percent. Coal shipments are up 9.4 percent. Limestone loadings have increased 12 percent.

The Lake Carriers’ Association represents 15 American companies that operate 56 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 100 million tons of cargo per year. More information is available at

By Professional Mariner Staff